Big fish stir as cool sets in
  |  First Published: April 2009

With the cooler weather approaching the better-sized fish have begun to make their presence felt.

After several months of reporting cod well short of the legal size, it’s been pleasing to hear of fish over a metre being released. Four cod well past the metre mark in as many days makes you think we should be in for a great Autumn/Winter season.

Stevens Weir has improved over the past month or two with catch rates more consistent. Yellowbelly up to 3.6kg have been caught while casting Oar-Gee lures in the ever-reliable purple/black.

Cod to 6.2kg have also been released after taking spinnerbaits among the drowned timber. Good-sized cod have been taken by trolling the deeper stretches around Benarca Bend.


The fishing in the Wakool has been a bit patchy in recent times with some anglers doing quite well while others are going home empty-handed.

Shrimps are still proving to be the pick of the baits.

On the last weekend in March the Wakool Fishing Competition was held with several hundred entrants hoping to pick up a fish or two and go in the draw for some of the great prizes.

Although fishing conditions were fairly tough, with weed a problem, several good-sized yellowbelly were caught on shrimp bobbed around the snags.

Anglers struggled to catch a legal cod with the longest falling just short at 59cm.

Keen Moama fisherman Carl Hipwell recently had a good day on the Wakool, landing half a dozen yellas and two legal cod with the biggest 77cm. Once again, the Oar-Gee Plow 60mm purple/black was the lure.


The fishing through this section of river has really picked up, considering a fall in water levels in the last two weeks of March.

Bait fishing has still been effective with scrub worms, grubs and larger yabbies taking their share of cod and shrimp still working on the yellas. Now would be a good time to stock up on your shrimp supply before the cool weather settles in and it becomes harder to get a few.

Torrumbarry angler Jason Brady landed a very nice cod measuring 124cm which ate a bardi grub on a recent family fishing trip.

After a brief tug-of-war the big fish made its way to the surface for a quick photo session before being released a good all-round effort for everyone involved!

On the evening of March 25 Mark Keenan’s number came up in the big fish stakes. Mark and his son were trolling a few lures from the Five Mile boat ramp when a massive cod stretching the tape to 120cm slammed the black and red StumpJumper. A few photos later and the well-conditioned fish was released back into the water.

The last of the big fish reports came from below Torrumbarry at the back of Gunbower. A huge cod of 127cm was taken on a red/black Bassman spinnerbait cast from the boat. Another cod at 63cm and a handful of yellas made up a good day’s fishing.

Leigh from Moama Electrical landed a good cod of 6.8kg on a spinnerbait with a pumpkinseed skirt one evening out from Caseys Road.

Jason ‘Bones’ Boal has again been cleaning up on the yellas below the weir.

Over two weekends Bones has managed to catch and release 24 goldens of various sizes using everything from shrimp to spinnerbaits.

All this came to a screaming halt one Sunday morning when Bones was cleaned up by an angry underwater snag that opened up his boat like a tin can. With the shore only a stone’s throw away and a spout of water gushing past his shoulders, the tinny managed to sink just short of the bank in about 1.5m of water.

After a quick salvage, the boat was up on the trailer a little worse for wear and all the fishing gear intact. So if you’ve got a boat or snorkel you want to offload, give Bones a call; I’m sure he’ll appreciate it!

For more information on what’s biting in the Echuca/Moama district, drop into JT’s Fishing & Camping in Moama, opposite the Border Inn Hotel, or phone Justin 03 5480 3868.

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