It’s time to chase those monster Murray cod and what better place than Blowering Dam to do it?
As the first frosts blanket the valleys, catches of big cod become more regular.
Most knowledgeable cod anglers concentrate most of their efforts from May until the close of the season in September.
This is not to say that you won’t land monster cod at any other time, it just seems that catches are more prevalent at this time of year.
The full moon draws many cod anglers out to troll the dam wall and other deep rock ledges at Blowering but don’t be afraid to fish when there is no moon. The action is generally as good as the full moon and you won’t have another 100 boats to contend with.
When fishing with no moon you will have to adapt to the lack of available light. Given time, your eyes will adjust and then it is a matter of keeping the use of head lamps and torches to a minimum so as to not ruin your night vision.
Most anglers will be trolling along rock walls and the dam wall itself and this works well for small fish but at night Murray cod feel much more at ease to venture right up into the shallows in search of a good feed. And this is where I concentrate my efforts at night.
The fish up in the shallows are much easier to catch because they are up there feeding and it much easier to get a response from them.
When targeting these fish in the shallows, try casting lures like large spinnerbaits, shaker blades like Chatterbaits, lipless crankbaits and shallow-running hardbodies.
Trolling the shallows with these same lures is also worth a shot but for best results I strongly recommend casting.
Not too many months go by these days without my mention of redfin techniques and catch rates at Blowering.
Reports continue of sensational redfin fishing and the action should only get better as they form larger and larger pre-spawn schools.
Fishing in deep water with jigs, blades and plastics or bobbing with juicy worms and yabbies will result in lots of redfin.
If you find you are catching only smallish fish you can move on in search of bigger ones but it has been my experience that if you are landing lots of small fish there are almost guaranteed to be some big predatory fish nearby.
I have caught many Murray cod and monster redfin right in the middle of a hot small redfin bite so sometimes it pays to stay and persist.
The creeks in the district continue to fish extremely well. Those that were most drought-affected have come back the strongest, with the small fish populations having massive amounts of food continuously washed to them and not much competition for it so they have been gorging themselves silly and are becoming massive.
I recently had a trip to one of my favourite creeks that I hadn’t fished for a couple of seasons and was blown away by the experience.
In a creek that you could jump over for most of its length I landed four fish well over 50cm and around 1.8kg. I had my chances with at least this many again and was even busted off by a fish that would have been up around 2.5kg.
Catching one fish over 50cm in a creek like that is normally a once in a lifetime experience but landing four in a day is just crazy.
Regular rain has meant heaps of food flowing into the creeks and that trout have had the right conditions to spawn over the past couple seasons, meaning there is now a good population of monster fish and a massive population of small fish.
This makes for exciting fishing now and indicates a very bright future.
If you haven’t done so for a while I strongly recommend you check out that small creek you used to fish years ago – the drought has well and truly broken and with constant flowing water you just may be surprised at what is in there and just how big it is.
This consistent fish producer has been fishing sensationally well when in low flow but picking the flow has been difficult because it has been going up and down and flooding all over the place.
When it has been low it has been a delight for fly fishos and lure chuckers but when it is high it can be difficult and most anglers avoid it. It is much harder to fish in high flow and you won’t land as many but fish can still be caught.
Try fishing the slowest sections you can find and along the edges of the river and any back eddies. These places are where most of the fish sit in high flow.
Retrieving lures and flies along these areas will certainly tempt a fish or two and don’t be afraid to retrieve back upstream in the high flows because this gives the fish more time to catch up, look at and decide if it wants to eat your offering.
This goes against the normal rule of casting upstream, I know, but in high flow this has worked a treat for me for years.Reads: 1387