Victorian Estuary Specialist
Casey fishes Victorian estuaries hard and as the Patterson system is in his backyard he’s fished it at least weekly for the past four years with some great consistency on the mulloway. When he’s not hassling the local mulloway population, Casey works in the tackle trade as co-owner of the tackle business Hook Up Bait and Tackle.
Casey’s Top Tips For Mulloway
- Mulloway fishing is about time on the water. The fish are there all year round, but Casey has found that studying his fishing diary is of little use because there are few discernible trends or patterns in the data. Probably the best advice is to always look and listen for bait.
- The Patterson is a very short river system with a small catchment. There is a series of locks connecting the river to the Patterson Lakes – and these are good areas to put in some time casting lures, as is the mouth of the river itself, especially after rain. “Pinch Points” where the river narrows and water funnels through a small area are the places to concentrate your efforts on because bait hols there and you are minimising the amount of water to cover.
- Over the summer months it is normal to expect to find good numbers of school fish in in the 60-70cm size range in the system, with bigger fish turning up towards the end of February and through autumn.
- Casey fishes a lot at night and finds that areas where artificial light illuminates the water tend to attract bait and the mulloway are right behind them.
- Periods after rain when there is a little bit of colour in the water tend to encourage a more aggressive bite. Fishing a couple of hours either side of a tide change (high or low) seems to be a prime time and Casey prefers not to fish around a full moon.
- Don’t fish an area for 5 minutes and move on, it’s important to put in a good 30 minutes or so at each spot, especially when you’re land based and can’t move as freely between spots.
- If the fishing is quiet, remember that the longer you stick it out and persist, the greater the chances you’ll be there on a tide change, lunar peak or some other factor that will stir a bite.
Casey’s Mulloway Fishing Tackle
- A 4-8kg, 6’10” spin rod with a 2500 size Certate reel with 8-10lb braid and 12-15lb leader will handle most mulloway that will be encountered in this system.
Casey’s Lures For Catching Mulloway
- A 2.75″ Munroes Paddletail plastic on a 1/16-1/8oz jig head with a heavy duty hook is a great combination for mulloway fishing and can simply be slow rolled through areas where bait and fish are around.
- The Keitech Easy Shiner in the 4″ size in Sight Flash or Gold Flash Minnow rigged on a 1/8 to 1/4 oz jig head is a great option for for fishing faster water and can be worked with a series of gentle rod lifts, allowing the lure to sink to the bottom between lists.
- A 120mm Daiwa TD Minnow is a suspending hard body that’s perfect for searching. It’s best fished with a twitch-pause retrieve. This lure is hard to get these days, but good alternatives include the Megabass 110 Magnum and other suspending hard bodies in this size class. The Daiwa Presso Minnow is another good one, though slightly smaller than the other lures.
- For trolling mulloway from a small boat or kayak the Rapala 3X Minnow in Ghost White colour has accounted for a ton of quality mulloway. It’s best fished with the rod vertical and fairly close to the boat to keep the lure off the bottom.
Hook Up Bait And Tackle (03) 9758 4332
Hook Up Bait And Tackle is a long standing and well respected tackle store based in Ferntree Gully, Victoria and only a stones throw from the Patterson River Mulloway population. Casey is a partner in the business, which prides itself on delivering pro-tackle for a range of species including mulloway, Murray cod and plenty more! Go in and meet Casey and get a few extra tips for Melbourne mulloway!