Bursts at dawn and dusk
  |  First Published: December 2009

I don’t know much about all this global warming stuff, but there is no doubt the weather has been all over the shop these past few months.

Record lows were followed by record highs, producing week-long stints where temperatures soared into the mid40s. And just as you thought you were about to self-combust, the heavens opened, sending a deluge of liquid relief to cool things down long enough to regain a little sanity.

While hot weather might the ocean-going angler, it’s damned hard work along the Murray.

Most sessions on the water are limited to short bursts around dawn and dusk. If you are keen, the stillness of the night holds promise on bait and lure but be warned: you will have plenty of winged company in the form of mozzies.

At the start of the season when the heat permits, the fishing is usually very productive along the Murray and most of its adjoining rivers. Early season cod are very responsive in the warming waters, as are good numbers of golden perch.

Bait anglers will always do well fishing the snags and backwaters with cocktail baits of shrimp and worms.

Prolific as the waters warm, shrimp become the primary food source for most river fish during early Summer. This is a good thing, as with the simple aid of a regulation shrimp net you will have no shortage of fresh bait to tempt a fish.

While golden perch started the season slowly, it’s been full speed ahead since then. Bait anglers are bagging out, as are those using a variety of lures.

Spinnerbaits, shad-style lures like Jackalls and blades and small hard minnows are all pulling fish.

Even surface lures are catching a few perch so perhaps we are seeing a new trend unfold in our local waters. Imagine that – golden perch on surface lures.


Robinvale has seen some great action on goldens and no doubt there will be plenty of big cod landed this month.

When working the pool water around Robinvale, it’s advisable to break the river into sections most suited to trolling or casting. The deeper runs will be more suited to trolling larger hard lures while the shallower extremities will fish best on the cast, where spinnerbaits and downsized presentations will be more successful.

The Nine Mile has plenty of options for both and would take a week or more to work your way around if you were to fish every likely spot.

Below the weir at Euston has been fishing well for some time and will continue over coming weeks.

This stretch has plenty of current and harbours numerous rock bars and sunken timber. You could spend a lifetime casting the numerous holes and snags that meander their way through Wemen all the way to the Hattah Kulkyne Park and beyond.

Willow blade spinnerbaits and mid depth crankbaits are the go and there’s no shortage of big cod hidden among the snags.

Bait anglers also do well in these areas and if you can get your hands on a few bardi grubs, you’re in with a chance.

The Wakool and Murrumbidgee will also fish well. They’re great spinnerbait waters and even better to work surface lures in the shaded pockets morning and evening.

There will be plenty of fish caught over coming months in most areas but as the water continues to warm, the bite will begin to slow.

It’s not just anglers that are put off by the heat; native fish aren’t that keen, either. So make the most of the mornings and fish the evenings into the night.

And if we are lucky enough to get a little cool weather, get out on the water and enjoy the excellent fishing.

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