Fishing set to fire as everything warms up
  |  First Published: December 2013

The fishing in the Bendigo region has improved as water temperatures have continued albeit slower than hoped.

With warmer days predicted we should see fish catch rates increase significantly. At this stage the weather bureau has been predicting below average rainfall for the region. If these predictions are correct the trend of improving water clarity should continue which is all good news for us lure tossers.


Lake Eppalock continues to improve at a steady rate and should increase significantly during December. In November we start to see increased numbers of fish move into the shallower water and take advantage of the new food sources that the rising water levels have created around the edges of the lake. In the early stages of this, small redfin were making up the majority of catches.

We should start to see increased numbers of larger redfin caught during December. We have also started to see an increase in the numbers of golden perch being caught. The majority of these have been caught off the bank by those anglers bait fishing with worms and small yabbies being the preferred baits. I believe we should see the levels of aggression significantly higher in the resident golden perch population during this month.

The productivity by those anglers fishing with lures should improve. Casting lipless crankbaits and suspending hardbodied lures are great options. Trolling small and medium sized hardbodied lures around the edges of the lake in 2-4m will also be a good option.


We are only one significant rainfall event away from seeing the lake reach capacity and seeing the spillway running again. If the spillway is running we should see some very good fishing in this section of the Campaspe River directly below Lake Eppalock. How productive it will be will depend on how long the water spills and the volume of water that flows over the spillway. If this does occur we should see some very good numbers of redfin and some quality golden perch being caught in this area.

How productive the fishing will be in the lower sections of the Campaspe River will also be determined by the volumes of water that are running down the system. The quality of fishing in the lower sections is often opposite to the upper sections. If the volumes of water running down the system are lower the water clarity will improve earlier and the productivity in the fishing will increase. If the spillway does go over there will be increased volumes of water running down the system and water clarity will stay dirtier longer in these lower sections and the productivity won’t increase significantly until later in the season when water clarity improves.


Water levels have continued to increase lately and these inflows have been at a nice steady rate. Water clarity has been average at the top sections of the lake while clarity is currently good in the lower sections of the reservoir. Redfin are still making up the majority of anglers catch rates, but most are small. We should see increased numbers of larger redfin being caught by anglers in the near future.

There have been small numbers of golden perch being caught casting lipless crankbaits around the edges of the lake together with trolling hardbodied lures in 2-4m. Another encouraging sign is that I have received a couple of isolated reports of Murray cod being caught. These have also been caught by anglers trolling hardbodied lures.


The productivity in the fishing in the Loddon River has been lower than expected. The main reason for this has been the slow increase in water temperatures associated with the slow improvement in water clarity. Hopefully during this month we should see water clarity improve and water temperatures increase. This should produce a significant increase in the feeding activity of the native fish population.

At the present time small numbers of golden perch have been caught in the Loddon River. The most productive fishing has been in the section below Cairn Curran and the shallower sections of the river downstream of Bridgewater. It is in this section where the water clarity is currently the clearest. With the opening of the Murray cod season in December we will start to see a significant increase in the amount of anglers fishing the Loddon River.

The Loddon river system can receive a large amount of fishing pressure. The best catch rates in recent season have been experience by those anglers who are prepared to put the time in and fish those areas that are harder to access. This trend is likely to continue this season.

Some quality Murray cod will be caught in the Bendigo region this season.

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