Bring on The Rain
  |  First Published: August 2005

In Central Victoria the number of anglers trying their luck has reduced with the cold weather. The change in season has produced some above average rainfall for the first time in a long while. If the much-needed rains continue, our impoundments will receive some good inflows and should be set to fire! The amount of terrestrial regrowth is very good and this all equates to food for the fish if lake levels rise.

The most dedicated anglers have been producing some reasonable results. Redfin have been the most prevalent catch over the last couple of weeks and this trend should continue right through until spring. The most productive location recently for redfin has been the Campaspe River between Lake Eppalock and the weir at Elmore. Water clarity is still quite good at the present time and anglers should make the most of the ideal conditions.

If the rains continue it may not be too long before the river dirties up and baitfishing becomes the only option. However, while water clarity remains good, anglers are having success walking the river and fishing deep holes. It pays to target three key forms of structure in these holes. The first of these are steep ledges, because redfin will often shelter here and ambush baits as they swim past. ‘Lay-down’ timber is also useful, while the most productive areas to target are banks that have cumbungi growing on them. Fish parallel with these banks as redfin take up residence in these clumps and can’t resist a small hard body or soft plastic as it swims past.

The native fishing has been slow recently in the Campaspe, however there are still isolated captures by anglers targeting redfin. Golden perch up to 5kg and Murray cod up to 3kg have been a pleasant surprise for those chasing a feed of redfin.

The fishing in Lake Eppalock remains very poor. Catch rates are very low with only the occasional golden perch and small redfin being caught. On a positive note though, the lake level is on the rise but it will have to reach 10% before it has any real impact. When the lake gets to this level it will start inundating regrowth that should help switch the fish on again.

Cairn Curran has had a belated start to the winter fishing season so far but I’m happy to report that the lake is starting to produce some good results. Mark and Jason Andriske fished the lake recently and landed three quality brown trout. The trout were all caught by flatlining gold Tassie Devils. The first caught weighed 2.2kg, the second 3kg and the third 1.5kg. They also had a couple of good strikes on the downrigger but failed to hook up.

The redfin fishing has finally started to improve in Cairn Curran. I’m predicting that in August we should see anglers catching some good numbers of quality redfin. The golden perch and Murray cod remain very quiet in the lake and we probably won’t see them turning up in any numbers until September.

The Loddon River directly below Cairn Curran has been producing some redfin; the average size has been small with only the occasional quality specimen being landed. Further downstream at Laanecoorie reports have been scarce. In previous years, this has been a good time of the year to fish the holes directly below the weir.

The Loddon River is still very clear and some anglers are having success fishing the deeper sections. Good friend Derek Blow has had two trips to Bridgewater and managed to land a total of three Murray cod measuring between 57cm and 63cm. Anglers have also been catching some nice redfin, the majority of which have been caught by baitfishing with worms in the weed beds.

Chris and Brad Day will be targeting the Loddon at Serpentine shortly. They managed to land some very good quality Murray cod and golden perch in this area over the winter months last year. At the present time, water clarity is still good, however if we get some more significant rainfall shortly it may not be long before water clarity starts to deteriorate.

Phil Harrison and his brother-in-law Wayne Thorburn recently went to Torrumbarry to target Murray cod by trolling deep and working the timber. The day had been very quiet, with only one strike from an aggressive fish. They were kept busy de-snagging lures that were hanging up on the timber.

Late in the day the boys got another snag, so they backed up the boat and dropped the reliable Tackle Back down. They worked the lure for several minutes but it was solidly hooked and would not come off. Suddenly the Tackle Back took off, Phil looked around and the motor was turned off. There was no current flow yet the green cord was peeling out of his hands. They eventually realised the Tackle Back had been eaten by a very large fish that was heading home in a hurry. Before the guys had a chance, the fish had busted them off on 50kg green cord. As we speak, Phil is adding a set of trebles to his new Tackle Back!

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