Dryer than a wooden sandal…
  |  First Published: December 2006

Dryer than a wooden sandal in these parts of late and with no relief in sight, one ponders on the future of some of our once mighty waterways.

A couple a pots of beer would see most of us put on a better show than the Darling River at present. Strangled to little more than a trickle, this legend of the Basin has all but withered and died. Those fish that do remain would no doubt be looking to the sky in hope.

On a brighter note, other than the Darling, all our rivers are fishing well and should continue so over coming weeks.

Anglers are finding plenty of joy on the golden perch along most sections of the Murray, Edward and Wakool rivers. Small cod are about in significant numbers and the endangered silver perch are in plague proportion.

I liken these things to ants at a picnic; once they have your location, it’s a free-for-all as they instantly pick off any bait that hits the water. In order to avoid these pests, fish pockets of water: out of the current they seem to be less prevalent in these locations, with golden perch making up the majority of the catch.

Even so, eventually the silvers will hone in on the activity, indicating it’s time to move. Fish each location, depending on activity, for at least 20 minutes. This period generally produces the most action as willing takers are either caught, pricked or snagged.

If the action continues, stay; if not, move to a new location and a fresh supply of fish.

Shrimp are now becoming a little more prevalent with the warmer water temperatures and, combined with a few worms, have been the best bait. Small lures and spinnerbaits are also accounting for their share of golden perch for those working the snags and areas of weed.


Time to polish up the lures and get set for the start of cod season. From December 1 we will be looking to dangle a bait or lure down the mouth of one of these giants. If current water levels and clarity are anything to go by, lure fishos should be in their element with most rivers primed to fire.

The thing I crave most during the closed season is the strike from a big cod. That nanosecond punch of power that bends hooks breaks bibs and scares the living bejeebies out of you. Catch it or not, for the next few minutes you know you’re alive.

Few if any freshwater fish command the strength and power of a large Murray cod. If you are yet to break the magical 50lb mark, I wish you all the best for the coming season. Every angler deserves this honour at least once and if we continue to return these fish to the river then the goal becomes all that more achievable. For every fish removed it’s just one less chance.

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