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Defying predictions
  |  First Published: February 2014



Nobody had predicted seeing so many quality Murray cod coming out of our local rivers and dams. Since mid-December we have experienced some of the best fishing in over a decade.

The Murrumbidgee has been fishing very well since the Murray cod season opened in the start of December. Although the hotter temperatures during the middle of the day have generally seen the fish go a little quiet, the evenings have been outstanding. Most of the anglers I fish with have been averaging 6-8 fish in an afternoon. The majority of cod have fallen victim to spinnerbaits cast close to structure, and the best colours have been purple/red, red/black and purple/black

Surface lures have also been performing during the last half hour before dark. Cast these right in close to the back and pull them back out slowly through heavy structure. Aim to fish between 0.5 and 1.5m of water when fishing the surface.

February is usually a very hot month, so the focus needs to be on early mornings and late evenings if you want to maximise your catch rates. The evening session is good for surface fishing, so once the sun has fully set I recommend you tie one on and persist with a slow rolling retrieve. Persistence is the key to success and believe me, when your lure gets smacked for the first time it’s as good as catching 5 sub-surface fish.

Eucumbene

There is no doubt about it, February in the Snowy Mountains is hot! It’s one of the tougher months to fish the lake, but this doesn’t mean you won’t catch fish – it just means you need to pick your techniques and times well in order to maximise your chances.

Early mornings are good and it’s worth putting in a few hours either side of sunrise. Bait, lure and fly will all work at this time of the day, but choose your banks carefully. Shallower bays with deeper water close by are the ideal place to fish this month, as the deep water offers some respite for the fish as the water temperature rises.

The same locations are worth fishing in the evening as well, and I think the evening offers much more lucrative fishing. During the morning as the day gets hotter the number of accessible fish drops considerably, but in the evening the water temperature is on the decline. These cooler temperatures, combined with the decreasing amount of light, mean the fish continually come into the shallows from the deep water, rather than leaving. Don’t be afraid to fish well into the night; you will catch plenty of fish once the sun has well and truly set.

Mudeye patterns are working very well for flyfishers, while the lure fishers should opt for a darker coloured lure. Plastics are my favourite casting lure by a long way and I find it difficult to recommend any hardbody over a plastic, especially during these hotter months when it’s important to fish your lures slowly. While they do have a place in casting for trout, hardbodies are best suited to trolling in these hotter months.

Bait fishers have had reasonable success on both live and artificial baits. I recommend looking for similar banks that I mentioned above. Plenty of big browns are still being caught, with the majority falling to bardi grubs and scrubworms.

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