With January upon us, we have seen a great start to the current cod season and our new slot limits in place at 55-75cm. Most anglers I have had the opportunity to speak to are pleased with the regulations and agree that it will help maintain our fish stocks for the future.
There have been some great cod caught right along the Murray from Deniliquin to Torrumbarry, although areas with less speedboat traffic makes angling a little easier and more enjoyable. This is the time of year when large cod lures come into their own, trolled slowly over a length of river using a depth sounder to identify either fish or habitat that is likely to house our targets.
There are many great lures out in the marketplace. Some of my favourites include Oar-Gee 25, Custom Crafted, JD Lures, and the good old StumpJumpers, but there are plenty of others that will also give results. The most asked question is regarding colour, and it’s also the hardest to answer. The rule in my boat is one light and one dark, as the variables are numerous. If one starts to work on a day, it tends to be the trend for that session. I think where most anglers fail though, is not working an area hard enough — that means more than a few sweeps over the part of river you choose to fish them on.
For anglers who choose bait, I like a running sinker rig with just enough weight to hold bottom and a 3/0 or 4/0 hook. Best baits include live shrimp, scrubworms, yabbies and bardi grubs. This rig will work equally well for yellowbelly, as any of those baits are high on the food chain.
Kow Swamp is continuing to produce some good yellows on both bait and lures, with the Jackalls accounting for many fish. Some good catches of redfin are coming in from the irrigation channels and the Campaspe on both lures and small yabbies. Using light gear, they are always great sport.
So with Daylight Savings and lovely weather, there are no excuses not to dangle a line over the next few weeks and catch yourself a fish from our local waterways.
A 91cm cod taken above Echuca on a trolled Oar-Gee lure, before being released by Ben Starkey.Reads: 747