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Don’t Put the Cod Gear Away Yet
  |  First Published: June 2009



I instantly think of big frosts as I begin to write this July article. Freezing cold nights and just bearable daytime temperatures are the norm for the Batlow area at this time of the year. In saying that though there are still plenty of fish to be caught and I look at the middle of winter as a great time to get out on the water. Most people are too soft to brave the conditions!

This is just fine by me as this gives you entire lakes or rivers to fish to yourself, which can make for some memorable trips. If one plans and prepares appropriately, a great day can still be had, no matter what the conditions. Essentials at this time of the year are beanies, gloves, thermals, a jacket, wet weather gear and a change of clothes. If you prepare for the worst by packing the above mentioned ‘essentials’ the weather is the last thing you worry about when you have a lake to yourself and the fish are latterly jumping into the boat.

Redfin

At this time of the year I personally like to target the redfin and trout early in the day and as the day warms up I tend to go and target some natives.

Schools of big redfin can be found quite easily with the aid of a good sounder or by trolling with small, extra deep diving lures. Once a school is located they are best targeted with jigging lures like ice-jigs, redfin bobbers, soft plastics, metal blades or lipless crankbaits.

Bait fishing with small yabbies or worms on a paternoster rig will almost always get you a feed of these succulent fish at Blowering dam, the secret at this time of the year is to fish deep water. Steep points are the best places for this technique especially if you’re fishing from the bank.

Trout

Trout anglers will be happy to hear that they can put the leadline outfits and down riggers away for a while as the majority of the resident trout are now gorging themselves in the shallow freshly flooded bays and are easily spotted rising in these bays as well as the many wind lanes on the dam. Flat line trolling, fly fishing and spinning from the bank are all good options at this time of the year.

Trolling winged lures, especially the gold winged versions, are always worth a shot but I’d recommend you troll another totally different type of lure to cover more of the water column which will increase your chances of hooking a nice fish.

Lipless crank baits, soft plastics or small hard bodies are all worth a shot this month and if you troll these lures up in the backs of the freshly flooded shallow bays then you never know what you’re going to hook. Golden perch and Murray cod quite often take advantage of the easy pickings associated with steadily rising water levels and these fish tend to move right up into the shallows with the trout at times.

Murray cod

Many cod anglers have already put there fishing gear away for the season even though there is still around two months of the Murray cod season to go. These anglers that think that cod are a warm weather only fish have been missing out on some of the best fishing of the season.

As I have said many times before the majority of the biggest fish caught for the season are caught in the last couple of months so those that hang up their fishing gear early are doing themselves an injustice and normally miss out on some of the best big fish sessions of the year.

Big Murray cod are already trying to pack on as much weight as possible before there attempt to spawn which makes them much easier to catch now then at any other time of the season. This eagerness to eat just about anything that will fit into their mouths makes them the top of my ‘to target’ list this month. If you are one of those that have already hung up your ‘cod’ gear then you might want to think about what I have just mentioned.

Murrumbidgee River

After the initial drop in the river’s flow in April, if you were lucky enough to fish your favourite stretch of the river before anyone else did you were rewarded with cricket scores of fish. Although the cricket scores have died down a little there is still some good fishing to be had and now is the best time of the year to get out there in hope of one of those really big fish.

Best results during the low flows come from casting lures - particularly spinnerbaits. The reason behind this is the fact that most of the river is too shallow to hold fish and the majority of the fish will be sitting hard up against timber in any hole that is deep enough so that you can’t see the bottom.

My preferred spinner baits are the Murray River spinnerbaits, as they are built primarily for cod and I know from experience that these spinnerbaits will hold up to the punishment big cod are notorious for.

Many other spinner baits on the market these days still work nicely but are easily straightened or completely destroyed by a big cod’s powerful fight or even there initial hit. The reason behind this is that many manufacturers are trying to cover all species with the one spinnerbait which is fine when you’re targeting the smaller of our native species. But if you want to have the best possible chance of landing that big cod of a life time then you have to use gear that can stand up to the punishment these big fish are notorious for.

The river is generally very clear in the low flows unless we get a heap of rain but even then it normally only takes a few days to flush through. Best coloured lures to use in the clear water are either dark colours like black, purple or blue or natural colours like pumpkinseed, brown, green or gold.

In the dirty water I would recommend any bright colours like chartreuse, hot pink or yellow as well as contrasting colours. For example I like to use a spinnerbait with say a white head and use a black with red tips skirt. The white contrasts well against the black and red, which makes it really stand out in the dirty water.

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