Australia, Mildura Masters

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Regular member
Nov 29, 2002
Murray Cup 21st Oct. & Mildura Masters 22nd- 23rd Oct.
Organised by the Australian Federation of Coarse Anglers.

The excitement of going match fishing after nearly a year away from the sport was so great that I found myself dreaming of this event from my cosy Queensland Brisbane Suburb months in advance.

My tackle was left feeling very sorry for itself, after being left in the corner of the garage in its sterile state for the past 11 months it had taken over 3 months and 12,000 miles over oceans to get its new Australian home, only to left in the corner of the garage! The thought of match fishing again with like minded anglers had me tying hook lengths 4 weeks before the match!

Melbourne is a 2.5 hour flight from Brisbane and it took another 6 hours of driving to the medium sized town of Mildura which hosted the 3 day festival. Mildura is a beautiful river town that is between Melbourne and Adelaide , the river boarders New South Wales and Victoria and boast some great winerys (as Keith Thomas the Australian Federation Secretary was keen to explore from the local supermarket) and not to forget the fantastic fruit farms, you could smell the fresh ripe oranges from 1 mile away and the VB[:D].

The Murrey is a huge river and it reminded me of the Shannon around the Portumna region of Lough Derg Ireland except with less flow, it was reed lined with good depths and tourists enjoying days on the river but of course it was 12,000 miles away from sleepy Portumna!
27 Anglers turned up for the 3 day festival and some big weights where on the cards. The stamp of anglers was something to be admired, ex sponsored UK club anglers and International anglers who have represented their country is not to be ignored, not to mentioned they had perfected the Australian Course fishing methods down to a fine art. I was going on an educational journey to learn what I could and enjoy the company of like minded anglers.

One thing I quickly took on board from World Championship angler Glen Nichols was that fish in Australia dont have a taste for anything meaty or with fishmeal in it, it was going to be a corn and maggot match (In Australia you cant just nip down to the nearest tackle shop and order a gallon of maggots, you have to blow your own!) Thanks Glen for providing some quality red and white maggots.

The 3 day series was set up as follows :
Day 1 The Murray Cup was on the river (this was to get some feed into the pegs ready for the 2 day masters)
Day 2 & 3 was to be fished in two sections, one on the Billabong (lake) and one on the River.
Due to the Billabong access, it was now not possible to fish this venue, so both day 2 & 3 got moved to the river.

Allan Wood did a good job in pegging the match to accommodate up to 30 odd anglers at such short notice.

Day 1. Murrey cup.

I drew A Section peg 8 on the river, I was warned it was going to be difficult first day as it takes a few days for the fish to find and respond to the bait. Most pegs on A Section had a marginal shelf (only about 3 ft deep) for about 5 meters up to weed that spread another 4 meters then it slopped off to around 7/8/9 ft at 10m. This is the area I wanted to fish (just along the far side of the good depth shelf where I had some weed bed feature.) There was some wind and a little flow so I opted for a 3gram float on 0.17 Preston Power line straight through to a size 14 Animal barbless hook, bulk of my shot was down and a trimmed the rig with a couple of number 10 droppers on the last 12 inches which I could adjust if the river started pulling.
I was told the fish are large here can reach 20lb + , and I didnt want to take any risk of fishing the long pole that was not up to the job of bullying large fish away from the snags. So the decision was made to fish the Maver H15 10m margin pole I had Maver Dual Core 12-20 in the top two, I set up a feeder rod as good option to try and find the fish.
My plan of attack was to put 6 orange sized ground bait balls laced with corn, and go out on the feeder while the pole line had time to settle for 30mins. The feeder did not produce any bites so I went out on the 10m pole line and had a nice carp of around 3lb, things where looking up, or so I thought! The day was very slow and I ended with 4kg for 4 fish for 4 bites! 28.180kg won the match on the end peg 16 by Terry Whelan an excellent angler from Rochdale.
International Angler John Foxhall (who incidentally had a bad day too with 2.48kg) informed me that tomorrow would be a better day and there would be much more fish in the pegs the following day, so I went to bed feeling optimistic about drawing a good peg the following day and having a few more fish.!

Day 2. Mildura Masters.

I drew B11, next to Glen Nichols my travelling mate, at least I didnt have to put up with Glen ringing me every 10mins to say how you doing? Now he just sat next to me shouting across to tell me the odd joke and that his peg is full of native fish (silver perch, which incidentally did not count on the weigh in.!)
The pegs did not look good, Glens peg looked almost unfishable with a weed in front of him so it was a case of getting the weed cutters out and get your feet wet! My peg was not much better we both had patchy weed going out to 20metres! , but I decided to fish pretty much the same as the previous day however on plumbing I only found 5 ft at 10m! that was not a good sign. I ended with 7 fish for just short of 7kg, not a great day. Glen had 4 fish and went for a walk for an hour! Keith Thomas 2 pegs down seemed to be bagging but on arrival of the scales it tipped to only 21.020kg as he lost a few fish and it was not enough for a place. 88Kg won the day from B2 by Ralph Czichon and closely followed by John (Foxy) Foxall with 67.160kg from A16. Match organiser Alan Wood landed the largest fish of the match a massive 15kg Carp (Thats over 30lb !!) on the pole from A section, a fantastic day for Alan!

Day 3. Mildura Masters.

I drew peg A 15, a good peg that produced fish the previous day and was in between 2nd and 3rd place on the match the previous day.
Glen drew peg A8 (my day 1 peg), at least he had a good gap to fish in amongst the weed.

I was on a mission, this time I set up the box and platform in the water and I was armed with a pile of groundbait and feed. I beefed up tackle 0.20 main to 0.17 Powerline h/length to animal 12 on a 3gm float (Although everyone around me was fishing 4lb/6lb braid as a hook length, I thought they were nuts at 1st but then I found the benefit after a few pigtailed mono hooklengths after catch a few lumps and being dragged through the weeds a couple of times.!)
At 10m I found about 8/9ft of water and 1st put in I balled in 6 balls and sat patient for about 5 mins and the float shot under for a nice carp to around 2kg. This continued for about 1.5 hours, I was feeding in between catching and before the next put in, my swim was alive and thought I was in for a winner. But shortly after 1.5 hours something happened in my swim and it died! I continued to catch 3 fish an hour for some time, most around the 2kg mark but I had some big 5kg lumps in the net too. I ended the 6 hour match with 33kg and Glen on A8 had 45 fish for around 50kg. There was that many fish caught that even Glen with over 50kg /100lb of fish came 6th in his section! Alan Wood had another storming day with a massive 155kg bag of carp! Thats truly a massive weight and he smashed Glens previous match record of 140kg.

Overall Alan Wood match organiser won the Masters, and everyone can say that he deserved it with catching the biggest fish and that massive weight.

I had a fantastic time and met some great people and learned a great deal, so all was not lost in the end. I look forward to next time, maybe the National Championships , who knows I could be up there with others next time. Mal.
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Staff member
Site Supporter
Sep 18, 2001
Nice report Mal,
Glad to see you've had a chance to dust off your kit.
Keep us up to date with your adventures.[;)]

Individual Champion 2005 [:D]


Regular member
Aug 11, 2001
Mal great read and nice to hear from you after all this time.[:D]

100lb+ JINX CLUB MEMBER And Spoiling it 4WALES now


Feb 27, 2003
Brilliant read [8D] Brilliant looking place [;)]

Mind you. Water + Australia = Crocodiles/alligators and other monsters doesn't it? Are there non in that river, cos I see you're stall is set in the water? I'd have bricked myself if my swim suddenly died [:I]


Matt [:)]


Site Supporter
Dec 3, 2002
superb report and god that is one big fish! nice one!!!!!

Sensas JP


Regular member
Site Supporter
Apr 23, 2002
Great report Mal, well done by the way.

Malc looks like a new venue for the Jinx series next year [:D]


Red Leader
Staff member
Site Supporter
Aug 8, 2001
Nice one Malc, even more so a 2.5hr flight and 6 hour drive and to think that 'some' people can't venture further than the Willows [;)]

Keep us uptodate as you're now our official 'Reporter Down under' [:D]
(Check the Homepage: [;)])


The Maggotdrowning Shop


New member
Oct 29, 2005
Hi Mal

great report on what was a great event, this year was my second 'Mildura'and I have to say my first experience of fishing 'The Big River' was very similar to yours. Just wait 'till next year when you know what to expect!!!

Top effort mate flying down from Brizvegas, now if only we could talk the guys from Perth into flying over......

Regards Peter (Adelaide Coarse Anglers)

I'd rather be fishing !
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