The season opened on December 1 and cod anglers have relished the opportunity to swim large lures and maybe catch that fish of a life time.
Floodwaters have resided and have fallen back into their banks and the river now resembles times gone by. However flows are still up particularly out of the pool areas.
Yellowbelly have been caught again in good numbers in most locations around Mildura over the past month. They have mainly been taken on bait and vibration lures close to the banks. However, hardbodied lures have been working really well, particularly against the current. Merbein and Wentworth have been the most productive spots lately.
Trolling hardbodied lures, both rattle and non-rattle models, against the current will be one of the best methods of catching a monster cod this season.
Trolling against the current will provide a lively action for the lure and will make sure it is presented longer in the strike zone. Going with the current will see the lures dive deeper to hit that all important structure. Even going against the current at the moment will prove difficult but is the best of the luring methods. Going against the current means you can control the speed at which you troll and the lure will work to its full potential.
When choosing suitable lures for trolling in fast flowing water, try to stick with shallow diving bibs around 4m as they gain a decent depth and provide less resistance in the water. A thin profile helps to cut through the current without pulling the rod out of your hands. Ideal lures for this application are the Koolabung Codbait and smaller Codzilla models. These can be cast or trolled and have accounted for multiple Murray cod in the past couple of seasons.
Bait fishing has probably been the best way to catch a green fish and yellowbelly over the past month, although lures are starting to well now that the water cleared up.
Try dangling a nicely presented grub on a large hook, tied with ‘bait-mate’ down the back of red gum root balls in the backwaters close up to the bank. Other successful bait will be yabbies and shrimp. Scrub worms are good value as they are big, can be used multiple times (if you have to) and provide a scrumptious meal for a Murray cod.
Murray cod will definitely be on the move at this time of year and will be fossicking for anything they can ambush as a feed. They will become more and more active as the season goes on. Yellowbelly should continue to fire up right through summer.
Wherever you go this cod season, please adhere to fishing regulations and try to practice techniques of catch and release.
Enjoy the beauty of catching and sighting these majestic fish rather catching to eat or senselessly kill.
A terrific Murray cod being released after being caught near Mildura. Cod this size are quite common in the pool waters around Mildura and will be a prized fish for many anglers this cod seasonReads: 597