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Attention turns to Murray cod
  |  First Published: December 2014



Over the last month we have seen the productivity in the fishing increase within the Bendigo region. Water clarity has improved in most locations mainly due to the minimal amount of rainfall the district has received.

Golden perch have been the main target species for most anglers. While the numbers have not been exceptional, catch rates have been steadily improving. December will see many anglers now changing their fishing efforts and Murray cod become the main target species for the majority of anglers.

LAKE EPPALOCK

The lake has been producing a mixed bag of results for anglers. The productivity of the redfin fishing has been average. Catch rates have started to improve in recent weeks. The majority of redfin are small in size. Only the occasional school of larger redfin has been located recently. Trolling deep diving hardbodied lures and casting soft plastics continues to be the most productive method for the redfin. At this stage, I believe the redfin fishing will only stay average this season and the productivity in the redfin fishing will be significantly lower than the previous couple of seasons.

On a positive note, we have seen a steady increase in the productivity in the golden perch fishing over the last few weeks. The majority of the golden perch being caught have been around 1.5-2kg. There have been a few isolated captures of golden perch over 8kg being landed by anglers! Trolling hardbodied lures has been a productive method. Casting lipless crankbaits and spinnerbaits around the timber areas and around the rocky shorelines has also been producing reasonable results. The productivity should stay good in the short term. If we receive only minimal rainfall and water levels start to drop quickly, then the productivity in the fishing will be adversely affected.

CAMPASPE RIVER

The productivity in the fishing in the Campaspe River has only been average lately. Water clarity has now started to improve and anglers should start to see an increase in catch rates in the next few weeks. Casting spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits has been the most productive method lately.

Golden perch have been the main species being caught with the occasional redfin as well. The opening of the Murray cod season in December will see an increased amount of pressure directed towards the Murray cod. The recent warm weather has seen an increase in the abundance of insect life around and this is always a good indicator for anglers to bring out their surface lure collection and target some big cod. For those anglers who have not tried this method, give it a go, because it definitely gets the adrenalin going when a Murray cod strikes a surface lure!

CAIRN CURRAN

The productivity in the Murray cod fishing was low at this location last season. However there were still small numbers of cod caught by dedicated anglers. I believe the numbers of cod will continue to be low but the quality will remain good.

It’s a terrific time of the season to target the resident large golden perch. Trolling medium size lures in the depth range between 4-7m was the most productive method last season. Casting the rocky shoreline and timber areas with lipless crankbaits and spinnerbaits is also worthwhile.

The redfin fishing has been average. Anglers need to be prepared to hunt around in order to locate a school of redfin. The occasional quality redfin up to 1.5kg has been landed. The majority of the redfin have been landed in depths greater than 6m.

LODDON RIVER

The Loddon River is the most popular Murray cod fishery in our local area. There will again be some terrific Murray cod caught in this waterway this season.

Unfortunately due to the increased amount of fishing pressure this waterway receives it is not always an easy task. If the trend of the last few seasons continues the most productive fishing will be in the skinny sections of the river. Locations like Newbridge are excellent areas to try. Anglers are encouraged to do the right thing and always seek permission from private landowners if they access the river through their property.

Casting spinnerbaits and medium-sized hardbodied lures are good options. For those most dedicated anglers who don’t mind an early start or enjoy fishing at night then targeting Murray cod on surface lures can be a great option.

Anglers are reminded that there are new slot and bag limits that come in this cod season.

The deeper boatable sections at Bridgewater and Serpentine will again produce reasonable captures of golden perch. If the trend of the last couple of seasons continues the numbers of Murray cod caught in these areas will be low.

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