A lot of casts between fish
  |  First Published: September 2008

As I sit here writing, I start to hear the unfamiliar sound of rain on the roof. A look outside confirms big black clouds yet 20 minutes later, those promising clouds are starting to get a blue background – a typical pattern around Echuca/Moama.

In three weeks we received 35mm of rain, which is good for the gardens and to top up the rainwater tanks, but it’s not enough for the suffering rivers and storages in the area.

Recent reports from the Edward River at Deniliquin have been few and far between, probably due to the cold weather and low water levels. Rather than ruining a good day and getting the car bogged, some anglers have opted to flick small hardbodied lures in the local channels, catching numerous redfin close to the bank.

The Gulpa Creek above Mathoura has again produced good-sized golden perch, with scrub worms the bait of choice. One unconfirmed report was of a golden that weighed nearly 6kg, a good fish and a good effort to prise form its snag-riddled home.

Only the odd fish has been taken in the Broken Creek recently. With water clarity being a bit ordinary, anglers using smelly baits or a fish-attracting scent could be in with a chance.

The fishing in the Murray River around Echuca has been great for some and frustrating for others. Different parties have spent the good part of the day casting and trolling for one fish or less, while others have landed a few fish in as many hours.

Local bloke Nick Kiely and his mate had a good afternoon casting Bassman Codman spinnerbaits with green and black skirts. By consistently casting their spinnerbaits into the snags, they landed several golden perch to a solid 53cm.

Spinnerbaits haven’t been on their own in the fish-catching stakes, with deep-diving hard-bodied lures also taking their share. Anglers casting to fallen timber from either boat or bank, cranking their lures down deep and then letting them slowly work their way back through the timber have also been successful.

For the bait-soakers, the bardi grub has been most productive for cod, with scrub worms a close second. Getting a supply of shrimp for a day’s fishing is near impossible at the moment but hopefully this will change in coming months. Yabbies are fairly scarce, too, but some forward-thinking anglers stocked up in the warmer months and have a ready supply in their backyard tanks. This natural river bait comes into its own when bobbed among the timber.

In late Winter the water in the Murray at Torrumbarry was sitting at 10.4o and clarity was quite good. Casting spinnerbaits with orange/brown skirts right in tight among the timber has proven successful. On a recent trip to this stretch of water, Deniliquin angler Jason Sheehan landed a nice cod of 84cm and after a few quick snaps it was released. Once again, a spinnerbait did the trick.

There have been four or five recent reports of metre-plus cod being landed.

One I can confirm was caught by local Matt Bongiavanni who, along with a few mates, was out doing a spot of crayfishing. In between checking the nets, Matt was casting a Custom Crafted Hammerhead back towards the bank when a 137cm cod smashed his lure.

Not only was the lure smashed, but his rod ended up in two pieces and the 20lb Fireline was pulled in by hand. After a quick photo session and plenty of high fives, the fish was released to fight another day – a sensational effort!

For more info on what’s biting in the Echuca/Moama district, drop in and see Justin at J.T’s Fishing and Camping, 16 Meninya St Moama (opposite the Border Inn Hotel) or call on 03 54 803868.

Jason Sheehan with an 84cm Murray cod, which he caught on a spinnerbait in the Murray River at Torrumbarry.

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