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Robinvale
  |  First Published: November 2010



With a new lease of life in most of our rivers, anglers are finding the fresh flows have sparked a run of fish not seen in many years.

In the backwaters out of the main flow anglers are finding good numbers of golden perch on baits of scrubworms and small yabbies.

Carp are also feeding up and most of the larger specimens are full of roe and ripe for breeding.

I guess it’s not just our native fish that relish the right to breed in the warm spring flows; carp numbers have been notable especially in the shallows around the newly filled lagoon mouths.

It seems the high flows have inspired the lower end of the angling gene pool to abandon their possum stew in the hopes of a feed of fish.

These deliverance style meat gatherers are rolling cages to trap copious numbers of fish and are reportedly catching 40 plus fish each time, yet continue to reset the cage in hopes of more.

How many fish do you need before it’s enough? I guess if you can’t count it might be hard to know when you have poached enough for a feed.

It makes me livid to know this wasteful, selfish attitude still exists and it’s even worse that people are using illegal methods to plunder the abundant fish stocks that have appeared after optimum flows.

But not everyone is doing the wrong thing and genuine anglers have also cashed in on the ease of catching migratory fish by targeting their numbers below the many weirs, locks and regulators.

Below the lock at Euston it was standing room only as anglers plundered countless golden perch as they gathered en masse in a migratory run to breed.

Fisheries slowed the pace for a few days by patrolling the area, but it was full on again as they drove off down the track to their next assignment.

Most anglers are doing the right thing, but with good numbers of fish that are very easy to catch you will always have a few people who bend the rules to suit.

Perhaps it might be time to extend the no fish zones below these manmade barriers to protect congregating fish that are susceptible to angling pressure, especially during times of breeding?

There are plenty enough fish to be caught in other locations and the warm pockets of backwater that hold a snag or two are as good a spot as any to soak a bait.

Most of my sessions over the past month or so have been off the bank with the kids where a BBQ lunch was centred around a few hours soaking baits.

It has been great fun for the kids with most sessions providing several goldens and a few carp.

Yabbies have popped up from the mud in the freshly filled billabongs that have not seen water for a decade or more, however their numbers are fewer than was hoped.

Perhaps we are yet to see the best of these tasty crustaceans and catch rates will increase as the waters continue to warm.

There is no doubt that water is the giver of life and a day or two spent on the Murray this past month is proof enough that we have missed much in the drought.

The tempo of life has trebled with huge spring hatches of every water born bird imaginable, as well as a huge abundance of smaller creatures like frogs and lizards.

Unfortunately other less welcome critters flourish in the wet too: mosquitoes are enjoying the abundance of water and the chance to breed by the squillions.

Be aware these winged bloodsuckers carry Ross River fever and other nasties so be sure and cover up at first and last light.

All up the fishing is great and as the river settles things should only get better.

Over the next few weeks lures will come into their own with small TW spinnerbaits a sure-fire bet in the shallows around the weed beds. Soft plastics will be worth a try as will blades and small hardbodied lures.

One hopes that the great fishing is just a prelude of better things to come and if what we have seen so far has any bearing, then I am sure we are in for one ripper season.

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