Stop two on the CVLCSS circuit brings us to Lake Eppalock. Located 130km northwest of Melbourne, this lake that accounts for plenty of redfin and golden perch.
Lake Eppalock covers approximately 7500 acres of land and has a vast range of structure to target fish. With the lake being at only 29%, the fishing was going to be a struggle and finding new areas to fish was going to be a difficult task.
A very early 6am start saw many keen anglers eager to pick up their catch tokens and get out on the water. It was a fairly fresh morning with moderate wind forecasted and a low barometer below 1000, but although the conditions weren't the best many anglers hit the water in search for some gold.
Most fish were caught within the first few hours of the morning and came on the bite as the sun started to rise. There was plenty of techniques tried between all anglers, including grubbing with soft plastics, jigging, casting and trolling both lipless crankbaits and hardbodies. However, soft plastics seem to work the best especially with all the small redfin in the shallower 5-10m water.
Session one commenced at 11am and a total of 52 redfin, nine golden perch, two Murray cod and two carp were caught.
After a three hour lunch break anglers were ready to head back out again. As the clock struck 2pm, anglers received their new catch tokens for session two and away they went. The temperature was around 28ºC and the water temperatures had starting rising over 23ºC pushing all the fish out into the deeper water making them much harder to catch.
For a few hours the fishing was fairly quiet and most boats were only sporadically pulling in the odd redfin. From 5pm onwards the fishing started to improve and the fish moved in shallow water once again to feed. It wasn't until the last 30 minutes that really had the fish fired up. A few anglers took advantage of this, including myself, landing a massive 67cm carp that gave an awesome fight on 20lb line as well as a small redfin caught on a Jackall TN60.
Session two closed at 7pm and it was time to head back to the caravan park for the day one results and a BBQ, as well as the Saturday night raffle. Day one was all but over and most people went to bed before 10pm ready for one more session in the morning.
Session two saw 57 redfin, 12 golden perch and one carp.
Another 6am start had anglers preparing for the 5 hour session ahead. It was no doubt going to be a grind out on the water to catch fish, the morning was very crisp and we even had a bit of morning dew. Despite the 6am start to pick up their new catch tokens, many had a bit of a sleep in. With a high barometer and calm conditions, the morning fishing looked to be very promising, anglers headed to their chosen spots and immediately started fishing.
Many anglers hopes were starting to fade after the first two hours and that clock seemed to tick faster and faster. A few anglers had caught some cracking redfin in session three on a variety of lures, including lipless crankbaits and soft plastics but the golden perch were hard to come by.
A total of 51 redfin and 7 golden perch were caught in session three.
Overall, it was a well-run competition and again it was great to see the younger generation getting amongst some fish and giving the seniors a run for their money. We look forward to round three and hope to see you there. Round three will be held at Majors Creek at Goulburn River 9 April. – Kaleb Oxley