I’VE ALWAYS found the fishing this month to be a bit of a wildcard and inconsistency rules on most of our waters.
But there is always plenty of great fishing in between. It’s now a great time to target big Murray cod. I have just returned from a trip on the Edwards River at Stevens Weir, just west of Deniliquin, two hours’ drive from home. The grapevine described the fishing as red-hot with one angler scoring four cod over 20kgin one night, so I phoned local Paul Hetherington, who knew of the capture and how they were caught.
We camped 4km upstream of the lock and fished down to it and about 6km upstream. The water reminded me of a smaller version of the lock-type water on the Murray. Through no lack of trying, the big cod eluded us. There were plenty of big bends with long runs in water of six to eight metres and plenty of timber – perfect trolling water. The sounder showed some whopping arches in close to the timber, which really spurred us on to fish hard.
We ended up trolling up seven little cod for our trip but our highlight was a double hook-up on lures, a first for me. There wasn’t a great deal of timber to cast at around the banks but a local gun, Brett Suckling, came down and just cast at the big logs. There was a lot of water between these logs but Brett managed about a dozen cod in two morning sessions, with a few around 65cm.
Next time I will do more casting and I’ll be one trip closer to encountering one of those whopping big arches on the sounder. Thanks to the Deni boys for showing us around.
If tradition continues here, this is the month for big cod. Reports of big fish are coming through at the moment from anglers trolling deep channels.
Ballarat mate Rob Garner has finally stayed connected to one of Mulwala’s monsters. Rob has certainly hooked a few big fellas but has had the worst luck, being just blown away or having straightened hooks. On his annual three-week holiday to Mulwala trolling solo, he hooked into a big fella and 15 minutes later a monster cod surfaced boatside. A catch and release angler, Rob decided not to even attempt to get it in the boat and released it. Two minutes later, the cod surfaced and went belly up. For the next half- hour Rob stayed with the cod and after many attempts at reviving it, he had no choice but to take it. It measured 118cm and it was caught on a pink 40’ AC invader 90mm with a deep purple bottom, which I had given him to try.
The local saying, ‘dark lure down deep, big fish’ is almost law here and this will be the case this month. I recommend trolling as deep and as slowly as possible with the lure is frequently banging on the timber. Lures like the 100mm Jumbuck, the big Stump Jumper, 90mm AC Invader, 90mm Humpback and the Ultra-Deep Boomerang will suffice.
Last May, trolling Dartmouth around the boat ramp area was sensational. Ten or more trout trolled up on a Lofty’s Cobra on a flat line was common. Rainbows around a kilo really got in on the act so let’s hope that history repeats itself.
I recommend giving yourself a few options. A lead-core line outfit, a downrigger, cowbells and so on can all have their moments and if you can find out how and where, having a few extra tricks up your sleeve can mean the difference between two trout or 10.
As usual, the boat ramp and dam wall area is always going to be reliable. The back of the lake from Toke Point up to the running waters of the Mitta Mitta River can also bring on some great fishing, in particular by casting around the timber with small minnow lures.
The next couple of months on Lake Hume will probably be very ordinary. The dry spell since Christmas has seen the lake go down the gurgler very quickly.
Low water and the onset of cold nights will make the golden perch non-existent and the reddies very tough, as will finding somewhere to launch the boat. During March, when the lake fell from 30% to 20%, the reddies fired but I cannot see that happening this month.
We need a very wet winter so this great waterway can fill again and bring back some of great angling as we experienced this season.