Comfort conditions for anglers and fish
  |  First Published: February 2014

We are well and truly into the New Year and over the past month we have been jam-packed with quality fishing conditions. It was not really hot over the Christmas break, which made fishing much more comfortable for us all.

As well as the quality weather conditions, the fishing has been just as good. Over the Christmas and early January period the fish in our local area were out to play with plenty of reports from the Broken and Goulburn rivers.

There seemed to be a lot more reports from out towards Moira Park/Toolamba area. This may have been due to more campers and anglers out there, but it’s always a very productive area during the warmer months.

Bait and lures are working well with bardi grubs being the bait of choice recently. Unlike past years the silver perch don’t seem to be as annoying, last year you would have to move spot to spot to get away from the grub-sucking fish, which was very frustrating.

There have been plenty of reports of good-sized fish caught out at the Broken towards Benalla and in Shepparton itself. My Facebook newsfeed has been full of great photos from younger fishers Ethan Peters and Harlee Mcrae. Both boys have been landing good-sized fish on surface lures and on mostly orange and black Pirate Spinnerbaits.

The Broken in town at Shepparton has less access points, which makes the fishing sometimes difficult but that indicates to me the fish have seen less lures compared to some of the highly fished areas. If you don’t mind walking knee deep you can access a lot of great spots in town but just make sure you fish with a friend when getting in the water as accidents can happen.

As well as the good fishing, there has also been some quality fishing events held in the area recently. Some people argue against fishing competitions but if run correctly they have a minimal effect on the rivers, lakes and fish. Just in December and January alone, there was an event for everyone from casual fishers to the more serious types: Eildon Invitational and Lure Casters Rnd 2 to the family-orientated Mooroopna FC Comp out at Pyke Road.

All events promote the message of catch and release, and I believe the message is so well known due to fishing events. So before you judge and bad mouth events, get along to a competition as you will find they bring new people into the area that helps small businesses, promotes the catch and release message, and gets young kids fishing, which is the most important thing of all.

The tournament season has just started with plenty more quality fishing events coming up in February. The River Rats are running their much-loved event after a few years of not hosting it. It has a new name and a new format, The Greater Shepparton Family Fishing Classic, will be held early Feb with an aim to build up the profile of the local fishing and to get as many families out on the water for a fish.

The Dash for Cash is on again at Lake Mulwala and, just like all of Tony Bennett’s events, it’s a cracker. It’s more for the serious fishos but on the same weekend there is a family event at Deni. Thrown in the middle of all of them is the Lure Casters Super Series, which holds events within an hour of Shepparton.

This next couple of months is competition season so I hope you all can get along and support the hard work that’s put into the events and support the local communities that host them. I will be trying to get to 2 or 3 events in coming months so it would be great to catch up for a chat. Just look out for either River Rats/VFM shirt or at a Mac’s Lure’s display.

Shepparton Lake

The lake has had a lot of traffic on it over the summer months. Boats, kayaks, rowers and sailing boats have been on the water consistently for the past 3 months. I hope this is the reason for the lack of fish being caught and not because most fish are no longer there.

It’s very important we all work together to make sure the Shepparton Lake is mostly a catch and release lake as the number of fish will decrease as every day goes by.

I have only had 2 reports from members of the public of 2 undersized cod caught while trolling TN60 Jackals, which are very effective.

Kialla Lakes

The lakes are still hit and miss, which is no surprise. I know there are a handful of people who fish the lakes weekly and have had some success on worms towards the newly upgraded road in lake 1 and 2. The disappointing thing it’s not yellowbelly, it’s redfin and carp being caught.

I will be pushing to get the lake back to where it was years ago – lovely clean water with healthy solid fish that can be caught regularly. In coming months keep your eyes open as there will need to be a joint effort to make sure this can all go ahead.

Waranga Basin

The basin has been very hard to get good reports from lately. We are experiencing late afternoon winds that are turning a lot of people off from heading over for a fish after work during the week.

Those who do fish the early mornings have been catching fish but still only managing 5-10 in a session with the average fish being 15-25cm.

For those still keen to chase redfin, the inlet and outlet channels are producing some good-sized fish; not in huge numbers but large sized fish up around the 30cm mark.

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