Moby Dick is out there
  |  First Published: February 2007

The theme from Jaws runs through the mind as what can only be a huge snag is inched toward the bank. The line sings and the creaking sound of loaded glass threatens to explode at any second.

There she blows, the biggest cod these lads have ever seen breaches the surface. White in color, it parallels another giant legend that plagued its pursuer no end. A huge roll, culminating with the slap of a giant paddle tail was all she wrote as the rifle crack of line sat the angler on his butt. It was all over in a heartbeat but what an experience!

The anglers in question were fishing the Murray above Swan Hill and had seen their fill of big cod to 40kg before. It was nothing in comparison to the white monster nicknamed Moby that had engulfed their bait that afternoon.

Such encounters feed the legend that surrounds these fish and beg the question: Might there still be some truly giant cod left in our rivers? Having had several encounters with giant fish over the years that can best be described as violent, I have no doubt.

From the onset, you just know you’ve disturbed something completely over the top. It begins with a strike that feels like two bricks clacking together. From there, it’s a little like pulling the pin on a grenade, the inevitable explosion is but seconds away.

No time to think, just hang on as all around you things goes to pieces, in most cases that’s it. Bent trebles, crumpled lures and torn split rings are the reminder of just who is the king of the river and why.

The fishing along the Murray from Swan Hill through Robinvale to Wentworth and beyond has been sensational and with little water to influence the river, the hot action should continue over the coming months.

Plenty of cod over the magic metre mark have been landed in most areas on bait and lures. Yabbies have proved popular on the hook, followed closely by the ever-reliable bardi grub.


The majority of larger fish are, however, falling to set-line springers and once again it has to be said – how and why this barbaric form of fish snaring is still sanctioned is totally beyond comprehension.

You work it out: If you were to go to any impoundment and use this same practice to catch carp, trout or redfin, three introduced species, you would be fined. Yet it’s totally OK to target our most iconic native fish in this manner, never mind it being placed on the threatened species list as this seems to be of no real consequence.

You have to wonder who has the final say on such matters and, of even more concern, do these people actually get paid? If so, may I please have a job because being an overpaid comedian has been my lifelong ambition.

I love my fishing and just as much enjoy seeing others getting that same buzz. But it is a fine line to report on hot fishing locations when many meat-gatherers have acquired the skills to read.

If it was a level playing field, the job would be far easier and return trips to favourite destinations after said reports would not seem like a visit to Deliverance country. So there you have it, the fish are biting everywhere up this way, it’s simply up to you to catch them.

It’s no Moby Dick but this nice cod did fall to a white Bassman spinnerbait.

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