The Murray cod season has had a great start at Lake Mulwala. There were some quality captures of both Murray cod and golden perch during the 2007 Yamaha Cod Classic, but as always there were plenty of stories about the one that got away.
The Ovens River above Lake Mulwala has had a flush go down the system after some recent rainfall. The water clarity has been average, but is starting to improve. This river is one of my favourite locations and so far this season it has produced reasonable numbers of golden perch. Murray cod have been scarce, but should start to get caught more as water clarity improves.
The Murray River above Bundalong will be a good location this season. During most irrigation seasons, the flows can be very high here, and the fast flowing water can make fishing difficult. This year the lack of rainfall and low levels in our impoundments means reduced flows down this section of the river. These improved conditions will produce some quality fish this season.
Lake Mulwala has had lower than normal water levels in recent months, so anglers should proceed with caution. With the lower levels, some snags that are usually underwater are now creating boating hazards. I have personally enjoyed fishing the lake at the lower levels so far this season. It is easier to pick the many small creeks that run through the lake. These are always great areas, as they produce current flow that ensures a concentration of fish on any adjacent timber.
With the lower water levels, different areas in the lake have become more productive while other areas are less productive. The shallow flats around Majors at the top end of the lake have been slow. The lower levels have seen many of these flats with very little or no water over them. For those anglers casting and retrieving, the middle section of the lake around Hogans Boat ramp is more productive. In this section, a lot of the flats are typically between 3-4m. The drop in water level has made it much easier for those anglers casting and retrieving spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits.
With the lack of rainfall, water clarity in the lake is better than you would normally see at time of the year, which is good for anglers fishing with lures.
The fishing has been very good in the lake with some good numbers of golden perch being caught (the average size is 2kg). There have also been good numbers of Murray cod caught, with the average size being very good for this time of the year. The highest concentrations of fish have been in depths of around 2m of water. The most productive technique is casting spinnerbaits in the shallows.
Cod Hunter Fishing Tours clients have been landing cod averaging 58-65cm. There have also been reasonable numbers of larger Murray cod between 75-100cm giving the lucky angler a good run for their money.
On a recent guided trip, local Yarrawonga angler Dean Goudie hooked a 61cm Murray cod while casting a Jackall Doozer. This is a quality fish by any standards, but while Dean was bringing the fish to the boat, a 1m+ Murray cod decided a 61cm Murray cod was on the breakfast menu. The large cod had several attempts to eat the smaller fish with no avail. After several big smashes and boils, the large Murray cod disappeared. Dean managed to land and successfully release the 61cm Murray cod. Dean continued to have a great day boating 12 fish for the day, but the highlight was definitely the one that did get away!
Duanne Price caught this 80cm Murray cod while casting a Bassman Spinnerbait at Lake Mulwala.Reads: 1328