Finally the wait is over and the Murray cod season is upon us. If they continue to bite as well as they have over the past few weeks, we should be in for a cracking season-opener.
For many of us this will mean dusting off gear that has been gathering dust in the shed for the past few months. It does pay to give your gear a thorough check to ensure it’s still as smooth as it was last season.
It’s a good idea to get reels serviced about once a year, especially if you’ve paid good money for them. In the Wagga Wagga area, Matt Kanck at Tackleworld is an absolute guru at servicing reels.
Murray cod and golden perch are very active at this time of year and casting spinnerbaits or trolling hardbodies will produce fish.
Early starts and late finishes are the key to fishing the Murrumbidgee at the moment. You need get on the water before first light to give yourself the best chance of luring a few fish.
The middle of the day when the sun is high has been very quiet, so save your energy and get back into them in the afternoon as the temperature starts to drop.
Start with natural colours like the AC Invader Forbes special, my favourite hardbody for the Murrumbidgee. Spinnerbaits with pink, red or purple will always work at this time of year.
Old Man Creek has turned into golden perch central. This is a very reliable golden perch fishery but you need to downsize your offerings to get the fish. Low-profile spinnerbaits and 40mm to 70mm hardbodies are the key.
There have been some huge fish caught at Eucumbene over the past month. The annual Trout Festival was a great success, with some cracking fish caught over the week.
The big browns are still coming right into the shallows early in the morning and late in the afternoon but these big guys are pretty cunning and you need quite a bit of finesse to fool one.
Really lightly weighted soft plastics have been most effective. Black and brown nymphs have also worked well.
Remember that your presentation has to be very subtle if the water is calm but if there is a good ripple on the surface you can generally afford to be clumsier with your cast.
With lure and fly perspective I would focus all my efforts on early mornings and late afternoons along the grassy shallows of wind-blown banks. This can be done either from a boat or from shore, just remember to position either yourself or the boat well away from where you’re casting.
Soft plastics or suspending lures will be the lures to cast. Beadhead Nymphs, Stick Caddis and midge pupa are the flies but try a Woolly Bugger early and late in the shallows to see if you can get onto a nice brown.
Trolling has been a bit hit-and-miss.
The key is getting right in the shallows before the sun gets high. This is where the fish will be but once that sun gets working, you will need to break out the lead-core line, downriggers or something that will get your lures down a little deeper.
Start with darker lures early in the morning and as the sun gets higher, try some yellow wing patterns or brighter minnows.
Bait fishing has been consistently good.
PowerBait in a variety of colours will get rainbows on the steeper banks in deeper water during the day; move to the shallower areas of an evening.
If you can get your hands on some mudeyes you will get some good browns.
Get onto the streams early this month, rather than later. During school holidays the water will start to get a little crowded.
There will definitely be some dry fly action through December so make sure you take a variety of flies and fish to the conditions.
Eucumbene can be tough to predict at this time of year. You need to be flexible and have a variety of techniques up your sleeve.
If you start on the troll and nothing produces, change things. Head to shore and go for a walk with a fly rod or a soft plastic or throw out a lead-line outfit or get the downrigger working and see what technique is going to produce.
You will find fish if you have enough cards up your sleeve.Reads: 1814