Well there you have it, another cod season done and dusted and now the three long closed months begins. The wait will come and go fast enough but until then we will need turn our focus and target other fish species that are still in season.
There may be ‘plenty of fish in the sea’, but for me none are as meaningful to the angler soul as the Murray cod. While we may not be able to catch Murray cod during the close it doesn’t mean we can’t ponder on these fish and reflect on the season that was. What did you learn about these iconic fish in the last nine months? If your answer is nothing then you have missed a whole other world of opportunity. Regardless of how many seasons come and go the quirky nature of these fish has no end and the lessons learned are infinite.
The season started with a boom. Multiple big cod catches on lures were common of early season sojourns to water that had not seen lure traffic for the entirety of the close. These same fish were quick to respond and return visits would see most lures left wanting by educated cod that were now lure aware. As the season went on little changed with most trips yielding a strike or two from fish a little less cautious. Other catches came from sections of water ventured outside the usual line of the mob. Pushed from their known holds by an endless bombardment of lures these fish would seek the sanctuary of water that did not fit the angling norm. These locations were gold and on more than one occasion two rods buckled to the cork simultaneously as both lures were monstered by meter plus cod. Other hot bites came in the rise of water pushed between locks. This oncoming rise is the Achilles heel of all Murray cod, regardless of size, and is a true genetic weakness that leaves them wide open to anglers. Not until the rise passes does the cautious nature of these fish return.
Soft plastics were another revelation for me this season. I found plastics were useful to tempt cod that would otherwise snob all other presentations. At this stage we fished in slow motion as large plastics took time to find depth and were retrieved in a staggered lift - drop - sink routine. Deadly on the cod as long as you could find the right plastics, something that is not as easy as it seems. Look for large plastics that move fluently with minimal weight and speed. Sounds simple enough but believe me it’s not that easy, especially out here in the bush. Surface cod were another discovery and several fish over a metre off the top had sparked somewhat o a surface lure collecting spree. A mixed box of paddlers all the way through to a giant jointed snake-like wake bait are now a must have on every outing. That strike has few equals - especially at point blank range from a big fish.
With that said the warm spring run of golden perch has already begun to fire along the Murray and its adjoining waters. From Robinvale through Euston to Wemen and beyond, all are excellent perch fishing locations where you will put a bend in the rod. As the water quickly warms, natural baits like shrimp will multiply and become available on location in a baited trap. Scrub worms always work well on the perch, as do small yabbies if you can get your hands on a few. There is always a fish to be caught and spring is a great time to get out on the water and wet a line.Reads: 501