Continuing on from the theme of many other reports, it’s hard not to get excited about cod opening! Australian anglers have a soft spot for the icon as they are the ultimate predator and prized catch. We all love them, even when they play hard to get – that’s what makes every encounter with a cod so unique. Now’s the time to get back into targeting Murray cod!
First cab off the rank is Blowering Dam. That’s probably because this is the best place to be fishing in the region. Early in the season, Murray cod will actively feed, as they haven’t been targeted for the past three months. Also, they have their natural breeding cycle. You might be thinking, ‘Hang on, they already had time to breed during spring.’ This is correct, except that we experienced a very late spring this year with the water still sitting at 15°C at the start of November. This means the cod’s breeding cycle will have happened later and likely carried through into this month. A number of fish will still be aggressive and hungry.
Getting in early will be key. The first two weeks of December will fish the best, and spending time on the water in low light conditions will increase your chances. A useful technique is to start fishing in the afternoon as the sun starts to fall. Continue to fish after sunset. Trolling large hardbody lures is a technique commonly employed in Blowering and yields great success. Don’t be scared of using lures in excess of 150mm. They’re becoming popular lately with lure manufacturers creating 175mm and 200mm+ lures for those super-sized fish. The 150mm AC Invader in the 40ft+ bib is my favourite large hardbody lure.
Make sure you keep your lure within a metre of the bottom and fish 4-10m of water. My preferred trolling depth is 5-6m, but always be adaptable on the night. Many anglers try casting large spinnerbaits in the dark, I’m not sure why, but it’s our go to technique for night time fishing in Blowering. We love to stand up and cast lures. We take any opportunity to do it, even on the darkest of nights.
Under a full moon, the technique is as easy as during the day, because you can see where you’re casting. You hold your boat out a full casting distance from the bank and cast diagonally forward (the direction in which the boat is traveling). Lift and drop or slow roll the lure back to the boat. If you have a dark night, you have to rely on your depth. Before the sun sets, work out what depth is best and as you fish into the dark, hold yourself in the same or similar depth. If you find your lure is landing on the bank, you’re too close. If you find your lure is taking too long to hit the bottom when you cast, you’re too far away.
Steep rocky banks are the best locations to cast and troll during the month of December. For a quality spinnerbait to use in this style of fishing, get yourself a Mud Guts Big Guts! They’re a legendary spinnerbait that we trust every time we cast.
I have covered a lot on Blowering Dam, because this fishery can be hard to crack. The more I share, the more luck you’ll have if you end up heading for a fish.
The Murrumbidgee River is well worth a crack even in the high flows. Bait fishing in the back of the slow eddies and backwaters will land you some great cod and yellowbelly. Lure fishing will also work if you fish early and late and target the still areas by casting tight against the bank. All the rivers and creeks will fish like they usually do during December.
Blowering is a picturesque lake and looking brilliant with high water levels.
Jack with a slab of turbo charged Murray cod that smashed a Mud Guts Big Guts spinnerbait.
Preparing for the big night ahead.
Rocky points like these are perfect locations to cast and troll for Murray cod.
The author with a chunky cod caught trolling a 150mm AC Invader.
You can see the teeth marks across this cod’s head. This is from fighting with another fish during the breeding season.Reads: 1971