The smoke’s cleared from the New Year’s fireworks and now it’s time to get back into rewarding fishing. Hopefully the early summer wind has died off, making for enjoyable fishing conditions. As always, cod will be on offer throughout the lake with all techniques producing. I must stress this about Mulwala: if you persist, you will be rewarded. Sure, your average Joe can land an unlucky fish that makes him look like a legend while a gun angler can go without. Over time, numbers will even themselves out.
I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but surface fishing stands head and shoulders above all methods for return capture rates, general fish encounters, average fish size and excitement. For those new to the area or looking at getting into some top water action, identify the location you plan to fish during daylight hours, so you have a rough lay of the land.
Look for shallower water around the 0.5-2m mark fairly adjacent to the original Murray course through the lake. Have everything prepared and working for when you catch the elusive Murray cod. Head lamps, torches, net, lip grip, measuring mats and cameras are all implements that should be at hand, not frantically searched for upon capture. An assortment of poppers, paddlers and wakebaits will have you suitably kitted out and ready to go.
For any kids looking to snag themselves a cod over the holidays, a rod and reel (be it a hand line or fancy outfit) around 10-20lb line, a size 2 bean sinker and hook around the 2/0 size will be what you need. Worms and cheese are your prime baits. Bardies, shrimp and yabbies will also work wonders. Keep it simple with a running sinker right down to the hook, as the fish don’t tend to be that picky. Head down below the weir in Yarrawonga and have yourself some fun fishing the Murray River.
I often get criticised about promoting below the weir as a great fishery, especially for kids. They can catch small cod all day long. Excuse me if this isn’t helping youngsters get into fishing and learn to be fish aware in the process. A great saying I heard recently was, ‘Kids that fish and hunt don’t deal and steal.’ It makes sense!
The holiday period was hectic with many reports. One stands out above the rest. A couple of Melbourne school teachers decided they would head to Mulwala in search of a cod – something they had never done before. A good yarn in-store inspired the boys and had them ready to attack. Armed with a handful of lures and a strategically marked X on a map, the boys took off in hope!
Low and behold, in under an hour’s fishing, Duc Tran landed himself a cod off the surface. This was no run of the mill Mulwala cod. It was a 105cm beast and Duc’s first cod ever! To achieve it off the surface makes this tale even more remarkable. Personally I would be retiring the Pompadour lure he used as a lifelong memory. Well done, Duc.
Others to rate a special mention are Joshua Brown for his two in one! He caught a freakish 110cm+ beast that swallowed a cod of around 60cm he was in the process of fighting. Young Mayson Alphabetski and Luke Benfield caught their 90cm+ models off the bank, while Wayne Hall, Kyle Dalrymple, Jack Pyle, Donny Blackey, Adam Thommo and Cooper Lonergan are a few others who deserve special mentions for their various and meritorious captures.
The competition season is upon us. There are a few events coming up over the next couple of months. The first is the ever popular Lowrance Da$h 4 Cash, 18-19 February. Following this is the His & Hers Partners Classic, 4 March. To round out the season is the newly formatted Cod Nationals – four days of serious tournament fishing for the dedicated green fish angler, held from 16-19 March.
• If you are visiting town, I urge you to call into Lake Mulwala Fish Camp and Ski – the shop with the big green cod out the front opposite the post office in Mulwala. Check out our new store located between Rivers and One Zac in the main street, Yarrawonga and say G’day. We’re Yarrawonga and Mulwala’s fishing experts and specialize in all things green! For any information on the upcoming events or fishing reports, give us a hoy on 0357 443 133.Reads: 857