Cod season freezes out
  |  First Published: September 2013

Cod fishing along the Murray River slowed a little as the cold weather robbed the determination from all but the keenest of cod addicts and now the season has closed, they’ll have to wait until December to get their next fix.

Many anglers travelled long distances to brave the chill in the hope they might load a rod with a honking winter green fish. Just one strike might be enough but more often than not, most left the water disappointed.

There are any number of theories as to why the fishing has been so tough lately and as many answers.

I have never seen so many schooling baitfish in the Murray River.

In some locations all it would take for a large cod to stack on a few extra kilos would be one decent yawn.

Deep runs on the sounder would offer a false reading off bait schools more than 6m in depth. Some of these huge bait plumes were 30m or longer.

There is no doubt this abundance of bait has provided Murray cod and golden perch an endless smorgasbord to dine upon.

When you did finally manage to catch a cod they were in the best condition I have ever seen, so fat and round you might wonder why they could be bothered to strike a lure in the first place.

Combine the amount of available food with a huge increase in angling pressure and you could imagine that most fish are a little more selective and lure aware.

Most catches in the deeper sections were on larger lures, 150mm-plus models.

Bait fishing has been slow for the cod but a few nice goldens have been falling to shrimp.

The best locations over the past month have been downstream of Euston Weir through to Hattah Kulkyne and beyond to Colignan.

While it has been a little slow, anglers trolling or casting lures have caught cod ranging from 75cm-1m-plus. Most fish have been caught by trolling the rock bars, with a few on the cast from the timber.

Now the season is closing we can expect the cod to start to feed as the water temp swings the other way.

Fortunately, golden perch will be hot to trot as they glut before their annual spring spawning run.

Word has it there will be forced flooding down the Murrumbidgee River designed to fill all the feeder creeks in Spring. How this will affect the Murray and its fishing remains to be seen.

All up, it’s been a pretty good cod season with some very good cod captured in local waters below Euston.

On the other hand, Robinvale continues to disappoint as I am still yet to hear of a single large cod capture since the blackwater event of three years ago.

There are heaps of great golden perch in this area on bait and lures but no cod to speak of. Perhaps this new flush might shift a few fish back upstream of the Euston weir.

Hope they have it right as a repeat of last time would be devastating, to say the least.

Reads: 1918

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