The fishing in the Echuca district has slowed down over past weeks, with Winter temperatures taking their toll on conditions.
It's usually this time of the year when the water clears up and some good-sized cod are caught on lures but most parts of the Murray have had to put up with dirty water since the floods came through.
Don’t be disheartened, fish will still take a lure in the dirtiest water; you just have to a look at the muddy waters of the Top End and see the big numbers of barramundi that are caught on lures even when there is zero visibility.
Fish seem to pick up on movement and vibration when they’re out feeding on other fish and the same goes with lures.
There are plenty of lures available today to help put out a bit more noise, with the likes of crankbaits with rattles, shaker blades like Mumblers that you can feel thumping through the water, spinnerbaits with oversized blades for greater flash and vibration and lipless crankbaits you can hear coming from metres away in the boat.
One thing all these have in common is that they will all stand out under water when visibility is poor.
And with cooling, dirty water and plenty of baitfish for the cod and yellowbelly to feed on, now is the time when you really need your lure or bait to stand out.
A good trick when trolling lures is to give your rod a quick whip every 4m to 6m to give the lure a more erratic action and look a bit different as it bumps its way through the snags.
Ideally, you want the lure to look more enticing and stand out more than any baitfish that's in the area.
Another method when trolling is to stop your motor and let the lure slowly rise up through the water with the momentum of the boat.
Countless numbers of cod have been caught this way; reason being that the fish may have been following the lure and then it slows up and has a different action, generally creating a strike.
The same goes with fishing from a boat with yabbies; fish love a moving bait so we bob the bait up and down so it stands out from a yabby that's hiding under a log.
Even if you're bait fishing from the bank you can give the rod a bit of a lift, making the sinker near the bait drop back down to the bottom and creating a puff of mud as it lands. All going well, a fish will mosey on over to see what the disturbance is and then take the bait.
Making it stand out is only a theory but when the chips are down, it’s worth a go!
From all reports the Murray crays have been active from Swan Hill to Tocumwal, with most anglers meeting their bag limit (5, only one over 12cm).
Closer to home, the stretch of river from the east boat ramp to the Goulburn Junction has been productive along the clay banks, as well as upstream from the Five Mile boat ramp.
Another area that's seen a few crays in recent years is up around Cape Horn Vineyard, about 10km by river upstream of the junction.
The waters around Mathoura have had a really good run but this may ease up as the water starts to rise.
The usual baits of carp chunks, ox liver, sheep heads and the like have all taken their share, with none in particular working better.
Remember that the crays are more active through the night and if one area isn't getting any results, move the nets around and if your bait has been in the net for a while, give it a few slashes with a knife to release a bit more smell to attract the crays.
Waranga Basin is known for some monster crays every year so it’s only a matter of time before these reports start filtering through.
The redfin at the Basin have slowed down, probably due to the cooler temperatures, and most reddie anglers have put their gear away for Winter.
In Greens Lake, at the back of Elmore, a few undersized golden perch have been caught from the bank on night crawler worms, while redfin have favoured Hogback and small blade lures cast from the bank.
Alan and Sue from Moama spent an enjoyable afternoon at Kow Swamp catching a mixed bag of yellowbelly, redfin and undersized cod with scrub worms and small yabbies fished on the bottom.
It was Sue who took home the bragging rights with two nice yellas to 45cm.!
Murray crays have been on the move in the waters around Echuca as the cooler temperatures roll in.Reads: 1205