With the cooler weather slowly easing in and the days being so mild, it’s hard to believe we’re into winter; let alone half way through the year. Many anglers have been taking advantage of these conditions with no shortage of fishing boats on the river.
The chilly mornings have seen a few late starters get into the action but those who are having a red hot go at it and putting in a full day on the water are being rewarded for their efforts. Patience and persistence seem to be the key ingredients when fishing this time of the year as the days can be long and cold with the fishing being a tad on the slow side but the cod are at the larger end of the scale. That’s the reason why we keep going back- or a touch of madness!
The fishing has been a bit hit-and-miss in recent times, possibly because of the drop in the river due to the end of the irrigation season. Lure casters have still been picking up cod to 73cm while using green 65mm Custom Crafted Hammerheads around the snags. Anglers fishing with scrubworms from the bank have been kept on their toes with silver perch having a go at every worm that hits the water. It’s always a good time to move spots when these ‘bait pickers’ are on the chew.
A few of the Deni boys have had a couple of run-ins with some good fish above Steven’s Weir: hooking up with a decent bend in the rod only to have the fish spit the lure after a few turns of reel - disappointing but enough to get the ticker pounding. While there was still water in the channels redfin have been caught on Hogbacks and minnow style lures.
The Broken Creek above Barmah has fished fairly well for bait soakers in recent weeks with large yabbies and bardi grubs taking some good-sized cod into the evening. The bardi has been a bit elusive in the last month or two but those who have access to a good supply have tangled with cod up to 19lb.
I spoke to a keen lure caster a couple of weeks ago that had a good day at Barmah flicking purple Bassman Codman Series spinnerbaits around the snag piles. After releasing two around 50cm he thought he was having a pretty good day when he became connected to a fish of a higher calibre. Through the course of the struggle the fishing line wrapped around a branch and every time the cod surfaced, he was out of reach to land him as he was on his own. After getting four or five good looks at his catch, the guesstimated length was up around 120cm.At the end of the battle the monster cod managed to break free and leaving the angler with grin that would have lasted a few days. That’s fishing!
The fishing through this section of river has had some good-sized cod emerge from its depths over the last four weeks. Reports ranging from 70cm to 103cm Murray cod being caught and released have kept the enthusiasm going through the cooler weather. Roger Hoe who was up on a few days break from Torquay, hooked up with a nice cod a tad over 10lb while fishing with yabbies out from the Cadell Motel, while Jim from Merool Caravan Park also picked up a 69cm cod on scrubworms while fishing from the bank into the evening. Both fish were slipped back into the water after a few photos.
Another report came from John and his mates from Melbourne who had a weekend away on a houseboat and things were pretty quiet on the fishing side of things for the first couple of days. On the last night before returning the boat back to its mooring the boys decided to have one last go at this ‘fishing business’. With a couple of grubs over the back of the boat and a few beers later, all eyes were on the rod peeling out line at a rate of knots. A brief battle followed with few tense moments from the fish diving under the boat but the result was good when a 103cm cod was successfully caught and released.
Echuca’s John Whetton landed several cod up to 53cm while trolling with the new J.D 100mm Python. A very effective lure with its crash diving capabilities reaching depths of 30 plus feet. While it can be used on the troll, we also found casting parallel to the bank to stir up the snag hugging cod. Since it doesn’t take much to get this lure down amongst the timber, it just a matter of cranking it down and then slowly walking it through the same structure that cod like to call home. Definitely one lure to have in the box.
Midway through May, the local golden perch were being caught in good numbers with the average size around 1.3kg. With one unconfirmed report of a yella stretching out to 71cm taken on a 75mm Oargee Plow. The word soon spread and anglers were getting in on the action using small hard bodied lures and spinnerbaits. Bait anglers fishing with small yabbies and scrubworms in 12ft of water were managing yellas to 49cm. Mad keen Moama local ‘Bones’ trolled up a 90cm cod on the first pass of a trolling run on a black and white A.C Invader while out for a Sunday morning fix. As with all his cod the fish was released.
There’s been a really good run of crays right from the start of the season with locals travelling as far as Ulupna Island at Strathmerton to Cohuna and beyond. Most camps are picking up enough for a feed with a few stand-out catches of one measuring 48cm from claw tip to tail. All baits seem to be working well with no preferred depth making any difference but having a clay based bank has been the place to be.
On a sour note there has been a few reports filtering through of undersized cray shells left at camp sites. Just because you pay for a fishing licence doesn’t give anyone the right to take undersized or female crays. The poor buggers are under enough fishing pressure without having to contend with the ‘eat everything’ groups and you’ll probably find these will be the first ones sook when you can’t get a feed or they put a ban on taking crays. Just a little something to think about.
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 54 803868.Reads: 1992