Spring warmth fires Lake Macdonald
  |  First Published: October 2011

It’s springtime again, and at Lake Macdonald the warm weather is a benefit for the fishing and for the whole family.

Located just five minutes from Cooroy, and 15 minutes from Noosa, Lake Macdonald is a good spot for an enjoyable day of fishing and family fun. There are good walking trails and barbeque areas located around Lake Macdonald.

Stocked fish in the lake include bass, yellowbelly (golden perch), saratoga, snub-nosed gar, tandans (eel tailed catfish) and the introduced spangled perch. There is also a small population of Mary River cod, but it is a rule that these cod cannot be taken from Lake Macdonald.

Great Spots

There are many different places to fish at Lake Macdonald. If you don’t have a boat, don’t think you can’t catch big fish. There are many land-based fishing spots that are very productive. The Perch Park fishing platform is a comfortable fishing spot where quite a few saratoga like to hunt.

The Botanical Gardens area is also good to fish, if you can find a clear spot where the weed breaks, cast a bait or lure in there and whatever is hiding in that weed will come out and smash it!

The creeks that run off Lake Macdonald are very productive to fish as well. This is where a lot of bass like to feed around fallen trees in the water, and you might even have the chance to hook onto the great fighting saratoga.

If you’re boat fishing, the large Lake Macdonald offers a lot of great fishing spots. Lake Macdonald only allows boats with electric motors, and fishing from canoes is also acceptable, but to be safe, fish with someone else and wear a life jacket.

Start at spot called the Bubble Trail, this is out around the middle of the lake and where the aerators are. The aerators create oxygen in the water which attracts a lot of schooling fish, especially big bass. Around the botanical gardens area, you can troll lures past the weed beds and wait for a large fish to come out and smash your lure.

A personal favourite, is Bass Bay, and it takes after its name. There a number of large schooling bass that hang around the weed beds and they take most offerings. Most of the time, these spots are great to fish at, but it is key to know how to fish at these areas.

How to fish at Lake Macdonald

There are various kinds of ways to fish at Lake Macdonald, and the fish there take most offerings. But you have to think like a fish. These fish that live here are very smart, and all baits and lures must be presented well to attract them.

When using baits, you can use live shrimp, worms, and crayfish. You can catch shrimp and crayfish either by net or shrimp and crayfish pots. What a lot of people like to do is to use a simple ‘just a hook on the line’ rig, because when you stick the shrimp, worm or crayfish on, it allows the bait to look natural in the water.

I have caught a lot of bass, yellowbelly, and spangled perch on these baits. But I have also seen people catch saratoga on these baits, and they put on a great aerial display and a great fight!

If you have been taught or like to fish with lures, then Lake Macdonald is the way to go. Casting lures around weed beds, fallen trees, or trolling lures behind your boat is very effective. You can use a wide range of lures here, including various types of crankbaits, spinnerbaits, surface lures, and soft plastics.

It is good to troll these lures around the edges of the lake, or do a slow retrieve to give the fish time to have a look at the lure before hitting it. The best time to use these lures are around dawn and dusk, because this is when the fish are most hungry meaning they are most active.

It is good to try and match your lure to the baitfish in the water. For example, if you can spot small rainbow perch in the water, find a lure that looks closest to them. Also make sure your lures are suitable size for what you’re fishing for, mostly 2-4”.

So the next time you want to have a break from all that saltwater fishing, have a go at Lake Macdonald. It provides a great day for the family to enjoy, and great fishing. Remember all your fishing knowledge, because you will definitely need it when fishing here, which will make for a day you won’t be disappointed with.

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