April 07, 2021

April Murray Cod Fishing

Written by Robbie Alexander

April can be an interesting time of the year to target Murray cod. In some places the fishing slows right down and in other places it goes crazy. It’s all about knowing where to go to find the best Murray cod fishing in April, and that is exactly what I hope to teach you in this video. 

Before I start, just a quick disclaimer. This report is based on my opinion and my observations over years of fishing. Other people may have different opinions and beliefs and that is perfectly fine, but this is what works for me.


Where I live, in Wangaratta my “home ground” is the Ovens River. It fishes very well for Murray cod all summer, but slows down a lot in autumn. The deeper into autumn we get, the more unpredictable the Murray cod fishing becomes.


In April, I find that it can be all or nothing fishing, particularly with lures. I have had some red hot Murray cod lure fishing in April, mixed with no shortage of fishless sessions as hour after hour, and cast after cast into seemingly fishless water passes.


The consistency of Murray cod fishing during summer has been replaced by Indian fishing; “Apache here and apache there”. That was a joke… It’s OK if you didn’t find it funny! 

But seriously, the Murray cod fishing here in the Ovens River is very patchy during April. It is all about being on the water at the right time. But when is the right time? Is it the full moon? A high barometer? During a thunderstorm? To be honest, I have absolutely no idea. My personal preference is for above average temperatures and stable weather conditions, but even then I still have fishless trips.

The more often you go the more likely you are to be in the right place at the right time to encounter some explosive April Murray cod fishing.


I remember about 3 years ago, I went out in April and caught 4 Murray cod in 1 hour, the biggest was 60cm, all caught on a purple Old Mate lure. The next night I went out with my friend Brett to share this amazing fishing, and there wasn’t a fish to be seen. Nothing had changed. The weather weas stable, the barometer was high and stable, but the fish had shut down.

Now most of my Murray cod fishing is done in the Ovens and King Rivers, but I have also done quite a bit of fishing in the Broken River, and all 3 rivers seem to fish the same in autumn, and I suspect that most river will be the same.

With that being said, the Murray River which is highly regulated tends to fish well during autumn each year, and Lake Mulwala is probably the most consistent autumn Murray cod fishery in the region.

It makes me wonder if other rivers such as the Goulburn River and Mitta Mitta River which are both heavily regulated like the Murray may also fish well during the autumn when conditions must be quite similar to the Murray, with a reduced flow of water during the cooler months? I reckon it would be well worth trying either of those rivers, particularly once the irrigation flows drop right off.


Then there are the stocked impoundments, most notably, Lake Eildon.
Lake Eildon fishes well for Murray cod in autumn and winter each year and is the number one destination for many anglers targeting the large trophy fish, of which it has plenty.

But Lake Eildon isn’t the only lake that is stocked with Murray cod. There’s also Lake Nillahcootie, Lake Eppalock and Cairn Curran reservoir just to name a few. Surely if the Murray cod bite in Lake Eildon during autumn then they must also bite in these other lakes too?

Lake Buffalo is another lake in the region that has been receiving stockings of Murray cod in recent years, and is starting to emerge as a mini Lake Eildon.
Both my father and I have caught Murray cod in there while targeting redfin. Dad’s fish was measured at 54cm. Mine wasn’t measured but was similar, I estimated it at 50cm. I have heard of cod up to 70cm being caught there and with the abundance of redfin in the lake there is no shortage of food for them so I expect growth rates to be very good. Is Lake Buffalo worth fishing for Murray cod in April? I don’t know, but I can’t see how it would fish much differently to Lake Eildon at the same time of the year.


So folks to sum it up, where are the best places to head off on a Murray cod fishing adventure during April?


Wild flowing rivers: Will be inconsistent.
Impoundments: Definitely worth fishing
For consistency: Go to Lake Mulwala. And, due to it’s similarities to Lake Mulwala, I can’t help but think that Nagambie Weir would be worth fishing as well.

murray cod fishing
Trout cod seem to be more active than Murray cod in the cooler water. Adam Bosley caught this 62cm ripper a few years back.

murray cod fishing

Terry Alexander caught this 54cm Murray coda t Lake Buffalo on a Halco Crazy Deeplure recently while targeting redfin.

lake mulwala sunset

Lake Mulwala usually fishes quite consistently for Murray cod during April.

murray cod fishing

Tim Galley with an Ovens River Murray cod caught in April last year.

robbie murray cod fishing trellys

This Murray cod was caught in the Ovens River on April 24 th last year. Bait fishingseems to be a better option in the rivers for the common angler during autumn.




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