Only 30-odd more sleeps to cod time
  |  First Published: November 2006

With only a month to go until the opening of the cod season, I’m bouncing off the walls with excitement and anticipation.

I have had some feeble trips to the river just to gratify my piscatorial needs but I can’t wait until I have a full day of serious cod fishing. This month I will check and clean my equipment ready for December. Every knot will be retied and there’ll be a new leader on every rig. My rods and reels will be that spic and span I will be able to distinguish my ugly mug in them.


This is the most likely spot that I will be heading for the start of the cod season. I have heard that the cod and in particular the yellowbelly are beginning to stir. I have also heard that a few good catfish have been caught around Narromine.

This month I thought I might tell you about some of the best areas to launch a boat on the Macquarie.

The centre of Narromine, surprisingly, offers some good fishing and there are some excellent trolling runs that you can work over for extended periods. Out at Gin Gin weir, the water is still large enough if your boat can get over a small number of logs at the start but you will need a 4WD to get it out.

The many reserves between Dubbo and Narromine offer some quality water and some of the rocky shorelines make it easier to launch a boat. You can also grab a map from most of the Narromine petrol stations that show all the reserves in the area.

Some recent releases of about 1000 megalitres a day from Burrendong Dam have raised the level of the water, along with a little bit of rain.


It was great to talk to Tony Milne from Hillston about the recent Hook, Line and Sinker competition there. From all reports the event was a massive success with 302 competitors and more than 200 Murray cod caught and released. The largest cod was 116cm and the best thing about this was that it was caught by a junior angler, Billy Apps, who placed it back into the Lachlan to give another angler a chance to encounter this monster.

The largest yellowbelly for the competition was a solid 4kg. The money raised will going towards restocking yellowbelly in the region.

Tony was telling me a yarn about an angler who arrived late on the river and cast out into what he thought was a deep hole. When he woke up in the morning and looked at the water, he was a little concerned to see that it was quite shallow but his disappointment soon vanished when he checked his rod and found he had a nice cod.

People often think that cod are caught only in bottomless deep holes but at night they frequently come into the shallows to feed and I have caught them in very shallow water at night.

Cod become very active at night, especially some of the bigger, older and wiser specimens.

The water remains clear out Condobolin way and at Hillston but around Forbes the water is still murky. The level of the Lachlan was raised moderately but still needs a lot more water.


The Darling at Bourke is starting to clear. Water has come down from Queensland and raised the level of the river but it also has brought with it some red weed. Some yellowbelly have started to appear in the Darling and at present baits of worms and prawns are the way to go.

The Barwon at Walgett continues to fish well with some quality yellowbelly being caught. Find a deep hole with a bit of structure and there should be a fish or two and if the goldens are moving you will be kept busy. Early morning and late afternoon are the best bets on this river with quality worms doing the trick.

This water also produces some quality cod once the season opens.


Results from the Grabine Classic at Wyangala in August were very pleasing. The largest cod was just over 10kg and was caught on a bardi grub from the bank, just going to show that you don’t need a boat to succeed in competitions like this.

Let’s hope Wyangala this season gets as hot as it did a couple of seasons ago when everyone who went out seemed to catch a few cod of about 40cm to 50cm.

I like to use darker lures such as such as those from the deception range at the start of the season in Wyangala.


This month at Burrendong, expect to catch some thumping yellowbelly. Early Summer is a prime time for these fish. So far bait is having the best results with a few silver perch, catfish and yellas starting to become active.

Although bait is the most productive now, as soon as that water starts to rise, the cod and yellowbelly will fire up. Last season this dam really proved itself as a native fishery with a lot of cod around 40cm to 50cm caught. Let’s hope this season that they keep growing and soon become legal size.

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