Early season action
  |  First Published: February 2008

The opening stages of the Murray cod season have seen the fish as excited as a teenage boy with his first love. There is action a plenty, with everybody getting amongst the fish. Lake Mulwala is 76% full, which coupled with perfect weather conditions has seen some great fishing.

If it’s size that counts, Doug Patterson takes the cake and deserves first mention. He has put in a fair effort casting lures around the Majors Creek area, only to be denied a couple of good fish that failed to stick. His luck changed when he tangled with a 115cm monster that made it into the boat. Casting spinnerbaits in the 3-4m of water did the job for Doug. While he was fighting this dream fish, a couple of old Wangaratta fishos made their way over to have a peek. They mentioned that they had picked up three fish over the magical 1m mark already this season, on deep trolled lures.

Another work mate and ex-Mulwala guide, Jeff Ollet, prefers to get out of the lake and fish above the Bundalong area. Jeff picked up a nice cod of 99cm by trolling a StumpJumper lure.

Roger Miles from Cod Hunter Fishing Tours has had four outings with clients early this season, and put them onto a total of 39 cod and numerous golden perch. Special mention must go to a client who could not speak or hear, but landed four fish, with his best topping 80cm – a great effort. At this time of the season Roger prefers to target the edge of the major channels with spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits.

I have had two trips out for the season, with varying results. Armed full of enthusiasm and bags full of new lures to try out, I launched at 3am on a Sunday morning. The idea was to surface fish until dawn, and then fish the channel edges through the morning. The surface fishing went well with two cod landed, one on a paddling style Muldoon lure, and the other on a surface popper from Surface Solutions. All good plans went out the window when the wind picked up and the rain set in, so I was home in bed by 7am.

My other trip was a bait fishing journey down below the weir, with my young bloke Cooper, who wanted his cod fix. In less than two hours we landed and released 11 cod ranging from 25-48cm, plus a Murray cray that had his seasons well and truly mixed up.

If you are planning a trip here to do a spot of ‘quiet’ fishing, it seems every water skier from Sunbury to Bunbury is here as well, so your peaceful trip may be blown out the window.

The next month or so should see the lake fish better from Majors Creek and above, up to Bundalong, while the river will turn up plenty of undersize fish for the bait fishermen.

Keep in mind the Lowrance Da$h 4 Ca$h Super Series (January16/17). There is $10,000 in cash and prizes up for grabs. For more information give me a call on 03 5744 1667.

If you do come across a good fish around the Yarrawonga and Mulwala area, I’m keen to hear about it, and will try and report it in future editions of VFM. Send all reports to --e-mail address hidden--

Cooper Bennett with a 36cm Murray cod. There will be a lot of fish of this size in the river in February.

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