Fishing slowing down as winter nears
  |  First Published: May 2013

The fishing in the Bendigo region has been below average in recent times.

Unfortunately the trend of falling water temperatures is only going to continue and is the major factor in lower catch rates. Dedicated anglers who are prepared to put the time are getting above average size fish.


Water levels are still declining in Lake Eppalock but water clarity is still very good. Redfin numbers have been low and the average size of the redfin being caught is small. The redfin are currently scattered in many different depths around the lake but are mostly being caught in 2-10m. The majority of larger redfin are being caught in around 8m with trolling deep diving hardbodied lures the best. If a good school is located then casting soft plastics has also produced reasonable numbers as have bait fishing with small yabbies and worms.

There has been some positive news with native fish. The good news is that there continues to be small numbers of golden perch being caught. The majority of these have been caught by anglers bait fishing with worms with small numbers taken by trolling hardbodied lures.

Other great news is the large numbers of golden perch fingerlings released into the lake in recent times. Fisheries Victoria is boosting the annual stocking of golden perch from 70,000 golden perch to 200,000. This stocking rate will be for this season and next season.

The Heathcote Angling Club also stocked 13,300 golden perch with funding that they raised themselves. The Murray cod stocking will be 20,000 this season. It has been encouraging to hear the recent reports that I have been receiving about the Murray cod that have been caught in the lake. On a recent trip a couple of anglers from Swan Hill managed to land five Murray cod over the weekend. The fish were caught trolling hardbodied lures in 6-8m. These fish were more than likely from the good numbers of Murray cod that were stocked into Lake Eppalock two seasons ago when the lake received a stocking of 90,000 fingerlings.


Water clarity is only average in the Campaspe River at the present time. The amount of rainfall that we receive in the next few weeks will be the major factor in determining how productive the fishing will be in the short term. If we receive good rainfall the water clarity will remain average and catch rates will be low. If we do not receive any rainfall we should start to see an improvement in water clarity and there should be an improvement in anglers catch rates. This window of good angling conditions will only be short and anglers are encouraged to make the most of the angling opportunity while it last. At the present time small numbers of golden perch and redfin are making up the majority of anglers catch rates.


The fishing has been patchy at Cairn Curran and redfin continue to make up the majority of anglers’ catches. On the majority of days the redfin have been difficult for anglers to locate and the average size has been poor. There has been the occasional good day where small numbers of redfin to 1kg have been landed.

Cairn Curran can be a very productive destination for the redfin over the coldest months of the year. Unfortunately it has been several years since the redfin have fired at Cairn Curran over winter. Hopefully that trend might change and in the next couple of months some quality redfin can be landed by anglers.

Small numbers of quality golden perch are still being caught at Cairn Curran trolling medium sized hardbodied lures.


The fishing has slowed dramatically in the Loddon River. Water clarity has deteriorated due to some rainfall and a major flush being sent down the system. The fishing will remain slow while water clarity is poor. At this stage small numbers of golden perch are being caught with the majority caught casting lipless crankbaits. The most productive colours have been dark silhouettes and redfin patterns.

Only the occasional Murray cod has been caught with most caught casting spinnerbaits.

Recently released golden perch fingerlings into Lake Eppalock.

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