In Lake Mulwala the words March and Murray cod just seem to go together and this would have to be one of my favourite times of the year for targeting them.
Although it is beginning to get late in the season Mulwala just seems to keep on producing the goods, with many reports of decent cod being caught. Previous trips to this cod hotspot show that around this time surface lures on dark is an exciting way to catch these native legends.
The weather in March is perfect, not too hot and not too cold, with plenty of warm afternoons for surface luring.
I’ve found the top end of the lake to be the most productive area with shallow, snag-infested water harbouring some real drag-pulling monsters.
When choosing a surface lure I prefer something with a bit of size, like a Halco Night Walker. Just remember that cod are very aggressive and will hit a lure almost as big as themselves so choosing a large lure is nothing to be worried about.
When using any surface lure I’ve had my most success by casting the lure and letting it sit until the ripples have settled around the lure, giving the cod a chance to set themselves a target. Nine times out of 10 the lure gets smashed before I begin the retrieve.
It is important to wind fairly slow on the retrieve, depending on the water, simply because an inactive cod can take some time to fire up.
When the action begins it can be explosive with many strikes involving the cod coming right out of the water before returning flat out back towards the snag it came from, showing no respect for your reel’s drag.
The clarity of the lake is also improving and other techniques, such as spinning and trolling, beginning to take fair numbers of cod and yellowbelly.
Trolling deep-diving lures in the channels around the lake is also a great way of targeting the real monsters. Trolling the lures deep and slow seems to be the technique used by most anglers, including myself.
Many anglers who choose to spend their time spinning the lake have not let themselves down. There have been many reports of anglers using spinnerbaits in the middle of the lake among the trees catching plenty of cod including some real rippers.
With water levels in Lake Hume pretty steady over the past few weeks, fishing above the weir has been pretty hot and cold with mixed reports coming in.
Bait-fishing around five to six metres with worms and small yabbies among the trees has been the most productive way of targeting the lake’s plentiful supply of redfin, with many anglers taking home reasonable fish up to a kilo with many tiddlers in between.
Trolling deep-diving lures around similar depths has also resulted in some beauties to 1.5kg. Golden perch have been pretty steady this year due to the static water level but anglers putting in the hours targeting them have been quite successful around the deep, rocky banks, with fish averaging 1kg to 1.5kg.
The author with a healthy Murray cod about to be released. The fish was caught on a spinnerbait among a group of shallow snags.
A typical creek rainbow trout, caught by the author at the tail of a pool on a Blue Fox spinner.Reads: 727