Flows slow and fishing will fire
  |  First Published: April 2014

Mildura anglers are enjoying ‘normal’ river levels this month with decreased flows which usually coincides with the end of grape harvest. This has given even better opportunities to catch a nice big Murray cod.

Air and water temperatures have been above average with little to no rain in most parts, in what has been an extremely uncomfortable summer. Extreme heat will turn the cod off the bite at times and lowers their survival rates when pulled out of the water.

Barometric pressures have been high for the most part of the past month, which has been great. However, fishing has been fairly slow lately on lures, particularly for Murray cod. A few reports of cod caught on bait upstream of Mildura are keeping anglers hopes up.

Having said that, there have been a few reports of Murray cod of sizes 70-80cm caught on trolled lures upstream. A few frustrated anglers have even reported cod hitting lures but not ‘sticking’. This could be an indication that cod aren’t fully in the mood for feeding nor have they gone into breeding mode, which can provoke aggressive lure strikes.

A few nice yellowbelly have been caught both on the cast and large trolled lures in most parts around Mildura, the biggest going 51cm, caught on a large lure.

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.

This time last year there were thousands of shrimp caught in the Murray. Their presence of late has been minimal in comparison.

There are still plenty of European carp being caught on bait and even a couple reported on lures. Even though carp are an unwanted species, they can still provide some fishing fun when the natives are hiding, particularly with the kids.

Spinnerbaits have provided another bait option for anglers, particularly on yellowbelly, in parts where clear water is present. The water has cleared up a bit to what it has been, but still needs to improve for good catches.

This time of month usually provides the angler some relief from the intense sun and temperatures experienced so far. It is also nearly the time when Murray cod start to move around and move in to the shallows. But the air and water temperatures need to be much lower for this to happen. Casting hardbodies and spinnerbaits into the timber will be the technique for success in this situation.

Anglers have certainly been doing it tough lately, and will wait for the coming months to arrive 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.

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 can’t catch fish with your rod in the shed!

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