Lake Wendouree is definitely one of those hit and miss fisheries. Too many times have I heard “you should have been here yesterday!” after bracing the icy winds of Ballarat for a day of trout fishing only to catch one half decent sized trout. But if you do happen to get there on a day the fish decide to play the game you could be in for a memorable fishing session. With larger fish up to 5lb fairly common and a good stocked population of both brown and rainbow trout
Wendouree is stocked quite heavily, having around 6000 trout stocked per year since 2010 just from the Ballarat hatchery, plus what fisheries have also done. Thus giving all types of anglers be it young, old, lure or bait a really good chance to catch a brown or rainbow trout to take home for the table or for catch and release like we do.
The lake itself is quite picturesque in the middle of the historic town of Ballarat, with the old buildings, boat sheds and willows definitely giving a different feel to the fishing. A nice sunny days fishing is very pleasant in this environment, but be warned Ballarat can feel like the coldest place on earth when those south westerly’s blow.
Only a few years ago during the drought this lake was pretty much a empty mud bowl, devoid of any fish. But within the space of a few years the rigorous stocking program has turned it back into one of the most enjoyable little lakes to chase trout in Victoria.
Wendouree trout seem to really like 50-70mm floating minnow style lures like
Daiwa’s Presso minnow 6F. Another good option to also try is a 50-75mm minnow or paddle-tail style plastic like Ecogears 3” powershad fished a bit deeper on a 1/8th jighead.
Fish can be found all throughout the lake. But good places to start are any of the numerous reedy edges, deeper dredged channels like the rowing lanes and also any of the bays that don’t have too much shallow weed.
Definitely put it on your list of trout lakes to check, as you might just get lucky and catch it on a red letter day!