Hot Fishing
  |  First Published: November 2009

Without a doubt Mildura is the place to be in summer for the keen angler.

After a few days of 30C plus the temperature has settled on a very pleasant 27. The wind has even dropped right off!

After a few fits and starts due to inclement weather the golden perch have finally come on song. Most anglers are getting their five fish bag limit with ease: there’s certainly a lot of fish out there. At times like this where anglers can do little wrong the bag limits must be respected. Fish schooling can be decimated in no time if anglers don’t show some restraint.

Murray River Upstream Mildura

Andrew from Rays Outdoors Mildura reports that he’s had more luck using bibless rattling lures. Casting and retrieving blacks and purples in and around the fallen timber has yielded some great golden perch. Similarly the rock bars too are holding some great perch, a legacy of a water temperature which have been a little on the low side with the fish holding in the warmer water found at the structure.

The Psyche Pumps area has been productive of late. Boating anglers trolling smaller lures are doing very well, picking up some lovely perch and even the odd redfin. Lures such as the small Old Codgers and Oar Gees are taking some lovely fish.

Murray River Downstream Mildura

Joel Davey and I have had several outings recently, fishing below both Mildura and Wentworth weirs. Below Mildura we had an interesting morning trolling lures in the weir area. Trolling the ‘normal’ sized golden perch lures was proving frustrating, taking many strikes but none were finding the hooks.

Meanwhile boating anglers fishing the edges were bagging out in no time bobbing worm and shrimp baits. A conversation with Alan from Got One Mildura later in the day proved enlightening. Alan said when the perch are in such a mood, tying on tiny bodied lures of almost trout minnow proportions will get them going.

Joel and I also had a lovely evening fishing below Wentworth recently. Without a doubt in the fast flowing water below here the boating anglers don’t necessarily have any advantage, in fact it can be a disadvantage.

Below Wentworth it seems to be all about position, with anglers lined up immediately below the lock on the New South Wales side of the river, casting and retrieving lures. Interestingly, it was the angler closest to the lock that got most of the fishing action, with another angler taking his place as he got his bag. Be early at Wentworth for the best action!

Joel and I had a bit of fun using our lures from the boat. I’m still experimenting with the new blades and took a couple of nice fish including a hapless redfin on my favourite lure colour in purple. Joel took some big hits on a jigged Jackall but once again the fish missed the hooks.

For those who don’t particularly like the crowds at the weirs, there’s still a stack of fishing fun to be had in all the other hotspots. Apex Park is one such spot, with anglers taking some great fish bait fishing or trolling from the boat, or fishing from the shore.

Similarly along the Mad Mile towards Merbein anglers have been taking some nice perch. I had a great day on my own out at my old haunt at Curlwaa, taking a number of golden and silver (totally protected) on trolled lures. On the day the Custom Crafted Lures Hammerhead in the medium rattler was the winner. I simply couldn’t keep the fish off anything in green shades.

Lake Cullulleraine

I have some pleasing reports of some excellent redfin being taken from Lake Cullulleraine. Anglers are reported to be taking some excellent fish on Baltic Bobber type lures. Being somewhat of a redfin specialist myself over many years chasing this tasty table fish, I’d suggest that this will also be an ideal time to use other lures in this lake.

Use smaller trolled lures to locate the schools, then work them over with the soft plastics such as Mister Twisters, ice jigs or bobbers. Please be aware that redfin too have a bag limit nowadays, with 30 fish being more than enough for any angler.


Looking forward, I doubt too many local and visiting anglers will need reminding that December 1 heralds the arrival of the much-anticipated Murray cod season opening.

With the perch run still in full swing, the biggest problem may be for the cod fishers keeping the voracious perch off the lures. Upsizing to the biggest of cod lures will limit the perch captures, but not eliminate them completely. There’s a myriad of quality Murray cod lures around. My favourites are Old Codgers, Custom Crafted Lures and Oar Gees, but check the walls of your local tackle shops, there are many top Australian made lures out there.

The perch season still has plenty of life left in it, with the massed fish biting well all the way through December last year. Good bags of perch will continue to be taken by anglers fishing with vibes, bibless rattlers and trolled lures, as well as of course bait.

Anglers wishing to hedge their bets lure wise for both perch and Murray cod can stick with the medium sized lures. The rattling medium Custom Crafted Hammerhead is a personal favourite, and I’m having a lot of luck with the little 60mm Oar Gee Plow. These lures certainly have the strength to handle a good sized cod, as well as of course perch.

Destination wise, the Murray River is your oyster, cod wise. Work over the deeper runs, rock walls, snag piles and drop-offs in any of our local water, and you’re in with a red hot chance of landing a quality early season Murray cod. Good luck!

I’m very happy to get your feedback. Please email me at --e-mail address hidden-- with “fishing” in the title, if you’d like to submit a report or a digital photograph of your capture. I’m also happy to field any fishing related enquiries you may have, send ‘em through and I’ll do my best! See you on the water, Darky.

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