Water clears, fishing fires!
  |  First Published: February 2008

Central Victoria has received some encouraging rainfall in recent weeks. This has produced a short-term decline in anglers’ catch rates. However, water clarity is again improving and so is the fishing.

Lake Eppalock

The productivity of the fishing in Lake Eppalock had been decreasing with the falling water levels in the lake. The recent rainfall, however, has seen the lake’s level rise above the high water mark from earlier this season. This will produce an increase in fish activity. Good numbers of golden perch should again be caught in the shallow edges around the lake.

Fishing will often deteriorate for several weeks until the lake has a chance to settle. When water clarity is poor the most productive method is bait fishing. As water clarity improves, so does the effectiveness of lure fishing. There have been a couple of recent reports from the lake of two Murray cod measuring over the magical 1m mark. One of these fantastic fish was caught casting a Jackall lure around the edges of fallen timber. The other fish was caught trolling. Phil Keetalaar and a couple of friends had a good day out, managing 18 golden perch for the day. They managed to catch all of these by casting lures in one small area of the lake. When it went quiet they tried several other locations without success. This can be the secret to Lake Eppalock: be prepared to work hard and try different areas until a good concentration of fish can be located.

Campaspe River

There is good and bad news in regarding the Campaspe River. The good news is that it had been fishing well. The bad news is that with the recent heavy rainfall, the water clarity is now very poor. This should start to improve quickly, as long as we don’t receive more heavy rain.

As water clarity improves, anglers will again start to land some quality golden perch and Murray cod. The water clarity is better in the top section of the river below Lake Eppalock, and poorest in the Elmore area. The flush will be beneficial for the system, and its productivity will be very good once the river settles.

On a recent trip with Cod Hunter Fishing tours, two Bendigo anglers, Jayden and Shaun, managed to land eight fish for the day. They caught two redfin on black and pink Bassman Spinnerbaits, and three redfin and three golden perch on black and redfin pattern Jackall lures.

Cairn Curran

Fishing reports from Cairn Curran have been few and far between in recent weeks. At this stage there has been a dramatic drop off in the numbers of golden perch caught. The good rain will again see the lakes level rise, and this should hopefully help switch the golden perch on again.

The numbers of redfin being caught has been average, and the average size has been small, with only the occasional angler lucky enough to locate a school of quality fish. The most productive baits for the redfin continue to be gudgeon and small yabbies. The influx of water should also increase the activity of the redfin, and higher numbers should be caught shortly.

Loddon River

The productivity of the Loddon has increased in recent weeks. There have been some good captures of Murray cod up to 70cm. The numbers of Murray cod being caught is average, but the condition of the fish is exceptional. We have caught a few Murray cod that have tried to regurgitate redfin while they were being brought to the boat. I think the cod are enjoying the improved numbers of redfin in the system over the last couple of seasons, and are making the most of these tasty fish.

So far this season, increased numbers of cod have been caught by bait anglers fishing the river. The best baits have been bardi grubs and yabbies. The most productive lures have been spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits. The numbers of golden perch caught have also increased in recent weeks. On a recent tour to the Loddon River, two anglers managed to land and release four golden perch for the day. The largest of these was a magnificent specimen that measured 61cm. They dropped a couple of other fish and had several follows. The best colours on that day were black and chartreuse. The recent good rain has put a nice flush down the system. Water clarity has deteriorated a little. We should see this flush stir things up and the fishing should continue to improve.

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