The wait is finally over with cod season now up and running; the three-month closed season can go pretty quickly for some but for others it might feel like forever before they can legally target their beloved Murray Cod.
Many anglers will have used the closed season to have boat motors serviced and fishing gear maintained, whether that be a bit of grease on the reel or replacing last season’s worn line.
The next couple of months are shaping up to be pretty good, with water levels around Echuca sitting at the best in about four years.
In the spell of hot weather in early November we saw water temperatures jump from 17° to 25° in two-and-a-half weeks so there should be no excuse for the fish to be inactive – but then every theory can be proven wrong!
The Melbourne Cup long weekend combined with some hot weather so plenty of families took advantage of the public holiday and spent a good few days out on the river.
Apparently the weir pool at Torrumbarry was like Lygon Street on water, with the ‘doof-doof’ boats making their presence felt.
With the air temperature reaching 39°, most switched-on anglers were on the water at first light, when they could get in a few good hours of fishing before the heat kicked in.
And they didn’t get swamped by the wake boats – unlike one poor fella fishing from a small tinny.
The Edward River downstream from Stevens Weir has been producing good-sized yellowbelly on shrimp baits. There have been regular reports of fishos bagging out in only a short time.
The deeper water above the weir has been quiet but that will change with the open cod season. With plenty of timber to cast to and the good stretches of trolling water, a lot of anglers will have this destination pencilled in on the calendar in coming months.
The area around the Four Post Youth Camp fished well for one angler, who caught and released 10 cod to 85cm for the day on yabby baits.
The Wakool has produced cod up to 55cm on Bassman 4x4 spinnerbaits with purple/gold/red skirts and Mumbler style lures in purple/pink.
The extra vibration that these lures throw out can give you an advantage in the fairly dirty water.
The high waters around Barmah have turned on a few of the resident golden perch with plenty just on the legal 30cm being caught. Small yabbies and lures around 60mm in orange with black bars have been the pick.
The Broken Creek has been pushing a fair bit of weed into the Murray, driving plenty of anglers crazy.
Rochester’s John Howard, of Supreme Rods, caught and released a nice cod of around 12kg on one of his own spinnerbaits while on a recent trip chasing a few yellas .
The Goulburn River has been quiet for some, while others have landed yellowbelly to 46cm, mainly on shrimp and worms.
Other anglers are seeing fish on their sounders but have been unable to get one into the boat.
The yellowbelly recently have been on one day and off the next for both bait and lure fishers.
The shrimp/worm cocktail is still the most consistent bait while Koolabung Vibes and Jackalls have been the choice lures. Any colour with black bars running through it seems to be working well.
‘Bones’ from Moama caught and released five yellas up to 52cm in an afternoon fishing with shrimp.
After casting lures for some time with no success, the change to bait made all the difference. It just goes to show how picky they can be.
One lucky angler had a good evening casting for a few yellas using a No 3 StumpJumper. His little lure was dwarfed by a 104cm cod and in the photos it looked like a tiny speck on its lip.
Farther downstream, cod to 66cm taken trolled Outlaw 2oz spinnerbaits with purple/blue skirts. The larger blades on these lures really get humming when they’re worked slowly against the current.
For more information on what’s biting around Echuca and Moama, drop into JT’s Fishing & Camping Moama, opposite the Border Inn Hotel, or phone Justin on 03 5480 3868.
John Hannon with a Golden Perch caught on a purple Jackall.Reads: 966