Big fish in Central Vic
  |  First Published: December 2004

A change in months has produced a change in weather conditions and improved the likely prospects for anglers this season.

October was a very dry month for Central Victoria and we received below average rainfall. This was not good as the best run-off is achieved early in spring when the ground is saturated. At the end of October we were already seeing a fall in the capacity of our local impoundments, which was very alarming considering their very low levels.

However, November started off on a positive note with the majority of Central Victoria receiving above the month’s average rainfall in the first two weeks. The majority of the rain during November and December was good, soaking rain but it produced minimal run-off. Some more substantial rain is required before good inflows will be achieved.

Lake Eppalock is still very productive. The water levels have reached a high for this season and at the time of writing are at 13%. Water clarity is patchy throughout the lake at present. Water clarity is the poorest at the Twin Rivers section of the lake, but good numbers of fish are being caught here predominately on bait.

The majority of anglers are having their best success fishing for golden perch at night. At this stage the most productive section for lure anglers is the lower reaches of the lake. The bottom section of the Kimbolton Pool through to Teal Bay and up to Point Fortuna are the best areas at present to try to target the resident population to take a lure.

The quality of fish being caught at present is terrific. Good numbers of golden perch are being caught weighing in excess of 5kg. There continues to be a number of Murray cod being caught the majority of these are smaller fish ranging 48-58cm. The redfin fishing has been very poor with only small numbers being caught and they are in poor condition, feeling the effects of the low water levels.

With the lake on the rise again we should see a secondary peak in catch rates. How long will that last? That is the million-dollar question. If we continue to get good rainfall and the lake continues to rise the fishing will remain good.

Campaspe River

The Campaspe River has improved over the past couple of weeks. The recent rainfall has produced a much-needed flush down the system.

The increased flows have got things moving, anglers reports are quite good with the majority of captures comprising of golden perch ranging 1-3kg. The best locations at present are the pooled water above the weirs at Rochester and Elmore.

Cairn Curran

Cairn Curran has had a minimal increase in its capacity since the recent rainfall. At the time of writing it’s at 23% capacity.

Water clarity is good throughout the majority of the lake. At present the majority of anglers are having success on the lake’s redfin population. The majority of these are being caught on dark coloured lures in 6-10m of water. Anglers using ice jigs and yabbies are also catching their fair share of redfin.

Two golden perch were recently landed weighing 8kg. The majority of the golden perch are still being landed in the shallow edges along the lake. Fishing the rocky banks or travelling to the top end of the lake and targeting the timbered sections are the best areas to try.

The trout fishing in the lake has been poor with limited numbers being caught, however, the trout that have been landed are in good condition and specimens have been caught weighing up to 4kg. The lake at present does have some sections that have good weedbeds. The majority of these are about half a metre high from the bottom. Anglers should take note of this when trolling to prevent continually fouling lures.

Loddon River

The Loddon River has started to receive increased water flows with the recent rain as well as increased irrigation demand. Murray cod have been the most prolific species being caught.

Below Laanecoorie water clarity has deteriorated slightly and captures on lures have slowed. At Bridgewater the increased flows have resulted in a little colour back into the river. This was a positive as water clarity was so good the fish where easily spooked.

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