Top surface sessions on cod
  |  First Published: March 2016

There continues to be some productive fishing in the Bendigo region. Water temperatures are high and fish activity has been good. Water levels continue to fall in our local impoundments, but water clarity remains decent at the majority of locations.

Lake Eppalock

The productivity in the fishing at Lake Eppalock suffered over the holiday period, as a large amount of boat traffic made fishing tough. The good news is that the majority of holidaymakers are now back at work, therefore boat traffic has slowed and the fishing is now much better.

There continues to be small numbers of quality redfin, but locating these redfin is not easy. My preferred method is to troll deep diving hardbodied lures in 10-12m. Trolling these hardbodied lures can produce some good captures. If you locate a good school, then casting soft plastics and retrieving just off the bottom can produce some quality redfin measuring up to 45cm.

Lake Eppalock continues to produce some good numbers of golden perch. Trolling medium sized hardbodied lures in 8m of water has been working. Casting around the rocky shorelines and both standing and lay down timber has produced some quality golden perch measuring up to 55cm.

Small numbers of Murray cod have also been taken in the lake. Trolling hardbodied lures and spinnerbaits has been working well. Murray cod to 80cm have been caught over recent weeks, and the good fishing should continue. Anglers must be prepared to put the time in and move around in order to find some active fish.

Campaspe River

The fishing in the Campaspe River had been very good, however it has declined significantly in recent weeks. We received some isolated heavy rainfall at Elmore and Rochester, and this produced a significant inflow into the river, which clouded the water clarity. The good news is that the water clarity is improving and as long as the area does not receive another large rainfall event, the fishing should improve.

Prior to the reduction in water clarity, good numbers of golden perch were being caught. Casting lipless crankbaits and hardbodied lures has been working well.

In the boatable sections of the river, trolling spinnerbaits has been working well, and reasonable numbers of Murray cod have also been caught casting spinnerbaits.

Anglers fishing with surface lures during periods of low light have also caught good numbers of Murray cod. The productivity in the surface lure fishing should remain good for the next couple of months while cicadas are active. Cicadas are a favourite food source for the Murray cod during the warmer months of the year, so lures that mimic these insects are a good option in the Campaspe.

Cairn Curran

The fishing in Cairn Curran has been good, although it did suffer an increase in boat traffic over the holiday period, however the extra boat traffic was significantly less than Lake Eppalock.

Good numbers of native fish continue to be caught by those anglers who target the rocky shorelines. Casting lipless crankbaits and suspending hardbodied lures has been working best.

Anglers who target the timbered section of the lake are catching small numbers of golden perch and Murray cod.

The redfin fishing has been slow, and again, locating a good school is difficult. The best reports have come from anglers who have been bait fishing around the standing timber with worms and small yabbies.

Loddon River

The water has cleared up, however water levels continue to recede. The fishing in the Loddon River isn’t too bad, and unlike the Campaspe River, the Loddon River was not affected by a significant rainfall event.

The boatable section of the river at both Bridgewater and Serpentine did experience a significant increase in boat traffic and fishing pressure over the holiday period and these factors did result in a reduction in catch rates in these sections of the river.

For those anglers who are prepared to walk the banks and access those areas that receive the least amount of fishing pressure, some good fish have been landed. In these shallower sections of the river, good numbers of Murray cod measuring up to 90cm have been caught.

Anglers who cast spinnerbaits and hardbodied lures have achieved the best results, but fishing with surface lures during periods of low light has also been productive.

In the boatable sections of the river, golden perch are making up the majority of captures with only the occasional Murray cod being caught. The average size of the golden perch being caught has been around 45cm, and the most productive methods for the golden perch has been casting lipless crankbaits and hardbodied lures.

We should continue to see the Loddon River fish good while the current conditions remain.

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