Baitfish boom a bust
  |  First Published: June 2014

In last month’s report I said I would try and find out why there was such an abundance of bait fish in the lake and, not being even close to knowing how aquatic systems work, it was very interesting to hear why it has happened.

It seems that what we have now with the baitfish being so plentiful started way back when the drought broke and an absolute truck load of chemicals, such as super phosphate and similar things that enrich soil, were washed into the system. In turn, when water temps heated up we saw the blue green algae blooms become overwhelming for a couple of seasons in certain areas of the lake. Even though this is generally considered a bad thing, the algae starts the cycle of providing food for the plankton in the system. Overtime, the plankton prosper and become the food source of the baitfish, such as gudgeon, galaxia and so on.

The time frame these things occur from is generally dependent on weather conditions and patterns. Eildon has unnatural depths at the southern end and has had all manner of crazy weather patterns over the past 3 years. It seems that over the last 6-8 months the conditions have been perfect to produce billions of these baitfish that have literally taken up acres of surface area in massive schools.

This makes perfect sense as to why the redfin seemed to have almost disappeared. They are there, they just don't need to search for food like they have in the past. Pretty much all species of fish in the lake can, and will, pick and choose what they eat, which makes it tough for us anglers right now. Nevertheless, just imagine how much condition the fish will put on during this food fest!

For those still keen to wet a line, I would be trying all your favourite methods for trout and cod to get them to strike out of aggression – don’t just present a lure that they may eat. I will be going as big as I can over the next few months to get under their skin and make ‘em mad. You may just get a trophy fish!

For those of you who fish more on the southern end of the lake you will have noticed how gin clear the water is I could see a spinnerbait on a log in 20ft of water, which is insanely clear for Eildon and is just another reason why fishing has been so tough.

I'm sure there are a few anglers who have caught some good fish lately and I'm glad to see a few pics, but numbers are way down.

I hope this gives you a bit of an insight or understanding as to what is going on in this massive lake.


Wazza Gale with a decent 1.5kg rainbow.


Jarryd Proudlock with his PB, a 66cm brown from Eildon.

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