Spring on the warm weather fishing
  |  First Published: October 2016

With the Murray cod season done and dusted in our inland rivers, those intent on catching cod will need to look to some of the impoundments open to cod angling all season round. Eildon will no doubt attract its share of attention and we’ll be hearing of some awesome cod captures over the coming months. In the Murray and many of the adjoining rivers, high dirty flows will see angling mostly restricted to the use of bait.

I love the high spring flows along the Murray River as they provide ideal conditions to catch large golden perch on bait. Hidden in the back eddies of rolling water, large perch fan out to hold in slack pockets, and wait for easy meals to wash their way. Sometimes, holding in just a few feet of water, they’re keen to feed. The expectant warm waters usher in the need to breed.

Perch do not fall under the same closed breeding season as Murray cod, as their numbers are deemed self-sustainable with year round fishing pressure. Even so, if I keep a few fish for the table, they’re smaller. The larger fish are female and full of roe, so back they go, to get on with the business of propagating a future golden perch run.

The high flows prompt yabbies to scurry free and feed in large numbers. I’m looking forward to this with several new recipes, including a specialty wok-fried chilli yabby tails.

With the warm weather comes the expectant run of redfin in many local lakes, channels and dams. These are great fish to catch – freshly filleted and cooked, it’s hard to beat them in the pan. Redfin respond to numerous baits, but I prefer to use both soft plastics and blades to catch these fish, as they work so well.

Spring is possibly my favourite season for fishing, and while it may spell the close of the Murray cod season, it provides so many options in both fresh and salt. Trout season opens in many rivers – a great reason to get out the walking boots and enjoy some smaller inland streams.

Along the coastal beaches, the long rods bend to the tune of several different species. A crossover of fish show amongst the suds. While large schools of salmon have terrorised smaller baitfish along the beach over winter, numbers are still good in spring. Over the next month, giant mulloway will share the shoreline gutters with salmon, as will large gummy sharks and sizable snapper.

Then there are the seven gillers, bronze whalers and elephant fish to consider. It’s a who’s who of the shoreline break, that’s sure to keep anglers happy for the next few months.

All up, it was a ripper Murray cod season with many milestones achieved. A 100lb cod on the cast was only topped by a 113cm fish on the fly. Add another dozen over a metre in length, and you might say our cod fishery looks to be in very good nick. With high flows prompting another good breeding season, the future of our fishery is well and truly on the right track.


Surface lures provide some memorable fish, like this stonking cod landed on a Wake Snake by the author.


The author with a couple of solid surf-caught salmon. Spring offers numerous angling opportunities and is a great time of year to wet a line, in fresh or salt.


Cod on fly was a real eye opener this season.


Pip Clement with his biggest cod on surface fly, measuring in at 95cm.

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