Natives smashing lures
  |  First Published: July 2014

Since I last put pen to paper the fishing has been nothing short of amazing as anglers enjoy some of the best native fishing seen along the Murray River in years.

The golden perch have been on big time, smashing both bait and lures with gusto and among them some real honkers up to and above the 55cm mark. Now I know that’s not huge compared to some impoundment run goldens, but in the Murray these are quality fish indeed.

Most goldens landed of late have been caught on larger lures and they are most often caught with the whole single treble engulfed, pinning the fish’s mouth on all three hooks. Far from happenstance, this sort of take has been occurring on lures as big as 170mm. After thinking on this it’s quite clear the goldens are mistaking the small flashing hooks on the undercarriage as even smaller baitfish, hence the three-way pin. It’s been nothing to land a bag of large golden perch in a single session all hooked in the same manner and all on lures over the 120mm mark. This is great considering we are chasing cod, and they too have been keen to smash larger lures along many sections of the Murray River this past month.

Starting at Robinvale, good numbers of large perch and a few Murray cod have been caught on both bait and lures. There are still no large cod in this area though. This tells me that although the fish ladder is reportedly in operation, it clearly isn’t working. If it were, we would be getting much better reports from anglers fishing the Robinvale pool water.

Hop below the weir at Euston and it’s a whole different story, with good numbers of large cod on the chew with several up to and over the 120cm mark caught over the past month or so.

The water clarity has been excellent along most of the Murray since the irrigation demands stopped, and even the diehard bait fishos are chancing their hand at bouncing a few lures along the floor of the Murray in the hopes they too will land a monster cod. The weather in May was sensational with many days reaching into the mid-20s, slowing the drop in water temperature and extending the red hot run of fish. Most anglers caught cod and amongst them some real bruisers up to and over the good old fashioned 100lb mark. Trolling has been most productive with larger lures proving their worth. We landed some excellent cod on lures as big as 200mm and more.

With the threat of winter on our door the water temp will quickly drop away and the fishing will start to slow. What we lose in numbers we will find in quality though, as the big fish will start to hunt the schooling pyberry (bony bream). Mid-water trolling will now take the lure out of the snag zone and into open water where the strikes can come from nowhere. Talk about frighteneing the bejesus out of you but it’s the best scare you’ll ever get!

The fisho in me loves this time of year where the cod are large and the warmth of a good campfire takes the chill from the bones at day’s end. As good as the fishing has been, it should continue well into winter with plenty of big fish opportunities for those who understand that some days are slow but the rewards are worth the effort.

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