Last chance for natives!
  |  First Published: May 2007

Right now is a great time of year to wet a line and target some quality native fish. Often in autumn we get terrific weather conditions, though the mornings are a little fresh. You certainly know you’re alive when you hit the water for an early start…but as water temperatures start to plummet the native fish realise it’s their last chance to put on condition before winter hits.

Lake Eppalock

The sad story of Lake Eppalock continues. The recent rainfall has had no effect on the lake level, which has now dropped to 1% of capacity. We can only hope for the recent rainfall to continue, then hopefully the water will again start to rise. Reports of anglers fishing this destination have been scarce. With water temperatures starting to drop the fishing will continue to be very tough for the next couple of months.

Campaspe River

The fishing in the Campaspe River is still productive. The majority of captures have been redfin and golden perch. The most productive method is trolling small hard-bodied lures along the weed beds. Those fishermen casting lures are also producing good results on lipless crankbaits.

The number of Murray cod caught has been low. The best results have come to experienced anglers like Phil Keetalaar and James Boyle. Both of these men have produced some very good results, mainly by walking the banks and fishing the holes along the smaller sections of the river. Typically small numbers of above-average Murray cod are caught at this time of the year.

So don’t miss the chance! Get out while the good conditions last. At this stage water temperatures are higher than normal however this can change very quickly.

Cairn Curran

It is very difficult to fish this lake at the present time. Boat launching is difficult due to the low water levels, and for this reason there have been few reports in recent weeks.

If the recent rainfall continues, we may see the trend of falling water levels reversed. When this occurs the lake will still receive only minimal fishing pressure. If we do receive rainfall and boat access is again achieved, autumn is often a very productive time for the quality redfin that this lake is renowned for.

At this stage fishing from the bank has been slow. For those anglers who are keen to chase trout, the chance of success should increase in the near future. The most productive areas to try are at the top of the lake, but access can be difficult.

Loddon River

The fishing for native species in the Loddon River is still good but will decline shortly. The majority of captures have consisted of redfin and a few large golden perch.

The number of Murray cod being caught has been low, but we are at that time of the year when the trolling in the Loddon River becomes more productive. Every season at this time of year there are one or two exceptional Murray cod caught in the pooled water above Bridgewater. At this stage good success continues to be had by anglers casting and retrieving spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits.

On a recent trip to the Loddon with Cod Hunter Fishing Tours, client Daniel Ryan managed to land three quality golden perch for the day (they ranged from 1-2.2kg). All of these fish were landed on Jackall lures in a colour called ‘ghost gill’. This is a transparent colour in a redfin pattern. These transparent colours are good options in clear water conditions.

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