Good news after black water uncertainty
  |  First Published: April 2017

After a dramatic start to the year things are starting to look up in our region. We all had grave concerns about the black water event, which killed so many fish and turned a lot of fishos off fishing the Goulburn.

As each week goes by we are hearing more and more reports that fish are being caught on both bait and lures in the Goulburn River in the affected areas. The numbers of fish caught recently aren’t that different to before the black water event and this may be a result of the water flush the river got. Fish have likely migrated upstream.

We all hope that plenty more fish migrate in early April with the next lot of environmental flows scheduled. This month, 60GL will be released from the Goulburn Weir at Nagambie and we should see the river rise. If more environmental flows get booked in for April, make sure you try to fish the river on the rise.

Plenty of good fish get caught within 24 hours of the initial river rise. Both bait and lure fishing work well on the rise. The high flows of water make fishing tricky once the front comes through, but we should hopefully see better fish numbers moving in to the area.

There have been reports of fish over 80cm caught behind Aquamoves, which is a positive sign. We all saw dozens of big fish die, so knowing there are still large fish there is very promising.

With the long range forecast for April being uncertain and with a dry start to autumn, these flows will be great if we are lucky enough to get some decent rains. Hopefully we see the Broken River rise. If we do, make sure you get straight out there. The Broken on the rise is crazy fun almost all year round with plenty of decent fish thriving on the flows.

If we don’t get much rain, the Broken River is still a good option. Bait fishing in deep snag-filled holes works well in the autumn time. Fresh bait starts to get harder to find in coming months, so make the most of it while you can. Lure fishers are still catching good numbers of fish on the surface and also deeper down. The Old Mate Lures are still standing out locally with reports flowing in every couple of days.

Spinnerbait users have been reporting the new Pirate Spinnerbait Vibration Blade is matching catch rates of the Old Mate lures. Pink, purple and black has been a good colour choice in both lures recently.

Surface fishers have had most luck casting the Jackal Pompadour. You can judge that they’re catching a lot of fish from the empty spaces on the shop wall only days after they were stocked. Buzz Baits are not far behind when it comes to catch rates off the top, so I would be trying to stock up on both leading into the Easter break.

The other form of fishing that is now starting to take off in the area is flyfishing for native fish. We all know the fly works well for some trout and some saltwater species and it is now becoming very popular for larger native fish. There are plenty of larger flies on the market that target cod. I haven’t flyfished before, but by all reports it’s a buzz and very addictive.

For anyone wanting to know more, get into Trelly’s Tackleword and talk to flyfishing guru Pip Clemet. Pip will be able to put you onto the right outfit or just general advice regarding flyfishing for cod.

Shepparton Lake

Fishing has not been spectacular recently in the Shepparton Lake. Those fishing have had more success fishing around the big grass hill near Aquamoves targeting trout on PowerBait. There has been the occasional yellowbelly caught casting Jackall TN50s rigged with Beatle Spins.

Those using bait will now start to see more silver perch being caught with plenty of decently sized silver perch stocked in recent times. This will give younger fishos the chance to catch another species in the lake, which is great for fishing.

Kialla Lakes

There have been a lot of people fishing Kialla in recent times. I drive past 2-3 times a week and see a lot of families now fishing the grassy banks with bait and lures. It is such a great waterway to teach kids to fish, as there are limited snags and shallow grassy edges.

Bait and lure fishing have both been successful in the past month. The willow trees and either side of the sand bars are the best locations.

Local fisho Kaleb Oxley has had some recent success casting soft vibes rolling back nice and slowly towards the banks.

Craigmuir Lake

Mooroopna is a little fishing gem that has been fishing well for redfin and yellowbelly. Westin Ricky the Roach and size 3 StumpJumpers, as well as worms and shrimp have been working well around the edges of the lake. There has been the odd cod caught from the lake, but they are very rare to come by.

Waranga Basin

There has been plenty of redfin in Waranga Basin, mainly in the shallower water around the 12-15ft mark. Trolling smaller lures as well as casting and slow rolling Squidgy Shads in drop bear colour smothered in Dizzy Scent are good ideas. Once you have found a school of redfin, using ice jigs in white or green has been working well with plenty of fish caught – mostly smaller fish.

The odd yellowbelly and cod have also been caught on small RMG Poltergeist and size 3 StumpJumpers towards the basin wall.

Local Channels

There have been plenty of big fish caught in the channels around the Waranga Basin as well as around the Pine Lodge area. Some anglers upsize their lures and target the larger fish like yellowbelly and cod. Spinnerbaits around the drop bars and bridges have worked well. Slow rolling soft plastic grubs around the weed edges has also worked.

Bait fishing has been successful with reports of cod being caught on cooked yabby tails around the Pine Lodge bridges.

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