The once lunar landscape of a drought-ravaged State has rolled back the dust and dirt to a show of green as good rains paint a new slant on the land.
Farmers now walk with a spring in their step and the struggling crops of seasons past shoot forth in all their splendour with a show of promise long overdue.
A month or more of winter bogs have kept many anglers huddled indoors abusing the umpires as they adjudicate the match of the day.
Those who have donned the wet-weather gear and hit the water have enjoyed another sort of tussle, where the match is often played out in a few short minutes.
A good run of big cod has kept anglers in the game over the past month and should only improve in coming weeks.
Most sections of pool water have revealed fish over a metre on lures, with trolling the most popular method.
A good number of big cod have been landed on a variety of lures, including one fish caught by some boys from Echuca on a full-bodied Big Mong.
Other captures come from Mildura and Wentworth, the latter of which provided a couple of Tamworth lads with a personal best fish on a green shallow-running 150mm AC Invader.
Those few who are casting are also finding some good fish on Mumblers, spinnerbaits and hardbodied lures.
When you think big cod, the shallower extremities of the river are often overlooked. It pays to broaden your ideals as the next monster to rip me a new outlook on shallow water won’t be the last.
Golden perch have been a rarity, to say the least, with fewer fish on lures encountered than in any previous season I remember.
But those drowning shrimp while bobbing on the drift are enjoying a few feeds and are pretty coy about their catches.
While the shrimp may be a little harder to acquire in the cooler water, it appears that the goldens are lining up to scoff whatever you manage to gather.
So while these fish are a little slow on the lures, the bait fishos are doing well.
Here’s a little tip on catching shrimp when the water is cold – set your nets deep. Seems strange, but this comes from those in the know who are regularly bending a rod and getting a feed.
In the smaller rivers, the fishing has been tough with most interest centred on the chance to snare a Murray cray or two.
Those intent to drown bait have had limited success on a few small cod and the odd golden perch to size.
You should expect these rivers to improve as things begin to settle.
All up, it’s been a good month for most who braved the elements and this ‘slow-but-big’ fishing should continue to improve right up to the season close.
Depending on your ideas of targeting cod during the winter months in the lead up to the closed season, you can either enjoy the fishing or go and do something else. Each to their own.Reads: 1436