Bring on the Bendigo spring
  |  First Published: October 2012

The Bendigo region has experienced a cold wet winter this year. I am so looking forward to the change of season and with it the increased fishing opportunities.

There is a very good chance that the Bendigo region will again experience some flooding during the spring months. The majority of our impoundments are currently near full capacity. The catchments are currently very wet and any major rainfall over the next few months will cause some degree of flooding.


There has been some significant rainfall in the Bendigo region.

Lake Eppalock is currently at 99% of capacity and by the time this goes to print there is a very good chance the lake will have exceeded 100%. The spillway will start spilling over and, given the time of the year, there is a very good chance it will spill for a significant amount of time.

The fishing in the lake has only been average at best, however I did have a few good days fishing for the redfin. I found the best concentrations to be holding in depths between 4-6m of water. Fishing for the redfin with hardbody lures has been very slow. The best results have been produced mainly by those anglers fishing with soft plastic lures.

Good results have been produced on the new range of Jackall soft plastics. The models called Super J Reaper and Clone Fry in the 3” profile have been very good. At the present the most productive colours have been those with a dark silhouette or brightly coloured soft plastics.

If we continue to receive significant rainfall water clarity will continue to stay average until inflows decrease. We should start to see increased numbers of fish being caught in shallower water in the near future. There are a few factors which will cause this to happen. The shallower water will start to increase in temperature shortly. The high water levels in the lake and the reduced water clarity are all major factors in helping to increase greater concentrations of fish into shallower water.

The number of golden perch being caught have been very low. I am confident that we will see an increase in the numbers when the water temperatures increase to above 18ºC.


There is good and bad news for those anglers planning to fish the Campaspe River in the near future.

The good news is that there is a very good chance that we will see Lake Eppalock reach maximum capacity shortly and inturn the spillway should over flow. When the spillway overflows there is typically some very good fishing in the Campaspe River around the spillway area.

The fishing is usually slow for the first week or two when it first spills. However after it has been running for a period of time good concentrations of fish move into the area and some terrific fishing can be encountered. Redfin will make up the majority of anglers catch rates. We should see the occasional quality trout being caught and some quality golden perch if the spillway runs over for a long enough time period.

The bad news is that associated with the increased current flows down the Campaspe River system water clarity will decrease significantly. Therefore the productivity in anglers fishing with lures will reduce in areas such as Elmore and Rochester until current flows decrease and water clarity improves again.


The fishing at this location continues to be very disappointing with only a small number of anglers persisting with poor results. Water clarity is still average with the water very tannin and, with the recent rainfall, its clarity is more than likely only going to deteriorate in the near future.

I recently received a fishing report from Neil Williams who spent the day chasing trout at Cairn Curran. Neil reported that he was the only angler fishing at the location for the day. Neil spent the day targeting the trout with a variety of lures. He did not manage to entice a strike for the entire day.

Unfortunately this has been typical for how poor this location has been fishing lately. We can only hope that when water temperatures start to increase we may see an increase in the numbers of fish being caught.


The recent rainfall has produced some good inflows into the impoundments along the Loddon River system. Cairn Curran is very close to maximum capacity and there is a very good chance we will see it reach maximum capacity shortly. If this occurs we will see some significant releases from Cairn Curran and some some good fishing in the Loddon River in the section directly below Cairn Curran.

Further downstream there have been releases from Laanecoorie Reservoir; unfortunately the water clarity is usually poor when released from Laanecoorie. The recent rain is only going to exacerbate the situation. So in the short term water clarity will remain poor in the majority of the Loddon River.

The poor water clarity will lead to a reduction on anglers catch rates who are fishing with lures. In the short term the most productive method will be bait fishing until water flows decrease and water clarity improves again.

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