Break out the big guns
  |  First Published: December 2012

Time to blow the dust off the heavy outfits and grab your big lures. Finally Murray cod season is here and while river heights haven’t been overly kind to us, things should be quite good.

We saw plenty of cod showing up as by-catch when chasing golden perch during the closed season but now it’s time to upsize lures to 70mm-90mm AC Invaders or a quad spin spinnerbait.

Local fishing has been a little frustrating in recent months.

We haven’t seen a consistently good level in the Murrumbidgee River for quite a long time. It seems whenever rain is forecast for the Burrinjuck or Blowering catchments there is a knee-jerk reaction by water administrators and huge volumes of water are released from these dams.

The run disrupts fishers and farmers. Surely there is a better way to regulate lake and river levels to create user-friendly waterways.

While the levels have been up and down, there are still plenty of active fish about.

Golden perch have been around in good numbers and while probably more were caught last Spring, most lure and bait anglers are being rewarded. Goldens will stack up at pretty much anything that blocks the river flows, with weirs, rock bars and thick log jams well worth a cast.

Small hardbodies like the 50mm AC Invader are fish magnets. Fish them very slowly for goldens and when you think you’re going slow enough, slow it down some more.


Shore-based fishing has been outstanding at Eucumbene, especially early morning and late afternoon.

Good numbers of quality brown trout have been picked up in the shallows on soft plastics and Woolly Buggers.

Covering ground is the key with a maximum of 10 casts from any one spot. Make sure you cover all of the water in front of you and all depths.

On a recent trip to Eucumbene more than half of the fish we kept had small baitfish in their guts. Not surprisingly, smelt pattern stickbaits were the most consistent lures and accounted for all the bigger fish.

The majority of the big fish took the lures or flies within 2m of the bank with extremely aggressive strikes and we missed numerous monsters when pulling the lures out of the water.

We found it best to position ourselves a good 2m-3m from the water’s edge so that the lure was allowed to swim right up to the shore.

Trolling has been a bit up and down over the past few months. Long, slender minnows and yellow winged lures have been the most and long drop-backs (60m-plus) have been critical to success.

Focus on the shallow water early in the morning and late in the afternoon. During the middle of the day you will need to get down to where the fish are with deep-diving lures, lead line or downriggers.

The rivers and streams will be prime destinations for fly anglers over the next few months. There will be plenty on offer for those on the Eucumbene River.

Hatches can be a little rare at this time of year so it will pay dividends to carry some bead head nymphs just in case.

In the lake you can’t go wrong with bead head nymphs and Woolly Buggers but if you are planning on fishing into the evening, which you should, tie on a Craig’s Nighttime or a Hamill’s killer and strip it slowly.

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