Bendigo anglers optimistic
  |  First Published: September 2008

The fishing in Central Victoria remains at less than its best - but conditions are starting to improve. Shortly we will start to see a dramatic rise in the number of anglers out testing their skill, and many will experience increases in their catch rates.

Central Victoria has received above average rainfall for the first time in a long time. We can only hope that this is the start of a continuing trend. At this stage the rainfall has produced very little in the way of run-off into our impoundments, but the ground is now saturated and any further rainfall should produce good inflows.


There have only been a few reports from anglers fishing this destination, and the majority have been of low catch rates. The conditions are, however, starting to look good and if we can receive some more significant rainfall it will only improve more.

There are currently minor inflows coming into the lake from the Coliban and Campaspe rivers and the Lake’s level has started to slowly rise. There are good amounts of regrowth around the edges of the banks. Should we receive enough rainfall there is a lot of potential for some excellent angling.

The months of September, October and November are consistently the best times of the year to fish Lake Eppalock. The majority of captures is quality golden perch. It will be interesting to see how many Australian bass are caught in the Lake this season.


The few fishers targeting the Campaspe and the majority of captures has been redfin. Water clarity has been good but it can discolour quickly after heavy rainfall. With water temperatures starting to rise we should start to see an increase in the numbers of golden perch and Murray cod being caught here, but that depends on water clarity. Last season the water clarity was not good for the majority of the season.


At this stage the redfin have failed to fire but there have been small numbers caught in the deepest areas of the lake. The best baits have been small yabbies and worms. Some reddies have also been caught on lures. The most productive lures have been ice jigs and soft plastics. Anglers trolling deep diving hardbodied lures have also caught small numbers.

The redfin numbers will hopefully start to improve as water temperatures start to rise. With the increase in water levels we should start to see increasing numbers of fish caught in the shallower water. Like Lake Eppalock, the next three months is the most productive time to target the lake’s resident golden perch population.


The fishing in the Loddon River has been disappointing in recent months. Catch rates are low but should improve dramatically as water temperatures increase. Only a few quality fish have been caught recently.

Two Bendigo anglers, Lance Currie and Royce O’Brien, recently fished the Loddon River at Bridgewater. The fishing was slow but their skill and persistence was rewarded with a quality 68cm Murray cod that was caught on a spinnerbait.

Tony Seddon from Inglewood managed to land an 84cm Murray cod while casting a Manns 79 lure. Another recent report was from a Ballarat angler who, while fishing a lower section of the Loddon, landed a quality Murray cod of 92cm. The fish was photographed and released to fight another day.

Please remember the closed season for Murray cod over the next few months, but there is great fun to be had targeting redfin and golden perch at many Central Victorian locations.

Quality golden perch will become the target species for many anglers as conditions improve.

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