Time to Change Tactics
  |  First Published: July 2006

As anglers we need to adjust our tactics to suit the season. Unfortunately, many fishers don’t do this and their catch rates suffer for it. There is no use fishing where the fish aren’t!

A good example of this can be seen in our impoundments. Anglers who enjoyed success trolling the shallows for golden perch and redfin in the warmer months are continuing this approach at this time of year. But those fish have moved into deeper water – a change is required if you want to stay in the game and maintain reasonable catch rates.

Lake Eppalock

The fishing continues to be disappointing for the majority of anglers fishing the lake although at present, there aren’t many fishing this water.

The occasional golden perch has been caught by those trolling the edges in the old river course. Others have been taken by trolling heavy spinnerbaits and deep diving lures in 5m.

Redfin have been scarce with only small specimens landed by bait anglers using worms and little yabbies around the timber.

Campaspe River

The fishing for Murray cod and golden perch has slowed dramatically. At present it is rare to get a report of anyone landing either of these species.

Water levels are very low and much of the river has been reduced to holes. Concentrating your fishing efforts in these deeper holes is the preferred tactic in July.

If you want to chase a feed of quality redfin, then this is a great time of the year to do so in the Campaspe. Local Bendigo angler Phil Keetalaar has changed his tactics and is now chasing redfin instead of natives.

He has already managed some quality reddies to 1.3kg. Phil’s preferred method is to cast small hard-bodied lures such as no.3 StumpJumpers.

Phil also has had good success fishing lightly weighted soft plastics along the edges of cumbungi banks, which line the edges of some of the deeper holes.

Another good approach is to cast and retrieve Ondex, Celtas and Hogback lures.

Cairn Curran

The lake’s water level remains very low and we’re yet to see any rise, which is often when the fishing starts to improve.

Water clarity is only average at the moment, however anglers are still catching some brown trout on lures. The majority of these have been caught by traditional methods – trolling the lake’s edges with Lofty’s Cobras and Tassie Devils. When water clarity is average it pays to carry a good selection of lure colours – some that contrast are a good start.

Leigh Enever from Bendigo has had mixed fortunes while targeting the Cairn Curran’s redfin population lately. Numbers have remained average but in recent times he’s seen an improvement in the quality. He has had most success fishing depths of around 5m, baitfishing with yabbies and worms. Other anglers have achieved some good results on the reddies jigging soft plastics and ice jigs.

Loddon River

The Loddon continues to fish slowly for the majority of anglers although there have been isolated captures of both Murray cod and golden perch by those prepared to put the time in.

I recently ducked out to the Loddon for a quick fix over a couple of hours one afternoon. I fished the ski zone and trolled heavy 1.5oz spinnerbaits, which tend to reach depths of 5m. I managed to land one golden on a red/black spinnerbait and had one other good strike that failed to stick. It wasn’t a lot of action but changing my tactics to trolling down deep with spinnerbaits produced the goods.

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