Times they are a changing
  |  First Published: July 2012

This is one of the best times to be alive around Mildura. Wonderful frosty mornings followed by days filled with sunshine are normal for this time of year.

These conditions not only signify changes in the weather, but also changes in the feeding and breeding habits of fish, in particular Murray cod. As the colder weather rolls in and the days shorten, the chances of meeting with a green monster are high.

River levels around Mildura have dropped since the last report and boards have been put back in the weirs. Flows are still strong in most parts and water colour resembles that of tannin, however clarity is ok to good. There is still a bit of water to come down the system, but by all reports a lot of it is clean water.

This is having an effect on the numbers of native fish being caught on lures particularly over the past months where conditions were worse than they are at present. Prior to this, some nice Murray Cod were caught on large trolled hardbodied lures around Mildura.

Since the dirtier water has come through Mildura, there have only been a couple of reports of Murray cod being caught. One of these reports was a catch of two cod 10kg on spinnerbaits and hardbodied lures above Mildura.

Some nice yellowbelly have been caught on bait below Mildura over the past few weeks some reported up to 3kg. Live shrimp and worms have been doing most of the damage. A running sinker rig with a bean sinker and 2/0 hook has been the ideal rig in the river of late.

Scrub worms have also been working well on the yellas below Wentworth where good catches are being made.

Creeks out of the main flow have been ideal to catch a few carp, particularly fun if fishing with fly rod or light spin gear.

Fishing with lures in the main river is quite difficult at the moment as the flows are swimming the lure out of the strike zone very quickly. If casting with spinnerbaits or hardbodied lures, I would recommend holding into the current with an electric motor and cast up stream of a snag pile or rock bar and allow the lure hit the strike zone before starting the retrieve. Heavier spinnerbaits in the 5/8-1oz range are ideal for this technique.

Trolling in the slightly deeper sections of river is still worth trying until the water cools down completely and then casting will take on a whole new meaning. Casting into the ends of snags and letting the current take the lure across the face of the snag pile might entice a strike as Murray cod like to sit out in the hope of snatching a feed.

We expect river levels to drop considerably around Mildura over the next few weeks. As the cooler weather arrives Murray cod will fire up and should go on the bite as yellow belly activity will decline until the spring months.

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