Boney bream to spark cod season
  |  First Published: August 2012

Winter is still here and the aspirations of many keen anglers seemed dashed for yet another season. As tough as it has been, some quality cod have turned up at several locations along both the Murray and Edward rivers.

Robinvale however, remains a silent fishery with few confirmed captures of Murray cod the entire season. The big cod drum that rumbled so loud along its waters for several years gone has fallen very silent. Left in its wake is a fishery with many questions and very few answers.

With high flows along its course this season, perhaps some big fish have made their way back upstream to take up residence in these waters. The truth of this I guess only time will tell.

On the flip side good numbers of solid golden perch continue to bite freely in the pool water on a variety of baits, shrimp being the most successful. Scrub worms provide a handy back up bait as do small yabbies.

Carp continue to bite freely even though the water temperature has dropped almost to single figures. Murray crays continue to be a non event along much of the Murray with few anglers finding joy in areas that once produced well. With a good string of frosts, these spiny crustaceans should be on the move.

Boney bream have started dying in the cold water; it’s a winter event that’s played out as soon as the water drops below a certain temperature. These fish are open to a fungal infection that lays waste the weak, sick or injured of their kind. This creates opportunity for all manner of beast not least of all pelicans and riverside whistling kites.

It is also another sign that the best of winter cod fishing is about to start as the true monsters trickle out of the transition period and adjust to the cool waters, and once more begin to feed.

It’s time to cast and those areas that have produced good cod during the warmer months on the troll will be places to target as the local cod population head for the shallows. If the rivers continue to drop and clear, we should see some explosive shallow water green fish action to finish off the season. Casting is the best way to catch these river giants; it provides an angling high that has few equals.

The Kerang Lakes have proved quite the surprise these past few seasons opening up some extra angling opportunities. Cow Swamp has been notable for a range of fish that include redfin, golden perch and cod. Winter is a great time to target thumping redfin in these lakes and all you need to do is slow things down a little and fish the shallow fringes and weed beds.

Plastics work fine and of recent times we have had great success using the small Squidgy Bugs on a light jig head. The small tail on these plastics means it works at a million miles an hour even on a slow lift-drop retrieve.

Seems there is still plenty of action around for those who like to chase the winter run of fishes that are for the most part generally of better size. With the Murray almost down to normal levels and the clarity very good we are no doubt going to see some extra big cod caught from now until the close of the season. As for the Robinvale cod we will just have to wait and see what the cold water run has to offer.

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