Water levels drop and water looks great
  |  First Published: June 2013

The onset of winter sees the Murray River water levels drop and with less ski boat traffic due to the cooler temperatures meaning less bank wash, the water is looking great with a clear green tinge to it and this has been a welcomed sight to those trolling lures.

Cod in the 70cm range have been a common catch with dark blue and light green hardbodied lures working well. The stretch of river between the Echuca east boat ramp and the Goulburn Junction has been productive with yellowbelly caught up to 47cm while trolling in 3m of water. As for lure colour, green, orange or yellow or a combination of the above should take the interest of a golden perch close by.

Further upstream between Barmah and Mathoura the fishing has been inconsistent with a hot bite one day and then all quiet for the next four. The cod that have been caught have ranged from 30cm tiddlers to an impressive 90cm. The larger fish have been caught by anglers trolling lures with green being the standout colour. There has also been a number of trout cod caught with some up to 55cm giving the anglers a run for their money in the faster water. It should be noted that trout cod are protected and must be returned to the water.

Downstream from the Five Mile boat ramp there had been good numbers of cod caught with the largest coming in at 74cm. Bait fishing with large yabbies tight in amongst the snags has worked well for one angler who pulled three from the one submerged log. This area also has some good stretches of trolling water with plenty of timber for the cod to hold cover while waiting for an easy meal to swim by.

Between the Torrumbarry Weir back up to the Headworks; cod have been active for anglers putting the time in trolling lures. Christie Caine landed a 73cm cod while using a pink/red Stumpjumper and another angler cracked the metre with a 102cm cod. Both fish were caught in the same area a few days apart. Finding the deeper holes in the river and dragging your lures up the incline of the drop-offs  has been effective as fish can position themselves out of the current and sit and wait for a meal to drift past above them.

Below the weir there has been plenty of activity for those using lures but unfortunately not too many fish have been landed. Those using lures have had no shortage of fish hit their lures but not too many actually hooking up. This may be from the fish not being in a feeding mode but instead hitting the lure out of aggression because it is swimming through their territory.

A good way to turn these strikes into hook ups is just after the fish has hit the lure, drop the rod tip back towards where the lure is. This creates slack line which in turn will make the lure sit in front of the fish as if it is stunned after the hit. As the slack line is taken up this is where the fish will see its meal swimming away and most times will have a second go at it.

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. 

Goobes and good mate Boonta from Moama have been getting amongst some decent sized fish recently. This cod measured 96cm and was trolled up on a Codger lure.

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