Even though this time of year isn't really known as being the most productive time of year to target Murray cod, they can still be caught if you're willing to brave the cold and put in the time. During the cooler months of the year Murray cod cod generally slow their metabolism down and don't actively hunt as much, but they can still be caught. Between the lure vs bait debate, lures come into their own for triggering a strike from a cod during cooler weather. Even though they might not actually want to hunt for food, by repeatedly casting or running a lure over a likely looking snag you can tap into the cod's 'territorial' nature - whereas they are virtually annoyed into striking the lure.

Staff member Ian took his kayak up to Eildon just recently in search of a big winter cod. Ian spent a bit of time looking for likely cod water and then strategically worked these areas over to be sure he maximized his chances. After a long day on the water, Ian managed to land a 93cm 'barrel' cod from around the Frasers area. Ian landed the fish on a size 1 Stumpjumper in a redfin pattern.


Customer Ivan also had a taste of Eildon native fishing recently. Ivan caught this nice little cod from the timber in the background on a purple Yakamito lure. Fish of this size are very common to catch in the lake this days, and will only get bigger with plenty of prey items available for them. 


While some sections of the Murray river have been affected by blue green algae, this hasn't stopped the fish from biting. The section down stream from Yarrawonga is the worst affected at present, with a small amount still affecting upstream from Yarrawonga towards Corrowa. To prove that the algae hasn't made fishing pointless, customer Mario fished the section of river from Corrowa down towards Bundalong - where he caught around 60 cod in 5 days. A lot of the fish were in the 40 - 60cm size range, with a few like this 80cm fish taking lures also. Trolled stumpjumpers and cast spinnerbaits did most of the damage.


Staff member Dylan has also been caught a few cod recently. Dylan has been fishing the section of water around Bundalong and has caught fish to around 75cm on surface lures during the afternoon. Customer Travis also fished for the cod recently and managed his first one which he was rapt with.


Not to be outdone, the golden perch have been quite active in the Murray around Mulwala recently. Dropping water temperatures have kicked them into gear and had them feeding actively, with staff member Dylan and mates catching a few nice ones over the Anzac weekend. The goldens have been hitting 3/8th and 1/2oz spinnerbaits along large bankside snags, with purples, whites and red skirt colours being the standout colours recently. These fish should be reasonably active over the next month and then slow off as the water gets substantially cooler towards June.

For the holiday makers heading to any of the states' northern impoundments, the native fish are about as active as they will get over the summer months. Water temperatures in all but the coldest regions have warmed dramatically and this has sent species like Murray cod, yellowbelly and bass into overdrive.

Customers Jordan and Jinsu have done some work on the yellowbelly in recent weeks, and have caught fish to around 45cm in length. While yellas can take a bit of searching to find where they are holed up, normally once one is caught there is a good chance that a few more will be close by. Jordan and Jinsu found small profile vibes like the Daiwa 47S to be effective when hopped around likely rock ledges and fallen timber.

Customer Zoran also chased the yellas up towards Eildon with a mate and found some nice fish. Using modern sounder technology, the yellowbelly were able to be pinpointed and targeted using small plastics around fallen timber. Most of the fish were in the 45 - 55cm range which are chunky little fish.

The next couple of months should see the yellowbelly plateau off somewhat, with themselves and Murray cod still a good option for summer freshwater fisherman.  

 

This time of the year coming into winter can be the best time to specifically target large Murray cod. Many of the larger fish feed up heavily before going into a spawning aggregation in late winter. Smaller fish can also be caught during this time, but the largest fish seem to be as active as ever. Fishing deeper sections of the rivers and lakes can also be a very good way of connecting with a big fish, as this deeper water remains at a more stable temperature and the fish move about happily. Places like Eildon are worth a shot at the moment, along with deeper river channel sections of Mulwala and the Murray.

Customer recently fished the Murray river up near Tocumwal in search of a big cod. He was persistent with casting lures from a drifting boat and managed to nail this awesome fish on a black and red skirted spinnerbait below the bridge section near town. A cracking fish around the metre mark, not a bad way to spend a winter's day.

 

Lake Eildon has still been fishing well for most species, and will continue almost into the depths of winter. At present the lake level is sitting at around 55% and has been steadily dropping since summer as water is diverted down the Goulburn for irrigation. What this means is that there is more structure exposed and the fish are continuously moving to new structure, so a bit of searching around is always necessary. Never the less, fish like redfin, trout and golden perch have still been caught on a variety of methods. Customer Trevor came into the store after fishing with a group of anglers up towards the Bonnie Doon end of the lake, where there were a few nice goldens caught. A few were caught almost in front of the Peppin Point caravan park trolling deep running hardbodies. Customer George also caught nice goldens like this 61cm model on scrubworms recently in the lake.

With Winter starting to approach many anglers start to dismiss Murray cod as a cold-water option. This is not actually the case, as Autumn can often provide some of the best fishing for cod throughout the whole year. Murray cod will generally feed up a bit more heavily in Autumn in preparation for late Winter spawning, and anglers can make the most of this.

Customer Tuan fished around the Goulburn Weir recently in search of Murray cod, and he managed some nice fish to 70cm on bardi grubs. Tuan found late afternoon was the most productive time.

Around the Eildon region the trout have started to fire up with the cooler weather and rise in water levels. The lake itself has been fishing well for school sized fish on a variety of lures, as customers Andrew and Rene found out. Andrew and Rene fished the lake in the boat over the Easter weekend and landed a good number of school size fish in the 400g size range. Tassie Devils run off a flatline worked the best around the Big River area. The rivers themselves have been fishing well for trout also, with the Goulburn still producing good sized fish amongst the high levels.

Jason from Bullet Lures has been fishing the Goulburn recently, and he has found some nice sized fish.

Jason has been catching both rainbow and brown trout or various colour Bullet Lures recently, with a new 5cm prototype smashing the trout as well.

 

In some of the smaller rivers and streams around Eildon, customers Morgan and Jordan have been finding good numbers of fish on the fly. Both Jordan and Morgan have been fishing a mixture of dry and nymph patterns, with fish taking both. A slight lean towards the nymph patterns lately will continue into the Winter months, especially weighted or beadheaded style nymphs.

 

Some of the fish from the same streams have a variety of markings, from rainbows with blue parr spots right through to dark olive backs and crimson cheeks - to browns with similar brown 'finger spots' right through to almost black backs and leopard spots with patchy red markings.

 

The local freshwater fishing has been good, with plenty of trout and redfin to be caught without driving too far. Local dams and urban lakes have been producing small trout and redfin for lure anglers. Staff member Don fished a couple of local dams with his two young twins in search of a few reddies on light spin gear and the boys caught some nice ones on small soft plastics. Even Dad got into the action catching a few on small natural coloured single tail grubs fished around weed growth. Customer Adrian fished down on the Peninsula targeting a few redfin and trout also, with warm conditions and high insect activity ideal for surface feeding redfin. Adrian caught redfin up to 30cm on small soft plastics and also on surface floating and shallow running minnows.

Just inside the Yarra valley customer Morgan has been catching a few nice trout on the fly gear. Morgan has had some mixed fishing with perfect conditions and no activity, and then average conditions with plenty of feeding fish around. Most of the trout in the Yarra have been browns in the 25cm size range, with the odd bigger fish hanging around also. Morgan has been tying some dry flies and one of his orange spinner variants called the 'McTaggert' has been good, along with a #12 'Dad's Favourite'.

Further back down the river around Templestowe, customer San caught a nice sized Murray Cod while bait fishing this section of the river. Customers Cam and Dan took the fly rods just over the other side of the Yarra ranges to some small streams for some nymph fishing in pocket water. The boys caught a few rainbow and brown trout, with #10 and #12 dark coloured bead headed nymphs doing the trick when fished under an indicator.

Staff member Dylan fished with customer Jordan over the weekend in the small streams near Eildon using dry flies and nymphs, with plenty of small fish from 4" through to around 1lb present. A mixture of shallow runs and pocket water were fished, with the nymph set shallow under the indicator proving to be the most effective tactic for targeting small pockets and runs. 

 

 

The freshwater fishing around the Murray has been good for holiday anglers, providing some nice fish for them before heading back to work. Customer Hendrik fished with a mate on lake Mulwala just recently in search of a few cod casting lures off a newly purchased baitcasting outfit. Hendrik caught quite a few cod in the high 60cm size range using mainly spinnerbaits. Some cod were caught along crossed up timber while others came from weed edges only the old riverbed.

Customer Mick had never fished for Murray cod before and after stocking up on suggesting lures at the shop he was off. Mick was camping along the river in the Cobram area with friends and most of his friends were baitfishing. Mick started casting a few of the lures he purchased and as soon as he got a cast in the strike zone he was on. Mick was rapt as he landed his first ever Murray cod at 67cm. Mick found the 1/2oz Icon Carnage spinnerbait in yellow perch was the go. 

Over towards Rochester customer Hendrik also fished the Campaspe River towards the end of the Summer break. Using a mixture of methods Hendrik landed some nice yellowbelly for the area. Hendrik found that trolling deep diving Oargee lures worked the best, with the red head grub colour being the standout.

 

On the trout scene, the Goulburn River has been fishing well despite running at around 5000Mg/day. Anglers targeting the fish sitting in backwaters have done the best, with these fish normally being larger than standard size fish. Small shallow running minnows fished among the flooded ground have been good, along with lightly weighted scrubworms. Customer Daniel fished the region over the weekend with the fly rod and while he didn't spend as much time on the Goulburn, he did try a few of the smaller rivers for good results. Typical stream sized trout came out and ate small dries in slower glides and pools. Customer Morgan also did well with a selection of small dry flies that he had tied up. Morgan fished the upper Yarra recently for a couple of afternoon sessions and found that his orange spinner works a treat.

The next few months are the best time to get out and fish for our freshwater natives like yellowbelly. Once December rolls around the Murray cod season will open up again and these fish should be back on the bite. Staff member Harley fished with a mate at some local dams during the week that has been stocked with yellowbelly, bass, and the odd Murray cod. Harley and his mate worked the series of dams and overflows in search of some yellowbelly. The first dam Harley fished resulted in a nice bass on his lipless vibration bait.

The second dam that the guys fished was loaded with yellowbelly. In a few short hours, the guys caught over 20 yellowbelly and one lone Murray cod which were all released unharmed. The small lipless vibration baits were the most effective when hopped slowly along the bottom. Yabby and juvenile yellowbelly colours worked the best in this water.

While the season has just closed for Murray cod, many fish were caught right up until the end of August. Most anglers associate Murray cod with warmer months, and while they are normally a bit more active during the Summer months, they can still be caught regularly during Winter. The trick is to fish the slightly deeper water as this particular water doesn't cool down as much as the shallows. 

Customer Val fished from a houseboat a few weeks ago on the Murray, where he landed a few nice cod. Val had various baits of yabbies, scrubworms and grubs out along with the odd lure. He kept this solid fish for everyone on the boat and released the rest of the fish. Hopefully come December we should see some good fishing again for the cod.