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Autumn conditions bring out the best in native fishing
  |  First Published: April 2016



With the heat of summer behind us we are now moving into my favourite time of the year to go fishing. During autumn, a few key factors change that can bring about an improvement in fishing conditions and an associated improvement in catch rates. The first and most important change is in the weather. During the autumn months we often see large slow moving high-pressure systems. These bring with it days of reduced wind conditions and improved barometer conditions. Water temperatures start to cool and fish will start to feed more aggressively. We also typically see very good water clarity in most of our local waterways. All these factors should encourage anglers to get out and enjoy the sport of fishing.

LAKE EPPALOCK

The fishing in Lake Eppalock remains good but challenging. Results have been poor for those anglers who target redfin. However, if you are prepared to put the time in and hunt around to locate some quality redfin the rewards can be excellent. Redfin measuring up to 45cm have been caught. Typically, these quality fish are not caught in large numbers but if you persist 10-20 quality redfin can be caught in a day.

The larger redfin continue to be caught in deep water. Depth ranges greater than 8m have been the most productive. My preferred method to try to locate a concentration of redfin is to troll deep diving hardbody lures. My favourite lure for this is the Custom Crafted Basshunter. They are a small profile and troll deep – an excellent lure to catch redfin while trolling.

If a good concentration of redfin is located, I will often change tactics and start casting soft plastics. I currently fish my plastics on heavy jigheads of 14g because of the depths the redfin hold. Natural coloured plastics have been the best option on most days.

The productivity in the golden perch fishing continues to be good. The most productive areas have been along rocky shorelines and around standing timber. Casting lipless crankbaits and trolling medium-sized hardbody lures has also worked. The average-sized golden perch caught has measured between 45-55cm.

The numbers of Murray cod caught has been low. The occasional quality cod measuring up to 80cm has been landed. Trolling medium to large profile hardbody lures has been the most productive technique. Anglers who troll spinnerbaits have also caught small numbers of Murray cod.

CAMPASPE RIVER

The fishing in the Campaspe River has been good. While the current conditions remain, the productivity should continue for the next 6-8 weeks. After that, the water temperature will start to become a bit too cold and we will see a reduction in fish activity. At the present golden perch continue to make up the majority of captures. Anglers who cast lipless crankbaits and spinnerbaits have found good results. The most productive spinnerbaits have been natural colours with dark blades. In the lipless crankbaits, dark and transparent colours have worked well. Catch rates of Murray cod have been low in the boatable sections of the river. Anglers walking the banks or fishing out of kayaks in the shallower sections of the river have experienced the highest catch rates of Murray cod.

CAIRN CURRAN

The fishing in Cairn Curran has been disappointing lately. The number of native fish being caught has reduced over recent weeks. If you are chasing Murray cod or golden perch, the most productive areas continue to be rocky shorelines and around timbered sections. Casting spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits have been the best options on the natives lately. The numbers of redfin caught at this location has been low. The best concentrations of redfin have been found in deep water. Baitfishing around the edges of standing timbers has worked, but vertically jigging ice jigs and soft plastics has also been a good option.

LODDON RIVER

The fishing in the Loddon River has been going okay but is definitely feeling the effect of a lot of fishing pressure. Water clarity remains good along the majority of the Loddon River. In the boatable sections of the Loddon River at Bridgewater and Serpentine, golden perch are making up the majority of captures. The golden perch have been caught on spinnerbaits, hardbody lures and lipless crankbaits.

For those anglers fishing spinnerbaits, dark coloured blades have worked best. Trolling and casting medium -sized hardbody lures in both dark and bright colours has worked. The number of Murray cod, caught in these sections continues to be low. There was a recent report of a couple of large Murray cod which were caught in the Ski Zone at Bridgewater, but as a general rule the Murray cod fishing continues to be disappointing in these sections. I believe these sections of river need an increase in Murray cod stocking to cater for the amount of fishing pressure the area receives.

The ultimate Murray cod fishing continues to be in the shallower section of the river where there is less fishing pressure.

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