Murray Cod Time Again
  |  First Published: December 2010

Christmas is nearly here and the fishing around and along the Yarra has been fantastic.

So for those of you going inland this year for holidays, my predication is for great fishing conditions, clear water and more fish than we have seen over recent years.

Hot spots over November have been Lilydale Lake, Sugar Loaf, Warburton and Woori Yallock for trout, redfin and the occasional yellow belly.

With cod season now open it is time to re-look at our tackle boxes and see if we need to replenish any necessities such as treble hooks, leader material, split rings and so on. Murray cod strike with a lot of force so you need to be prepared. Also be aware that cod will often nudge or bump the lure out of their area as they are so territorial, when this happens, do not strike, wait for the cod to take the lure and then move the rod swiftly to set the hook/lure.

With good rains this year the cod will have moved into some deeper pools so expect to find them in different areas to previously. There will also be areas that previously not covered by water, including new tree roots and stumps. These are sure to have new ‘occupants’ so look out for these and target them.

An ideal lure for cod is a spinnerbait because you can get it to any depth, you can retrieve it slower than any other lure which allows it to stay in the strike zone longer, and the chances of them snagging up are minimal because they travel through the water hook up as you retrieve them.

As cod are a lazy fish, you will need to cast into their zone time and time again to attract their interest and get them excited. I generally have about 10-12 casts at the one zone. Also ensure that you use the water current to your advantage to drift the lure closer into the structure.

Target areas to look for are the rock bars extending into the water. The reason for this is the rock warms in the sun and then heats the surrounding water, making the cod more active.

Now that we are having warmer evenings, surface lures are a great way to target the cod and by far one of the most exciting ways for the angler. Surface lures work better when the water is still and flat like glass, using lures such as, Halco Nightwalkers or Arbocast Jitterbugs. Cast them to likely areas preferably with timber and slowly retrieve them so the lure walks on the surface, this creates a ‘V’ wake on the water and the cod will zone in on the target.

Often cod won’t take the lure but the explosion from a big cod is exciting and something you don’t forget. The best times are just before sunrise or as the sun is setting and leading into dark. You will often hear cod taking bugs and the like off the surface with a ‘boof’ sound.

Murray Cod mature at about 4-5 years of age or 50-60cm, so it is important to release any under-size fish for our future stocks.

Trout Scene

Lilydale Lake is starting to fire up with the overcast days being the most productive. Powerbait has taken a lot of the fish with the artificial maggots being the best. Live bait such as red worms and maggots fished with a feeder rig are also having good success.

Customer Troy has fished the area around Worri Yallock and reports spotting some nice trout with his polarized sunnies. He has mainly caught them on bladed spinner lures with the bronze blade best. Keep in mind when targeting fish in clear water that a silver blade can at times reflect too much light and spook the fish.

Fly fishers are doing well on patterns such as Elk Hair Caddis, Red Tag, Royal Humpy and Irresistibles. If you are fishing larger areas of open water use wet flies such as, Craigs Nightime, Black and Red Woolly Buggers. The best method is to strip the line back fast in 6’’ strips, this will imitate a fleeing baitfish.

Redfin are being caught at Warrandyte, the best method has been to drift worm baits into the rapids and the fish are striking as the bait drifts into the pool below. Redfin absolutely love soft plastics so if you can use the same tactics using a small plastic on a light jig head.

Our Dandenong team member, coarse fishing specialist, Andy Teale has been spending a few nights after work lately fishing Lower Homestead Road and Reserve Road, Wonga Park for roach and carp in the Yarra. He said the main key is to berley hard now that the weather has warmed up to draw the fish into your target area.

He has used a combination of float and feeder fishing, choosing baits such as, maggots and scrubworms. The average fish has been 4kg with roach to 500g.

The local kids have also been targeting Ringwood Lake recently in the late afternoon, bagging a few eels on scrubworms while throwing Prawn Stimulate berley in the area seems to provide a bit of magic and good results.

Had some success? Send me the details via email at --e-mail address hidden-- or --e-mail address hidden-- And include the angler, species, where caught (you don’t need to give me all your secrets) and what bait, lure or flies you used.

For up to date Yarra Valley fishing information contact the boys at Compleat Angler in Ringwood (92 Maroondah Hwy) on 03 9870 7792 or Dandenong (29 Langhorne St) on 03 9794 9397, better still drop in to either of our stores, we’re open 7 days a week.

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