Cod season starts with bang
  |  First Published: December 2004

The cod season is well underway with some fine captures reported early on that suggest we could be heading for a good season.

It’s my guess that the draining of the lake a couple of years ago played a big part in the 2003 season being very quiet with limited catches reported. Let’s hope the fish fire this summer!

The ever-popular Cod Classic has been run and won with fish numbers doubling what has been caught in the past. Statistics from the competition proved that Lake Mulwala is the home of the Murray cod with over 400 legal size cod caught and released. The longest Murray cod taken at the competition measured 107cm. The only problem with Mulwala’s cod population is there seems to be a very thin number of fish present over the 70cm mark. We must look after them and release as many as we can.

The most productive area of the lake at this time of year always proves to be between Bundalong and Majors Creek. The most productive methods fishing this stretch of water being baitfishing with bardis and trolling with lures that will dive to at least 6m.

For those who are a little more adventurous and prefer casting smaller lures and spinnerbaits, the backwaters in around the Everglades, Drain Lane and Colindina hold good numbers of cod and yellas. Hooking-up to these fish can be very rewarding, as you have actually had to put some thought into how you are fishing and how you are presenting your lure. Another bonus fishing these quieter backwaters this time of year is that you will be getting away from the annoying waterskiers who seem to think that they own the lake/river and generally do not respect anyone else.

For those who are chasing a feed of yellas, Lake Mulwala has a thriving population of these averaging 1-3kg. The most productive areas for yellas tend to be around the willows near the drive-in and along the cabungee in the northwest corner of the lake. Best methods here are casting lures and spinnerbaits.

Fishing below the weir since season opening has seen countless number of undersize Murray cod being landed. These fish range 15-40cm and tend to get annoying after a while if you can say catching small fish is annoying. If you get tired of them picking off your bait, the best thing you can do is get hold of some ‘Bardi Sox’ that protect your bait from being picked apart while still remaining attractive to the fish.

Legal size cod have proven very scarce below the weir at present. It seems that the further from the weir downstream you fish the better chance you have of tangling with a reasonable size cod. The best reports have come from Zanetti’s Beach area and below, approximately 12km from the weir.

People fishing in the Murray River from Yarrawonga to Tocumwal must be aware that you may use only one rod with up to two hooks while springers/set lines are totally banned. A lot of anglers chose to be ignorant when it comes to rules and regulations and this is no excuse when fisheries officers waltz into your camp with book in hand.

If anybody has a good story or would like to report their catch from this area drop me a line at the above email address.

Stop Press: I’ve just had one very happy little fella from Finley, the great Paul Hetherington, call in. He was still shaking when telling me about a mighty 132cm, estimated at over 90lb in the old mark, Murray cod he had landed while camping on Goat Island for the weekend. After 24 pictures (a full roll of film) the big fella was released to fight another day. Great stuff ‘Vibe’. I’ll have some pics for you all in the next edition.


Tony Martin from the Northern Territory celebrating the capture of his first ever Murray cod just before release.

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