Catchments get saturated
  |  First Published: August 2014

We are currently experiencing a winter of old. Over the last few weeks the days have been cold and wet. The nights have been even colder. Although we have not been receiving huge amounts of rainfall, the rainfall has been consistent. Given these conditions our catchments are now saturated and any significant rainfall from now on is going to produce some good inflows into our waterways.

At this stage the water levels in Lake Eppalock have remained steady. We should start to see some rises in water level in the next few weeks if the current weather conditions continue. In the southern catchments at Upper Coliban and Lauriston reservoirs we have started to see small inflows and steady increases in water levels. When these southern catchments reach high water levels and greater volumes are released, Lake Eppalock in turn receives its highest inflows and then water levels can increases rapidly. Typically this does not occur until the spring months. Water clarity remains good at Lake Eppalock. The fishing has been slow at this location. Redfin are currently making up the majority of anglers captures. Trolling deep diving hardbody lures in depths greater than 10m has been producing small numbers of quality redfin. Redfin over 40cm have been landed by this method. Locating a good school of redfin continues to be a challenge. If you are lucky enough or skilful enough to locate a quality school, jigging ice jigs and soft plastics has also been a productive method. There continues to be low numbers of golden perch being caught. The majority of these are being caught trolling deep diving hardbody lures.

The fishing has been patchy in the Campaspe River. Water clarity has been varying a lot depending on rainfall and the amount of water which is being released from Lake Eppalock. Water clarity has been the best in the Campaspe directly below Lake Eppalock. In this section, between the dam wall and Axedale, there have been small numbers of redfin and the occasional golden perch being caught. Average numbers of golden perch have been caught in the Campaspe River in the Elmore area. Casting lipless crankbaits late in the afternoons has been the most productive method to use. Further downstream at Rochester water clarity has been poor and the fishing has been slow.

Water levels remain steady in Cairn Curran. We should hopefully start to see an increase in water levels in the next few weeks if the current weather conditions continue. In early July small numbers of trout were being caught at this location. Anglers bait fishing from the banks with maggots, worms and corn were producing the best results on the trout. Trolling winged lures or small hardbody lures has also produced the occasional trout. The redfin fishing has been steady. The best concentrations of redfin can be found in the deep water. Jigging ice jigs and soft plastics has been productive. Trolling deep diving hardbody lures has been producing a few fish. However down rigging has been the most productive method because of the depths that the redfin are currently holding in. I am currently finding the best concentrations of redfin in the depth range from 12-15m of water. The majority of redfin that have been landed are small in size. The occasional quality redfin over 40cm has been landed.

Water clarity is currently good at most locations along the Loddon River. There are currently small numbers of redfin and golden perch being caught below Cairn Curran. Further down stream the fishing has been productive below Laanecoorie. Some quality golden perch and the occasional Murray cod have been landed in this area. The productivity in this section will only stay good while the water clarity remains good. If we receive some more significant rainfall the increased flows will see the water clarity deteriorate. Further downstream at Bridgewater golden perch are making up the majority of anglers captures. Catch rates are low but the average size of the fish being landed has been good. Water clarity is currently good in the section below Bridgewater to the Serpentine Weir. The fishing in this section has been similar to the other sections, catch rates are low and golden perch are making up the majority of anglers captures. Even though the fishing is tough the rewards are there for those anglers who are prepared to put the time in. There is a very good chance that the productivity of the fishing may only get tougher if we receive significant rainfall and the water clarity deteriorates.

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