Tough fishing and plenty of water
  |  First Published: October 2010

We are living in difficult fishing times here in Mildura. Last month I wrote of the lowering of the Mildura weir pool to allow replacement of the Mildura weir. That work was very quickly completed and the water replenished.

However the Godsend that has been the wonderful winter rains means that for the first time in a decade or more there is natural inflow to contend with as well.

Changeable levels with flushes of cool water are enough to put the hungriest of the fish off, and without a doubt it seems to be the most persistent of angler who are currently getting amongst a few fish. That said, by the time you read this the spring golden perch ‘season’ should be starting to kick off nicely.

Upstream Mildura

Reports are scant from upstream Mildura. With the incredible winter of rain we’ve experienced (dare I say it, a ‘normal’ winter) there’s been some wonderful inflow into the Murray with some localised flooding in some areas. Unfortunately that means high and dirty water in the river, with very little to offer fishing wise. I’ve heard of some isolated captures around the Redcliffs area to bait anglers, but little else.

Downstream Mildura

Got One Mildura’s Alan tells me he too has had very little to report of late. Below Mildura similarly, the river is high, dirty and not so handsome. Bait anglers quietly fishing a bunch of worms in the shallows of the rising water are taking the occasional golden perch.

The lure anglers are having a fairly hard time of it unfortunately, however some persistent anglers fishing small spinnerbaits high in the water column are taking a few nice perch downstream of Apex Park.


Wentworth angler George Wheatley tells a similar tale from their region. George and colleague Gary are either on the water or chatting to anglers on a weekly basis but both the Murray and Darling Rivers are high and dirty around Wentworth, with the fish being very quiet. The only reports are of a few golden perch coming to persistent bait anglers.


In the 12 or more months I’ve been reporting for VFM, that’s possibly the ‘saddest’ report I’ve had to put in for the region. That said, it is what it is. I am definitely looking forward to a settling of the river levels and clarity, combined with that lovely, gradual warming of the water which brings on the genuine golden perch run of the spring.

In the meantime, the persistent anglers will still be getting a fish or two.

Bait anglers using worms, yabbies or shrimp (if available) will strike golden perch success. Once the conditions improve the lure anglers too will gain some results.

I’d suggest lures like the bibless rattlers and numerous blades are a good place to start. Floating diving minnows are always good.

Within the Murray cod closed season keep your lure sizes down to minimise inadvertent cod captures. My favourites are Custom Crafted Hammerhead in the small size, 60mm Oargee Plow and the little Goulburn Lures Old Codger.

Whilst you can’t always prevent the accidental cod captures, using a smallish lure will hopefully see it ignored by the green fish, leaving it free to be taken by the golden one.

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! 

The Wentworth Kids. Gary and George’s boys display a great Wentworth golden perch!

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