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Bendigo still shines
  |  First Published: April 2010



The Bendigo region has recently received some good rainfall.

This rainfall has seen the best start to autumn for a long time. It has definitely put a few smiles back on some of the local farmer’s faces. The rain has only had a small impact on local waterways but it is a good start and we can only hope there is some more significant rainfall coming soon.

LAKE EPPALOCK

The fishing at this destination continues to be very good. At the present time the majority of anglers going to the lake are concentrating their fishing efforts on the resident redfin population.

Anglers are having good results with catch rates of a couple of hundred redfin for the day not uncommon. The secret continues to be to hunt around until a good concentration is located and then fish as hard as you can.

There seems to be a few trends in the lake lately. If the water level is rising (this is usually because of water inflows through the super-pipe) then the fish move upstream. When water levels are declining then the concentrations of fish will move downstream.

The fishing has been slower when there is reduced light on the water. The best fishing has been during the middle of the day, not early in the morning or late in the afternoon. The greatest numbers of redfin are being caught in shallow water with the majority of them being caught between 1.5-3.5m.

A large number of techniques are proving to be successful on the redfin. For those anglers’ bait fishing for the redfin, worms, small yabbies and gudgeon have been best. Many lure fishing methods have been producing good results.

Trolling small hardbodied lures around the edges of the lakes, casting soft plastics and bladed lures have been good options. I have been having good results by casting suspending hardbodies.

Vertically jigging Ice Jigs and soft plastics has also produced good results. There have been only small numbers of golden perch being caught, however not many anglers are currently targeting them at this stage.

CAMPASPE RIVER

The fishing has remained good along the Campaspe River in recent weeks. The water is still clear but water levels are lower than ideal. Those anglers who are walking the banks and fishing the shallower sections of the river are still producing good results.

Water temperatures are now staring to drop and therefore the productivity in these shallower sections will also decline shortly. The most productive areas will shortly be the deepest section of the Campaspe at Elmore and Rochester.

At the present time the majority of catch rates are consisting of golden perch up to 2kg and small numbers of redfin up to 800g.

The best results on the golden perch have been on spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits. The best results on the redfin have been small hardbodied lures and soft plastics. At this stage there has only been small numbers of Murray cod being caught in the river.

CAIRN CURRAN

At this stage water levels have remained better this season compared to the last couple of years. Water levels are currently just under 5% of capacity. Water clarity adequate but the fishing has remained below average.

Only small numbers of golden perch have been caught. The majority of redfin being caught continue to be small. I am hopeful that with the improved water level we might see some good redfin fishing over the winter months. This location has a reputation for producing some of the best winter redfin fishing.

The last few years have been disappointing. Hopefully this year is different and good numbers of large winter redfin will be caught.

LODDON RIVER

The fishing in the Loddon River has been good. The numbers of fish have been low however the quality of the fish being caught has been good. This trend should continue in the short term.

Golden perch continue to make up the majority of captures with fish to 3kg being caught. Casting lipless crankbaits has been the most productive method for catching the golden perch.

Small numbers of redfin are still being caught, with trolling small hardbodied lures and casting soft plastics being productive.

Murray cod up to 80cm have been landed with both bait fishing and lure fishing producing the occasional fish. The best baits for the Murray cod have been yabbies and bardi grubs. The most productive lures for the Murray cod have been spinnerbaits and trolling medium to large sized hardbodied lures.

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