This time of the year with the school holidays generally we see more kids and families out chasing a fish.
Great weather makes it ideal to be out on the water and with warmer water temperatures the fish are usually a lot more active. Cod, yellowbelly and silver perch in the rivers and redfin in the lakes and channels should be in good numbers going by the amount that were caught in the lead up to the Christmas period.
To date, the reddies have been a hit and miss affair but I have no doubt that they will fire up and anglers will be bagging big numbers. Last season soft plastics and blade style lures were all the rage and rightly so with the local irrigation channels, Warranga Basin and Lake Eppalock giving up either big schools of reddies or a few fish around the 50cm mark on a regular basis.
Golden perch have been caught in good numbers in both the Murray River and many of its off takes. Fishing the rivers in the evenings has been prime time with the yellas feeding in close as the sun falls behind the trees. Many anglers have caught them while fishing from sandbars along the river. Using shrimp on their own or a shrimp and worm cocktail and not casting out too far has been a proven method with the yellas cruising in the shallower water.
Yellowbelly up to 49cm and smaller from 30-35cm have been caught off these sandbars; with plenty of these areas being located close in town. Different anglers report that yellas are only taking worms, and the next person you speak to are only catching them on yabbies and the next might be on shrimp so it pays to have a good mix of different baits as they will all catch fish on the right day.
The first regulator on the Edward River at Mathoura has seen the odd yellowbelly caught on slowly retrieved spinnerbaits with skirts in the chartreuse/purple colour. This section of river is chock full of timber and is home to a many cod who have in the past had a liking for a well placed spinnerbait or hardbodied lure.
The Goulburn Junction; upstream of Echuca has been fairly quiet for the golden perch as this can be an area where it can produce some good fish. At the time of writing the Goulburn had dropped about 35cm with minimal flow; another rise in the water should see a few fish on the move.
The Campaspe Junction has produced yellas to 43cm at the mouth and further back towards the road bridge by anglers fishing with scrubworms in the dirty water. The area at the junction itself has been a hot spot in the past for silver perch which as they get bigger fight a lot harder.
Below Torrumbarry Weir there has been quite a lot of boat activity, a sure sign that the word has got out that there is a few fish on the go. This area has always produced yellowbelly when there has been increased water flows not to mention some thumping cod caught on lures trolled in the waters on the downside of the weir.
Dick King from Echuca got amongst the action landing seven yellas in Taylors Creek with one being an absolute stonker while casting Oargee Plows in the CR colour; all fish were released. Kingy had also been busted off by quite a large cod while fishing in the Gunbower Creek recently.
Kow Swamp out from Gunbower continues to fish well for the yellas with too many reports to mention of anglers reaching their bag limit well within the hour. Unfortunately some anglers have got greedy or exited because of the hot bite and have taken either undersized fish, have been over their bag limit or both. Just because this area receives golden perch from a stocking program doesn’t mean you can take as many as you can fit in your eski, these fish are for everyone to enjoy catching; not just for this weekend but for years to come. Hats off to Fisheries inspectors for coming through and weeding out those that are doing the wrong thing.
A couple of fishing competitions coming up that are well worth marking on the calendar are firstly the Deniliquin RSL Fishing Classic held on the weekend of February 16-17 with over $50,000 in prizes to give away and on the following weekend of February 22-24, the Koondrook Barham Fishing Competition will be held with a $10,000 boat package to give away.
I can pass on any further information on these comps on the contact number listed below.
For more information on what’s biting in the Echuca and Moama area, drop into J.T’s Fishing & Camping (opposite the Border Inn Hotel) or phone Justin on 0354 803 868.