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Very Promising Season Ahead
  |  First Published: December 2010



We have experienced the best winter and spring rainfall totals in over a decade.

It has been amazing to see the transition of an area that has been doing it tough for such a long period of time. The Bendigo region is looking absolutely terrific at the present time.

Many local farmers are experiencing one of the best seasons ever. It is with great excitement that I am looking forward to some great fishing ahead over the next few months. At this stage the water has been a little cold and at many locations water clarity is still poor but the conditions are improving, and we should start to see some great numbers of fish being caught in the local area shortly.

LAKE EPPALOCK

Water levels are currently rising in Lake Eppalock. The lake is currently at 70% of capacity and with more rain forecast we will hopefully see the water levels continue to rise for the next few weeks. Water clarity is only average at the present time. The water has a tannin appearance to it.

When you do get on the water the water clarity is better than your first impression. Depending on the amount of rainfall we receive in the next few weeks will determine at what rate water clarity improves. The fishing in Lake Eppalock has only been average at this stage, with the majority of fish being caught have been redfin.

The numbers of redfin being caught has been low. This should change shortly and we should start to see a dramatic increase in the numbers of redfin being caught in the next few weeks.

The numbers of golden perch being caught has been low. We may start to see more of these being caught shortly. Unfortunately the stocking rates for the golden perch have been very low in the last few years. Hopefully with the good water levels we will see a substantial increase in stocking rates at this location this season.

CAMPASPE RIVER

The Campaspe River has experienced some minor flooding so far this season. The increased flows have produced a reduction in water clarity. These increase flows are terrific for the long-term productivity and health of the river. In the short-term poor water clarity often relates to a reduction in lure anglers catch rates.

Don’t be put off by the dirty water, fish will still strike a lure in poor clarity. If the water is dirty I prefer to fish with lures with a dark silhouette such as black or purple. I also find bright contrasting colours such as pink, chartreuse and orange are good options.

The highest catch rates have been experienced in the Elmore section of the Campaspe River. There are small numbers of golden perch being caught on spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits. The occasional redfin has also been caught in this area. The majority of the redfin are being caught off the edges of the weed beds.

CAIRN CURRAN

Water levels continue to rise in Cairn Curran. The reservoir is currently at 91% of capacity. This is terrific considering that Cairn Curran was only at 4% of capacity at the start of winter. The reservoir is still experiencing some good inflows. With more rain forecast there is a real possibility that Cairn Curran may reach maximum capacity.

The fishing has also been slow but the resident redfin and golden perch should start to fire up shortly. Unfortunately the numbers of golden perch in Cairn Curran are low due to low stocking rates in recent years. There still are some extremely large golden perch to be caught by those anglers prepared to put the time in.

We should start to see a few of these 7-8kg monsters being caught in the next few weeks. The redfin numbers should also start to increase as water clarity improves and water temperatures continue to rise.

LODDON RIVER

The productivity in the fishing at the Loddon River has increased with good numbers of golden perch starting to be caught by anglers. At this stage the most productive area has been between the townships of Bridgewater and Serpentine. The majority of the golden perch have been caught on lipless crankbaits.

Good results are also being produced by anglers fishing with small-profile spinnerbaits. The good fishing may not last too long if we continue to get good rainfall. There is a good chance Cairn Curran may fill and we would see some further flooding down the Loddon River system.

This would slow the fishing for a few weeks until conditions improve again. With the large volumes of water that have already gone down the system this season we are assured of some good fishing at this locations this season.

Tallis and Jarrett Miles display a quality golden perch caught in the Loddon River.

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