Activity slows as fishing increases
  |  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 55-70cm with only a few around the 80cm mark but this should change and the fish should be bigger as temperatures cool down.

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 of the boat! Brian from Caulfield had to make a mad dash to save his rod after the feisty cod took a liking of 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 managed a cod measuring 64cm caught 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 the yellas with a father and his young son landing three yellowbelly with the best measuring 43cm and two silver perch for the morning while fishing with scrubbies. The Goulburn River has also seen a few yellas but again anglers have worked pretty hard for the ones they have caught. Scrubworms fished around the snags in the slower backwaters have been the best areas to target them.

The National Channel at Torrumbarry had been fishing well on the yellas for the bait soakers with the shrimp worm cocktail working the best. Unfortunately this hot bite only lasted a few days before the fishing had shut down. At the time of writing there was a large amount of water making its way down the Gunbower Creek. Increased water flows can trigger the yellas into feeding but with the high volume of water pushing through it has made it difficult to fish. As it settles down the fishing should improve. Bait would probably be preferred over lures as there is a fair chance the water will be dirty.

The stretch of water between Barmah and Mathoura has been fishing well one week and shut down the next. Cod to 78cm have been trolled up on Oargee Plows in the green frog pattern while scrubworms have attracted cod to 74cm. With no shortage of silver perch in this area; they have been driving the bait anglers mad as they make short work of the bait supply.

I had heard of a report from a crew up in this area that had an angler run into their camp asking for them to help him with his fish. After standing at the waters edge it then became apparent what all the fuss and commotion was about. There in the water was a cod that measured 132cm and was nearly as deep as what it was long. The angler who had caught it was up from Melbourne for a few days away and this was his first legal sized Murray cod. The fish was released after plenty of photos on the anglers phone but unfortunately we haven’t seen them in circulation. If it is all legitimate then it gives you the shivers at the size of some of these fish that are swimming in these waters.

Waranga Basin at Rushworth has again frustrating anglers with its inconsistency. Over the last few weeks there have been redfin caught measuring up 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. Squidgie Bugs and Wrigglers have worked well for those using soft plastics while blade-style lures retrieved close to the bottom as well as Ice jigs are a sure bet once the school of reddies has been located.

May 1 marks the start of the Murray crayfish season so many anglers will spend the next few weeks repairing or replacing their nets and getting their baits sorted as they await the first frost which is a good sign to start fishing for the crays. Be sure to be up to date with the regulations as this is the time of the year that you are sure to have Fisheries increasing their patrols.

Back in February the Torrumbarry Community Club released approximately 7,000 Murray Cod fingerlings into the water upstream of the weir. With the government matching them “dollar for dollar”, the money raised throughout the year through their fundraising has gone back into the river for restocking.

It was also reported that the Victorian Lure Casters Association had also donated the same amount of fingerlings which were released a month earlier. With no shortage of fishing pressure and the events of the blackwater a couple of years back it’s great to see the makings of what will be a sensational fishery in the years to come.

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

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 has been some good-sized yellowbelly around Echuca such as this 49cm caught on a spinnerbait cast amongst the snags. 

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