Who’ll police the setlines?
  |  First Published: December 2007

A few months can be a long time for a cod angler but the wait is finally over. You can forget work around the house and tell everyone that you won’t be back until dark because it’s cod season.

It will be interesting to see how the new rules go, in particular the ban on setlines/droppers/springers, whatever you want to call them. I would say well over 50% of the fishers I come across on the rivers use this technique.

The rule is fantastic and has been a long time coming. The only problem I have now is who is going to police it? One Fisheries officer can’t police almost half of NSW.

Here lies the problem: People know they won’t get caught fishing like this on our inland rivers.

It will be interesting to see this season how many people continue to fish in this way. I hope they take the challenge and buy a rod and reel and get to really enjoy their fishing.


If you are looking for a place to catch a cod or two, the Macquarie River seems to always produce a few fish in a day. When the cod are in shutdown mode and other waterways seem lifeless, the Macquarie seems to produce at least a couple of fish, no matter what.

The water should be clear because it just doesn’t rain any more and this means spinning is your best bet. Large lures cast among the timber or under the willows should result in some action.

Best baits will be shrimp and bits of stir-fry steak. If you are worried about water levels and whether you can launch a boat, it’s best to check water releases from Burrendong. I’m not sure how long the irrigation season will be this year.

As it gets hotter, the time to fish these waters changes dramatically. Early in the morning and late at night will be the best times now. The yellowbelly should be well and truly on the bite and shrimp will be the best bait.

The Lachlan River has had some good flows in recent times with water releases. These initially kept the fish a little quiet but once the water temperature increased, the fish became active. Bait has been the best option and bobbing the snags with shrimps or yabbies will do the damage.

Casting small spinnerbaits around the logs will produce a few fish. When using with spinnerbaits in this water, always watch your line after you’ve cast because the fish seem to like to hit the lure on the drop.


Reports from Wyangala and Burrendong indicate that that as soon as the air temperature got to around 30° the yellowbelly and especially the cod became aggressive and trollers starting both species catching quite frequently.

This should continue and the best method will be trolling, especially if we don’t have any more rain.

Fishing at night is also a great option at this time of year and it can provide a real mixed bag – and it sure is a lot cooler.

Jenny Wickham with a nice golden perch she caught on a pink spinnerbait in the Macquarie River.

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