The good fishing has continued in the Bendigo region and the good news is that the great redfin fishing is continuing and the quality improving as the season progresses.
Water levels are currently holding at 98% of capacity. It’s amazing to think a few months ago it was at such low levels. Lake Eppalock water levels normally drop significantly during the summer months due to irrigation demands. This has not happened this year and I would guess the lake is at it highest water level for this time of the year since the lake was built.
This will have a positive effect on the fishing and the productivity should stay higher than normal this season over the coolest months of the year.
The native fishing has been slow in the lake this year. There have only been small numbers of golden perch being caught. Victorian Fisheries have stocked some good numbers of both Murray cod and golden perch into the lake this season. It will take several seasons before this stocking will start to be caught by anglers.
It will be great in several years time to again see the lake producing good numbers of native fish for anglers like it did in the 1990’s and early 2000’s. For the next couple of years it looks likely that redfin will make up the majority of anglers catch rates.
The majority of redfin in the lake are now starting to move into deeper water. At the present time the best concentrations of redfin can be found in 3-4m of water. Anglers are having good success casting a wide range of soft plastic lures, with bladed lures and ice jigs productive options.
I personally am producing my best results on Jackall Mask vibes. My preference is now for the heavier 19g models now that the fish are moving into the deeper water. The size of the redfin being caught continues to improve with the occasional specimen weighing up to 1.5kg being caught.
The fishing in the Campaspe River has been a mixed bag. The fishing in the Campaspe River at the spillway below Lake Eppalock has slowed dramatically. Given the lake’s high water level it will not take a lot of rainfall and we will see the spillway running again.
When the spillway does go over again the fishing will improve in this area. The fishing in the lower sections at Elmore and Rochester has been disappointing this season mainly due to poor water clarity. It has improved lately and catch rates have increased marginally. There have been small numbers of golden perch being caught with small numbers of redfin also being landed.
Murray cod captures continue to be low in both of these areas this season.
The very good redfin fishing is continuing in Cairn Curran reservoir, with the majority of fish caught in deeper water. Anglers continue to produce good results trolling deep diving hardbodied lures. Good results are also being produced by lure anglers casting soft plastics and lipless crankbaits. Good numbers of redfin are also being caught by anglers bait fishing with small yabbies.
The numbers of redfin being caught will probably start to reduce shortly. Cairn Curran has developed a reputation over the years for producing some very large redfin over the coolest months of the year. Those who brave the cold conditions to chase some trophy redfin but those who do are often rewarded with some terrific fish.
A positive note has been the stockings of trout into Cairn Curran this season. With the abundance of food in the waterway the growth rates of these fish should be terrific and we should start to get some reports of these fish being caught shortly.
The fishing in the Loddon River has been disappointing this season, mainly due to the poor water clarity caused by the flood events. There was some terrific fishing directly below the weir at Cairn Curran. This has also slowed significantly in recent times.
Water clarity has improved in the Loddon River at Bridgewater and further downstream at Serpentine. With these improved conditions we have seen a slight improvement in anglers catch rates in these two areas.
The numbers of golden perch and Murray cod being caught will more than likely stay low due to the cooling water temperatures. We should see some small numbers of quality redfin being caught in the Loddon River over the next few weeks.
As the water cools the best concentrations of native fish will often be found in the deeper water.
Always take note at what depth the thermocline is showing on your fish finder and try to fish your lures under this coldwater layer.Reads: 6122