The fishing around the Echuca and Moama area has improved, with a run of bigger fish than over previous months.
Although not quite as good as this time last season, when around eight to 10 cod around 1m were caught, the latest reports are starting to creep up and cod from 65cm to 90cm becoming more common.
Back in March the Echuca Moama RSL held their Fishing Classic and the following weekend the Wakool Classic was run and won.
Perfect weather on both weekends brought out good angler numbers for both events although catching a legal-sized native fish was a big ask.
With dirty water running through the Wakool, fishers had to change to bait with the majority of fish caught on scrub worms, shrimp, grubs and cheese.
In the RSL Classic 11 Murray cod, 19 golden perch and 306 carp were caught. On the following Monday the club released 14,545 golden perch fingerlings into the Murray River to help restock the system with native fish.
You couldn’t fault the weather over the Easter break, with many families making the annual pilgrimage to camp on the banks of the Murray, Goulburn and Edward rivers.
Finding a patch of dirt to call home for a few days was a struggle as most camps were set up earlier in the school holidays.
There were many anglers on the water using a variety of baits and most had a fair amount of success.
Good-sized shrimp, up to nearly 10cm long, were working well for cod up 5kg. Placing two to three of these tasty treats on a 3/0 Wide Gap hook makes a worthwhile meal for any hungry fish.
The good thing with the Wide Gap hooks is that most fish will almost hook themselves in the corner of the mouth as they turn to head back to their snag. This also makes it easier to release the fish as most haven’t swallowed the hook.
Anglers have been kept busy with some excellent hits on shrimp and scrub worms in this area.
Most of the fish have been cod, ranging from tiddlers of around10cm to fish of around 60cm, which give you a run for your money in the faster current.
Trolling lures upstream of the Broken Creek inflow has resulted in cod to 73cm. Lures in the 4m swimming range trolled against the current worked, with successful colours orange/black and the frog pattern.
There’s also a fair chance of picking up the odd yellowbelly through this stretch of river.
Just above the Goulburn Junction, yellowbelly from 23cm to 35cm have been picked up by anglers fishing with scrub worms, while yabbies have taken only a few undersize cod. All fish were caught from the bank with the bait cast out to no more than 3.5m.
Further downstream at Christies Beach, cod have been caught on fluoro pink and black Oar-Gee lures being trolled through the deeper sections of the bend.
A session off the sandbar in the evening usually pulls in a few yellas cruising in close for a feed of shrimp.
Gavin Bull earned himself a new personal best while casting a Bassman spinnerbait around the snags upstream from Deep Creek Marina.
After a brief tug of war, a healthy 90cm cod made the landing net for a quick photo taken by a passing ski boat driver, which Gavin greatly appreciated. Gavin releases all his fish.
Below Torrumbarry Weir cod to 7lg have been trolled up on AC Invaders in the yabby pattern. Anglers have had to shorten their lines in the shallower parts of the river so their lures aren’t continually dragging on the bottom.
Weed has been a problem for some, fouling the action of their lures and preventing a full trolling run.
Lure casters have picked up a few yellas to 3kg using the Oar-Gee 60mm Plow. During the day yellow and black have worked well and into the late afternoon red/black and purple/black became more productive.
Across at the Waranga Basin, the redfin have been hard to find. One group of anglers I spoke to fished all day for no result until the last hour on the water, when they found a school of redfin and landed 60 fish up to 1.5kg. Drifting with worms and dropping bobbers eventually found them their feed.
With the Murray cray season opening on May 1, there’s not too much to report on yet. Some areas usually productive around Echuca are upstream from the East boat ramp, 10 Mile Reserve and anywhere there is a good clay bank.
In my next report I’ll go into more detail on the cray fishing but don’t hesitate to give me a call for an updated report in the meantime.
For more information on what’s biting around Echuca and Moama, drop into JT’s Fishing and Camping, opposite the Border Inn Hotel, Moama or phone Justin on 03 5480 3868.
Ben Murphy with a 60cm cod caught in the Echuca Moama RSL Fishing Classic. (Photo courtesy of Tina Murphy)Reads: 1230