By local fishing guru Tony Bennett
Options are plenty for those fishing in Lake Mulwala, upstream in the Ovens and Murray Rivers above Bundalong and downstream in the Murray River below Yarrawonga / Mulwala.
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To look at this closer I will break the lake and surrounding area into five different regions looking at tips, tricks and techniques for each area.
The only problem you may encounter over this summer period is the ever-increasing amount of weed taking over much of the shallower parts of the lake that range from 1-3 meters deep.
Bundalong and upstream in the Ovens and Murray Rivers
This area produces some great Cod this time of year, but for those fishing in the Murray itself, the plethora of oversized ski boats can be a pain in the backside.
Getting out on daybreak or the last hour of daylight will see you in with your best chance.
Soaking a bait under one of the many willows along the edge of the Murray is a great option.
For those who choose to troll the deeper waters of the river, larger lures in the 90mm+ size with the ability to reach depths of 20ft / 6mtrs+ are preferred. Kuttafurra Mud Honeys, AC Invaders, the old faithful Stumpjumper in size No1 or a Gidgee Barcoo are good starting points.
Searching some of the backwaters that come off both rivers upstream of Bundalong can be very rewarding this time of the year.
They tend to be much quieter with zero speed boat traffic and hold some quality Cod. Casting 1/2oz spinnerbaits, Mumblers or TN70 Jackall’s or the like are a great option. These backwaters tend to hold numbers of Golden Perch also.
Majors Creek area
The Majors Creek area is a magnificent starting point for anybody wishing to explore the lake.
The top end of the lake in the general vicinity of Majors Creek tends to be a lot shallower than the town end and averages between 3-6ft / 1-2mtrs.
Once you get out of the Murray River that runs through the lake itself, be careful as you are into heavily timbered areas where seeing what you are about to hit is nearly impossible. The shallower margins are a favourite for those who choose to cast lures to the plethora of fallen timber that sits on the lakebed.
From slightly upstream in the everglades, back down to Drain Lane and the Taramia area, and across to the south side of the lake, any snag that has a bit of water covering it has the potential to hold a Cod or two.
Again spinnerbaits, Mumblers and shallow running hard bodied lures are proven fish catchers in these areas. These areas that are slightly shallower also prove to be brilliant for surface fishing for those who like to get up extra early or stay out into the dark. Any surface lure or wake bait that has the ability to make some sort of surface commotion is in with a chance of being smashed.
If you haven’t done this style of fishing before, make sure you take a new pair of duds with you for when you get your first hit. I can guarantee you will have a slight moment and it may end with trouble!
Kuttafurra Joe the Rat or Barambah Bidgeewongs are a personal favourite and have accounted for many Cod off the top. Unfortunately, much of the shallower water in this region consists of a lot of weed at present. Well placed casts tight into the timber are required. Many times you may only be fishing small clear pockets before encountering weed once again.
Hogan’s Rd and Woodlands areas
As you venture down the lake getting closer to the twin towns of Yarrawonga / Mulwala, Hogan’s Rd has a large three lane boat ramp and is another ideal place to start your fishing adventure from.
The water depth around the general vicinity of Hogan’s Rd / Woodlands averages around the 6ft - 10ft or 2 to 3.5 meters.
There’s plenty of structure to cast at and trolling off the edge of the river is quite often very productive. The general area around Hogan’s Rd around to Woodlands, down to Ski Land and across to Kyffin’s Reserve gives anglers the best chance of getting away from the speed boats this time of year.
Lure selection again is fairly simple - use something that will suit the depth of water you are fishing. If it’s a hard bodied lure you don’t want it continually ploughing the bottom, but you do want it getting down into the strike zone. Likewise, spinnerbaits that can be worked slowly without dragging on the bottom or rising to quickly are preferred.
Surface fishing is another option you should put high on your agenda if fishing this area. Again, weed is a fair problem in this area and may drive you crazy. Persistence will see you rewarded.
Yarrawonga and Mulwala end of the Lake
There are at least half a dozen ramps spread throughout the twin towns, all being well maintained and easy to use. The water down “the town end” is deeper again with it averaging 10 - 25ft / 3.5 – 8 meters.
For those not confident of bashing around out in the timber, trolling the open water around town is perfect.
The lake floor is littered with timber, and you are in with just a good a chance tangling with a “Mulwala Monster” here as anywhere else.
For the bait fisho’s, tying up to an old tree that lines the edge of the river or one of the many old lagoons and backwaters found in this area is a good option. The only problem in the open water around Christmas/New Year time is the hectic boat traffic.
Below the Yarrawonga Weir
For those looking to get the kids onto a fish, this is the area you should be targeting first.
A tub of worms, some cheese, yabbies or a few Bardi grubs, if you are lucky enough to come across some, will see you in with a genuine chance.
Even though the numbers of fish in the river tend to be of smaller size, there is still plenty of monsters that pop up here from time to time when least expected and caught in many varying ways.
Tying up to any snag with some current flow around it should see your bait being continually harassed to the point of it becoming annoying sometimes.
Anglers must be aware the fully protected Trout Cod exists in this area and tends to form around 1 in every 3 captures. Certainly, do not discount trolling a lure around especially if fishing near the weir. Surprisingly the river is not very deep with 15ft / 5mtrs being about average.
For those boating be very careful as there are a lot of snags that litter the river with many hiding just below the surface. Speed boats and jet skis, best say nothing!
For more info:
If you’re visiting town, I urge you to call into Lake Mulwala Fish Camp & Ski (Opposite the Post Office) in Mulwala or Yarrawonga Fish Camp Ski (between Rivers and One Zac). We are your Murray Cod specialists in Yarrawonga / Mulwala and specialize in all things “green”!
For any information on the upcoming events or fishing reports give us a hoy on
03 5744 3133.
Until next edition, happy fishing.