Eppalock yields perch and bass
  |  First Published: December 2007

The fishing in Central Victoria has been good, despite the less than desirable conditions. Water levels are starting to drop in our local impoundments, so anglers should make the most of the good fishing, as it will only get tougher unless we get some rain.

Lake Eppalock

Water clarity in Lake Eppalock is currently very good, and lots of golden perch are being caught. This may change shortly as they are starting to put water into the lake via the ‘super pipe’. It is difficult to predict how this might affect the fishing. The lake’s water level has started to fall over recent weeks. If the water from the pipe starts to raise the lakes level again, it will be a positive for the fishing.

The golden perch are being caught by anglers using a variety of techniques. The most popular is fishing from the bank with bait, the best of which is worms and yabbies. The most productive time for bait fishing is early in the morning and late afternoons.

Increasing numbers of anglers are fishing the lake with boats. Boat launching is still quite easy, but will become more difficult soon if water levels continue to fall. Good numbers of golden perch are being caught by anglers trolling lures at depths of 3–5m. Some of the most popular lures have been Feral Catts, Codgers and Custom Crafted Hammerheads.

Local anglers have also been producing very good results casting lipless crankbaits around the tops of standing timber. The majority of fish are being caught in the top 3m. The most productive colours have been redfin patterns. One of the biggest talking points in Bendigo has been the Australian bass that have been caught in the lake this season. Phil Keetalaar has managed to land over a dozen in the lake so far, all of which were caught by casting Jackall lures. On one outing to the lake, Phil managed to land six bass and seven golden perch.

Campaspe River

The fishing in the Campaspe River has been average this season so far. It has started to improve lately and should continue to do so. The river is in need of a good flush, as there is currently a lot of algae on the submerged timber, which makes casting lures more difficult. Lures need to be cast into holding spots and preferably retrieved parallel with any logs. Water clarity is very good at Elmore and Rochester. At this stage the section of the Campaspe at Rochester has been the most productive, producing small numbers of quality golden perch and a few redfin.

Cairn Curran

The best word to describe Cairn Curran at the moment is BIG! Cairn Curran has done it again, producing some exceptional captures of some very large golden perch. Golden perch measuring over 60cm and weighing up to 10kg are not uncommon. Overall, the number of golden perch being caught is a lot less than in Lake Eppalock, but the average weight is far greater.

The majority of these golden perch have been caught by anglers trolling small to medium sized hard-bodied lures. Some of the most productive lures have been Australian Crafted, Codgers and Custom Crafted Hammerheads. The colours that have been working lately are the darker colours, such as black and purples. Another added bonus with Cairn Curran is that anglers have been picking up small numbers of quality redfin while targeting the golden perch.

Loddon River

The fishing in the Loddon River has been average. Small numbers of golden perch and redfin are making up the majority of captures. Redfin are being caught by anglers trolling the edges of the weed beds. Golden perch are being caught by anglers casting to the submerged timber with spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits. There is currently less weed growth in the river this season than usual, and greater concentrations of fish are holding on the submerged timber, too. Water clarity is very good and hopefully it should not be too long before catch rates start to improve.

Lake Eppalock continues to yield small numbers of Australian bass – normally a very unusual capture in this waterway. Most fish have been caught on lipless crankbaits.
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