Wheel turns full circle
  |  First Published: December 2005

You don’t have to cast the mind back far to remember when an afternoon spent drowning bait along the Murray River would yield a bagful of carp.

For every native fish captured, you could expect to land at least a dozen of these smelly, rubber-lipped vermin.

A good trip might produce a couple of goldens for the pan. And if luck were truly on your side, you might even bag a legendary Murray cod.

Well the wheel has finally turned full circle. Carp now tremble in fear, as it seems there’s barely a snag left along the river that old bucketmouth hasn’t taken up residence on.

Talk about your most effective means of feral fish eradication, and it comes packaged with fins. Cod are back and aren’t our rivers all the better for their presence?

All our local rivers are fishing well for cod and golden perch.

It’s a big call to write them all up as productive but reports are coming in thick and fast and the news is all good.

From bank or boat, anglers fishing the Murray, Wakool, Niemur, Edwards and Murrumbidgee rivers are all talking cod. While many of these fish are undersize, it’s the numbers that are most impressive.

Some reports have anglers landing as many as a dozen cod from the bank in just a few hours.

How good is it to be able to head to the river, kids in train, and almost be guaranteed that small faces will be beaming with pride by the end of the session?

Cheese, grubs, shrimp, worms, yabbies and almost anything else that fish find edible are seemingly on the menu.

I even heard one confirmed report of anglers catching large numbers of golden perch downstream of Wentworth using bass yabbies (saltwater nippers) as bait. Not your run-of-the-mill freshwater bait by any means but highly effective all the same.

Who comes up with these ideas and, more importantly, where do you find bass yabbies along the banks of the Murray?

The Murray River below the loch at Euston is still producing quality golden perch on bait. Shrimp and worms have been the pick of the bunch at this location.

With most of our rivers reasonably high and dirty, the good bait fishing should continue for a while yet.

As the hot weather arrives the deeper sections of pool water along the Murray should begin to fire. Robinvale, Mildura and Wentworth all fit this criterion and hold good numbers of large cod.

While trolling lures is the most consistent producer in these sections, bait anglers still catch their share. The season has started red-hot on the cod; let’s hope it continues over the summer months.

& 2. A few hours fishing the banks of the Wakool River produced four cod and as many goldens, with the added attraction of one large, smelly tortoise. Jock and Kenna Mackenzie had a ball and there was not a carp in sight.

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