Cod season at last!
  |  First Published: December 2003

COD SEASON at long last!

I believe that the rivers around Tamworth should be just about due for a flood and hopefully by the time you read this, we will have had one. If we don’t get it soon, Tamworth is in real trouble. Water is as scarce as it was 12 months ago, though looking at the paddocks you’d think it was a bumper season – things aren’t always as they look.

Wise anglers left the cod alone during closed season, not wanting to disturb them from their mating rituals. A paper has just been released confirming our suspicions that Murray cod, once caught, stress for a day or two during the breeding cycle and if the eggs are left unprotected for only a short time, carp, catfish, turtles and other lower predators wipe out a nest. Not only that, but for the eggs to survive, water has to be continuously ‘fanned’ and circulated through the egg clutch for survival. If the cod stresses, the eggs die. For that reason, thinking anglers target dams for goldens instead of rivers during closed season to greatly reduce the incidental capture of Murray cod.

Now its down to business, with cod captures and releases high on the ‘to-do’ list. Trolling spinnerbaits is truly a great way to cover water and attract a cod’s attention from a fair distance. Pulsating blades can be felt from about three metres away by cod and this covers a hell of a lot of water.

Trolling spinnerbaits entails slightly different techniques from trolling hard-bodies. When trolling spinnerbaits I pretty much still like a longer rod for smooth, long accelerating strokes over structure. I also troll with the rod tip on a 45° angle. This allows the rod to be swept forward as the spinnerbait approaches a snag and then dropped back to allow the lure to flutter down the other side.


This approach greatly reduces the number of snags you get and has the added advantage of covering every nook and cranny. Recently I ordered some 2-1/2oz beauties from Bassman Spinnerbaits. They’re gonna be the ultimate for deep trolling.

Be careful of the spinnerbaits you use for trolling as some have way too thick a wire frame. Even a 25kg cod won’t wreck these things if the wire is top quality. Many spinnerbaits have wire that’s too heavy and this has two negative effects. Vibration is minimised through thick wire and this is detrimental to the desired effect of a spinner bait in the first place. The other down side is that thicker wire grabs more water and lifts the lure up in the water column.

A stinger hook is mandatory but the soft plastic trailer has to be chosen wisely if you choose to add one. A slender-profile trailer without a paddle tail is the best option when trying to hit the depths. A paddle-tailed rubber grabs more water.

If you use scented trailers, as many are these days, they will disintegrate the rubber collar holding the spinnerbait skirt together and make it go all gooey and you will eventually lose the skirt.

Hard bodied lures are still a great option when trolling or casting and the depths they attain under a short rein are invaluable around trees. Trolling around fallen timber and casting to rocky points and ledges will be high on the agenda this season and the Halco 80mm Poltergeist is one of the best for this option. Steep dive angles and indestructible design in a relatively strong vibrating lure make the 80mm Poltergeist what it is, not to mention its castability. The other advantage is that big Goldens love ’em.

I still see too many people trolling for natives way too fast around our neck of the woods. Unlike bass, which sometimes love a faster presentation, there is no need for speed. As long as your lure is thumping away there is no such thing as too slow most of the time. Happy cod chasing!


This is what everyone will be chasing. Just remember they’re worth more in the water, eating feral carp, than they are on a plate.

Reads: 1994

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