Cod of a lifetime
  |  First Published: May 2006

Many summertime cod fishermen have packed away their fishing gear until next season. However, those more experienced ‘cod hunters’ know that now is the best time of the year to target that mottled green fish of a lifetime.

Water temperatures are dropping, stimulating larger fish to increase their feeding activity in an effort to put on condition before the really cold water sets in.

The summer months are certainly great times of the year to catch good numbers of both Murray cod and golden perch but the downside is that many of the cod are relatively small. Well that all changes at this time of year!

Clients of Cod Hunter Fishing Tours have been catching fish in both shallow and deep water. In the shallows, we have been targeting depths between 1 and 2.5m enjoying good success with ½oz Bassman spinnerbaits. The most productive colours recently have been pearl white and purple, and red and black.

One Big Fish

On a recent charter David Chetcuti from Melbourne managed to land his personal best cod – a magnificent specimen measuring 1035mm and weighing an estimated 26kg. David managed to catch the fish while casting a Bassman in 5ft of water. It was a terrific effort that took him nearly ten minutes to land. Some photographs were taken and the fish was released to fight another day. It was David’s first ever Murray cod on a spinnerbait – it might be a while before he tops that effort!

Turn to Trolling

Water clarity is continuing to improve and naturally coloured lure are becoming more productive. The effectiveness of casting lure in Mulwala will drop off dramatically shortly. We’re already seeing the presence of a thermocline in the lake and with temperatures set to decline further, we will see a lot more anglers concentrating on trolling.

Fish Deep

The irrigation season will finish shortly, which will further improve water clarity. Combined with falling water temperatures we’ll see a greater concentration of fish moving back into the deepest parts of the lake.

In the start of May, the top of the lake around Majors Creek always fishes well. As the month progresses the top of the lake will start to slow and the middle sections of the lake will become more productive. For those fishermen who are willing to take on the elements in an effort to land that fish of a lifetime, I’ll give you a few pointers that may help.

Trolling Tips

Concentrate your trolling efforts hard up against the edges of the river during the first two hours and last two hours of daylight. Codger and Oar-Gee lures are ideal for this. We’ll often target a depth of around 5m.

As the day gets brighter, fish the deeper water. I like Custom Crafted 30ft lures during the middle of the day.

Colour selection is very important. As the water clarity improves the most productive colours are often completely different to those that worked last month when it was dirtier. Metallic colour combinations will be very productive in May and even into June. Last season, clients and I managed to land approximately 65% of our fish on metallics in these two months. Other colours that were successful included black and purple, and green and yellow combinations.

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