Kerang Lakes and surrounds
The Kerang Lakes and surrounding areas are globally renowned wetlands, recognised for their ecological value under the Ramsar Convention. Its sprawling set of 23 lakes and swamps of varying sizes, depths and diversity carry some of the best fishing in the north-west. Given variations in water levels across the lakes, some waterways may not have adequate water, particularly drought. However, permanent lakes within the system allow for year-round fishing of the highest quality.
Situated off the Murray Valley Highway near Kerang, Lake Charm is a semi-permanent, slightly saline lake renowned for its water sports activities. Whether it’s swimming, kayaking, birdwatching or fishing, Lake Charm has you covered for a great getaway.
The lake suits all methods of fishing and boasts good redfin, the main angling species, along with the premium angling targets of golden perch and Murray cod. Both of these species have been heavily stocked by the Victorian Fisheries Authority (VFA) for several years.
The region is abundant with big cod, including some over the magic metre mark – and with the development of nearby camping and caravan facilities, the lake is well-suited for travelling fishers looking for that prized catch. The best way to experience the lake's full potential is by launching a boat or kayak. For native fish try bardi grubs, yabbies, freshwater shrimp, chicken or cheese, or tie on spinnerbaits and diving crankbaits of around 75mm for golden perch and 130mm for cod. For redfin, peeled yabby tail, freshwater shrimp, worms, or small soft plastics are preferred.
Kangaroo Lake, just a short distance from Lake Charm, is situated on the other side of the Murray Valley Highway. Surrounded by farmland and citrus groves, the lake holds a substantial water level year-round and provides some of the best fishing in the region. Given its popularity, including for water sports and birdwatching, the area is well served with facilities for visitors. Stop for a few nights at a campsite or caravan park, and target well stocked populations of golden perch and Murray cod.
Good bank fishing is available in the larger sections of the lake, where quality golden perch and redfin can be caught with baits of yabbies, worms or shrimp, with chicken or cheese a good addition for cod. For lure fishers, try spinnerbaits and deep diving crankbaits.
In 2014, the Victorian Fisheries Authority commissioned man-made ‘fish motels’, with 40-50 structures established in Kangaroo Lake and Lake Boga. Each fish motel is marked with buoys located five metres from their location, revealing the exact location of structure that big cod call home.
Located off the Boort-Kerang Road south of Kerang, Lake Meran is a hidden gem boasting a beautiful sand bottom and shoreline. The lake is renowned for its diverse birdlife, becoming a haven for wildlife during wet periods. The lake is zoned with areas for speed boating and fishing, making it perfect for water sports enthusiasts and anglers alike.
Lake Meran is home to Murray cod, golden perch and excellent redfin fishing. Given the semi-arid surroundings, water is not always assured during periods of drought. Limited free bush camping is available on the southern side of the lake.
Nestled near Cohuna in the Mallee, Kow Swamp was originally a low-lying swamp that regularly ran dry. However, thanks to an interconnecting irrigation channel, it now enjoys permanent water at an average depth of three metres. The site is of significant cultural and archaeological value. The swamp is surrounded by open country, with abundant dead timber and cumbungi along its shoreline. Some cleared bank areas exist, including around the inlet channel, which provide good access for bank fishing.
Kow Swamp's relatively shallow water, aquatic vegetation, and many snags make it a native fish paradise with strong natural recruitment. Boaters should exercise caution given the shallow nature of the lake and submerged timber. Kow Swamp is home to Murray cod, golden perch and redfin, making it an ideal location for bait fishing techniques, and lures when water is clear enough.