Brown trout and rainbow trout
Lake Eildon is home to terrific trout fishing during the cooler months when surface water temperatures are more conducive. Brown trout are the dominant species although rainbow trout are caught occasionally. Both species are stocked and there is also natural recruitment of trout in its inflowing rivers. Lake Eildon is home to some very big brown trout to 4kg that predate on small fish like roach and redfin. The best time to target trout is from May to September unless deep water trolling techniques are used to present lures further down the water column.
Lake Eildon is a fantastic place to catch Murray cod and is getting better every season thanks to an extensive stocking program. They can be caught year-round because the closed season does not apply here. Most cod fishing is done during the warmer months however winter water temperatures under 7 degrees present no problem for cod at all, more so the fishers chasing them!
The big populations of forage fish have enabled Eildon’s Murray cod to grow fast and fat. Specimens over a metre long are reported from all ends of the lake! These fish are over the maximum size limit of 75cm and should be released but are the fish of a lifetime for keen freshwater fishers. Cod are fast becoming the main reason people visit Lake Eildon because of their powerful strike and trophy size. Be prepared for an addiction to big Eildon cod!
Golden perch or ‘yellas’ thrive throughout Eildon. Traditionally targeted in its northern end, particularly in spring when they form spawning aggregations, they are present in all corners of this enormous waterway. There are many year classes of golden perch from many years of stocking so fishers can expect to catch small specimens that are undersize all the way through to trophies over 6kg. Most golden perch fishing on Eildon occurs in October and November when they become more active with warming water however with persistence, they can be enticed to bite year-round.
Redfin or ‘reddies’ as they are fondly known are prolific in southern Australia and have been a mainstay in Eildon for decades. They can be caught year-round with warmer weather seeing big ravenous schools on the move, often around submerged trees. Redfin are a popular catch because they’re delicious to eat, relatively easy to catch on basic gear, take lures and bait, and can be caught in numbers (no bag limit applies).
Carp are abundant in Lake Eildon. Its clear waters mean you can often see them on the surface, sometimes in schools feeding on bugs or cruising a shoreline in shallow water. Although not the lake’s most popular target species with freshwater fishers, carp are valued by some cultures and taken to eat. They can grow large, up to 8kg or more. Most are taken on bait and occasionally on lures. Small carp are part of the food chain in Lake Eildon and provide large fish, especially Murray cod, with another food choice in addition to small redfin and roach. Carp are classified as noxious in Victoria and must not be returned to the water alive. There is no minimum size or bag limit on carp.
Lake Eildon is home to a large population of roach, which breed naturally in its clear waters. Early and late in the day they can be amongst trout and carp feeding on the surface. A native of Europe, roach grow to about 45cm but are more commonly caught between 15 and 20cm. They are targeted by coarse fishers in Australia using specialised fishing gear and taken incidentally by other freshwater anglers, most commonly when using small baits of worm. They are not regarded as a table fish.