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Slowing down and going steady
  |  First Published: February 2017



The fishing opportunities continue to be good in the Bendigo region. As water temperatures continue to increase and water clarity steadily improves, we have seen an improvement in anglers’ catch rates. At this time of the year, we often see more activity on our waterways.

Those anglers who are prepared to do the early starts and the late finishes, when boating activity is often reduced, will be rewarded with the best results. Thinking about the location you choose to fish can be very important. Try and fish those areas that are less popular or harder to get to, because these areas will have less fishing pressure.

LAKE EPPALOCK

The redfin fishing continues to be productive at this location. Very good numbers of redfin have been caught by experienced anglers who are prepared to hunt around to find a good concentration of them. Most fish have been excellent and measuring up to 46cm.

Redfin are mostly being caught in shallow water. The most productive depth range has been 2.5-4.5m of water. A number of techniques have been working. Trolling hardbody lures and lipless crankbaits has been a good option. Casting soft plastics and blades has also been good.

At this stage, the golden perch fishing has been slower than anticipated. Small numbers of golden perch are being caught. Bait fishing from the banks at low light or during the night continues to be the most productive option for those anglers chasing the golden perch.

Yellowbelly have also been caught by anglers trolling hardbody lures and casting lipless crankbaits. We should see a steady improvement in the numbers of golden perch caught over the next couple of months as the water temperatures continue to increase and water clarity improves.

CAMPASPE RIVER

Catch rates have been low. They’ve been steadily improving over recent weeks. Water clarity is still average at many locations and recently started to clear slowly. The fishing has slowed dramatically in the Campaspe River below Lake Eppalock. The spillway stopped running a few weeks ago and the productivity in the fishing reduced. If you fish this area, there are still small numbers of redfin and golden perch, which are being caught.

Further down the river system, golden perch are making up the majority of captures. The most productive lures for golden perch have been brightly coloured lipless crankbaits and hardbody lures. The number of golden perch catches has been low. The sizes of the fish have been good. Some measure up to 60cm.

A few Murray cod have been caught in this system and we should see an improvement over the next couple of months.

CAIRN CURRAN

Water clarity is slowly improving at Cairn Curran. The redfin fishing has been okay and most are small in size. The most productive areas for the redfin have been in shallow water around the edges of any points.

The number of golden perch catches has been steady. Bait fishing from the banks is still the most productive method. Increasing numbers of golden perch are being caught by those anglers targeting the species with lipless crankbaits and trolling with hardbody lures.

Small numbers of Murray cod have been caught at this location lately. Casting or trolling around the edges of the rocky shorelines has been the most productive method for cod.

LODDON RIVER

Water clarity is still poor at most locations along the Loddon River. The productivity in the fishing has been improving and has been better than you would expect, given the poor water clarity. The golden perch have been patchy. In some areas, golden perch captures have been very low. In other sections, good concentrations of yellowbelly have been located by anglers and catch rates have been good.

The pleasing thing so far this season has been the numbers of small Murray cod measuring 45-55cm, which are being caught in the Loddon River lately. Most of these have been caught by anglers casting and retrieving lipless crankbaits and spinnerbaits. Bright colours such as pink, orange and chartreuse have been the most productive choices.

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