Murray resembles its former glory
  |  First Published: December 2011

At the time of writing this report, river levels are low and the mighty Murray is starting to resemble that of its former glory of low banks and large protruding sandbars.

The lower levels at the moment, combined with rising water temperatures have really turned the yellowbelly on. Not only are they firing at the weir and lock structures, as they should be this time of year, they are also fishing well on snags and clay banks drop offs with bare structure.

Some healthy yellowbelly have been caught around Wentworth and Mildura recently on bait and lures. Redfin to 45cm have also been caught around the weirs and billabongs on bladed lures. Slowly worked lipless crankbaits and blades have done most of the damage.

Running sinker rigs baited with worm and shrimp cocktails have also been working well. Lures are always a good choice around the locks and weirs in spring, but it is also pleasing to see the yellas going on lures around the snags in the shallows.

Carp have clogged up the waterways with thousands of the stinkers being caught by Mildura anglers every week. It can get a bit on the nose when carp are thrown on the banks, particularly around Mildura weir. On the other hand it is good to see the amount of juvenile yellowbelly in the system and in the next year or so will see amazing fishing.

Fair volumes of water are predicted for the system, which will see levels rise. Even though it is frustrating for fishing in the short-term, we must look to the future and understand what a great fishery the Murray River will once again be.

It is expected that lure fishing for yellas will only going to get better as the weather warms up and the water clears. With the amount of spawning activity going on and young fish in need of some good growing it should be the start of something special for anglers.

Cod season opens on December 1 which will see people flock to Mildura for that chance of a fish of a life time. It will be interesting to see how many cod get caught after the blackwater.

One of the best methods for catching a good bag of yellas around Mildura at the moment is fishing around the weir structures. Bobbing worms and shrimps close to the banks will produce good results. Similarly, casting and slowly retrieving vibration lures and 1/4oz spinnebaits will also pay dividends. Morning and just on dusk have been the best times to fish.

In the summer months, fishing around snags with bait or lures will produce good results. Most of the snags firing now have not seen, nor heard, the sound of a lure for months. When the flows subside trolling will come into play.

When it comes to the opening of the official cod season, depending on water clarity, I would recommend use of 5/8-1oz spinnerbaits and Mumblers in darker colours worked slowly on the cast.

It is a great time of year to be on the river as the Mildura winter sun shines and fishing for yellow belly and Redfin is firing up.

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