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Low water gives best chance for big cod
  |  First Published: April 2013



Mildura anglers have enjoyed low river levels with decreased flows. This has given even better opportunities to catch that magical metre cod.

At the time of writing this report, flows have increased slightly and river levels were very slowly starting to rise.

Air and water temperatures (around 30-40C and 26-27C respectively) have been above average with little to no rain in most parts and barometric pressures have been low for the most part of the past month. These are just some of the reasons believed to be why the cod have been ‘off the chew’ around Mildura lately.

A large supply of shrimp in the river may have also contributed to the ‘lock-jaw’ syndrome amongst our native fish species in the Murray River.

However, there have been a few reports of Murray cod between 70-80cm caught on trolled 120mm Koolabung Codzilla lures. Many anglers have reported cod hitting lures but not sticking. This can be an indication that cod aren’t fully in the mood for feeding nor have they gone into breeding mode, which usually brings aggressive lure strikes.

The odd big cod has been caught around Mildura over the past month with the biggest going 116cm on a trolled 150mm lure.

A few nice yellas have been caught both on the cast and large trolled lures in most parts around Mildura, the biggest going 51cm, caught on a Koolabung lure; a very nice river fish indeed.

Bait fishos are reporting good-sized yellowbelly on shrimp at the moment and catfish and silver perch on worms around the Red Cliffs area. Catfish and silver perch must be returned to the water if caught in the Murray River.

Spinnerbaits have provided another bait option for anglers, particularly on yellowbelly, in parts where clear water is present.

If fishing for Murray cod in the warm months, especially when the water temperature is up where it has been, it is extremely important to handle the fish appropriately and only have them out of the water for a minimum amount of time. Keep the fish in a big net in the water as long as possible and have a wet towel, pair of lip-grips or a glove and the appropriate tools for quick hook removal ready to go.

Anglers have certainly been doing it tough lately, and will wait for the cooler months to roll in before the fish come back on the chew. It is anticipated that there will be some very good Murray cod fishing to be done once the weather cools down. Reduced air temperatures, particularly overnight temperatures, will be a saving grace for the weary angler who puts in long days during the hot weather. This should bring water temperatures down and bring the cod on the bite.

Even though the fish have been few and far between, it is pleasing to see the odd one or two being caught. It still pays to be on the water because, “you won’t know if you don’t go”.

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