Experienced fishermen know that this is the best time of year to land those quality fish that all of us keen native anglers are chasing. Don’t pack the fishing equipment away too early. The popular theory is that when the cold weather arrives the cod go off the bite. This may be true for the smaller fish but the lead into winter is the best time to pursue that monster.
The lake has dramatically changed in recent times. The current flows have reduced and water clarity is improving rapidly. Water temperatures are continuing to drop. On our last trip to Lake Mulwala with Cod Hunter Fishing Tours we managed a total of 16 fish over four days.
The captures mainly consisted of Murray cod measuring between 51 and 55cm. Clients did manage to miss two very large fish, both on Bassman spinnerbaits in 2m of water.
On our last trip the golden perch we caught were the best quality we’ve had all season. The seven perch measured between 46 and 52.5cm. One large golden was caught while trolling a metallic Custom Crafted Hammerhead. The others were caught casting in the shallows in depths of around 2m.
Reports suggest that other fishermen have enjoyed good results trolling the edges of the river course with spinnerbaits. Tony Bennett recently did some filming with Jason Kennedy from Channel 31 and managed some cod to 55cm. They had good success with purple Bassmans.
Anthony Pavlow from Wilson’s also had a day on the water with Tony and managed a 45cm Murray cod on one of the new Wilson spinnerbaits.
Trolling in the lake continues to be increasingly productive as the season progresses. It’s a good tactic to pay close attention to your sounder as good numbers of baitfish are now starting to move out of the shallows. If you have a quality sounder you should be able to see the baitfish schooled up, hanging around the thermocline. It has been my experience that if there are good numbers of baitfish in a section of river then the predators are more likely to be caught in that section.
It is currently the best time of the year to fish the vast amount of water above Lake Mulwala. Often, during the warmest months of the year, current flows are too strong and it can often be very difficult to fish the Murray River above the lake successfully.
However, with reduced flows we can now effectively target those areas that have received minimal fishing pressure all season. Last season we managed some magnificent specimens while fishing the river above the lake. We often use heavier spinnerbaits – 5/8oz have proved to be the most productive in this area.
The water level in the river below Lake Mulwala has started to drop. Extreme caution should be taken when boating this section of river at this time of the year. A lot of the river is quite shallow and boating depths of 1 to 2m are not uncommon.
The rewards can be very good for those fishing this section although it’s not a numbers game area at this time of year. Catch rates are usually low but the chances of catching a large fish are very good.
Water clarity is exceptional and often the fish are hanging tight and are hard to catch during the middle of the day.
Often the most productive times are the first two and last two hours of light. Good numbers of fish tend to concentrate in the deeper holes in the river between Yarrawonga and Cobram. Anglers trolling deep divers such as Codgers, Custom Crafted Lures and StumpJumpers experience good action at this time of the year.
Make sure you work over a section of river and don’t just continue to troll in one direction. With the fish being concentrated in one area because of the low water levels some of the larger fish can become very territorial. These larger fish will be caught out of a territorial response rather than a feeding response. So make sure you work them over thoroughly – the rewards can make it all worthwhile!Reads: 538