The Murray River at Echuca has continued to run high and fast after increased inflows from water being released from storages further upstream and the Goulburn River. It has been necessary for these releases to allow for future rainfall and snowmelt as most impoundments were close to capacity.
These conditions have again made it a battle to get amongst the fish.
The fishing in the Barmah area had slowed with the influx of water but the clarity was much better compared to below the Goulburn Junction. Before the close of the cod season there were still a few being caught but not in big numbers. One fortunate angler managed to boat a cod weighing around 7kg while trolling lures but this was the only result for the day.
Moama’s Nick Wren caught and released a trout cod measuring 53cm while bait fishing with shrimp. With the shrimp being harder to catch in the cooler weather, Nick used shrimp that he had caught and put in his freezer when they were plentiful in the warmer water. Great ideas like this can make the difference between landing a few or going home with no results.
Further downstream at the Five Mile boat ramp at Moama, Nick Kiely and Justin Cain had a good day on the water bait fishing before the close of the season. With their boat tied up around the timber, the boys used bardi grubs and scrubworms to land five cod for the day. The largest measuring 71cm followed by a 63cm and three smaller models which were undersize. Having their baits close to the snags played a big part to their successful day.
Nick also had been catching plenty of undersized cod at Mathoura with a well placed bait in a deeper channel of water.
Greens Lake, just out of Elmore has had some more water pumped in and this is usually prime time for the golden perch to be active with the warmer temperatures and getting ready to spawn.
Worms, small yabbies and shrimp would be the pick of the baits for the yellas as well as shrimp and worm loaded up on the same hook. If fishing from the boat, it won’t hurt to ‘bob’ the bait up and down as yellowbelly love a moving bait.
Small hardbodied lures, spinnerbaits, crankbaits and blade style lures will all be fair game if there is a yella about. Natural colours work really well and anything with an orange/brown pattern has been successful in hard-bodied lures and spinnerbait skirts.
Outlaw and Bassman Spinnerbaits do this colour combination right across their range and would be a worth while colour to have in the tacklebox if you’re wanting to tangle with spring yellas.
By October all the irrigation channels around the district will be full of water and with the onset of warmer weather there should be a few yabbies on the move, as well as the odd redfin. Casting soft plastics Squidgie Bugs in the wasabi and jellyprawn have been proven colours in the past; the ever-reliable Hogback lure should also get a mention.
After being couped up inside through the cold winter, now is the time to get amongst the golden perch and enjoy the warmer milder spring weather. Areas such as Kow Swamp, below Torrumbarry Weir, the Campaspe River and Lake Eppalock are all destinations worth a look when it comes to yellowbelly.
For more information on what’s biting around Echuca and Moama, drop into J.T’s Fishing & Camping Moama (opposite the Border Inn Hotel) or phone 03 54803 868.Reads: 764