Bigger, better bounty
  |  First Published: December 2013

It’s time to welcome in a new year. 2014 brings some exciting times for me with my wife being pregnant, a new football coaching position at Congupna and most importantly a bigger area report for the Shepparton region!

This year will see me doing more expansive reports to include the Shepparton Lake, Kialla Lake and also Waranga Basin each month. I will also include the regular hot spots in the Broken and Goulburn rivers and our local channel systems.

With this there is a great chance to see your name and photo in the area reports. I love reading locals reports via email and love seeing photos of local catches so please don’t hesitate to send me your photos or reports.

Now all the nitty gritty is done its back to the important stuff and that’s the fishing.

Over late November and early December there were some annoying flows in the Goulburn River. This saw the river rise 3-5m, which made bank fishing near impossible once the water dropped. It also effected the boaters, fast flowing waters are very dangerous to fish and it beats me why the flows were let down prior to the busiest weekend on our waters cod opening.

The frustration was felt closer to home for me as the fishing club I am president of had planned the Shepparton Fishing Championships for early December. Our club had targeted some of Victoria’s best fishos to fish the event and really wanted to showcase our local fishery. But the decision was made weeks out to shift to Lake Eildon. There will be a few photos and quick report in next month’s article.

Now the warmer weather is here we should start to see larger catch rates in the Goulburn and Broken rivers. There will be plenty of shrimp and yabbies out and about and I would be using fresh bait if angling in January.

Even if you’re lure fishing in January, throw a shrimp net in and try to mirror what you catch – I am no expert but everyone says ‘match the hatch’. Sometimes I have found shrimp and yabbies either really dark or a clear natural colour. Doing something as small as putting a net in can help increase your chances.

The Gowangardie Weir always fishes well this time of year. This spot seems to get fished very hard but it still produces plenty of quality fish; hopefully most people are practising catch and release to enhance the enjoyment for all us fishos.

The Goulburn River out Rafterys Road fished well this time last year and I would expect a similar pattern to form this January. There is plenty of access to the riverbank and sometimes you need to move from spot to spot until you land a fish. The sandbars always produce fish but I tend to target the larger timber either side of the sandbars. I have found they hold the larger fish.

Kialla Lakes

The lakes had a big stir up in late November with 1,500 people jumping in for the big triathlon; this didn’t seemed to worry the yellowbelly in December. The lakes are making a fight back but it’s a tad more difficult than in the past.

I have had plenty of reports of good-sized fish caught on live shrimp or the trusty old shrimp worm combo.

I have started to try slow rolling small spinnerbaits, the new Bassman Yellaman range seems to work well on a slow roll. Sometimes you may feel like you’re going too slow but as long as you can feel the blade working you’re alright.

Shepparton Lakes

Fishing has been tough lately due to the large amounts of weed in the lake, but some who found the patches without weed have caught some nice fish.

Still surprisingly anglers are landing Murray cod. From my memory, cod have not been stocked in the lake but they are a good by-catch when using light gear for trout or redfin.

Waranga Basin

Boaters have not had to travel too far in recent months with good-sized schools of redfin bunching up just out from Harrimans Ramp. There is a great little trolling run adjacent to Harrimans Road, there is not much structure in the run but it seems to be a sure bet for a good sized redfin.

The best thing about fishing close to the ramp is the basin always seems to chop up, and the last thing you need is to be stranded over the other side.

Troll lures in different depth ranges, as sometimes the fish are holding at different levels. Keep an eye on your sounder as soon as you get a hit or a fish to see what depth they are feeding in. Sometimes the smallest thing can turn a 1 or 2 fish session into double figures in minutes.

Yet again I welcome all your reports and photos so please don’t be shy. I am looking forward to 2014 and hope I can bring you some handy tips and locations to improve your fishing in our local area.

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