Murray cod for Mildura
  |  First Published: December 2013

River levels have dropped and continue to fall back into the banks. Flows have subsided and water clarity is good enough to catch some decent fish. This year is gearing up to be a fantastic summer of fishing around Mildura, particularly for targeting the iconic Murray cod in the mighty Murray River.

Some very nice yellowbelly have been caught all around Mildura during the warm conditions lately, especially around Merbein. The fish have been caught on lures mostly, but bait fishos are having a great time bobbing shrimps and small yabbies. Downsized lures intended for yellas have been working well around snags and clay banks, but recently the fish have been caught on larger lures, as by-catch to their much larger and more aggressive cousins, the Murray cod. Others have been coming in at the usual 40-48cm range, typical of summer yellowbelly.

Large sized catfish are also being caught on bait around Fort Courage. Reports from local anglers indicate that this iconic species are still around in good numbers.

The best smaller lure, which has been working great to specifically target yellas, has been Koolabung 90mm Cod Bait and the range of LED Balista Dyno 75mm hardbodies. Larger lures have done most of the damage to the large Murray cod. One lure that has dominated the cod season so far is the Koolabung 120mm Codzilla in the holographic range.

Murray cod have been on the chew also, with numerous larger models being caught on trolled lures in multiple locations around Mildura. This season should be a ripper for catching big Murray cod due to the appropriate water levels and clarity, amongst other factors. Try trolling big lures like the Koolabung Codzilla in various sizes for a decent chance of landing a metre cod.

Running a combination of 50lb braid and 50-60lb leader seems to be optimum for targeting big fish. Lighter gear will also see you land the big one, but with so much cover in the river, like snags and rocks, to contend with, the chances of line breakage, probably with a nice fish on the end of it, are high, and no angler wants that. Upsizing your treble hooks is also a good idea, because you don’t want to be left wondering what could have been.

Releasing Murray cod is also a good practise, so it is important you have all the right landing gear to make the release smooth and trouble free. A large net, lip grips, pliers for hook removal and gloves are just some of the important equipment anglers should possess.

Safety should also be on the minds of weary anglers when out on the water, where anything could happen, fast. Summer is a great time to fish for our special native species, but it is vitally important if you are heading out to carry the appropriate safety and medical gear for your crew and size boat. Maritime are also going to be out in force over the summer break, so do everyone a favour and do the right thing.

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