The buzzword amongst Central Victorian anglers has changed from golden perch to Murray cod. The opening of the season has seen large numbers of fishers trying their luck at many destinations.
Lake Eppalock has remained the most popular destination for anglers in Central Victoria. Catch rates have remained good, however they are definitely starting on a downward trend. Water levels in the lake are dropping slowly, and at this stage are currently at 4.7% of capacity. It is still possible to launch a boat in a number of areas, but this will become more difficult as water levels continue to fall.
The biggest drop in catch rates has been seen by those anglers who are bait fishing off the banks. This is because with the falling water levels there is a lower concentration of fish along the banks. The best results for bait fishers have been amongst those fishing with small yabbies. The majority of captures continue to be golden perch, with plenty of European carp being caught on worms too.
Anglers fishing the lake by boat have been producing some good results. Good numbers of golden perch have been caught by anglers trolling small to medium sized hard-bodied lures at depths of between 3-5m. Some of the most popular lures are Codger, Custom Crafted and Orgee lures. Good results have also been had by anglers casting spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits around the timbered areas in the lake. There continues to be isolated reports of the occasional Australian bass being caught.
In recent weeks catch rates have improved in the Campaspe River. Water clarity is very good at locations like Elmore and Rochester. With the good water clarity, lure fishing is producing good results. Quality fish continue to be caught by anglers prepared to put in the legwork and walk the banks, fishing the smaller holes along the river.
Small numbers of Murray cod to 70cm have been landed, though the average cod measures around 60cm. The average sized golden perch being caught is currently around 40cm. If you are planning a day walking the banks, do the right thing and approach property owners prior to fishing, and make sure you take your rubbish home with you.
At Elmore, reasonable numbers of redfin and golden perch are being caught. The best results on golden perch have been by anglers casting spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits. The best results on the redfin are when anglers have been casting the edges of the weed beds, or trolling small lures. The water clarity is very good and often anglers are able to watch fish strike the lures, which makes for very exciting fishing.
Cairn Curran has produced some very large golden perch in recent months, but the numbers are starting to drop. The majority have been caught by anglers trolling lures at depths of between 4-6m. Dark colours like purple and black have been the most productive options.
Cairn Curran continues to be a frustrating destination for anglers in recent times. It is a matter of persistence at this lake. The fish are on one day and off the bite the next. There has been some reasonable numbers of redfin being caught, however it often can be difficult to locate a good school of them.
The fishing in the Loddon River has been average so far this season, with fewer fish being caught than at the same time last season. Water clarity is varying from week to week depending on the out flows from Laanecoorie. The majority of fish caught are golden perch and redfin, which are mostly falling to anglers casting lipless crankbaits and spinnerbaits.
Average numbers of Murray cod being caught in the deep water at Bridgewater. Most are being caught by anglers walking the banks and fishing the shallower sections of the river at Newbridge and Serpentine. With the minimal water flows, water clarity has improved in the lower sections of the river. Good results have been had by anglers fishing the Loddon River above Fernihurst Weir. Most fish caught are golden perch, along with the odd Murray cod.Reads: 2981