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Early and deep the keys
  |  First Published: March 2009



The hot spell of weather from late January through to February saw many of the better-sized fish caught in the Murray River in depths of 9m or more around Echuca. Consistent days of 39oC and an increase in boat traffic saw many cod holding deep in a more comfortable environment. Plenty of smaller fish were taken from the shallower water, mainly before the heat of the day kicked in.

Stevens Weir

In the Edward the waters above and below the weir have been fishing fairly consistent for cod of 30-55cm. Oargee Plows and JD Pythons trolled around the Benarca Bend area have been productive. Cod of this size aren’t too worried by the larger profile of the lure. The Pythons come in at 140mm and some of the fish have been only twice as big as the lure.

Only the odd golden perch has been taken, mostly by anglers fishing on the insides of the bends using small yabbies in 2-3m of water.

Wakool

The Wakool River has been fishing well in recent times, with golden perch up to 1.7kg taken on both bait and lures. Although fairly shallow in some sections, small Custom Crafted Hammerheads in natural colours worked slowly back to the boat or bank have proven successful.

Spinnerbaits have also been in the mix, with dark green skirts the choice colour. As for the bait soakers, peeled yabby tail, on its own or with a couple of nightcrawler worms, has also enticed several good golden perch from their snags.

Barmah

The area known as The Narrows has produced golden perch up to 1.5kg for anglers trolling Oargee Plows in 4-5m of water. The colour of choice has been a cream body with black slashes and a burnt orange/brown head –better known as colour ‘CR’.

Trolling in close along the cumbungi-lined banks is the best bet, as the goldens sit in the gaps of the cumbungi out of the current waiting for their next meal to float past.

Scrubworms have been the preferred bait for anglers fishing where the Broken Creek flows in. Casting your bait into the dirty water has worked well, with the fish waiting in this area for any food to be washed in.

The stretch of river further downstream around Morning Glory Caravan Park has fished exceptionally well for those trolling lures. Purples and blacks are the proven colour, with several cod 60cm caught and one lucky angler landing 89cm and 95cm cod on the same day.

Echuca

Bait fishing with scrubworms around the main bridge has produced plenty of undersized cod and silver perch, while baits of shrimp have been effective on both golden and silver perch.

Early mornings and into the evenings has been the most productive time to fish. The rest of the day has been too hot and uncomfortable to be sitting out in the heat.

Downstream towards the Casey Road Boat Ramp, anglers fishing with bardi grubs have taken several small cod. Again, the key has been being on the water by 6am and heading home by 10am before the day gets too warm.

Moama fisherman Trevor Nagorka trolled up a healthy 77cm cod on an early morning outing while towing a purple J.D Python through a nice deep hole.

Waranga Basin

Drifting on Waranga Basin fishing baits of small yabbies has again proven successful on the resident redfin. Dropping an unweighted scrubworm in and letting it sink through down through the water column has been a close second, with reddies to nearly 1kg not uncommon.

Trolling small hardbodied lures to 60mm would also be worth a try to stir up some of the thumping golden perch that are found in this waterway.

Getting a boat in the water at the caravan park ramp hasn’t been too bad, but boat retrieval is a bit tricky around the outlet channel, with a steady current pushing through. Care should be taken around this area.

There are a couple of fishing comps in the Echuca area worth pencilling in during March and April.

First up is the Echuca-Moama RSL Fishing Classic, which will be held on March 28/29 with over $40,000 in prizes to be won (including three boat, motor and trailer packages).

Next up is the Torrumbarry Community Club Fishing Classic, which will be held on the weekend of April 4/5. With plenty of prizes including a cash prize of $1,000, it’s another good excuse to fish the great waters of Torrumbarry. Both comps are catch and release.

For more information on these competitions or on what’s biting around Echuca and Moama, drop into J.T’s Fishing & Camping, Moama (opposite the Border Inn) or phone Justin on 03 5480 3868.

Matt from Echuca with a cod he caught in the Murray River below Torrumbarry.

      

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