Bait angling proves best
  |  First Published: December 2013

From Swan Hill to Mildura and beyond it’s a similar report along the Murray River. Most locations are producing good numbers of golden perch in the backwaters on bait. Anglers are finding it easy to catch a feed in the warm spring flows, and few if any bait has been better than scrub worms.

Shrimp are now starting to show as the water temperature continues to climb. They have also proven to be good bait, especially when fished vertically amongst the snags. The technique is simple enough, just thread a single shrimp on the hook and lower it down amongst the snags where it is slowly bobbed up and down. You continue to move the bait along the snag, covering ground until a fish shows interest. It’s a very productive method and not bad fun either.

In our local waters, the only lure fishing success I have heard of this past month has been in the Kerang Lakes. Lake Charm has been the pick of these, with good sized golden perch caught both casting and trolling. Some solid redfin around the 1kg mark have also been landed on lures at both first and last light.

A little heads up for the coming cod season is the incidental capture of several good sized cod in Lake Charm this past month, with all returned in good condition.

A little further afield, the Darling River has yabbies on the move, with most anglers who have been trying their luck able to manage a feed. Some good golden perch are also on the chew in the Darling, and once again they’re being taken on bait as the water clarity is quite poor.

As we run up to the start of the cod season, many anglers are wondering what the early season conditions might be like. With most catchments full to bursting and a big river running at present, anything could happen. However, it’s a fair chance that water clarity will remain a little dirty. You shouldn’t be deterred by this though, as we have caught plenty of good cod on lures in conditions that were far less than perfect. For those anglers who like to drown a grub or two, it will be business as usual because water clarity has little effect on this method.

It will be interesting to see how the Robinvale weir pool fishes this year as the fish ladder is operational, providing rite of passage for large cod that have been denied for a few seasons. With good flows in the river it’s my guess that we will be hearing some overdue but very welcome reports of big cod this season at Robinvale and above.

All up, things are looking good for the coming season, and with the spring flows prompting a breed perhaps all will be fishy for several seasons to come.

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