Copeton cods
  |  First Published: December 2016

The fishing this summer has been fantastic, with both cod and yellowbelly providing visitors of Copeton Waters Holiday Park with plenty of excitement. Water levels have been holding fairly steady and the weather has been typically hot through the day, but cooling off in the evenings. If you’re spending long days on the water, it’s worth remembering to Slip on a shirt, Slop on sunscreen, Slap on a hat, Slide on sunglasses, and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration – and beer does not qualify as re-hydration, and it will not be tolerated by the Water Police that patrol the dam regularly. Fisheries and Maritime Services also spend plenty of time at Copeton throughout the year – if everybody does the right thing and follows the basic common sense rules, then we can all enjoy this wonderful waterway.

The King and Queen of Copeton Competition, run on the Inland Waters Holiday Park Copeton Waters Facebook page between 1 May and 30 November, has been run and won for the year. We had a great response, and it was very interesting to hear the stories revolving around the capture of some fantastic Murray cod. Regular visitor Rowan Harris from Wangaratta took out the title of ‘King of Copeton.’ Rowan has been featured on the Facebook page before with some cracking fish, and said earlier in the year that his goal was a fish over 130cm – his winning fish came in at 133cm, and was caught slow rolling a large soft plastic (he wouldn’t give the exact details) somewhere in Barefoot Ally. Rowan is one of the hardest working and thinking fishers I know. He thinks about every cast and every retrieve, and puts in the long hours to get the results. Well done mate, you have earned that crown.

Hayley South has been crowned the ‘Queen of Copeton’ for her beautiful 123cm Murray cod, which engulfed a Croaker Paddler in a spectacular surface strike. Hayley and her fiancée Zac had a great couple of days fishing the eastern side of Copeton Dam around the Poison Gully area, with Zac catching two great cod of 101cm and 109cm. Where else in Australia could you catch three fish over a metre in just a couple of days? What is becoming more and more evident is that if you keep casting big surface lures in Copeton then you will catch fish all year round. As the fish are being hooked on the surface, we are having far fewer problems releasing them in good condition. During the summer, fish hooked in deep water can be hard to release, so take your time bringing them to the surface – using a deep water release weight is the best practice.

Yellowbelly have been consistently providing both fun and a feed for many of the fishers visiting the park over the summer, and this should continue. The fish are now mainly on the flats, with all the usual areas also producing plenty of fish. Keep a good eye on your sounder, as fish can turn up anywhere at this time of year. For a more casual approach, plenty of fun can be had just fishing a bunch of wriggling worms from the comfort of a deck chair out the front of the camp – the rewards will come in the form of some cracking catfish and yellowbelly, and the next big cod to fall to a bunch of worms certainly wouldn’t be the first.

• Copeton Dam is one of the best lakes in NSW to catch a trophy Murray cod. Dave runs the Copeton Waters Holiday Park and is a great source of up to date, local information on what’s biting. Contact the park on (02) 6723 6269 for information and accommodation bookings.

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