Spring is often the most productive season and this year is proving typical of most others.
Water levels are rising in our impoundments and so are the numbers of fish being caught. Anglers should be aware of this and get out while the going is good.
Lake Eppalock is very productive at this stage with water levels still rising. At the moment the majority of anglers are mainly fishing the lake with bait. The best times are early in the morning or late afternoon/evening, even into the night. The best baits at this stage are small yabbies and scrub or flat-tail worms.
Water clarity has improved to a stage where lurefishing is now very productive. Anglers who are having good success are concentrating the majority of their fishing time in the shallow margins of the lake. When trolling the lake, I often target between 3-5m. A selection of lures suitable for this depth are Small Codger, No.3 StumpJumpers, Custom Crafted Baby Extractors, Storm Hot’n’Tot and Deception Nippers.
The resident native fish are looking for the warmer water in the lake and this is along the edges or in protected bays. I have found at this time of the year the native fish are often foraging along the banks and don’t tend to be as structure oriented as what you would typically associate with native fish. When water levels start to recede then a greater concentration of fish will be encountered on structure.
The Campaspe River below Eppalock has been patchy at the present time. Anglers have landed some quality redfin on spinners. Water clarity is patchy with sections of the river still being discoloured.
Elmore is a great location to target the resident golden perch population. The goldens often school up at this time of the year, so if anglers land a fish off a snag then they should continue to fish that area in case some aggressive mates are nearby.
The water level at Rochester has been lower than its normal level, the fishing there has been average. It should improve as the river returns to its normal level with increased current flows getting things moving.
Cairn Curran is improving and water clarity is now very good in the main pool. Anglers are consistently catching the resident redfin. The majority of redfin are being caught in 5-7m of water. Anglers are having good success trolling lures and using ice jigs. At present, the majority of fish are being caught on dark-coloured lures. A couple of standout lures at present are small Codger in the magpie colour and Australian Crafted in the black and white.
There have been some large golden perch caught in Cairn Curran, the best to date weighed 9kg. The golden perch have been caught casting spinnerbaits off the rocky banks and trolling shallow diving lures around the edges of the lake.
I had a couple of hours on the Loddon River at Bridgewater recently and it was quite productive for the short time I spent on the water. I landed two fish measuring 52cm and had a serious 1m Murray cod cruise up to the surface and proceed to check out my bow-mount Minn Kota electric motor then it continued on its way.
The water clarity is sensational at present and I could see the fish coming from approximately nearly 2m under the boat. At first I thought it was a very large European carp cruising, then to my amazement I realised it was a large cod coming up to say g’day.
The river has an abundance of weed growth in it at present. The weed looks to be very healthy with plenty of fresh growth that is certainly helping the water clarity. With the abundance of weed throughout the river it will be a productive tactic to fish the pockets and edges of the weedbeds this season. The water temperature is at 17C and it shouldn’t be long before the river starts to fire.
2.Derek Blow with a solid golden perch. The fish took a Terminator spinnerbait.Reads: 541