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Victoria primed for a great season
  |  First Published: October 2016



Fishing in the Bendigo region is currently slow, but we should see an improvement over the next few weeks. The potential is there for a great season. The biggest factor to determine how productive the season will be, will be how much rainfall the region receives over the next couple of months. At present, our catchments are saturated and we’re currently getting good runoff after rainfall events. We don’t want the rainfall to stop now, as good rains will see our impoundments reach high levels again. This will lead to good flows of quality water down our river systems, and in turn, the productivity of the fishing will be good.

LAKE EPPALOCK

Fishing at Lake Eppalock is slow, with water temperatures still cold, but should get better in coming weeks. Water clarity is average, with some parts of the lake being dirty due to inflows coming into the lake. Water levels are around 39% of capacity and slowly rising. The rising levels are already coming over the top of good amounts of vegetation around the banks. If it increases another 10%, then the water will be going over the high water mark from last season. This means more vegetation and improved fishing.

The water impoundments above Lake Eppalock are the Upper Coliban, Lauriston and Malmsbury reservoirs. They are currently a combined total of 90%. With good rains forecast over the next few weeks, there’s a good chance we’ll see these reservoirs reach capacity. If so, Lake Eppalock water levels can increase quickly and we’ll see some great fishing at this destination.

Surface temperatures are currently around 11°C. Temperatures will increase shortly and this will help the fish become more active. We’ll see an increase in catch rates. Right now, small numbers of golden perch have been caught, mostly by anglers baitfishing with worms or small yabbies. A few redfin have also been landed. The best concentrations of redfin are being caught in depths around 10m.

CAMPASPE RIVER

The Campaspe River has been slow, which is to be expected at this time of year. Water clarity is average and has been changing from week to week, depending on rainfall and the inflows running into the system. It can be hard to predict what’s going to happen with water clarity in the short term. At this stage, clarity is probably only going to get worse over the next couple of months, and it’s likely we will see higher inflows into the river system. If this occurs, the productivity of lurefishing will stay low and the best results will be produced by baitfishing.

Small numbers of golden perch are being caught by anglers, walking the banks and fishing with spinnerbaits or hardbody lures. Redfin have been caught by anglers targeting the edges of cumbungi-lined banks and weed beds. The most productive options for the redfin have been soft plastics and small hardbody lures.

CAIRN CURRAN

Fishing reports from this destination have been isolated. This location received good inflows over the last few weeks. Water levels are steadily rising. The inflows have produced a reduction in water clarity and a good rainfall has been forecast over the next few weeks. It’s likely that we’ll continue to see good inflows over coming months. Water clarity will stay poor in the short term, but will improve when inflows reduce and the water has a chance to settle.

This is short-term loss for long-term gain. It means the productivity of the fishing will be lower in the short-term period, but over the season, we’ll see very good fishing for anglers. Currently, redfin have been caught by anglers. The most productive method has been baitfishing with worms and yabbies. A couple of trout have also been caught by anglers baitfishing around edges of the lake. The most productive bait for the trout has been worms and mudeyes. At this stage, very few golden perch are being caught. We should see an increase in golden perch catches in around 3-4 weeks, when water temperatures increase.

LODDON RIVER

Water clarity is average at most locations along the Loddon River. It should stay okay over the next few weeks, as there’s a good chance we’ll see good inflows in the short term. There have been small numbers of golden perch caught at this destination. Anglers fishing with medium sized hardbody lures and spinnerbaits have been producing the best results. Anglers need to be prepared to put the time in to catch a few.

Often, casting into a good holding location is needed to stir the fish up before a strike will be produced. Slow retrieval speeds are also required. In the next month or so, when water temperatures increase the fish will be more active. Fishing in the Bendigo region will continue to slowly improve over the next month. If we continue to get rainfall, when the water clarity improves, we should see some terrific fishing this season. Bring on the rain.

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The golden perch fishing should improve over the next few weeks. Excellent fishing is coming up at Lake Eppalock this season.

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