530 million reasons to wine
  |  First Published: May 2014

Have you ever wondered on the many things that influence cod fishing? A billion and one variables that can be traced and blamed on specific things, some as far removed as one could imagine.

Take for instance wine. Other than to blur one’s vision, making it hard to thread a hook or tie a lure, you might wonder what impact wine could have on catching a Murray cod. Here’s how: there’s an average consumption of 530 million litres a year it takes a lot of squashed grapes to concoct this awful brew. These grapes need water, and irrigation demands generally determined river flow and this in turn affects water clarity.

Once the harvest season is over and things start to cool, the demand for irrigation drops away and the river falls to a more regular level where it has time to settle and clear. Once this happens, anglers can once again confidently target cod on lures.

So there you have it, you can add wine to the long list of reasons of why cod are so damned hard to catch during the warmer months of the irrigation season.

With harvest done and the stench of fermenting grapes thick in the air, the Murray is clearing fast. The water temperature has dropped away and a few good fish are starting to show on lures. Shrimp numbers are beginning to thin out, making it harder for our native fish to forage an easy meal. The early morning fog and flickering bony bream are other signs that the green machine that is Murray cod is about to hit overdrive.

April is always a great month of fishing where multiple big cod captures stir the imagination and draw anglers from far afield. Trolling big lures in the pool water is the most popular method and is often productive. Don’t be in a hurry though as it’s not an easy game. On some days a single strike might be all the reward for the effort you put in, and if it sticks you could be holding that catch of a lifetime. On other days several strikes and as many fish blur these quieter times and see you eager to leave the swag in the early morning chill.

Good numbers of golden perch have been caught on bait in the clearing waters, with shrimp and small yabbies working best. Wemen on the Murray has been fishing well, as has the pool water at Robinvale. Good numbers of small cod have been caught at both locations on bait, which is a good sign for the future.

Below the weir at Euston anglers are catching a few cod on bait and lures. No monsters yet; the best of these have been a little over 80cm. Good numbers of perch are also biting below the weir and further downstream on shrimp and small hardbodied lures and spinnerbaits. As the river continues to clear, the fishing should only get better over the coming month.

With the bardies still hatching, anglers fishing surface lures are still snagging a few cod. Surface fishing is possibly the most exhilarating way to target these fish.

With good clarity some cool weather and less bait in the water anglers can expect some excellent fishing action at most locations along the Murray River over the next few months. Let the show begin.

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