Hotspot: Lake Burley Griffin
  |  First Published: October 2016

Lake Burley Griffin is an incredibly consistent fishery where golden perch, Murray cod and redfin can be caught all year round in good numbers. This is especially true for those who use a kayak, as there are pockets of lake which benefit from a finesse approach and can’t be fished effectively from land.


Lake Burley Griffin is located right in the heart of Canberra so the facilities available are excellent. There are BBQs, public toilets and picnic areas scattered right across the lake, which are perfect spots to take a break. Some of the more popular areas include Yarralumla Bay, Black Mountain Peninsula and Weston Park. There are even BBQ facilities located on Springbank Island in the middle of the lake, which has a jetty for easy access.

I recommend launching at Black Mountain Peninsula as the boat ramp is close to some exceptional fishing, although launching at Yarralumla Bay is also popular. There is a good launch spot off Morshead Drive for those wanting to fish the Molonglo River entrance.


Lake Burley Griffin holds good populations of large Murray cod, golden perch, redfin and carp. At the moment, small golden perch seem to be in plague proportions in the lake. Once anglers find a school, it’s not uncommon to catch a dozen or so small fish. There are also trout in the lake, but they are scarce.


Kayak fishing in Lake Burley Griffin is a very different proposition to land-based and boat-based angling. A kayak can get in tight on the flats and drift across steep drop offs. As a result, it’s important to use lures that can be adapted to suit various locations during the session.

Jackall TN50s and 60s in black king gill and teo shad are the perfect lure, as they can be slow rolled down deep or quickly retrieved along the top of the water column. I find darker colours work well in deeper areas, whereas lighter colours are more effective on the flats.

Plastics are also a very effective lure to use from the yak because, like vibes, they can be used in a variety of situations. The Squidgy Wriggler 80mm in redrum can be worked down deep with a pause and twitch retrieve, or slow rolled across flatter, shallower areas. During cod season, 1 December to 1 September, spinnerbaits are another great choice with Jackpot being the pick of these popular lures.

A ‘ripped retrieve’ works well using spinnerbaits. Cast the spinnerbait and allow it to sink to the bottom. Rip the rod tip up quickly to get the lure swimming and then allow the lure to sink to the bottom. Complete the retrieve by slowly winding the spinnerbait back to you. Usually the fish will hit on the second drop.


Black Mountain Peninsula is a great place to start. You can troll the area or cast at the snags lining the bank. It is popular though and gets crowded. I like targeting the points around Yarralumla Bay as there are always natives holding, as well as great drop offs where you can run up a cricket score of big reddies. This spot provides the best of both worlds. You can push right up onto the flatter areas or stay deep and drift.

The entrance to the Molonglo River leading from the hospice through to Fyshwick contains a lot of snags and provides some of the most exciting native fishing in Canberra. Large goldens of 60cm+ can be targeted amongst sunken trees and patches of rock. The bridge pylons further upriver offer exciting fishing – both golden perch and redfin school up in these areas, and cod are never far behind.


During cod close, I take one combo – a Daiwa X 1-3kg stick coupled with a Daiwa Freams 2004, spooled with 6lb braid and 6lb leader. I can throw 60mm vibes on it, but the rod has enough sensitivity in the tip to be effective with plastics. A smooth 2kg drag can stop most yellas in their tracks and is all you need.

During cod open, I take a heavier combo. A 20lb braid and leader is enough to stop anything in the lake. A heavy combo is a must for throwing spinnerbaits and Jackall Doozers, and will give you the best chance of converting a massive fish.

Lake Burley Griffin is a wonderful fishery that can offer truly epic kayak fishing. Catches of over a dozen golden perch, a few cod and plenty of reddies are not uncommon. There are plenty of monster fish in the lake, bays that offer protection from the weather and great snags, which can only be accessed from a yak.


Canberra flyfishing guide Mickey Finn with another awesome capture from his Hobie.


Murray cod are always tailing schools of reddies at LBG. This fish was taken by Mick Kochy while fishing the edge of a reddy school.


Plastics are a great choice to use when fishing from a kayak.


Rob Hart with a standard LBG golden taken using a Jackall lure.


Troy Erland used a ZX Blade jigged down deep to hook this nice specimen.

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