Toughing it Out in the Goldfields
  |  First Published: June 2006

In Central Victoria many anglers have experienced little return for their fishing effort. Poor water quality, falling water temperatures and low water levels are seeing the majority of fishermen doing it tough.

Lake Eppalock

Lake Eppalock continued to be a disappointment over the autumn months. The bulk of fishermen are having very little success. A small number of golden perch have been caught on bait. The best locations are at the bottom section of the lake in the Kimbolton Pool and the lower end of the Campaspe reach.

The redfin fishing in the lake has also been very slow with only small numbers caught. The lake’s water level continues to drop and the poor water quality and very low levels are not helping the fishing at all. We can only hope that we receive some substantial rainfall and she rises significantly over winter and spring.

Campaspe River

Reports from the Campaspe River have been a mixture of good and poor. Around Elmore has been very slow in recent times with only the occasional Murray cod and golden perch caught. The majority of these fish are falling to spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits. A good result at Elmore lately would be one native fish for the day – that’s how tough it’s been!

Campaspe redfin have also been quiet.

On the upside, those anglers fishing the skinny waters have experienced much higher catch rates. James Boyle and Phil Keetalaar are two guys who continue to put in the hard work and are continually looking for new areas to fish along the Campaspe River. Both Phil and James have caught some quality Murray cod. Phil managed one that measured 88.5cm recently, casting a spinnerbait from the bank.

Both guys have noticed that their catch rates have started to drop, especially with the golden perch, which have become much harder to get. However, they’ve both experienced an increase in redfin numbers lately. This trend should continue as the Campaspe typically produces good numbers of redfin over the autumn and winter months.

Cairn Curran

Cairn Curran’s water level continues to drop and the fishing has been patchy. There have been small numbers of golden perch caught. The majority of these have been taken trolling in depths between four and five metres. The best colours have been redfin imitations, and black and purple combinations.

The redfin fishing has been spasmodic with the fishing good one week then very quiet the next week. Redfin have been caught in depths between 4 and 5 metres. Fishermen using ice jigs have been producing average results when schools can be located.

The best bait continues to be gudgeon and small yabbies. If suitable conditions prevail a worthwhile tactic is to slow drift these baits 20cm off the bottom. This is a great way to find actively feeding fish instead of waiting in the one spot for something to happen.

The trout fishing has started to improve and now is commonly the best time of the year to target a quality brown.

Tullaroop Reservoir

There have been a few reports of some nice trout caught at Tullaroop. Kevin Deickman managed a 2.4kg brown while fishing with a homemade gold/silver lure, similar to a mini Perkin. He also dropped one other quality fish and had a couple of other good strikes for the day.

Loddon River

The Loddon River slowed dramatically in early May. The majority of fishermen fishing Bridgewater have caught very little. There has only been the occasional native fish caught along with small numbers of redfin.

The redfin fishing in the Loddon should continue to improve over the cooler months. The increased number of weed beds, which are ideal redfin habitat, has certainly seen more of these delicious critters about.

If you want to target some cod or goldens in the short term I’d suggest fishing between Bridgewater and Serpentine.

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