Murray River gold rush
  |  First Published: October 2008

The last week in August saw an influx of anglers to the Echuca/Moama district for one final chance to land a Murray cod before the season closes. Many reports have filtered through of cod from 80-110cm being caught on both lures and bait.

With low water levels throughout the area, most anglers headed to the deeper stretches of water above Torrumbarry Weir. Moama angler Trevor Nagorcka had his final cod fix just before the season ended, and caught a solid 88cm model. A black AC Invader of 150mm enticed the fish from its 10m hole. It was released in good condition.

Spinnerbaits have also proven successful, with cod to 80cm caught in the Fraser Road area. Persistent casts amongst the snag piles has been the way to achieve success.

The stretch of river from the Five Mile Boat Ramp to downstream of Torrumbarry Weir has seen excellent numbers of golden perch being caught, with all methods of fishing taking many good-sized goldens. For the bait anglers, scrubworms have accounted for several fish of 2-3kg.

On the artificial side of things, hardbodied lures, spinnerbaits and Jackalls have all been successful, with Jackalls in particular being very effective. Colours such as brown dog, HL black and red/black in the TN60 and TN70 sizes have worked well. Casting these noisy lipless crankbaits into the timbered structure and then slowly working them back to either boat or bank is the way to work these lures.

Echuca angler John Hannan recently landed two solid goldens using this method, while fishing a few bends down from the Five Mile Boat Ramp. At 48cm and 55cm, it was a good way to finish off what had been a quiet afternoon.

The ever-reliable Oargee in purple and black has taken golden perch to 40cm for those preferring to troll. Working this lure past the weed beds in around 3m of water has drawn several fish from cover.

Before the close of the season, keen local angler Jason Boal was back at his favourite fishing spot downstream of the Torrumbarry Weir. Jason has had a far amount of success here in past months. His recent trip was no different as he managed to land plenty of good-sized goldens on a Jackall TN-60, only to be busted off at the boat by a cod guesstimated to be over 1m. Licking his wounds but not being put off, he topped the day off with an 80cm cod taken on a bardi grub while he had his lunch.

The Goulburn River above Stewarts Bridge has been a little slow for golden perch, and those caught have all been taken on bait. Small yabbies and scrubworms have been effective in the dirty water.

Redfin in the Campaspe River have again been active, with anglers walking the banks around Echuca and further upstream. Small StumpJumpers and spinnerbaits worked through the deeper pools have been effective, as has drifting an unweighted scrubworm.

Boat access to Waranga Basin shouldn’t be too much of a problem now, with water levels up over 20% of capacity. Drift slowly using ice jigs or bobbing small yabbies or worms until you come across a school of redfin, then quietly drop the anchor or troll lures through the area. Locating the fish and staying with them is the key.

The Edward River has been quiet in recent weeks but with increased inflows it should improve soon.

Please remember that Murray cod season is closed and any cod caught must be released.

For the latest info on what’s biting in the Echuca/Moama area, drop in and see Justin at J.T’s Fishing & Camping, 16 Meninya St, Moama NSW (opposite the Border Inn Hotel), or call on 03 5480 3868.

Nick Kiely of Moama caught this beaut 53cm golden perch in the Murray River on a green and black Bassman spinnerbait from the Codman series. The golden perch fishing should improve with the warmer weather.

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