Caught waiting for the chance to catch cod
  |  First Published: April 2017

We all know that feeling when the holidays are over and there are lots of work days and not so many fishing days. We catch ourselves stargazing and wondering what it’s like up at Eildon. Is anyone fishing? Are they catching that majestic Murray cod? Then we see that the rising barometer spikes on a Monday morning at 1027 and we’re jumping into the car to go to work for another hard week at the grindstone.

It becomes the talk between your closest fishing mates. ‘Did you see what the barometer was? I didn’t know it got that high on an inland lake.’ So it begins – the study to become the lounge chair meteorologist, searching the web for any info to maximize your success when we all head out once again to chase the beautiful green fish.

Lake Eildon as we know is a massive body of water with lots of rock walls. Some have structure and some don’t. Don’t be fooled by these rock walls and think that cod don’t hold and sit on them quiet as a mouse ready to ambush or make a territorial statement.

The lake has been fishing well from Frazer National Park all the way through to Big River Arm. We have to be realistic sometimes and ask why we aren’t getting fish and even the pros blank out at Eildon. It’s not called ‘the lake of a thousand casts’ for no reason.

Don’t be afraid to cast into to sunny areas as well as the shaded logs and snags. When the opportunity came about, I caught up with old mate Andy McCarthy to see if they were biting or not. We decided to go fish where no one else was fishing, on a west rock wall up in the main arm.

You might be thinking why a west wall in the morning? I usually fish the shady rock walls in the morning! So I thought I’d try something different and see if my recent study on the weather patterns in the previous weeks are anything to go off.

On this particular morning the barometer was sitting around the 1018-1020. I use this theory usually. It’s easily forgotten when we catch multiple fish in a session and then we don’t get a fish in three sessions – all that wasted time in preparing to get the time off just to relax. It makes us more stressed and less confident. You question why you keep coming back to Eildon. For these simple and undeniable reasons: the scenery is beautiful, the food is great and the locals are welcoming with open arms.

At the west wall, with the barometer at 1018, there was a weather front passing in the afternoon. This session we boated a fish each and we only fished the same west wall in the hot morning sun, slow rolling our bright green spinnerbaits.

I think these fish were sunbaking as if they were on holidays – content until that spinnerbait slowly cruised past in the middle of the water column. After a couple of dives back into the darkness, we boated a very healthy 65cm Murray cod. Another was caught about 50m down from the first and measured 60cm with great markings.

Remember to read the signs of the water and how other fish are caught. If nothing works try trolling a hardbody – something that gets down to about 8m or at least 1m off the bottom or the structure you’re fishing in. If the barometer is low, the fish hold low and the rest is easily worked out.

The main arm is fishing well with several fish over the magic metre, usually caught by the mate who’s fishing for the first time at Eildon. We all know it’s heartbreaking but that’s why we call it fishing and not caching.

Frazer Boat Ramp area has been producing fish on plastics. The bigger, the better. Spinnerbaits and trolled bigger Coddog hardbodies have also been successful.

Goulburn Murray Water is releasing a lot of water at the moment. If we all love to fish close to the rock wall beside the tower, remember that the red buoys are a no-boats-allowed area there are surveillance cameras all the way around the tower to monitor the flows and if boats enter a restricted area. It’s in place to keep us safe on the water. Your details will be given to Victorian Police and I’m sure the fines aren’t cheap. Let’s all try and avoid them so we can buy more fishing gear.

The dam wall has been producing cod around 60-90cm on live yabbies and on lures at dawn and dusk. Once again, don’t be afraid to use something they have never seen. It might be that big metrey that is the talk of the town for time to come.

Stay safe on the water, have fun and teach your mates how to catch more fish. Most of all, wear your life jackets and make sure your boat is up to date with servicing and safety gear.

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