A couple of months ago the township of Nathalia was a mass of sandbags as the Broken Creek was in full flood.
Obviously it wasn’t ideal for the residents and the affected landholders but what it did for the fishing further downstream was sensational. As the Broken Creek entered the Murray River the cod lined up in big numbers to feed on the smorgasbord of food washed into the system.
Anglers trolling lures along the colour change, where the water from the Broken Creek met the cleaner water of the Murray, caught the majority of the cod. The cod would patrol and ambush their prey in the dirty water.
Darker lures were pulling in more fish than the brighter ones but yellow and orange styles also took their share of quality fish.
The best report was from a couple of keen Barmah anglers who landed two cod over 1m and several more of 70cm-90cm. A day on the water doesn’t get much better than that.
Another crew out for a few hours landed six cod with the biggest estimated at 18kg. All fish were released.
The reports have been coming in thick and fast with most boats picking up half a dozen fish averaging 55cm-80cm in excellent condition and carrying some extra weight.
Further upstream, the yellowbelly have been more active on bait and lures. We managed to troll up a few up to 44cm while Clint from Echuca and his kids also picked up a few to 48cm.
Retired couple Dorothy and her husband had a pleasant afternoon on the water, picking up a couple of golden perch destined for the table. With the boat tied up to the snags and their scrubworms fished in close to the timber, they knew how to be productive.
As the water around the Mathoura area starts to clear and get that green tinge to it, there have been several reports of some unstoppable cod leaving anglers with burnt thumbs and shaking their heads in disbelief.
Lures had to be retired because they were pretty much written off or no longer swam as they were designed to after encounters with these fish.
Dave from the Murray Bank Caravan Park landed a 69cm cod on a piece of strass sausage, of all things! Dave also reported losing a cod much larger while fishing with big yabbies, while the boys staying a few vans away picked up a healthy 83cm cod.
Over Easter there were quite a few legal cod caught; (we had a report of a cod caught on the crust of a takeaway pizza!) but it was great to hear of the numbers of yellowbelly being caught.
Better than perfect conditions meant more people enjoying a day on the water while catching something other than undersize cod and carp.
The pick of the baits would have to be worms, followed by shrimp and smaller yabbies. Shrimp may become harder to catch as the weather cools but in the past we’ve found that putting the shrimp nets out into deeper water has been effective enough to get a day’s supply.
Below Torrumbarry Weir there has been a good run of yellas but the amount of mud between the hard bank and the water since the dropped has made it hard for anglers fishing from the bank. With some sun and a good bit of wind it won’t be too long before access isn’t an issue.
Waranga Basin at Rushworth has been hot and cold with some anglers picking up 50-60 redfin while others haven’t sighted a fish. Anglers have spent a good part of the day trying to locate a school of reddies, only to come across them in the last hour of the day and then it’s non-stop action until they reach their quota.
Worms, fresh and frozen shrimp and Squidgy Wrigglers in bloodworm colour have been the pick offerings, with one angler saying he couldn’t get his soft plastic to the bottom without it being nailed by a reddie.
The Queen’s Birthday long weekend coming up is usually prime time to chase a feed of crays. Generally there have been a few good frosts by now and their meat has firmed up and they have become more active.
Some areas that have been productive in the past include the stretch around the Five Mile boat ramp and the East boat ramp, or anywhere that you have a good clay bank.
Best baits include chunks of carp, ox liver, and chook frames.
In between checking the nets for the spiky critters it’s usually a good time to troll lures as the water clears. Be sure to be up to date with the rules and regulations on the Murray crays because Fisheries officers will be doing the rounds. Drop into the shop and pick up the free Murray cray ruler with the current guidelines.Reads: 2268