It’s been 15 years or more since the parched banks of the Murray have had their fill and to stand and watch the turbid waters caress the upper banks and spill into the low-lying forests is to witness a wonderful change.
Wetlands sucked dry by the relentless drought drink it all in as the tempo of Spring plays tune to a new master.
Overnight, an ecosystem kept on hold explodes to life as every creature that swims, crawls and flies takes part in a spectacle of growth that can only be attributed to water, and lots of it.
For those who have not lived or fished in a time of high flow, there is much to be learned. The rules change to where clarity and altered flow govern the movement of fish and knowing their course is to cash in on the dirty-water bounty.
Golden perch will hold on the edge of the current line, often in the shallows where passing food items settle in the warming waters.
Worms are a favourite and several pinned on a hook and fished with minimal weight in the calm near the current line are sure to draw any goldens.
Mud banks, often overlooked, will now hold fish that can actively feed clear of cover.
Food is plentiful and they gorge on an aquatic explosion. Shrimp will become more plentiful in the warming water and several of these pinned on a hook are sure to tempt a fish.
Murray cod, too, will be on the prowl and scoffing almost anything they deem edible. They are unavoidable at this time of year and, being the closed season, they should be returned as quickly as possible.
Deeply hooked fish should have the line cut as close to the mouth as possible.
The shallower sections of river will fish best to start with. The Wakool at Kyalite is always a great destination that seems to carry good stocks of golden perch. The local pub also serves very good meals and doubles as the corner store, providing bread, ice and other essentials should you be camping.
Wemen is another favourite area to target golden perch and it too has high numbers of fish.
Good catches are taken from the bank in this area so a boat is not mandatory, but it will provide you the ease of shifting location if the bite stops.
Carp are ever-present in most of these locations and it seems the dirty water has them feeding freely also.
For those camping, Wemen also has a local store riverside that supplies ice, bait and other camping and fishing essentials.
For anglers chasing a few redfin Lake Charm, between Swan Hill and Kerang, has some good fish to a kilo or more on local whitebait and shrimps.
Early morning is proving best with catches of a dozen or more for those finding the right spot.
Anglers fishing from the bank near the channel that flows into the lake have also landed some good-sized redfin and thumping carp.
All up, things look good with perhaps the best breeding season in the Murray River for a decade or more taking place right now. The fruits of these flows should begin to show in the next few seasons.
Until then, why not get out on the water and into the great fishing that has accelerated with the warming water and extra flows.
Regards Rod Mac.Reads: 1419