Murray Cod season opened with a bang. Throughout the latter half of the closed season we saw a large number of legal (60cm) Murray cod being reeled in by local anglers and this trend has continued in the first month of the new season.
There have been quite a few 90cm-plus fish caught in local rivers and dams and there are some indications we’ll be in for a stellar season.
Most of fish from the Murrumbidgee and its tributaries are falling victim to worms, yabbies and grubs placed close to structure but it would be remiss of any bait fisher not to throw some cheese on a hook, it’s amazing how effective it’s been recently.
Quite a few fishos have enjoyed success trolling hardbodies over areas with plenty of bottom structure. Use your sounder to find suitable structure on deep bends and make four to six runs over the structure.
With the high flow you will need to troll upstream to maintain a suitably slow speed. AC Invaders of 70mm and 90mm have been the lures of choice for many; the Forbes Special and Purple Cod have been the best colours.
Casting spinnerbaits has been a little up and down with the high flow but some anglers have been successful by adjusting their techniques to suit the conditions. Upsizing the spinnerbait weight allows you to find a working depth in the fast water.
You also need to ensure that you position your cast well upstream of the structure so by the time your lure is at the correct depth the current will have moved it into the strike zone.
Lake Eucumbene had a bit of a wobbly Spring but has managed to pick itself up and deliver some outstanding fishing. The Snowy Mountains Trout Festival was an outstanding success with some cracking fish caught, including quite a few browns over 3kg.
The rivers have been fishing a little slowly but January is usually pretty good as we start to see more regular insect hatches. Mixed-up weather will affect the number of hatches; stick with the usual late Spring/early Summer approach of a bead-head nymph under a dry indicator.
The lake fished should continue to fish well as we start to see more evening insect activity. Dawn and dusk will be the best times for any technique.
Anglers have been doing very well on PowerBait, with some groups managing to pick up their bag limit of five in under and hour some evenings.
Grubs and scrub worms have been the standout baits for big browns. There are still a huge number coming in close of an evening, so fish your bait close to shore and well away from where you are sitting.
Lure casters should focus on dawn and dusk, when the fish will be out searching for food. Once the day starts to warm, the fish almost certainly go deep and shut down.
Downriggers and lead line offer some options in the warmer/brighter parts of the day but you’re better off splitting your day into sessions from about 5am-9am and 4pm-8.30pm.
Lure and fly anglers should also aim to put in a couple of hours after dark; the results of night can be sensational. Look to fish evenings of no moon or plenty of cloud, which seem to produce better than in bright moonlight.
Darker lures and flies offer the best silhouette for night fishing. It’s only a matter of being well prepared beforehand for successful and comfortable night fishing and the results are well worth the effort.Reads: 1009