Good Fishing Despite Heat
  |  First Published: March 2006

Anglers have been up against some adverse weather over the last month. Temperatures have been regularly above 40 degrees, with many days of strong wind. These extreme conditions are testing the toughest of fishermen, however catch rates have been good in a number of central Victorian waters.

Lake Eppalock

Lake Eppalock continues to fish poorly as water levels continue to recede. It’s depressing for any fisherman to see the lake like this. A recent environmental flow down the Campaspe River has seen a more rapid decline in the lake’s level.

With the falling water level anglers that want to boat the lake are finding it more and more difficult although some are having limited success fishing the timbered sections.

Land based anglers fishing the steeper banks are fairing better than those targeting the shallows. If you are planning to fish off the bank then try and fish where the river course comes close to the lake’s edges. The northern end of the Campaspe reach and the Kimbolton Pool are good areas to try.

Cairn Curran

Cairn Curran has slowed a little over the past month, particularly for redfin. Anglers that are still enjoying success are doing so in the first two hours and the last two hours of the day. Often, during the middle of the day, catch rates have been low and smaller fish have dominated.

The majority of redfin have been caught in between 3 and 5 metres of water. Deep diving lures and ice jigs are accounting for the majority of captures. Anglers drifting and jigging small soft plastics are also producing a few fish.

Captures of golden perch have been low, but as always with Cairn Curran, the average size has been very good indeed.

Loddon River

The Loddon River continues to produce average numbers, however the size of the fish has been exceptional. Spinnerbaits and small hard-bodied lures have proved most productive. There is a growing trend amongst local anglers to fish with lipless crankbaits. In the past, these lures have very rarely been used by local anglers but with new models on the market, many of which are more snag friendly, we’re starting to see their popularity grow.

The most productive models are the TD Vibration in the Daiwa range and the Jackalls. Anglers using these top end lipless crankbaits have a real advantage because they’re different from the lures that the majority of anglers are using. I wonder if the fish are simply less cautious of them because they haven’t seen much of them.

Baitfishing the Loddon continues to disappoint the majority of anglers. Limited success has been had by those using shrimps and cheese. Water clarity in the upper section has been patchy. It changes from one week to the next depending on the releases of irrigation water out of Laanecoorie Reservoir.

At Serpentine, the water clarity is exceptional. The fishing has been best late in the afternoon. There have been small numbers of redfin to around 800g. Small numbers of golden perch have also been caught between 1 and 2kg, along with some Murray cod to 4kg.

Campaspe River

The Campaspe continues to be a great destination for inland anglers. Water clarity has been excellent and good numbers of fish have been caught on lures. Local Bendigo angler Brendan Blake fished the Campaspe at Elmore with Cod Hunter Fishing Tours recently. He managed 8 fish for the day, including one carp of about 2.5kg, which ate a cast lure. Brendan also caught two redfin close to 1kg and 5 golden perch of between 2 and 3kg. Spinnerbaits and small hard-bodied lures were best early in the morning when Brendan had a number of follows but no solid hook-ups. He then changed to a lipless crankbait and enjoyed more success.

Local anglers continue to have good success in the Campaspe, walking the banks and fishing in the deeper holes below Lake Eppalock and down to Elmore. Reports have also been good at Rochester with some quality native fish caught.

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