Golden Time for All
  |  First Published: November 2005

It’s a great time of the year to wet a line: water temperatures are rising nicely and catch rates have increased dramatically in recent weeks. We’ve finally seen a rise in water levels in our local impoundments, although it hasn’t been much. Let’s just pray for some substantial late spring rain.

Lake Eppalock has been a very popular destination for a lot of anglers in recent weeks. The majority of anglers have been successful with bait, with yabbies the most popular choice. Early on, the majority of golden perch were caught on very small yabbies. More recently though, the fish have switched to larger baits of between 4 and 6cm. Keeping them moving seems to be a key factor in success. A super slow retrieve with periodical pauses of between 10 and 20 seconds has been most productive. Anglers’ captures are mainly consisting of quality golden perch between 1 and 2kg, although there was an exceptional specimen of 9kg.

The redfin have been scarce with the majority less than 300g. A lucky few are landing the occasional redfin over 1kg. Carp have been caught in large numbers again this season. They’ve provided plenty of sport for junior anglers and it’s good to see plenty being taken out of our waterways.

Water clarity has improved to a level where lure fishing is now a productive option. Lure colour is very important. When the water has been dirty, combinations of pink, black, orange, chartreuse and red have been successful. As the water clarity has improved, anglers are achieving good success on purple, green and yellow combinations. The majority of fish have been landed in shallow water between 1.5 and 3m.

The Campaspe River is starting to produce good numbers of fish. Water clarity is only average, however anglers are having success with bait and lures. The quality of the fishing at both Elmore and Rochester surprised many who tried their luck at these locations last season. At present, the majority of captures are golden perch, along with the occasional redfin and small Murray cod. The most productive colour, in both spinnerbaits and hard-bodied lures, has been gold.

The fishing at Cairn Curran has been a major disappointment over the winter months and early spring. Things have finally improved but only marginally. The lake needs further inflows if we’re going to get a productive season. Recently, there have been some quality golden perch landed along the edges of the lake.

Kevin Dieckmann recently landed a brown trout of 2.4kg while flatlining a no.80 Tassie Devil in Cairn Curran. Trout captures have been low but the overall size of fish has been very good. The redfin fishing has improved slightly with the majority of anglers landing small specimens around 500g. Ice jigs in black and gold have been productive. Jigging white soft plastics along the bottom has also accounted for a few fish.

Mark and Jason Andriske have had a few recent trips to the Loddon River below Laanecoorie but there hasn’t been much to report other than small numbers of goldens caught by anglers walking the banks in the Newbridge area.

At Bridgewater the water clarity is sensational. It is probably too good at this stage and the river will be more productive when we get a substantial flush. On a recent trip out to Bridgewater I managed to land one of my best golden perch from this river. It measured 65cm and came from a deep edge, adjacent to substantial timber structure. It took a pearl white Bassman spinnerbait.

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