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Fishing on the Murray River: Tips For Success

8 Feb 2024

Fishing on the Murray River: Tips For Success

Looking for the best place to catch a big fish on the legendary Murray? You’ve come to the right spot for the inside word and some local knowledge on how to ‘fish’ for success during your next Murray region holiday.

Nestled in the heart of Australia, the Murray River is a haven for fishing enthusiasts seeking an angling experience like no other. Our iconic river, and her surrounding wetlands and tributaries, offer a tapestry of opportunities for both seasoned anglers and novices alike.

The Murray is not just a watercourse; it’s a dynamic ecosystem teeming with a variety of freshwater species. From the elusive and aptly named Murray cod, to the acrobatic golden perch, each cast holds the promise of a thrilling catch.

Let us take you on a fishing journey along the banks of the mighty Murray - along with some important must-visit off-shoots - including some hidden treasures to enjoy across our region for when those fish aren’t biting.

Dreamtime Murray Cod

Dreamtime stories tell of Aboriginal ancestor Ngurunderi creating the Murray River and its landscape by chasing the Murray Cod (Ponde) towards the Murray mouth. As Ponde swam to escape Ngurunderi’s spear, the river bends and turns were created by the sweep of his tail before finally arriving at Lake Alexandrina in South Australia. Ponde features regularly in Aboriginal mythology and in the artwork of many local Indigenous artists.

Early settlers were impressed by the size and abundance of the Murray cod and it remains a prized catch today, along with golden perch (yellow belly), trout, catfish and freshwater crays.

It’s important to remember that the Murray is under NSW jurisdiction, so you’ll need a NSW fishing licence to fish legally. You can easily pick up a licence from local stores and service stations or online at the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries.

The Best Places to Fish on the Murray

Every sweeping bend along the Murray River offers potential to be your lucky fishing hole - a place to drop in a line with family and friends that’s close to your caravan park, chosen camping spot or just an easy drive from home. However, there are some renowned fishing locations that you might want to visit while in the area, including:

  • Just below Yarrawonga Mulwala is famed for Australia’s largest natural surviving population of trout cod
  • Mungabareena and Heywood’s Bridge in Albury Wodonga are home to some of the largest river dwelling trout in the country
  • Kings Billabong near Mildura is well-known as the fish nursery, and a must on your itinerary.

Of course, if you ask the locals anywhere along the Murray, they might be willing to share their favourite fishing spots, and the best place to find them is at the local pub, where you’re always guaranteed a cold drink and delicious meal.

Fishing is the best way to build up an appetite and we’re lucky to enjoy a huge selection of cafes, bakeries, restaurants and pubs across the entire Murray River region. You’ll find plenty of breakfast, lunch or dinner options here.

You might even want to rest your weary head after a long day fishing and your accommodation options are endless, suiting all budgets and requirements. Many of our family-friendly caravan parks have easy access to fishing locations, where the whole family can enjoy throwing a line in.

If you’re visiting in summer (or anytime of year for that matter), it’s always a good idea to plan ahead and ensure there is safe access to your favourite fishing spots. The handy Murray River Access Guide helps you to safely navigate the river and surrounding areas and is excellent whether you're fishing, camping, boating or simply sightseeing. You can pick one up from any Visitor Information Centre along the Murray River.

What Fish is What…

If you’re new to the fishing game, it’s important to be able to identify what you’re catching and there are a few species to be wary of. Redfin or English Perch are introduced species, listed as noxious pests and should not be returned to the water. The same goes for the dreaded European Carp, which is unfortunately a common catch in the river Murray. The carp is easy to catch, is classified as a noxious species and should never be thrown back in.

It’s important to be aware of bag limits (how many you can catch and keep) and other fishing regulations along the Murray too, especially when it comes to the Murray Crayfish - the world’s second largest freshwater cray. You’ll find the delectable Murray Crayfish around the Rutherglen/Wahgunyah stretch of the Murray but be aware that overfishing of this prized species is an issue and that we all play a part when it comes to sustainable fishing in our waterways.

Find out more information about recreation fishing on the Murray River here.

If you happen to catch a big one on your next fishing expedition on the Murray River, be sure to share it with us on social media and be careful not to tell too many people where your secret spot is. The great thing about the Murray River region is that there is so much room to move and you’ll rarely have to share a river bank with fellow fishing enthusiasts.

Pack your gear, embrace the river’s rhythm, and let the Murray weave its fishing magic on you this summer!