With the absence of the bang and roar of the doof-doof boats marking the end of school holidays, the sound of electric motors quietly whirring, lures being cast with expectation, and excited cheers of a fish landed are far more pleasant. Don't get me wrong, we love the tourists in town, but like a scared turtle, fishos are just starting to poke their heads out again.
Without doubt, autumn is the prime time to be targeting the mighty Murray Cod, and Mulwala continues to prove it is the number one hunting ground.
With the cod moving back into the shallower water at this time of year, casting or trolling any style of lure, be it a hardbody, crankbait or spinnerbait, will put you in with a better than average chance of encountering some rod bending action. The prime water depths to look for range from 2-5m. With the bardi grub hatch looming and the promise of goat moths hitting the water kamikaze fashion, any night with minimal breeze is well worth a look for those keen to get in on some surface action.
Looking back, there were plenty of cod reports throughout January, but the most common theme was that they were undersize and coming from the river, especially early in the month. Visiting anglers Ryan Krivsky, Luke Kingsmore and Danny Materio had a great day out, with the highlight being Ryan's 82cm that was caught whilst casting an Old Mate lure from the bank.
The biggest mistake I made for the month was to organise a trip for 15 mates to head over to Deniliquin for a weekend’s fishing. I'm guessing it was a phone call out of spite, but to hear that 2 over 1m and another dozen or so ranging from 70-90cm were caught between the same numbers of fishos left me wondering why we had left town? From this bunch, Peter Pejkovic was rewarded with the best, a mighty fine 113cm cod. The lure that did the damage was a dark coloured Jackall Doozer. The other ‘metrey’, measuring in at a healthy 106cm, was also caught on a Doozer.
As mentioned, there was plenty of action downstream amongst the plethora of smaller cod. Trout cod, carp, silver perch and the odd golden were reported. The secret to the bigger fish was big baits, especially a double-up of good-sized yabbies rigged back-to-back.
Getting back to basics for a bit of fun saw me have 2 great trips with a couple of friends who had seen limited cod action. Darren Scott OAM was the first. Finding time out of his busy schedule, Darren managed to rustle up 7 cod to make for an enjoyable few hours’ fishing. Nick Taylor was next to share a seat in the boat, and managed to break his cod virgin status on his first-ever outing, much to the dismay of his wife Sophie. Sophie loves her lure fishing, but is yet to trouble the scorers. Your turn will come soon, Soph’!
With the competition season upon us, there are a couple more coming up in the near future. The next is the His & Hers Partners Classic on Feb 28, and it’s a great day for understanding couples to share time together in a boat. To round out the comp season, there’s the Cod Nationals from April 19-24 — 5 days of serious tournament fishing for the dedicated green fish angler. It’s guaranteed that once you have fished a Cod Nationals, you will never miss it again.
If you are visiting town, I urge you to call into Lake Mulwala Fish, Camp & Ski (opposite the post office) in Mulwala and say G’day. We are your largest Murray cod-specific shop in Yarrawonga/Mulwala and specialise in all things ‘green’! For any information on the upcoming events or fishing reports, give us a hoy on (0357) 443 133.
Ryan Krivsky (at left) with his mates and an 82cm cod caught on an Old Mate lure.Reads: 529