The freshwater reports have been overshadowed a bit by snapper but there has been a bit on offer in the sweet water. Murray cod season has just opened up and is looking good for the Summer ahead, there have been yellowbelly and redfin caught locally and the trout fishing has been excellent still.

Eildon pondage has again been the standout if you're chasing a couple of nice trout and not fussed on either lure or bait fishing. Customer Zoran has been fishing the pondage and has been catching fish to around 2kg on a mixture of dough and powerbait. Long rods fished with mono have been the go in setting the hook on subtle bites and pickups where shorter rods simply can't.


Eildon pondage received a top up of ex brood fish averaging 4kg last Thursday, with plans for another top up before Christmas, so it is well worth a trip up. Customer Jozef helped release some of the fish into the pondage which has baited him to get back up and try to catch them. Jozef did witness some large fish caught on small hardbodies as they cruised through the shallows as they hunted for small minnows and insects. Having a spin rod rigged with a small hardbody or plastic is a good idea while you're bait fishing.


A bit further north many anglers tried their luck fishing for cod over the opening weekend. Mulwala had a large field of anglers for the Cod Classic, with some lovely fish to over a metre caught. Customers Shane and Sue Brown fished the busy lake over the weekend with tough fishing but did manage a couple of small cod casting spinnerbaits at the timber.


Customer Steve also tried his luck for the first time on the cod, fishing the Murray up around Cobram. Steve and mate Ev camped in the area and tried a few techniques on the cod, with Ev landing a 57cm fish on a large yabby. Steve tried out some lures he purchased in store and nailed a nice 60cm fish on a spinnerbait. Steve has since purchased a baitcasting outfit to get into them even more.


Reports from Sugarloaf reservoir around Mebourne's outskirts is that it has been fishing well for yellowbelly. The dam is normally reasonably quiet for anglers but can be a good spot for a walk around the shoreline casting lures. Of late the yellowbelly have been active, with warm water bringing the fish on to the edges to look for food. Customer Ryan has been catching fish to around 40cm on a mixture of vibes and soft plastics. The vibes have been a fast way to 'search' the banks for a school of fish, while the weedless rigged soft plastics can be fished back slowly and thoroughly to make the most of the patch of fish.

 


This is the time of year to be out targeting cod and yellowbelly at places like lake Eildon. The warming and rising lake levels really bring these natives on the go, as they patrol the edges looking for the baitfish that push into the shallows. The cod of the lake are normally aggressive around this time of the year as they look fend off rivals and intruders from their spawning areas.


Customer Ash and his cousin fished lake Eildon over the weekend in search of a yellowbelly or possibly a cod. After trying a few options, large freshwater yabbies were deployed and they were the flavour. The guys fished the Big River arm and ended up with an 87cm cod and some solid yellowbelly in the 60cm size range. Not a bad way to spend a weekend!


Targeting the yellowbelly of the area or in other regions, you need a mix of bait options and also lures sizes. Yellowbelly can be very aggressive and inquisitive towards large offerings but also very finicky and shy away from all but the smallest lure or bait like tiny river shrimp. Like all forms of fishing, having a few different options to get you off the mark is the way to go!

 


The natives such as Murray cod and yellowbelly have really been fishing well of late. The cooler weather has started some activity from the larger fish also. Many of the main lakes have been fishing well including Mulwala and Eildon. Customer Mario fishes for cod and yellowbelly regularly up around Cohuna on the Murray, however he fished lake Mulwala just recently for some nice fish. Mario did a bit of bait fishing and caught yellowbelly to 51cm using fresh shrimp fished around the willows.


Trolling stumpjumpers Mario also caught Murray cod to 57cm. Most anglers know of the popularity of stumpjumpers, with their tight sway and highly buoyant nature ideal for slowly knocking through timber to wake up the fish.


Customer Hendrik also fished around Mulwala just last week where he had some great cod fishing. Hendrik spent his time casting surface and subsurface lures around the timber in search of that big cod, with one he thinks may have been the 'metery' coming up for a look. Amongst this inquiry Hendrik caught and released a heap of smaller fish to around 60cm, with wakebait style lures proving to be the most effective and enjoyable. The Jackall 'chanwake' was his favourite, with prop tail and loud knocking internal ball calling the fish in.

Customer Clark fished Mulwala also just recently to land some quality fish. Clark fished with mates and found both cod and yellowbelly of excellent size. Clark is a proficient lure caster and found that constant lure changes were needed to get some activity happening.

Good size yellowbelly have been active in Mulwala as the water temperature has started dropping, with slightly smaller lures such as 3/8oz spinnerbaits and Jackall 'TN' style lures working very well.


Back at Eildon, there have been some quality cod caught but it's still a persistent man's game. Water levels in the lake are around 55% and there are some good fishable banks and the moment, with plenty of excellent structure exposed and waiting for a slight increase in water level. Staff members Dylan and George fished the lake during the week for a very quiet session, but did have a few inquiries from lethargic fish. 

Customer Michael also fished the lake recently but had better success. Michael fished the Big River area of the lake and landed 2 lovely Murray cod to 76cm using spinnerbaits. Michael was slow trolling these spinnerbaits along the timbered edges when he caught these fish. If you're going to troll lures such as spinnerbaits, be sure to troll them as SLOW as possible, as trolling them too fast will see them roll and blow out, and twist your line.

 

It seems that many people have been fishing the inland rivers and lakes over the Easter break, with a few reports from various locations around the state coming through. The Autumn months can fish very well for both Murray cod and yellowbelly, though many people only associate these fish with the warm Summer months. Customer Jacques was up along the Goulburn River just recently where he did a spot of casual bait fishing. Jacques normally fishes the salt out in the bays and offshore, but managed to catch a few small Murray cod and trout cod in the river. Jacques released all of his fish safely back into the river for someone else to catch.


Customer Emilio has also been catching a few cod. Emilio has been fishing the Murray itself, around Cohuna. Emilio has been getting out on the water early, and suggests to start your fishing around 6am as these cod are most active around then. Emilio has been switching between bardi grubs and also freshwater yabbies to catch his fish, with a small amount of berley helping to get the activity started.


Not too far down the river, customer Long and mates have been catching Murray cod also. Long has been fishing the river around Echuca in a small tinny to land cod up to 65cm. Long has been fishing the dense snag piles using bardi grubs as bait for most of his fish.


Back towards Mulwala the lake has been fishing well. While the Easter ski and wake crowds have been tough to get around during the heat of the day, the fishing around low light has been good. There have been numerous cod over 1m caught by anglers casting swimbaits and surface lures around, although this fishing isn't for the easily bored. It can take 500 casts in a session to strike gold on these fish, and sometimes after all this casting you may not land a fish.

Staff member Dylan tangled with monster cod over the Easter weekend at Mulwala, only to have it earn it's freedom early as it broke 80lb leader on the snags. The big fish ate a big lure (25cm long) so it pays to go big when looking for a big cod! 

Customer Long also managed a fish in around the Bundalong section of the lake to land some nice yellowbelly to around 2kg on medium sized freshwater yabbies.


Staff member Dylan and mate Daniel took a long drive over the Easter weekend up to northern NSW in search of big cod at Copeton dam. While the Easter crowds were crazy with jetskiis, wakeboats and family cruisers all over the place, the guys worked a lot of the lake in search of a fish. Daniel managed a nice yellowbelly on a swimbait slow rolled around a pile of submerged rocks which at least got them off the board.

 

 

While many anglers would assume that fishing for Murray cod is best during the heat of summer they are more so now a year round target (except during closed season). The cod fishing around late summer through autumn can be very productive as the fish tend to come out from a warm 'slumber' and feed up before the cooler months ahead. The serious lure fisherman normally start arming themselves with super-sized 'swimbaits' and surface lures in preparation for that 'metre' fish looking to feed up, while the bait anglers can have some good results also.


Customer Ash came in and grabbed a few assorted lures and baits to try on the cod up around the Nagambie region just last week. Being new to cod fishing Ash tried a few different options and caught and released 4 nice Murray cod from 53cm to 72cm. Ash found that large freshwater yabbies were the best bait option.


A ripper 72cm cod caught and released by Ash.

 


The natives have been fishing well over recent weeks, with many holidaying anglers getting amongst the Murray cod and yellowbelly, from Nagambie on the Goulburn right up to the Murray around Barmah. Young guns Jayden and Lester fished with their dad up at Bonnie Doon recently where they landed 5 nice chunky yellowbelly. The most productive method was fishing a small freshwater yabby on a paternoster rig, with 2/0 'shiner' style hook the best choice.


Customer Steve was fishing up around Eildon just recently where he landed this ripper Murray cod on an Icon spinnerbait. The cod measured 84cm and was in excellent condition.


Customer Andy has been up on Lake Mulwala again recently where he loves to target the cod. Andy has found the fishing a bit slower of late, with water traffic probably a bit factor. Andy has still been getting a few smaller cod like this one later during the day and into the evening on surface lures, with this purple 'cod cracker' one of his favourites.


Customer Steve has been fishing further along the Murray near Barmah, where the fishing has been patchy. Steve recently caught a few nice silver perch like this by bobbing live shrimp around the snags. Steve has been catching the shrimp in bait traps along the edges of the river, with gum leaves or aniseed scent attracting the shrimp in.


Customer Chris has recently come back from holidaying along the Goulburn River at Nagambie. Chris sent us these photos of his sons Flynn and Atticus both with their first ever Murray cod caught just downstream of Nagambie. Both the boys are well and truly hooked on fishing and are well aware of catch and 'live to fight another day' fishing.

 


The Murray River is a popular family holiday location, with nice serene bushland flanking a lot of it's banks and a large amount of famliy friendly camping areas. The fishing on the Murray itself can vary but over the warmer months the cod and yellowbelly can be caught on bait and lures. While on family holiday, 16 year old Jaxson caught his first Murray cod out of the river near Barooga, on his second day fishing. Jaxson got some great advice from the Compleat Angler guys and was wrapt with his fish. Great work Jaxson!


Further down the river, young Levi caught this nice 38cm yellowbelly around Piangil. The yellowbelly in the area should stay active until around May, so there's plenty of time to catch yourself some like this one!

 


Many anglers enjoy their time camping and fishing around the Murray somewhere, and if you're into your cod fishing then it's pretty good at the moment. Most popular sections of the Murry have been fishing well and producing cod on bait and lure, whether you're a novice or seasoned cod fisherman. Customer Petar has not long taken up cod fishing after purchasing a bit more 'cod specialized' gear and while he has been putting in the hard yards he has been getting some results. Petar has been fishing mainly around Lake Mulwala and the adjacent sections of the Murray, where he has caught cod using spinnerbaits, and cheese once the casting arm needs a rest.


EJ Todd Victorian Rep Mitch has also been fishing similar areas in search of cod. Mitch has caught fish casting surface crawlers and subsurface wakebaits, with the Tiemco 'slug fest' really appealing to the fish around undercut and heavily timbered banks. The cod fishing should continue to fire well through the summer and into autumn, so if you're looking to connect to a green backed freshwater tractor then now is a good time to replenish your Murray cod gear. 

 

The last week must've been BIG cod week up on lake Mulwala! Or at least it was for these boys. Customer Andy caught a ripper metre plus fish over cod opening weekend up on lake Mulwala, and only 3 weeks later he's at it again! Andy caught this early morning chunk of a fish at 1.05m on a purple coloured Koolabung surface paddler. Talk about having a good run!


Meanwhile, not to be outdone customer Vito has been back up on Mulwala again earlier this week where he has upgraded to a new personal best. Vito landed this absolute barrel of a cod that measured 1.23m on the surface also. The same surface paddler did the job on this big fish as well.


Good to see proper supportive handling on these big fish also, as hanging them off lip grips or scales just doesn't cut it these days. Putting these giants back unharmed means that they're still about ready to belt someone else's lure (...or mine...) in the future.

 


The Murray cod fishing will continue to improve as the rivers clear up over the coming weeks, and even with the recent mild floods the fishing has been pretty good. There have some nice fish caught in the lakes and rivers and worth a shot if you're planning on chasing them. The section of river just downstream of lake Mulwala has been poular with anglers over the last few weeks and is producing fish on bait and lures.


Customer Rad fished the section of river below Yarrawonga  from the bank during the week where he landed some nice cod. Rad also caught and released this cod which had a tag in it using cheese. Customer Vito has been fishing the cod a couple of times since the season open, and he caught some nice fish. On his most recent trip Vito caught fish on both spinnerbaits and 'mumbler' or chatterbait style lures along with surface paddlers, even during the heat of the day. Vito has been fishing the same section of river below lake Mulwala.