Great expectations in Central Vic
  |  First Published: September 2007

Central Victoria has been experiencing some extremely tough fishing conditions in recent times, but there are now renewed expectations amongst many experienced anglers.

The good rainfall over the last couple of months has all keen fishermen crossing their fingers for some significant follow-up rain. We are currently seeing many small creeks flowing for the first time in several seasons. The next two months are critical in determining the amount of inflows that we will receive in our impoundments, and therefore how productive the coming season will be.

Lake Eppalock

The fishing in Lake Eppalock continues to be disappointing, although inflows at this stage have been reasonable for this time of the year. Lake Eppalock experiences the best inflows during the spring months. At this stage the catchment area south of the lake in the Kyneton area is primed to go. The ground is saturated and a good amount of water is lying in the paddocks – we just need the heavy rainfall to arrive. Water clarity is currently poor so the most productive method is baitfishing. Fishing close to the edges with small yabbies and worms is the best option.

Campaspe River

The fishing in the Campaspe River has been slow but should start to improve shortly. Water temperatures have been very low and only isolated captures of Murray cod and golden perch have been reported. The most productive species continues to be redfin. These are not being caught in large numbers, however there have been a few quality specimens to 1kg being landed.

Redfin are being caught off weed beds and cumbungi-lined banks. Small hardbodied lures and lipless crankbaits have been the most productive options. Water clarity is still good, however this can change quickly at this time of the year so always check with a local contact if you are travelling a long distance.

Cairn Curran

Water levels are starting to rise in Cairn Curran. With the recent inflows, water clarity is average. It is very hard to predict whether this will improve in the short term or not. We can only hope some heavy rain arrives, which will represent a short-term loss for a long-term gain.

The fishing has been slow and there have been few reports. The water level has risen to a level where boat launching is again possible. Those anglers chasing the resident trout will experience some good results baitfishing the lake’s edges as the levels continue to rise. As the water temperatures start to rise, so will the activity amongst the golden perch population. Spring is always the most productive time for fishing for golden perch in impoundments. Get the gear ready to go because they should start to fire up shortly.

Loddon River

The Loddon River has been the most productive destination in Central Victoria recently. The numbers of fish being caught in this system are still low, however catch rates are higher than at other locations. Redfin are making up the majority of captures and these have been averaging between 500g and 1kg.

The most productive method has been casting lipless crankbaits and trolling medium-sized hardbodied lures. The most productive area continues to be in the pooled water above Bridgewater. At this stage the recent rainfall has not affected water clarity.

With the clear water, dark colours such as black and purple have been productive. Bright colours such as pink and chartreuse have also been producing good results in low light conditions. The activity of golden perch and Murray cod will increase dramatically as water temperatures start to rise. When surface temperatures reach 16oC, natives will be again caught consistently.

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