Best winter break in a decade
  |  First Published: June 2010

We are experiencing a very strange and different phenomenon here in the Mildura region of late.

We are in the midst of a rainy winter spell of weather, reminiscent of ‘pre-drought’ times long past. In the last couple of days we’ve received a wonderful 50mm plus of rain and the standing water around the region needs to be seen to be believed.

While we’re not to the stage of searching the Internet for plans to build a large wooden boat of biblical proportions, suffice to say the entire region is celebrating what is without doubt the best winter break we’ve seen in a decade.

Quality rain freshens up the system significantly and that includes the fish. Bodies of water, which have lain dry for many years now are filling or full. Recently I was down at the friendly little Mallee town of Hopetoun and was very pleased to find the town lake full and beautifully presented. Talking to the locals, it has lifted the mood of the town tenfold (water skiing has started and the fishing will follow).

Water makes a huge difference to a region, especially one with such a pronounced fishing focus. Let’s hope Huey keeps sending it down.

Upstream Mildura

Upstream is where it’s at around Mildura right now. Chatting with Al from Got One Mildura revealed there have been some sensational Murray cod captures in recent times.

Anglers trolling shallower diving lures to 4m are capturing some sensational fish, with the best I’ve heard of a credible 1.13m in length. Surprisingly the Murray cod are bucking the system a little at the moment, with most of the fish being taken in this shallower depth of water.

The successful lure choice is also a little different, with successful lures being those with a tighter shimmy, certainly not the wide, lazy sway that we associate with traditional Murray cod fare. Colour wise, it seems that paler shades are the most successful, perhaps a reflection of the current water clarity which is fairly reasonable.

Mildura father and son team Les and Tim Page have been catching some decent fish upstream of Mildura as well. Fishing up near the Hattah National Park they took some lovely Murray cod to about 60cm on cast and retrieved Outlaw spinnerbaits with the predominant colour being a pink skirt.

Downstream Mildura

The water is taking some time to cool off after a fairly hot summer period, so not surprisingly there are still some good perch being taken around the area.

The Murray River from Apex Park all the way through to Curlwaa and beyond has been productive for anglers fishing with shrimp, yabby and worm baits. There’s still the odd perch being taken on a lure, but in this tail end of the season it will be nicely presented bait that will be more successful.


A great report once again from Tim and Les Page of some great Murray cod captures in the Darling River upstream of Wentworth. The lads took some great green fish on yabby baits on a recent outing.

Once again, bait is a fairly effective option when the water clarity is less than satisfactory as the Darling often is.


This month’s forecast is a little different. Usually I’m endorsing the big deep divers for the local Murray cod at this time of year and that isn’t exactly going to change. What I will add however is that the shallower diving lures should never be discounted as recent captures have shown.

I’ll be mixing my trolling up a little, with the shallower Oargee Plow, Goulburn Lures Old Codger and AC Lures my go-to lures for the Murray cod. Stumpjumpers, Legend Yarrums and Custom Crafted Lures also are all quality lures and productive as well. As per recent success, try some of the paler colours and hopefully you’ll be mixing it with a green fish in no time.

That said, it would be remiss for anyone going out after the big fella to not plumb the depths with an ultra-deep diver as well. Out beyond Wentworth’s Fort Courage there’s some great, deep holes that hold some big fish. Ultra-deep Stumpjumpers, Oargee Plows and the deep diving but slimmer profiled JD Pythons will be ideal.

The lure casters should keep the spinnerbaits close at hand, with the heavier styles offered by Bassman and Outlaw being ideal. As with lure colour, I’d be starting with pale skirts as an initial offering. If casting at structure in the shallower water, the Bassman Mumblers are absolute fish magnets!

That’s it for this month. I’m very happy to get your feedback. Please email me at --e-mail address hidden-- with “fishing” in the title, if you’d like to submit a report or a digital photograph of your capture. I’m also happy to field any fishing related enquiries you may have, send ‘em through and I’ll do my best!  See you on the water, Darky.
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