The big guns come out
  |  First Published: August 2006

The pool water around Robinvale and other sections of the Murray has been unseasonably quiet over the past few months – until recently.

Perceived as an excellent time to target big Murray cod, the cooler weather sent the fish to ground and anglers packing, with reports few and far between.

Then, a few weeks back, the river began to rumble with rumours of a few nice fish landed in the pool water at Robinvale. Taken on deep-diving lures, the biggest went a little over 20kg and it looked like the giants had finally awoken.

The ripple effect of these fish sent anglers back onto the water and, slowly but surely, reports of big fish started to filter through. Most fish were being taken on the troll with larger profile lures working best. The 150mm AC Invader in either purple or darker patterns has been the pick of the pack. Not long on the market, they are proving to be an excellent scorer of big fish.

Mildura and Wentworth have also begun to fire. Over a few days spent there recently with mates we turned up several fish over a metre and a few others falling just short. It was a sensational session with two of the crew landing 1m+ fish casting to the snags – what better way to break the magical mark than with a well-placed cast!

As well as the impressive cod that have begun to move, a few golden perch are beginning to show on smaller lures. Best results have come from casting or trolling the shallower extremities of the river.

Most of these fish are around 1kg and while they’re not huge, they are still good fun on light tackle.


On the bait scene, if you can get your hands on some river shrimp you are guaranteed at least a few goldens. As is always the case, the hardest bait to acquire is the most productive; shrimp are scarce when water temperatures begin to drop.

While you won’t catch a great deal, setting your nets in deeper water should provide enough shrimp to catch a few fish.


For those anglers chasing a feed of crays, Swan Hill on the Murray downstream to Boundary Bend has seen plenty of action. Good numbers and size crays are being reported, especially after heavy frosts. This trend should continue over the coming month.

With the larger cod starting to move in most pool-water sections of the Murray, the fishing should continue to improve over coming weeks. With the water exceptionally clear, lures should produce the best results.

Make sure all knots and rigs are up to scratch because at this time of year you will encounter as many metre-plus fish as other size fish.

Fishing for cod during the winter is slow, hard work but anything worth achieving requires at least some effort. You quickly forget how cold it is when you’re eye to eye with one of these legendary giants. That sudden rush of adrenalin takes precedence over all else.

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