Murray cod fight hard as the weather cools
  |  First Published: March 2016

With the best part of summer behind us, those wicked hot days mellow out to pleasant afternoons and it’s at these times that us anglers rejoice. An afternoon fishing the slow moving pools of water in our country music capital can be as pleasant and relaxing or as full on and adventurous as you like – it’s all up to the individual.

This time of year always offers a lot of choice, from spinning lipless rattlers for golden perch in our dams to trolling for those trophy specimen Murray cod along the deep rock walls and even searching our riverbeds with surface lures and spinnerbaits for either species.

Namoi and Peel River

The Namoi River has been fishing well over the past month and good captures of small cod have shown that our breeders have done their thing and that the river giants will continue to flourish, even in these hard times.

Good rain flow has been a godsend to the region, and with a good flow back in the system the golden perch will be shaping up for a breeding season of their own. Good reports of golden perch have been very common in anglers’ reports this month and baits of worm and shrimp have been the ‘go to’ baits while lure fishers have been getting fish on diving lures between 50-70mm in length.

I like lipless crankbaits for golden perch, they are great searching tools and cover heaps of water in a short amount of time. They can also be worked at any depth, so you don’t have to change lures as often to suit the depth of your locations.

Lake Keepit

The lake fishing has been and all year proposition and keen anglers fishing the right times have been reaping the rewards. Dawn and dusk are your best options, not only to catch a few fish but to beat the crowds as well. Trolling big lures is very popular at the moment and 1-2oz spinnerbaits have been catching some very large cod around the inlets and bays in the main basin.

Fishing well into the night has also been successful around the full moon and casting to the weed beds is a great option at night as the large predators lurk in close looking for an easy feed. Those willing to brave the dark may find themselves hooked up to that fish of a lifetime, so prepare for anything and good luck.

The European carp in the lake are ever present and will bite on anything from worms, shrimp, corn, bread and even the Aussie favourite, the hot chip. If you’re looking to kill a few hours, a trip to the lake fishing for these hard-fighting pests can really hone your angling skills.

Split rock dam

Out at Manilla, Split Rock Dam anglers are still catching good numbers of golden perch. They’re not quite as plentiful as pervious months, but for those who are willing to use their knowledge of the dam or sounders on their boats, finding schools located around the rock walls and bay will still see many bent rods and hard-fighting natives coming to the sides of the boats.

Split rock is also known to produce some very large cod and putting in those extra hours with bigger lures might have you finding a few hanging around on the edges of the golden perch schools, but persistence is the key.

So until next month, fish hard and if you are lucky enough to get into a few send through your pictures to --e-mail address hidden--


The author displaying a beautiful Murray cod destined for release.


Hayley MacDonald loves surface fishing, and this feisty goodoo nailed her topwater lure in the early morning.light 


Even small cod are aggressive, just remember to handle them with care before returning them to the water.

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