The fishing around the Echuca district has been fairly consistent over the last few weeks. An increased number of campers during the school holidays have been reporting big numbers of small fish.
Cod of 30-57cm have been common, with many camps catching up to a dozen for the day. All baits, including shrimp and worm cocktails, bardi grubs, yabbies, scrubworms, cheese and even the odd dim sim have accounted for many of these fish. There seems to be more families on the river this year compared to last January, when consecutive days of over 40oC saw many camps packing up early and heading back home to a more comfortable environment.
Another good flush of water was sent down the Edward in the first week of 2009 and this river is looking pretty good. Plenty of snags that were high and dry are now well under the water.
Upstream of Stevens Weir, fishers targeting cod on the troll have been successful using AC Invaders in the frog pattern at a depth of around 6m. Picking a short stretch of river and giving it at least half a dozen passes will put you in with a good chance of tangling with one of the many good-sized cod that this area is renowned for.
Further upstream around the Four Post Camp, bait fishing has been working well, with shrimp taking cod up to 70cm. Golden perch have favoured shrimps teamed up with nightcrawler worms fished amongst the timber.
Spinnerbaits with a purple/blue skirt have been the proven colour.
Over the Christmas break, trout cod, silver perch and under-sized Murray cod have been caught (and carefully released) in plentiful numbers by anglers seeking bigger cod and golden perch in the Murray near Barmah. These protected fish are good fun for the kids, but fairly taxing on your bait supply. Only the odd golden perch was caught from the shoreline.
Meanwhile, in the Broken Creek, anglers fishing well into the night with yabbies have taken cod up to 9kg. Grubs have also been successful bait for the old green fish, with one camp taking several up to 6.4kg.
There have been big numbers of small fish caught in between the East Boat Ramp and the Five Mile Boat Ramp, with both bait and lures being productive. Oargee Plows that dive to 4.5m have caught cod to 50cm, while shrimps have taken fish of a lesser size.
Golden perch of around 1.5kg have been caught using both shrimps and peeled yabby tails. Further downstream, mad keen fisherman Winton Brown had a good run catching three cod just shy of 1m in a space of 10 days while trolling a J.D. 85mm Super Bug.
Winton has also picked up a couple of cod using surface lures in the evening. It goes to show the more time you spend on the water the better your chances are of catching quality fish. As they say, ‘you can’t catch fish while you’re at home watching telly!’
Another nice fish of 87cm was taken by Carl Hipwell from Moama while he was trolling an AC Invader in the gold carp colour. It seems the scale pattern on the lure may have some effect, as I managed an 88cm cod a week earlier using an AC in the silver carp colour.
If the next report is anything to go on, bardi grubs are the pick of the baits. One cod of 127cm was landed by an unknown angler and another of 120cm was caught by youngster Andrew Colvin: both took baits of bardi grubs in the Murray River at Torrumbarry. Happily I believe both fish were released.
Below the weir, anglers fishing around the snags have done well using crushed yabbies. Doing this creates a natural burley trail, which attracts the resident fish. Silver perch have also been caught downstream towards Gunbower. Although they are a protected species, the bigger fish have plenty of pulling power and are good fun on light gear.
Gavin Miles and Leroy Walsh of Echuca had a trip over to the Basin where they picked up a couple of golden perch up to 46cm while trolling. Gavin’s Viking lure was then nailed by a golden that measured a massive 69cm! Caught on 6lb Fireline, it was a sensational effort. After a few quick photos the fish was released.
For more information 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.