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A golden time of year
  |  First Published: November 2015



This time of the year can often be one of the most productive periods for catching fish. Water temperatures have continued to increase, rises in water levels in our impoundments combined with better water flows in our river systems are all factors that contribute to an increase in fish feeding activity. I encourage anglers to make the most of the improved weather conditions and go to your favourite destination to catch a fish.

LAKE EPPALOCK

During the spring months it can be very difficult to predict what the weather is going to be and in turn how it is going to affect the fishing. The amount of rainfall that the catchment above Lake Eppalock receives is critical in determining how productive the fishing will be and also determining where the best concentrations of fish will be found.

If the rainfall is below average for spring, inflows will be minimal and rises in water levels will also be minimal. This will have a negative effect on the productivity in the fishing. Water clarity will remain good. If this scenario occurs greater concentrations of fish will be found in deeper water. Fish will be found holding closer to structure such as standing and lay-me-down timber.

If we do receive above average rainfall and inflows are good and water levels increase, this will have a positive effect on the productivity in the fishing. The fish will become less structure orientated and more fish will forage along the edges of the banks. The water clarity will also reduce and water temperatures will increase as the water is rising over the fresh ground. These are all factors that will improve the productivity in the fishing.

Anglers will see an increase in the numbers of golden perch being caught. Good stockings over the last few seasons will start to be caught by anglers on a more regular basis. Unfortunately, the productivity in the redfin fishing is more than likely to only be average again this season.

CAMPASPE RIVER

Cold water releases from Lake Eppalock have been having a negative effect on the productivity in the fishing. During these releases, reasonable captures of golden perch are being caught in the weir areas. During these periods of higher flows golden perch can concentrate in this locations. The productivity in fishing the rest of the river systems is often low.

If releases have been reduced for a few days and water temperatures increase, we will see an improvement in anglers’ catch rates. Golden perch are making up the majority of captures, but small numbers of quality redfin have still been caught.

CAIRN CURRAN

The productivity in the fishing has continued to be disappointing. I believe we should see a significant improvement in the fishing this month. A couple of good rainfall events and we will see water levels rising over the fresh ground, this will help stimulate fish feeding activity.

This reservoir is fairly small and if the Loddon River catchment does receive some good rain inflows, the fishing can be good.

Cairn Curran has also received some reasonable stocking over the last few years. We should start to see more golden perch being caught by anglers. Casting around the edges of the rocky shorelines can be productive. Casting the standing timbers as well as the lay-me-down timbers is also a good option. If you’re targeting the redfin then trolling hardbodied lures or vertically jigging ice jigs and soft plastics has been working.

LODDON RIVER

At this stage it has been a slow start to the fishing in the Loddon River during spring. The main reason for this has been the weather, cooler than average temperatures have only seen water temperatures increasing at a slow rate. This could change quickly a couple of weeks of hot weather and then there can a significant improvement in the fishing.

I predict that this will occur this month as long as water clarity remains good. The Loddon River continues to be a very popular destination amongst anglers. Hopefully with the stocking of golden perch in both Lake Eppalock and Cairn Curran we will see a reduction in the angling pressure. As always with the Loddon River, those anglers who are prepared to put in the hard yards and fish the more remote areas along the Loddon River will be rewarded.

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