Last month, the amount of fish being caught in the Bendigo region was very low, and as a result, the numbers of anglers trying their luck has also been low.
With the very cold winter water temperatures being low, the fishing activity has been minimal. One positive note is that we are starting to see an improvement in the weather and water temperatures are now starting to increase slowly. By the end of September we should see a good improvement in the numbers of fish being caught.
Water clarity remains good, but unfortunately at this stage water levels have continued to decline. History tells us that if the lake is going to receive good inflows, and it usually occurs over the next couple of months. The catchments are currently wet, but we need to receive a couple of major rainfall events if the lakes water levels are going to rise significantly. The long range forecast is currently suggesting below average rainfall for the region.
At the present time, redfin are making up the majority of captures at Lake Eppalock. The best concentrations of redfin can be located in deep water. Trolling deep diving hard body lures is a good way to locate a school. Casting soft plastics has also been a productive technique. Locating a good school is not easy and anglers must be prepared to try a number of different locations in order to locate a good concentration of fish.
The numbers of golden perch being caught at Lake Eppalock has been very low. The activity in the golden perch should start to increase in the next few weeks as water temperatures increase, but if the lake does get good inflows the best concentrations will be located in shallower water around the edges of the lake. If inflows are minimal, then the golden perch will hold in deeper water.
Water clarity is currently very good in the Campaspe River. How long this will last is dependent on the amount of rainfall the region receives over the next couple of months. If we receive minimal rainfall and water clarity remains good the productivity should improve over the next month.
There are currently small numbers of golden perch being caught in the Campaspe River, and casting and retrieving spinnerbaits and medium sizes hardbody lures has been the most productive technique for catching a golden perch. Small numbers of redfin are also being caught in the Campaspe River, casting bladed spinners and small hardbody lures have been working on the redfin.
Water clarity continues to be good, but unfortunately water levels continue to decline. We should see this trend reversed in the next few weeks. The fishing has been slow, but redfin are making up the majority of captures.
Vertically jigging ice jigs and soft plastics has been the most productive method on the redfin.
The trout fishing has been slow with only small numbers of fish being caught.
The numbers of golden perch being caught has also been low. The numbers of golden perch being caught should start to increase over the next few weeks as water temperatures increase and the resident golden perch start to feed more aggressively.
Water clarity is currently good at most locations along the Loddon River. The fishing at this location like at most locations in the region has been disappointing. There has only been the occasional redfin and the occasional golden perch that have been caught.
Casting lipless crankbaits and hardbody lures have been the best option for targeting the golden perch. Because water temperatures are still cold it is very important to maintain a slow retrieval speed. The majority of redfin have been caught on soft plastics and small hardbody lures.
In the spring months conditions can change very quickly depending on weather conditions and rainfall. As long as water clarity remains good we should start to see the productivity in the fishing increase in the next few weeks.
Anglers are reminded we are now in closed season for Murray cod. Anglers are not allowed to target this species during closed season. If a Murray cod is accidently caught by an angler it must be released immediately.