Bend it like Bendigo
  |  First Published: April 2015

The fishing in the Bendigo region remains good despite the large amount of fishing pressure that most locations have experienced over recent months.

Fishing during the autumn months has a number of advantages. Temperatures have dropped and day fishing on the water is a more enjoyable experience than sweltering in 35º+ temperatures. During autumn we often experience more favourable weather patterns. The high pressure systems are often larger and slower moving. This has the positive effect of more days with reduced wind conditions. Another benefit is more favourable barometric conditions where the fish will feed more aggressively.

The fishing in Lake Eppalock has continued to be good. The productivity should remain high for the next month but then we will see a decline in catch rates as water temperatures cool.

Golden perch continue to be the target species for many anglers. The average size being caught has measured between 40-48cm. These fish are in good condition and are providing great sport for those anglers chasing them. Casting the rocky shoreline and timber areas has been productive. Anglers need to be prepared to move around a lot in order to locate a concentration of golden perch as these fish seem to be moving on a regular basis. Casting lipless crankbaits has been the most productive method. Trolling small and medium size hardbody lures has also been working well.

The results of redfin fishing have been average. The numbers of redfin being caught by anglers continues to be significantly lower than the previous few seasons. The majority of larger redfin continue to be caught in deep water. Fishing in depth ranges greater than 10m has been the most productive. Trolling deep diving hardbody lures has been working on the redfin. If a good school is located then casting soft plastics or jigging ice jigs has been working well.

The fishing in the Campaspe River continues to be spasmodic. Some days it has fished well and then other days anglers are struggling to get any interest from resident fish. Fishing productivity continues to be higher when the volumes of water being released from Lake Eppalock is reduced. During these periods the water clarity improves and the fish are feeding more aggressively. Golden perch are making up the majority of captures with small numbers of Murray cod also being landed by anglers. The productivity should remain high during April. Anglers should make the most of the current conditions because typically we will see a decline in catch rates from May onwards as water temperatures start to cool.

The fishing in Cairn Curran has been average. Golden perch are still being caught but the numbers of these fish being caught has been low. Casting the rocky shoreline and timber areas with lipless crankbaits continues to be a good technique. Bait fishing around the standing timber with small yabbies has also been working. The redfin fishing has been slow, with the occasional good school being located by anglers. The majority of redfin are being caught in deep water.

Bait fishing has been working and jigging with ice jigs and soft plastics has been a good technique. Although the redfin as a general rule have been disappointing, I predict this location should produce some quality redfin over the coldest months of the year. Also we should see an increase in the numbers of trout that will be caught by anglers at this location over the next few months.

The fishing in the Loddon River has slowed down over the previous month. This is mainly due to the amount of fishing pressure this location has received. Golden perch continue to make up the majority of captures by those anglers fishing the deeper section of river at Bridgewater and Serpentine. If you are fishing in these areas the secret to success is to fish the structure that is not obvious, such as those submerged timber structures and areas, which are not readily targeted by anglers.

The highest catch rates of Murray cod continue to be in the shallower sections of the river. These areas where access is limited and anglers need to walk long distances are often the most productive. During April some of the largest Murray cod are often caught at this time of the year. Also the occasional very large golden perch measuring above 60cm will also be caught by some skilful anglers. So make the most of the conditions while they last as in the near future we will see a decline in catch rates.

As always I remind anglers to do the right things and always gain permission if accessing the river through private property. Respect other people’s property always close gates and don’t scare any animal stock on the property and, most importantly, take any rubbish home with you.

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