Dust off the cod lures!
  |  First Published: December 2005

Dust off the cod lures, grab a handful of grubs and head for the river!

Three months of foot-tapping is finally over as we head to the long-awaited opening of the Murray cod season.

With river heights tipped to be above average – a phenomenon many anglers have not had to contend with for a few seasons – a change in tactics or even intended destinations could be on the cards.

One thing you can be sure of when the water level is up and running: anglers soaking baits around the eddies and freshly inundated timber will be among the action.

December is a great month to target Murray cod and golden perch in all our local rivers. With water temperatures warming up, the whole system explodes into overdrive.

If it’s full-on action you’re after, this is the month to break out the tackle and have a fish. Good reports of golden perch have already begun to filter in with most anglers picking up an easy feed fishing the shallows with worms.

Plenty of small to reasonable cod should be taken by fishing the outer current edge of any eddies that hold a bit of timber. While the majority of early-season cod are not your Mack truck variety, what they lack in size they more than make up for in numbers.

This is not to say there are no big fish lurking about. Plenty of monster cod are taken early in the season and most of them fall to bait.

Going on past seasons, the best fishing is generally found in the shallower sections of the Murray. Wemen and Swan Hill are two destinations that fish exceptionally well early, as are Boundary Bend and the Hatta National Park.

For the lure buffs, high and dirty water does not mean you are out of the game. Large lures that push plenty of water, or ones that contain a loud rattle, will still take fish in the dirtiest of water.

Patience is the key to success because the action is always going to be slower.

Lakes Charm and Kangaroo, between Swan Hill and Kerang, will fish well over the coming month for redfin. Both lakes have also been stocked with Murray cod that should make the legal size limit this season.

Kangaroo Lake also has a good population of golden perch so there is plenty of opportunity on offer here. Both lakes have shoreline accommodation, making them great family holiday destinations.

All looks set for a great opening to the cod season. There are plenty of fish about and no shortage of destinations to strut your stuff.

If you are lucky enough to bag that monster cod this season, have a thought for the future and release it. It’s these monster fish that stir the imagination of all who fish these waters.

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