The plug’s getting pulled
  |  First Published: June 2015

Trying to predict what's happening in and around Lake Mulwala at present is nigh impossible. As I write, we have a lake that sits at 96 per cent full. Within days, the plug will be pulled, and it will all vanish in a hurry. Not knowing exactly how much it will be drawn down makes it hard to guess about the fishing. If history is anything to go by, best bet is to hook the boat up and get here in a hurry.

As the lake recedes, most ramps become un-usable, with the 1 located at the yacht club remaining usable the longest. If you have not been here for a draw down, do yourself a favour and come for a look. It's an awesome sight to see and will give you a totally new perspective on the place.

Looking back to the start of April, not only did the Easter Bunny drop off plenty of goods for the kids, but he helped stir up the cod for all and sundry. Since I've been putting pen to paper over the past 15 years, I've never seen a better month for quality and consistent reports, some of them near on unbelievable, but with photos of proof, they are undeniable.

The most unbelievable story, report, photo, call it what you wish, came in the form of an amazing pic of a large cod that had attempted to engulf a floating volleyball! Being partially flat, the ball became perfectly wedged in the cod’s mouth and was unable to dislodge it. After some photos for proof, the ball was removed and the cod swam away to fight another day. From the look of the picture, the fish would have measured around the 1m mark. It was found around the Kyffins area. Like spaceships and Martians, if I hadn't seen the photos (that now adorn the front window of Lake Mulwala Fish Camp and Ski), I would not believe it!

Another story about the 1 that didn't get away came from the first day of the Cod Nationals. Competitors Steve Hogan and Graeme Jarvis were fishing close to the yacht club when they were alerted to an elderly lady calling "Help me! Help me!" Upon closer inspection they found she was actually hooked up to a beast of a cod she couldn’t land due to not having a landing net and the fish being too big for her to lift! The boys rendered assistance and proceeded to help her land a mighty 110cm monster taken on a small 1/0 hook with a piece of chicken breast for bait.

Ben Sharp, a Mulwala regular, had a great run over Easter, guiding friends and family onto some beautiful cod. After calling in to buy a handful of pink/purple Custom Craft lures, he took his mate James Ryan out for his first-ever spot of cod fishing. Not 100m in and James was hooked up to a great cod that measured a healthy 92cm. Next day Ben decided it was time to take his 2 daughters for a quick troll. Low and behold, 5-year-old Eve hooked up to a 60cm model, closely followed by a 68cm cracker — a couple of fish any grown man would be happy with. Ben struggled to keep the kids out of the boat for the next few days, and landed some other nice cod in that time.

Another fella who came into the store, Brian Smith, had a smile on him like a cat that had caught the budgie. Producing a photo that weighed 3lb alone, Brian recounted the capture of his mate Keith Sieeber. Again on a piece of chicken, Keith landed a true Murray monster that stretched the tape out to 123cm and looked like it could have been a good 80lb and then some. This cod was taken downstream around the Bourke's Beach area.

The fifth Cod Nationals have just wound up, with Team Venom's Anthony Pavlou and Stephen Booth taking out the prestigious Champion Team title from Team Bassman's Jamie Stewart and Bryden Whitfield. Jamie Stewart claimed the Individual Champion title, closely followed by Jamie Beer. While on the Jamies, Jamie Kelly achieved any cod angler’s dream, weighing in 1 that achieved the magical mark of 100.6cm. All up, there were 147 cod, with 64 of legal size, weighed in by 37 competing anglers.

Cray season is drawing near, so it is important you are up to speed with the new rules and regs that were implemented last year. The season opens on June 1. If heading out, I urge all to be safe, especially if you are boating at night in shallow waters and observe all limits.

If visiting Yarrawonga/Mulwala, call into Lake Mulwala Fish Camp and Ski, the shop with the big green cod out the front in Mulwala. We are your largest Murray cod-specific shop in the region and specialise in all things green. For any info on upcoming events or fishing reports, give us a call on (0357) 443 133.

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