The mayhem of Christmas boat traffic on Lake Mulwala continued throughout January. The authorities that govern the water levels in Lake Mulwala must be applauded. They had enough sense to realise that Yarrawonga and Mulwala are thriving watersports destinations for many enthusiasts, both fishers and skiiers. Hence they kept the water levels at over 93% full.
With the high water levels, it gave many holidaymakers the chance to try their hand at landing an elusive green monster. Numerous cod were reported, but most were undersize. There were a couple of exceptions, with a few monsters reported.
I received a call from a very excited Dave Silva who had just guided his son Ryan onto a beauty. During the middle of the day, while trolling an Oar-Gee amongst the ski boats up near Bundalong (why, why and why?), Ryan put his rod into a holder to light a smoke. Sure enough, this is when the fish hit. He proceeded to do battle with a great cod that was finally netted by his girlfriend Adele. I was lucky enough to witness, measure, photograph and help release this monster that sure had been in a good paddock. The cod measured in at 103cm, estimated to weigh 25kg.
David Scott also lucked upon a nice cod while doing a pre-fish for an upcoming golden perch competition. Again, this fish was taken in the upper part of the Murray near Bundalong amongst the ski boats. David’s lure of choice was a Jackall TN60 and the fish measured 99cm.
Local big cod catcher, George Jovanovic, landed yet another great cod measuring over the magical 1m. This fish was taken on a brilliantly hand-crafted lure made by his son Sasha. George has a lot of success targeting big fish on deep trolled lures, with his patience rewarded time and time again by the way of a big green monster.
Another productive report I received came from Shaun Olives. Shaun had a few mates up from Melbourne who were skiing, but decided they wanted to try their hand at a spot of fishing. For the afternoon he managed to put them onto 7 cod measuring up to 68cm while trolling edges of lagoons around the lake. A great guide in the making!
Mid-January saw the running of the Golden $$ from the Bundalong Boat Ramp. Fifteen competitors competed for $1500 cash up for grabs. The team of Andrew Jacotine and Phil from Mansfield blitzed the field, landing seven golden perch for the day and taking home $950. Simon De Olievera and Ronny Nott took out second prize with a couple of goldens, while locals Jamie Roberts and Brian Williamson claimed third. The biggest golden perch for the weekend measured 48cm.
Dean Langford and Wokka Henderson took their boys out for a weekend above Bundalong, with the kids getting onto some great fish. Young Bailey Langford, aged 6, landed his best ever cod of 68cm, while Jezza Henderson landed a 48cm golden that would have won him some dollars if he had entered the Golden $$.
With the extreme weather we have had over the past week, the surface temperature of the lake has gone well past 30oC. The lake is also crystal clear with visibility being about 3m. These conditions will make it extremely tough for those choosing to cast lures over the next month or two. If you are looking for a decent fish, try trolling deep-diving hardbodied lures along the edges of lagoons and channels at either dawn or dusk.
Below the weir fish are aplenty, with the problem being that you would be lucky to land one legal from 50 fish. The exception to this rule came from young Gabrielle Cock, aged 11, who caught a Murray cod around the Red Banks area that weighed 4kg and measured 67cm.
I spent an afternoon bait fishing down in the river with a mate and his three boys. For the few hours we were out the kids managed to boat 15 cod and miss plenty of others. The biggest of these measured 45cm.
By March our new tackle store, Lake Mulwala Fish Camp & Ski, will be open. Please call in and say hello. Vanessa and myself, along with Tori, Cooper and staff, will be eager to hear your fishing stories and hopefully put you onto a big green monster.
David Scott with a 99cm Murray cod taken on a Jackall TN60 lipless crankbait in the Murray River near Bundalong.Reads: 1778