The trend of unstable weather has continued in the Bendigo region over recent weeks. We unfortunately have not been able to get a good run, which has led to fishing productivity being lower than expected.
We are now coming into the warmest months of the year and we should start to see increased numbers of fish being caught at most of the popular fishing destinations in the region.
We continue to see steady increases in anglers’ catch rates at Lake Eppalock. There continues to be small numbers of Murray cod being caught with the majority in the 40-60cm range. They have been caught by trolling the edges of the lake. The occasional one has also been caught by anglers casting to fallen timber and around the edges of the lake.
The numbers of golden perch being caught has also increased in recent weeks, and this should continue. The majority have been caught by anglers bait fishing off the banks. Late afternoon or early evenings continue to be the most productive time to target them.
For anglers chasing golden perch with lures, casting lipless crankbaits and hardbody lures is producing reasonable results. Trolling the edges in the depth range between 2.5-4m is also catching good numbers.
During January we usually receive minimal rainfall, so water levels in the lake can start to recede. If this occurs, the fish will start to move deeper and anglers will need to change their tactics.
The redfin fishing at Lake Eppalock has been disappointing so far this season as their overall productivity is significantly lower than the previous few seasons. At this stage the majority of anglers are only landing small redfin with the occasional quality one weighing up to 1kg being caught.
It has been difficult for the majority of anglers trying to locate a quality school of redfin. Hopefully the warmer weather will produce an increase in the amount being caught at this location.
The fishing in the Campaspe River has been slow, but water clarity has now started to improve in some of the areas like Elmore and Rochester. If this trend of clearing water continues we should see an increase in the productivity in the near future.
Redfin had been making up the majority of catch rates. With the clearing water we should start to see an increase in the amount of anglers fishing the Campaspe River targeting Murray cod and golden perch.
Casting spinnerbaits, lipless crankbaits and medium-sized hardbody lures are all productive options when fishing the Campaspe River.
The fishing in Cairn Curran reservoir has been average lately. There continues to be reasonable numbers of redfin being caught but locating a school has been difficult.
Redfin are being caught by anglers trolling deep diving hardbody lures around the edges of the lake. The majority of quality redfin have been caught by those bait fishing around the standing timber.
Small numbers of golden perch are also being caught by this method.
There has also been small numbers of large golden perch, measuring up to 60cm, being landed by trolling hardbody lures. On a positive note there have been small numbers of Murray cod also at this location.
If we see the trend of falling water levels continue this will not help the productivity of the fishing.
At this destination’s fishing productivity has been average lately with golden perch and redfin making up the majority of catch rates. Casting medium-sized hardbody lures and lipless crankbaits have been productive methods. The majority of the fish caught in this section have been caught early or late in the day.
The area below Laanecoorie has been productive with catches of golden perch and the occasional Murray cod. The area’s productivity is very dependant on water flows; during periods of high flows it can fish well when bait fishing. During these periods of higher flows water clarity will deteriorate but afterwards, when the clarity improves, it is the best time to target this area with lures. Spinnerbaits and hardbody lures have been the most productive options in this section.
One positive note is the gradual improvement in water clarity further downstream. We should start to see significant increases in anglers’ catch rates over the next few weeks as long as water clarity continues to improve.
This summer will see good numbers of golden perch and Murray cod caught by anglers walking the banks and fishing areas like Newbridge.
Hopefully we should see some improvement in boat fishing in the Loddon River at Bridgewater and Serpentine. Unfortunately these boatable sections do receive a large amount of fishing pressure, which is detrimental to their productivity. The trend of the last couple of seasons will continue if you are planning to fish the Loddon River.
Those anglers who are prepared to walk the banks and fish the shallower section of the river are often rewarded with increased catch rates and increased sizes in the fish being caught.
Anglers always should tread carefully as snakes can be a real threat at this time of the year. And do the right thing and ask for permission when accessing the river if required.
This 43cm golden perch was caught by the author while casting a Jackall Aragon lure at Lake Eppalock.Reads: 557