Welcome to the Cairn Curran Fishing Guide. Cairn Curran is a large water catchment 150 kilometres or 1 hour and 45 minutes drive from Melbourne towards the rural township of Newstead. Cairn Curran was built in the 1950s to provide irrigation and domestic water supply into surrounding areas. It also acts as a spillway to the Loddon river which is directly connected.

Things to do at Cairn Curran Reservoir

Cairn Curran is surrounded by historic gold mining towns Maldon, Castlemaine and Maryborough. The area has done its best to attract families with lakeside caravans and cottages available to stay in. There are 2 caravan parks on either side. It’s also a good location for camping and has onsite toilet facilities, picnic tables and free electric BBQs. However, watersport is a thing to do at Cairn Curran. This would including, fishing, boating, jet skiing, canoeing, water skiing and swimming. The local sailing club holds events here annually and its also a popular location for Duck hunting which is permitted.

Fishing the Cairn Curran Reservoir

The Cairn Curran Reservoir is a great fishing destination with deep water and choc-full of submerged trees. These trees make an amazing structure and home for fish species such as yellowbelly, cod, redfin, trout and carp. It offers great fishing for land base, boats, kayaks and jet skis. Most anglers here will target fish by fishing close to the structure. This means dropping lures, plastics and baits hard up again structure. It’s also a great place for slowly trolling lures and flicking shallow diving hard body lures in the shallows.

Kayak fishing for redfin

The most effective baits to use at Cairn Curran include scrub worms, Yabbies & crickets. They will allow you to target many different species at once. You can also try using power bait, Mudeye and corn kernels. It’s a great location to catch fish with lures. We would highly recommend flicking spinners, soft plastics, metal spoons, hard body lures, blades and vibes. The options here are almost endless so don’t be afraid to experiment. It’s a great method of catching a prized redfin or golden perch. Why not read our guide on the best lures to catch redfin and golden perch.

The tricky component of fishing Cairn Curran is picking the right rod. We suggest taking multiple rods that allow you to target different fish species. You can go light for trout and redfin or heavy for cod and golden perch. More specifically when targeting trout and redfin we recommend fishing with a light spinning rod. This will make the experience more enjoyable and improve your catch rates. We suggest a 1-3 or 2-4 kilo fishing rod. Coupled with a 2000, 2500 or 3000 size reel that’s been spooled with a decent quality braid between 4-8 pound. Then finished with roughly a rod length of a quality fluorocarbon leader.

When targeting cod and yellow belly you will need to go heavier. Some great lure choices would include lip-less crank-baits such as Jackall TN series, stump jumpers which can be cast or trolled, surface lures, vibes, spinnerbaits, bassman spinners, large grub style soft plastics, and swimbaits. Cod also do take a liking to large surface lures, slowly worked along with structure. If you’re specifically targeting a big cod then you’ll need to up your outfit. A 6 foot to 7-foot rod in a 4-8 kilo or 6-12 kilo class rod and a quality baitcaster reel spooled with 20 to 50-pound braid finished with a solid Fluro carbon leader of equal strength. There is a whole range of baitcaster options suiting different budgets.

Then, of course, there are carp and plenty of them. They tend to reside in the shallow waters. If you plan on targeting carp from the banks then we would recommend using corn kernels, worms or bread as good bait options. Either on a basic running sinker rig or suspended from a float. It would also be wise to upgrade your fishing outfit to something a little heavier. Perhaps a 3-5 kilo fishing rod coupled with a 3000 size reel spooled with 8-pound line as a good starting point.

Cairn Curren Fishing Guide and we suggest that spring is the best time of year for targeting golden perch ( yellow belly ) and cod. They can be caught at any time of the day but often the last 2 hours of daylight can be the best. Trout are more active in the colder months and redfin ( perch ) are more active in the warmer months. Cod and yellowbelly in summer will seek deeper water where the water temperature is more comfortable for them. Again you can catch all these different species during any part of the day, though some fish will be more active at Dawn and Dusk.

Cairn Curran Boat and Kayak Access

There are several boat launching facilities. The most popular located at picnic point. A single lane launching facility which is sealed. Do take caution when launching here as it is quite steep. Kayaks can be set up in the car park at picnic point and wheeled down alongside the boat launching ramp. You can see the Cairn Curran boat and facilities map here.

Known Hazards and restrictions at Cairn Curran

As with all country, rural areas always be mindful of snakes. The lake is deep so do ensure you wear a life jacket when conducting water activities. The water depth can drop very quickly from the banks so do make sure you keep an eye on young children playing near the water’s edge.


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Additions and corrections of this location

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