What’s up with the pressure?
  |  First Published: July 2016

As we learn from the best of bites, we equally learn from those trips that fail to tempt a single bump. Each as important as the other, they are mulled in the angling mind until a link or pattern begins to form.

What I have noticed this past month is the correlation between high barometric pressure and the window of opportunity it provides. It’s scripted in cod fishing folklore and rolls off the tongue to the tune of ‘1020 fish are aplenty’. This is normally so, but obviously someone forgot to tell the cod this season. I have now had several fishless days where the barometric pressure hovered around this so-called ‘scripted mark’. Perhaps it is the condition of the fish that sees them reluctant to commit under such conditions. Almost as round as they are long, these fish can afford to be fussy and bide their time.

What we have found this season is the best bites have come when the pressure pushed above 1025. One such weekend high rolled in and pushed the pressure past 1030. The bite was nothing short of hot with several cod pushing the tape past the 125cm mark. It seems the keg-sized cod were all but in sync to the pressure as far as size was concerned.

Each time we hit the water we began to connect the bite to the highest point of the daily pressure. A good mate smashed out two keg-sized cod inside of an hour as the pressure peaked at 1027. It was only there for a short period of time and slipped back down cutting the bte as the next front rolled in. Unfortunately, we were sizzling up a feed at the time and missed the short window of action and the big fish it provided.

For most fishers, it’s hard to correlate trips with high pressure systems, especially if you don’t live close to your intended destination or you need to take time off work to get there. I for one will bide my time for the rest of the season and chase the high-pressure systems that are forcing the bite. In between, I shall acquire as many brownie points as possible for several long distance barra trips after the cod season is over.

Most of the big cod action has been coming on trolled lures, but as the water temperature continues to fall we can expect to see many big cod move shallow, providing some excellent casting opportunities.

The perch bite has slowed but the size seems to have increased, especially for those using lures. Bait anglers are still cleaning up on the perch drift fishing with shrimp or small yabbies.

Cod captures on bait have been slow with just a few tempted by grubs and chicken fillets. Several good cod have been landed at Tol Tol upstream of Robinvale on the Murray. Wemen is also producing some good-sized cod.

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