Yellowbelly fever
  |  First Published: October 2015

The Murray has recently dazzled anglers with clarity of water and a number of good fish. The water is proving even better in the Darling and Wakool rivers where anglers can fish lures or bait to equally great results.

Yellowbelly on the river

Yellowbelly activity is forecasted to increase in the coming months. Due to the cold water, yellowbelly have been quite inactive however, as the temperature rises some nice fish will be caught on lures especially around Lock 11 and below the Mildura Weir. At this time of year the fish make their way upstream and start to school up below the weir structures. Spring will definitely herald a boost in yellowbelly activity. According to local angler reports, working with bait around Mildura has been a good method to pick up a yella or two lately. A cocktail of shrimp and worm seem to be the best baits to use (although shrimp is still difficult to find). Johnson’s bend, just below Apex Park, has produced some good yellas, particularly in the slower moving backwaters and eddy currents. A well-cast lipless crankbait or small hard-body has seen 5 or 6 yellas caught in no time at all.

Position your boat in a way that allows you to throw lures to the bank and slowly retrieve. Casting large lures into snags and around permanent structures like the weir and lock for Yellowbelly is usually the best method at this time of year. My pick of spots to target yellowbelly on bait is around the Mildura weir and Merbein area. Get close to the banks and tight up on most structures. Luring for yellowbelly from the bank is also best around the new rock structure at Lock 11, particularly at the point where the lock gates open on the down side.

Cod Closure

Murray cod were active in most spots around Mildura during the season, however, fast water toward the end of the open season put an end to good cod fishing in the main river. Anglers should be wary that Murray cod season is closed and will re-open on 1 December. Hopefully when the season reopens, the water will remain clear and we should see Murray cod activity really start to heat up.

Most anglers around Mildura will be waiting for the cod season to officially open again. By then, waters should be back in their banks and we should see a Murray cod season like no other.

Redfin should also come on the bite during the warmer months. These little fish are fun to catch on light gear using soft plastics and blades. Carp are a bit of fun on light gear too, especially when fishing with the kids.

In the meantime, anglers are gearing up for the springtime yellowbelly frenzy in the beautiful sunshine Mildura has to offer at this time of year.

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