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Finally feeling the season change
  |  First Published: July 2017



The waterways around the Bendigo region have experienced a significant change in conditions over the last couple of months. Bendigo received record rainfall for April. This resulted in some significant inflows into local river systems and the water clarity deteriorated in these systems.

Rainfall during May was below average and therefore the water clarity has again improved in the local river systems. If the trend of below average rainfall continues, water clarity will continue to improve. Most of the catchments in the region are wet, so it will only take a couple more significant rainfall events and the river systems will be running dirty again.

LAKE EPPALOCK

The productivity in the fishing continues to be good. Water levels are currently stable and the lake has been holding around 90% of capacity recently. Water clarity is still very good around the lake and in previous years the productivity of the redfin fishing would have slowed up by now. The good news is that this is not the case at this stage and the productivity of the redfin fishing remains very good.

How long this will last is hard to predict, but while the going is good anglers should make the most of the opportunities. The best concentrations of redfin are currently holding in the depth range between 5-7m of water. As always, this season anglers must be prepared to move around a lot in order to find a good concentration of fish. The trend this season has been find the bait and find the fish.

Deep diving hardbody lures are terrific for catching redfin while deep water trolling. If a good concentration is located, then casting soft plastics has been working well. My preferred jighead weight lately has been 10g. I also prefer to use coloured jigheads.

As with any lure, different jighead colours will be preferred by the fish on different days. There are a huge range of soft plastics which are effective on the redfin. Recently the more natural colours have been working best. The numbers of golden perch and Murray cod being caught at this location continue to be very low and we will not see any significant improvement in the catch rates of native species until spring.

CAMPASPE RIVER

The productivity of the fishing in the Campaspe River has been low. The most productive fishing has been in the section from Barnadown upstream to the bottom of the spillway at Lake Eppalock. In this section the water, clarity has been the best. Small numbers of golden perch and Murray cod have been caught. The occasional Murray cod is still being caught by anglers fishing with surface lures. Anglers casting spinnerbaits and medium-sized hardbody lures are also producing results. At this stage the numbers of redfin being caught in the Campaspe River have been low.

If the water clarity remains good then targeting the resident redfin population during winter can produce some quality fish. Anglers should continue to look at the water levels in Lake Eppalock. With Lake Eppalock water levels recently holding at 90% there is a very good chance we will see the spillway start running over in the next few months. If this does occur, there will be some very good fishing below the spillway while the water continues to spill.

CAIRN CURRAN

Water clarity continues to be average. Despite the poor water clarity the productivity in the redfin fishing has been good. The redfin are starting to move a little deeper. The best concentrations are currently being located in the depth range of around 3m. Trolling small hardbody lures has been working well. If a good concentration is located, casting soft plastics and blades has been a good option.

At this stage I still have not received any significant report of trout being caught. It’s not that they aren’t moving, it’s just that only a few anglers are out targeting them. If you have been having some success targeting the trout and would like to share your report, I can be contacted at --e-mail address hidden--

LODDON RIVER

Water clarity was poor in the Loddon River last month. The good news is that the water clarity is now starting to slowly improve. With the improved water clarity we have seen an improvement in anglers’ catch rates. There have still been reasonable numbers of both golden perch and Murray cod being caught in this system.

The most productive lures on the golden perch have been lipless crankbaits and hardbody lures. Dark colours such as black and purple have been working well and white coloured lures have also been good. The most productive lures for the Murray cod have been spinnerbaits with dark coloured blades such as black and purple. Quality Murray cod measuring up to 80cm are still being caught on surface lures.

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