Crays on the Crawl
  |  First Published: July 2005

G’day anglers and welcome to my first fishing report from Echuca and district. As we enter the colder winter months, many fishers turn their focus to bagging a feed of Murray crays. The reports early are very encouraging with good numbers of crays being caught both up and down stream of Echuca.

The most successful cray fishers have been working well-baited pots from late afternoon, well into the night, along the rocky ledges. This technique has seen some nice bags of good crays landed. Smaller crays seem to be more active during the day, but the occasional keeper is being caught.

Don’t forget that the legal size for crays is 9cm carapace length in both Victoria and NSW. Only one cray over 12cm carapace length is permitted in both states in the daily bag limit of five crays per person. I should not have to mention that all females in berry must be immediately returned to the water.

There have also been some excellent reports of solid Murray cod being caught in the area just above the Torrumbarry Weir. Fish between 70cm and 90cm have been landed with a few going past the 1m mark. This area of the weir is very deep and well snagged so the best way to hook up is to use large bibbed lures that will troll 20ft-plus and rattle the timber. The deeper the lure works, the closer to the weir you can troll. Don’t be tempted to play safe with shallower or smaller lures or you will be likely to leave Torrumbarry empty handed and disappointed.

This area has also seen some quality yellas taken, due to its excellent weed beds tight around the edges and overhanging willows. Spinnerbaits that have been allowed to sink almost to the bottom, and then slowly retrieved, have been the most productive.

The hot spinnerbait colours are the black/purple and the black/gold in the twin willow blades – 5/8oz and 1oz are the best weights.

The best of the lures are the no.1 StumpJumper in colours 23 and 61, the 85mm Codger in colour no.6 and the 125mm Tiegar lure in colours 5 and 12. All of these lures are a combination of reds and blacks with striped or scaled patterns.

The Murray above Torrumbarry is well worth the effort because the water is usually clear and there is very little current so you can troll both upstream and downstream. It is also very popular with those fishermen trolling with electric motors.

Let me sign off by saying that the Campaspe River around Echuca should start to produce some quality redfin in the coming weeks. So get to it and polish up those spinners!

For more information on Echuca and district fishing, call in and see Garry at Gone Fishin’ – 190 Annesley Street, Echuca – (03) 5482 1171.

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