Cod comes to the front
  |  First Published: May 2014

Grab your jumpers and beanies as we head into the cooler parts of the year, which is also a magical time for big cod anglers.

So far, the Murray River around Mildura is low, signifying yet another change in nature’s course leading into winter. Water clarity has been ok but a flush of clear water helped things out a bit late last month.

Up until this point some good sized Murray cod have been caught but they have been few and far between. Most of these have been caught early in the morning or late afternoon and usually when barometric pressure has been at its highest point. Cod have also been most active when the barometric pressure has fluctuated in rapid spikes.

A lot of smaller cod 70-80cm have been caught lately on lures around Mildura; they are coming as a result of targeting larger fish using much larger lures.

Spots for successful fishing have varied recently, but Wentworth has been a great area to troll and cast for both cod and yellowbelly over the past month producing some pleasing results.

Nice sized yellowbelly are being caught in good numbers, some in excess of 50cm. Anglers are still reporting catches of yellowbelly everywhere from Hattah to Lake Cullulleraine, which is pleasing considering the colder weather has settled in.

Catfish seem to have slowed down with the cooler weather and rising flood waters compared to what they were a month or so ago.

Of course, carp are still being caught in their hundreds all around Mildura and Wentworth. There have been a couple catch-a-carp style competitions around Mildura of late, which is great for the river health and community in general.

Recent catches of Murray cod have been caught mostly on the 120mm Koolabung Codzillas and range of Muldoon lures. These ‘fishy’ lures are considered the ultimate cod fishing tool and they have picked up a lot of the larger yellowbelly as well.

Trolling these larger lures in 6-7m of water has been a very successful tactic of late. Time on the water has also been the key with keen anglers putting in 10-13 hour days but with good results.

River levels should continue to be steady over the next month or so, which will make fishing conditions enjoyable. Yellowbelly activity will usually drop-off at this time of year and trolling techniques employed throughout the summer will now need to be adapted to suit the cooler conditions when Murray cod begin to dwell in the shallows. This is where casting into snags and rock piles comes into a world of its own.

As the cooler weather rolls in, the days become shorter leaving a smaller window for the opportunity to catch that fish of a lifetime. Murray cod definitely become more active in the cooler weather and water temperatures which ultimately make casting large hardbody lures and spinnerbaits a whole lot more exciting and challenging.


Brad Congress with a nice Murray cod caught on a lure in the Murray River. Fish like this are quite common at this time of year around Mildura.

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