Red and gold!
  |  First Published: November 2004

It’s that time of the year, when a change in season and changing conditions often produce a change in anglers’ fortunes. Large numbers of anglers have been dormant over the coldest months of the year and rising temperatures will see many awaken and head out in pursuit of finned-adversaries.

Central Victoria has received average to below average rainfall over the winter months. The impoundments have been at critically low levels at the end of the irrigation season. September started positively with some good rainfall and this has produced some good rises in our impoundment levels. Good follow-up rain is needed if the lakes are going to reach their potential.

Cairn Curran Reservoir

Cairn Curran reached 21 percent capacity on 16 September, which is approximately a third greater volume than the same time last year. At the time of writing, the high water mark was at the foundations of the old homestead.

Water clarity is only moderate and there are good amounts of vegetation along the banks. The vegetation plays an important part in helping filter the rising water, and an abundance of food can be found in this regrowth. With rising water temperatures associated with plentiful food, anglers should target the outer margins of the lake; this is where the greatest amount of action will be.

Redfin are quiet at the present time. They were fishing well until a deterioration in water clarity. The trout fishing has also been slow. Recent reports have some quality golden perch being caught in the shallows. In previous seasons the peak in the golden perch fishing is usually in November so don’t miss it!

Below Laanecoorie Reservoir

Below Laanecoorie Reservoir there have been some good captures of golden perch. The majority of these have been caught on spinnerbaits and a selection of neutral buoyancy lures. Water clarity is average there at the moment, but don’t let this put you off. This area receives good stockings and only receives minimal fishing pressure.

Loddon River

The Loddon River at Bridgewater has been fairly quiet with limited numbers of anglers fishing this section. Good friend Derek Blow fished there recently. He was fishing by himself and landed only the one fish, which measured just over 50cm. However, he did manage several other follows and a couple of short strikes.

This indicates the native fish are still a little sluggish but should be on the go shortly. The water clarity is excellent at the moment, although it can deteriorate during big spring rains. Remember, this section of river has a very good Murray cod population, but we are currently in the closed season for Murray cod. The season opens on 1 December.

Lake Eppalock

Lake Eppalock is still at a very low level – 10 percent capacity on 16 September. This is approximately 30,000 megalitres less than the same time last year. Recent reports have anglers starting to catch some nice golden perch up to 4kg. The majority of these at present are being caught on bait (yabbies and worms). Captures on lures should start to improve shortly.

The lake does have a good amount of re-growth along it and if the water level reaches 20 percent or above it will fish well. The greater increase in the lake’s volume directly relates to how good the fishing will be. Like most other Central Victoria impoundments, it fishes far better when levels are rising and not falling. Typically Lake Eppalock reaches its maximum level in November or December. After this time inflows slow and releases increase so get into the action over spring and early summer while the fishing is often at its best.

Campaspe River

The lower reaches of the Campaspe River have started to produce. Anglers have landed some quality redfin up to 1.5kg and some golden perch around 2kg. Phil Keetelaar fished at Elmore recently and on that trip he had several quality golden perch short strike his soft plastics, only to swim away with the tails hanging out of their mouths. Knowing Phil, he will be back there shortly and will come home with a smile next time!

Remember only keep what you need – give the rest a chance to breed!


2.Derek Blow with a solid golden perch. The fish took a Terminator spinnerbait.

7.The author with a 49cm Cairn Curran redfin.

9.Anglers who have an early start are often rewarded – if nothing else, the scenery makes it worth getting out of bed.

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