Goldfields Springtime Redfin
  |  First Published: September 2005

Central Victoria has experienced a very quiet fishing period. The majority of locations have been slow and most anglers have been returning home with deflated egos. Over the last month, redfin have been making up a large percentage of anglers’ catches. With low water temperatures, the fishing has slowed dramatically. On a positive note though, this should all turn around shortly.

We’ve only had average rainfall over the winter months but things are looking very good if we receive heavy spring rain. In our district’s two major impoundments the amount of vegetation growing around the perimeter is substantial. The ground is currently saturated and if we receive some rain then we should get some good run off and finally see our impoundments on the rise again. As an angler who is ever the optimist I’m excited at the prospect of a great season ahead if we just get the rain!

Cairn Curran has been producing redfin with anglers averaging a catch rate of between 1 and 6 fish per trip. Water clarity has improved and I am still anticipating a good run of redfin prior to spawning. The trout fishing has also been slow, but anglers’ catch rates are up slightly on last season.

Hopefully, with a good influx of water over spring, we will see good stockings of both native fish and trout into the lake. Cairn Curran is currently holding about twice the volume of water compared to this time last year. It only managed to get to around 22% capacity last season. If the lake level manages to exceed last season’s high then we should see the fishing improve dramatically.

The fishing remains poor at Lake Eppalock with the majority of anglers only experiencing moderate success in the lower reaches of the lake. With water temperatures still being low, the majority of fish have been landed on bait. As the water temperatures rise shortly, so will the amount of activity in Eppalock’s native fish population. If the lake manages to exceed the high water level achieved last season we should again see some quality fish landed over the spring months in the shallows. Usually, by the middle to end of September, water temperatures are on the rise. When surface temperatures reach around 18 degrees, the golden perch start to get caught consistently.

The Campaspe River below Lake Eppalock has been producing some quality redfin. The numbers are low but the quality has been good with specimens between 1kg and 1.5kg. The majority of these have been caught on spinners, soft plastics and small hard-bodied lures.

The Loddon River has also been very quiet over the cooler months. The vast majority of fish caught recently have been in the ski zone and the other deeper holes situated along the river between Newbridge and Bridgewater. Hopefully, the fishing should improve dramatically very soon. With the start of the irrigation season we will see some good current flows again coming down the river, which with the associated rising water temperatures, should start to see the native population switch into top gear.

Please remember the Murray cod closed season between 1 September and 30 November. If you do manage to land a Murray cod while fishing for golden perch, it must be released unharmed as soon as possible.

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