Copeton cod are cookin’
  |  First Published: July 2015

Hi there, I would like to introduce myself. I am David Allan and I manage the Inland Waters Holiday Park Copeton Waters. I was born and raised in Inverell and have been fishing since I was 7 years old. I enjoy all types of fishing, both fresh and salt water, mainly lure fishing, but I will use bait if I have to. I have a real passion for Murray cod on lures.

So now to the fishing. The last few weeks has seen Copeton cod become more active, with good reports of fish being caught all around the dam, from the main basin to Woonulla Bay in the upper reaches. The majority of these fish have been taken either very early in the morning or late afternoon into the night. Most techniques are working, but the exciting thing is that our winter surface bite is starting in earnest, with a number of big fish over 1m being taken on large paddler style surface lures. I don’t know if the winter surface bite is unique to Copeton, but it is certainly looked forward to by those in the know.

The beauty of this type of fishing is that it is available to anyone with a reasonable casting outfit and some surface or hardbody lures or spinnerbaits. You can do just as well — or sometimes better — walking the banks as you can fishing from a boat. We have found at this time of the year that our cod prefer their food in bigger mouthfuls. If you have checked the size of the mouth of a 120cm plus fish, you will appreciate that there aren’t many lures that you could cast that would be too big from now until October. The standard surface lure now being used through winter has a body length from 110-200mm plus. What happens when a fish that may be 50kg hits a surface lure is something all fishermen really have to experience! Look for stable weather and a barometric pressure of 1020 hPa.

The other thing to remember is that Copeton Dam is the only waterway in NSW that is open to cod fishing all year round, so the closed season from September 1 to November 30 does not apply. Fisheries made this decision after 4 years of research and sampling. It was found that approximately 94 per cent of cod in Copeton were fish that had been stocked, with virtually no successful natural breeding. Fishermen pay for the stocking through yearly licence fees, so we are now allowed to fish all year. And how good is it? Rick Peel from Dubbo (Mudeye Lures) spent a weekend here with some mates and caught and released 30 fish, with 4 over 1m; they also lost other big ones.

Yellowbelly catches are starting to slow down as the water cools, so bait will be the best option for the next few weeks. For those dedicated to only fishing lures, then 1 of the most successful techniques is slow rolling Gulp Grubs in the trees, with the go-to colour being black. You won’t find many fish on the flats from now until spring.

When you visit Copeton, don't forget to call into the Kiosk and check our range of lures that are designed and built to take on the biggest cod in Australia. And remember that Copeton Dam is the only waterway in NSW with no closed season for Murray Cod, so contact us to make your bookings through this winter and spring.

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