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Carp, frogs and goldens
  |  First Published: November 2012



The Murray River continues to flourish under good flows where every backwater and billabong carries a symphony of frogs that are impossible to see but so easy to hear.

Carp are making the most of the shallow water as they continue to breed at full speed. I recently witnessed several large female carp being pummelled by large groups of males.

Unless you have some kind of weird fish fetish there is little you can do about this promiscuous behaviour but look on and hope that the new generation spawned by these river rabbits will be scoffed by our native fishes later in the season.

With a thousand rubber-lipped mouths poking clear of the water, even the most uncoordinated of fluff-chuckers has the opportunity to bag a few carp on fly. Pest or not, big carp are great fun on fly or any form of light tackle.

So far it has been unseasonably cold for Spring and while the golden perch have responded well to bait fished in the backwaters, they have been harder propositions on lures.

The river is now dropping and running tannin clear so we can realistically expect the perch to explode to life over coming weeks.

Just before the close of the season, several nice cod were caught below the lock at Euston on the Murray River. This was great news as it has been a few seasons now since we have had any serious reports of cod being caught in the area.

These fish are just some of many that are swimming back upstream in the flow to repopulate areas virtually devoid of cod for the past couple of years.

Unfortunately this is where we stumble across another ‘feral’ orgy. A virtual picket fence of anglers lined the bank for several kilometres downstream of the lock, fishing 24/7 after the close. They came in shifts and fished in the same manner.

While this is not illegal, the use of grubs and large yabbies for bait smells a little fishy and reeks of a free-for-all and wonton raping of these migrating cod.

Several visits by Fisheries confirmed that some anglers were still targeting and keeping Murray cod and several offences were recorded. Fisheries will continue to monitor the area and anglers caught breaking the rules will be prosecuted.

OLD HAUNTS

With good numbers of Murray cod migrating back upstream, Robinvale will again become a prime location for anglers targeting these iconic fish. With the opening not too far away, it will no doubt be a prime destination for many anglers who have fished its waters before.

I can’t wait to revisit this old stomping ground and pester a few favourite haunts.

Until then we can expect to see plenty of goldens running in most areas of the Murray and lures will quickly take over from bait as the prime way to target these fish as they become more active.

Small 1/4oz spinnerbaits, hard-bodied minnows and shads of 70mm or less are prime size for goldens and are generally ignored by most overzealous cod they might pass enticingly close to.

While it is impossible to avoid cod as by-catch when luring, they can be minimised by using smaller presentations and the same is true of bait.

If the river can be monitored and angling practises kept under control, I believe we will see some excellent fishing this season.

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