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Christmas cod capers
  |  First Published: December 2013



At last, the start of summer and, more importantly, the beginning of the new cod season. The warm weather, steady water levels and rising water temps all equates to excellent angling conditions.

There are three target fish this summer: cod, yellowbelly and redfin.

Firstly, Murray cod are a great sporting fish and a top target species for many anglers. When bait fishing, either from a bank or boat, pick a spot with tree cover. These fish are very territorial and will stay around the snags to ambush their prey.

I use a running sinker rig with just enough weight to hold bottom, a 3/0 or 4/0 circle hook and approximately 300 leader.

Although baits will vary during the season, the long time proven baits are scrub worms, yabbies, shrimp, which are in good numbers this time of year, and of course bardi grubs, either fresh or frozen.

When trolling, it is important to have a lure capable of getting down to the bottom, so you need to match your lure to the depth of water. Keep an eye on your sounder and change lures when necessary. Some popular lures are Oargees, Custom Crafted, Predators and StumpJumpers, along with many others on the market.

Use the same lures when casting around snags, as well as spinnerbaits. Be prepared to cast repetitively in the same area as sometimes these fish are not in the mood to eat but continual casting they will attack just to get it out of there domain.

The methods are similar when you’re chasing yellowbelly but everything is downsized; spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits coming into their own in smaller streams and channels. There have been some great reports coming into the shop of yellowbelly in big numbers around Kow Swamp, the Gunbower Creek and the Murray above Torrumbarry Weir.

I’m still hearing of good catches of redfin in the Campasp and the channels, as well as the Goulburn River near the Murray mouth. Small yabbies are great bait and if trying lures give the plastics a go, they give great results on light gear with these good fighting fish .

So take advantage of our great summers along the Murray and get out amongst them.

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