It’s amazing how some good soaking rain can change dry, brown paddocks to a healthy shade of green. With recent good rain most of the access tracks to the river had become fairly greasy and some were impassable.
This didn’t seem to deter the campers, who took advantage of the Queen’s Birthday long weekend to do a bit of fishing and craying
. From all reports most campsites were catching enough crays for a feed and coming across plenty of big females that were immediately returned to the water. I spoke to one group of anglers out craying who managed to land 18 legal crayfish over two nights.
Although they caught plenty more over 9cm, the boys kept upsizing their keepers as the night went on. With the crays being more active through the night, it was apparent that the later it got, the bigger their catch was. Chunks of carp and chook carcasses have been the pick of the baits.
With the cold and wet weather, very few have been venturing out for a day on the water.
It’s been hard to pick a day when you won’t be blown around from one side of the river to the other or come home a step away from a bout of pneumonia.
Those who have braved the elements have had to dress for the occasion with thermals, beanies and gloves a must if spending more than a couple of hours chasing the big green fish.
While there have been some excellent fish landed over the last few weeks, there have been plenty of disheartened lure fishers who have put in the time and effort but have gone home without a score on the board.
At the time of writing the water temperature was hovering at around 9°, which can make the fishing a little sluggish. If you’re casting or trolling lures, pick a small section of river that you would expect a fish to call home (good snags) and be persistent by continually running your lures through the timber.
Just because it’s cold it doesn’t mean the fish have gone away; they’ll still be there and it’s just a matter of getting them worked up by continually getting your lure in their space until they strike at it out of aggression.
It may take a few casts or passes for this to happen but you just have to keep at it.
We had a day on the river with two of us casting spinnerbaits to one particular snag. It took six or seven casts each before the cod attacked our lure.
So it took a total of about 12 to 14 casts to get this fish revved up enough to have a crack at this flashing coloured thing that kept invading its territory.
If you think a particular snag looks like it should hold a fish or two, give it plenty of attention as you may be only one cast away from turning an ordinary day out into an exciting encounter with a big fish.
The reports from between Echuca and Torrumbarry have been slow but the size of the fish has been at the upper end of the scale.
Stories of big cod snapping the bibs off lures and other lures letting go beside the boat and coming back with the paintwork rasped up have been common.
A couple of the Echuca boys had a good day casting Mumbler-style lures close to the bank. With two cod around 80cm and another at 104cm, you would say they had a lucky day but fish of this size have been caught regularly, especially by those who spend the amount of time these guys spend on the water.
Jason ‘Bones’ Boal has managed to land himself another monster cod. Bones was out on a Sunday evening trolling a 140mm JD Python in the carp pattern and after watching his sounder to find the drop-off, he had his lure bouncing around in 3m of water before it dropped into the hole.
But before it made it there, his lure connected to what he thought was a snag until it nearly pulled his boat backwards. After a tense five-minute struggle in the dark, a cod of 125cm was guided to the bank before being released.
After seeing the photos of this well-conditioned fish, you can see why fishing can be an addictive sport.
For more information on what’s biting around the Echuca and Moama, drop into JT’s Fishing and Camping, Moama (opposite the Border Inn), or phone Justin on 03 54803 868.Reads: 1314