The main news for this month is the release of a discussion paper from NSW Fisheries on some proposed rule changes for anglers fishing in NSW waters. The discussion paper proposes changes in the salt and the fresh but I’ll limit my say to the elements that relate to freshwater native fish.
Of most interest to us freshwater anglers is a proposed increase of Murray cod’s minimum legal length from 50cm to 55cm, and then up 60cm over a two-year period. They’re also proposing compulsory catch and release for all cod over 100cm.
Furthermore, there are proposals to ban the use of gaffs for all freshwater species and in inland waters, permit the use of two attended lines in all non-tidal waters and probably most significantly, prohibit the use of all unattended lines such as springers and set lines. Possibly as some compensation, there is a proposal to increase the distance that a fisher may be from an attended line from 10m to 50m.
Although there are many more changes proposed, some of which relate to trout fisheries, these are the ones that will have the greatest effect on day-to-day angling around Echuca and the Murray River. The discussion paper is available from recreational fishing licence agents or at www.fisheries.nsw.gov.au.
If you want to have your say on any of these proposed changes then submissions from the public will be accepted until 30 September 2005.
Now for some fishing news. Big Murray cod are still being caught around the Torrumbarry Headworks Road boat ramp. The way to get onto one of these beauties is to troll extra deep diving lures. The best colours to try are the dark purple and red combinations. Slowly retrieved purple and black spinnerbaits have also been productive.
As spring approaches and flows start to increase down the Murray River, the stretch from the Goulburn/Murray junction upstream will produce good quality yellowbelly. The best method to target these fish is to fish with bait. Scrubworms and small yabbies are your best bet.
Don’t forget that the closed season for Murray cod and Murray crays begins on 1 September. If you accidentally catch a cod while you’re targeting goldens, make sure you release the fish as soon as possible.
For all the latest fishing information in and around Echuca, contact me at Gone Fishin’ – 190 Annesley Street, Echuca on (03) 5482 1171.Reads: 1004