What to Catch

The Southwest and Grampians are home to a plethora of fine lakes that provide outstanding opportunity for a range of freshwater fish from exotics to native species. No matter your skill level or preferred fishing method, there’s something for everyone when it comes to wetting a line.

Brown trout and rainbow trout

Trout love cool water, and the Southwest provides this via deep lakes and the elevation afforded by the Grampians.  Rainbow and brown trout are the dominant species with exciting species like tiger trout and brook trout stocked in some waters also.

Most trout in this region are fish stocked by the VFA however they thrive and grow fast in waters teeming with high value food sources such as smelt and gudgeon.

In other regions a good trout might be 1.5 kg, however in this part of Victoria that would be closer to the average fish and the great news for fishers is they are in good numbers and readily take bait, lure or fly.

Click here to learn how to catch brown trout and rainbow trout.

Chinook salmon

Excitingly over many years the VFA has stocked select waterways with fast growing and large Chinook Salmon.  These fish are aggressive feeders which can grow to trophy sizes.  Whilst being a fast-growing species, Chinooks don’t live for many years in freshwater lakes as their biology is to sea-run salmon in other parts of the world and come into freshwater systems during the spring to spawn. Lake Bullen Merri and Purrumbete are the two main lakes to target these exotic fish.

Click here to learn how to catch Chinook salmon.

Murray Cod

The impression that Murray cod only inhabit deep, slow flowing rivers is incorrect! Cod thrive in a variety of situations and can be found in the very same water as trout. The emerging fishery at Rocklands Reservoir has all the ingredients to see fast growing fish and the abundance of habitat will help fishers to be able to locate better zones to fish for them.  It won’t be long until fish in the legal slot limit are a regular catch and then the anticipation of regular meteries which will attract fishers from afar.

Click here to learn how to catch Murray cod.

Golden Perch

Golden perch or ‘yellas’ thrive in a variety of locations but especially in shallower warmer waters which can see them be responsive for more months in the year.  As stocking are relatively recent, most fish are around 1.5 kilograms or less however fishers can look forward to future multiyear classes of golden perch from small specimens that are undersize all the way through to trophies the shape of a football.

Click here to learn how to catch golden perch.


Redfin or ‘reddies’ as they are fondly known are prolific in southern Australia and have been a mainstay in the southwest and Grampians lakes for decades. They can be caught year-round with warmer weather seeing big ravenous schools on the move, often around submerged trees or in the deeper lakes in quite deep water often out in the open provided the schools or smelt of gudgeon are present which provide the protein for amazing growth rates.  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).

Click here to learn how to catch redfin.