In a season that started a little slowly, the past few months have seen Robinvale and local waters reveal an abundant wealth of Murray cod.
With an influx of anglers drawn by the whispers, barely a week goes by without another monster dragged from the deep.
Thankfully, the majority of visiting fishos are practised in catch-and-release, so most of these iconic fish have been returned to the river.
Trolling has been the mainstay of activity, but those breaking ranks and probing the shallows with spinnerbaits and Mumblers have opened a whole other world of opportunity.
Plenty of personal-best fish, including one horse landed by Daniel Grech on a Bassman DT, have been caught in waters that are most often ignored.
In life, as it is with fishing, one man’s trash is another’s treasure. Waters considered too shallow to troll still hold big fish for those prepared to work them in a different manner.
With the season all but done, the wealth of cod drawn from the Murray in the past few months will set Robinvale as a prime location for next season’s opening in December.
With that in mind, the close of the NSW cod season on September 1 should mean angling tactics change.
Away go all the big lures and out come a plethora of shiny trinkets aimed at outwitting what’s hoped to be a good run of golden perch.
As the weather begins to warm, these fish should explode on the scene and when it comes to quality goldens, Robinvale also has its share.
Working smaller spinnerbaits close to the bank along the weed and available structure should produce an opportunity or two.
On the deeper snags, vibrating blades are becoming favourites and their tight shimmy works well on a lift-drop retrieve. On light spin gear a good golden will give you a run for your money when hooked close to structure.
Small bibbed minnows worked in the shallows at dusk and dawn also prove effective and, once the fish are located, it’s common to pull several from the same snag.
For the bait fishos, Wemen generally fires well early and while the goldens are often a little smaller, they are about in good numbers.
As usual the hardest bait to get – the river shrimp – is what the fish seem to prefer. Setting your shrimp traps in deep water and leaving them overnight should produce enough for a session.
Equally worth a try are small yabbies and if you are a fan of bobbing your bait in the timber, why not try a few soft plastics or the smaller blades.
This method proved very effective for a few anglers last season when the goldens came on the chew.
Redfin have become another common capture in many sections of the Murray in the past year or so and should keep the frying pans sizzling as the weather begins to warm.
Smaller rivers like the Wakool and Murrumbidgee will also see good numbers of golden perch come on the chew.
Balranald and Kyalite are worthy of a mention as both are on the river with good accommodation and local knowledge available.
So while the Murray cod go about their promiscuous business of ensuring future stocks, anglers can turn their attention towards golden perch and other species over the coming months.
Scaling down spinnerbait size to the Bassman TW range will see you get among the goldens, with fewer cod encounters.
And remember, a bird in the hand is only worth two in the bush if you’re a crap shot.Reads: 2182