Cool change brings hot bite
  |  First Published: April 2014

As the heat of summer makes way for crisp cool mornings and more favourable fishing weather, it’s a sure sign that the start of the real cod season is about to begin.

Murray cod are in tune to the change in weather and the influences it plays on a rapid decline of their easy prey, such as shrimp and yabbies. If you were not excited before now, then you should be as March is the start of the big fish season along the Murray River.

I spent the heat of February fishing the coast for anything that might put a bend in the rod and enjoyed the seaside relief of the cool salt breeze. Inland along the Murray River, anglers struggled in the heat and, other than a few cod around the 70cm mark caught on lures near Wemen, there was very little joy for cod fishos.

Some good-sized perch were landed at several locations on bait at first and last light but the bite was slow and the summer heat intense. Robinvale, Wemen and Hattah were the most productive locations.

While the weather is still quite warm the morning chill is a great time to be on the water. Several flushes have had the river up and down, which has made the fishing a little unpredictable over the past few weeks. Those anglers lucky enough to be in front of the rise have managed a few cod on lures and bait. After the rise had passed through, good numbers of perch have been caught on bait with scrub worms, yabbies and shrimp the best.

Silver perch still remain a constant annoyance to bait anglers as they rattle every bait known to man clean off the hook. Every now and then you manage to pin one of these fish and the average size of silver perch along the Murray locally has improved since the close.

The water clarity still needs to improve a little before we see good numbers of fish on lures and this will happen as soon as the irrigation season slows to a halt.

While all looks great on the cod front for the coming month it seems old habits die-hard and unfortunately one in particular is robbing many anglers the chance to land that dream fish. It’s a sad but true fact that ‘springer’ fishing continues to run rife, especially along the Hattah Kulkyne section of the Murray River. It just goes to show that while it’s possible for Fisheries to implement ethical and sustainable fishing laws they are unable to take the moron out of the morons that still believe they have the right to set springers. The mere fact they tie their lines off underwater is testament in itself they understand that what they are doing is illegal. If you break this practise down into simple layman’s terms they are simply stealing from all those that buy a fishing license and pay the right to fish. Each time a giant cod is caught killed and removed from the river on a springer it robs a genuine fisher person the chance to catch that fish of a lifetime. A thief is a thief no matter how you justify the act.

With that off my chest I look forward to the real start off the Murray cod season and I can’t wait to spend the next few months getting teeth marks on all my favourite lures.

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