Focus turns to yellowbelly as cod season closes
  |  First Published: September 2013

Since the remaining boards were placed back into Mildura weir after a period of being out for maintenance, river levels have finally gone back to normal.

After what was a fairly inconsistent winter for Murray cod, things are looking up for yellowbelly.

Some nice fish have been caught recently around Mildura, but up until now has been a bit hit and miss. Water clarity has been good making lure visibility very good.

The maintenance of the Mildura weir and removal of the weir structure in early June meant that river levels above Mildura were extremely low making it difficult to launch a boat. Weir maintenance has now ceased and river levels have re-gained some normality. Hopefully this will allow the fish to settle and eventually bring them on the bite.

A flush of dirty water has been affecting the way in which the fish have been behaving which has resulted in some slow fishing for most anglers. The few fish which have been caught recently have been very healthy looking, obviously feeding up on copious amounts of baitfish, with some cod over a metre caught before the season closed.

Bait anglers have been enjoying some good fishing with yellowbelly up to 50cm caught on shrimp and worm above Mildura. Of course, there have also been plenty of carp being caught everywhere.

While the cod were relatively slow as the season closed, anglers have enjoyed catching yellas on hardbodied lures and spinnerbaits. This was surprising seeing as though yellas are not usually this active during winter. Most of these fish have been between 40-50cm and very healthy.

Spring can be a special time of year for yellowbelly anglers and can be a very busy time of year for recreational anglers to flock around the weir structures for an easy catch on bait or lures. Springtime is when yellas start to swim upstream and school ready for spawning. Luring around lock 10 and 11 during these times can be fun and quite productive and a good alternative with cod season drawing to a close.

Apart from throwing a few lures around the weir structure, most snags and clay banks downstream will be holding yellowbelly and are definitely worth targeting as they become aggressive taking lures at will.

Marcus Hennig, from Mildura, with a nice yellowbelly caught on a 5/8oz Bassman spinnerbait. Yellas will become active during winter and are a welcome catch when fishing for cod

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