As I sit here writing, I start to hear the unfamiliar sound of rain on the roof. A look outside confirms big black clouds yet twenty minutes later those promising clouds are starting to get a bluesky background. That’s been the pattern here in the Echuca/Moama district.
In three weeks we received 35mm of rain, which is good for the gardens and to top up the rainwater tanks, but it’s not enough for the suffering rivers and storages in the area.
Recent reports from the Edward River at Deniliquin have been few and far between, probably due to the cold weather and low water levels. Rather than ruining a good day and getting the car bogged, some anglers have opted to flick small hardbodied lures in the local channels. Numerous redfin have been caught while retrieving lures in close to the bank.
The Gulpa Creek above Mathoura has again produced good-sized golden perch, with scrubworms being the bait of choice. One unconfirmed report was of a golden that weighed nearly 6kg. That’s a good fish, and a good effort to get him out of his snag riddled home.
Only the odd fish has been taken in Broken Creek recently. With the water clarity being a bit ordinary, anglers using smelly baits or a fish attracting scent could be in with a chance.
The fishing in the Murray River around Echuca has been great for some and frustrating for others. Different parties have spent the good part of the day casting and trolling for one fish or less, while others have landed a few fish in as many hours.
Local bloke Nick Kiely and his mate had a good afternoon casting Bassman Codman spinnerbaits (with a green and black skirt). By consistently casting their spinnerbaits into the snags they landed several golden perch, with the best being a solid 53cm.
Spinnerbaits haven’t been on their own in the fish-catching stakes, with deep diving hard-bodied lures also taking their share. Anglers casting to fallen timber from either boat or bank, cranking their lures down deep and then letting them slowly work their way back through the timber have also been successful.
For the bait soakers the bardi grub has been the most productive bait for cod, with scrubworms a close second. Getting a supply of shrimp for a day’s fishing is near impossible at the moment but hopefully this will change in the coming months. Yabbies are fairly scarce too, but some forward thinking anglers stocked up in the warmer months and have a ready supply in their backyard tanks. This natural river bait comes into its own when bobbed amongst the timber.
In late winter the water temperature in the Murray at Torrumbarry was sitting at 10.4oC and water clarity was quite good. Casting spinnerbaits with an orange/brown skirt has proven to be successful. Landing your lure right in tight amongst the timber will increase your chances. On a recent trip to this stretch of water, Deniliquin angler Jason Sheehan landed a nice cod of 84cm. The fish was in excellent condition and after a few quick snaps it was released back into his environment. Once again spinnerbaits did the trick.
The last few weeks there have been four or five reports of metre plus fish being landed. One I can confirm was caught by local Matt Bongiavanni who, along with a few mates, was out doing a spot of crayfishing. In between checking the nets, Matt was casting a custom crafted Hammerhead back towards the bank when a cod measuring 137cm smashed his lure. Not only was his lure smashed, but his rod also ended up in two pieces and the 20lb Fireline was pulled in by hand. After a quick photo session and plenty of high fives he was released to fight another day. A sensational effort!
For more info on what’s biting in the Echuca/Moama district, drop in and see Justin at J.T’s Fishing and Camping, 16 Meninya St Moama (opposite the Border Inn Hotel) or call on 03 54 803868.
Jason Sheehan with an 84cm Murray cod, which he caught on a spinnerbait in the Murray River at Torrumbarry.Reads: 557