February was an amazing month where any day that got below 35ºC seemed like a cool day and was nice to go fishing. With the spell of super hot weather we received, the lake temperature rose to levels that had not been seen before. On the surface, 32ºC was common for a couple of weeks and this made the fishing tough for the month. In saying that though, those who worked hard for their fish were rewarded.
Over the weekend that included Black Saturday, the Fitters Classic was held by a group of finely tuned athletes who paraded as anglers. With the conditions not conducive to fishing, the majority of time was spent on the bank trying not to dehydrate and telling a few yarns about times gone bye.
A few boys managed to sneak out for a quick fish but returned quickly looking to take it easy in the shade. Russell Ferguson managed to land his best cod measuring 66cm to take out the champion angler title. Gav Lawless finished a credible second for the fourth year in a row while Tim Long secured third. I was awarded the coveted NAFA award for apparently (according to the judge) getting a little scratch on my foot and going home because it was too hot!
The truth be known, I managed to stand on a broken stubby that was thrown into the river and ended up having six stitches put in a rather large cut on my foot. For the sake of others, I urge all campers to have a bit of respect and keep their rubbish out of the water, especially broken glass.
Passionate fisherman Andrew Jacotine makes the trip to Mulwala at least once a week from Mansfield accompanied by a couple of other boys. They fish the lake harder than most by putting in 14 hour days, and with persistence come rewards. In early March they were rewarded with up to 20 fish per day for their efforts. The best cod they landed in February measured 84cm with numerous others over the legal 60cm mark.
Barooga boy Brad Stillard teamed up with Gordon Bennett for a quick flick on the lake late in February. Within an hour they had managed four good cod with the best measuring 70cm. Casting spinnerbaits in 4m of water did the trick for them.
Having a yarn to Roger Miles from Cod Hunter Fishing Tours, Roger spoke of how tough the conditions had been with the heat and wind. In saying this though, Roger still managed to guide his clients onto some good numbers of fish, albeit not many huge fish. There were the tales of big fish his clients had lost but that’s fishing.
Roger’s tip for the present conditions is to cast brighter coloured spinnerbaits in the shallower water. Colours such as orange, pink and chartreuse will do the trick. Other methods to produce fish have been trolling darker hardbodied lures below 8m.
The Lowrance Da$h4Ca$h Super Series was held on Lake Mulwala in February with a great turn out and some good fish landed. A full report can be found in the tournament section in this magazine.
The one bonus for the month with the increased water temperatures was the prolonged surface fishing action. Things usually start to slow down a bit through February but large numbers of small fish were reported on surface lures into March. Best areas to try if you are looking to get into this exciting style of fishing are around the Kyffins area or the willows on the south side of the lake and Silverwoods Bay.
Below the weir fish are everywhere but you’ll have a hard time landing a legal size fish. Small cod, trout cod and silver bream (silver perch) do become a pest taking your bait but it does provide for a fun day out.
However, if the river environment is what you want, you will not be short of action that’s for sure.
I’m proud to say our new tackle store, Lake Mulwala Fish Camp & Ski, is now open.
Located at 74 Melbourne St Mulwala (opposite the Post Office) we have the largest range of cod lures in town along with anything else you may need while fishing Lake Mulwala.
We will be open late on Friday nights so you can gather all your supplies when you arrive, and there is no need to hurry. Please call in and say hello.
Vanessa, Tori, Cooper, staff and I will be eager to hear your fishing stories and hopefully put you onto a big green monster.Reads: 919