We are now approaching prime time for golden perch. Each year, many anglers wait too late to go out and target this Australian icon. The spring months are often the most productive. At this time of the year both the level and temperature of the water is increasing: perfect for perch.
The good news is Lake Eppalock’s level is rising. The bad news is that the increases have only been small. Central Victoria is in need of some more substantial rainfall if the lake’s fishing is going to reach its full potential.
With minimal inflows, water clarity is still good. At this stage there have only been small numbers of golden perch landed. The lure fishing has been slow but we should start to see an increase in catch rates shortly. The most productive method has been fishing off the banks with baits. The most popular baits have been scrubworms and small yabbies. The number of redfin being caught is very low.
The fishing in the Campaspe River has been patchy. Redfin have been making up the majority of captures. The section below Lake Eppalock to Axedale has produced small numbers of quality redfin. Bladed lures, small hardbodied lures and soft plastics have been the most productive.
A few golden perch have been caught in the Elmore and Rochester sections of the river. As the water temperatures are starting to improve we should experience an increase in catch rates. At this stage water clarity is average at Elmore. The water clarity is better in the Rochester section. It pays to check with a local contact before planning a trip to this destination at this time of the year. Water clarity can deteriorate quickly after heavy rainfall.
The fishing in Cairn Curran continues to be disappointing. The lake again failed to produce quality fish over the winter months. It was once renowned for being a great winter destination for anglers targeting the lake’s redfin and trout populations.
Like Lake Eppalock, the spring months are the most productive time of the year to target Cairn Curran golden perch. The most productive method in past seasons has been trolling small to medium-sized hardbodied lures around the perimeter of the lake. The lake has also experienced minimal inflows. Water levels are slowly rising though, so we can only hope for more spring rainfall.
The fishing in the deepest sections of the Loddon River around Bridgewater has been slow. Anglers trolling deep diving hardbodied lures in the ski zone have caught small numbers of redfin.
Those fishers casting to the edges of the weed beds and cumbungi-lined banks have also produced a few redfin. The most popular lures for this technique are soft plastics and lipless crankbaits.
There have been reasonable numbers of golden perch being caught by anglers fishing the shallower sections of the river at Newbridge and Serpentine. Casting spinnerbaits has been the most consistent technique on the golden perch in these areas.
The Family Fishing Festival was held at the Kennington Reservoir in August. The cold weather and grey skies did not deter 130 families and more than 240 children from fishing for stocked rainbow trout. Some quality fish of over 2.5kg were landed. Twenty-one children went home delighted with catching their first ever fish. Great assistance was provided by volunteers from the Bendigo Legion Angling Club, Bendigo Police Angling Club and Bendigo and District Fly Fishers. Fishcare volunteers provided additional workshops providing kids with personal instruction in knot tying and casting.
Kennington Reservoir had been stocked with 500 rainbow trout in the preceding week. Many of these fish were large trout weighing over 1kg. Several hundred more rainbow trout were stocked on the day, with the help of families and volunteers. Good numbers of trout remain in the lake and will provide great future angling opportunities.
Matthew Allis from South Morang landed this rainbow trout during the Family Fishing Festival at Kennington Reservoir (photo: Marc Ainsworth).Reads: 2187