Back to basics is a good tactic
  |  First Published: April 2014

Getting back to basics is something I think we all forget to do sometimes. You hear it all the time in regards to footy, cricket or any sport. If you’re doing the basics right, you become more successful.

In the past month I tried to do the basics right – putting in good casts using the right bait and having quality hooks and line. I have also stripped it right back to where it all started for me, which was off the bank in the Goulburn River. It’s a far cry from the boat with all the modern luxuries. I didn’t land many big fish but I thoroughly enjoyed my time on the bank out at Moira Park.

In the past month the Goulburn system around our area has been producing good numbers of small fish on bait and it’s quite common to get fish in double figures in a session.

The fishing upstream of Shepparton has been going great. There are plenty of reports coming from the Murchison/Toolamba area with numbers of cod, golden perch and the annoying silver perch being caught, mostly on bait with some bigger fish being landed on lures.

I have been doing a bit of bait fishing out at Moira Park but the fish have only been in the 40-45cm range. With the days getting shorter and the water temperature falling, we should start to see fish numbers drop but the average size fish increase.

I now start to focus on big lures, heavier rods and stronger line in April and May. Using larger hardbodies can be tough in our area but there are some really good trolling runs. They may not be long runs but if you hummer these areas I am sure you will stir something up.

I have known people to use lures up to 150mm long in Shepparton, but they troll them very close to the back of the boat to limit the depth they dive. You may not catch a lot of fish using monster lures but the fish you do get will be well worth it.

Local anglers Simon Tait and Reece Conti have had a few trips lately, one to Blowering and one to Eildon, where by using big lures at night they both managed to land metre-plus fish. I know that’s not the same waters as Shepparton but it’s well worth a mention and it’s something we can try and adapt to our local fishery.

Toolamba Fishing Club Easter Classic

It’s pretty exciting that the fishing has been so good out Toolamba way and it should be still fishing well for the upcoming Easter Classic. Time flies, I still remember when the first fishing competition was run by their fishing club and now it’s in its 8th year and going from strength to strength.

This year there is over $6,000 of prizes up for grabs, with plenty of meals and even a band its surely going to be a great weekend for all. For more info visit the www.toolambafishingclub.websyte.com.au.

Broken River

The river has seen its fair share of fishing traffic lately with the walking tracks getting more noticeable as each week goes by. The catch rates of fish have been down on past years, hopefully just due to fish seeing so many lures and getting familiar to what’s food and what’s not.

I just hope it’s not from people taking too many fish. The system to me is very fragile and not too many fish are stocked in the Broken.

The only trend that is still very similar to past seasons is the amazing surface action. If you talk to anyone who uses surface lures out of the Broken you can see the excitement on their face with every word that comes out of their mouths. Most conversations usually finish with a, “BOOF BOOF, I’m on line!”

Shepparton Lake

There has been a huge boost for the lake with over 200 golden perch being released in late February. By now the fish should be adjusted to living in their new environment and feeding up before the winter.

It’s great to see so many fish being stocked in the lake but the main issue some will find is access to fishable water. I would not fish the lake off the bank due to the thick weed. Kayaks or a boat would be my first choice. Trolling smaller, shallow diving hardbodies or spinnerbaits will work as well as lipless crankbaits cast or trolled in likely areas.

I will hopefully be putting in some hours on the lake in coming months testing a few new lures, so if you see my River Rats boat with the huge Macs Lure on the front wave me down as I’m always happy have a chat.

Kialla Lakes

I may have jumped the gun on Kialla last report. It was all looking good and yet again it has let me down. The lakes over the past month have not been good at all. Bait or lure fishing has not produced many catches and the fish that are getting caught are carp.

This is an issue that will need to be addressed. I don’t understand how the lakes went from the best spot in town to a waste of time in just 2 short years. If any readers have any feedback or info on your experiences at Kialla please send them through.

Waranga Basin/Local Channels

Think deep and pink when fishing the basin in April.

All reports are that the fish are in 20-30ft of water and being trolled up on small deep diving pink lures. Most are keeping the lure of choice close to their chest, but I would suggest Halco Crazy Deeps, Macs Maulers or 15ft Plus Codgers would be the best lures to have behind the boat.

The channels have picked up after months of being dormant. Facebook has been full of photos from locals targeting redfin, but mostly catching golden perch with some reaching over 50cm. The girls from Pirate Spinnerbaits have had recent success catching good-sized golden perch and redfin casting small soft plastics and using a slow retrieve.

On a different note away from fishing, on February 7, my wife gave birth to our first child, a very little boy named Ayden James Brown. The little fella was 11 weeks premature so he measured in at 39.5cm and only 1,648g. Hopefully by the time you are reading this we are home from the hospital in Melbourne and he’s doing fine.

With all the hospital visits and the added time needed to be spent with my boy would love for more readers to get involved by sending more of your reports in either via email or Facebook. I love reading your reports and the more you send them through the better the coverage can be in our area.

I wish you all the best for Easter and hope you have a safe and happy break and would also like to wish local teams Macs Lures, Pirate Spinnerbaits and Eat Em Alive all the best in the upcoming Cod Nationals.

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