Lake Mulwala has been fishing extremely well and in the continuing drought, one positive has been the improved water clarity.
The water releases have been reduced significantly and water clarity is improving at a rapid rate – which is great for lure fishing.
Ideal weather has also been of a huge benefit to the lake. Often during Autumn we experience large high-pressure systems that produce many days with minimal wind, helping water in Lake Mulwala settle. Another benefit of the fantastic weather has been above-average temperatures. Water temperatures have been 5o higher than they were this time last season and good numbers of fish have been caught in shallow water. The most productive depth has been 1m to 2m.
Anglers are having great success casting lipless crankbaits in the shallows.
The standout lure has been the Jackall Doozer. In recent weeks this lure has caught very good numbers of Murray cod over 70cm. Spinnerbaits have been productive along the edges of the river and good success has also been enjoyed by those trolling along the edges of the river. The most productive lure colours are dark, such as black and purple, but very light colours such as pearl white are also producing good results.
As the season progresses and water temperatures continue to drop, we will soon see a reduction in the productivity of the shallow margins. Trolling the deep sections of the river will become the standout tactic.
Currently there is a huge amount of floating weed on the lake surface, making trolling very difficult and lures need to be checked regularly to remove the weed. Cod Hunter Fishing Tours have recently picked up several quality fish. Metallic colours continue to be good options and will become more productive as the water clarity continues to improve.
Former VFM editor Marc Ainsworth and Fishing Monthly managing editor Steve Booth spent four days fishing the Murray River above Lake Mulwala and the lower Ovens River in mid-April. Flows were low so the majority of the fishing was done in the main channels between 3m and 5m.
Casting lures from Marc’s new boat, the lads managed 31 fish, the highlight a 97cm Murray cod which took a liking to one of Marc’s single-bladed Bassman spinnerbaits. The fish, estimated to weigh 20kg, was released after Steve was forced to grab it with gloved hands because the Boga Grips couldn’t secure its massive jaw. Steve’s purple No 2 StumpJumper also accounted for plenty of fish, particularly golden perch.
The best golden perch action was early in the mornings in low light. The cod seemed less fussed and were caught throughout the day, mostly on spinnerbaits. Steve also trialled a few JD hard-bodied lures from Tasmania and caught a legal cod on the bardi grub model.
The river below Mulwala has fished well recently, although it is very low and extreme caution must be taken when navigating this area. The majority of success has been had on spinnerbaits. The deepest sections are the best areas as the falling water levels concentrate fish populations there. The productivity in the river will drop soon but more experienced anglers know that now is the best time of the year to land that fish of a lifetime.
The 15th Mulwala Invitational Classic was held at the Shoreline Caravan Park from March 30 to April 1. A total of 225 fish were caught, including 206 Murray cod, 18 yellowbelly and one carp. It was approximately a 50/50 split between legal and undersized fish.
A total of 126 cod were caught on hard-bodied lures, with 97 cod caught on spinnerbaits. Oargee and Jackall lures were the most popular with purple being the most popular colour for hard-bodied lures. In spinnerbaits, white was the most popular colour, followed by black. Champion angler was Brett Suckling and runner up was Roger Miles.
The team event was won by Brett Suckling, Rhys Westcott, Dick Stanton and John Stanton. The biggest cod was caught by Ian Franklyn (79cm) and the biggest yellowbelly (50cm) was caught by David Brown. The winner of the $1000 and Lowrance sounder in the Da$h for Ca$h was Phill Cockshutt from Western Australia with a 53cm cod. All fish were caught and released.
Organisers thank the following sponsors: Lowrance, Big Spring Water Riverina, Yarrawonga Golf Club, Wagga Fishing World, Rod Clarkson (Pisces Tackle), Predatek Lures, Silstar, Magnum Products, Tinnie Taylor (Dick Stanton) and Lofty Lures.
(image courtesy of Marc Ainsworth).Reads: 1951