Crays distract cod fishos
  |  First Published: August 2007

Murray cod can be caught in Winter. This has been proven by the capture of plenty of XOS cod from Swan Hill downstream. The trouble is, there haven’t been enough dedicated anglers out and about to prove that the elusive green fish are active at this time of the year in Lake Mulwala.

Local guide Roger Miles from Cod Hunter Fishing Tours has been the only person I have heard from who has encountered Winter cod in Mulwala. From his two trips during June a total of seven cod and three golden perch were boated, with the best cod measuring 74cm. All were taken casting Bassman spinnerbaits or Jackall lipless lures.

An interesting report came from new guide Adam Grainger of Happy Hooker Fishing Tours. Fishing with two clients targeting golden perch, Adam came across a great school of redfin and picked up close to two dozen good-sized fish around the willows area adjacent to the old drive-in movie theatre.

The numbers of redfin bobbing up in Lake Mulwala continue to increase. This gives local fishos a good topic for conversation, with the consensus being that they are breeding up due to the increasing amount of weed cover. This may not be such a good thing for one of the country’s finest native fish breeding grounds but the reddies sure make good eating.

Below the weir, local gun Simon de Olivera has been turning up some nice golden perch on cast E–Chip bibless lures. With a bit of thought as to where the fish could be hiding during times of low and clear water, Simon’s results have been great and have included a 57cm yella.

This time of year brings out those who like to fish for Murray crays. One report from a fishing forum website revealed that a group of 12 anglers from around the Ballarat area managed to take home 110 legal crays after a solid weekend’s effort around the Forges Pump area.

I can hear the outcry now about so many crays being taken from the one area in a short amount of time. What they did was totally legal, though, and I’m sure that if the controlling bodies thought five per day and a total of 10 in possession was too high they would change bag limits ASAP.

Our family spent an afternoon and evening chasing these spiky critters with good results. In total 25 legal crays were kept, with approximately 75 female and undersize specimens returned.

It’s amazing to see the size of some of the females in berry that come into the net. As long as all people who target these prehistoric-looking beasts return undersized and female crays, they should be available for many years to come.

The outlook for the lake and river does not look that great for the next couple of months but the odd fish may be available for those that put in the hard yards.

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