Crays and cod come on board
  |  First Published: June 2015

Winter has now well and truly set in. In the past month, we have all been waiting and anticipating our first big frost and, for most anglers, now marks the time to start chasing some crayfish.

I have always waited for the first major frosty morning to shift my focus to my cray pots and I think this season will be a cracker.

Last season a lot more locals were craying in and around Shepparton and there were a lot of reports of a heap of small males in our waters. Hopefully this season we see some larger males being caught and, if late April and early May was an indication, this will happen.

I had a handful of reports of crayfish being landed off the bank by land-based anglers targeting cod, so I can only imagine what will happen with a fully baited cray pot.

The waters out towards Murchison seem to deliver the best results when cray fishing. There is plenty of shallow water with some really deep runs where you can set out a few pots in a row to maximise your chances.

In recent years both the Goulburn and Broken rivers right in town have been a good option to chase crays, setting your pots off the bank is not ideal but there are plenty of locations in the Broken where you can do this.

While waiting for your pots, have a fish because the fishing may have slowed down a bit but there has still been some good reports floating in. Legal sized cod and yellowbelly are still being caught in shallow water around the 6ft mark.

Bait fishing is tough now due to the crays really enjoying taking grubs or worms so I would probably stick to using lures. There have been plenty of reports of locals using the locally designed Old Mate or Codger lures mostly trolled in the Goulburn River.

The water clarity was still great when I wrote this report and this is why we are still seeing good numbers of fish being caught on lures.

Waranga Basin

I have put this report up a bit higher this month due to the relevance of craying in Waranga Basin. More and more floats are being seen out at the Basin and it’s no big secret that there is some quality crays in there.

The Basin is currently pretty low, which makes it a lot easier to cray and fish in the lake. When craying in a large body of water, I like to split my nets into a few areas until I find a depth or a bank where the crays are.

Once you have located them pull your other nets out and put them in the area where you’re catching them.

Redfin are on the bite as well so if you’re putting your nets in be sure to take a fishing rod, redfin up to 45cm have been caught mostly around the Harrimans Road areas on bright lures or casting small spinners.

Shepparton Lake

With the cold mornings here to stay, the local trout are on the chew and making the most of the conditions. The trout have been stocked in the lake for the past couple of years and there are some cracking sized fish in there. The average size is still around the 20-25cm mark but I have seen fish around the 30-40cm mark being caught.

Small diving lures or spinners work well when fishing the lake in the winter months, light rods and reels are needed for you to put in some big casts.

Trout sometimes wonder out of casting distance so I would use the lightest outfit possible to get the maximum casting distance.

If you’re not into casting lures, Powerbait works the best on the trout in the lake and all the local tackle shops now stock a wide variety of baits to use.

Local Channels

The channels will now almost all be drained and I have a bit of info from the GM Water website regarding this.

They will be draining the channels and spraying chemicals to try and control the arrow head weed issue.

The herbicide will be applied to weeds in the drained channels from May 15 and then left to absorb for several weeks. The channels will then be refilled from August 1.

There maybe water still pooled in some areas of the channel systems but I would be staying well away from the channels. I am not sure how safe the spray is but I would not be risking it.

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