Welcome to the Lake Eppalock Fishing Guide. Lake Eppalock is located in the country Victoria between Bendigo and Heathcote along the Goldfields region. The lake was constructed in the 19060s and acts as a spillway for surrounding lakes Campaspe and Coliban. The lake is used for local drinking water but is perfect for water-based activities like boating, swimming, water skiing and of course fishing. This is a great destination to take the family with surrounding caravan parks, active birdlife, and onsite facilities including BBQs, picnic grounds and boat ramps. There are ample boat ramps to launch from for boats, jet skis and Kayaks. Lake Eppalock is home to a healthy population of Golden perch, redfin, trout, cod and carp which provides quality fishing all year round.
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Things to do at Lake Eppalock
Lake Eppalock is a nice spot for the family. The Lake Eppalock holiday park is situated right on the lake and has a swimming pool, jumping pillow and playground to keep the kids entertained. There are also plenty of fishing spots with surrounding BBQ facilities and active birdlife. There are also nearby caravan parks, boat ramps and toilet facilities. This is also a good location for camping. Nearby attractions include Redesdale Bridge, Mount Ida lookout, Turpins Falls and the Cascades. As with all areas that have water and high grass just always be cautious of snakes in the area. Lake Eppalock is only 30 minutes drive from Bendigo and a 20-minute drive from Heathcote. Both are vibrant townships with plenty of shops, cafes, restaurants and cafes. You’re also quite close to the Heathcote wine country. With multiple vineyards, you can stop in to do some wine tasting.
Fishing Lake Eppalock
At Lake Eppalock you can target
- Murray cod
- golden perch
- brown trout
Access to the lake is excellent for boats with multiple boat ramps scattered around the Lake. It’s a prime location to fish with a kayak or small boat and has plenty of productive areas for land-based anglers. This is a quite shallow system so do keep an active eye on your sounder as you move around on your boat as shallow areas can sneak up on you. Lake Eppalock provides excellent year-round fishing with redfin, golden perch ( yellow belly ), trout, carp and Murray Cod on offer. With redfin and carp in big numbers when the water conditions are right. Regular fishing competitions are held here so do keep an eye out for those. In general, the fishing is excellent although the vast majority of redfin caught are quite small. Also, blue-Green algae at times is a problem in this system so ensure to check blue-green algae alerts before taking fish home to eat.
When fishing here concentrate your time and effort casting lures towards and suspending baits hard up against the visible structure and depth changes. Many of the largest fish are often caught amongst the timber. The trick here is to present a lure or bait and tempt the bigger ones out of the structure they are residing in for a reaction strike. You can catch redfin and carp in prolific numbers, especially in the warmer months. Cod and yellowbelly are the prized catches here and although they are not as common as the other species they can be caught. Concentrating your time along the visible structure such as the submerged tree branches is a great strategy for catching a few decent fish.
Fishing for land-based anglers is also very good with many spots around the lake where you can pull up a chair and rod holders. Some good options include near the caravan park, Mangan’s Lane, Bo Bay and Kirrang Point swimming area. You will be kept busy with the large volume of carp that stay around the shallows. One on a particular occasion we managed to catch 50 carp which was lots of fun.
Lake Eppalock Boat Ramp
There are five boat ramps located around Lake Eppalock.
- Kimbolton Recreation Area also has BBQ, picnic tables and toilets
- Moorabbee Foreshore Reserve also has BBQ, picnic tables and toilets
- Sunset Drive Boat Ramp
- Kirrang Point Boat Ramp also has toilets
- Point King Bay Boat Ramp
Watch our detailed video guide on our top 10 redfin lures below
Lake Eppaclock Gear selection
When targeting redfin and trout a 1-3 or 2-4 kilo fishing rod coupled with a 1000, 2000 or 2500 size reel spooled with 4-8-pound braid and equivalent fluorocarbon leader. You will want to consider fishing heavier when targeting yellowbelly, cod and carp starting with a 2-4 or 3-5 kilo class paired with a 2500 or 3000 size reel spooled with 8-12 pound braid. Heavier baitcasters are also an excellent option here, especially when targeting Murray cod. Click here to see our best lures & plastics to catch redfin. If bait fishing Mudeye, live minnow and power bait on a float is a great choice when targeting trout. Other good options include scrub worms and yabbies. I would do so using a very simple running sinker rig with a small hook or treble, and a small pea size sinker. Berleying an isolated area and fishing that one spot is also a great idea when bait fishing.
Recommended fishing lures Lake Eppalock
- Daiwa Bait Junkiw 2.5 inch grub
- Gulp 3-inch minnow
- Zman 2.5 inch grub
- Daiwa Bait Junkie paddle tail minnow
- Jackall TN50
- Storm Gomoku 40mm surface popper
- Zerek fish trap
- Jackall transams
- Samaki vibelicious
- eco gear ZX40
- Savage Gear Fathead crank shallow diving
- stump jumpers
Recommended baits Lake Eppalock
- Scrub worms
- live minnow
Targeting Redfin at Lake Eppalock
We recommend targeting redfin with a light spin outfit. This will make the experience more enjoyable and improve your catch rates. A 1-3 or 2-4 kilo fishing rod coupled with a 2000, 2500 or 3000 reel spooled with 4-8-pound braid and equivalent fluorocarbon leader should be perfect. Redfin respond really well to lures and soft plastics so do check our guide on the best lures for catching Redfin When using soft plastics, we highly recommend curl tails, minnow imitations, and paddle tails in both natural and bright colours. Rigged with a jig head that’s 1/8 through to 1/20 in weight. The most effective way to use these is to cast towards visible structure and slow roll the soft plastic with lifts and pauses for the retrieve.
Shallow diving hard body lures, blades and vibes are also very effective in this system. So are traditional spinners and Tassie devils in bright colours. Metal spoons also play a role allowing you to cast great distances and targeting the bigger size reddies. Just remember they are quite heavy and very prone to snags in small inland systems like this one.
Targeting Yellowbelly at Lake Eppalock
Yellow belly AKA Golden Perch is a beautiful freshwater fish found in this system. With a rich food source available the yellowbelly here grow too thick and plump sizes. Good lure choices include curl tail soft plastics with the zman 2.5-inch grubz and Gulp 3-inch grub minnow both in black are standout choices. Soft vibes such as the Zerek fish trap, Jackall transams and Samaki vibelicious are great options. lip-less crank-baits such as Jackall TN50 and TN60 continue to be very popular so do blades such as the eco gear ZX40 with stinger hooks. Other favourites are the reliable stump jumpers, spinnerbaits, bassman spinners, large grub style soft plastics in dark colours.
Soft plastics are worked best on a 1/8 or 1/4 jig head slow-rolled along with any structure. This works particularly well when tying your boat or kayak up against trees and working the soft plastic slowly up against the tree and adding some noise to the action by tapping the butt of your rod or by hitting the jig head into the timber. This brings out the predatory nature of the yellowbelly. Take advantage of down scan and side scan technologies on your sounder and spend some time moving between the structure to find the fish. Other lures to can be worked amongst the timber but in general work really well in open water being slow-rolled or trolled. When it comes to rod selection we generally use a light spin rod around 7 foot in length in 1-4, 2-4 or 3-5 kilo class paired with a 1000, 2000 or 2500 size reel. Spooled with 8-12 pound braid and an equivalent fluorocarbon leader.
Baitcaster rods and reels are a very popular choice when targeting yellowbelly. Good options include a 3-5 or 4-6 bait caster with a 2000 bait caster reel. When bait fishing a 7 foot light rod paired with a 3000 size reel. Good bait rigs would include a paternoster rig with a small sinker at the bottom or a running sinker rig with scrub worms or yabbies.
Targeting Trout at Lake Eppalock
We would highly recommend that you read our detailed guide on how to catch trout which details our favourite lures, baits and techniques. You can follow when trout will be stocked using the Victorian trout stocking programs as part of the target 1 million by 2020 and 10 million by 2022 initiatives.
When using lures, we would recommend shallow diving hard body minnows, metal spoons, spinners, and Tassie devils. Soft plastics are also very effective on trout. If your bait fishing, then Mudeye, scrub worms, power bait, yabbies and minnows suspended on a float or a running sinker rig is a great choice when targeting trout here. Fly fishing is a popular fishing method at this location. Trout are more active in cold conditions with most catches on the first and last light of the day. We recommend targeting trout we recommend a 1-3 or 2-4 kilo fishing rod coupled with a 2000, 2500 or 3000 reel spooled with 4-8-pound braid and equivalent fluorocarbon leader should be perfect. If there are trophy size trout around then you could go heavier moving up the scale to a 3-5 kilo class spin rod spooled with fine 8-12-pound braid and equivalent fluorocarbon leader.
We conducted a test to see which would perform better for stocked trout powerbait or lures. Watch the video below to find out the results which were interesting.
Lake Eppalock Carp Fishing
There is a large volume of carp in Lake Colac and locals have created initiatives to remove as much carp as possible. Carp are however fun to catch and you can learn more about catching carp have a read our detailed guide to carp fishing around Victoria. When targeting carp standard baits such as corn, bread, and maggots work great for carp here. Using a simple running sinker rig with a pea-size sinker works great in this area. So, do suspend baits using a float. We have also fished well using unweighted baits. You can also target carp with hard body lures and soft plastics. This is a difficult technique that generally requires sight casting. This means spotting a nearby carp and casting right in there and working the lure of plastic slowly hoping they will strike. It’s tough but very rewarding when you catch a carp using this method. Most however will stick to targeting them with bait.
For rod selection, a 3-5 kilo rod coupled with a 4000 size reel is very suitable. You could even fish a little heavier with rods designed for snapper that are generally 4-7 kilo 7 foot in length. For fun, I have caught some monster size carp using 2-4 kilo rod and 6-pound braid. But I am prepared to lose some good fish in the process. We like to target carp on sundown particularly in the warmer months. This is often when you see carp swimming along the edges or jumping out of the water around September-November which is their spawning season. European carp must not be returned to the water. Always carry your Victorian fishing license.
A simple yet effective fishing rig here is to thread a small running sinker through the mainline shown in blue, which is usually around 8 pounds. Then tie a medium swivel to the end allowing the sinker to run up the mainline freely. Then tie on the other end of the swivel 50cm of 8-pound fluorocarbon leader (the leader is shown in grey ). Finished with a hook. I generally use a size 6 bait keeper hook or size 10 long shank which is perfect for corn kernels or scrub worms, however, you can also use small treble style hooks which is a better setup if you use bread.
If you getting snagged up then you can also use a float rig. Attach a quill or bubble float to your mainline. Thread the line through and adjust the length using a size 6 bait keeper hook or size 10 long shank to keep your bait suspended at a good depth. Ideally cast down breeze which will stop the float from coming back to you. If you’re not getting bites then adjust the line depth and If necessary add a splint shot to add weight.
Always carry your Victorian fishing license, FishingMad encourages ‘catch & release’ of all native species to help maintain the water quality within the lake however European Carp must not be returned.
Images of fish supplied VFA and DEPI. All images and videos shown on the Lake Eppalock Fishing Guide are Fishing Mad originals.
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