Adjust to the conditions
  |  First Published: September 2011

The Murray River at Echuca has continued to experience higher than normal levels because of the large amount of inflow from the Goulburn River and the continual supply from Lake Hume flowing through Lake Mulwala.

With Lake Eildon (which supplies the Goulburn) and Hume at almost full, the water authorities are releasing large volumes to allow for Winter/Spring rains and extra runoff from the snowmelt.

How long this will continue is anyone’s guess but until then it’s a case of grin and bear it or adjust the way we fish to the conditions.

Anglers fishing from the bank have been picking up the odd cod to 55cm through the night using live yabbies. Smaller cod have been caught through the day on scrub worms cast no more than 4m from the bank.

Mathoura still seems to be the place for better-sized fish with reports of cod to 76cm and another guesstimated over a good metre dropped beside the boat.

Trolling hard-bodied lures in dark hues like dark brown, purple or red/black has been the way to go.

Farther downstream at Barmah, the fishing has been slower with reports of some cod being hooked around the head on the troll. It seems the fish are hitting the lures with an aggressive strike and getting pinned and not seeing the lures as a meal.

With so many small carp and plenty of other food in the water, the temptation to eat a lure just isn’t there.

With the close of the Murray cod season on September 1, anglers will be changing tactics to chase golden perch.

Generally by the end of September the water temperature is starting to creep back up and the yellas become more active with their breeding season in mind.

With the warmer water the shrimp will again be part of the yellas’ diet, along with yabbies and worms.

These baits usually don’t last long in the water when the goldens are on the go. Spinnerbaits and hardbodies are all very effective on the yellowbelly; it just comes down to personal preference and what colour the fish are taking on the day.

It won’t be too long before the yellas are more active and that can’t come quickly enough!

There's no shortage of water in the Goulburn River, as you can see from this picture taken between Stewarts Bridge and the junction with the Murray River.

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