Mildura monsters finally come out to play
  |  First Published: January 2016

River levels have dropped and continue to fall back into the banks from higher waters earlier in the year. Flows have subsided and water clarity is good enough to catch some nice fish.

This year is gearing up to be a fantastic summer of fishing around Mildura, particularly for those targeting the iconic Murray cod in the Murray River.

Some very nice yellowbelly have been caught all around Mildura during the warm conditions lately, especially around Merbein. The fish have been caught on lures mostly, but bait fishos are having a great time bobbing shrimps and small yabbies. Downsized lures intended for yellas have been working well around snags and clay banks, but recently the fish have been caught on larger lures as by-catch to their much larger and more aggressive cousins, the Murray cod. Others have been coming in at the usual 40-48cm range – typical of summer yellowbelly.

Larger lures have done most of the damage to the Murray cod. One lure that has dominated the cod season so far is the Koolabung 120mm Codzilla in the holographic range. We have been smashing a lot of cod on these lures over the years and they continue to produce great fish.

There have been numerous larger models caught on trolled lures in multiple locations around Mildura. This season should be a ripper for catching big Murray cod due to the appropriate water levels. Try trolling big lures for a decent chance of landing a metre cod. Spinnnerbaits, either cast or trolled, have been working well with the improved water clarity on submerged logs and other structure.

Running a combination of 50lb braid and 50-60lb leader is the optimum for targeting big fish. Lighter gear will also see you land the big one, but with so much cover in the river to contend with, the chances of line breakage are high. Upsizing your treble hooks is also a good idea, because you don’t want to be left wondering what could have been.

Releasing Murray cod is also a good practise, so if you intend to release cod it is important you have all the right landing gear to make the release smooth and trouble free. A large net, lip grips, pliers for hook removal and gloves are just some of the important equipment anglers should possess.

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

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