On the improve
  |  First Published: December 2016

The fishing is slowly improving in the Bendigo region. The productivity in the fishing has been lower than expected due to the cold water temperatures and only average water clarity at most locations. The good news is that both of these major factors are improving.

Due to the reduced amount of rainfall, inflows have significantly reduced and water clarity is improving. We did experience a cooler than average spring period, but with the arrival of summer we are now starting to see some improvement in weather conditions, and this will only help to fire up the fish.

Lake Eppalock

Water levels are now starting to slowly decline in Lake Eppalock. The Lake is currently around 100% of capacity, water clarity is starting to improve, and the cleanest section of the lake is currently the Kimbolton Pool. Water clarity is currently the poorest in the twin rivers section of the lake. At present, redfin are making up the majority of anglers captures at this destination. I’ve been doing a number of days guiding with Cod Hunter Fishing Tours, and the largest redfin landed by a client so far measured 46cm. The majority of the redfin are being caught in shallow water. Casting and trolling lipless crankbaits has been working well, and casting soft plastics has also been a productive method. The amounts of juvenile redfin in the lake are amazing, and are the main food source for the larger redfin and other native fish in the lake. The amount of food is going to ensure some terrific growth rates this season. The productivity in the golden perch fishing has been a bit disappointing so far this season, and at present, the majority of golden perch have been caught by those anglers bait fishing from the banks, with only small amounts been caught by those anglers fishing lures. The most productive times have been late afternoons and during the night. Trolling medium sized hardbody lures around the edges of rocky shorelines have been producing a few fish. Casting lipless crankbaits hard up to the edge of these rocky shorelines has only been producing small numbers of golden perch.

Campaspe River

Over recent times the most productive fishing in the Campaspe River has been below the spillway at Lake Eppalock. In this section there have been some quality golden perch being caught. Some reasonable numbers of redfin and the occasional trout have also been landed in this area. The water has now stopped flowing over the spillway and this will mean the productivity in this section will decline. With the high water levels in Lake Eppalock there is still a small chance if we receive another major rainfall event then the spillway will start running again. If this does happen then around one week after it has been filling the fishing will start to fire up again. The good news is that the water clarity is slowly starting to improve downsteam. There have been small numbers of golden perch being caught in the Campaspe system. With the opening of the Murray cod season, we will again see good numbers of anglers out chasing a fish of a lifetime.

Cairn Curran

The fishing has been slowly improving in Cairn Curran. Reasonable numbers of golden perch are being caught, with The majority of these being caught by anglers bait fishing from the banks – good bait options have been worms, shrimp and yabbies. Golden perch measuring up to 60cm have been landed. The most productive times have been early mornings and late afternoons and during the night. The redfin fishing has been slow for the majority of anglers at this stage, and the majority of redfin being caught have been small. We should see the productivity in the redfin fishing improve over the next few weeks as water clarity slowly improves and water temperatures increase, with the occasional Murray cod also being caught. Due to stocking by Victorian Fisheries we are starting to see improving numbers of Murray cod, and anglers are now starting to target this species more readily.

Loddon River

The fishing in the Loddon River has been slow, and this has been because of the poor water clarity. At this stage, small numbers of golden perch are making up the majority of anglers captures. The most productive lures have been hardbody lures and lipless crankbaits – with the most productive colours being bright fluoro colours, due to the poor water clarity. The good news is that water clarity is improving slowly, and hopefully with some more warm weather coming over the next month, we will see good improvement in the productivity of fishing at this location. With the opening of the Murray cod season, we will again see some good Murray cod being caught in the Loddon River. If the trend of the last few seasons continues, then the majority of the Murray cod will be caught by those anglers walking the banks and fishing the sections of the Loddon River that receive a reduced amount pressure, compared to those boat able sections of the rive. With the current water conditions, surface fishing is a good option if you are targeting Murray cod.

We have seen a significant increase in the amount of anglers who are fishing swimbaits while targeting Murray cod. I am positive we will some quality Murray cod being caught on this type of lure over the next few months.

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