Welcome to Bostock Reservoir Fishing Guide. In this article we will cover what bait, fly and lure to use, as well as fishing tips for the lake.
Fishing at Bostock Reservoir makes a great place to wet a line, because of the size, depth and shape of the lake. With plenty of small bays and dog-legs to fish.
Most anglers will fish around the east and south side, as it is close to the carpark. On nice days the picnic ground and carpark can get busy, with not only anglers but people walking, sightseeing and having BBQs.
The Bostock Reservoir is a large body of water that is surrounded with pine trees around most of the lake.
If you can walk a fair distance the north end and north / west side that doesn’t get as many anglers, it is definitely worth a try. It is always good to explore and fish new spots that don’t get as heavily fished.
There is a stone wall and spill way on the south side of the lake. Unfortunately when the water levels are low, the water is far away from the wall. When the lake is full, this makes a good place for redfin and cruising trout.
The east side is deep and is good fishing when water levels are low. Weed isn’t an issue in the deeper parts of the lake.
If you can find weed beds, or old submerged trees in the reservoir, it is worth throwing a bait or lure near it. As structure is a good place to find redfin and feeding trout close by.
The water is normally clear, but with strong winds over a few days the water can become a little bit murkier in some bays and hold a lot of sediment, pine needles and debris in the water. The opposite ends still should be clear enough to fish.
Because of the wide body of water, the wind can get pretty bad and icy cold in winter. (Take your beanie, good waterproof / windproof jacket and gloves during winter fishing.)
For those anglers who are prepared to walk when the conditions aren’t favourably, or there isn’t much fish sign, they can be rewarded with some good size trout and huge redfin.
Paddock Creek runs into the north end of the lake. On the east side near the overflow, you have the Moorabool River East Branch running nearby.
The lake is managed by Barwon water.
What fish are in the Bostock Reservoir?
Rainbow trout (above image), brown trout, big carp, tench and roach are in the lake.
Redfin can grow to a good size and catches of smaller ones can be plentiful at times.
I have heard of eels in there, but haven’t caught any myself.
What fishing bait to use at the Bostock Reservoir?
Scrubbies, worms, yabbies, Powerbait, corn can be used with a running sinker rig.
A float with mudeyes, minnows, corn and Powerbait is worth drifting when the conditions are right.
The points and side of the points, because of the deeper water are a great place to cast a bait rod from in the middle of the day.
If there are no visual clues of fish feeding, a medium size running sinker can get your bait further out and down to the fish.
If there are trout feeding on, or close to the surface, a float is worth a try. Also a float rigged up can get in wind lanes. This is where trout can cruise and take food that is trapped in the film of the water and channelled along the wind lanes.
Dusk, dawn and night time are worth trying out a float as the fish can come into the shallow areas hunting for frogs, insects, smelt (small baitfish) worms and grubs.
Grasshoppers and crickets on warm nights using light unweighted rigs, or a float can be drifted out and effective for trout.
What lures to use?
Soft plastic like 2.5” to 3” curly grub tails, or paddle tails are good to work the water with. Because the lake is deep in some places, allow plenty of time for the lure to sink.
One technique to use is to let the soft plastic get to the bottom, then lift the rod tip up in two or three twitches. Then wind up the slack line and lower the rod tip down again. Wait for the lure to sink again, then repeat the process. This is called a hopping retrieve.
If the water is a bit murky, or there is no fish activity, a bigger lure, with more action is preferred when there isn’t much fish activity about, such as spinnerbaits, or chatterbaits. This will hopefully entice, or at least get their attention when casting some lures.
For some of the best trout lures and for redfin as well, try the Nories laydown minnows, Rapala Spotted Dog, smaller stump jumpers, Black Magic, Daiwa Doubleclutch Hardbody Lures and Zerek lures in smaller sizes.
The good old fashioned trout lures like the Wonder Wobblers, spoons and inline spinners like the Mepps, Jensen Insect spinners, Celta’s are effective. Most of these are available from your local fishing shop and BCF and Anaconda stores.
Tasmanian Devil lures are great to try here. (I have confidence with their action and they have a good track record in a variety of waters.)
The heavier Tassie Devils in 13.5 gram (7/16 oz) weight can really cast out far and cover some water and depth when retrieving.
Speaking of Tassie Devil lures, the maker Wigston, has some nice looking spoon lures for freshwater in a variety of colours, I can’t wait to test them out.
Fly fishing at the Bostock Reservoir
The deep areas and lack of structure can make it challenging for the fly fisherman when no active feeding trout are about.
For early mornings and evenings, the fish will come in closer and the lake can make for some great fishing.
Some fly fisherman might have an intermediate fly line, or slow sinking fly line for fishing some of the deeper sections.
Depending on the wind, the northern end and north / west end can be exciting fishing with the fly.
Bigger search patterns are useful when there is no activity. Like all fishing spots, sometimes you can flog the water for hours for no strikes. So try to cover some different areas and search patterns.
Smelt, mudeye and yabby patterns can work for the wet flies.
Nymph patterns are always a staple to have in some bigger sizes and in black, green or brown colours.
Fly fishing dry flies is just plain fun when there is some feeding activity on the surface by trout. Dun imitation patterns, midges, beetle and emerger patterns are worth a cast.
Bostock Reservoir fishing tips
When the lake water levels are low, take note of any deeper channels, large rocks, old weed beds and drop offs. As when the lake is fuller, these spots can hold some large redfin (and small), and trout and are worth casting around.
(Use a notebook, or notes on your phone as it is easy to forget where the good spots and structure is when the lake looks different. Or mark them on a GPS device.)
I have mentioned it before, but be prepared to walk a bit and try different locations if nothing is moving, or happening.
Some bait fisherman will fish the one spot for fifteen minutes, then move to try a different spot.
For the lure and fly fisherman, you can cast a few or several times in the one spot, then move a few paces and cast again. You can cover a wide area fishing this way and come across productive areas using this method. (Don’t just flog the one area.)
Try the small bays on dusk and dawn. Along parallel to the points are good places to cast, as you get trout patrolling the area when feeding.
On windy days, check the froth / foam along the shoreline and see what terrestrial insects or aquatic insects that have been blown into the shore. This might give you a clue as to what food is around for the trout.
For fly fishing at night time I switch to a heavier 8 pound tippet in either mono or fluorocarbon. Sometimes you are more likely to get wind knots that you might not see as often in the dark, so a thicker line helps reduce this. Also some bigger fish might come out and play, so a heavier line is god insurance.
If you are bait fishing using corn kernels, you can get a bundle of 3 small cans of corn from Aldi supermarket. This saves taking and opening a medium size can of corn, that you might only use a small amount of it. (Or you can eat it.)
Walking to the north end, it can get pretty dark going through the pine trees, so take a torch. While you can use your phone flashlight, save your phone batteries and take a dedicated torch. A headlamp is even better for hands free use.
For lure fisherman, bring a variety of different weighted lures, as you might want a heavier lure to get you down quicker into the deeper water if there is no surface activity. Likewise for the shallow bays, bring some lighter lures as well in different configurations.
The best tip is to fish around structure, like weed beds and submerged trees when possible, as above photograph.
Catch and release as below photo, saves some fish for future anglers.
How to get to the Bostock Reservoir?
The main entrance is from Shaws Road, which runs off the Geelong Ballan Road in Ballan.
Shaws Road will take you to a gravel road which leads to the carpark and lovely picnic grounds at the east, south /east side of the Bostock Reservoir.
The second access point to the lake is a bit harder to get to. It is off, Old Melbourne Road to the north, north / west end of the lake. There is a rough small carpark there, close to the train tracks. Understandably they don’t want you walking over the train track to get to the lake, so there is a path under the railway bridge to the lake. This path is subject to flooding and mud.
Before you go parking and fishing at the back entrance, check that it is still accessible. As there signs everywhere about no entrance for the railway line, but they might change the under the bridge access as well.
Melbourne anglers have around a 1 hour, 17 minutes’ drive, depending on where they live to the Bostock.
Ballarat is around 40 km away.
The drive is about 1 hour and 10 minutes travel for Geelong anglers.
If you are coming from Bendigo, it will take roughly 1 hour and 40 minutes to get there.
What other fishing spots are close by?
Pikes Creek Reservoir is not far away, just a 25 minutes’ drive. They also stock it with cod and yellowbelly (Golden Perch), as well as trout.
Lake Wendouree in Ballarat, is around 40 minutes away according to Google Maps. For more details, visit – Fishing Lake Wendouree
Not far from Lake Wendouree you also have Vic Park Lakes. Which are two little small dam size lakes, which are good for beginner fisherman, fisherwoman and children. For more information and pictures, click on – Fishing Victoria Park At Ballarat
Moorabool reservoir is just 30 minutes’ drive from the Bostock.
The Lederderg River and Werribee River, near Bacchus Marsh and Melton are around 40 minutes away.
Newlyn’s Reservoir and Hepburn Lagoon to the north – west are about 45 minutes’ drive.
Further north you have Jubilee Lake and Daylesford Lake which are fun fishing in a kayak.
Upper Stoney Creek Reservoir is located south of the Bostock and is 27 km away.
Can you put a boat on the Bostock Reservoir?
Fishing boats, or all boats for that matter are not allowed on the reservoir.
Unfortunately, kayaks, canoes and unpowered boats are not allowed. (This would be a great place for fishing in kayaks, unpowered boats or electric motors, but at this stage it is a big no, no.)
Who else uses the lake?
Walkers, runners and dog walkers enjoy the beautiful view. Mountain bike riders like the track that goes part way around the lake.
Photographers can catch scenic photos of the sun setting over the lake, as it can be stunning in the right conditions.
Unfortunately noisy motor bike riders do get around the lake, but there are clear signs they are not allowed. (The serenity when you are trying to peacefully fish!)
A well-kept picnic ground with rotundas, toilet block and two BBQ areas are nicely set up near the main entrance car park.
The lake is closed from public access on days of Total Fire Ban.
There is no camping allowed around the lake and no campfires allowed.
Close by, there are also some mineral spring points.
Can you swim at Bostock Reservoir?
No, you are not allowed to swim there.
Accommodation near the lake
Accommodation isn’t too far away with the Ballan Caravan Park at 45 Jopling St, Ballan VIC, 3342, which is only around 7 km away.
The Blackwood Mineral Springs Holiday Park is another option and is located at 41 Golden Point Road, Blackwood, VIC, 3458.
What wildlife are at the lake?
You get kangaroos around the reservoir and entrance as above photo.
Water birds of all varieties, like black ducks, wood ducks, cormorants and swans enjoy the lake.
Bird watchers can get a variety of birds to view like hawks, swallows and cockatoos.
During summer around the rocks and reeds, it can get a bit snaky, (I don’t think that is a word, but watch your step for snakes. Just looked it up, it is a word.)
Poison Hemlock beware – Don’t touch!
There are some occasional patches of poison hemlock (as above photograph) around the lake. It looks like fine soft bracken fern and it has purple splotches on its stems. It can grow tall and has delicate small flowers on it.
Don’t let the kids touch it, as it can give them a bad rash, or don’t let your dogs near it.
A scenic place, Bostock Reservoir fishing is ideal for fisherfolk who want easy access. (Near the carpark.) Or for the keen adventurous angler, they can walk a fair distance and fish away from the crowds and hopefully be rewarded with some nice fish.
In good weather the Bostock Reservoir is a lovely place to take the family for a picnic, or walk and sneak in some fishing time as well!
Above and below images: Small Redfin (English Perch) caught on soft plastic lures.
Above image: Fishing the north / east deep side.
Below photograph: The shallower south / west side of the Bostock Reservoir.