Peterborough has beach and estuary fishing. The estuary system is Curdies River, a noted bream river with fish to 1.5 kg common. The best place to access the river is upstream at a place called Boggy Creek – a name well known locally, but not by cartographers. I have several different maps of Victoria and none of them shows this Boggy Creek. Mind you, when you see the bream firing in Curdies River, you can understand the general reluctance to tell the world about the place.
When you hear of someone heading down to Boggy Creek to fish the Curdies, they are actually going to Curdie Vale, a quiet out-of- the-way rural settlement about 10 km north of Peterborough. Boggy Creek is the name of the local pub. As well as a pub, the settlement has a boat ramp that would put many big city ramps to shame.
The Curdies is not a big river. It starts out as small, unmarked outflow on the southern shore of Lake Purrumbete, near Camperdown. It’s so small that unless you know what you are looking for, you will drive over it thinking it is just a drain. The river finishes at Peterborough as a lake- like shallow estuary that sometimes flows in to the sea.
There is a boat ramp above the main highway bridge at Peterborough. It is a basic concrete ramp with no facilities and is exposed to southerlies. The shallow water in the lower reaches makes boating on the estuary adventurous at best. Anyone contemplating doing so should seek local advice.
Most anglers fish in boats downstream from Boggy Creek. For much of its course, the river has more S-bends than a Grand Prix circuit, and is lined with cumbungi grass that makes bank fishing almost impossible. About halfway between the ramp and the estuary proper is a cleared area on the western shore locally called ‘The Lodge’. Access is restricted through private property off Boggy Creek Rd.
On a recent visit, most anglers were fishing about a kilometre or so upstream from the estuary. The boats were pulled into the cumbungi, parallel with the river. Wind isn’t a problem. Because of the cumbungi-lined banks and the constantly turning river, you can always find somewhere sheltered. Upstream of the Boggy Creek ramp, the river is more open but access is still through private land. As you head upstream, the river becomes shallower, snags are more common and, in places, the riverbank is overgrown with tea tree. The snags hold bream to more than 40 cm and about 5 km upstream is the Scout camp, an area known for its estuary perch.
The upstream waters have a small following of saltwater fly-fishers chasing bream and estuary perch. A few mulloway are caught in the river, up to 13.5 kg. Much depends on whether the river mouth is open to the sea.