Use lures for bigger cod
  |  First Published: December 2007

The long awaited opening of the 2007/08 Murray cod season has been and gone. From all reports, it has been successful for some, but not so for others. This can be attributed to two things: the new size limits imposed in NSW and your chosen location.

Many anglers who fished in popular locations along the Murray complained of catching many small fish but nothing of legal size. Some disappointed anglers were vowing to fish only in Victorian waters in future, because the 50cm size limit has been retained. There is no guarantee, of course, that this will not soon change also.

Personally, I believe that no matter where you fish there are still plenty of big fish available. It has more to do with the way you fish. Sitting in the boat or on the bank all day using bait will generally attract the smaller fish, whereas using lures may not get you as many fish, but will certainly see the size of the fish that you catch improve. With the current cost of bardi grubs, it will also save you money!

My wife and I spent a week fishing the Murrumbidgee River where we caught many cod between 56-80cm, along with some good-sized yellowbelly (40-48cm). Outlaw spinnerbaits took the majority of fish, along with StumpJumpers and Ferral Cats.

In the Seymour area, Angela Bailey-Collins from Templestowe, with her husband and son, caught an 11kg cod, a 3kg cod and five redfin. These fish were all taken on lures in the Goulburn River between Seymour and Mitchelton Winery. This area should continue to produce quality fish, so give it a try. It’s not much more than an hour’s drive from Melbourne. It is also situated in one of the state’s premier wine growing areas, so if you don’t get a fish at least you can take something home!

Many anglers have fished further downstream around Toolamba and Undera, with generally poor results. There are plenty of fish, but again not too many of legal size. This section of the river is particularly productive, so it should not be overlooked later in the season. It is a good spot for anglers who don’t have a boat, or who can’t be bothered taking one.

There are also still plenty of trout being caught in the Goulburn River around Alexandra and Thornton. Bait has been the best method, especially maggots used in conjunction with a berley cage. Scrubworms drifted downstream are good, too. Most of these trout are between 350-700g, with some larger fish being taken on lures. Again, the lure fishers have to work a little harder for their fish.

As always if you have any reports or photos you would like to email me, or even if you just want some information, I am only too happy to hear from you.

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