A chocolate lucky dip
  |  First Published: April 2005

Rivers of chocolate have been a point of frustration for anglers along the Murray over the past month. Just when things look like they’re going to clear, down comes another deluge and we’re back to square one.

Unless things improve dramatically over coming weeks, this season could be a short one for the lure fishos. One man’s loss is another’s gain, and none more so than the dedicated bait anglers who have been cleaning up under these conditions.

High river levels create backwaters which provide fresh ground for our native fish to forage on. Those anglers attuned to this have had a field day on some very nice cod and yellas.

Depth is not an issue under these conditions, with cod up to 12kg being taken in water less than a metre deep. Scrub worms, shrimp, grubs and cheese have been the pick of baits.

How long this unseasonable fishing will continue is anyone’s guess. The Walkool, Edwards and Murrumbidgee rivers have also been fishing well on bait. While catch rates of cod and perch have been high, the majority of fish captured have been undersize.

From a personal perspective, good numbers of smaller fish in our rivers is a great sign for things to come, or so you would think.

According to a couple of rocket scientists who frequent my place of employment, I quote, “With so many small cod in the rivers there should be a culling program aimed at Murray cod to eradicate stunted growth rates and over-breeding.”

Thank God there is no fear of these blokes over-breeding! Just breathing, let alone propagating, would be mind-numbingly exhausting.

Overall, what happens over the coming weeks is up to the fish gods.

Fish like this 33kg bruiser are on the cards if and when the water clears.

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