It’s been a long time coming but finally the larger cool-weather cod have turned up, with reports of fish to 120cm giving plenty of inspiration for anglers to get off the couch and tangle with these trophy fish.
The water is around 18° and slowly dropping and you can feel the cool air coming in around 4.30pm, with frosty mornings not far away.
Gavin Bull, of Bendigo, spun up a beautifully marked 90cm cod on a Bassman spinnerbait downstream from Echuca.
Not long afterwards, the Torrumbarry Community Club held its annual family competition, attracting over 400 entrants, with the winning cod measuring an impressive 113.5cm. It took a trolled StumpJumper and the same angler also landed a 70cm cod 90 minutes later.
Other notable catches included an 80cm fish trolled up on a 2oz spinnerbait and plenty of cod from 45cm to 70cm.
After Saturday night’s spit roast and entertainment some anglers were a bit slow to get on the water on Sunday (I’m still getting over it!) but a good weekend was had by all. Believe it or not, no golden perch was caught.
Moama’s Matty Lake and his son had a successful day at Stevens Weir, downstream from Deniliquin. The boys landed four cod for the afternoon, 57cm, 62cm, 64cm and 73cm. The largest took a trolled AC Invader while scrub worms did the trick for the other three, including a 62cm PB for the young fella.
There has been only minimal flow heading downstream into the Weiri Forrest.
The area around Barmah has been fairly quiet with two exceptions. An 83cm cod took a good-sized yabby in Broken Creek while an impressive 120cm fish in the Murray River ate a bardi grub.
With recent rain there have been plenty of bardi moths attracted to the lights of campfires and many have ended up fluttering about on the river on hooks.
The stretch around the Campaspe Junction has fished well for Ben, our local butcher, who trolled up cod of 83cm and 72cm on shallow diving Oar-Gee lures on the high side of the drop off in the river in 2m to 3m of water. Ben also caught four smaller cod up to 56cm a week earlier using the same method.
A week later, two brothers had a bittersweet encounter with a resident cod around the willows downstream from Deep Creek Marina. They were trolling in about 5m when a metre-plus cod slammed their Elton John colour lure.
After a few intense moments the cod was on the surface but used her sheer size to power back to her hole and a few seconds later the lure floated back up with two of the hooks on the back treble straightened.
A few golden perch have been caught although landing one over 35cm has been a challenge. Below the regulators at Kow Swamp and in the Gunbower Creek, spinnerbaits with gold/black skirts have worked well while shrimp and worms have been the best baits.
The shrimp will become harder to find as the water temperature drops but try putting your nets out in the deeper water.
Small Viking lures in metallic gold have been effective in the discoloured water around the Goulburn Junction.
With the Murray crayfish season now under way, I’ve had a couple of reports and both were pretty much the same – the crays are small and soft.
At the time of writing we were yet to have a good frost but it shouldn’t be far away. Generally after a couple of good frosty mornings is the time to put the nets in.Baits that have worked well in the past include ox liver, sheep heads and old fish frames.
The depth of water doesn’t seem to matter; we have caught them with nets dropped just over the back of a boat been tied off on the bank and have also pulled them out of 6 m of water.
A good clay bank is usually the place to drop the nets, keep moving them around if they’re not producing. You will catch crays through the day but they are more active at night.
Most anglers will check their nets about every quarter-hour – if you can drag yourself away from that toasty fire!
Please make sure that you are up to date with the current regulations for the crays; the poor blighters are under enough fishing pressure without people doing the wrong thing by taking undersize crays or females in berry (carrying eggs).
For more information on what’s biting around Echuca and Moama, drop into JT’s Fishing & Camping, opposite the Border Inn Hotel Moama, or phone 0354 803 868.
Gavin Bull with a 90cm cod caught casting a Bassman spinnerbait.Reads: 1506