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Redfin galore
  |  First Published: March 2011



The Bendigo region has experienced some major flooding, as all readers would be aware.

The flooding has caused a great amount of property damage and a lot of stock losses to local farmers. This has not been good as there are a large amount of people who have been adversely affected by these flood events.

We can only hope these people have a speedy recovery and life can return to a normal shortly. The flood events have reduced the productivity in the fishing in some areas but in the long term it will be terrific for the health of these river systems.

LAKE EPPALOCK

During the peak of the floodwater going through Lake Eppalock there was approximately 2m of water flowing over the spillway. The second spillway was also running good volumes of water.

This had slowed the fishing directly below the spillway. The volumes of water have now reduced significantly and there should be some very good fishing below the spillway in the next few weeks. Large numbers of fish have gone over the top of the spillway so the river directly below the lake is now well stocked with fish.

How long the spillway will keep on running depends on rainfall. If we do not receive any major rainfall it should stop running shortly.

However given the current weather patterns there is still a good chance of receiving some more heavy rainfall and producing another significant flush down the Campaspe River system. During the recent flood water clarity deteriorated in those areas with the major current flows.

In these dirty water sections the fishing slowed dramatically. The fishing did stay very productive in areas in the lake where water clarity was cleaner. The best areas to find the clean water were up in the back of bays away from the river courses that run throughout the lake.

The majority of the fish being caught in the lake are redfin. Anglers are producing excellent results with sometimes 100 fish being caught by more experienced anglers. Most styles of lures have been productive. It is often a hunting game though.

The redfin are moving around a lot. If you catch them at one location one day then there is a good chance they will have moved on the next time you target them. Anglers should continue to hunt around until a good concentration can be located. If you are not catching anything at a location don’t stay there to long. Keep hunting around until you find the fish!

It sounds simple but most anglers do not cover enough locations in an effort to find the fish. The majority of redfin are still being caught in shallow water. Fishing in depths between 1-3m has been the most productive. I personally have a preference for fishing for the redfin with soft plastics lures at the present time. I am finding catch rates higher on these and overall quality to be better. We have been producing excellent results on the Jackall Mask Vibs.

CAMPASPE RIVER

The Campaspe River has had some major flooding recently. The water clarity was very poor during this flood event. This has slowed the fishing dramatically. Water clarity has now started to improve and if it continues to improve at this rate there should be some very good fishing shortly.

Good numbers of both golden perch and redfin should start to be caught shortly as water clarity improves. If you are boating the Campaspe River in the deeper sections at Elmore and Rochester, please do so with caution. There have been large amounts of structure that have been moved around with the recent flood events.

CAIRN CURRAN

Cairn Curran has also had a major flood event run through the reservoir. Water clarity is also improving again at this location. At this stage redfin are still making up the majority of anglers catches. The majority of these are being caught in the shallow water around the edges of the lake. Most of the redfin being caught have been small however the average size is improving and the fish are growing quickly.

We should start to see greater numbers of larger redfin starting to be caught at this location over the next couple of months. There are still small numbers of golden perch being caught. These are mainly being caught by anglers trolling small hardbodied lures around the edges of the lake. Those anglers casting lipless crankbaits are also producing small numbers of golden perch.

LODDON RIVER

The Loddon River was starting to fish well prior to the last flood event. Unfortunately conditions have changed dramatically after the flood event. Water clarity deteriorated dramatically and it is currently hard to predict when it is going to improve.

There have been problems at Laanecoorie Reservoir, which have seen water levels drop to currently around 35% of capacity. The water that comes out of Laanecoorie is usually poor which will mean the Loddon River will take longer to settle at locations like Bridgwater.

At this stage bait fishing may be your best option if you are planning a trip to this location. Again if you are boating the Loddon River please do so carefully because there have been large amounts of structure moved around in this river system.

Redfin are the fish of the moment, and Jackall Mask Vibs are the best lure as well.

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