Baiters bonus with warm
  |  First Published: May 2014

It was 32ºC in early April, which is something I haven’t experienced in a long time. It’s going to be so difficult to predict the weather this month! If the daily temperatures stay higher than normal it might keep the waters warmer and the shrimp/yabby activity high, which is good news for bait fishos.

Bait has been most successful over the summer and spring months, but this will change in May and June. The bigger sized lures will now be on the ends of a lot more rods as we all now shift our focus to big fish.

The cooler months are normally the time of year where we see the big fish come out and play, there has been many reports over the years with metre-plus fish being caught as close as 150m from the local ramp.

When targeting the bigger fish I tend to stick to lures with a full wire connecting the tow point to the hooks. Because there would be nothing worse than watching a fish of a lifetime swim away and all you’re left with is a bib.

The surface action has still been hot in both Goulburn and Broken rivers and there has been a lot of hype about using the Muldoon surface lure. It’s Andrew at Trelly’s Tackleworld favourite top water lure and if you have seen his Facebook page it’s full of fish from the surface. These lures seem to sell out very quick so make sure you get your hands on a few next time you’re in a tackle shop.

The Broken River along Broken River Drive has been more productive lately and it may have something to do with less lures being thrown in this area. The banks are not as easy to walk as upstream but the fishing is just as good if not better.

Shepparton Lake

I don’t know if the local council read my article but a month after I had a go at the lake’s overgrown weed problem it was gone. This excites me as now everyone can access the fish at the lake and, with hundreds of golden perch released lately, we all should be able to get a fish on the end of our lines.

As I always say please try a release as many as you can in the lake or we will see a carbon copy of the Kialla Lakes system, which is no fish left. If you do fish the lake and are looking for a feed of fish I would suggest a short walk down to the fish and chip shop down Macintosh Street as it will taste much better and there will be plenty of fish for the younger generation of fishos.

For those fishing bait you will now need to go with light sinkers and give your bait plenty of chance to waft around in the water to look more life-like. For those casting lures I would suggest the small Bassman Yellaman Spinnerbaits or if using hardbodies the shallow running Mac’s Maulers or the 10ft bibbed Codger. But as the lake is reasonably shallow I like to hold the rod a bit higher than usual just to keep the lures from dragging on the bottom.

Waranga Basin

You don’t normally head out to the basin with cod gear but we might have to rethink that theory. Over the past month I have seen half a dozen photos of cod that were caught while chasing redfin in the basin. I had always heard the odd ‘old wives tale’ about cod in the basin but after seeing the photos there seems to be a basis of fact. I hope this is something we see more of; I would love nothing more than chasing redfin on light gear and catching cod as well.

On the redfin side of things it’s now the time where I have had most success chasing bigger reds. A good friend of mine put me onto the drop bear coloured Squidgy Wriggler and it out-fishes most plastics and even catches more fish than a Jackall.

When using the plastics it’s all about getting used to the feelings through the rod, having good contact with plastic is important as you can quickly miss a bite if you let the line go slack for too long.

I don’t use the flashy complicated retrieves I like a basic slow retrieve with a pause every 3 or 4 seconds, I find a lot of fish will follow the plastic and as soon as you start to retrieve after your pause, BANG you’re on!

Local Channels

It’s about the time of year where most local channels seem to drop in level, but this doesn’t mean the fishing drops off. Driving around the area you can still find some deep pools that almost always hold good numbers of fish. Small plastics or lipless crankbaits will work well in these lower channels and, like always, if you fish the structure you increase the chances of fish.

With the channels down, it also gives you a chance to see your favourite spots from a different view, I know it’s hard but if you can keep a mental picture and store it for months down the track it will give you a huge advantage when the channels are full.

Tag Along Tours

In late March a group of 6 locals travelled up the Murray River for a weekend of fishing. Rod Mackenzie and Gus Stora tagged along for the trip and what a trip it was!

There were 6 fish caught for the weekend with 4 being around the 80cm mark and 2 over the 1m mark. Brad Clark got a 120cm monster and Tim Polis smashed Brad’s fish landing a 136cm giant cod.

These Tag Along Tours are a once in a lifetime experience and I would suggest to anyone to book one in. As soon as I get the chance I will be doing one myself. It’s more than just fishing for massive cod, it’s fishing for really big cod! Rod and Gus will also teach you everything from knots to retrieving techniques. Look up Tag Along Tours on Facebook and get in quick as I am sure they will book out very quick after seeing the success of the Shepparton boys.

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