Temps drop, size increases
  |  First Published: May 2014

May produces many changes to our local waterways; the most important of these is the significant decline in water temperatures. Even though anglers’ catch rates will often reduce, this time of the year is often the most productive when trying to catch a large fish whether it’s a Murray cod, golden perch or redfin.


The fishing in Lake Eppalock has been spasmodic lately. Water clarity remains good however water levels continue on a slow decline. Reasonable numbers of golden perch have been caught on the good days. The majority of these have been caught by anglers casting lipless crankbaits and spinnerbaits around the shoreline and to the edges of timber.

Golden perch have also been caught by anglers using bait fishing with worms and small yabbies around the standing timber. Small numbers of golden perch have also been caught by anglers trolling around the edges of the lake with small hardbody lures.

The most productive depth range has been between 3-4m of water, but in May we should start to see the golden perch move deeper. Early in the month golden perch should still be caught in similar depths as they are currently, but by the end water temperatures will be dropping quickly and as the cold water goes deeper the golden perch will also move deeper.

The redfin fishing has been disappointing for the majority of anglers. Quality schools of redfin are proving difficult to locate at the present time. For those anglers who have been skilful enough to locate good schools, depths of greater than 10m have been the most productive. Trolling deep diving hardbody lures and casting soft plastics have been the most productive method.

Redfin are also being caught in shallower water, however the majority of these are small in size. The productivity of the redfin fishing in Lake Eppalock will more than likely stay low during May. Hopefully as the water cools we may see greater numbers of redfin schooling up.


The productivity in the fishing in the Campaspe River has been up and down like a yo-yo. Water levels and flow rates have varied lately due to different release rates from Lake Eppalock. When there are higher flows being released water clarity has deteriorated and the productivity in the fishing has reduced. In that period with lower flows the water clarity has improved and the productivity in the fishing has been good.

Murray cod over 80cm have been caught in the Campaspe River. The majority of the Murray cod have been caught by anglers walking the banks and fishing the shallower sections of the river.

The numbers of golden perch being caught has been reasonable with the best results being produced by those anglers fishing the deeper sections of the river at Elmore and Rochester. The productivity of the fishing should be good early in May, but by the end of the month the fishing will become increasingly slower.


The fishing in Cairn Curran remains good. Redfin continue to make up the majority of anglers’ catch rates. Trolling deep diving hardbody lures has been the most productive method. If a good school is located, anglers jigging ice jigs and casting soft plastics are catching decent numbers.

There continues to be small numbers of golden perch being caught. The majority of the golden perch have been caught by anglers trolling small and medium profile lures in the depth range of around 5m. Anglers bait fishing around standing timber are also catching small numbers of golden perch and some quality redfin.

We should hopefully start to see an increased amount of anglers targeting the trout population in Cairn Curran during this month. So far since Cairn Curran filled in 2011, the trout fishing has been disappointing. We should see a significant improvement in the trout fishing in Cairn Curran over the next few months.


The fishing continues to be good in the Loddon River. The trend of the majority of Murray cod caught in the shallower sections of the Loddon River continues. Cod measuring up to 85cm have been caught in these shallower sections lately and are being caught on a wide variety of lures. Spinnerbaits, lipless crankbaits and hardbody lures have all been productive.

Reasonable numbers of Murray cod continue to be caught in the river on surface lures. The productivity of the surface lure fishing will decline significantly during May as water temperatures start to decrease. However if you are lucky enough to be fishing at night after a bardi moth has hatched then the fishing can be fantastic. These bardi moth hatches will occur after your first couple of heavy rainfall events during late April and early May. The fishing in the deep water at Bridgwater has been average with golden perch making up the majority of anglers catch rates with the occasional Murray cod being caught in this section. This section of the river is feeling the effects of a large amount of fishing pressure of the season so far. As the water temperatures cool the productivity of the native fishing will get tougher. There is typically a couple of quality Murray cod which do get caught in the deeper water most seasons during the month of May.

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