Cod close with a flourish
  |  First Published: October 2007

For genuine cod fishos, it’s a fair bet after a month of inaction due to the closed season, withdrawal symptoms have set in. Look on the bright side, though – the season will be open in less than two months with a new range of rules and regulations in place that will see our mighty Murray cod continue to thrive for the future.

The closing stages of cod season saw a flourish of activity at Lake Mulwala, with anglers getting their final fix before putting the gear away for a few months. The best report I received came from Dave McKenna from Albury. This is the exact report he emailed to me: “With the current weather pattern I couldn’t resist having one last crack at Mulwala before the season closed. I arrived at the lake at 7am on Sunday 26, and by the amount of cars and empty trailers at the Majors Creek Boat Ramp, I must have been late.

“I started off casting spinnerbaits, working the river edge, and had a lot of bumps with no hook-ups. At one particular tree the Bassman was bumped that hard it felt like an electric shock through the braid. I put another 50 casts into the same tree, and even changed colours but with no result. I decided to put a stinger hook on and came up trumps 10 minutes later with a nice cod of 52cm.

“After a further hour of nothing, I moved further down the lake, working the timber and the weed beds, and ended up boating another six cod in an hour. All fish were in fantastic condition, four were over 50cm and the biggest 55cm (the new size limit next season). All are still swimming. I cast for another two hours without a touch, which was a bit puzzling, then trolled for two hours without a hit and gave it away – happy with seven cod for the day”.

I spent a day out with Mulwala lure test pilot, Joe Linehan, casting fancy-looking spinnerbaits in search of a green fish. A fair bit of pride was at stake as we support rival lure companies. Unfortunately for Joe, his lure was belted by a good-sized fish that failed to stick. Trailing a couple of metres behind his retrieve was my lure, in the perfect position to present to the already exited fish. I said to Joe, “Watch this, count to three,” and, as scripted, I hooked up. A great 51cm golden perch was landed and the score ended up Bassman 1, Others 0. No other fish were encountered but I was reported to the police and have a possible charge of grand theft pending!

We also crossed paths with Yarrawonga character George Jovanovic, who practically lives on the lake. Earlier in the day George had picked up a nice cod measuring 70cm while trolling the river between Majors and Bundalong. As the season drew to an end, George picked up numerous nice fish up to 10kg.

For those who continue to fish in this region during the closed cod season, consider your methods when chasing golden perch. Downsize your gear to minimise incidental hook-ups with cod. I know there are grey areas surrounding what constitutes fishing for cod but if you are fishing with bardi grubs or a No 1 StumpJumper, who are you trying to kid?

Keep in mind also the complete section from downstream of the Yarrawonga Weir through to the traffic bridge is totally closed to all forms of fishing.

The interest being shown in the 2007 Yamaha Cod Classic is starting to heat up, as expected, with regular inquiries. With an amazing $100,000-plus in prizes up for grabs, including six boat, motor and trailer packages plus a fully decked-out fishing canoe, you would have to be mad to miss out. Entry forms are now available. For enquiries, phone (03) 5744 1667.

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