LAKE Eppalock is located a short distance from the historical
gold mining town of Bendigo in central Victoria. This large
lake is a storage for Bendigo's drinking water but boating,
wading and swimming are permitted.
It is a popular ski boat destination due to its large open
expanses of water and quality boat ramps.
Lake Eppalock is also home to a healthy mixed fishery that
includes massive golden perch (max 9kg, av. 1kg), redfin
(max. 2 kg av.800g) with isolated captures of trout (max.
2.3kg av. 500g) and Murray cod (max 8kg, av. 3kg).
Local fishing writer Roger Dark holds a nice
golden perch taken on a lure cast around the weeds.
(Click on image to view larger version)
The lake also has some very large carp that have been taken
on lures, but respond best to baits such as corn kernels.
Boat ramps are located all over this massive lake and there
are several caravan parks also.
Best bait for golden perch and redfin is small yabbies followed
by live minnow and scrub worms. Murray cod are more a chance
capture than a targettable population and are more often
caught on lures.
There are some trout in the lake and these respond well
to lure trolling and mudeye fishing in the cooler months-
especially up the many river arms of the lake. When the
lake is full and weir overflows, the tailrace below the
wall can be sensational for trout in the cooler months.
Both redfin and golden perch respond well to trolled deep
diving lures such as ultra-deep Merlins, McGraths, Deception
Shrimp and the Mann's 15+ range.
The lakes resident redfin population are also suckers for
small minnow styled lures trolled in the shallows and around
the weed beds.
Try brighter versions of Merlins, Min Mins, Rapala and Attack
minnows and you should find a few reddies.
There are a few bays and inlets that are dotted with trees
and this is the best place to start looking for a fish.
Not only to escape from the skiers, but the fish prefer
the safety of cover the trees provide.
This is a good area to have a go at casting lures around
the stumps and weed beds. Golden perch will hang close to
the weeds in quite shallow water.
Steep rocky points are also a good place to flick a lure
as fish use these as ambush points.
The water can discolour quickly after heavy rain, but is
relatively clear for most of the year. During periods of
low water level, there are some stumps that become a boating
hazard and local knowledge should be sought.