Last month I reported the approaching blue green algae which threatened to put a dampener on Mildura’s entire Easter time river based activities. That threat is now well and truly gone, however we still live in very interesting times here in Mildura.
The weir pools of the region are seeing quite a bit of fluctuation in their levels. It’s never a great deal of level difference, but fish can often be finicky enough that it will put them off the bite. At these times anglers who get up that little bit earlier, present their lures that little bit tighter to the snags, offer the freshest baits or troll within inches of the structure are the ones who come up trumps. The fish will still be there but it just takes that bit extra to elicit a strike in these times.
Weather wise it’s near perfect for targeting the Murray cod of the region. The mornings are getting cooler, we may even get a frost or two soon.
Correspondence through the week from regional cod guru Rod MacKenzie reinforced my suspicion, if you haven’t started plumbing the deep holes with the ultra-deep diving hardbodied lures, now is the time! The golden perch captures will taper off dramatically now as the weather cools, but the more active, XOS Murray cod will more than make up for that. Don’t forget the digital camera to record your capture. These wonderful giants of the river are too valuable in the system to kill. Catch and release is the only way to go with big, breeding Murray cod.
I have some excellent reports of Murray cod captures upstream of Mildura. Alan from Got One Mildura reports some of his customers are having excellent Murray cod captures in the Karadoc region. This area has always performed well for the bait anglers and anglers are still taking some good fish on cheese baits, however the lure casters are getting in on the action too.
Anglers throwing large spinnerbaits are turning up some great cod. With the introduction of large bibless minnows, blades, Mumblers and the like, the poor old spinnerbait has taken a bit of a back seat for the past couple of seasons. It just goes to show that trends come and go, but effective styles in the tackle box such as the humble spinnerbait should never go out of style.
The Red Cliffs area is proving to be a productive lure trolling area. While this spot does not offer ultra-deep area, it does have uneven rocky bottoms and deep cliff faces, which hold some lovely Murray cod. Trolling quality Australian made lures in the 6-8m zone is productive. Oargee Lures, Goulburn Lures Old Codger and AC Lures are all successful and strong enough to hold the big fella when your lure swaggers past.
The Murray River from below the town weir through to Merbein continues to be a popular and fruitful fishing area for the region. The weir area has slowed down significantly from the spring perch run, but is always worth a shot with bait or lure.
Further downstream the edges of the river have some excellent structure which is always worth a shot with both bait and lure. As the weather cools the shrimp become less prolific so the worms will become the mainstay if targeting the perch.
For the Murray cod cheese seems to be as good as any, however the old favourites of yabbies, scrubworms or bardi grubs (if you can either dig or afford to buy them) are productive. Lures are also working well in the Merbein region, with a local angler catching (and releasing) a lovely 40lb Murray cod on a cast and retrieved chatterbait.
The Sunraysia Lure Fishing Club had a pleasant Sunday morning at my favourite haunt Curlwaa recently. Golden perch were taken to 49cm, with the Redboat team of Joel Davey and Tim Page taking a couple of lovely perch to 40cm on cast and retrieved spinnerbaits.
I’ve found a very keen angler in one of my sons, Tom. The bug has bitten him hard, which is great news. He and I had a great afternoon through the school holidays working lures at Curlwaa. Trolling into the evening we took some lovely golden perch to about 40cm. The fish were showing a definite preference for hot pink colour lures, with success had on small Old Codgers and StumpJumpers in the medium, size 2 profile.
The floodwaters moving down the Darling River merging with the Murray at Wentworth have made for interesting times fishing wise in this region. White coffee colour water means that bait will always be the best option, however lures should never be discounted.
Wentworth local George Wheatley was fishing with his family below Lock 10 recently and took golden perch to 40cm on a trolled lure. The successful colour was a yellow and black, so obviously a lure offering colours with definite contrast will still be successful in murky waters.
Similar to last month, the forecast is (mostly) all green for the Mildura area. When the Cod God Rod MacKenzie tells me to get those super-deep divers out and start working over the deeper holes in the river, I listen! And so should you.
During June I expect most of the golden perch fishing will have tapered right off until the spring. That leaves those magnificent Murray cod. Don’t forget to take the camera, and catch and release.
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!Reads: 1973