Big cod creep in as winter knocks
  |  First Published: May 2013

Water levels are low around Mildura and fishing is still slow, but as the cooler period rolls in the chance of catching good-sized Murray cod is increased.

The Easter break saw a lot of people roll in, but fishing results have been less than impressive.

Some nice yellowbelly have been caught around Merbein and Wentworth on bait and lures. Big lures intended for Murray cod have been doing a lot of the damage. Smaller hardbodied lures in the shallows, like the awesome 90mm Koolabung Codzillas cast and trolled has also been a good option.

Water temperatures have decreased to around 23-24C which is what cod anglers have been waiting for. But it hasn’t seemed to bring the green backs on the bite. A few smaller models have been caught on trolled 120mm lures. The odd cod over a metre has been achieved around Mildura in the past month typically trolling 120-140mm hardbodied lures. Quite a few cod are striking lures but not sticking which is a sign the fish aren’t biting hard. The cooler months should hopefully change this effect.

There are still a few reports of anglers catching good-sized catfish below Wentworth on bait. Of course there are hundreds of reports of carp captures each week in nearly every location. These fish have really bred up during the flood season providing a lot of keen anglers, and kids, a great reason to go fishing. Even though they are a noxious fish they still put a bend in the rod especially on very light spin gear or fly.

Shrimp have been going in the river still, which may be a reason the cod have almost shut down. There has been an increase of these whiskered river decapods over the past few months and has had a major effect on the effects of fish feeding. Of course, this has made lure fishing very difficult.

The month ahead should bring much cooler weather around Sunraysia that will hopefully lessen the shrimp populations and bring the fish on the bite again. River conditions are looking good and the clarity is good to excellent. Water temperatures will start to drop even further and cod will begin to build their nests and look for food. Dewy nights in Mildura are often accompanied by beautiful sunshine that entices anglers out of their autumn hidey holes to enjoy the Murray River during this magic time of year.

Murray cod will begin to really smash lures in some of the old haunts. Yellowbelly activity will slow down a little bit from here but should still be good for a while to come yet.

Ross Virt with a nice Murray River yella caught on a Green/black 90mm Koolabung Codzilla. These lures are a great option in the shallow waters of the Murray.

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