Aware of changing nature
  |  First Published: June 2014

Mother Nature can provide many clues relating to the change of seasons, and anglers need to be aware of these. The changes in air and water temperature and wild life movements should also signify a change in anglers’ approach in order to land that fish of a lifetime.

In fishing terms, winter is considered a good time to start lure fishing for Murray Cod and a window into what is considered the best cod fishing periods. Most anglers will have their own ideas when it comes to interpreting this change. For many of the die-hard fishos out there, the start of June is the unofficial cod opening.

However, autumn has been unusually warm around Mildura and water temperatures have been higher than normal. Coming off the back of a very hot summer, the cod have started to move in good numbers but haven’t started to fire in the usual spots as yet. Nevertheless, this should change very soon.

Murray cod fishing can be a bit of hard work over the cooler periods, but those anglers putting in the long hours and those willing to work out where the fish are holding will reap the benefits.

A few nice Murray cod have been caught on large lures upstream and downstream of Mildura lately, with quite a few well over the magical metre mark. A few smaller models coming in at around 70-80cm have also been caught in the clearer waters we are experiencing at the moment. Most of these cod have been caught using 120mm Koolabung Codzillas and King Mongs in various colours.

Good news is that cod are starting to move into the shallows as some of the cod caught lately have been in around 3-4m of water.

Considering the size of the baitfish that cod are feeding on, upsizing lures is a must. Most of the cod caught lately have been achieved on large, trolled lures. Trolling speeds have also been up from the norm indicating that the fish are starting to come on the chew.

Some nice yellas have been caught recently on larger trolled lures in the Murray. Most of the fish have been holding close to timber and a slow trolling speed seems to be doing the damage. Some of the creeks outside the main river have also been fishing well for big yellas. Fort Courage has been fishing well for yellas also both on lures and bait.

As the cooler weather rolls in, anglers will swap their trolling gear for casting rods and lures as the cod move tight into snags and into the shallows. Anglers will be casting from June through to end of close season with a few dedicated trollers doing it their way. Casting large spinnerbaits into the timber will be one of the go-to techniques.

More water is due to make its way down the system, which may dirty things up for a while, once again making fishing difficult in the main river.

It’s not only the Murray cod that are the main attraction around Mildura during the winter. It is also the beautiful river scenery, warm red-gum fires of an evening and foggy mornings that make fishing in the Murray an absolute pleasure.


John Menhennett with a nice river yellowbelly. These fish will start to slow down in the cooler weather and Murray cod action will heat up.

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