Local rivers in prime condition
  |  First Published: November 2015

Bushfires in Victoria and a 4-day heatwave was what we were welcomed with in early October and the higher temperatures really helped fire up the spring fishing in the Goulburn River.

Small hardbodied lures such as the 70mm AC Invaders and Codgers have been working great while Jackall TN60s have been doing just as well, especially with a bit of Garlic Dizzy Scent smeared on the lure. Small yabbies and scrubworms are the best baits for the river at the moment.

There has been plenty of environmental flows in mid spring so this and the warmer start to October have both been huge contributors to the good fishing. There has not been any stand out areas in the past month with reports coming from Toolamba to Undera.

Last month the Broken River was a complete reversal to the Goulburn in regards to flows of water. This has not affected the fishing with plenty of good reports of yellowbelly up to 45cm being caught in the shallows on small hardbodies. Using the small 10ft Codger or the 70mm Koolabungs has worked well for many in the Shepparton area. There have been plenty of anglers staying closer to town of late as out towards Benalla and Dookie has copped a lot of fishing in past seasons.

Walking along the bike tracks along Broken River Drive and shooting off to the river in different spots works well, but the banks are not as consistent as towards Benalla. They seem to drop away quick or have some very tough terrain, so moving from spot to spot using the bike track is the easiest way to fish the Broken closer to town.

In November we see Shepparton’s biggest and best tackle event, The Trelly’s Tackle Spectacular. It’s set to be even bigger than the 2014 event. With leading fishing companies represented on the night and guest speakers including Rod McKenzie, Glen Casey and Trelly Himself.

The expo will again be held from the Shepparton showgrounds and all the action will kick off from 6.30pm. For just $10 entry you give yourself the chance to win in over $5000 worth of prizes.

There will be drinks and a BBQ available on the night so make sure you all get down there as it’s a night that should not be missed for any fisho from the expert to the beginner.

Shepparton Lake

The spring has seen plenty of trout caught and released from the lake and I was lucky enough to run a small fishing competition for the Victorian Teachers Games. There were only eight fish caught on the day and the trout ranged from 25-31cm. There was one lucky teacher, who managed to land four trout and took out the Gold Medal for both Biggest and Most Fish. Most fish were caught over at the big green hill area on worms.

The weed situation is again getting worse with it being almost impossible to troll any lures more than 4ft deep. As well as the weed under the water, there is plenty of surface weed floating around, which makes it very hard to fish out in the middle. There is now only three or four spots that you can fish away from the weed, which can make these areas pretty crowed.

Local Channels

The channels are now filling up with plenty of yabbies and a lot of locals are catching yabbies the old fashion way, with a chunk of meat on a string with a small scoop net. This way is much more fun than throwing a drop pot in and sitting around waiting.

If you’re not chasing yabbies there has been a handful of reports of redfin being caught around the bridges in the Pine Lodge Area. Casting small plastics and spinners has been working the best.

I managed to take my son out for his first fish at the channels in early spring. We didn’t manage to catch a fish but sometimes it’s not all about catching fish. I hope in years to come there is plenty more fishing to be done with him.

Kialla Lakes

There’s not a lot going on at the lakes. I dropped in for a flick one afternoon and managed to get 2 decent hits using a Tiny Bassman Spinnerbait with a super slow retrieve. Casting around the weed banks or under the willows are the best areas. If you can get out to the Island in Lake number 1, I would just troll circles around it at all different depths to see where the fish are hanging out.

When fishing at the lake I spoke to an old local who has been catching plenty of small carp around the 20-25cm mark using corn and bread. Carp aren’t a bad option when there’s not much else on.

Craigmuir Lake

Craigmuir is now fishing very well with the warmer weather. The water temperatures are almost perfect for targeting redfin and yellowbelly. There has been reports of yellowbelly up to 45cm being caught on worms and shrimp off the bank. The key is finding some clear water either side of the weed edges, these have been the best areas to fish. Slow trolling spinners or vibes has also been working for the fishos in kayaks and canoes.

Waranga Basin

Just like last spring, it’s just been too windy to fish at the Basin for most of us. There has been a small number of locals braving the windy conditions to chase redfin. With the early spring heat, these fishos managed to find plenty of smaller redfin but most could only get a few hours in before the conditions become too dangerous.

There have been more reports of yellowbelly being caught over the past 12 months and with the water temperatures rising each day the chances of landing a good yellowbelly are increasing.

Slow rolling lipless crankbaits or soft plastics is a great way to catch both redfin and yellowbelly. For bait soakers, the shrimp and yabbies are now easy to catch, so I would suggest using these in the Basin.

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