Big Yellas on Fire!
  |  First Published: December 2005

Water levels continue to rise in central Victorian impoundments, however inflows have been minimal and our water levels will be on the decline again shortly.

Those anglers who’ve braved the spring weather have been rewarded with some exceptional fishing. However I fear it will not be long until the fishing declines in both Eppalock and Cairn Curran. So while the fishing is good, get out and make the most of it.

Lake Eppalock

Lake Eppalock’s water level has finally reached double figures. I, like many other anglers, am still hopeful of some late spring rains that may produce a dramatic increase in its level. If we can get a quick rise it will be followed by an increase in fish activity.

Water clarity has continued to improve. Many anglers have now switched from predominantly baitfishing to targeting the golden perch with lures. Those who have been trolling have enjoyed most success in shallow water of between 2 and 3m. Troll the shallow water early in the morning and late in the afternoon during reduced light conditions. During the middle of the day, when the light is at its most intense, change lures and troll 1 to 2m deeper.

Currently, a lot of goldens are being caught along the shallow banks and on either side of points that protrude into the lake. With the lake still being low there are great volumes of timber that are accessible to anglers. These areas are great spots to target. At present, those trees that have fallen down provide ideal habitat for natives. They take up residence and ambush any juvenile redfin or carp that swims too close.

The redfin fishing remains poor in Eppalock; however the quality of the golden perch has been exceptional, with specimens over 5kg not uncommon. In recent weeks there have been reports of a small number of Murray cod that have been caught while targeting golden perch. One local Bendigo angler managed to land a cod of over 1m. It was caught off the bank while baitfishing with yabbies.

Campaspe River

The Campaspe River, below Eppalock, has received minimal fishing pressure recently. Conditions are currently ideal and shortly we should get some positive reports of quality fish being caught. With Eppalock only holding minimal water levels the outflow from the lake has been low. Consequently, water clarity has improved. There continues to be small numbers of redfin caught in the holes directly below Eppalock. Small numbers of redfin have also been caught in the deeper holes at Barnadown and further downstream at Elmore and Rochester.

The native fishing has been average but with improved water clarity and higher water temperatures we should see catch rates improve shortly.

Cairn Curran

The fishing at Cairn Curran has only been average, but it seems as though it’s finally improving. Leigh Enever from Bendigo recently fished Cairn Curran and he had his most successful trip for several months. Leigh managed to land several quality redfin to 600g. His favourite tactic is to drift baits along, or just off the bottom, until a good concentration of fish is located. He then continues the same drift pattern over the top of the school.

The fishing for the golden perch has been average. The numbers of fish caught has been low but the average size has been terrific. Cairn Curran has been steadily rising and it is not far off reaching the high water mark from last season. If the level rises above this then we should see the redfin and golden perch fishing improve.

The trout fishing has slowed dramatically and reports are scarce. The most successful tactic has been to concentrate in the deep water. As water temperatures rise the trout population will move into the deep water where temperatures are cooler. Good tactics are to use downriggers and paravanes to get your lures down to where the trout are holding.


The fishing in the Loddon River is improving. Currently, the majority of anglers have been encountering small Murray cod while targeting golden perch. Some anglers have caught some large goldens while trolling deep diving lures in the ski zone. Water clarity is exceptional and lures can be seen several metres under the surface. Local Bendigo angler Garry Scanlon recently landed an 83cm Murray cod while fishing at Bridgewater. The fish was released of course given closed season.

The Loddon System is in need of a good flush if it’s going to reach its full potential this season.

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