Free Ballarat Fishing Festival Reeling In New Anglers

Newcomers to freshwater fishing will catch tips and tricks from experts next month at the Ballarat Fishing Festival on Saturday 2 September.

Minister for Outdoor Recreation Sonya Kilkenny today announced the free festival will mark the opening of the trout fishing season and celebrate all that fishing in the Central Highlands has to offer.

The festival is part of the Andrews Labor Government’s $96 million investment to improve fishing, boating, piers and aquaculture over the next four years.

The festival activities offer something for every angler no-matter their experience level. A free fishing clinic will teach the next generation of anglers how to cast, bait up and net a fish, with free bait and tackle provided and experienced instructors will be on hand from the Victorian Fisheries Authority (VFA) and Fishcare.

Every child that is pre-registered for the event will also be gifted a free fishing rod.

Fly casting lessons will also be on offer from the Ballarat Fly Fishers, giving more experienced fishers the opportunity to take their skills to the next level. They will also be teaching how to tie fur and feather to imitate local insects and tempt trout.

Members of the Ballarat and District Angling Association will also be on deck to display their boats and fishing gear and will be joined by the growing crew from the Women in Recreational Fishing and Boating Network.

Live trout from the VFA’s Snobs Creek hatchery will be a highlight for kids, who can help stock hundreds of them into Lake Wendouree. Attendees will also be able to watch cooking demonstrations by chefs using Victorian-grown rainbow trout, now widely available at supermarkets.

There will also be face painting, games and a fishing simulator for children, free tours of the Ballarat Fish Hatchery, and Waterwatch exploring the extraordinary world of aquatic bugs.

For more information about the day visit .

Victorian rivers and streams officially open to trout fishing on Saturday 2 September 2023. All lakes, including Wendouree, are open to trout fishing year-round.

“Fishing is a wonderful way to get more youngsters experiencing nature and enjoying Victoria’s great outdoors.”

Sonya Kilkenny

Minister for Outdoor Recreation

“The Ballarat Fishing Festival is a fantastic free event that brings the community together and celebrates all the benefits that come from spending time together exploring waterways of our region.”

Juliana Addison

Member for Wendouree