Cod, cod and more cod is the word around the traps and it seems everywhere anglers are wetting a line, these fish are eager to have a chew.
Three months might not sound long, but it seems an eternity when you are afflicted with green fish fever. Minutes turn into hours, hours into days and it all drags on as you stack and restack a cod fishing arsenal that in worth could easily wipe the mortgage and please the cook no end.
What is it about these fish that we love so much?
Perhaps their awesome size and strength portrays a certain romance that inspires their legendary status.
Could it also be the picturesque locations in which we target them; where a chance to commune with nature is to be free of modern day baggage, even if it is for just a short time.
Regardless of what it is these fish invoke, all I can say is thankfully so we can finally wet a line and once again feel the caning crunch as these magnificent fish strike a lure or bait.
Swan Hill is currently the cod capital with anglers sifting through large numbers of small fish to find a few that make size.
These are good signs for the fishery in the future, but a little frustrating for those who are looking to keep a fish or two for the table.
With a minimum size limit of 60cm now in force on Murray cod, things will be a little tough for a while but won’t the fishery be so much better for it in years to come?
Some reports have anglers landing upwards of 20 fish a session on bait.
All the normal baits like grubs, worms, shrimps and yabbies are working well, as are those that derive straight from the kitchen. While cheese has been in use as bait for a few seasons now, new items like fresh chicken fillets and cubes of processed meat are quickly becoming popular. Is there anything that cod won’t eat?
Downstream along the Murray, Boundary Bend is also fishing well with plenty of smaller cod in the mix.
The pool water at Robinvale, while not as productive, has seen a better class of fish with cod to 30kg in the run-up to the season opening.
Trolling deep-running lures and casting spinnerbaits around the snags is the key to hooking a few of the horse cod this area holds.
Golden perch have also been about in significant numbers.
Anglers’ choice for these fish has been a variety of lipless crankbaits, with many of the cheaper brands proving very effective.
There have also been a few cod landed on this style of lure, but most are in need of a serious hook upgrade if you intend to target green fish on them.
Below the lock at Euston, downstream to Wemen and beyond has continued to produce plenty of fish.
There are some very large cod along this stretch of river and for those keyed in to their behaviour, time spent here has its rewards.
Something I have found along this section of river, and many others, is the readiness of cod to strike a lure several times before getting hooked.
Some experts totally dismiss this as nonsense but those who have done any serious time on the water will understand it is a common event.
When chasing Murray cod, it pays to open your mind to the possibilities.
We are ever learning and to presume to know it all is to openly profess to know very little.
Good luck over the coming months, all looks set for a great cod season, so let’s get out on the water and enjoy.Reads: 1965