High water sparks confidence
  |  First Published: November 2010

We continue to live in interesting fishing times here in Mildura, however it must be said that ultimately they will be productive fishing times.

As I write the Mildura region weir pools remain high, however they’re about to get higher. The large flush of water into the Murray from Yarrawonga Weir (produced by large rainfall into the unencumbered Ovens River catchment) is moving downstream and is yet to reach the Sunraysia.

When it does the mighty Murray will get the wonderful flush that it’s been waiting so long for, and the resultant fishing will be phenomenal!

The other variants as I write are water and air temperature. Both are down a little at the moment by comparison to last year, however by November we should be experiencing some of that wonderful Mildura spring weather we all love.

Around these parts, spring goes with golden perch, like a worm goes with a shrimp (on a hook). It’s a marriage made in (fishing) heaven.

Upstream Mildura

Upstream of Mildura the river is very high. That said, the fishing is still good and I have numerous reports of some nice golden perch being taken through the Nangiloc, Colignan and Red Cliffs areas. Most of the river is productive right now, it’s just a matter of finding a little bit of backwater and putting a bait out there.

With these areas being also productive Murray cod waters, please be aware that inadvertent captures are a possibility and all cod need to be returned to the water unharmed as soon as possible.

Downstream Mildura

Below the Mildura Weir is the hotspot close to town right now. Ross from Got One Mildura reports that his customers are having much success with golden perch to 1.5 kg fishing worm baits in the eddies and backwaters formed by the ultra high water levels.

Currently water clarity is poor, so lure fishing is a little quiet, however ‘noisy’ lures like the vibrating metal blades or bibless rattling minnows are still well worth a try. I suggest very dark colours such as black or purple or otherwise fluoro with the water clarity being fairly ordinary.

Good friend and fellow Bendigo ex-pat Jen Sonnemans and her partner Mark Tarrant have been having great success with the golden perch in recent times. Fishing around the Apex Park area from the New South Wales side of the river, they’ve been taking some sensational perch to just over 38cm and about 1kg in weight.

Fishing the slower waters on the edge with worm and yabby tail baits proved to be the most effective method, and Jen and Mark have done their bit for the fishery, releasing each and every fish taken.


Wentworth angler Gary McInnes tells me his local area has been a little spasmodic recently. He and George Wheatley fished below Lock 10 recently and took some lovely golden perch to 48cm on worm baits, however have had other outings with ‘doughnut scores’. Land-based anglers below the weir have been fairing well, with good bags of perch being taken on bait. At this stage the lure casters are not getting a lot of love, however this should improve as the water clarity improves.

Gary also tells me that the Darling River north of Wentworth is also fishing well. Anglers fishing from boats and fishing the edges are taking good numbers of golden perch to worm baits. Traditionally the Darling is a little cloudier than the Murray River, however lures such as the vibrating blades and bibless, rattling minnows are always worth a try as well.


The golden perch season will go from strength to strength.

For the time being bait is where it’s at, and until the weather warms that’s worms.

With some warmth will come the other traditional perch bait in the river shrimp, and as usual I expect they’ll be dynamite.

The trolled and lures will still be worth a try, however they won’t be totally effective until the water clarity improves. It will be ‘lookout’ then however, we’re in for a cracker season.

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! 

Jen Sonnemans displays one of quite a few golden perch taken on worm baits in recent times.

Reads: 1912

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