Target the Schooling Redfin
  |  First Published: July 2005

The winter chill is upon us and it is often the most dedicated anglers who will continue to fish through the winter months.

At Lake Eppalock the fishing remains quiet; reports have been scarce with only limited numbers of anglers trying their luck at this destination. Water levels remain desperately low and we are in need of some substantial rain. Those anglers who are having limited success are bait fishing. Some of the best locations to try are land-based areas where the river course runs close to the bank. The lower areas of the Campaspe Reach at Picnic Island and Patrol Point are good destinations. Other locations that are productive are Point Pinong at Black Duck Cove, and Sunset Landing in the swimming area. The best baits are small yabbies and good quality worms. For those anglers wanting to target Eppalock’s redfin population the best place to launch a boat is the northern point of Meridan Island. Four-wheel drives are recommended. The redfin will often school up during the winter months and be in the deepest part of the lake. Once a good school is located they will be readily caught on bait, or jigging soft plastics or ice jigs.

The fishing in the Campaspe has slowed considerably for the natives. The best locations to target these are in the deepest areas. Some recent reports have anglers landing some quality redfin up to 1.5kg below the spillway at Eppalock. Other reports have anglers landing some redfin at Russell’s Bridge and Englishes Bridge. Small numbers of redfin are still being caught at Elmore. The natives have gone very quiet with the plummeting water temperatures, however those anglers who are willing to persist and slow their presentations down are still being rewarded with the occasional capture. Golden perch are mainly being caught off the deeper edges and along the weed beds. Water clarity remains good and anglers are having good success on spinners and metallic coloured lures. The section of the Campaspe between Rochester and Echuca can be productive, mainly for the redfin over the winter months. If you are going to fish this area, then be prepared to walk long distances until the deep holes are located. Targeting the redfin with spinners such as Hogbacks and Ondex can be productive.

Cairn Curran is fishing slowly, however the fishing should improve shortly. The mild weather over autumn has seen water temperatures a lot higher than normal for this time of the year. This has produced a slow start to the winter fishing in the lake. Water clarity is only average at the present time. The redfin should be schooling up and moving into the deepest parts of the lake shortly. Anglers will be targeting the redfin with downriggers and paravanes in an attempt to land some quality specimens. Trout captures have also been minimal at this stage. Anglers chasing the trout usually have good success early in the season in the upper reaches of the lake. The section between Trelors Bay and Picnic Point are good areas to catch a quality brown trout before they run up the river to spawn.

On the Loddon River at Newbridge and Bridgewater the fishing has been average. The Loddon’s redfin are making up the majority of captures. Anglers have been having some success fishing worms and gudgeon along the cumbungi and prevalent weed beds. There are currently only a few isolated captures of golden perch and Murray cod. The majority of these are being caught in the deepest sections of the river. Fishing the edges of the ski zone can be a good approach at this time of the year. Using deep diving hard bodies and heavier spinnerbaits to obtain deep presentations can be a good tactic. Often, during winter, native fish will be located a lot deeper than what is typical over the warmest months.

Currently, there is minimal water flow coming down the Loddon River. Fish populations have been concentrated into the deeper holes in the shallow sections of the river. This can produce a certain degree of aggression amongst native fish. When anglers are prepared to put the time in, native fish can still be caught by provoking a territorial strike out of the fish. Anglers using lures that are brightly coloured or have large rattles are most likely to succeed, particularly when a large number of casts are employed.

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