Cold Water Cod and Crays
  |  First Published: June 2006

The onset of some winter weather has taken the edge off the local fishing, and some of the local fishermen. Along with this colder weather has come a quick drop in the water temperatures, which probably explains what’s going on under the water.

Although this would seem to be bad news, it has heralded the start of the Murray cray season. The early action has been around The Narrows, with the area between Barmah and Picnic Point by far the best place to start. I’m sure that the cray action will soon spread all the way to below Torrumbarry.

Even though the fishing has become a little tougher there are still some quality cod out there to be caught. Shop regular Brian Hinson and his mate were trolling together just downstream of the Headwork’s boat ramp when they hooked up to a beauty that measured 1.1m. This fish was taken on the no.1 StumpJumper, from around the willows, which is a popular trolling area.

Brian and his son found another quality fish while they were trolling near the Goulburn junction. This area produced some amazing fishing in autumn and is certainly somewhere to note down for next season.

One very interesting fishing trip I heard about involved a local party of men who were camping in the Casey Road area. With the onset of some rain, quite a few bardi moths flew into camp. The boys thought they would try a couple of them on their setlines. After a couple of hours they checked the lines and found they had caught two cod, one of around 1m and another of 80cm. It goes to show that even with Murray cod, matching the hatch can yield results!

Campaspe River

The Campaspe has started to produce some nice redfin. The best approach is with garden worms, particularly after rain when the water is still a little dirty.

Some of the local channels have also seen redfin taken. As they drop, the best tactic is with soft plastics or small hard-bodied lures.

Goulburn River

The Goulburn has really tapered off with only the odd yellowbelly caught. The best bait has been scrubworms but the action has been relatively slow. On the upside, the Goulburn should be producing excellent crays through June.

As winter rolls in crayfish will become the main target for those willing to brave the elements – just remember the catch limits for waters north of the Great Dividing Range.

For more information about the fishing around Echuca call in and see Garry at Gone Fishin’ in Annesley Street, Echuca.


Murray Cray Regulations

In waters north of the Great Dividing Range:

• the legal minimum carapace length is 9cm.

• the bag/possession limit is 5, of which no more than 1 cray may exceed 12cm carapace length.

• the closed season extends from 1 September to 30 April each year (so the open season is May, June, July and August)

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