Beating the Cold for Cod
  |  First Published: August 2006

The shortest day of the year has been and gone but we’re still in the midst of winter up here.

For most cod fishermen the season has well and truly finished up. Time to catch up on some chores around the house and accumulate some credit for next season.

Although I’ve read a few articles of late suggesting that winter is a good time to chase big cod, it seems that the cold weather often outweighs the rewards on offer. True for the bulk of us, but not the diehards. Needless to say, some great reports of big fish have come through from those fishing further downstream.

Lake Mulwala though, has not seen a lot of traffic of late so there isn’t much to report. I’m sure that some time and effort on Mulwala would see some good returns, but there aren’t many prepared to put in the hours.

Over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend in June I had the pleasure of fishing with Terry McMahon and Frank Verdbulla from Wagga. We spent two solid days casting spinnerbaits from up above the junction of the Ovens and Murray, right down through the lake. We didn’t get a single touch.

With the lake running at 10.4 and very clear, our plan was to cast all weekend. We stuck to that. Looking back, a change of technique was probably called for, but we’ll use the experience as a lesson for the future if and when we encounter similar conditions.

Pick of The Bunch

Of the three fish I’ve heard about over the last month, the pick of them was caught by Wayne Lennon from Oar-Gee Lures. Wayne and Rod Harrison had planned to do some fishing around the Hay area. The idea was simple. They needed to get some cod photographs to help Rod finish a book he’s putting together.

After the trip from Wagga to Hay, the lads discovered that the river was very low and unsuitable for fishing. So they headed to Mulwala instead. After a solid half day without action, Wayne’s lure was slammed by a good fish in the deep water out the front of the Yacht Club.

The great cod measured 80cm and took a 75mm Oar-Gee Plow in the Bardi Grub colour (cream and brown). After many years of fishing this was Wayne’s best ever cod. It’s now only a matter of getting another bigger one, some 18cm longer, to catch up to his wife’s personal best.

Borrowed Boat at Bundalong

Craig Dyson had a few hours to kill while he was in the area and borrowed a mate’s boat and headed out from Bundalong for a quick fish. About 1km downstream of the ramp, trolling a large pink and purple StumpJumper, he got a good hit that stayed connected. The cod measured 72cm and was in great condition. After a couple of pictures it was released to fight another day.

Junior Joy

The only other fish I’ve heard about over the last month came from Simon DeOlivera. Ollie and his two boys, Matthew and Ben, put in at Hogans Road and within minutes of leaving the ramp Matthew had picked up a nice 55cm cod. Not bad for a 5 year old! The fish was released.

Murray Crays

Cray season is upon us and as usual, we saw the traditional Queen’s Birthday pilgrimage. You could just about walk from one side of the river to the other on floats and bottles alone.

Reports ranged from minimal captures right up to bag limits. Those that worked their pots hard, and particularly well into the night seemed to get the returns.

Make sure that, if you are chasing crays, you are well aware of all rules and regulations because ignorance is no excuse.

And if you’re planning a trip anywhere along the Murray between Yarrawonga and Torrumbarry be very careful because the low water level brings a whole lot of snags into play that aren’t normally a problem during the warmer months.

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