With cold weather on its way, many anglers will now be changing their focus from natives to redfin.
The good news about Lake Eppalock is that water levels are higher than at this time last year. The lake’s level is at 5% of capacity, whereas at this time last year it was holding less than 1%. The bad news is the fishing continues to be poor. There have been small numbers of golden perch and the occasional Australian bass caught by anglers.
The best results have been produced by anglers fishing from boats. The productivity of land-based fishing is low. The poor fishing will continue until the lake starts to receive some decent inflows. We can only hope for some significant rainfall so the lake level can rise again.
The water clarity in the Campaspe River has improved in recent weeks and is very good at Rochester. The fishing at this location has been average, however, with small numbers of Murray cod and golden perch being landed.
The most productive method has been casting spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits. The productivity of fishing for native species will decline with the cold temperatures over the next few months. However, this location does hold a reasonable population of redfin.
Generally catch rates of redfin are low, but quality is usually good with fish up to 1.5kg landed. Trolling small hard-bodied lures and casting small spinners and lipless crankbaits are all good options.
The water clarity at Elmore is not as good as at Rochester, however it continues to improve. This location has received little fishing pressure in recent months. The fishing has been slow with the occasional golden perch and Murray cod landed. We should see this location also produce some quality redfin over the winter months.
The water level in Cairn Curran is at 5% of capacity. This is twice the water the lake was holding at this time last year. Successful reports from anglers fishing this location have been few and far between, and fishing has been disappointing for the majority.
The number of native fish caught over autumn has been very low. The number of redfin has also been low, with the average specimen being small. Hopefully with the higher water level in the lake this season, it might be a good winter for downrigging in the lake for quality redfin.
Downrigging in Cairn Curran over the winter months is a great tactic and can be very rewarding for those anglers willing to brave poor weather conditions. Trolling deep diving hard-bodied lures or targeting schooled up redfin with ice jigs can all be productive options.
With the cold conditions there will be increased numbers of fishers targeting the lake’s brown trout population. Trolling Tassie Devil style lures and small minnow style hard-bodied lures are great options.
The numbers of native fish being caught in the Loddon River has been average. For the majority of experienced anglers, landing a couple of fish is currently seen as a good day. On the positive side, the average size of the natives caught has been good.
Spinnerbaits have been effective on both golden perch and Murray cod. Casting along the edges of the weed beds has been the most productive tactic. It can also be a good time of the year to troll very heavy spinnerbaits (1.5oz to 2.5oz) in the deeper sections of the river. Trolling deep diving hard-bodied lures in these deep sections always produce a few quality fish at this time of the year.
Water clarity is very good throughout the Loddon system at present. The shallower sections of river at Newbridge and Serpentine have slowed dramatically as water temperatures continue to fall. In the deeper sections of the river, water temperatures fall more slowly and therefore the fishing for natives is often the more productive. The Loddon River is like many other locations in Central Victoria and holds a good population of redfin. Targeting the river’s redfin population over the winter months will often produce some terrific specimens.
Phil Keetalaar displays a redfin that was caught in the Loddon River. Winter is a good time for these tasty table fish.Reads: 1611