Cod fire up as water cools
  |  First Published: May 2008

After going through the coldest February on record, March did a backflip and tried its hardest to fry us all to death. Of course this did not provide much action on the water, even the fish refusing to play in the sweltering conditions.

Thankfully, the cooler weather has arrived and things look set to return to normal with the dawns crisp and clear and the willow leaves turning to gold and beginning to fall. These are but a few of many indicators that instinctively trigger the annual run of big Murray cod that will escalate as the water temperature begins to drop.

The Wakool River has already begun to show promise with several nice cod taken on spinnerbaits and hard-bodied lures. Most of these fish were around the magical metre mark and were caught on the troll or casting to structure.

Water clarity in this river is good and should remain so for some time. There are plenty of giant cod in the Wakool and I suspect under current conditions there will be a few landed over the next month or so.

Red and black seems to be the hot colour choice among Wakool anglers lately.

The Murray at Swan Hill has produced cod to 25kg upstream of Pentel island. Caught on the ever-reliable No 1 StumpJumper, this beauty was released to fight another day.

Some hefty golden perch have also been landed in this area on shrimp and small yabbies. Some have been guesstimated at 3kg or more and there are also still a good number of small cod falling to bait.

Robinvale has been a little quiet but those in the know are landing a few nice cod on lures. Trolling deep during the day with large hard-bodied lures and working spinnerbaits around the snags in low light have produced cod to 20kg.

A few nice goldens around 2kg have been a nice by-catch.


A lengthy run of golden perch downstream of Wemen has slowed but the cod have come on the chew. Anglers using bait and lures are reporting good numbers of fish up to 16kg.

A shallow section of river with numerous boating hazards in the form of rock bars and old logs, it’s a caster’s paradise and there are some monster cod hidden among the snags.

The river snakes its way down from here to Mildura, about 180km. You could spend a lifetime fishing this section alone and not even scrape the surface.

The Mildura end of this run has also been fishing well with some serious cod landed on lures. Local anglers prefer the old wooden models over the newer plastic versions.

The timber ones are becoming harder to find with Australian Crafted and Muldoon lures having made the transition to plastic in recent times. If you happen across a few of the old wooden versions, snap them up.

While wood and plastic both work, I admit to a soft spot for wooden lures. Whether it’s the work that goes into making them or the overriding air of confidence I get when I fish them, they do seem to catch more fish.

As the weather continues to cool and the last of the petrolheads leave the river, all looks set for some great fishing. If last season was any indication of what’s to come then hold on tight – it’s going to be a ripper!

This nice cod was caught on a 190mm Halco Laser Pro casting around the timber. This reaction styled lure is just one of many becoming more popular amongst some anglers

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