Mixed couple of months for fishing
  |  First Published: June 2017

It’s been a very mixed bag for local fishos over the past couple of months. Week to week the best location for catching fish changes. One week Kialla Lakes is on fire. The next week it’s dead and the Broken River fires up. This has made targeting certain fish species hard and writing a report even harder.

In winter we normally see most local areas quieten right down. I would expect a similar trend to occur, but with the amount of new lures and new techniques available to us, all things may change. I’ve never seen so many locals using different techniques like flyfishing in the Broken River or using monster sized swimbaits in the Goulburn River.

This may see different patterns in fish catch rates or it may just stay consistent. After the black water, we have seen lower catch numbers, but also some big fish appearing. In early May local fisho Blair Munro caught a monster 114cm Murray cod on a Jackall Pompadour.

It’s great to see some big fish being caught locally, because there were so many that died off in the black water and most anglers feared that none survived. There has been some more research done in regards to fish numbers in our area and there has been a big drop-off. Fishing research weekends that are conducted yearly have noted this drop-off.

Over the next month or two I would spend a bit of time in the local tackle shops. There is now a huge range of new lures on the shelves. Getting your hands on some new lures for big fish maybe the best way to catch a monster over winter. Expect to put in long days on the water in the winter months. With big fish being caught after the black water event it may be worth the time and effort.

Bait fishing in winter can be hard with plenty of crayfish now out and about stalking your big juicy worms. Sometimes if you retrieve slowly enough you can land crayfish off the bank as they grab a hold of your hook full of bait and refuse to let go.

Kialla Lakes

Earlier in the report I mentioned fishing being hot one week and cold the next. Kialla has been exactly that. Some have reported catching three or four yellowbelly in a session where some have caught nothing after spending plenty of hours on the water.

Those catching fish have been targeting the banks where the wind is blowing into them and casting small spinnerbaits or small lipless crankbaits. The winter months are normally the quietist months for Kialla. If you’re heading there, be prepared to put in a lot of time.

Local Channels

This month most local channels should have been lowered like all winters. The stretch from Lemnos and 20/30km upstream will be completely dried out and poisoned to help control weed issues. Keep well away from those areas, even if there is pooled water.

In early May between Shepparton East and Arcadia there were plenty of cod caught in the Main Eastern. I spend plenty of hours targeting the bridges with huge success. I had success casting TN50 Jackalls smothered in Dizzy Scent and a small silver Bassman Beetle Spin.

I found I was getting a lot of hits on the drop due to having the Beetle Spin rigged up and then just slow rolling it back to the bank. Some fish would hook up deep in the bridge pylons and others would follow you to your feet before smashing the lure.

The size of the cod was nothing to brag about. Catching 75cm cod off one bridge on light line is enough fun for me. The waters upstream of Lemnos will see a drop in water height, but most bridges will have enough water to target the fish.

Shepparton Lake

The lake has been very quiet over the past couple of months. Trout and silver perch have been caught mostly on bait with the odd yellowbelly caught on spinners. I would probably use bait in the winter months, as the trout seem to take a bait a lot easier than a lure.

Waranga Basin

Small fish and plenty of them – this has been the standard report coming from the basin lately. Jigs, plastics and vibes have been working great for the lure fishos and worms have worked well for those using bait.

There has not been any real standout area or depth. Drift over areas and keep the lures moving or the bait active. Some anglers have found when bait fishing slows down, casting lures works. Fish seem to be following the lures to the boat and finding the baits drifting under the boat.

Action creates action with the redfin at the basin; if it gets quiet, change up what you’re doing. It may turn the fish on. The channels flowing both in and out of the basin have been consistent with good numbers of redfin and the odd yellowbelly being caught mostly on soft plastics.

Greens Lake
Greens Lake has been fishing better than average lately, with anglers catching good-sized redfin and yellowbelly off the bank using big scrubworms. Greens Lake normally fishes best around the spring, but the numbers of fish caught in May are a very positive sign. If the fish stay on the bite, continue to use big scrubworms or yabbies if you can get your hands on them.
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