River levels drop and cod come back into season
  |  First Published: December 2012

Finally river levels are dropping around Mildura after enduring more minor flood water.

Whilst making some attractive backwaters for yellas, it has been difficult to access good spots from the bank and boat. Water clarity is ok to good, good enough for luring though.

Just as predicted, yellowbelly have fired up in certain locations around Merbein common, Wentworth Weir, Lock 9 and the Frenchmans Creek and some crackers have been caught. The warmer weather has brought the water temperatures up to around 17-18C around the latter part of October bringing the fish on the bite.

Most of the action has been on bait, especially yabby tails and worm and shrimp cocktails. Yabbies are a particularly important part of the diet of golden perch if they are to successfully breed. So, it makes sense to match the hatch here when fishing with baits.

Live shrimp are getting about but not in great numbers yet. When the air and water temperatures rise this should change.

There are many good reports of anglers luring yellowbelly around the weirs and other structures too with vibration lures bringing on the hot bite. The water is clear enough for spinnerbaits too so it is worth throwing a few 3/8oz spinners around in the slow moving water around these structures.

Late spring/early December means warmer weather which will bring the yellowbelly out around Mildura’s hotspots. This is a great time for targeting yellowbelly as they make their way upstream and start to school up below the weir structures.

Cod season

Cod season officially opens this month and with the amount of water we have had flushed through the system it should be a good season. Areas that haven’t been fished for a while will certainly need to be targeted particularly when the river levels are down. Large hardbodied lures and 5/8oz spinnerbaits will be the go to lures for catching monster Murray cod.

River levels are expected to rise again after a dip in late October. Once the water finally sinks back into its banks and the flows subside, old snags will be exposed and will be more accessible to cast and troll as compared to the running rivers at present.

Whilst the waters are still running and the temperatures are high, the yabbies will hopefully come back and fill the rivers and creeks with a plentiful of great tucker. There are nice yabbies being caught in lakes and creeks north of Mildura most being the size of a coke bottle.

Over the next month or so I expect large bags of yellowbelly to be caught close in to the banks around timber structure and weed beds and of course around the weir structures. While the river is running high, most fish will be holding in the snags in most backwaters around Mildura.

Hopefully the river levels drop as soon as possible to allow us to enjoy the river in summer around Mildura once again.

Summer around Mildura is a great time to be on the water especially when it coincides with a low river signifying the start of some great native fishing.

Greg "Shoota" Schultz caught this 42cm beauty downstream of the Merbein Common out of the main current on a cocktail of shrimp and worm.

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