Cod chasers assemble
  |  First Published: December 2015

River levels have been relatively high and dirty during the spring months but have since steadied creating satisfactory conditions for luring. This summer is gearing up for fantastic fishing around Mildura, particularly for those targeting Murray cod in the mighty Murray River.

Some very nice yellowbelly have been caught all around Mildura during the warm conditions, especially around Merbein and Apex Park and below lock 9. The warmer the better it seems for catching yellowbelly, especially when humidity is high.

These fish have mostly been caught on bait, especially in the dirtier water, however lure fishos are experiencing some success now that the water has cleared up. Downsized lures intended for yellas have been working well around snags and clay banks.

The biggest yellas of late have been 54cm – a great river fish. Others have come in at the usual 33-48cm range, which is typical of summer yellowbelly. Smaller lures in the 50-70mm range work a treat on yellowbelly and vibration lures work very well around lock and weir structures. Spinnerbaits will become increasingly popular as the water clarity improves. Bassman ‘yella-man’ series of spinnerbaits are the best lure for this situation as they are specifically designed to target this species.

The big murray cod

Murray cod season is upon us again and Mildura anglers are looking forward to the action this season should bring. Anglers are reminded to be mindful when handling bigger fish in the summer heat before releasing. Have all of your releasing gear ready to go in the boat before a fish is even landed.

Running a combination of 50lb braid and 50-60lb leader seems to be optimal for targeting big fish in the Murray. Lure size should range between 90-200mm in most colours and should be an essential part of the cod angler’s tackle box. Lighter tackle will also see you land the big one, but can tire big fish too much causing stress and higher rates of mortality.

The best smaller lure, that specifically targets yellas, but doubles as an awesome cod lure too has been Koolabung 90mm codbait. Koolabung lures have dominated previous cod seasons – the 120mm Codzilla is still the go to lure for big cod. Other lure makes such as Bassman spinnerbaits, Muldoon and Balista should also be successful this season. Whatever your choice of lure or tackle, this is set to be a cracker of a cod season.

Officially opening on Tuesday 1st December, a lot of local anglers will take their annual migration to Mulwala for the 2015 Classic, among other venues and camps along the river banks.

Summer is a great time to fish for our special native species, but it is vitally important if you are heading out to carry the appropriate safety and medical gear appropriate to your crew and size boat being fished from. Maritime are also going to be out in force over the summer, so do everyone a favour and do the right thing when on the water.

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