While the fishing fraternities revel in the fine, dry weather, our local farmers gaze towards the heavens and curse the lack of rain that’s so desperately needed to finish the grain crops.I guess life on the land is never easy.
On the water, however, it’s been a whole different kettle of fish as anglers reap the rewards of what looks set to be a bumper season.
All local rivers, including the Murray, Wakool, Murrumbidgee and Edwards, are hot-to-trot with good catches of golden perch a mere formality for most anglers. With water clarity still poor in all but the ’Bidgee, baitfishing has been the catalyst to success.
With the season now upon us, most of us are chaffing at the bit to mix it with our most prized native fish, the mighty Murray cod. With good reports already filtering through, it looks like being a red-hot season.
The cod chew will begin in the shallower sections of most rivers, with baitfishing the most productive means. Grubs, yabbies and cheese fished around the ends of snags in the current line should put you on the action.
For the lure buffs, while water clarity may be a little poor don’t let this stop you. I have taken some very nice cod on lures that vanished from view less than 30cm down. Don’t dismiss the use of lures under these conditions.
While we’re on this subject, the commonly touted line of ‘dirty water, dark lures’ leaves me somewhat bemused. Having applied this line of thought into practice many times on the areas we fish along the Murray, the results have been squat as far as fish are concerned.
Fluoro pink, orange and green, on the other hand, continue to take early-season, dirty-water cod with consistent regularity. I’m not sure where the line originated, or for what species it was designated, but our local population of Murray cod seems unimpressed. Stick to the fluoro colours.
Lake Charm and Kangaroo Lake, in the Swan Hill region, have been fishing very well at present. Good catches of redfin have been reported by land-based and boat anglers. The average size of these fish has been around 500g with the odd 1kg+ fish putting in an appearance. Best baits have been shrimp and whitebait.
Both lakes have been stocked with Murray cod, so expect to see a few of these mixed in the catches over the coming years. For extended stays, both lakes have shore-based accommodation and camping amenities.
With any luck, the great start to the season will continue through the coming months. For those who have not had the pleasure of landing their first big cod, may this be the season you achieve that goal.
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