Big boys come out to play
  |  First Published: April 2004

AS TEMPERATURES on land and water return to more comfortable levels, the action slowly heats up as the big boys come out to play.

Nothing gets the adrenaline pumping like the rod-jarring strike from one of these giant green fish. It’s what makes these fish such exciting opponents. The prime areas to prospect are the deeper extremities of the river, with no other method proving more productive than slowly trolling deep-diving lures.

Lure choice is up to the individual, with most of us knowing our likes and dislikes. The most important factor is that your selection has the ability to achieve a running depth to within at least a metre of the bottom. The largest percentage of cover lies here and, with it, the majority of fish.

Instead of working over long stretches of river, break your trolling runs into smaller sections that hold ample cover and flog them until the water foams. Nothing annoys a big cod more than an obnoxious intruder that blatantly continues to invade its turf. It’s only a matter of time before the muscles are flexed and the offender becomes lunch.

From Swan Hill to Mildura and beyond, the scene is set for what should be some excellent fishing over the coming months.


A section of the Darling River comprising around 320km has witnessed one of the worst native fish kills ever recorded. Local station owners have reported seeing hundreds of large cod floating down the river, with some fish estimated over 40kg. While there are plenty of theories surrounding this disaster it seems poor water quality and a lack of oxygen may be the contributing factors after a flush of water was released near Menindee to ease the drought-affected river.

It’s ironic that an act intended to breathe life back into the river has instead had the opposite effect, with a legacy that will take more than a generation to rebuild, if ever. How could they get it so wrong?

The water responsible is currently being held at Pooncarie and, once released, will continue down the Darling, spilling into the Murray at Wentworth.


Gus Storer with a thumper of a cod caught on a deep-diving minnow.


The author caught this fish around Wentworth in clear water on a purple AC Invader.


This fish jumped all over Warren Carter’s big Cod Seeker in the Murray at Robinvale.

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