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Lake Burrendong - Wellington / Mumbil. NSW

Situated an easy one hours drive from both Dubbo to the west and Orange from the south east lies an impressive expanse of water when at capacity is more than three times larger than Sydney habour. It’s three main feeder rivers are the Macquarie, Bell and Cudgegong rivers as well as numerous streams and creeks flowing in from the surrounding ranges. The locals call it simply “The Dam” but on occasion when the wind whips through the vast valleys the waters can resemble the open ocean with large waves and wind swell making small boating less than ideal with many a tale of tinnies being swamped on the way back to the ramp after a days fishing.

The dam is a great draw card for the area with fisherman traveling from near and far to try their luck chasing some of the stocked native species such as golden and silver perch, catfish and the green legend Murray cod.
There is also an under rated eating pest fish the redfin that is a welcome by-catch to many anglers and the European carp has been targeted on light tackle and fly by some die hard sport fishos, I call them “The poor mans southern barra” as they can be sight fished in the shallow bays and go like the clappers when hooked and are willing to slug it out longer than most of the other fish caught in the dam.
To the outsider the dam is a very daunting body of water for as you top the rise after entering the main entrance the main basin appears and stretches for miles into the distance leaving you scratching your head as to where to start in this intimidating place.
The same rule of thumb can be used in nearly all dams and lakes when chasing natives on artificial and natural baits, just look at your sounder if you have one and concentrate your efforts in water between six and thirty feet looking for drop offs and old creek beds as well as trolling your lures over pronounced points at different depths and speeds.
The whole family can enjoy fishing for Redfin in good conditions
The whole family can enjoy fishing for Redfin in good conditions

Trolling is by far the best way to locate actively feeding fish as you can cover a lot of ground in a relatively short time with up to four rods out at once with a varied collection of hard bodies being used.
Once you catch or get a hit off a fish continue on for a short distance before turning around and working the same route again because you will often catch one or more fish in the same area, I can recall one redfin session that accounted for over seventy fish being pulled from one school in less than one hour with every pass resulting in triple or quadruple hook ups and let me tell you that these feisty fellows don’t go to bad on light tackle.
The golden perch or yellowbelly were often thought as a greasy feed when coming out of stocked impoundments but for some reason the Burrendong fish are a lot leaner and cleaner fleshed than from other areas namely Windamere dam.
The bait fisherman can also have great catches at times with bobbing yabbies, shrimps, worms and grubs between the drowned timber resulting in a mixed bag of fish for the table.
An average sized Yellowbelly caught by the Author on a Feral Cat lure.
An average sized Yellowbelly caught by the Author on a Feral Cat lure.

The lake is serviced by three camping and caravan parks making it ideal for taking the whole family or just the mates along, the main one being Burrendong Waters (0268467435) with Mookerawa (0268468268) only twelve kilometers away to the south and Cudgeegong being accessible from the Mudgee - Wellington road behind the sleepy town of Goolmah.
Although the kiosk’s have a good range of ice, fuel and bait with the closest town for major supplies and services is Wellington and it’s less than half an hours drive from the main park.

So for those heading to the central west of NSW for any reason, why not put Burrendong on your itinerary as there is heaps to do at the dam and within the hours drive you also have such attractions as the Western Plains Zoo, Old Dubbo Gaol and the Wellington caves to name but a few.

Peter (swano) Swanson

Solid fish like this 7kg Yellowbelly love big hard body lures just on dark
Solid fish like this 7kg Yellowbelly love big hard body lures just on dark

Fact Box
Surface Area: 8900 Hectares
Capacity:
1 188 000 ML
Construction Date:
1967
River System:
Macquarie River
Maximum Water Depth:
50 meters
Average Water Depth:
45 meters
Fish Present

Murray Cod, Golden Perch, Silver Perch, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Eel-Tailed Catfish and Carp.
Stocked Fish
Murray Cod, Golden Perch and Silver Perch
Boating
There are no boating restrictions Lake Burrendong.
Public boat ramps provided.
Camping
Camping permitted at Burrendong State Park & Mookerawa Waters State Park.
Bush camping is possible around much of the lake forshore with some good camping sites on the Macquarie & Cudgegond River arms. Hotel / Motel Accomodation available at Wellington (30km) and Mumbil. See Accommodation page for details

A selection of hard body lures to get the job done
A selection of hard body lures to get the job done

Related Links
Purchase NSW Fishing Licence Online

Related Videos

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Lake Burrendong Water Level Guage & Graph
Water Level Graph

Click for Mudgee, New South Wales Forecast

Lake Burrendong Map

Copyright© 2006 Peter Swanson. Sweetwater Fishing Australia