As I predicted, the past month was all about big lures and big cod along the Murray River.
Many locations fired as the green fish population feed up before winter’s icy chill began to shut the lid on an easy meal.
The bite started a little slowly, with an average day on the water yielding at one or two shots at a cod. Trolling was the most successful method, especially when fishing the deeper sections of pool water.
As the weeks rolled on, the green machines started to feed a little more freely and as luck might have it, the timing was perfect for a few days’ angling near Mildura with Northern Territory identity Alex Julius.
Alex has spent a lifetime fishing for all manner of species but he is best known for his barramundi exploits.
This time it was about cod and nothing but a ‘keg’ would do. His first strike, from a small cod of 60cm, he referred to as a slurp. I liked his fishing vernacular broken into bar terms that most anglers could easily relate to!
Several hours on and another strike had the rod loaded with what looked a much bigger fish. While it was not the keg of a cod he had hoped for, he confessed he was slowly upsizing and referred to this fish of about 8kg as a stubby!
The next strike snapped the rod down hard and bought Alex to his feet. The seasoned barra angler knew the force behind that fish could belong only to a keg.
Good anglers are always easy to watch at work and he played the large fish to the boat with style.
It went into the net and onto the deck and Alex was chuffed with his catch and the chance for a few quick photos before the fish was released.
The keg was now off the bucket list so how does Alex Julius rate giant Murray cod?
He said the buzz of catching big cod was every bit the equal of landing a big barramundi. They are both iconic fish and deserve their standing.
In local waters, the fishing has been very good near Swan Hill.
In the Kerang Lakes area, Lake Charm has produced good catches of golden perch to 3kg on small trolled lures.
Spinners are also working well, catching good numbers of redfin to a kilo and better.
A few Murray cod have also been landed on lures, with the fish averaging 80cm.
Kangaroo Lake is fishing similarly, with good numbers of golden perch caught on bait and lures and a few cod to 95cm.
In the Wakool River near Kyalite, anglers are catching cod to 75cm on bait and lures, with some sizable perch also in the mix.
Robinvale remains quiet on the cod scene but is producing some very good golden perch on bait and lures.
Below the Euston Weir through to Wemen and beyond, the cod are on the chew and things should only get better.
Several fish over a metre have been landed in the past month, with the biggest a whopping 122cm monster.
All up, the fishing has been great and should only get better as the weather continues to cool.Reads: 1027