Cold cod still available at Mulwala
  |  First Published: July 2007

“Reddies by the bagful” was the news that greeted me when I returned to work after a fishing trip up north. “Where abouts, Hume, Nillacootie or Waranga?” was my response. “Around here,” was the cheeky reply.

Good friend Doug Patterson had stumbled across a honey pot full of redfin while out exploring some local backwaters. Over the past month he has taken over 100 fish between 750g and 1.5kg. Trips to the secret spot just to grab half a dozen for dinner have been common. Small hard-bodied lures, spinners, soft plastics and spinnerbaits have accounted for fish. It proves that if you get out and explore, you never know what you will find .

May marked a change of fortunes in weather with some welcome rain returning along with some cold, overcast days. The water has plummeted down to 14o with the Murray cods’ appetites dropping just as fast. Nevertheless, those with a lot of patience who put in the work have been rewarded with some nice fish.

With Lake Hume very low, a lot of Albury/Wodonga’s keen fishos have been making the trek to Mulwala in search of some action. David McKenna has been doing so regularly and turning up a good bag of fish on each trip. Cod up to 65cm have been his reward with cast spinnerbaits and larger trolled lures accounting for fish.

Dave Wescombe of Wagga also made a trip down in mid-May. After unsuccessfully trolling hard lures around for most of the day, he decided to try trolling a spinnerbait. With rod in the holder and putting along talking to the crew in the boat next to him, he was alerted to the fact that it looked like he had snagged up. As you could guess, this story is not about a guy who got snagged but of a great fish, and Dave proceeded to land a beautiful 103cm cod.

In late May I took a trip out to Bundalong, camping on the Ovens River with the crew from NSW Southern Region Angling Club. This friendly gathering saw only one legal-sized cod of 64cm being taken by young gun Tom Hetherington.

A Lake Mulwala report would not be complete without mentioning the escapades of local guide Roger Miles. Roger continues to produce fish for his clients, with cod of 70cm to 80cm not uncommon. This goes to show that if you learn the waterway you are fishing and study every factor that helps produce fish, these green critters are available year round (excepting the closed season, of course).

Roger’s methods of capture vary depending on water conditions with all styles of lure fishing accounting for fish, including casting large lipless crankbaits,

Below the weir, the river is at near-record low levels. The only fish I’ve heard about was a monster caught by Travis Collier, who was walking the bank casting his Macca’s spinnerbait when a giant cod measuring 1.26m grabbed hold. This great fish was photographed and released by a stoked Travis.

Murray cray season is upon us and although early reports have not been great, a lot of effort should see some success. Make sure that if you are chasing crays you are well aware of the regulations because ignorance is no excuse when Mr Fisheries comes calling.

In July, Lake Mulwala will continue to produce fish for those who work hard. Cod don’t stop eating, their metabolism just slows down and they feed less during the cooler months. With an inflow of dirty water from the recent rain, deep-diving hard-bodied lures in darker colors would be my first choice.

The river below the weir will become nearly unboatable and I would be looking for other options. The major problem will be the number of large snags just under water, waiting to take a bite out of your motor leg or propeller.

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