Fishing Lake Esmond at Ballarat is a nice place to take the kids. As it has easy access to the water’s edge. It has trout and redfin in the small, but deep lake.
Rainbow trout are normally stocked in some school holidays by Victorian Fisheries. The Fisheries normally put in around 200, to 300 ‘ready-to-catch’ rainbow trout in the lake.
The redfin in there, range from small to good size ones. I haven’t seen any large rainbow trout, the biggest I have seen are probably around 2 pound. (.9 kg) being caught and also cruising around, by Polaroiding them.
The lake was originally an old quarry for Eureka Tile Works. On a sunny day, if the water is clear, you can see the top of an old submerged crane in the middle of the lake.
Lake Esmond is said to be around 20 – 30 feet deep in some spots, which is a bit over 9 metres deep. The size of the lake is around 1.8 hectares.
Water is normally clear enough with a sandy gravel bottom in some places. When it rains the lake can get muddy.
There is a lot of bulrush (also called Cattails, Cumbungi, Reedmace) around the lakes edge, so it limited to the cleared spots that hasn’t got weed to fish from.
The pier and pier side (North East) seems deep enough and is normally popular with local anglers. I have seen some nice trout cruise under the pier a few times and small redfin hanging around the pier.
The pier has been closed off recently as it looks like the pier is getting old and there is damage to the side rails. So a temporary fence has been installed at the start of the pier to block access on it. (Editors note, the pier is now open again.)
The old crane submerged in the middle of the lake would make good cover for the redfin, but it is too far away to cast from the edge of the bank to it. A fishing kayak or float tube would be a good way to fish close to it.
How to get to Lake Esmond?
The main entrance to Lake Esmond is located at Larter Street, Canadian, VIC 3350.
Which Larter Street is just off Main Road, Golden Point. Which is between Clayton St and Lal Lal St. (Might fall under Canadian area, or Ballarat East.)
You can also access the lake from the top playground and reserve on the south east side. You turn off at Lal Lal St into a lane with a small carpark. Walk left to some stairs and Esmond Lake is below.
Lake Esmond is located 4.5 km from Lake Wendouree in the heart of Ballarat.
According to Google Maps, it is around 114 kilometres from Melbourne, or depending on traffic about 1 hour, 40 minutes’ drive.
It is about 1 hour, 10 minutes’ drive, or 85 km from Geelong. And around 120 km from Bendigo.
What fishing bait to use at Lake Esmond?
Above picture: Small rainbow trout bait fishing, caught with corn and using a sinker off the pier.
Above image, using canned corn for bait. (The pool noodle is used to put around the fishing rods when traveling so the rods don’t get tangled up. They have just been put around the fishing rod holder so they don’t blow away. For more information visit – How To Transport Fishing Rods Tangle Free)
For bait fishing I use corn, or PowerBait more for convenience. (I am too lazy getting live bait all the time.) Scrub worms, yabbies, grubs and mudeyes are good bait and worth a try.
Below image: A mix of Powerbait and corn together for bait.
I normally set up the bait fishing rod for the kids with one rod with a float, the other rod has a small sinker on it. This way it covers a few different depths and options fishing, depending on what level the fish are feeding on. (If they are feeding.)
For early mornings, night and evenings, I will fish closer to the weeds and bank, as the fish hunt closer by.
What fishing lures to use?
Lures and spinners are popular here with fisherman and fisher ladies. With soft plastics, like squidgy lures, small hard plastic and metal body lures, Tassie Devils, Halco Wobbler lure, Jensen spinners, Mepps lures and small spinnerbaits are worth a cast.
A lot of lure fisherman will see reddies chase the lure in, which is exciting if they are bigger size ones.
Above photo. Small stockie rainbow trout caught on spinnerbait with soft plastics. The rod and reel was a Daiwa RX combo with braid and a mono leader.
Fly fishing at Lake Esmond
You can fly fish selected section of Lake Esmond, but the bulrush makes it hard to find clear areas to access the water.
For fly fishing, flies worth using are black and brown nymphs during the day.
Craig’s night-time, Woolly-buggers, fur fly, muddler minnows, smelt patterns, leech and mudeye patterns are worth a go at dusk and dawn or night time fishing.
Dry flies when the insect are hatching on warm nights are worth trying. Redtags, beetle and mayfly imitations are good dries when the trout are rising here.
Fly fisherman have to watch their back cast from the trees behind and the runners and walkers around the lake. It is best left for fly fishing from a kayak, or when minimal people are using the lake, like at dawn.
A float tube would also work well for anglers trying to access the middle parts of the lake and clear the bulrush weed around the edge.
What fishing shops are In Ballarat?
To get some bait, fishing gear, fishing shirts you have in a few tackle shops in Ballarat. The fishing and camping shops in Ballarat are:
BCF and are at the homemaker centre and is at t11/333 Gillies St North, Wendouree VIC.
Anaconda is also in the Homemaker centre, opposite BCF.
Rehfisch & Co Hunting and Fishing shop, is at 903 La Trobe St, Ballarat. It is around 5.4 km away from Lake Esmond and has a good range of lures, bait and fly fishing gear.
Aussie disposals, is located at 65 Bridge Mall, Ballarat Central.
Jono and Johno, based at 31 Carngham Road, Delacombe, VIC, has some fishing and camping gear like, lures, rods, inverter generators, chainsaws and Oztrail swags.
Oops, I nearly forgot about Big W and Kmart for fishing tackle, which is also in Ballarat.
There are plenty of caravan parks and accommodation spots in Ballarat and close to Lake Esmond.
The BIG4 NRMA Ballarat Holiday Park (formally BIG4 Ballarat Goldfields Holiday Park) is close by to Lake Esmond. This caravan park is an easy walk, only 400 metres away (about 5 minutes’ walk) from it.
BIG4 NRMA Ballarat Holiday Park is located at 108 Clayton St, Golden Point, VIC. (It is around 700 metres from Sovereign Hill, or a ten minute walk.)
Main Lead Motel and Sovereign Park Motor are close by as well to Lake Esmond. They are both on Main Road, Golden Point.
There is no camping near the small area reserve around the lake, or playground.
What other fishing spots are close by?
You have the famous Lake Wendouree in the heart of Ballarat. Lake Wendouree has some great fishing at times, with big redfin and good size trout being caught. But, the weed growth is definitely a problem.
For more information on fishing Vic Park, click on Fishing Victoria Park At Ballarat
Lake Newlyn’s, Lake Burrumbeet, Crosgrove Reservior and Georges Lake are around and some lakes within 30 minutes of Ballarat.
Who else uses Lake Esmond?
Runners, bike riders and dog walkers frequent the track that is 600 metres around.
Hardened triathletes will go for a swim occasionally there on cold mornings. I have to take my hat off to them, it looks so cold on winter mornings in Ballarat.
Football players sometimes use the lake to get some cold water therapy for their sore muscles, by standing in the lake the next day after a game.
People put kayaks or canoes in the lake now and then.
I would love to scuba dive the lake and explore the lake. Maybe I will just snorkel it on a hot day with the kids.
The lake is a good spot for photographers who want to take some photos of water birds or some plants.
Dogs are only allowed on lead.
Unfortunately you get owners who let their dogs off the lead. (On one occasion when we were there, a dog went up to one fisherman and it sniffed his tackle box that was open. The tackle box had exposed treble hooks lying about, luckily the dog didn’t get hooked on the nose.) Put your dog on the lead please and follow the rules.
Also don’t leave your fishing rod or gear in the middle of the walking track, or a runner or dog will step on it.
Two picnic tables are close to the lake (Larter St side, main entrance. North West side), only metres away from the water, which makes a nice scenic picnic area.
You can get to the playground via a laneway, just off Lal Lal Street, Canadian.
On the south east end of the lake, you go up some stairs. There is a playground on the higher up hill / high ground. The playground area has toilets, BBQ area, bins and a flying fox for the kids.
The playground is a fair size with good equipment for the children if they get bored with fishing.
You can see the lake from the playground area. (But it is harder to see the playground from the lower Lake Esmond.)
There is plenty of parking at Larter St. Or the laneway off Lal Lal Street has a small car parking spot.
City of Ballarat and community groups maintain the beautiful little lake.
Do the right thing and take your rubbish home and be respectful of the other users on and around the lake.
Can you swim at Lake Esmond?
Yes you can swim there. During hot summer days, it can get busy with children swimming.
The lake does get very cold, but it is generally clear and easier access is on the south east side. (Opposite the main entrance. On the side where you walk up the stairs to the playground.)
Teenagers love jumping off the pier.
The sign does say, caution, deep cold untreated water. Remember safety first in the water.
What Wildlife Are There?
There are black ducks, wood ducks, swans, coots, purple swamphens, sea gulls and the occasional hardhead duck on the water.
The kids have seen water rats there swimming around the pier.
Above photo. Overlooking the stairs leading to the lake from the south east side, near the playground.
Overall the fishing there isn’t ground breaking, but definitely worth a try.
I wouldn’t travel from any great distance just go there. Sometimes there is better fishing spots around Ballarat that will be more productive. However, having said all that, Lake Esmond is a good little fishing spot that is easy to access and will produce some fish.
It is an enjoyable place to take the kids fishing, without travelling too far.
Below image: Rainbow trout caught on spinner.