Natives in a Freeze
  |  First Published: June 2009

During the winter months the fishing in Central Victoria is usually slow. The fishing in the last couple of months has been very tough and at this stage there looks to be no improvement in the near future. We can only hope while the fishing is tough we can receive some good rainfall to replenish some of Central Victorian waterways.

Lake Eppalock

On a positive note the lake continues to hold a stable water level of around 6% capacity. Brad Day from Bendigo recently fished at the lake. He reported that the lake had a bad algal bloom in the lower reaches of the lake. The algae improved when he headed towards the twin rivers area of the lake. The days fishing was tough, Brad managed to land four small redfin for the day. Three of these were caught trolling and one was caught casting. There was very little in the way of any other anglers trying their luck at the lake; this is usually a sign that the productivity has been low.

Brad did say some schools of fish were located on his fish finder, holding off ledges in around 30’ of water. These were more than likely schools of redfin. These can be effectively targeted by anglers using Ice Jigs and soft plastics over the winter months.

Reported captures of golden perch have been few and far between. The fishing for the golden perch will remain very tough until water temperatures start to rise again in late August and September.

Campaspe River

The fishing in the Campaspe River has remained very slow. The water levels and flows down the system are very low. At this stage the shallower sections of river have been very tough. The best results are being had by those anglers fishing the deepest sections at Elmore and Rochester. Catch rates have been low at these destinations with redfin making up the majority of captures.

The Campaspe River does not normally produce large numbers of redfin however over the winter months it is often the best time of the year to produce the larger quality redfin. Fishing the Campaspe River directly below Lake Eppalock at this time of the year can be productive producing quality redfin up to 1.5kg. Casting bladed spinners, soft plastics and small hard body lures are all worthwhile options. In the deeper sections at Elmore and Rochester using sinking lures such as lipless crankbaits are good options. Also trolling deep diving hard bodies will produce good results.

Cairn Curran

Water levels at the lake remain very low. The lake is currently holding less than 2% capacity. The fishing continues to be slow at this stage as we have not received significant rainfall to produce any inflows into the lake. We can only hope this happens shortly and levels start to rise. When this happens hopefully we should see an improvement in catch rates. Local anglers will be again targeting the lakes resident brown trout population. At this stage results have been very low. Boat launching is still possible with a 4WD however care must be taken when doing so. If we do receive good rainfall it may become more difficult.

Loddon River

The Loddon River has been the most productive local destination. The productivity has however still been very low. For those anglers who have been targeting the shallower section of the river chasing the Murray cod and golden perch a result of one fish per day has been the average amongst the most experienced anglers. The productivity has been slightly higher for those anglers fishing the deepest sections of river at Bridgewater.

The Murray cod and golden perch captures have been low. There has been small numbers of redfin being caught. The Loddon always produces its fair share of quality redfin for those anglers who put the time in over the winter months. The best areas to concentrate your fishing effort when targeting the redfin is along the edges of the ribbon weed beds and along the cumbungi lined banks.

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