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Cray-zy weekend ahead
  |  First Published: June 2011



With the Queen's Birthday long weekend in June the Murray will become a hive of activity with campers and cray hunters gathering from near and far.

The overnight temperatures have been getting down to 5° so the frosty nights shouldn't be too far away – perfect conditions for the crays.

Do the right thing and don't take any female or undersize crays and take care while out during the night.

Remember, it's now law to wear a lifejacket if you're boating at night.

Fishing in the district has been fair, with most anglers picking up a fish or two. Over the long Easter/Anzac break, huge crowds of campers who took advantage of perfect weather to camp on the banks of the Murray.

Redfin are still being caught in good numbers from the impoundments and the local irrigation channels. Probably 95% of the reddies in the channels have been taken on lures.

The Squidgy Bugs and Wrigglers in the jelly prawn and drop bear colours have been the standouts. Used on 2gm jigheads and worked back to the bank in no particular style of retrieve has been the key to success.

Work your lure right through the water column until you come across the depth where the reddies are holding and then put some action into your lure to entice a strike.

Bladed lures of 36mm to 46mm have also had a good run in the channels.

Better-sized fish averaging about 600g have produced fun on light gear by casting blades into the deeper water around the regulators.

Waranga Basin and Lake Eppalock have big numbers of redfin but they will ease as the cooler weather sets in.

Soft plastics cast from the bank have produced almost a fish a cast once the school has been located and you don't usually have to do too much walking before the lure gets a few hits.

Ice jigs are still picking up plenty for those fishing from boats while the best baits have been small yabbies and shrimp.

Some switched-on anglers have been freezing shrimp they have caught earlier in the season in anticipation of these baits becoming harder to find as the weather cools. Redfin up to 2.2kg have been reported but most have been smaller.

SPINNERBAIT COD

On the Murray, some smaller cod have been caught at the back of Picola on spinnerbaits cast beside fallen timber. Anglers fishing from boats have been tying up to the snags to hold position in the current.

One angler who caught and released nine cod in an afternoon put it down to repetitive casting a spinnerbait with a red and black skirt in the same area.

Further downstream there have been golden perch up to 45cm taking trolled Oar-Gee Plows in orange/black and purple/black.

There have been quite a few reports of the yellas having a good whack at the lure but not staying connected. This could be a good time to drop the rod back and twitch the lure in front of the fish to trigger a hook-up.

Cod have also been active, with one angler trolling a spinnerbait with a chartreuse/brown skirt against the current landing a 65cm and 74cm fish.

The Campaspe River around Echuca has been producing yellowbelly on small yabbies and scrub worm. With the water still dirty, bait has been the way to go and there have been no reports of any fish taken on lures.

Downstream of Torrumbarry Weir there was a hot bite with excellent numbers of yellas caught on bait and lures.

Yabby tails were a standout, while spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits took their share when worked among the smaller branches of the sunken timber.

This average-sized redfin took a 50mm Poltergeist lure.

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