We waited two months until summer really hit us, and when it did it hit us hard with temps getting close to 40ºC for weeks on end. The cooler start to summer made fishing easy in late Jan and early Feb, and with this saw bumper fishing reports from all locations in and around Shepparton.
Normally in the summer months the bigger fish are harder to find but there were confirmed reports of metre-plus fish being caught in both the Broken and Goulburn rivers.
The water clarity has been a grade and this has helped out the local lure fishers land big fish. Casting large hardbody lures seems to be working well on the larger fish on all different brands of lures.
I used to believe in smaller lures to catch all types of fish but after seeing the results I have shifted my thinking and now think big if I want a big fish. You only have to listen to Rod Mackenzie or anyone who has fished with him to realise that’s the way fishing is heading.
As well as good-sized fish being caught on lures, bait is still accounting for some thumper fish. Gary Blum landed a metre-plus Goulburn River cod on bait earlier in the season, which saw the fish just hooked in the lip.
More and more fishers are now fishing the waters out Bunbartha and having great results doing so. The banks are not the easiest to access and you need a good 4x4 to launch a boat of decent size but if you can, you will enjoy some lovely fishing conditions.
There is a lot of private property and farm gates leading into the bush out there, which may seem easy access to the river but I would suggest on getting permission before you start opening and closing the gates.
If you’re looking for better access, the fishing around Pyke Road has been great. There is a nice gravel ramp out there that suits most sized boats. There are some nice deep holes and some hit the 20’ mark.
The heat has shut down the yellowbelly but has brought out the non-native carp.
I have had a few footy training sessions out there and after training throwing bait out under the willows but I have only caught small carp. I hope the small carp doesn’t mean a fresh batch of carp to ruin the Lakes. The fisheries have done an amazing job of trying to eradicate the carp in Kialla and I hope these 20-30cm fish are not a result of fresh breading.
Craigmuir is now Mooroopna’s number one fishing spot with thumping redfin being the species flourishing in the warmer months. I consistently get reports for local David Savige reporting big redfin are being caught more regularly than his target species, yellowbelly.
It always gets me thinking how so many redfin end up in these lake systems as off the top of my head I wouldn’t think it would have ever been stocked with a non-native fish.
But who cares how they got there because they have been great fun for all who target them on the troll or cast.
With the temps reaching 40ºC during the past month the lake’s trout population would have struggled. I know last year when it was really hot almost 50% of trout caught went belly up. In the end, a lot of locals stopped fishing the lake on the hot days as it was just doing too much damage.
Earlier months there were some good size yellowbelly being caught mostly trolling small lures on the weed edges but bait fishing was working well too. I keep saying it but floating your bait seems to work best and if you adjust your depth of boat so it’s just sitting above the weed, you see better results.
It continually seems to be too windy to fish the basin lately. Normally it’s too windy in the spring but this summer was the worst I have ever experienced. If you were lucky enough to get out it was not really worth it with the redfin being spread right out and the larger schools hard to find.
I have not had any other reports of cod being caught in the basin since local Darren Martin’s 90cm+ fish captured months ago. The only area that has been fishing well at the basin is the inlet channels off the bank. Casting small blades or spinners seems to be working well. Bait fishers have had success using scrub worms but there has been a lot of big carp caught while bait fishing for redfin.
The 2015 River Rats Family Fishing Classic was run the first weekend of Feb and it was one of the best yet. 126 entrants signed up for the 2015 event with 40% of entrants travelling over 100km to fish our local waters.
The furthest travelling angler was Dizzy Scents own Dallas Smeeth who travelled over 900km to fish the event with his son Hayden.
The weekend saw plenty of families fishing together and that was one of the main aims of the event organisers.
The event hosted a mini outdoor and fishing expo that saw over 250 walk-through the doors. The headline act was the Rod Mackenzie and Glen Casey Big Cod talk. All who attended the fishing competition left with a prize and a smile.
Event organisers are yet to weigh up whether the event will be held in Shepparton in 2016. It was reported local council was not supporting the only Shepparton-based fishing competition and the River Rats have been approached by other councils and sporting grounds to move the event.
|Open Cod:||Kaleb Oxley||81cm|
|Open Yellowbelly:||Jacob Crow / Tait Collins||49cm|
|Open Carp:||Hellen Wilson||77cm|
|JNR Cod:||Nate Auston||63cm|
|JNR Yellowbelly:||Declan McIntosh||43cm|
|JNR Carp:||Aiden McIntosh||61cm|