Wet and cold seems to be the flavour of the month with frosty mornings making it a challenge to venture out.
With a morning frost you usually get good weather until late afternoon when the temperature starts to drop again. Even a slight breeze off the water can feel like it’s made its way up from Antarctica.
Beanies, gloves, thermal tops and bottoms, wet weather gear and even a thermos of hot soup or coffee to keep the insides warm all help to make a day on the water more comfortable.
In this final month of the season to chase Murray cod and crayfish, the mad-keen have the rivers more or less to themselves.
Over the past few years August has really fired up for bigger crays, possibly due to the frosty nights.
Chunks of carp, sheep heads, ox liver and chook frames have all taken their share of these spiny critters this season. An increase in flow at the end of June made it difficult to drop nets between Echuca and Barmah without adding extra weights so a few switched-on anglers were dropping their nets on the insides of the bends, keeping them out of the faster current.
Low water on the Edward River at Deniliquin has made boat launching around Benarca Bend a challenge for bigger boats. Many of the Deni locals have set off on foot along the banks of the irrigation channels, where they’ve been picking up plenty of redfin while casting lures.
Small shallow diving hardbodies, blades and the trusty old Hogback have accounted for reddies up 700g around the regulators.
Soft plastics are still taking plenty around the Campaspe River back at Echuca, with a lot of the local kids having a ball over the school holidays.
The Murray around Echuca has slowed up. Scrub worms are still picking up yellas from 25cm to 30cm while bardi grubs were the bait of choice for one cod of 72cm.
The water above Torrumbarry Weir has been looking good – 11° and quite clear.
Spinnerbaits seem to be more effective than trolled deep-divers. Maybe it’s the spinnerbait constantly being swum past a resident cod cast after cast, compared with a lure that a fish will see every five minutes on a trolling run, who knows. But the spinnerbait has had to be retrieved extra, extra slowly.
The river between Torrumbarry and Cohuna had been fishing fairly well for cod and yellowbelly with spinnerbaits the pick. One unconfirmed report was of a 120cm cod taking a spinnerbait and there have been several smaller cod and golden perch, showing there is still good fishing among the fallen timber that lines the banks.
In late June the weir released a big flush, resulting in discoloured 8°water, sticks and other debris, which made you, work a lot harder for fish. By this time things should have settled back to normal and the fishing will be a little easier.
Make the most of the last few weeks of the cod season; three months is a long time to go without a cod fix.
• 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 03 54 803 868.Reads: 1231