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Multiple options for cod
  |  First Published: December 2010



Welcome to 2011! What can I say; it’s been an incredibly wet spring and early summer.

Our dams and lakes are full, our rivers brimming and the fish have been stimulated into some great population explosions with the abundance of food, shelter and fresh water. Locally it may be a year or two, but in time we will see the real benefits of this wonderful season. If, as we all hope, the change in season has heralded a return to traditional weather patterns with abundant rain every winter and spring, we truly have a lot to look forward to.

Upstream Mildura

Alan from Got One Mildura reports angler are having good success all through the Red Cliffs, Nangiloc and Colignan areas, with some great golden perch being taken. As always, bait such as worms and shrimps have worked well, although the dirtier than normal water seems to have put a lot of the lure anglers off. Be assured that the fish will still find a lure trolled upstream in the fast moving water, with my personal preference being the purple or black with contrasting bars. An audible rattle can definitely be an advantage as well.

Wade Vincent reports some of his work colleagues have been having a bit of luck in the Karadoc region fishing for golden perch with bait around the edges. Once again, seeking out a few eddies and quieter moving areas is proving fruitful.

Downstream Mildura

The annual golden perch run continues, with some good numbers of fish still being taken immediately below the weirs. Mildura’s Wade Vincent has been having a lot of luck fishing below the Mildura Weir around the area below the lock. On his most recent trip Wade caught (and released most) up to 20 golden perch to a thumping 62cm in length!

Tying his boat up in a quiet spot out of the main river flow, his bait of choice was scrubworms, but he also had success casting and retrieving spinnerbaits. The ‘clang-and-bang’ of the spinnerbaits is obviously a good choice when water clarity is marginal.

The river around Apex Park continues to fish well, with anglers not needing to venture too far from the boat ramp to get amongst a few golden perch. Fishing the edges with worm and yabby baits, anglers have been taking excellent perch to 50cm plus. Trolling small lures such as number 3 Stumpjumpers hard up against the river edges and snags has also been fruitful.

Wentworth

The areas around the Wentworth Weir continue to fish well, with anglers having much success casting and retrieving lures from the shore immediately below the weir. Golden perch are being taken on small hardbodied lures, as well as spinnerbaits and metal vibes. Smaller lures such as 60mm Oargee Plows and little Old Codgers are ideal.

I have reports of good numbers of golden perch being taken in the Darling River north of Wentworth. This water always seems to run a little dirtier than the Murray so bait tends to be the preferred option. That said, once again the lures should never be left at home, as the fish will still find them, just as they do a bait. I suggest small hardbodies, spinnerbaits, metal vibrating blades or the bibless crankbaits for best results

Prospects for January

All the usual methods will work during January. Cast and retrieve hardbodied lures or spinnerbaits around the edges and snags, or troll the areas from 5m and deeper with the larger deep divers for best results on the big green fish. Oargee Plows in 75mm, Number 1 Stumpjumpers and large Old Codger are fantastic hardbodies to try. I’d stick with either the dark shades, or conversely the fluoro shades for best results when the water is a little cloudy.

That goes for lures of all styles, minnows, spinnerbaits and jigs. Bait anglers fishing bardi grubs, cheese or large scrubworms around the snags should also see some success. Be aware the baits will need to be of XOS size so as to not be picked off by the prolific golden and silver perch in the region.

The golden perch fishing will taper off as the spawning fish disperse. This is often a better time to fish anyway, as the crowds start to thin down a little too. Popular and successful areas such as my favourite Curlwaa, the mad mile and Merbein Common should all fish well. Last year I had a lot of success on Custom Crafted Hammerheads, 60mm Oargee Plows, number 2 Stumpys and Little Codgers later in the season and these are great lures as a starting point. Baits such as worms, yabby tail and locally sourced shrimp are always dynamite on the perch.

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.

Tom Dark displays a great Murray River golden perch. This one took a liking to a brightly coloured, trolled Number 2 Stumpjumper.
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