Its funny when I go shopping with the wife and kids in late November and all the Christmas decorations are out, the wife is nattering about presents for this person and that, and the kids are picking up all the toys, pulling those damn cords and pushing those bloody buttons – my mind tends to wander far away, to a December filled with green water and green fish – Murray cod.
She knows me pretty well and can usually tell: “Are you listening to me, Glen? You’re thinking about that bloody trip cod fishing next month, aren’t you?”
Thinking about it? I was just there, honey, rod doubled over and braid pouring off the reel. With a shake of her head and a look of disdain, we move on.
With December here and cod season open, we are ready to get stuck in.
Wyangala will be popular as the lake has a good population of Murray cod; most are small with the average size less than the new legal 60cm so make sure they get returned good and healthy.
Better quality fish are harder to come by but will come to those who fish for them. By this I mean targeting the best structure, using a quality depth sounder and the knowledge of how to get the best out of it is invaluable.
Dusk, dawn and the wee hours of the night are prime time for bigger fish so keep this in mind.
Large lures can also assist with capture rates of bigger fish although the smaller ones can be quite greedy.
Burrendong does not yet have the numbers of cod that Wyangala has, although with every year that goes past and increased stocking rates, the numbers of cod being caught is on the increase.
Burrendong still produces the odd big fish every season. Truth be known, I don’t think too many people fish for them.
The upper Macquarie River holds a population of Murray cod for those willing to do the map reading and footslogging. Casting surface lures, spinnerbaits and hard bodies at structure is a great way to target these fish
The deeper pools usually associated with bends in the river are good places to start.
Returning fish to the water healthy after capture is of utmost importance.
The work these fish do on the population of introduced species such as carp and redfin is much underestimated, I believe.
With every year that goes past I am hearing more and more reports of the cod being caught on lures below Forbes on the Lachlan River, I have had a few sorties out there now and have yet to land a fish, but have been impressed with the health of the river and its clarity. Watch this space, I don’t think I am too far off.
Trout dams in the district traditionally fish very well in December, especially if you fish fly after dark. Mudeyes, beetles and gudgeon, tend to be the mainstay of the trout diet so look to fish with these patterns.
If fly fishing is not your thing, don’t be disheartened. A bubble float rig and a trailing fly, either cast and let drift or cast and retrieved, can be quite productive at night.
Lake Lyell, Oberon Dam, and Thompsons Creek Dam are all great impoundments for these tactics.
Bass in Lake Lyell are more regular captures these days, especially in the warmer months, so don’t be surprised if one hops on the end of your line this Summer while fishing there.
I may have overdone the cod fishing this month, my apologies for that, it’s been a long wait and I’ve got the itch bad!Reads: 2016