Oh my cod, great bite
  |  First Published: June 2014

‘Oh my cod’ is the best way to describe the fishing this past month with some of the best action I have seen in many years.

Through the Easter period we were treated to some excellent angling where numerous giant cod were landed along the Murray River. Golden perch were also about in good numbers and size as they belted lures and snavelled baits at pace.

For the bait fisho shrimp remained an easy catch and several of these pinned on a hooked and bobbed amongst the snags was a sure thing on the goldens. Carp have been ever present and annoying but the kids thinned their numbers over Easter and not one face remained without a grin. Grubs and large yabbies accounted for several good sized cod from the bank as many anglers fished into the night by the warmth of the fire. The ringing bells were the first indication the bait had been taken and it was often a scramble to see who might make the rod first.

While the bait fishing has been very good it’s the excellent water clarity that has seen lure-caught fish serge ahead. Several large Murray cod including a 136cm model landed by Tim Polis from Shepparton have seen many anglers dust off the lures and head for the river.

Robinvale still remains a little quiet on the cod scene with several fish to 8kg on lures and bait. A popular ski spot during the holidays, so I suspect the serious anglers to hit this area as the river traffic drops away. It will be very interesting to see what turns up over the coming month.

Wemen has been very popular with anglers both casting and trolling lures. Several nice Murray cod of 20kg+ have been reported in this area as well as some good sized golden perch. The 120mm shallow running Codzilla, a favourite lure at this location, is reportedly doing the damage. With the river looking as good as ever I suspect we are in for some excellent fishing over the coming months.

As the weather continues to cool and the water temperature drops away, casting to the riverside snags will begin to show some serious cod to those with the patience. Large Codman Spinnerbaits and DTs with trailers and stinger hooks are just the shot for this style of fishing, as are some of the larger hardbodied lures.

You don’t hunt bear with an air rifle so don’t come under gunned to smash big cod. We run 50lb braid and 60lb leader and still get dusted by the occasional unstoppable green bulldozer. Make no mistake there are still plenty of giant cod still lurking in the Murray River.

I hope the next report has even more action and if that’s the case we might need to tie our lures on behind a tree for fear of being savaged before they even hit the water.

Working Out The Small Things

‘They were on yesterday’, are the words that every cod addict will have heard on more than one occasion. So where are they today and what has changed the lines that they so often follow? Those obsessed with catching these fish will understand that’s just cod fishing, and for all you think you know about these fish there are countless things you don’t. In fact it would not surprise me if the cod themselves were confused as to what they should and should not do on any given day!

Murray cod are a fish that can push you to the brink of no return and just as equally pull you back in an instant. They are a hard fish to follow, but are still followed by many!

I have been lucky enough in my time fishing for Murray cod to have experienced some of the hottest cod bites you can imagine. Just recently I experienced another that will not quickly be forgotten.

Fishing with good mates Gus Storer and Gareth Lynch we hit the water at first light. The river was dropping but the water clarity was good so we opted to troll lures. Straight up I find a falling river is not ideal for cod fishing as like many other factors it seems to shut them down. Add to this a drop in barometric pressure as a small front made its way through and you might think the odds were stacked against.

The morning started slow with just a couple of golden perch showing interest in the lures. After lunch the sky started to clear and a notable lift in pressure gave us renewed hope that we might still land a cod. We were starting to think it might never happen when one of the lures was smashed hard and the rod loaded to a cod that stretched over a metre.

Over the next few hours no less than 9 cod were landed with 5 all up measuring more that a metre in length. All these fish were landed in a stretch of river no more than 200m in length with several other large fish hooked and dropped. As an angler, the questions begin to flow.

Why so many fish on a falling river that in the past has produced poor results? How many fish were stacked into that 200m stretch of river and why were they there? As I said earlier Murray cod are a fish that can push you to the brink of no return and just as equally pull you back in an instant.

In my life I have been privy to hot bites like this on many occasions some I understand and other I don’t. But what I do know of these fish is that the smallest of things is so often what makes the biggest difference. In cod fishing you just have to work out what that small thing is.

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