Rivers turned into washing machines
  |  First Published: November 2016

This has been one of the hardest months to report on in our region. The wet winter has rolled over into a very wet spring, and in early October the local Broken and Goulburn rivers have been hovering around the minor flood level and on some occasions, bursting their banks and overflowing into some of the local streets.

All this water has caused many anglers headache, as it’s just been too wet to fish. Almost every track in and out of the bush has had too much water on it to be accessed by car, and even walking down to the river banks has become extremely dangerous.

All we can hope for is that the rains eases up and the rivers can go back to a stable fishing height, because there won’t be much to report on next month if the levels are the same.

This time of year we normally see a week or two of extreme heat that really fires up the yellowbelly, so hopefully warming water temperatures should see a hot yellowbelly bite.

The Broken River will have plenty of old creek beds and run-offs full of water, and these can sometimes hold fish after a flood. These areas will almost always hold carp, but in the past, I have caught yellowbelly on worms in these areas too.

The Goulburn has had a huge flush of water and it now becomes a whole new beast to tackle in your boat. Large logs you think are there may have moved, and there is the chance a once clear run of water is littered with big stumps that like to play havoc with unsuspecting boaters.

Make sure if you do get on the water that you go slow and re-evaluate your fishing spots, as I can almost bet they have all changed.

In November we see Shepparton’s biggest and best tackle events. The Trelly’s Tackle Spectacular is set to be even bigger than the 2015 event. With leading fishing companies represented on the night and guest speakers.

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 a stack of quality 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 by any fisho, from the expert to the beginner.

The Tackle Spectacular will be held at the Macintosh Centre on Friday 11 November.

A week prior to the Tackle Spectacular there is another expo at Solar City Marine. I will be there on the day, so it would be great to catch up with any readers.

The last time the event was held, it was a great day with plenty of giveaways and boating and caravanning discounts. The Solar City Marine Expo will be held on Sunday 6 November

Shepparton Lake

The weed situation is still 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 also plenty of surface weed floating around, which makes it very hard to fish out in the middle. There is now only 3-4 spots that you can fish away from the weed, which can make these areas pretty crowed.

The slimy weed is just too thick to have a solid fishing session at the lake, and it’s becoming very frustrating, as there is so many good fish in the lake. Let’s hope that the local council can clean it out, because if it gets any worse, the lake will become unfishable.

Local Channels

With the rivers being so full and pretty much unfishable, more locals have been fishing the channel systems in the spring. With all the rain around, the redfin have been on a hot bite with fish up to 40cm being caught mostly on lures around the edges.

With all the rain comes wash into the water and in the wash there is plenty of food for the fish. I managed three smaller fish on small poppers in early October, but there is still big fish in amongst the small ones.

There have also been reports of more yellowbelly and cod being caught when chasing redfin, but I’m not sure if these fish have come in through flood waters. It adds to the excitement while fishing the channels.

Kialla Lakes

All the rain saw the lakes spill for the first time in six years, and the last time the lakes spilled the fish fired right up.

There is always the risk of the fish leaving the lake, but hopefully like the last time it spilled they stay put.

The water is a lot dirtier now, so I would use lures with more vibrations, and spinnerbaits if the sun’s out.

There will be plenty of food around the edges, so there will be no need to cast out too far.

For those using bait, anything live will work well, just keep it near the edges.

I had one report during the flood times of a catfish being caught on worms. I have caught two catfish before in the lake, but that was around 10 years ago.

Craigmuir Lake

Craigmuir Lake has fished well in this wet spring, but only on the dry days. I am not sure if this is because it’s the only time people are fishing, or that the lures are more effective in sunny conditions.

Kaleb Oxley has been catching plenty of fish lately at the lake using soft plastic vibes, mostly in pink colours.

Slow rolling these from the bank is a very successful way to catch redfin in the lake. If the water temperatures rise, I would expect to see a lot more yellowbelly being caught.

Waranga Basin

With all the rain around, the wind hasn’t been as big of an issue, but it takes a lot of guts to fish the basin in any the of rain or storm.

There has been the odd report of redfin up to 2lb being caught around the caravan park on bait. The lake is almost at 100%, which can only be a good thing for the summer months.

Last year there were some big cod caught in the basin, so I would expect after cod opening there will be anglers targeting these fish on bigger lures.

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