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The bigger cod begin to stir
  |  First Published: April 2013



Activity on the water has settled down and the onset of cooler weather will thin out the ski boats, allowing anglers to fish areas that were too congested during the peak season.

The majority of cod caught have averaged 55cm-70cm, with only a few around 80cm, but the fish should be bigger as temperatures cool.

Fishing from the back of a houseboat has been a great way to finish the day as the sun sets, and even better when you have a 69cm cod trying to take the rod over the side! Brian from Caulfield had to make a mad dash to save his rod after the feisty cod took a liking to his yabby while the houseboat was parked downstream from Deep Creek.

Although not as full-on as Brian’s capture, another crew on a houseboat out from Tindarra Resort caught a 64cm cod on a piece of chicken.

The area around the Five Mile boat ramp has been the place to be for yellowbelly for anglers fishing with shrimp and worms close to the cumbungi lined banks. Cod to 58cm have also been caught in this stretch of river, with scrubworms the pick of the baits.

The waters around the Echuca-Moama road bridge have also been productive for yellas with a father and his young son landing three to 43cm and two silver perch for the morning fishing with scrub worms.

The Goulburn River has also produced a few yellas around the snags in the slower backwaters but anglers have worked pretty hard. Scrub worms have been top bait.

The National Channel at Torrumbarry had been fishing well for yellas, with the shrimp/worm cocktail working best. Unfortunately, this hot bite lasted only a few days and then shut down.

Recently a large volume of water made its way down the Gunbower Creek. Increased water flows can trigger the yellas into feeding but the high volume pushing through it has made it difficult to fish. As it settles down, the action should improve. Bait would probably be better than lures as there is a fair chance the water will be dirty.

The stretch between Barmah and Mathoura has been fishing well one week and shut down the next. Cod to 78cm have been trolled up on green frog pattern Oar-Gee Plows, while scrubworms have attracted cod to 74cm. There’s no shortage of silver perch in this area; they have been driving the bait anglers mad, making short work of the bait supply.

132CM MONSTER

I heard a report from a crew up in this area about an angler who ran into their camp asking for them to help him with his fish. At the water’s edge, it became apparent what all the fuss was about. There in the water was a cod that measured 132cm and was nearly as deep as it was long.

The lucky angler was up from Melbourne for a few days and this was his first legal cod. The fish was released after plenty of photos on the angler’s phone but unfortunately we haven’t seen them in circulation. It gives you the shivers at the size of some of the fish swimming in these waters.

Waranga Basin at Rushworth has again frustrated anglers with its inconsistency. In recent weeks there have been redfin to 50cm and the following day you’d struggle to take a fillet off them they are so small. The area out from the boat ramp at the caravan park, and just out from the windsock, have been well worth a look.

Squidgy Bugs and Wrigglers have worked well while blade-style lures retrieved close to the bottom and ice jigs are a sure bet once the school of reddies has been located.

The Murray crayfish season starts on May 1 so many anglers will spend the next few weeks repairing or replacing their nets and getting their baits sorted. The first frost is a good sign to start fishing for the crays.

Be sure to be up to date with the regulations because Fisheries are sure to increase their patrols.

Back in February the Torrumbarry Community Club released about 7000 Murray cod fingerlings upstream of the weir. The Government matched dollar-for-dollar the money the club raised through the year.

The Victorian Lure Casters Association has also donated a similar number of fingerlings, which were released a month earlier. With no shortage of fishing pressure and the blackwater events a couple of years back, it’s great to see the makings of what will be a sensational fishery in years to come.

A big pat on the back for these two clubs for raising the funds and organising the release of these fish.

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 0354 803 868.

There have been some good-sized yellowbelly around Echuca, such as this 49cm specimen caught on a spinnerbait cast among the snags. 
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