Green fish fever takes hold
  |  First Published: February 2004

WE ARE now in the grips of green fish fever. Normally manicured lawns are looking shabby, the divorce rates are up and the milkman has a smile on his face and a spring in his steep as anglers spend every spare moment on the water.

All areas along the Murray between Swan Hill and Mildura are fishing well. In the Boundary Bend region anglers fishing with grubs, shrimp or worms are catching up to 20 cod or more in a single session. The majority of these fish are undersize but there are always a few that make the legal limit. Things are indeed looking good for the future.

Trolling lures in most areas has also been producing cod and, as always, this method continues to turn up the better class of fish with numerous reports of cod to 20kg and more. For those of us who dream of the mega-cod there is still light at the end of the tunnel.

There have been two specimens taken of late in excess of the old-fashioned 100lb mark (45.3kg) by a couple of very lucky anglers – I just hope they appreciate the significance in the capture of a cod of these proportions. I would swap all that I have caught just for a shot at one over this magical mark.

The first of these fish was caught in the Wakool River near Kyalite on a lure. This giant was released unharmed and will continue to stir the imagination of any anglers visiting this area. The second fish was caught from the Edwards River. The method of capture is a little sketchy and with that in mind, my suspicions would have it taken on a bendy stick. If this was the case I doubt its fate was as fortunate as the first of these mighty fish.


While I’m on that subject, the bendy-stick brigade have been out in full force, setting springers on every branch, stick or clump of dirt along the bank. In many areas the riverbank resembles a picket fence. They are reported to have accounted for plenty of big fish with several over 30kg taken just recently.

Could someone please explain how this style of meat gathering has managed to slip through the net once again, especially now Murray cod have been placed on the threatened species list? The decision-makers need to pull their heads out of the sand and look beyond the votes and the whims of a hand full of banjo-pickers who can’t work out the complexities that are associated with turning the handle on a reel. Only then will the mighty Murray cod get the respect it deserves.

On a brighter note for the bait anglers, the hard yakka that’s generally associated with gathering grubs may no longer be necessary. It seems the refined palate of Murray cod has a hankering for cheese. I kid you not, it seems they love the stuff, with many anglers throwing away their grub wires in exchange for a chopping board and a cheese knife. I guess the other bonus here is that if the fish aren’t biting you can always eat the bait yourself.

In short, the fishing so far this season has been nothing short of sensational and with the best yet to come, it looks like we are in for one super season.

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