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Camp out for a cod
  |  First Published: November 2009



The freezing nights are well and truly behind us now, which means you don’t even need a campfire to be warm at night, and you might even find yourself going for a swim to cool down instead.

Blowering Dam has free-form camping around almost the entire lake, which is why it’s my favourite camping spot. You don’t get too much for free these days so if you’re after a cheap weekend away, I strongly recommend Blowering.

On a recent ice-jigging trip to Blowering we managed to land around 100 small to medium redfin but what made the day memorable that between us we landed four nice Murray cod on the ice jigs in water as deep as 19m.

Murray cod captures at these depths in Blowering dam were pretty much unheard of.

The reason that these captures were so rare was that there simply were not enough cod stocked in there to be caught regularly. Thankfully all this has changed.

Since 2002 Blowering has seen regular cod stockings, with 2004 and 2005 looking like the most successful years. These successful stockings have meant that Murray cod are now being caught by most anglers who go out and target them and sometimes even when they don’t.

Now that there is a good number of cod about, there is more competition for food and fish now have to be more opportunistic about their choice of available food.

With redfin at the top of the food pyramid for predatory fish at Blowering, generally if you find redfin some cod are bound to be around as well – which explains the cod captures while jigging for redfin.

Bear this in mind when thinking about strategies for targeting Murray cod at Blowering this cod season.

GOLDEN PERCH

The golden perch are still about but you will have to work a lot harder than during the Spring to get good results.

Trolling with smallish lures such as #2 Prism Murrins, TN50 or TN60 Jackalls, Stuckeys, Storm Hot ’n’ Tots, Trollcraft Double Downers or small StumpJumpers is a good way to target the golden perch at this time of the year.

The other productive technique during the Summer is sending out bait around shaly banks, rocky points and submerged trees. The best bait for Blowering’s goldens is a yabby on a paternoster rig to keep it from burying itself into the bottom.

TUMUT RIVER

Spinning and fly fishing have been good since the opening of the trout season and should continue so for a fair while yet.

There have been a lot of fish caught on Glo Bugs and nymphs but plenty are willing to take a dry fly.

Lure fishos have done well on everything from small plastics to big Tassie Devils but the best all-round lures have been flashy, spinning lures like Rooster Tails and Tsunami Cocktails.

This season I have been trialling some new lure concepts on the trout in the Tumut River and through trial and error I found a lure that these trout just love to smash.

Blakemore Road Runners are certainly not made for trout but the Tumut trout don’t seem to know or care.

Road Runners come pre-rigged with either a soft plastic or a marabou tail. I have found both work well but the plastic is better in the slower-moving holes – but only just.

I’m not saying they’re the greatest trout lure ever invented but they certainly work and are another worthy addition to my tackle box.

MURRUMBIDGEE

Most cod will be keen for a feed this month after finishing their spawning run. They tend to be pretty keen to hit just about anything thrown their way during the first few weeks of the season.

You can look forward to some good catches, especially with large-profile spinnerbaits. Trollers tend to do well this month on the outside of sharp bends using 90mm to 150mm lures.

Bait fishing can be pretty flat out at times. Everything from crayfish to cod loves juicy earthworms but the best baits are shrimp, yabbies and bardi grubs.

No matter where you decide to fish this December, I wish you all the best and hope that you all have a safe and happy Christmas break.

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