The first 6-8 weeks of cod season have gone off with a bang, with anglers braving a bit of wind and some rain to chase the mighty Murray cod in and around Shepparton waterways.
Anglers have found bait fishing in the deep holes (between 2-3m) has been a very successful method throughout December.
Using lightly weighted bait works really well on cod and other native species, as the bait moves around the water more. This makes your bait look more real and edible to the natives. I also like to move the bait around – sometimes just a simple turn of the reel produces fish.
The down side to lightly weighted baits and moving them around the snaggy areas is that you will lose more gear. Larger yabbies and shrimps seem to like moving deep into the snags and taking your hooks with them. I can’t stress enough though, that losing gear is a part of fishing. If you’re not in the snags you are robbing yourself of fish. You need to be in the snags around deep drop-offs.
The best way to fish around the drop-offs is to use a depth sounder. In the long run a sounder will catch you more fish.
If you don’t have a sounder, or you are bank fishing, to roughly judge the depth of the water look for steep banks and the size of the timber in the water.
In the Goulburn River, between the Shepparton Boat Ramp and the walking bridge behind Aqua Moves, there has been a considerable number of cod being caught. This area provides some of the best bank fishing in Shepparton. Just park your car anywhere on top of the bank and trek down to the water’s edge.
Trolling smaller hardbodied lures in about 1.5-2m of water has been working well also. It helps to know what depth your lures run at to get them right in the strike zone.
Kialla Lakes are filled up to the brim with water, and are also filled with massive golden perch. The average size of the goldens here is 40cm or more.
Kialla Lakes family Ross, Nathan and Mark Gibson have been reporting golden perch up to 3.6kg being caught and released in lakes One and Two.
Casting and retrieving black and red spinnerbaits has been the best method all around the lake. The banks slope slowly down for about 2m before the lake drops off to about 3-5m. The goldens hang in and around the drop-offs and deeper gutters.
I hope the cod fishing is good to you over the next month. With water temperatures rising and the cod on the hunt I think everyone should be able to land a good one for either a photo or a feed.
Don’t forget to start working out your best spots in preparation for the River Rats fourth Annual Fishing Classic, to be held from the Shepparton Boat Ramp on February 21/22.
If you have any photos or reports about the fishing in Shepparton, I would love to read them and check out the happy snaps. Just send them through to the email address above.
Jessie Vella of Shepparton caught (and released) this golden perch in Kialla Lakes on a red and black spinnerbait.