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Catch rates low
  |  First Published: August 2007



The fishing during the winter months is tough going for the majority of anglers in central Victoria. We have received some good rainfall but at this stage there has been minimal run-off into our storages. The fishing in our impoundments will continue to be slow until water levels in Cairn Curran and Lake Eppalock reservoirs start to rise again.

Lake Eppalock

The fishing in the lake remains very slow. On a positive note the recent rainfall will be good for the vegetation regrowth around the lake’s edges. The lake’s level will have to rise to around 10% before the water level will reach significant vegetation. The lake is currently holding 0.8% capacity. Reasonable rainfall so far this season means the ground is holding a good amount of moisture, so any significant rainfall from now on should produce good run-off. Traditionally Lake Eppalock does not receive significant inflows until spring.

Campaspe River

The fishing in the Campaspe River has been spasmodic in recent times. There have still been isolated captures of golden perch and Murray cod. The highest catch rates occur after the river system has received a flush of fresh water. The first couple of days directly after good rainfall have produced a small number of quality native fish. Casting spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits into the deeper sections of the river has been the most productive technique.

Currently the majority of captures in the Campaspe are redfin. The most productive method is to cast bladed lures such as Celtas and Hogbacks. Soft plastics and small hard-bodied lures are also productive options.

Redfin are less affected by low water temperatures than native species. At the moment they are more active and are well advanced in their development of spawn. They are schooling species so if you manage to land one, make sure you continue to work that area as this will often result in higher catch rates.

Any of the deep sections of the river have been producing redfin. I suggest you try directly below the wall at Lake Eppalock and the deep holes in the Axedale and Barnadown areas. The fishing at Elmore has been most productive along the edges of the weed beds towards the weir.

Cairn Curran

Cairn Curran has finally seen a small rise in water level and is currently holding at 2.5% of capacity. Boat launching is still difficult, however we are only one good rainfall away from that changing. The lake’s level will only have to rise another 1% and we will again be able to launch boats on the lake.

Reports from anglers fishing the lake have been few and far between. Limited success has been had by those chasing brown trout in the top section of the lake. With the recent inflows the brown trout will be concentrated here. Once anglers are again able to launch boats and target the deep section of the lake, reports of redfin captures should increase.

Loddon River

The fishing in the Loddon River continues to be productive for those anglers who are prepared to put in long hours. Water clarity is perfect at the present time, being clear but not too clear. Small numbers of Murray cod are being caught, and spinnerbaits are the most productive option. The majority of cod are being caught off the timber in the river. Slow retrieves are crucial at this time of the year.

Reasonable numbers of redfin are currently being caught by anglers targeting the edges of the weed beds. Trolling small hard-bodied lures along the edges, or casting soft plastics and lipless crankbaits, has also been producing good results. The average redfin caught is 25–40cm.

Targeting the weed beds has also produced a small number of golden perch. My last two trips fishing the Loddon River resulted in two golden perch measuring between 38cm and 47cm. We also managed to land four redfin up to 37cm. The most productive areas at this time of year continue to be the deepest sections of river.

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