They say time flies when you’re having fun and that’s certainly been the case with the opening of the cod season on the 1st of December.
The three-month closure feels like three weeks with anglers not even thinking about the cod due to the consistent numbers of yellowbelly being caught. Warmer water temperatures and a rise in water levels has kicked the yellas into a feeding frenzy with an angler witnessing another angler catch and release up to approximately 30 golden perch while casting Jackells at Kow Swamp.
Soft vibe style lures in the red/black colour had also been working well with anglers landing 3-4 yellas in the evenings while Custom Crafted Hammerheads in the 65mm copper colour had also been a consistent taker. It had been standing room only on the weekends with anglers lining the banks as the word had got out that the yellas were on the bite. These fish hadn’t given themselves up too easily with one day they would take lures and the only thing they would touch and the next day was bait.
Scrubworms and shrimp had been the pick of the baits fished around the willows.
Redfin have also been favouring the worms but have struggled to make plate-size. Anglers have reported some reddies measuring to 36cm in the Murray River caught on worms. Although they are considered a pest species due to them feeding on the eggs of our native fish; they would still be the pick of the freshwater fish if taking one for a feed.
Five-year-old Dane Whitmore of Echuca took home the bragging rights after camping with his family at Torrumbarry recently. Fishing from the bank with his hook loaded up with shrimp; Dane didn’t have to wait very long for his rod bells to start singing and the battle was on before a good-sized golden perch at approximately 50cm was safely in the net. After a few rounds of ‘high fives’ through the camp Dane could sit back knowing he had caught the fish of the trip as several smaller fish were also caught; well done Dane!
Les from Moama had a good afternoon fishing above Torrumbarry Weir from the bank. Four yellowbelly measuring 44, 43, 40 and 38cm were caught using scrubworms and after releasing two and keeping a couple for the table, Les noticed the stomach contents were full of yabbies; goes to show that the yellas can’t pass up a good meal.
There has also been numerous fish caught around Echuca but the standout ones would be a 53cm yella caught out the front of Winbi Resort on a small yabbie, a 46cm yella caught under the Echuca Moama road bridge on scrubbies, a 51cm yellowbelly on scrubworms further upstream and a guest staying at Cadell on the Murray who took a step back after a massive boil around his lure and only getting a glimpse of the cods tail which was bigger than his outstretched hand.
Before the opening of the season there had been plenty of cod caught and released in the Murray and Edward rivers with the average fish measuring between 65-75cm and yellas up to 54cm at Mathoura. These fish have been caught in good numbers and have all been in tip-top condition so it’s shaping up to be a good season.
Waranga Basin has been hit and miss with some anglers picking up a handful of reddies one day and cleaning up the next. Shrimp and small yabbies have been excellent baits in the past and with a population of golden perch in there as well, there is always the chance of tussling with one of them. The channels out from the Basin have produced so good-sized reddies on Squidgy Wrigglers in the Dropbear colour but the hot bites have gone off as quick as they have come on.
There has been several reports of golden perch caught at Lake Eppalock on yabbies in the smaller bays of the lake. Evening has been the best time and fishing around the rocky points and edges has been the consistent areas. These areas generally have warmer water temperatures due to the rocks holding the heat a lot longer.
For more information on what’s biting in the Echuca and Moama area, drop into J.T;s Fishing & Camping Moama, opposite the Border Inn Hotel, or phone 0354 803868.
Dane Whitmore from Echuca proudly shows off his yellowbelly he caught while fishing with shrimp at Torrumbarry.