Big cod play hardball
  |  First Published: June 2004

WHILE the weather has cooled down and the water with it, the big fish continue to play hardball.

This time of year is generally abuzz with excitement as anglers get among the big cod on lures. It seems this season may be a little different to the previous few, with those in the know really struggling to produce the goods.

Perhaps it’s just the season and things are yet to fire – either that or a combination of meat-gathering anglers and heightened springer activity has removed a lot of opportunities from our local rivers. Only time will tell.

Swan Hill continues to produce a few quality cod on bait with two fish of more than 30kg being taken on cheese over the past few weeks. There has been no shortage of smaller cod lining up to have a crack at bait and it appears that on the list of things to be devoured, anything goes.

A couple of anglers just recently were catching a few fish on small tomatoes – where do these people come up with these ideas? I reckon if cod will eat cheese and tomatoes then a bag of pilchards is worth a shot. Beats digging bardis!

For those anglers looking for a golden perch or two, the news is a little better with most areas firing well.

The Edwards River has fished well and should continue so over coming months. While most fish are falling to baits of shrimp and worms there are a few taking smaller lures.

The Murray around Robinvale has produced a run of above-average golden perch on lures, with fish of 3kg and above being the norm. Most of these larger fish are female. While they are great fun on the rod, returning them to the river will ensure the next generation. There are always a few smaller fish around more suited for the table.

Wentworth is another notable area producing a good run of perch, with most anglers scoring their bag (five fish over 30cm) with little effort. While bait-fishers are scoring a few, it’s the lure anglers in this area who are cleaning up. Boomerangs, Poltergeists and Invaders are all top lures along this stretch of river and the best thing about targeting perch on lures is that it’s only a matter of time before a cod muscles in on the action. A few cod up to 20kg have been caught around Wentworth but these have also been hard to come by.


Fishing over the next few months will tell the tale of the damage done during the Easter period. Like a swarm of locusts, a squillion meat-gatherers with their Neanderthal mentality invaded the river, consuming all in their path.

Catch and release was on the bottom of the agenda for many of this mob. Armed with set lines and egos too large for a forklift to carry, they single-mindedly set out on a seek-and-destroy mission.

The number of large cod stripped from the river was appalling and, it sickens me to say, the days of big fish in our rivers are most certainly numbered while this moronic practice is allowed to continue.

Give these noble fish a chance and ban this legally sanctioned snaring method that is predominantly used to target a threatened species. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see this doesn’t add up yet, for all its stupidity, it continues to take place.

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