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Action at last!
  |  First Published: July 2005



It had to happen: With the cooling of the water and the clarity as good as it’s been all season, the big fish are finally starting to move.

Although catch rates are not as bountiful as over previous seasons, weekly reports of Murray cod to 30kg are beginning to filter through. Lure fishing in the deeper extremities of the river is bringing the best results.

The latest in this string of big cod was taken at Robinvale. Pulled from a bridge pylon, this thumper came it at117cm long with a guesstimated weight of about 30kg. Taken on a Predatek Boomerang lure, its captor had the good sense to return it to the river where it belongs.

There have been numerous reports of Murray cod from 4kg to 15kg upstream of Robinvale to Boundary Bend. Most of these fish have also fallen to lures, with the black and red StumpJumper proving quite prevalent among these captures.

Wentworth is another area that has begun to shine over the past month. Reports of cod to 20kg are becoming more frequent.

This is one section of river which really fires over the Winter. If you’re passionate about golden perch, you won’t be disappointed there, either. A recent trip down stream of Wentworth for the day resulted in no less than 30 fish taken on lures – great for some, but a pain in the butt when you’re chasing cod.

Expect some excellent fishing from Wentworth and beyond from now until the close of the season.

CRAYS ABOUT

Prehistoric to behold, spiky to the touch and angry to boot, the Murray cray is a wondrous work of nature. Like a miniature tank on legs, they have few natural predators barring large Murray cod and the fishing public.

Dropping water temperature along the river provides the green light for crays to become more active. With the metabolism of most other fishes slowing down, the Murray cray can now feed in relative safety.

When chasing a feed of Murray crays, it pays to choose your intended location carefully. Large clay banks or areas of rock are a good starting point. Crays will eat a variety of different fleshy baits from liver to dog’s bones; they aren’t that fussy.

If, however, there is one bait that excels above all others, it is carp. Its great to see the ‘river rabbit’ is useful for something besides environmental degradation.

When baiting nets, many anglers tie the bait directly into the bottom ring of the drop net. The down side of this is if the net does not land flat on the bottom, the crays will not sit centrally. When the net is retrieved, there is every chance they will fall over the side during the lift.

A simple way to ensure your bait sits centrally in the net, and the crays with it, is to tie a piece of string directly across the top hoop and secure your bait to this. Regardless of how the net lands, your bait is always going to sit centrally.

A handy piece of equipment when chasing Murray crays is a fish finder. Now before you get too excited, the sounder is not used to locate crays, but the many snags that lie on the bottom.

There is nothing worse than dropping a perfectly good net straight into a pile of timber and losing it. The use of a sounder helps alleviate this problem, providing a clear view of the bottom features before the net is sent down.

Over the years, cray numbers in many areas have decreased significantly. To ensure the future wellbeing of this species, take no more than you need and abide by the current fishing regulations.

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