For the vast majority of anglers the fishing has been tough in the last couple of months. However in recent weeks in a couple of locations we have seen an improvement in the number of quality fish being caught. The fishing in our impoundments continues to be tough but our river systems are improving.
Lake Eppalock is at one of its lowest levels ever. The lake is currently holding 1.3% of capacity and continues to fall. There have only been a very small number of anglers trying their luck here recently. For most anglers the experience has been a disappointing one.
A number of people have bogged their vehicles while trying to gain access to the lake’s edges. Launching boats is very difficult but the best location to try is near the standing timber at the bottom of the Kimbolton Pool. As water temperatures start to decline shortly we will start to see increasing numbers of golden perch being caught. This trend should continue until the end of April when the fishing will again become tough.
The fishing in the Campaspe River has started to improve in recent weeks. Good results have been had at Elmore and Rochester. The most productive technique in these pooled areas has been trolling small hard-bodied lures along the edges of the weed beds. Anglers casting and retrieving lipless crankbaits have also had success. Like the previous two seasons, often the best results have come to dedicated anglers who are willing to put in the hard work. Another key to success here is to fish the smaller sections of the river that receive far less fishing pressure.
Phil Keetalaar from Bendigo is one of those dedicated anglers who are prepared to go the extra yard. Phil recently fished the Campaspe River in the Barnadown area. He managed to land three golden perch and one Murray cod. The golden perch ranged from 1-2.4kg and were all caught casting a gold spinnerbait. The Murray cod was caught on a Buzzbait and it measured 48cm. On another trip to the Campaspe River, Phil caught several redfin, again on a gold spinnerbait. He also managed two Murray cod that both measured 60cm. Water clarity is still very good and unless we receive heavy rainfall lurefishing should continue to be productive.
There continues to be a small number of very large golden perch caught at this location. Catching one or two of these large specimens in a session is a good result, with fish to 63cm being landed. The majority of these have been caught while trolling in depths of 2.5-4.5m. Productive lures have been No 3 StumpJumpers, Codgers, Custom Crafted Hammerheads and Australian Crafted 40mm Invaders. The redfin fishing has remained slow with only isolated reports of good captures.
The fishing in the Loddon has improved in recent weeks. There have been a couple of major factors that have changed recently in this waterway. A lot of the weed beds have died off or reduced significantly in mass. This has in turn seen a greater concentration of fish holding on the timber. With the weed beds dying off the water clarity has reduced but is still fishable. This is a real positive as the fish are not as easily spooked and are more willing to come out and strike a lure.
The numbers of redfin caught continues to be very good. Anglers have been rewarded with 4-6 redfin ranging between 500g and 1kg on a good day. The average size of golden perch has been 1-2kg. As water temperatures start to decline we usually experience an increase in the amount of golden perch being caught and their average size usually increases too. The numbers of Murray cod being caught continues to be low, but like the golden perch there should be increased numbers being caught in the next couple of months.
The lake has still been producing reasonable numbers of redfin. Boat launching has now become more difficult. They have closed the boat ramp at the outlet channel. There has now been a 5 knot speed limit placed on the lake. Waranga Basin is currently at 22.5% capacity.Reads: 400