Kialla the comeback kid
  |  First Published: April 2016

In the past month there have been plenty of fish caught in both the Goulburn and Broken rivers. Troll bright green and red diving lures like Old Mates and StumpJumpers in the Goulburn River. The biggest cod reported was an 89cm specimen caught on the edge of a drop-off out towards Bunbartha.

A new trend of trolling spinnerbaits has emerged and consistently does the damage, with plenty of fish caught recently trolling in about 6-9ft of water. I troll the Pirate Crossbones or the big Bassman 4x4, both have a big presence in the water and the fish love these lures at the moment.

There is no surprise when it comes to bait options with shrimp and scrubbies dominating catches. Trelly’s Tackleworld staff said 80% of angler bait reports have reported shrimp and scrub worms as the winning baits.

We experienced a hotter than normal late February and March and there was no rain in sight recently. If the conditions stay warm we will hopefully see plenty of shrimp and yabbies become available for bait.

The Broken River surface action has been prime lately, with photos and reports on Facebook daily. Locals have had to head higher upstream around Benalla or more towards the Broken River drive area for their catches. Normally the Caniambo area is best, but I think it’s been overfished lately.

There have been reports of a 97cm cod caught on a Koolabung Cod Walker and plenty of reports of legal size cod smashing the locally made 4D buzz baits.

If the warmer weather sticks around we should still see good surface action in the Broken into April. If we do get some autumn rain I would suggest you head out to the Broken and either cast spinnerbaits or baitfish in the backwater pools.

Kialla Lakes

The fishing interest has taken off in the lakes over the past couple of months. The water clarity is almost back to when it fished well years ago and the council has done plenty of work to upgrade the lake. They are now in the process of fixing the bank erosion problem, which will see more rocks dumped around the edges.

Hopefully this gives the fish a bit of structure to hold, as well as give your lures a chance to bump around and make a nice noise for the following fish.

There has been an unconfirmed report of a big cod caught in the lake, but I will have to keep researching to confirm or deny the report.

There has been a lot of yellowbelly around the 30-35cm mark caught at the lake mostly caught on worms or Jackals. With better water clarity, you can shift to a few more colours like gold and silver – even the Jackal peacock colour is great for throwing off flashes in the water. Change your lures with the conditions – I tend to use the darker ones in the dirty water, mornings and evenings, and the flashy shiny lures with gold and silver when the sun is out for reflection.

This has been the most I have written on the Kialla Lakes system in a long time, and it’s exciting to see the lakes back to where they were.

Waranga Basin

Once again the basin has been trolling really well, with plenty of redfin and a few thumper yellowbelly picked up. These catches have come mostly on the RMG poltergeists and the small codgers. Gold and greens seem to be the best colours to work at the moment. Use either live or frozen shrimp or small yabbies for bait. A couple of blokes have reported landing over 100 redfin.

Local fisho Jake Pfeiffer caught a stonker of a yellowbelly recently that measured in at a ridiculously big 70cm and 18lb.

Local Channels

The channels have not been heavily fished lately, with a lot of locals fishing elsewhere. I am still getting the odd report of small yellowbelly and redfin caught on small hardbodies around bridge pylons.

I tend to have had good success around this time of the year fishing the bridges with bait or lures. When the water drops down these areas normally still hold deeper water for fish to move into.

Shepparton Lake

There have been hardly any reports of trout caught in the lake in recent times, which could be due to the late summer heat or simply because they are stocked and some are taken or just don’t survive being caught. However, there have been reports of bigger yellowbelly caught around the 45cm mark. These fish have been extremely healthy and are a real dark golden and green colour. Slow roll plastics around the weed edges for your best chance at one of these.

Baitfishing has been tricky but the odd redfin has been caught in the lake from the fishing pontoons.

Mooroopna Lake

There has been plenty of action in the lake lately, with catches of monster carp up to 80cm. The carp have been smashing all types of bait from yabby tails to corn kernels. Use light gear with the carp as it’s a fun fight and the lake has limited structure to bust you off.

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