Rescued by Winter Redfin
  |  First Published: August 2006

The cold weather has continued throughout Central Victoria with minimal rain. We desperately need some significant downpours over the next couple of months if the upcoming season is going to be anything worth talking about, particularly if we want a productive spring in our impoundments.

Lake Eppalock

The lake is still very low. The amount of regrowth (grass and vegetation) is mediocre along the low-lying edges around the water level, but is more significant at the 20% capacity water line. If we see the water level reach 20% then we will see the fishing improve dramatically.

At present the number of anglers fishing the lake is low and so are their catch rates. Small redfin are making up the majority of captures. Anglers are targeting reddies by baitfishing off the bank with worms and small yabbies. Lure fishing in the lake has been slow with only very isolated captures of golden perch and redfin. Anglers fishing the lake with lures are having most success trolling in depths of 5m.

Campaspe River

The Campaspe River has continued to be a worthwhile destination over winter. Water clarity remains very good. It can be rewarding fishing in clear water because it’s not uncommon to see fish strike the lure.

Redfin continue to be the most prolific species caught in the Campaspe. The majority of these have been caught off the bank by those willing to walk long distances to fish the deeper holes along the river. With water flows minimal, the height of the river is low, which helps to congregate fish into the deepest areas.

Redfin have been caught on a wide variety of lures. Small hard-bodies such as StumpJumpers, Codgers and Custom Crafted Baby Extractors have been productive. Redfin have also been caught on soft plastics, especially along weed beds and cumbungi lined banks.

There have only been low numbers of cod and goldens caught recently. The majority have been taken on spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits. A good result at this time of the year is landing just one of either species, although tend to be a good size.

Cairn Curran

The lake level remains very low. Boat launching is still possible; the best location is in front of the yachting clubhouse. Trout captures have been scarce – most have come from those trolling the lakes edges with Lofty Cobras and Tassie Devils.

Anglers targeting the Cairn Curran redfin have also had a patchy run. For the majority, the redfin fishing has been a disappointment over winter. Cairn Curran has developed a growing reputation for producing quality redfin over the winter months, but at this stage, it’s failed to live up to that reputation.

There have been a few lucky anglers who have managed to track down a decent school and ended up with some nice specimens to 1kg. The best results have come from the top of the lake in the timbered sections, jigging lipless crankbaits and soft plastics around the bases of trees. The secret to this technique is in how hard you’re prepared to work. If you move frequently it will only be a matter of time before a willing school of redfin will turn up.

There have been no reports of golden perch or Murray cod caught in the lake. We probably won’t see them caught on a regular basis until the end of August or early September.

Loddon River

Water clarity remains very good in the Loddon. The water temperature is very low and there have been few Murray cod and golden perch caught. While water flows remain minimal it is a great time to walk the bank and fish sections of the river that are typically much dirtier during the irrigation season. The section of the Loddon directly below Laanecoorie Reservoir is good for this approach.

At Bridgewater there have been small numbers of redfin caught on both bait and lures. If you manage to land one then stay the area and keep fishing. Redfin often school up and where there’s one there will normally be a few.

If you want to target the natives, then troll the ski zone or fishing deep with sinking lures such as spinnerbaits or lipless crankbaits.

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