The cool change in the weather had a big impact on the fishing in the Echuca area.
Anglers are still catching cod but have to really put the hard yards in for the fish encountered. Winter is generally when the fishing slows down with the cooler temperatures but the fish that are caught are usually of quality size.
By late June the water temperature was sitting just below 11°C; not ideal for swimming! Being on the river when it’s only 12°C with the wind blowing off the water isn’t everybody’s idea of fun; it’s conditions like these that will thin out the number of anglers willing to put the time and effort in to hopefully land a trophy cod.
The last few weeks of fishing have been a hard slog with all anglers who have caught cod having one thing in common; they’ve all mentioned how much time and effort they spent in one area before the cod finally succumbed to lures.
Trolling runs have been kept short with multiple passes made – even more than usual. Those casting lures have had to put in 15-20 casts before getting the slightest knock from a fish that has finally become interested. At the end of the day if there is a stretch of water with some good looking snags that you think is holding fish, go with your gut instinct as most likely there is a cod tucked in under it that just needs that extra effort to entice her from the comforts of her watery home.
Above Torrumbarry a few cod have been caught between 63-71cm using 150mm A.C Invaders in the black/while pattern while trolling in the deeper sections of river. Closer to Echuca, Bluey from Moama trolled up a cod measuring 77cm; this fish must have been getting ready to go into hibernation for winter as you would think it had been eating anything that swum past it with the extra weight it was carrying.
There have been quite a lot of cod caught that have put on extra pounds; possibly due to them keeping the carp population down.
The fishing around Mathoura and Barmah has also slowed down in the number of fish caught per outing. The river level had dropped at the start of June making some sections of the river quite shallow, forcing anglers to look for deeper water to swim their lures effectively.
The best cod to come from this area measured 91cm on a black/red StumpJumper trolled through a deep bend. There have also been cod caught on lures up to 70cm but again they haven’t come easy. Further upstream around Picola the cod have been more willing to take a lure but these hot bites have gone off as quick as they’ve come on. Fishing the deeper stretches has been more productive and would be a good starting point to work from.
About 90% of the recent reports have been from cod caught on lures and while this time of the year lures are generally more effective on the bigger fish, there have still been a few cod caught for those using bait. There were a number of cod caught in the area of the Goulburn Junction while fishing from the bank using scrubworms.
Although the fish were barely legal it’s still a good bit of action for this time of year. Worms and bardi grubs are the pick of the baits during the cooler weather as anglers might struggle to get a supply of shrimp as they would be holding in the deeper water and yabbies would be holed up in the banks of the waterways.
The Campaspe River has fired up for the redfin with some of the local boys walking the banks casting a mixture of blade style lures, Squidgy Bugs in the coral colour and Hogbacks. There have been some thumpers caught up to 41cm, which is a fair size for the Campaspe.
Waranga Basin has been a hit and miss affair with the wind playing a big part keeping anglers fishing from boats off the water or limiting their fishing area due to fishing in sheltered parts of the basin to keep out of the wind. The odd reddie has been caught but not in the numbers we were seeing a few months ago.
With the Murray cod season being closed from September 1, many anglers use this time to restock the tackle box for the gear they’ve lost through the year and check over their rods and reels making sure the inserts on the guides on the rods are in good order and not cracked as this can damage the fishing line.
Reels can always do with a service and replace any worn parts including drag washers; even the line on the reel should be checked for any fraying as you don’t want any of the above problems letting you down on your next outing.Reads: 801