Lake Eppalock and Cairn Curran Reservoir
Lake Eppalock is a large water storage near Bendigo and is fed by the Campaspe and Coliban rivers. After years of drought and low water levels, the lake's fish stocks have recovered and Eppalock has regained its reputation as a premier stocked impoundment, particularly for golden perch. Post-drought fish stocking has matured, and great-sized fish are now available, with some remnant monsters dating back to early 2000s stockings.
Eppalock is a hub of activity for community watersport users, including fishing and skiing, especially during summer. The lake features excellent boat ramps and family-friendly facilities at the Kimbolton Recreation Area, Moorabbee Foreshore Reserve, Sunset Drive, Kirrang Point, and Point King.
Rocky banks and points with sections of large standing dead timber provide ideal habitat for Murray cod, golden perch and redfin.
Surrounded by open farmland, a significant portion of Eppalock has shallower fringes than other lakes. This provides the opportunity for weed beds to develop, which is great for a productive aquatic ecosystem as long as water levels remain relatively stable. The shallower and rocky banks warm up in spring, which can mean Eppalock produces good golden perch bites early in the season.
On the downside, the open farmland does not offer great shelter from wind and it is common for the middle of the day to become challenging for boat-based lure casters. Fishing early and late in the day is most productive. Shore-based fishing is excellent, with good access available.
Click here for more information on Lake Eppalock boat ramps.
Cairn Curran Reservoir
Cairn Curran Reservoir, situated near historic Maldon and Newstead in Central Victoria, impounds water of the Loddon River. It is managed by Goulburn-Murray Water for the purposes of downstream irrigation and domestic supply. It also serves as a valuable recreation hub in the region, attracting visitors for boating, including power and sail, canoeing, fishing, walking and swimming.
Cairn Curran is renowned for its remarkable fish habitat. The area features extensive rocky banks and points, submerged timber, and weed beds, creating an excellent mixed fishery for big golden perch, trophy brown trout, redfin, and increasingly Murray cod. There is ample shore-based fishing access and opportunities for boaters and kayakers. Caravan parks are available at Welshmans Reef and near the dam wall at Baringhup. The boat ramps are situated at the dam wall, Welshmans Reef, and Picnic Point and can accommodate boats up to five metres in length, depending on the water level.
Golden perch are best targeted near standing timber or rocky points, and this is sure to be true for stocked cod as they mature. The redfin are likewise best targeted in these areas. Cairn Curran has vast shallow flats, depending on the lake level, and when conditions are favourable, provide outstanding fly-fishing for brown trout. They can also be targeted trolling flatlines or down rigging in the deeper water.
There are plenty of great spots around the shoreline of Cairn Curran, with some of the best on the Baringhup side, where you can find picnic areas with excellent facilities including the boat ramp, undercover BBQs, picnic tables and toilets. At the Cairn Curran wall, you can access undercover picnic tables and toilets. Boat-based fishers should be aware that Cairn Curran has extensive 5 knot speed zones.