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Promising season ahead
  |  First Published: November 2013



We should have very productive fishing this month. Water levels have been rising in our local impoundments, inflows have been steady and water clarity at most locations is reasonable. Water temperatures are increasing, and fish activity has increased accordingly.

LAKE EPPALOCK

Redfin have still been making up the majority of anglers’ catches. At the moment the numbers are still only average, but this should improve significantly in the near future. Lately the majority of redfin have come from deep water, with depths greater than 10m holding the greatest concentrations of fish. The majority of these redfin have been caught by trolling deep diving hardbodied lures or casting soft plastics.

There is a good chance we’ll see good inflows continue to flow into Lake Eppalock. As I write this report, the three major impoundments above Lake Eppalock are at maximum capacity. Any significant rainfall that we receive in the region will produce good inflows into Lake Eppalock in both the Coliban and Campaspe River systems.

If we receive these good inflows, the water clarity will deteriorate and water temperatures will increase as the rising water levels come over the fresh ground. All of these factors will help increase fish activity, resulting in greater concentrations of fish being caught in shallower water.

There has been a steady improvement in the native fishing in Lake Eppalock. Small numbers of Murray cod are currently being caught as a bycatch at this location, with most measuring between 50cm and 60cm. The majority of these have been caught by anglers trolling small hardbody lures targeting redfin.

These Murray cod catches have been encouraging, given the stocking rates of the last few seasons. Lake Eppalock received a good stocking of Murray cod when the lake first filled, and the majority of the Murray cod caught are from this stocking. Now that we have evidence that the Murray cod are thriving in this impoundment, providing returns for anglers, we will hopefully see an increase in the stocking rate in the 2014 season.

Catches of golden perch have also increased lately. November can often be very productive when targeting golden perch in Lake Eppalock. Casting lipless crankbaits and suspending hardbody lures are good options, and trolling small and medium sized hardbodied lures around the edges of the lake is also productive.

CAMPASPE RIVER

Water clarity has been poor at most locations along the Campaspe River, and the fishing has been slow. It is very difficult to predict what is going to happen with the fishing in the Campaspe River in the near future. If we do receive some heavy rainfall, it’s likely that the lake will reach maximum capacity. If this occurs and the spillway flows, the fishing will be very productive approximately one week after the spillway starts to overflow.

How productive the fishing will be will depend on the volume of water flowing over the spillway and the period of time it runs. If this does occur there will be some productive fishing in the section below the spillway. If we don’t receive the rainfall, water clarity will improve earlier in the lower sections at locations like Elmore and Rochester.

CAIRN CURRAN

Redfin are the most common catch at this location. The majority of the redfin have been caught by anglers trolling deep diving hardbodied lures, and some are also being caught by anglers casting soft plastics and jigging ice jigs.

Water levels have been increasing at a steady rate, which will have a positive effect on productivity. As the water warms, the fish will move into the shallower water to make the most of the increased food sources.

As I write this report, I haven’t yet received any reports of golden perch being caught here. However, the month of November can often be very productive when targeting this species. This location usually does not produce large numbers of golden perch but if you do mange to catch a few the average size is usually very good.

LODDON RIVER

The fishing in the Loddon River has been slow in recent weeks. Increased volumes of water have been released from Laanecoorie reservoir, but the water clarity that comes out of Laanecoorie tends to be poor. This has had a negative effect on water clarity downstream. Lately the most productive lure fishing has been in the section below Cairn Curran where the water clarity is still good.

For the other locations along the Loddon River, bait fishing has been producing the best results. Anglers have been catching reasonable numbers of golden perch on worms and small yabbies. Quality golden perch measuring up to 60cm have been landed by some anglers. There is still a very good chance that we might see Cairn Curran reach maximum capacity this season. If this does occur, higher river flows will be the result and water clarity will stay poor for longer.

Overall we are looking at a very promising season ahead. With the volume of rainfall that we have received over the winter and spring months, we can look forward to many good options of where to catch a few fish.

Just a reminder that the opening of the Murray cod season is just around the corner. If you’d like to give me a report on your latest trip, or would like to book a tour with me on Cod Hunter Fishing Tours, you can reach me on 0427 483 286 or at --e-mail address hidden-- .

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