Waiting on winter rains
  |  First Published: June 2016

The trend of below average rainfall has continued. The long-range forecasts are positive, and we are waiting for the rain to arrive. Presently the catchments are extremely dry and good volumes of rain are desperately needed to produce some inflows into our waterways. Blue green algae is still present in the local waterways. This should improve shortly with the cooling water temperatures and hopefully some good rainfall. Unfortunately, water quality is affecting the productivity in the fishing.

Lake Eppalock

Redfin have made up the majority of captures at Lake Eppalock. The numbers have been low, but the quality of the redfin caught has been good. Redfin measuring 45cm+ have been caught lately. The majority of these fish have been caught in deep water with depth ranges between 8-12m achieving the best results.

Trolling deep diving hardbody lures in redfin patterns has been effective. Your best chance is to cast and jig soft plastics in natural colours. Locating the redfin has been difficult, and anglers need to be prepared to move around a lot in order to find a good concentration of fish. The productivity in golden perch fishing has slowed in recent weeks. Cast lipless crankbaits and troll medium-sized hardbody lures to find some yellowbelly.

Anglers casting spinnerbaits have caught small numbers of Murray cod, but the most effective method has been trolling deep diving hardbody lures.

Campaspe River

The yield of the Campaspe River remains good. Water clarity is good at most locations along the river system. Water clarity can change and deteriorate quickly at this time of the season though, especially if we receive a couple of significant rainfall events. Redfin and golden perch have made up the majority of captures at the present time. The size of the redfin caught is not large, with the majority in the 30-38cm range. The most productive techniques for redfin have been casting lipless crankbaits in redfin patterns and bright colours.

Anglers trolling spinnerbaits with dark coloured blades, casting lipless crankbaits, and suspending hardbody lures have caught the majority of golden perch. There have also been occasional captures of Murray cod. Small numbers of cod are still caught on surface lures. Anglers casting spinnerbaits have been the most successful.

Cairn Curran

Unfortunately there aren’t many positives to report from Cairn Curran. Water levels continue to decline and the volume of blue green algae is high. The blue green algae should improve shortly with the cooling water temperatures. Some good rainfall is needed though, to improve water quality and get water levels rising again. Redfin are making up the majority of captures. The best results have been in the deep water, but locating a good concentration of redfin has been difficult.

Small numbers of golden perch and the occasional Murray cod have also been caught. The majority of these have been caught around the rocky shorelines and timbered areas. At this stage I have not received any report of trout caught. The trout fishing has been very disappointing over the last few seasons. Hopefully, if we get some good rainfall and the water levels increase we may see an increase in trout captures this season.

Loddon River

The fishing in the Loddon River had been good up to the last few weeks. Unfortunately a flush was released down the system and water clarity has deteriorated. The water clarity should improve again over the next few weeks. With the end of the irrigation season we will again see reduced flows down the system and water clarity will improve – unless we get some very significant rainfall. Prior to the reduction in water clarity golden perch made up the majority of captures.

Casting lipless crankbaits and suspending hardbody lures has worked best. Small numbers of Murray cod were caught in the shallower sections of the River on both spinnerbaits and surface lures. Unfortunately, until water clarity improves again, the fishing will be slow. The productivity in the shallow sections will continue to decline as water temperatures decrease.

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