It’s been a green bonanza
  |  First Published: February 2013

The Murray cod fishing in our local waters has been outstanding since the season opened. From Robinvale to Mildura and beyond, it’s been a green-fish bonanza, especially for those trolling lures.

While many anglers are revelling in good captures and consistent results, others are yet to turn a reel or land a fish. There is a fine line between success and failure and often it’s just a few short feet that spells the difference between catching and not.

While cod have been captured at many locations along the river, anglers paying particular attention to rock bars have had the best results.

Murray cod haunt such locations, jostling for the right to hide in undercut positions where they blend in out of the flow and await an easy meal.

A single gap or boulder can hide the biggest cod and when you consider the length and numerous underwater lumps and bumps on most rock bars, you quickly come to realise the angling opportunities such places provide.

My first session out near Wemen on the Murray this season yielded a metre-plus cod from one such location. After trolling just a few boat lengths the lure found depth, bounced off one rock and then another before being smashed by one very aggro green fish.

Several sessions on and the run continues, with multiple big fish including a 125cm whopper caught in similar locations. You could do far worse than hunt down a few rock bars on your next visit to the river.

Golden perch, too, have been regular catches on the troll over the past month, with most sessions yielding fish, even on the larger cod lures.

Bait anglers have also been catching their share, with good numbers of cod around 1m on bardi and wood grubs. Yabbies, too, have accounted for a few good fish, as have scrub worms and cheese.

To successfully fish lures for cod, there are a few simple things you need to understand.


Running depth is possibly the single most important factor when choosing what lure to tie on.

When trolling lures, the most consistent strike zone for Murray cod should have your lure swimming about a metre above the bottom.

If the area you are fishing is on average 7m deep, select a lure that dives at least that deep. You can now run it a little shorter to achieve the desired 6m mark that will have it swimming in the zone.

This same lure running at maximum depth will also pull fish from 8m, so it is a very good choice.

The same comes into effect with shallow water and the running depth you choose.


The second important factor in lure choice is size.

Remembering that big fish eat big things, it makes sense that a larger lure is a great choice to target Murray cod.

Small fish will also hit these bigger lures because the aggressive nature of our native fish often means they bite off far more than they can chew.


Now you can move onto what most anglers consider first, lure colour.

In all honesty, I think this matters little if you present the right lure at the right depth and the right location. If you can manage that then you will consistently catch fish on any or every colour in your box.

It seems the cod are back and anglers fishing bait or lures along the Murray River from Robinvale to Mildura and beyond can expect a ripper season to continue.

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