You’ve got to love summer with its hot days; warm nights and extended periods of light thanks to day light savings.
This has enabled those working through the day to head out after work and still get a few hours of fishing in before dark.
Both bait and lures have been working on all with the fish willing to have a crack at either. Garret Mcartney fished the Gulf at the back of Picola for a cod measuring 56cm and four average size golden perch. Scrubworms and yabbies was the bait for the day and the yellas weren’t too shy on taking yabbies of a bigger size.
Garret was kept busy trying to keep a bait in the water with consistent bites from both rods from trout cod and carp.
Further downstream and into the Edward River, Moama’s Nick Kiely spent a weekend away for a bit of quiet time only to be flat out catching around 120 fish over a few days. With 70 being Murray cod (majority were undersize) and the rest were made up of silver perch, trout cod, yellowbelly and carp. Worms, shrimp and yabbies were the baits used and they were either fished up close in the snags or out in the open water; it didn’t matter where the bait ended up because the fish took no time to track it down.
The stretch of river from Barmah to Mathoura still continues to produce both cod and yellowbelly on bait and lures. Jim from Taragon Lodge at Mathoura caught two legal-sized cod while fishing around the willow trees only to be smoked by a cod well over the metre. After a couple of good runs and almost having her to the bank, the big old girl stripped a good length of line from the reel as she made her way back to the snag she calls home and eventually busting off poor ol’ Jim.
Some of us back in Moama reckon we could hear Jim cursing from here!
Shrimp has been creating a fair bit of interest from the fish with anglers loading their hooks up with a couple of good-sized shrimp and getting some pretty aggressive hits. Whether they are cod, yellas or carp they’re a bait that will usually get you a fish or two.
Echuca’s Brian Hinson had a good week while fishing the Barmah area when he landed six golden perch and five cod while trolling Oargee Plows in the dark blue, purple and dark green colours. It’s the second week running that Brian has hit double figures while fishing the Murray.
Geoff from Maidens Inn Caravan Park reports that one of their guests landed four nice yellowbelly for the evening while fishing from the sandbar out the front of the park. Shrimp and worm on the same hook was the best bait. Sandbars are a good place to fish as the yellas will often cruise the sandbars in the low light chasing a feed of shrimp.
Below Torrumbarry Weir there has been yellowbelly to 53cm caught by anglers casting Jackall lures in the fallen timber just downstream from the weir. Gold black gill and Noike gill have been a couple of colours that have consistently taken yellas. The water below the weir can be a good place to fish through summer as you don’t get any ski boats or jet ski’s roaring past every two minutes.
The Goulburn River upstream of Echuca has been a bit hit and miss, with the yellas only taking scrubworms at the moment. Peter from Echuca has had a couple of trips using worms and yabbies catching golden perch up to 47cm on the scrubbies and not even a touch on the yabbies. Peter also noted that there was a good supply of shrimp in the river.
To end on a bit of a sour note, back in November, Taylors Creek near Kow Swamp was fishing red hot for yellowbelly. The majority of anglers were doing the right thing by sticking to the bag limits or releasing their fish to catch them another day.
A couple of local fellas were out having a pretty good day catching and releasing plenty of yellas when they saw a group fishing from the bank who basically put everything they caught into the esky. Yellowbelly that were clearly undersize were headed for the freezer.
Not only were the fish under the legal size of 30cm, they noted that they were well and truly over the bag limit of five. The local lads bought the matter to their attention and after a heated discussion decided to give Fisheries a call who answered but were unable to attend due to being several hours drive away.
I know the officers have a massive amount of area to patrol and are understaffed and do the best they can with what they’ve got but we keep hearing of people alerting them to people out there poaching and they haven’t got the resources to police areas that are copping a flogging.
Bag and size limits are there for a reason and it’s these families of poachers that will be the first to complain that they can’t get a fish when they’ve all been cleaned out. On that note I hope everyone has a good summer!
For more information on what’s biting around Echuca and Moama, drop into J.T’s Fishing & Camping opposite the Border Inn Hotel Moama, or phone 0354 803 868.
Echuca's yellowbelly love a good Oargee, especially the natural orange colour.Reads: 2010