Murray Cod start to bite again
  |  First Published: April 2010

It’s not that easy being green, or so a well-known Hollywood frog once said. I couldn’t agree more.

Here in Mildura it looks like we’ve been spared the very real threat of a blue-green algae outbreak.

The menace has progressively been working its way downstream of the Murray and a week ago reached Mildura. Thankfully it seems to have dispersed as quickly as it arrived, which is wonderful news for the river and the region.

The upside of the green is our mighty green fish reports. As the water cools to far more respectable levels, the Murray cod captures are becoming far more prevalent. With the weather being as close as possible to perfect in Mildura, right now is the time to get out amongst the fish.

Upstream Mildura

As is the norm of late, it seems to be the upstream areas of Mildura that are the better performing areas of the region. Mildura’s Wade Vincent had a very successful morning recently fishing the Karadoc region prior to work.

After having an unsuccessful hour or so with the lures he turned to the old standby of bait and very soon had a pigeon pair of Murray cod both measuring 63cm. Extra large scrubworms took both fish. A work colleague of Wade’s similarly had a very successful outing in the Colignan region. Kara caught a large Murray cod estimated to be about 45lb on cheese bait.

The Mildura Weir area continues to be a tremendous destination for the golden perch anglers. Casting and retrieving lures such as floating Oargees, Custom Crafted and small Codgers from the shore is producing perch to 2kg. Boating anglers in this region have also been getting amongst a few perch using bibless rattling lures such as Jackalls or the other derivatives. Worm and shrimp baits too have been very successful in this area.

Apex Park continues to provide both visiting and local anglers with a reliable fishing destination. Trolling lures along the edges seems to be very productive, with some decent golden perch being picked up at times. Anglers tying up to the ample snags are also taking some good fish on shrimp and worm baits.

Downstream Mildura

The Murray River from the speedway through to Merbein has been fairly reliable, although sharing the river with all manner of other pleasure craft means seeking out a quieter time. Once again, trolled Oargees or AC Lures are productive catching both golden perch and Murray cod.

The River around Coomealla and Dareton hasn’t had too many mentions in the past. Joel Davey fished there recently and although he was only out for a short while, he caught golden perch to 43cm on cast and retrieved spinnerbaits.

My old favourite haunt at Curlwaa has been a little quiet of late. Clinton McDonald and I trolled the edges of the weed-beds recently and were having a quiet time of it when Macca was almost launched out the back of the boat by a strike on his trolled Viper Bass lure.

At boat side a very chunky European carp revealed itself, which was landed and summarily despatched. Without doubt the fighting prowess of this pest species can never be denied.

My boys Tom and Nic and I spent a very relaxing afternoon bait fishing Curlwaa recently. Unfortunately the larger desirable species were elusive and we finished up losing a whole punnet of scrubworms to the voracious silver perch of the region.


Downstream of Wentworth, the inflowing, coffee coloured Darling River has muddied the waters somewhat, clarity wise. That said the fish are still there, they still need to be caught and switched on anglers are still having success.

One local angler did very well trolling below Lock 9 recently. The poor water clarity meant a change of tactics and switching to black and purple coloured lures did the trick, with some quality Murray cod landed on the day.

Get set for May

The closer we get to the winter months, the closer we get to the real quality Murray cod fishing of the region. Without a doubt, now is the time to get those big deep divers out on the troll and start nudging the timber and riverbed 10m+ deep.

There will still be quality fish taken in and around the snaggy edges, however if it’s the granddaddy you’re after, your lures will need to be down around 10m.

There’s a plethora of quality Australian made lures available that will plumb the depths. I’ve used JD Pythons, 100 mm Oar-Gee Plows and deep diving AC Lures and these are all up to the task when tackling green monsters from the deep.

If working over water up to 6m deep, lures such as large Goulburn Lures Codgers, 75mm Oar-Gee Plows and Custom Crafted Lures Hammerheads are ideal.

As the warm weather begins to taper off, so will the golden perch captures. But there should still be plenty of active fish for those willing to target them. I suggest making the most of the shrimp as bait while they’re still active in the river (and maybe place some in storage) and scrub worm baits will continue to be successful.

Lure casters (or trollers) who persist with busier lures such as the numerous vibes or bibless rattling lures (Jackalls and other similar styles) will be successful, although the old perch stalwarts of hardbodies and spinnerbaits should never be written off.

That’s it for this month. 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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