Welcome to the Lake Mulwala Fishing Guide. Lake Mulwala is a man-made reservoir acting as an irrigation water supply for local farmlands. The lake is located 215 kilometres North of Melbourne or a 3 1/2 hours drive found between the townships of Bundalong and Yarrawonga. Acting as the borderline between Victoria and New South Wales. This is a great fishing location and is considered by many to be the crown jewel of Murray cod fishing. With consistent catches of the elusive giant, Murray Cod caught in this waterway. This large lake feeds by the Murray River and is full of timber and structure making it equally as good for catching Golden and Estuary Perch. There is also an abundance of carp and redfin here to keep you busy for hours on end.
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Things to do at Lake Mulwala
Lake Mulwala is great for recreational water activities such as canoeing, fishing, skiing, and wakeboarding. However, it’s a vibrant township that offers festivals, markets, shows and beautiful scenery.
Nearby attractions include Tunzafun for the kids which has mini-golf, mini trains, trampolines and more, there are also water parks, walking trails, and the Yarrawonga Mulwala Pioneer Museum, Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort which is one of the country’s best golf courses and resorts. However one of the best things to do might be a simple trip down the Murray River on a paddle steamer boat
Fishing Lake Mulwala
At Lake Mulwala, you can target
- Murray cod
- golden perch
- silver perch
- trout cod
Lake Mulwala is one of the best Murray Cod fisheries in Victoria and indeed all of Australia. It is a great fishing location with a variety including trout, redfin, carp, silver perch and golden perch. Your prime targets at lake Mulwala will be Murray cod and golden perch. With many Cod caught between 50-60cms and many golden perch between 35-45cms. The weed can get quite thick in certain areas making it a challenge when trolling or working lures, so stay nimble and find areas with clearings and good water clarity.
Effective fishing techniques at Lake Mulwala include trolling hard-bodied lures in the deeper channels and casting lures such as Spinnerbaits, lipless crankbaits, hard-bodied lures, soft plastics and surface lures along the shallows and banks. We would highly recommend when fishing here concentrate your time and effort casting lures towards and suspending baits hard up against the visible structure and depth changes. Many of the largest fish are often caught amongst the timber. The trick here is to present a lure or bait and tempt the bigger ones out of the structure they are residing in for a reaction strike. Cod love the cover of structures such as trees and submerged logs and many of the big cod have been caught casting large surface lures in these areas.
It’s a large lake and fish can be caught all around. Keep an eye open for bait balls on your sounder which is a good signal of productive fishing grounds as does fishable weed beds and submerged timber. Early in the season fish are found in shallows at depths of 1-2 meters as the water temperature is warmer here. In the warmer months, the fish are more evenly spread in the shallows and deeper waters. It’s not common to see bigger fish actively swimming around in open water. So use the current to your advantage. Murray cod and golden perch are ambush feeders and prefer to wait for the current to bring food to them. Current flows down from the Murray River. The areas around Majors Boat Ramp is where the current is quite strong and the lake becomes quite deep as you venture closer to the wier.
Good places to target would include along the edges around Yarrawonga and Mulwala, Kyffin Reserve, and Woodlands located near the middle of the lake. Majors, The Everglades and Bundalong. All these have good trolling and casting options.
Lake Mulwala Boat Ramp
There are many good boat ramps scattered around Lake Mulwala including
- Majors boat Ramp, located off Wrights Road.
- Multiple boat ramps at Bundalong, consider using Pyke Street which has good launching options.
- Woodland’s boat ramp of Buchanans Road. Limited parking and launching can be tricky in shallow conditions.
- Hogans Road boat ramp.
- The township of Yarrawonga has several boat ramps. One at the yacht club off River Road. and another located off Bank Street next to the water slide.
- The township of Mulwala also has a few including near the Water Ski Club, another near the water slide near the steam train off Melbourne Street and finally a ramp opposite Lakeside Caravan Park off Corowa Road.
When boating and kayaking on Lake Mulwala be mindful of the wind. This lake is open and exposed and the swell/waves can get up to a meter and really catch you by surprise so always be prepared and check weather forecasts before fishing. On windy days you could consider fishing on the Murray River below the weir wall or the near Bundelong which are often sheltered from the wind.
Watch our detailed video guide on our top 10 redfin lures below
Spring is the best time of year for targeting golden perch ( yellow belly ) and cod. They can be caught at any time of the day but often the last 2 hours of daylight can be the best. Trout are more active in the colder months and redfin ( perch ) are more active in the warmer months. Again you can catch all these different species during any part of the day, though some fish will be more active at Dawn and Dusk.
Best fishing lures at Lake Mulwala
If you are targeting yellow belly then some great lure choices would include lip-less crank-baits such as Jackall TN series, stump jumpers which too can be cast or trolled, vibes, and spinnerbaits such as bassman spinners. If you’re targeting a large Murray cod then you’ll be rigging up with large spinnerbaits, diving hard body lures, large swimbaits, large surface lures, and large soft plastics in natural colours. There are some weird and wonderful surface lures and swimbaits new to the market so get creative and mix up your retrieval technique.
There is also a wide range of soft plastics & lures. Click here to see our best lures and plastics when targeting Redfin.
- Large soft swimbaits
- Wake baits
- Large surface lures
- stump jumpers
- Bassman DT spinnerbait
- Daiwa Duckfin live shad
- Koolabung code walker
- Savage Gear 3D snake
- Bassman Biggen spinnerbait
- Icon Carnage spinnerbaits
- Jackall TN50 and TN60
- Daiwa Bait Junkie 2.5 inch grub
- Gulp 3-inch minnow
- Zman 2.5 inch grub
- Daiwa Bait Junkie paddle tail minnow
- Jackall TN50
- Zerek fish trap
- Jackall transams
- Samaki vibelicious
Recommended baits Lake Mulwala
When bait fishing good options include
- Scrub worms
- bardi grubs
- live minnow
Targeting Murray Cod at Lake Mulwala
Murray Cod is Australia’s largest freshwater fish that grows to impressive sizes. Cod are ambush predators that love the cover of structure so make sure you concentrate your efforts on any visible structure including logs and submerged trees. They will also seek shelter in deeper holes and rock ledges. Cod are most active in low light conditions such as sunrise and sundown. A medium to heavy bait caster rod is ideal when targeting cod. This might be a stiff 6-foot rods in 6-10 kilo class matched with a suitable size bait caster reel spooled with 20lb to 30lb braid and 30lb to 40lb leader. Good lure options for Murray Cod include hard body lures, surface lures, spinnerbaits, swimbaits, shads, lipless crankbaits, paddle tail and curtail soft plastics. These should be worked slowly or tolled from your boat or kayak if access is permitted. There are some amazing surface lures on the market these days including imitation mice, frogs, ducks, and snakes with realistic action that are fun to target cod with. Bait anglers can target Murray cod with live yabbies and worms.
Targeting Yellowbelly at Lake Mulwala
Yellow belly AKA Golden Perch is a beautiful freshwater fish found in this system. With a rich food source available the yellowbelly here grow too thick and plump sizes. Good lure choices include curl tail soft plastics with the zman 2.5-inch grubz and Gulp 3-inch grub minnow both in black are standout choices. Soft vibes such as the Zerek fish trap, Jackall transams and Samaki vibelicious are great options. lip-less crank-baits such as Jackall TN50 and TN60 continue to be very popular so do blades such as the eco gear ZX40 with stinger hooks. Other favourites are the reliable stump jumpers, spinnerbaits, bassman spinners, large grub style soft plastics in dark colours.
Soft plastics are worked best on a 1/8 or 1/4 jig head slow-rolled along any structure. This works particularly well when tying your boat or kayak up against trees and working the soft plastic slowly up against the tree and adding some noise to the action by tapping the butt of your rod or by hitting the jig head into the timber. This brings out the predatory nature of the yellowbelly. Take advantage of down scan and side scan technologies on your sounder and spend some time moving between the structure to find the fish. Other lures to can be worked amongst the timber but in general work really well in open water being slow-rolled or trolled. When it comes to rod selection we generally use a light spin rod around 7 foot in length in 1-4, 2-4 or 3-5 kilo class paired with a 1000, 2000 or 2500 size reel. Spooled with 8-12 pound braid and an equivalent fluorocarbon leader. Baitcaster rods and reels are a very popular choice when targeting yellowbelly. Good options include a 3-5 or 4-6 bait caster with a 2000 bait caster reel. When bait fishing a 7 foot light rod paired with a 3000 size reel. Good bait rigs would include a paternoster rig with a small sinker at the bottom or a running sinker rig with scrub worms or yabbies.
Targeting Redfin at Lake Mulwala
We recommend targeting redfin with a light spin outfit. This will make the experience more enjoyable and improve your catch rates. A 1-3 or 2-4 kilo fishing rod coupled with a 2000, 2500 or 3000 reel spooled with 4-8-pound braid and equivalent fluorocarbon leader should be perfect. Redfin respond really well to lures and soft plastics so do check our guide on the best lures for catching Redfin When using soft plastics, we highly recommend curl tails, minnow imitations, and paddle tails in both natural and bright colours. Rigged with a jig head that’s 1/8 through to 1/20 in weight. The most effective way to use these is to cast towards visible structure and slow roll the soft plastic with lifts and pauses for the retrieve.
Shallow diving hard body lures, blades and vibes are also very effective in this system. So are traditional spinners and Tassie devils in bright colours. Metal spoons also play a role allowing you to cast great distances and targeting the bigger size reddies. Just remember they are quite heavy and very prone to snags in small inland systems like this one.
Targeting Trout at Lake Mulwala
We would highly recommend that you read our detailed guide on how to catch trout which details our favourite lures, baits and techniques. You can follow trout stocking timelines by reading the Victorian trout stocking guide as part of the target 1 million by 2020 and 10 million by 2022 initiatives. When targeting trout with lures we recommend using shallow diving hard body minnows, metal spoons, spinners, Tassie devils and soft plastics which are also very effective on trout. If your bait fishing, then Mudeye, scrub worms, power bait, yabbies and minnows suspended from a float or a running sinker rig are great options when targeting trout at this location. Trout are more active in cold conditions with most catches on first and last light of the day.
We recommend targeting trout with a 1-3 or 2-4 kilo fishing rod coupled with a 1000, 2000, or 2500 reel spooled with 4-8-pound braid and equivalent fluorocarbon leader. If there are larger trophy size trout around then you can go heavier moving up the scale to a 3-5 kilo class spin rod spooled with a fine 8-12-pound braid and equivalent fluorocarbon leader.
We conducted a test to see which would perform better for stocked trout powerbait or lures. Watch the video below to find out the results which were interesting.
Targeting Carp at Lake Mulwala
There is a large volume of carp in local lakes however they are fun to catch and you can learn more about catching carp have a read our detailed guide to carp fishing around Victoria. When targeting carp standard baits such as corn, bread, and maggots work great for carp here. Using a simple running sinker rig with a pea-size sinker works great in this area. So, do suspend baits using a float. We have also fished well using unweighted baits. You can also target carp with hard body lures and soft plastics. This is a difficult technique that generally requires sight casting. This means spotting a nearby carp and casting right in there and working the lure of plastic slowly hoping they will strike. It’s tough but very rewarding when you catch a carp using this method. Most however will stick to targeting them with bait.
For rod selection, a 3-5 kilo rod coupled with a 4000 size reel is very suitable. You could even fish a little heavier with rods designed for snapper that are generally 4-7 kilo 7 foot in length. For fun, I have caught some monster size carp using a 2-4 kilo rod and 6-pound braid. But I am prepared to lose some good fish in the process. We like to target carp on sundown, particularly in the warmer months. This is often when you see carp swimming along the edges or jumping out of the water around September-November which is their spawning season. European carp must not be returned to the water. Always carry your Victorian fishing license.
A simple yet effective fishing rig here is to thread a small running sinker through the mainline shown in blue, which is usually around 8 pounds. Then tie a medium swivel to the end allowing the sinker to run up the mainline freely. Then tie on the other end of the swivel 50cm of 8-pound fluorocarbon leader (the leader is shown in grey ). Finished with a hook. I generally use a size 6 bait keeper hook or size 10 long shank which is perfect for corn kernels or scrub worms, however, you can also use small treble style hooks which is a better setup if you use bread.
If you getting snagged up then you can also use a float rig. Attach a quill or bubble float to your mainline. Thread the line through and adjust the length using a size 6 bait keeper hook or size 10 long shank to keep your bait suspended at a good depth. Ideally cast down breeze which will stop the float from coming back to you. If you’re not getting bites then adjust the line depth and If necessary add a splint shot to add weight.
Always carry your Victorian/NSW fishing license, FishingMad encourage ‘catch & release’ of all native species to help maintain the water quality within the lake however European Carp must not be returned.Images of fish supplied VFA and DEPI. All other images and videos shown on the Lake Mulwala Fishing Guide page are Fishing Mad originals.