Great Time for goldens
  |  First Published: October 2005

Water temperatures are rising nicely and have awoken natives from their winter hibernation. The spring period is the best time of the year to target golden perch and many anglers have already experienced some quality action on these most sought-after species.

Many anglers fall into the trap of starting too late in the season and inevitably miss out on the best golden perch fishing. The biggest factor in determining how productive the up and coming season will be is the amount of rainfall we receive over the spring months. Traditionally, spring is when central Victoria’s impoundments receive their biggest inflows. At present, the inflows have been minimal but good run-off is likely if we receive heavy rainfall.

There is a good regrowth at Lake Eppalock and if we get decent rain to take the lake’s level above 25% then the fishing for goldens will be good. If the level rises any higher than this, the fishing will improve even further. The number of anglers fishing Lake Eppalock has started to increase and their catch rates are on the rise. The majority of anglers have been catching their goldens on bait with the most productive being small yabbies and worms.

Over the last couple of seasons large numbers of anglers have had success targeting golden perch at night. I am predicting this trend will continue this season because it has proved to be very productive. The lower reaches of the lake are the most productive for those anglers wanting to target goldens with lures. Water clarity is usually best around the bottom of the Kimbolton Pool. A good tactic when targeting golden perch over the spring period is to use small shallow diving lures. A couple of good options are small Codgers, Custom Crafted Baby Extractors and Storm Hot’N Tots.

The Campaspe River below Lake Eppalock has started to improve. With the lake only holding low levels of water the flows downstream have been minimal. Water clarity at present is good, which is excellent news for anglers targeting redfin and golden perch at both Elmore and Rochester. Both of these areas were very productive last season and are gaining popularity as worthwhile destinations.

Cairn Curran has finally started to improve after a very quiet winter period. We have finally seen anglers being rewarded with some quality fish. The trout fishing has been slow, however in recent weeks some nice specimens have been caught. The majority of trout have been between 1 and 2kg and anglers trolling Tassie Devils and Cobra Lures have caught the most fish.

The redfin fishing was a big disappointment over winter in Cairn Curran. However, anglers’ catch rates have finally started to improve. Always the optimist, I am hoping that we will still get a good run of redfin over the spring months. Anglers targeting the reservoir’s golden perch population are having success trolling shallow diving lures along the edges of the lake. Trolling lures with a running depth of 2-3m is the way to go. Banks that have good rocky structure are ideal locations to target goldens.

The Loddon River has started to improve too. Anglers have been landing a small number of golden perch with the majority between 1 and 3kg. Water clarity at present is still very good although the river is in need of a good flush if we are going to see a productive season ahead. When the water is this clear, native fish can be skittish and take a lot of coaxing to get a strike, so fish in low light conditions in the early morning or late afternoon.

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