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Want the bad news or the good news?
  |  First Published: November 2007



The bad news is that although some good rainfall was experienced during winter, the region is starting to dry out dramatically. We are running out of time to get some good run-off into our catchments, and can only hope that within the next couple of months we receive some substantial rain.

LAKE EPPALOCK

The good news is that in spite of less than desirable conditions, the fishing has improved dramatically. The numbers of golden perch being caught at Lake Eppalock is continuing to increase. Conditions are currently very good at the lake. Water clarity is very good and water temperatures are rising.

Golden perch are making up the majority of captures, with the average fish landed measuring around 40cm, with some up to 60cm. Water levels are stable, with the lake still experiencing the occasional inflow. Golden perch are regularly being landed both off the bank and by boat anglers.

Boat launching is not too difficult at the moment. All ramps are out of the water, however the ground is quite hard around the lake’s edges, so there are many locations where you can get access to launch a boat. This may change shortly if we do not receive more rainfall and the lake’s level starts to drop.

For those anglers targeting golden perch with bait, small yabbies have been the most productive, especially when fished an hour before dusk and a couple of hours after dark.

Phil Oliver recently fished Lake Eppalock from 11am–5.30pm. He managed to land five golden for the session, ranging in size from 39–47cm. They were caught casting along the edges of upright timber. One fish was caught on a metallic gold No.3 StumpJumper. The other four were landed on Jackall TN60 lures in the colours rainbow fish and suji shrimp.

Phil Keetalaar and David Scott also recently fished Eppalock and managed nine quality golden perch for the day. They managed to land all these while casting Jackall lures. Phil Keetalaar has also been having good success targeting the golden perch off the banks with bait.

CAMPASPE RIVER

The fishing in the Campaspe River has started to improve, however productivity is far lower than Lake Eppalock. The majority of fish caught are redfin, but the numbers of golden perch being landed are slowly increasing. Water levels at Elmore and Rochester have been good. Water clarity is also good. The majority of redfin have been caught casting lipless crankbaits or trolling small hard-bodied lures along the edges of the weed beds.

Glenn Scoble and Tony English recently fished the Campaspe River at Elmore for the day and managed to land seven fish, including six redfin up to 900g. They also landed one golden perch, which measured 43cm. The fish were all caught casting Jackall lures.

CAIRN CURRAN

Water levels in Cairn Curran Reservoir are continuing to rise slowly. This will stop shortly if we do not receive some more substantial rainfall. Water clarity has been poor, but has started to improve in recent weeks. The fishing has also started to improve.

The numbers of redfin being caught is low, and fish are generally small. The trout season has been a disappointing one with only the occasional brown trout being landed. There are small numbers of golden perch being caught, including a couple of exceptional specimens weighing in excess of 8kg.

Cairn Curran has a reputation for producing some very large golden perch. There will be more big ones caught over the next couple of months. The fishing should continue to improve in the short term as water temperatures rise and water levels stay stable or continue to increase. While conditions are favourable, try and make the most of it.

LODDON RIVER

The fishing in the Loddon River has started to improve slowly. Water clarity is good and water temperatures are increasing. At this stage the majority of captures are redfin. They are mostly small, however the average size is very good – up to 1kg. The most productive lures on the redfin have been cast soft plastics and lipless crankbaits. Trolling small hard-bodied lures such as Codgers and Custom Crafted lures has also produced good results.

Only a few golden perch have been caught, but more should make an appearance soon. Casting spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits close to the structure along the edges of the river has been the best tactic.

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A very rare capture of a 37cm Australian bass caught casting a Jackall lure in Lake Eppalock.

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This 45cm golden perch was caught casting in Lake Eppalock. The fishing in Eppalock is improving, but the waterway will need some inflows soon.

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