The fishing over the past four weeks has either been fantastic or just plain ordinary, depending on whom you speak to.
With the high level of ski boat traffic along the river, bait anglers have had to put up with an endless supply of silver perch and carp. A father and nine-year-old son up for the weekend managed to catch only the pest fish before moving to another area and landing a fat 75cm cod on a $25 rod and reel. After a few proud photos the fish was released, a great effort.
Anglers fishing first thing in the morning or into the evening seem to be having a lot more success than those out in the heat of the day. Some are targeting quieter stretches of water and are picking up quality cod and yellowbelly.
The Edward River at Deniliquin has produced some good-sized cod for anglers trolling hardbodied lures late in the afternoon. The area around the syphon and upstream from Benarca Bend has produced yellowbelly around 40cm on shrimps and worms.
Meanwhile, Karl and Liam from Cobram put in a big day in extremely hot conditions to land four cod up to 74cm by casting spinnerbaits among the snags.
Matty Lake from Moama trolled up an 80cm cod from the same area. A week earlier Matt’s father-in-law trolled up possibly the same fish, only to lose it boatside due to Matt’s ‘net failure’ but the boys had their day and safely netted the healthy fish for a quick photo session before release.
Not to be outdone, young Tahnee Lake caught a 42cm yellowbelly on scrub worms.
The stretch of river from Morning Glory Resort downstream from Barmah up to The Gulf at the back of Picola has been hit-and-miss, with the river rising and falling and carrying a flush of dirty water.
Anglers are still catching legal size cod (60cm) with most being taken on dark trolled lures colour. Yellowbelly have favoured lures with pink and black bars.
Protected trout cod (which must be returned to the water) to 66cm have been caught on worms. At that size these fish have a fair bit of pulling power and you certainly know when they have a go at a lure.
Below the Torrumbarry Weir there have been good reports filtering through of cod and golden perch.
The cod have been taking yabbies in the evening and the yellas would look only at shrimp if it teamed up with a couple of worms.
Further downstream, past Gunbower, yellowbelly to 41cm have been caught on spinnerbaits with green/yellow/red skirts.
The inlet and outlet channels of Kow Swamp have quietened off. Anglers are still catching yellowbelly but not in the numbers they were late last year. Lipless crankbaits have outdone any other lures in these waters, while shrimps and worms have been the pick baits.
Waranga Basin at Rushworth has finally come to life again after being slow side for the past couple of months. Anglers are picking up 750g-2.5kg reddies in water up to 10m deep. Dropping blade lures and ice jigs right to the bottom and letting them sit and then lifting the rod a few times and dropping the lure back to the bottom again has proved successful. Small yabbies and shrimp also work well.
Over the next few months as we move into the cooler weather larger cod take trolled lures. This is also when the river shrimps move into the deeper sections and become scarce.
Switched-on bait anglers will start catching plenty of shrimps and get a good supply in the freezer to use through Winter until they are back in big numbers.
For more information on what’s biting around Echuca and Moama, drop into J.T’s Fishing & Camping, opposite the Border Inn Hotel, Moama, or phone 0354 803 868.
Liam from Cobram with a well-marked 66cm cod caught on a spinnerbait at Deniliquin.Reads: 719