Wrangling the wrath of summer
  |  First Published: February 2014

The Murray River continues to fish well as we head into the full wrath of summer and its relentless heat.

Up until now Robinvale has good numbers of golden perch on bait and some sizable catfish. The later, a protected species, seems to have made a big comeback these past few seasons. Carp too are back in big numbers and there are no shortages of these bait-gorging pests to keep a bend in the rod while drowning bait.

On that note it seems a common habit for anglers to pile these fish on the bank and leave them to rot. Not the most pleasant of smells when you go to roll your swag and pitch camp, believe me. It would be far more practical to either bury your catch with a shovel or break their necks and return them to the river for shrimp and yabbies to feed on.

Anglers fishing below the Euston Weir have reported Murray cod to 15kg on lures and bait. Golden perch too have been plentiful in this area with most sessions providing a feed for those inclined. There have also been good numbers of smaller perch in the mix, which is a good sign for seasons to come.

Water clarity is improving so the catch ratio on cod has swung towards lures over bait. Large shallow divers are working best in a range of colours from pink right through to purples and browns. The one that gets closest, the hungry fish, appears to be the best colour of the lot I believe.

Anglers fishing the Darling River with bait are catching good numbers of cod to 20kg. Grubs and large yabbies fished closed to the snags at first and last light are working best with several unstoppable greenfish rampaging their way back through the timber. That’s just a part of cod fishing and one of the things that makes these giant fish so special.

The Edward River at Moulamein has also fished very well since the opening with cod up to and over a metre caught on lures and grubs. Moulamein angler Bryden Whitfield has caught several nice fish on spinnerbaits and small hardbodied lures cast along the snags. Much of Brydens fishing is done walking the banks, so a boat is not a prerequisite for catching some nice cod along the Edward River.

In the Wakool River it’s a similar story with several cod landed on bait and lures around the Kyalite reserve area. Golden perch too have been hot to trot at this location, with shrimp and worm cocktails the most effective bait closely followed by scrub worms.

As the weather continues to heat up we will pack the cod gear away and head to the coast in pursuit of other desirable fish species. Midsummer temperatures are hard on both anglers and cod alike; over the years we’ve found that you are in with an even-money chance of losing a big cod to stress regardless of your best efforts when it’s hot. Not worth the risk in my books!

Snapper and mulloway from the beach is a whole different story, and one that I hope to unravel over the next month or so. Our first session from Salt Creek along the back of the Coorong this season provided some great action under much more temperate weather conditions. Until it starts to cool down I will leave the cod fishing to those who don’t mind getting fried.

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