March is a fantastic time to fish for the majestical Murray cod around Sunraysia. Air and water temperatures begin to drop making it more comfortable for both fish and angler. Anglers should change their techniques with the seasons and consider casting lures around timber structure in the hope of a Murray cod over the metre mark.
Even though there have been some very nice cod caught lately, some very nice yellowbelly have also been caught all around Mildura during the warmer conditions. Red Cliffs has been producing big yellas on lures and Wentworth has been producing good yellas on bait for most anglers. The pick of the baits have been worms and shrimp. There have been a few shrimp around in the river of late too.
Lures doing the damage have been smaller Koolabung hardbodies and vibration lures.
A fair few reports of yellowbelly have been caught on 120 and 150mm lures also while trolling for cod.
Biggest of the yellas of late has been around the 55cm mark, which is a great river fish. Others have been coming in at the usual 40-48cm range, typical of summer yellowbelly. A lot of yellowbelly have been full of eggs and catch and release should be practised where possible. The yellas have been hitting the large lures very hard, which is indicative of their aggressive behaviour at this time of year.
The recent humidity has fired up the yellowbelly out of the river system in some creeks and billabongs with very good reports being made by local anglers.
Quite a few smaller Murray cod have been caught on grubs and cheese up stream of Mildura and quite a few 55-80cm have been caught on lures.
Autumn in some ways, is the start of the casting season as fish can start to move into the shallows. Most cod anglers have been trolling since the opening, they should now cast their minds to throwing spinnerbaits and hardbodies hard up against the timber in the hope of a good hook up.
The pick of the lures for trolling, and casting, have been the 120mm Koolabung Codzilla and new range of StumpJumper lures. Bassman spinnerbaits are always the go-to lure when it’s time to cast the snags as they have a great hook up rate and are very durable.
Running a combination of 50lb braid and 50-60lb leader seems to be optimum for targeting big fish at this time of year. Lighter gear will also see you land the big one, but with so much cover in the river, like snags and rocks, to contend with, the chances of line breakage, probably with a nice fish on the end of it, are high, and no angler wants that.
Catfish are still being caught on bait around Robinvale and Euston. Reports from local anglers indicate that this iconic species are still around in decent numbers.
The next month should see the continuation of what has been a great season thus far. The autumn season will be welcomed by all anglers and is the start of something exciting.Reads: 650