With unprecedented low water levels affecting many waterways, fishos may be forced out of their comfort zone to seek some new locations. To do so, they’ll of course need some of the new and updated cod-catching devices on the market.
For now, though, many local anglers have continued to target the golden perch around Mulwala, with some unbelievable results. Dean Langford rang me to say he had been targeting goldens in the Bundalong area when he managed to land a cod estimated around 24kg and of course it was released.
The next great report came from John Fry, who had been out casting some smaller hard-bodied lures in search of a ‘yella’ when a green monster measuring 1.05m took a liking to his offering. This cod was landed and released in the north-east end of the lake.
Roger Miles from Cod Hunter Fishing Tours came to study and explore the lake, with the lower water levels revealing some amazing timber structure. This can only benefit his future clients. Roger threw around a few Jackall lures and in no time had a beautiful cod of 80cm.
Local angler Joe Lineham spent some time exploring new waters with young guns Daniel Hawkins and Jamie Roberts. The boys returned some amazing results with up to a dozen golden perch per hour being landed on small hard-bodied lures and lipless crankbaits. There were also some great silver perch to 50cm and cod to 70cm.
Yarra Fishing Club president Matt Giggins has spent some time with his boys bait fishing the weirs and drops along the Yarrawonga Channel, turning up some nice golden perch with a few redfin and carp.
The final report I received came from an unlikely and unexpected source: the lovely young lady working behind the bar at the Bundalong Tavern, Paula Osmotherley is the most fanatical fisherwoman I have met and told me how she had been out hunting for lures with the lower water levels, picking up over 20 in an afternoon to add to her collection. She also mentioned that she had been fishing the numerous irrigation outfalls and overflows between Yarrawonga and Cobram for some great golden perch.
For the new season, nobody is quite sure what is going on with Lake Mulwala’s water level, which is currently 75% and steady. This equates to the lake being down by about 600mm from its full level, At present, only Drain Lane and Woodlands boat ramps remain difficult to launch from.
Each cod season there are some hot items that prove a hit at Lake Mulwala and I’ll stick out my neck and name them now. They work here and everywhere that Murray cod can be targeted (non-fishing partners and friends should pass this list to Santa).
The top undoubtedly are lipless crankbaits that can be cast, tea-bagged, slow-rolled, jigged, ripped or trolled. These will be hot property, with Jackall the name on everyone’s lips. They are more expensive than other brands, but they seem to stand out from the field.
Number two will be Chatterbait or Mumbler lures. These are sinking skirted jigs with a soft plastic attached to add bulk. Throw in an aluminium bib that imparts a great pulsing action and you have new cod food. Pick of the bunch here will be the Bassman Mumbler.
Number three is surface lures of 80mm or more. Fishing on the surface at Mulwala has become a huge hit with many anglers lining the timber-laden banks on calm nights awaiting the crack of a cod’s surface strike. The time has come to tempt bigger fish cruising the deeper water for something more than just a snack. Upping your rod rating will help you cast surface lures from 80mm to 120mm. I’m sure Muldoon Lures will become most sought-after when anglers get a glimpse of them. These are timber with great action and a superb paint job finished off with a high-visibility glow-in-the-dark spray.
Finally, spinnerbaits have been doing the rounds for a while with all manufacturers looking for an edge. The Bassman Codman has upgraded heavier-gauge wire with a pre-rigged large salamander soft plastic. Outlaw Spinnerbaits’ heavy-duty Barra range should be good for XOS cod and those who want to troll at greater depths. Bridgewater Spinnerbaits have released their new Mulwala range with some great colours and blade configurations designed specifically for this region.
Water levels in the river below the weir remain very low and extreme caution is needed when navigating this area. Early in the season I’m guessing that fish will be hard to come by for those lure fishing while the bait fishos will be driven mad by the vast numbers of small trout cod.Reads: 1215