Cod season in full swing with low river levels
  |  First Published: March 2013

With cod season well and truly in full swing, anglers have been taking full advantage of the low river flows and heights and catching some very nice fish as a result.

Autumn is a great time to fish for native species in the Murray River around Mildura. When the leaves start falling off the trees, you know the air temperature will soon be cooler, signifying the optimum time to be targeting big fish. This is the time to be upsizing lures and tackle and casting into snags.

The cooler weather will be welcomed by all anglers as it has an extremely hot and dry summer with one hot day rolling into the next.

Yellas have been going just about everywhere, especially on shrimp. Trolled and cast small lures have also been working well around snag piles and reed/weed banks. Merbein has been the best spot lately.

Some very good Murray cod have been caught around Mildura lately with a couple of them falling into the 120cm plus range. There have also been a number of smaller models caught around 70-100cm. Most of these cod have been caught trolling 120mm Koolabung Codzilla hardbodied lures in the holographic colours, of which gold and blue have been the best performers in both 2m and 6m bibs. Balista Dyno lures, in the 90mm range, have also been working well.

A few Murray cod around the 10-15lb mark have been caught around the Hattah-Kulkyne region on bait, in particular grubs and shrimp.

Water temperatures have been the highest I have seen in years, in some cases exceeding 27C. Mixed with a few other factors, this could have contributed to cod going off the bite around mid to late January. Another contributing factor to the ‘lock-jaw syndrome’ includes the plethora of big shrimp in the system keeping the fishes bellies full.

There have been a number of thefts and cases of senseless vandalism on the river around Mildura lately. Some of the items taken include tent poles and contents, boats, motors and fishing gear. Vandalism to cars has been occurring around the Red Cliffs area so please be wary if you intend leaving things around that area.

The next month should bring some good fishing for all native species. This is the time when fish will be foraging for food stocks to make them through the cooler months. Big fish will hit lures in a very aggressive manner in the cooler weather.

The key to fishing success in the autumn, or any time of the year for that matter, is time on the water. Fish are relatively easy to catch if you can find where their hidey-holes are and what their movements are. In the summer it is easy to troll up a 13-14 hour day, but in the autumn and winter days of 9-10 hours should produce fish. Even though anglers will fish even in the hottest of conditions, the cooler months are always a relief and produce some great fishing, particularly for monster Murray cod.

John Menhennett presenting a healthy Murray cod caught around Mildura recently on a green 120mm Koolabung Codzilla with a 6-metre bib.

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