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Cod season ends with a whimper
  |  First Published: September 2012



Big rains across most of the state all but washed away the final few weeks of the Murray cod season.

With the Murray River running high to the point of spilling its banks, the dirty flows left those keen to cast or troll disappointed. Nature cares little for plans and those that held off for that end-of-season trip missed the boat.

Just goes to show that opportunities are there for those who grasp them and while the season finished on a low, there were many highs that made it one to remember. Personally it was a great season with few failed trips and many metre-plus fish striking our lures.

While some locations were red-hot, others were notable by their failure to produce.

It was interesting to note that those who claimed the blackwater of a year ago had little effect on the caught few if any fish in their own local sections of the Murray. The truth is that cod numbers along some sections of river are a shadow of what they were before the black flows swept them clean.

Other sections, however, sparked fish to gather to the point they were easy fare to anyone with the want to wet a line.

Working out one from the other was quite easy this season, but with the river up and the fish on the move, the cod opening will be a whole new game.

With big fish shifting around will no doubt start to infiltrate those damaged sections of river with abundant unoccupied snags.

Perhaps with a little flow in the river, the cod will have the chance to breed a new generation that might also take up residence.

It seems the blackwater event that caused the damage has provided a learning experience for some.

The planned flooding of the Perricouta Forest via a channel has been postponed. No doubt if it was sanctioned to go ahead the water would sit and leach tannins from decaying leaf matter before being potentially being swept up by a real flood and pulled back into the river where it would create another ‘natural’ blackwater event.

This is what happened last time and as we saw, it decimated much of the river’s Murray cod population.

GOLDENS ACTIVE

Spring kick-starts another native that has been quiet in the cold Winter flows. The rise in water has resulted in good numbers of golden perch becoming active over the freshly inundated ground and shallow sections of backwaters.

Large scrub worms fished on lightly weighted lines close to the timber are likely to tempt a golden. Most sections of the Murray are fishing well for perch and the bite will improve over coming weeks as the weather starts to warm.

Yabbies have been another legacy of good flows, with no place better than the Darling River near Pooncarie. Nets left overnight in the middle of the river are yielding good numbers of big yabbies for those who like a feed and most are catching their limit with ease.

The Kerang Lakes are starting to fish well and their shallow waters will fire up the golden perch and redfin bite fairly quickly.

Fresh local whitebait and shrimp are the ‘secret’ baits here with worms a handy backup.

Small shallow-running hardbodies, blades spinnerbaits and soft plastics are all worth a try, too.

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