Snag a big cod along the Condamine
  |  First Published: May 2016

The snag infested holes of the Condamine River harbour some of the best Murray cod and yellowbelly fishing in Queensland, and the best way to catch these beauties is to pilot a kayak and cast a spinnerbait right under their nose.

Kayaks have become increasingly popular with anglers young and old. These people-powered machines have opened up waters that have previously been inaccessible. This is especially true of inland rivers and tributaries such as the Condamine River system where cod and yellowbelly hide in waterlogged caves and sunken timber. The Condamine River is a part of the Murray Darling Basin in Southern Queensland and is vital to the survival of the Murray cod in the Northern reaches of its domain.

First of all, simplicity is the key. I’ve seen kayaks with more gadgets than an ocean liner cruising around the coasts and estuaries. This is the opposite of what the inland native hunter requires to succeed.

Too many rods and unnecessary equipment will weigh you down. If you target 1m long cod or soccer ball-sized yellowbelly you have to trek through the most difficult terrain you can physically drag a kayak through. And, when I say drag, I mean drag! Get yourself a quality ‘yak leash’ to tow your kayak over the many sand islands and rocky sections that need to be tackled, or to help you lower your ship down the notoriously steep banks without tumbling or falling. Once you locate a prosperous looking hole, you need to choose a weapon of mass fish extraction.


Spinnerbaits are arguably the best choice to try and coax a green or golden trophy out of the snags. As territorial creatures, fish find the flash and vibration of a spinnerbait blade and skirt irresistible. A reaction bite is perhaps the best take on a lure an angler can experience. The pure aggression from an angry territorial fish is sensational and exhilarating after casting into snag after snag to finally snare that fuming brute. Kayak fishing makes retrieval of stuck lures much easier and often more successful than off the bank. Once snagged, a kayak can be floated directly over the snagged lure and, more often than not, popped off in no time.

However, one of the trials of kayak fishing is dealing with the wind. This is when using spinnerbaits can be effective. The weight of a spinnerbait allows for more accurate casting in difficult, windy conditions than a lighter timber or plastic-moulded lure. Spinnerbaits can be fished at any depth and at any speed simply by changing the lure weight and blade combination to suit any imaginable water column.

Partnered together, spinnerbaits and kayaks are unrivalled when targeting native fish in our inland rivers. The combination allows access to waterways the majority of fishermen never dare to go. After hours of practice, and trial and error you can become very successful using kayaks and spinnerbaits to reap the rewards of freshwater reaches.

Grab a kayak and get out there!

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