With school holidays upon us it’s time grab the family, pack your fishing gear and hit the water.
In Deniliquin we are spoiled with endless options and possibilities when it comes to fishing and camping.
With some warmer weather over the coming weeks hopefully this will bring the yellowbelly on the chew and out in their numbers.
Here’s some tips for targeting yellowbelly.
The first thing is using the right bait. The best bait for yellowbelly is worms. Thread a few of these beauties on your hook and hold on. Yellowbelly can’t resist a full hook of worms, the bigger and juicier the better. If you can’t get your hands on any worms fear not, yellowbelly also fancy a feast of small yabbies and shrimp. Be organised though and put a shrimp net in a few hours before you go out fishing, this gives the shrimp and yabbies time to pick up the scent of the bait in your net and time to find their way in.
Yellowbelly love structure, be that near willows, reedy banks, fallen trees or timber. When I’m fishing these areas I tend to bait up one rod with worms, only using the paternoster rig, and another with shrimp and worms, using a running sinker straight to the hook. I use this rig to bob around any structure. I’ll usually let the bait sink to the bottom and slowly work it back to the boat, pausing about every 60cm or so and just jigging it up and down for a few minutes. This is a good way to see where the yellowbelly are sitting.
I like to use light gear when targeting yellowbelly, this makes it easier to see and feel them bite. A size 2500 reel spooled with about 9kg (20lb) braid and a two to four kilogram rod around 1.5 to two metres long seems to be able to wrestle the biggest of yellowbelly.
If you do happen to hook a cod please take care when handling them, use a landing net where possible, try not to remove them from the water and remove the hook without fuss. If a cod has swallowed the hook simply cut the line and let them go, the hook should dissolve over time. Handle them with care and don’t lift them up without supporting their body weight. Too many times we see uneducated fishermen mishandling Murray cod either by lifting them by the gills dragging them up a bank or through sand. These actions put unnecessary stress on the fish. We as fishermen need to look after these majestic creatures, they’re too good a fish to only catch once.
There have been a few reports of some nice yellowbelly being caught around the area.
The Herberte family have caught some solid fish in the Billabong Creek, over a couple of trips they have managed to land 10 yellowbelly and plenty of carp.
Larry Seely also managed a nice 44cm yella, using worms for bait while fishing in town.
Phoebe Jefferies showed her old man Jaffas (Andrew) how it is done, landing her personal best yellowbelly of 51cm.
Well done Phoebe, hopefully dad was taking notes.
I was lucky enough to land a solid yellowbelly of 52cm on worms near Benarca and my son Pat didn’t miss out either, landing a 45cm yella at the mouth of the Boggy Creek.
Jack Woodcock snagged a couple out of the Colligen Creek, his biggest going 50cm and the other around 30cm.
If you see or suspect illegal fishing, please call 1800 043 536. Make the call and make the difference.