Murray cod season around the country finished up just this week until later this year, but a few anglers got out and gave it one last crack before giving the fish a bit of a break. While not normally seen as the cod 'time' of year, there have been plenty of fish caught. One nice fish was caught by customer Izzy, on her first cod session. Izzy saved it until the last few days of the season but managed her first Murray cod on a spinnerbait, and even better locally in the Yarra River. Now just bring on December 1!


Up around Mulwala customer Vito fished with mates in search of a few fish before the close. With some good conditions they fished the lake and down into the Bundalong region, doing a bit of casting and trolling. The guys managed a few fish on both techniques, with swimbaits as big as 25cm catching fish - right down to lures under 10cm also. The better fish from the session was caught on the troll, and was a nice solid river fish taken on a hardbody bumping the timber.


It's not all over luckily - as Lake Eildon stays open for Murray cod fishing year round. Some of the big fish have been seen moving into shallow bays and fighting with each other for prime habitat so bigger lures have been working still. Customer Ben fished the lake on the weekend and had a 600g trout almost jump into the boat to escape a big cod lurking nearby, while the roach schools have also been a target for active fish. Customer Thomas fished the lake just recently and nailed another nice fish from the the timber - with the huge Megabass Garuda looking like a snack in comparison to the chunky fish. Thomas has been spending hours on the water casting and has found both the Garuda and Magslowl to be some of the more consistent performers on the lake.

 


As of this Sunday 1st of September, Murray cod are off the table for anglers around the state - but there are still a couple of days to go! If you're fishing the early states of the weekend you still have a chance to land a ripper like customer Ivan did. Ivan was fishing over near Gunbower in the state's North-West when he landed this cracker on yabbies. The big fish went well into the metre mark and is true trophy status!

Never fear if you miss your chance this weekend as Lake Eildon is a year-round Murray cod fishery, and open for cod angling 24/7. The best part is that Eildon has been fishing very well for cod this winter, and should continue well into Spring. The key with Eildon cod is persistence and presenting large offering for these fish. Most of the large fish caught from the lake this Winter have been on big lures. If you are keen for an Eildon session come past the store and get your big lure fix and terminal tackle to suit.

 


The run of big winter cod has continued with many anglers really spending the time to crack these fish on lure. While they certainly do not come easy, time on the water and the use of quality gear makes the difference when you get that bite. Lake Mulwala has been producing some solid fish over the past few weeks for persistent anglers like customer Clark. Clark has been fishing the lake in his kayak of late and has caught enough smaller fish to keep him happy, but that big fish has eluded him - until now! Clark managed a ripper that cracked the magic metre mark just recently, which will keep him smiling for a while yet. Clark has been fishing a mixture of lures including sinking lipless vibes, mid running crankbaits and swimbaits. While Mulwala has been worth the drive, there have also been some rippers caught from Lake Eildon over the past week or so.


The great thing about Lake Eildon's cod fishery is that it can be fished all year long. While Mulwala and all other areas are off limit as of September 1st, Lake Eildon is still on the table. This really gives keen cod 'nuts' a fix until December when the regular haunts open up again. Speaking of cod nut, customer Thomas has been up on the lake again giving the cod a touch up. Thomas snared a nice fish last week on the Megabass Magdraft, with a much larger fish earning it's freedom. Thomas has been putting in the hours on the lake and is a believer of using the best gear possible and checking over the 1%ers, which lets the results speak for themselves. We have good stock of suitable gear for the impoundment cod fishing in store, and enough lures to fill your tackle boxes - so stock up and get into them!

 


Now is the time to be out looking for Mr Murray cod if that's your thing. The dropping water temperature is a real trigger for cod to 'stock up' on food - hopefully in the form of your lure! While the numbers of fish normally caught is never through the roof, if you're a persistent caster the odds are greatly in your favour. Customer Will and mate have been back at it again fishing around the Murray/Mulwala region and catching a few fish. The boys have been looking around some of the 'flats' and seperating drains and have come up trumps. Casting the Megabass Vatalion swimbaits has been the go, along with some fast floating crankbaits.


Customer Dave has also been fishing the same region and with success. Dave has been working the bankside structure and ledges with floating wakebaits and surface crawlers with fish in the mid 50cm mark having a crack. Fishing larger surface offerings at this time of year is a good way to draw out some bigger fish, and the smaller cod will still come out and attack the lure also.   

 


We are nearing the prime time of the year for fishing the fresh, with trout and cod the main targets. The trout will fire up as conditions cool off and send them looking to feed up prior to spawning, and the big cod start coming out to play in search of some big meals like trout, redfin or carp. The only species not super high up on the list especially locally are golden perch, but someone didn't tell that to customer Aliff.

Aliff was fishing with his dad out along the Goulburn and Acheron rivers in search of a trout, when they came across a surprize. Aliff fished a small sinking hardbody alongside a snag and was smashed by a nice yellowbelly! At just under 50cm and from 'trout' water is was a massive surprize and something that has to be seen to be believed!


Meanwhile on the banks of the pondage there have still been quite a few nice trout getting caught. As usual the dough bait and coarse berley method has been the most successful. A few fish have fallen to lures in between, with the most productive lure styles being small spoons and soft plastics. Blue Fox 'Moresilda' spoons have proved to be an excellent new option and ideal size, with small paddle tails and craws being the dominating soft plastic styles in the corner of the trout's jaw.

Customer Zoran fished the pondage over the weekend where he landed a brace of nice trout to around 3lb. Zoran caught a mix of browns and rainbows on 'specialist trout dough' and powerbait. Zoran found a nice back eddy along the Eildon township side of the pondage and proceeded to catch all of his fish in the area.


Up on the lake there have been a few Murray cod caught on bait and lures. While there haven't been any monsters reported yet, we are now coming into the prime time to start looking for the larger fish. Customer Laci fished the lake last week and had a bunch of scrubbies on the side while kicking back, which were taken by a nice 50cm cod. Fishing amongst the vertical timber right inside the inlet was where the action was.

Along for recent some Murray cod action was customer Peter, who caught a few cod to 70cm from Mulwala. Peter was slow rolling spinnerbaits around the timber on the Mulwala side of the lake to catch his fish. Mixing up blade colours and shapes is a good thing here, as sometimes you will find one particular colour and vibration that the fish are well and truely keyed in on.

 


There is plenty going on in the freshwater if you want to try your luck. Pretty much every specie is on offer at present, from local suburban lakes right up to the Murray river way up near Swan Hill. Local lakes such as Devilbend and Karkarook have been producing fish and customer Morgan has been getting amongst them. Morgan has been catching some sizeable redfin from a few different lakes around the area, with fish well over 40cm smashing small surface lures and plastics. Morgan has found lures that imitate the local mosquito fish have been the most effective on the redfin.


The native fish up along the Murray have been fishing well, with golden perch and Murray cod both active at the moment. Customer Phil fished the Murray up towards Mildura and caught some chunky golden perch from the boat. Fishing baits back in around undercut banks and fallen timber was the most effective method, with shrimp and frozen bass yabbies the two most effective baits at present. Customer Andy also fished the Murray around Yarrawonga for the cod and he has been catching a few smaller fish to around 65cm. Andy has been casting a few different styles of lure, with high-buoyancy hardbodies doing well for him over the timber and weed at present.


There has been plenty on offer closer to home around Eildon. Fisheries Victoria have been very busy stocking 150 solid trout to over 2kg in the pondage during the week - with a mixture of both browns and rainbows. These fish will be worth targeting now that they have been in the lake for a few days - so make sure you check all your coarse tackle and specialist baits and berley out before the kids go back to school. 

In the main lake at Eildon, Fisheries have also topped up Murray cod numbers, with another 25,000 cod stocked in during the week. At around 3 months old, these cod fingerlings will find shelter among the broken rock and timber and turn into mean, lure-crunching machines soon enough!


Speaking of Eildon cod, there have been some nice fish caught - but the high amount of water traffic over the busy period has kept things a bit quieter. If you're a die-hard cod angler you're probably not fishing 'gentlemens hours' anyway so you will be aware of the boat traffic. Despite this, there have been fish caught. Customer Travis went and fished the lake recently after purchasing a handful of different cod lures.

Trav persisted away with a large redfin pattern swimbait which got nailed by a chunky little cod of around 50cm, right within sight of one of the main boat ramps! Just goes to show that there are fish all through the lake, and the only way to catch them is to keep on casting! Trav also had some fun on the carp during down time, with some sight caught using surface lures. Catching the carp in the lake can be good fun and a good way to break the monotony on the light gear.

 


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!

 


Many keen anglers relish the start of the spring weather, as with the warmth comes the multitude of species waking from a winter docile state. Anglers in the know will out looking for freshwater natives such as bass and yellowbelly as they become more active. This is especially true with the yellowbelly, and generally the very best fishing for them will occur over the next 8 or so weeks.


Customer David has been on the lookout for the 'yellas' around some of the stocked lakes and has been catching fish to around 2kg on lipless crankbaits. Yellowbelly really hone in on these lures and the spring 'vibe' bite can be red hot when you find a patch of fish hungry and hunting. 


Customer Ryan has also been catching some nice yellowbelly over the past week, with the biggest weighing around 4kg. Again the lure of choice for Ryan has been a lipless crankbait, but there are also plenty of other successful options for the thinking angler to try; Small spinnerbaits and jig spinners, floating crankbaits with 'double' hooks, swim-jigs, and carolina rigged soft plastics to really fish in the heavy stuff.

HOT SPOT: The best spot around for trophy yellowbelly is no doubt Lake Eildon. The northern end of the lake around Bonnie Doon is worth a good look as snow melts slowly floods the gradual edges and gives the fish plenty of food to find, and this is generally where you will find them. The next 5 or 6 weeks are the prime time, especially if we get a string of milder days.

 


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.