All smiles along the Murray
  |  First Published: July 2007

It’s a rare moment indeed to enter a pub full of farmers and be greeted by nothing but smiling faces. Not that country people aren’t warm and friendly – far from it – but to have several cockies in the same location at once and not a gripe to be heard concerning the woes of the land is almost unheard of.

It seems the recent rains have washed all the whining away and in the world of farming, in our area at least, all is good.

The rain has been a welcome relief not only for our dry-land farmers, but for the fishos as well. In some places up to several inches put a little colour in the water of our smaller rivers and the fish became quite responsive to the change.

The Wakool and Edward rivers fished well for cod and golden perch on all manner of baits that included grubs, yabbies, shrimp and worms. As these waters begin to clear, you can expect the bait fishing to slow almost to a stop.

Once this occurs, spinnerbaits and hard-bodied lures will become the most productive method of scoring a fish or two. Remember, the water temperatures are dropping so fishes’ response times to lures are slowed. Fish with patience.

The rain had little effect along the Murray other than making access hard with plenty experiencing the joys of being bogged in black river clay. In most locations, tracks have dried enough to provide access to the rivers once again.

The Murray is still clear and low and those anglers with enough fishing nous to boat around quietly are finding the fishing pretty darn good for the most part.

A few nice cod have been landed at Robinvale on lures and anglers using bait are reporting good catches of golden perch.

Some of these fish are of quality size with one golden pushing 60cm. For a river fish that’s a honker. Its seems there’s no pleasing some anglers because its captor, disappointed in its size, would gladly have traded it for a smaller fish he could have eaten.

The Murray River at Wemen has continued to fish well with plenty of solid goldens and a few nice cod landed on lures and spinnerbaits.


Once again, the river is low and clear and if you are serious about catching a few fish, it is imperative to keep the noise levels down. Sound travels a long way through water and under these shallow and clear conditions, the fish spook easily.

If you are casting the snags, hang back further than usual and use longer casts.

I have hooked and lost a large cod from the same snag on consecutive outings. This big fellow is holding in a little over a metre of water and would undoubtedly be spooked if you moved in too close to his house.

Fishing is not a race: take your time, look about, and you just might be surprised at what you see and where you find fish.

As the water temperature continues to drop over coming weeks we can expect to see some thumping cod caught.

Strangely enough, there will be fewer anglers on the water because many still perceive cod as a warm-water species. Sure, things can be a little slow, but when a fish does come, it’s well worth the wait.

And with the cooler water the Murray crays have begun to move. At present, only a few reports have come in from Swan Hill and Wemen so it might be worth throwing in a net or two. All information pertaining to the capture and bag limits on this species can be obtained at any local tackle store.

So if you’re looking to scratch that fishing itch why not rug up and get out on the water. The mighty Murray River provides some hot fishing, even in the dead of Winter.

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