Lake Eppalock is now at very low levels (5% at the beginning of May). The irrigation season has finished and some much needed rain should reverse the falling trend and get our impoundments on the rise again.
The fishing has remained poor for the majority of anglers at Eppalock. At this stage there has only been limited numbers of golden perch being caught. The majority of these have been caught along the edges of the river course in approximately 20ft of water. The redfin fishing has also been poor with the majority of redfin caught in lean condition. The Murray cod have also been very quiet and probably won’t be back in any numbers until spring arrives.
The Campaspe River below Eppalock is still fishing well. The most productive locations continue to be at Elmore and Rochester. Murray cod captures have slowed a little however golden perch and redfin are still being caught in good numbers. The water temperatures are quite good for this time of the year. Temperatures were 4 degrees hotter than normal in April. This is a real positive for any anglers targeting golden perch or Murray cod because the higher water temperatures help to maintain the metabolism of native fish, thus prolonging their ‘active’ behaviour. This should be reflected in catch rates. Anglers who like to fish off the bank can experience some great redfin fishing with either bait or lures. With the completion of the irrigation season, water levels drop dramatically in the river below Eppalock. The dropping water level leads to a concentration of fish in the deeper holes. This is a great time of the year to target Campaspe redfin. You may be rewarded with some trophy captures if you are prepared to put the effort in!
Cairn Curran is set to go! Water levels are currently a lot better than at this time last year. Currently the lake is holding around 15%. This is a positive and should enable anglers to have good boat launching access over the cooler months. By the end of May, we often see the lakes redfin population school up and move into the deepest areas of the lake. I enjoy spending time out at Cairn Curran over the coldest months of the year targeting redfin, either flatlining or using downriggers. If the water clarity remains good, then it should be productive at Cairn Curran over the next couple of months. At present, reports of trout captures have been few but it should not be too long before those positive reports come in. It is very important not to miss the boat if you want to target a large brown trout. Early in the season, before the fish spawn can often be the best time to land a quality trout.
The Loddon River at Bridgewater has fished poorly over autumn so far, primarily because of water clarity. The river has been too clear and is in need of a flush to put some colour back into it. Anglers who are having the best success are doing so in low light conditions, early in the morning or late afternoon. The fishing at Newbridge is still quite good with some nice captures of golden perch being landed up to 3kg. Further downstream at Serpentine the fishing has been average. Water clarity is good but this area can deteriorate quickly after rain.
It is also a very good time to fish the Fernihurst Weir. With the end of the irrigation we often see the water clarity improve. It is only skinny water but it can be productive boating upstream of the weir or by walking the banks downstream of the weir.
Brenton Hamilton caught this 53cm golden perch with the help of a soft plastic added to the spinnerbait.Reads: 1386