Casting chaos ahead
  |  First Published: August 2014

It is time to pack away the trolling rods and time to start casting the snags for Murray cod. As the landscape changes with the seasons, so do the techniques employed by anglers to draw out those giant fish.

Some awesome Murray cod have been caught recently in multiple locations around Mildura. Maintenance of the Mildura Weir, and the subsequent removal of the weir structure, meant that river levels above Mildura have been extremely low making it difficult to do most things, particularly launching the boat. Those who have been able to fish this water have been catching some very healthy cod up to a metre and golden perch over 50cm. Most of these fish up to this point have been achieved on large trolled hard-bodied lures.

Anglers fishing the clear, but just below pool level downstream of Mildura and Wentworth, are catching some amazing fish up to and over 1.2m on cast spinnerbaits and hard bodies.

Bait fishos have been enjoying some good fishing also with large numbers of golden perch up to 50cm caught on shrimp and worm around Fort Courage and below. Of course, there have also been plenty of carp being caught on all sorts of baits including cheese and corn.

Anglers are waiting in anticipation for the weir to be put back in place so the river resembles what it did toward the end of May. River levels below Mildura have dropped but still have good to very good water clarity.

Even though a few cod are being caught, fishing is still relatively slow as the cod transition from summer habits into winter mode and will continue to get slower. Fishing is always fairly slow at the beginning of the real cold winter but when the cod do bite they are aggressive and are usually in excess of a meter. Sudden drops in water temperature will see golden perch slow right down and fire up again in the spring.

With this transition from hot to cold temperatures comes a change of technique for the angler. Where trolling has its place, casting is the thing most cod anglers are waiting to do and will achieve more in the colder months as targeting them is nothing short of a cast into old timber; albeit still not that easy to catch. There is nothing better than casting up an angry metre cod form the snags. Even though a few anglers have been successful on the cast of late, it may take another month, or so, for this technique to become popular.

Those who are still trolling have been using large lures like Muldoon King Mongs and Koolabung Codzillas with some success.

The best casting lures this winter so far have been Bassman Spinnerbaits from 5/8oz to 1oz in whites and blacks, or a combination of both. Green spinnerbaits and hardbodies have been working well below Wentworth. Graphite rods around 6-10kg and baitcasting reels spooled with 50lb braid and 60lb monofilament leaders are ideal set ups for catching large Murray cod.

Enjoy your time on the water this winter, it is set to be a cracker!

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