High river levels
  |  First Published: October 2013

River levels are still very high around Mildura making lure fishing very difficult. Unfortunately the river will remain high for a while, which will dampen the spirits around a popular time of year.

Yellowbelly activity has been slow due the cold water temperatures. But as the sun shines some nice fish have been caught on lures around lock 11 and below Mildura weir. It is unusual to see yellowbelly activity at a high this time of year, but the constant changing levels and water temperatures are affecting this. Some nice yellas were been caught at the tail end of the past cod season on large lures intended for Murray cod.

Fishing with bait around the weir structure in Mildura has been a good method to pick up a yella or two lately. Baits working best are a cocktail of shrimp and worm even though live shrimp are still difficult to find.

Johnsons Bend has been producing some good yellas particularly in the slower moving back waters and in eddy currents. A well-cast lipless crankbait or small hardbodied lure has seen 5-6 yellas caught in no time at all lately. Tying up to a snag to throw lures into the bank and slowly retrieve has been the best method.

The pick of the spots to target yellowbelly on bait is around the Mildura weir and Merbein area; close to the banks tight up on most structure. Lipless crankbaits have been working a treat in the shallows around Johnson’s Bend, just below Apex Park.

Luring for yellowbelly from the bank is also best around the new rock structure at Lock 11, particularly at the point where the lock gates open on the down side.

Springtime will see yellowbelly activity pick up a bit more around Mildura’s hotspots. October is a great time for targeting yellowbelly as they make their way upstream and start to school up below the weir structures.

Redfin should also come on the bite and are fun to catch on light gear using soft plastics and blades.

Most anglers around Mildura will be waiting for the cod season to officially open again in December. By then, waters should be back in their banks and we should see a Murray cod season like no other.

In the meantime Mildura anglers are gearing up for a spring time yellowbelly frenzy in the beautiful sunshine Mildura has to offer at this time of year.

Brett Evans holding a great river yellowbelly caught at the tail end of the rcent cod season on a 120mm Koolabung Codzilla

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