Big wet dampens fishing
  |  First Published: August 2014

Winter is almost over and with the upcoming end of winter comes the end of our cod season. It has been a struggle to target some late season cod in our area as we had some very bad weather systems hit us. Cold wet and windy conditions are an angler’s worst enemy and in July that’s what we had to contest with daily.

Due to the bad weather we saw all local river systems go into minor flood, which made fishing near impossible. For those who did brave the conditions they mostly targeted the backwater pools with bait. From most reports I received this worked well for carp but next to no native fish would come out and play in high, dirty and cold water.

So hopefully when this issue hits the stand the river heights will be at a more stable level so we can get out and target a late season cod. If the levels are stable I would stick to trolling big lures in the Goulburn and disregard the Broken. The broken will fire back up in the warmer months so stick to the bigger lures or bait anywhere from Murchison to Shepparton.

If the water levels are still high and you are still keen to chase a late season fish, be very careful. The Goulburn is renowned for big floating trees when the water is up. You only have to go to the local boat ramp to see the massive amounts of logs clogging the river at the bridge.

Targeting the backwater pools is probably the only way to fish the fast flowing river. There are plenty of good spots to do this in town. Just behind Aquamoves or out towards Jordens Bend and Cemetery Bend on The Boulevard are a few likely areas. But I can’t stress enough: take care if fishing from the bank or in a boat as one false move could be your last.

The crays locally were out and about prior to the river rises and I had consistent reports of good sized males being caught amongst plenty of throwback females. Earlier reports of crays being caught in town dwindled down and were overtaken by plenty of reports that the crays were mostly downstream towards Undera.

There has been a larger number of locals targeting crays in the channel system in and out of Waranga Basin I have not targeted crays in the channels but it seems a safe and easy way to fish for crays. There were not as many reports from the Basin itself, but I believe that will be due to the high winds.

Kialla Lakes

I managed to get an hour of fishing in at Kialla before footy one night and managed to land a couple of tiny redfin in lake number 2. I was targeting golden perch but by using smaller lures I kept myself in the game to get a reddy. I chose to slow roll a Jackal TN50 in a plain black colour. Using the smaller lure I tried to retrieve the lure as slow as possible along the bottom. This technique in Kialla is much easier to do because there are next to no snags on the bottom so there’s not a huge risk of losing tackle. This technique is also very successful with larger soft plastics between in the 70-90mm sizes and a technique worth slotting in the memory banks for when the water warms up in a few months.

Shepparton Lake

There have been some nice sized rainbow trout released into the lake in the past month so about now they should be well and truly acclimatized to the lake and on the bite.

Floating Powerbaits or a big heap of worms has been the best way to catch the trout on bait in the lake. If using lures, small deep diving lures or lipless crankbaits works well. If you’re using the lures from the bank I would hold the rod a bit higher than normal and keep your lure off the bottom as its still very weedy down there.

If you’re putting a boat or kayak on the lake I would troll around the trusty Tassie Devil, the white or pink colours work best for me or the traffic light colour.

Local Channels

Bait fishos have been very annoyed lately due the to number of crayfish in our channel systems. Very regularly you find your bait disappearing without a bite and this is due to the crays. If you have the right conditions and minimal wind, floating worms or Powerbait will work just like in the Shepparton Lake. But in the channels you can probably have the bait down 3-4ft under the float. If you do not want to lose your bait to crays, stick to casting small hardbodies or plastics for the redfin. There are plenty of good lures on the market and sometimes it takes me 3 or 4 lure changes to find the right colour or lure type, so don’t be scared to change things up frequently.

Surprisingly there has been a number of golden perch caught out of the channels lately. Golden perch are not uncommon in the channels but this time of the year they are very hard to find, so it was a great effort to young Jayden Blum who has landed a couple of goldens.

Waranga Basin

Due to the wind our fishing club called off its club comp at the Basin in July and I have heard so many other people call off trips to the Basin as well. It is a shame as the Basin was producing good numbers of fish and some monster redfin amongst the smaller ones.

If you do manage to get a day with no wind I would head out for sure and if you can find the schools you will be in for a good session. Both bait and lures will work in the Basin so it’s just a matter of fishing the fish. If you’re going to fish the Basin jump onto willyweather.com.au. I find this the best way to find out the wind forecast and if you have to think twice about the wind, DON’T GO.

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