Cod season in full swing
  |  First Published: December 2006

The big dry continues as we move into what looks set to be a long, hot Summer.

The influx of anglers also continues to grow as the Murray cod season moves into full swing. Angler numbers seem to be more this year and it seems the dry has forced many to look farther afield as their local haunts are left holding little, if any water.

The good news locally is we do have water and the fish are on the chew. In fact if current trends continue, you’ll need to turn your back to the water to bait a hook.

Anyone with a gripe about fishing licences, buy-back schemes or restocking programs need look no further than the Murray and surrounding rivers for confirmation of their positive impact. From Swan Hill to Robinvale and beyond, numbers of small to medium cod have exploded, thanks in no small part to these programs.

As cod numbers have increased carp numbers have diminished so stocking has had a positive influence all round.

The Murrumbidgee at Balranald continues to fish well for golden perch. The most effective methods have been bobbing river shrimp or small yabbies around the snags. Spinnerbaits and small lures cast or trolled have also been worth a try with a few cod muscling in on the act.

No big cod have been reported yet but it’s only a matter of time in this river.

The Murray River at Swan Hill has been fishing well and should continue so this month. While the golden perch have slowed a little, plenty of small to medium cod are being taken on bait.

Pental Island has been a popular destination. While we are in the area, Lake Boga and Lake Charm have been turning on the redfin. Good bags of quality fish have been taken using local whitebait, river shrimp and small yabbies.

Early mornings have been most productive and, let’s face it, with the heat of Summer overhead who wants to fish on much past that?

The Murray at Boundary Bend has also been productive with plenty of small to medium cod taken on bait and small trolled lures. This area always fishes well early in the season.

Anglers further down steam at Robinvale have landed some nice goldens on trolled lures in the pool water. A few reports have also filtered in of cod to 90cm being taken on trolled deep-diving lures. The 105mm Jumbuck appears to be stealing the show at present.


While the pool water at Robinvale is a great destination for big cod during the summer months it’s also highly favoured by water skiers. On some occasions, a few hours trolling can be likened to fishing in a washing machine. Early starts are the best way to avoid the rush.

Below the loch at Euston, anglers are reporting plenty of small to medium goldens and, as with most other areas, plenty of cod. Bait has been the most productive method with shrimp, worms and grubs fished around the snags successful.

With plenty of anglers due to visit these locations over the holiday period, all looks set for some great fishing. Don’t forget to grab a licence and check out the rules and regulations.

For those short-armed fishos who struggle to grasp the concept of the need for a licence or, more blatantly, ignore bag and size limits, may this be the season you are caught thieving from those who paved the river with the good numbers of fish you intend to steal.

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