The fishing has continued to be very tough in the Bendigo region. We have received some reasonable rainfall, but at this stage it has not been sufficient to produce any significant runoff.
Our impoundments continue to be very low and at this stage there have been no inflows to produce an increase in capacity. To continue with the gloomy picture all the long-range weather forecasts for the next couple of months have the area receiving below average rainfall. This would not be good for the productivity in the fishing if this does occur.
On a positive note we are now leaving the coldest time of the year. The days are getting warmer (slowly) and the hours of daylight are getting longer. With these improved conditions we should see some more positive fishing reports. I am ever the optimist and like most people are hoping for above average rainfall over the spring months. The ground is currently saturated and we currently have a good amount of growth on the ground. We only need some good days of consistent heavy rainfall for several consecutive days and we will start to see some good runoff into our impoundments and river systems.
The fishing in Lake Eppalock has continued to be a struggle. The majority of fishermen have been returning home disappointed after a day at the lake. At this stage the majority of catch rates are been mainly of small redfin. The redfin have been caught by anglers bait fishing with small yabbies, gudgeon and worms. The best results by lure fishermen on the redfin have been by jigging soft plastics or ice jigs over the top of a school once a school has been located.
However this should all change shortly as water temperatures are slowly starting to rise. The rising water temperatures will produce an increase in the activity of the golden perch in the lake. Anglers who are targeting the golden perch usually produce good results fishing off the bank with yabbies and worms being the most productive bait. Fishing during hours of low light are usually the best. The most experienced anglers who slowly retrieve their baits along the bottom often are rewarded with the best results.
Good results will start to be had by those anglers targeting the golden perch with lures. As the water warms the best concentrations of golden perch will be caught in those shallower areas. Anglers casting lipless crankbaits to the edges of the lake often produce good results. Good results can also be had by fishermen casting neutral buoyant hard body lures and slowly retrieving them back to the bank.
The Campaspe River is like every other destination in the Bendigo region; it’s in need of some good rainfall. At this stage the water levels remain low in a lot of the system. Because of the lack of heavy rainfall water clarity remains good. Catch rates have been low in the Campaspe River with only the occasional angler testing their skill along the Campaspe River.
Small numbers of redfin have been caught in the Campaspe River. Good areas to try are at Rochester, Elmore and Barnadown and also below the wall at Lake Eppalock. The resident golden perch population should start to fire up shortly. The golden perch will still be feeling the effects of the cold water so retrieval speeds must be kept slow. Casting lures along lay-me-down timber and around the edges of the weed beds are excellent habitat for golden perch. Always be mindful that golden perch will regularly school up in the spring months. If you do manage to land one golden perch work the area thoroughly as there may be more in the area.
The fishing in the Loddon River has also been slow over recent weeks. There still is the occasional redfin being caught and at this stage only the isolated golden perch being caught. Water clarity in the Loddon River is currently good. It has that perfect clarity where there is a little tannin in the water. I recently had a day fishing on the Loddon myself and found the fishing very slow. There is currently a lot of slime on the timber lying in the water.
Anglers should try and run lures as close as possible to the timber without touching it. As soon as the lures touch the timber they are instantly fouled with slime. As this stage the weed growth is minimal and the amount of weed beds is reduced in comparison to the previous two seasons. Water temperatures are still very low. This should all change shortly as the water temperatures rise, the weed beds will again start growing and the river will again bounce back to life. If any anglers have any recent reports don’t hesitate to forward them to me. They can be sent to --e-mail address hidden--Reads: 970