Cod season closed, chase a golden perch
  |  First Published: September 2016

With the close of cod season, now is the time to get your arms stretched by golden perch around the region. Cod season will open up again on December 1. Hopefully those months provide time for Murray cod to breed and the water to clear up around Mildura region.

Recently, Mildura has been hard to lure fish, with the clarity so poor. The flow is quite high though. This time off should do the river good.

Cod anglers are hoping to have steady river pools, or at least clear pools to fish. On the other hand, golden perch have been active around the Mildura region. Merbein to Coomella, and further downstream of Mildura, good size perch have been caught on bait. Many local fishing reports mentioned live yabbies or live shrimp are the go-to bait, during this time of the year with dirty water hanging around. A shrimp and worm cocktail has also been effective angling in the shallows, where the golden perch have pushed up to chase food in the cooler months.

If luring was your thing, and chasing yellas tickles your fancy, use small vibes and blades in silver or white. These have produced solid yellowbelly up to 50cm in the river. Golden perch and Murray cod are chasing small bait, which can be closely represented by a Bone Jackall TN60 or TN70 lure, as well as white Daiwa Woofers 65mm, Sebile Flat shads. Other cranking vibes will also work.

Local anglers are trying different styles of fishing in areas such as billabongs, dams and impoundments, chasing redfin on soft plastics. Redfin are a beautiful table fish and great fun to catch with small soft plastics on a light spin rod. Soft plastics like 80mm Squidgy Wrigglers, Strike Tiger 3” Curl Tail Grub and or even a Squidgy Worm or Critters, will do the job in clear water. Soft plastics will work the best in clear water, but if it’s stirred up, small TN50 Jackalls, small blades and or even Small Celta spinners will turn some redfins heads and entice a hit.

Many anglers itch to get back on the cod, but now it’s time for them to do their thing without any disturbance. We need to respect them if we ever encounter them unexpectedly. Release them, without taking them out of the water and minimise harm. Less pressure put on the fish at this time of the year is better for our fishery and its future. Anglers need to respect the breeding season as much as possible, to make it better for us in years to come.

Research has show that if roed-up female cod are handled excessively, they can reobsorb their eggs, meaning they won’t breed that season, and many small codlets are lost.

A tip is to down size your lures you are throwing. Most yellowbelly don’t want over-sized spinnerbaits and hardbodies anyway. Remember, it is an offense to actively pursue Murray cod in their closed season.

Do the right thing, and you won’t find yourself in trouble.


Redfin are a beautiful table fish and great fun to catch.

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