Fishing around the Echuca district has been sensational over the past few weeks despite the influx of dirty water from recent rain and flooding forests.
The Melbourne Cup long weekend saw many campers caught out, with 38mm of rain falling on the Saturday followed by a couple of days of sunshine to dry things out.
The bait soakers fared pretty well in the dirty water with scrub worms the bait of choice for plenty of golden perch and undersize Murray cod.
Fishing close to the bank, out of the fast current, seemed to be most productive and anglers didn’t have to use heavier sinkers to hold bottom.
With no shortage of shrimp in the river, anglers are rigging shrimp-and-worm cocktail baits and casting them out to gum trees that have recently fallen into the river.
Shrimps are flicking around trees that still have fresh gumleaves on them, making hot spots for the yellas.
Christies Beach, out to the east of Echuca, has also fished well using the shrimp-worm cocktail. Although the sand bar is currently under water, there have been some good yellowbelly caught leading into the evening on baits cast out only a short distance on the inside of the bend.
At the moment it seems that anywhere below a weir you're almost guaranteed to catch a yellowbelly.
Stevens Weir at Deniliquin has again turned it on, with small yabbies slowly bobbed up and down being effective for fish averaging around 40cm.
Below Torrumbarry Weir, scrub worms fished from the bank have resulted in many anglers catching their limit, while casting Jackalls among the snags has worked well, with noike gill the standout colour.
Dyes Bridge at Kow Swamp has been fishing very well with Jackalls and spinnerbaits with yellow and white skirts worked slowly.
The weir in town at Cohuna has been the place to be for the local school kids who have caught plenty of yellowbelly on worms but they were in for a bit of a shock when a cod over the metre mark put a big bend in one of their rods.
After a bit of a battle there’s now a young fella with the bragging rights to a fish of a lifetime!
Aysons Reserve at Elmore has produced redfin to 600g on the outskirts of the weed beds on 50mm AC Invaders in the mottled green colour.
Another lure, which I think will be hard to beat, is the new Berkley Fat Dog. At a tad under 40mm and diving to 2m, they were originally designed for bream but these little hardbodies with built in rattles and Owner rings and trebles will be pretty tempting for the reddies.
It's shaping up for a bumper cod season with some of the reports filtering through of monster fish caught in the last few weeks.
Barmah has been the place to be with cod from 40cm to 120cm caught on trolled lures.
Rob from Moama was on the water for about 30 seconds when a 115cm cod slammed his AC Invader, while another lucky angler tangled with a cod estimated at 80lb. Being too big to lift in the boat, it was released while still in the water to ensure its survival.
Marcus Metcalfe picked up a nice 52cm golden perch while trolling into the evening, as well as a small army of cod which were all released.
Although this area has copped a fair bit of fishing pressure, with most weekends looking like there's a fishing comp on, it seems that everyone is doing the right thing by releasing their catch so in years to come this fishery will only get better.
For more information on what's biting around Echuca and Moama, drop into JT's Fishing & Camping, opposite the Border Inn Hotel, Moama, or phone 03 5480 3868.Reads: 3586