Central Victorian anglers are still experiencing some very trying fishing conditions. The major factor is the declining water levels in our local impoundments. In recent weeks there has been only a small amount of rain – not enough to have a positive impact on our local waterways.
Reports from Lake Eppalock have been scarce. Currently water quality and clarity is very poor. The majority of anglers targeting the lake are doing so with bait. The most productive baits are worms and yabbies. Unfortunately for most fishermen results have been disappointing. There are however isolated reports of small numbers of golden perch being caught.
The Campaspe River continues to be a worthwhile destination although the fishing this season has been considerably slower than the previous two. The lack of rainfall has reduced the river’s level and flow. In these less than desirable conditions the fish have been feeding less and anglers’ catch rates have declined accordingly. Nevertheless persistent anglers are being rewarded with quality captures of both golden perch and Murray cod.
Fishermen walking the banks at locations like Barnadown are producing reasonable results casting lures because water clarity continues to be very good. With the very clean water it is advisable to spend the majority of your fishing time in low light conditions. Early in the morning or late in the afternoon are the best times, while fishing has been tough during the middle of the day. The most popular lures with bank anglers are medium-sized hard bodies and lightly-weighted spinnerbaits.
When fishing from boats in the deeper sections of river at Elmore and Rochester, the most popular lures are lipless crankbaits and 1/2oz spinnerbaits. Fishermen targeting the river’s redfin population are having good success trolling small hard bodies along the edges of the weed beds.
Water levels in Cairn Curran continue to drop and the reservoir is currently at only 3% of capacity. Fishing reports have turned up a mixed bag of results. Redfin are being caught in average numbers but the quality is varying from trip to trip. More experienced anglers have managed quality bags of redfin up to 1.4kg. Redfin are being caught by baitfishing and by trolling deep diving lures.
In recent weeks there have been some terrific reports of very large golden perch being caught. Brad Day from Bendigo managed to land a 63cm golden perch. This fish was caught trolling the main pool using a no.3 Stumpjumper in colour number 42. Trolling the edges of rocky banks and targeting the section of timber at the top of the lake are two good strategies for catching golden perch, which have been at their most active after several days of hot weather.
The fishing in the Loddon River has remained fairly tough going for the majority of fishermen. Local Bendigo angler Glen Scoble recently fished here and landed four golden perch and two redfin for a weekend’s effort. Glen found the most productive lures to be lipless crankbaits. The best areas to target are along the prolific weed beds and in the deep water around the fallen timber.
Water clarity remains exceptional – in fact it may even be too clear. The majority of fish are being caught early in the morning or late in the afternoon. When the water clarity is this good a deep lure presentation is vital. Currently it is not uncommon to see a native fish holding next to or moving along structure. Always keep a keen eye on the water and you may be surprised at what you may see.
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