Warming to the winter chill
  |  First Published: August 2014

Winter is the season that reminds you that angling is most often practised by those who care little for comfort. Wind and sideways rain have made for several memorable trips lately, and while the weather might be a little cold the angling has remained quite good as we continue to fish our way through one of the best cod seasons I can remember.

Most anglers fishing the Murray have had reasonable catches of both Murray cod and golden perch on lures, and amongst them some real thumpers. This season I have seen at least five cod over the 130cm mark led to the net with several others pushing just below this mark. These are big fish that put a shake in the hand and a rattle in the legs. While most anglers are content to troll the depths awaiting that savage strike, others are fishing the fringes on the cast and doing quite well.

Big cod on the cast are as good as it gets, and as the water temperature continues to drop away those in the know have had some white-knuckle sessions that will draw the breath from even the most seasoned angler. I love the explosive nature of these giants on the cast where the tranquil realm of the boat explodes to life as the lure is stopped mid-retrieve and all hell breaks loose.

Just a few short weeks back a long cast to the fork of an old submerged river gum was treated in such a manner as the strike went off mid-boat like a grenade going off. All on board were shocked at the ferocity of the unseen giant and other than jamming my toes on the reel there was no stopping this monster fish as it powered back down through the timber to the safety of its lair. Even with 50lb braid and 60lb leader this fish was in full control as it scored itself a shiny new lure.

It still never ceases to amaze me the amount of anglers fishing for giant cod who run light gear in the hopes they will tempt more strikes. Maybe you will, but there is no doubt that most will end in an explosion of busted tackle and a look of confusion. Make no mistake, these big fish are nothing short of violent on the cast and they will show light gear little respect as they blow you to bits in no time flat.

Some nice golden perch have also been landed both on the troll and cast amidst the cod.

For the cod large lures have dominated on the troll with anything over 150mm tempting the biggest fish. Several new models, some still in the prototype stage, will burst onto the lure market in the next few months. Many of these have racked up some monster cod, and will be tempters for both anglers and big fish alike.

Casting has seen Bassman DT spinnerbaits and the 5/8oz Codman with the deep dished Colorado blades working well in the shallows. In the hard-bodied range it’s hard to look past the 6m 120 Koolabung Codzilla for casting. This season they have racked up more fish than most of the others combined. The No. 1 StumpJumper comes a close second and continues to catch fish as it always has.

As for bait fishing, the best bait over the last month has been lures.

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