From its start on the slopes of Australia’s highest peak Mt Kosciusko, right through to its confluence with the ocean in South Australia, the Murray River holds some of Australia’s most iconic holiday destinations. Whilst the Murray River is considered a part of New South Wales (you need a NSW fishing licence to fish it), much of the fishing is conducted via the Victorian bank. Deep, wide and at times powerful, the Murray holds a unique cultural, recreational, and ecological role within the region, and is highly regarded as a native fishery.
In recent times, the river has seen a welcomed and significant increase in the number of Murray cod, with reports of consistent catches of all sizes. Natural recruitment is strong, with a sustained and healthy population in place for generations to come.
Fishing in the Murray is greatly influenced by fluctuations in flow and water level, with boat-based fishing best during periods of stable or low flow, where waters run clearer. A boat enables access to midwater snags and the use of trolled lures, a favourite for targeting Murray cod and golden perch. Nonetheless, bank fishing remains a favoured option year-round, and is always rewarding around shoreline snags and in backwaters.
90 – 130 mm deep diving crankbaits, spinnerbaits and surface lures are all worth a cast around the deeper snags, and bait fishers will find good results on bardi grubs, scrub worms, yabbies, chicken and cheese. Golden perch and redfin are more commonly caught on smaller lures, spinnerbaits and cocktailed baits of shrimp and worms.
Vehicle access to the river is excellent in most areas. Numerous boat ramps enable on-water access throughout the river, although not all are concrete.
For Murray cod fishing in the area there’s no better base than Swan Hill. Explore its multitude of cod destinations, with excellent fishing downstream of Torrumbarry and numerous deep pools and snags. Around 20 minutes away from Swan Hill sits Pental Island, a great spot for cod fishers looking for the huge catches it has delivered in recent years.
If fishing for yellas, venture downstream of Swan Hill to intercept the largest number of active schools, although the Wakool River upstream at Stoney Crossing has a similar reputation for golden perch.
The Robinvale and Euston area is one of the most accessible camping locations along the Murray River. Weirs and locks across this section of the Murray promote a gentle flow across wider sections of river, providing fishing conditions perfect for the whole family.
From Boundary Bend through to Robinvale, fish for golden perch with shrimp and small yabbies through spring and summer - or check out Wemen for an area less frequented by ski boats and other travellers. Murray cod catches of greater than 50kg aren’t uncommon around Robinvale, especially after water level rises and cod become more active.
Big cod territory abounds in the Murray around Mildura! With its deep and wide expanse and excellent river access, it's no surprise that anglers across the state travel here to the corner of the state for boat, kayak and shore-based fishing trips. This popularity has generated sensational camping access and accommodation options in and around town, with plenty to do and explore in between wetting a line.
For well-regarded fishing spots, head to Ned's Corner and Locks 7 and 9, or travel downstream from Mildura and explore the Murray as its depth increases to an average of 5-6 metres. Wander beneath the towering red gums along the shoreline or explore stretches of the river by boat, with excellent ramps available for launching.