Warm water, warm fishing
  |  First Published: February 2010

Crikey it’s been warm around Mildura!

Temperatures have climbed to normal Sunraysia levels with long bursts of five days or so above 35C. In addition the water levels have been quite variable, with a little more up than down.

There seems to a bit of water being released through the local weirs and all the destinations I’ve visited in recent times are running reasonably high with clarity not particularly conducive to the best fishing.

This combination has made for some often tough fishing days. On my last trip out the actual water temperature was nudging 30C, that’s almost bathwater temperature! Little wonder the fish were a little quiet.

That said, nobody’s ever had any luck sitting in front of the box at home, and those willing to work with the conditions are still catching a few.

Upstream Mildura

Wade Vincent reports of smaller Murray cod being taken around the Nangiloc and Colignan areas. The water clarity upstream of Mildura is fairly ordinary so not surprisingly bait anglers are having the most luck. The popular bait is cheese, with a few cod being taken on scrubworms and shrimp as well.

Ross from Got One Mildura reports his customers are also having a quiet time of it. There are still a few fish being taken below the Mildura lock.

Anglers bait fishing with shrimp and worm are taking some nice golden perch; the numbers are nowhere near the numbers that were being taken when the perch were spawning (thank goodness).

Using the vibe type lures also allows the perch to rely a little less on the visual, and more on the other senses in detecting a potential meal.

Downstream Mildura

My favourite destination of Curlwaa is similarly discoloured with very warm water temperatures. I took my boys out recently and the only action we got was bait fishing around the edges where Tom was summarily ‘bricked’ under the boat by a fish that was way too good for us.

Our trolled lures were ignored, however I suspect trolling at sunrise or late into the evening would see a better result. Mid-afternoon in Mildura’s heat is definitely not prime time.

Wentworth is similarly a little quiet, but there are still the odd few fish being taken. Wentworth angler George Wheatley had some luck fishing the edges with bait recently, taking four lovely little catfish in a session. As with silver perch, this great species is totally protected in this water but are a welcome by-catch nonetheless.

I have reports of both Murray cod and golden perch being taken on bait below the Rufus River outlet. This destination is a bit of a trip, but the results can be well worth the drive.

Forecast for March

As I write, many local and visiting anglers are chasing the floodwaters down the Darling River. Rainfall in the north has replenished the Menindee system and the subsequent river releases are bringing the struggling Darling River alive again.

Anglers who are keeping an eye on the river heights are getting good results of golden perch and Murray cod by picking the rise as it flushes down the river. In mid February it was almost to the outskirts of Wentworth. This flush should also sharpen up the Murray River below Wentworth Weir as the converged water moves through the system.

Now would be the time to get those ultra-deep divers out and work over the deeper, cooler holes for the resident Murray cod. Aussie made lures such as the new 100mm Oargee Plow and the deeper styles from the AC Lures range are ideal. Colour wise, I prefer the darker shades of purple and black for dirty water, but don’t be scared to try and ultra bright fluoro either!

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! 

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