/Go deep for a hot bite
  |  First Published: November 2009

Those Murray cod rods and lures can be dusted off now and we can all get set for the season ahead.

Water levels will affect where and how we fish for cod. Those snags and steep banks you trolled late in the season could well be high and dry, so it’s a case of finding some new water before starting.

It’s good to clock up some hours up in the boat for the first few trips, taking a mental note of the changes around the dams you fish.

If you have been out on the water chasing other species during the Spring, you should already have a fair idea where to start for your first cod of the season – I hope it’s a good one.


During the day, cod are very predictable.

Find the best structure in the area: large logs and rocks, something that throws lots of shadows. They like a roof or partial roof over their heads, especially fish that are holding shallow.

It’s hard sometimes and quite daunting on some banks; everything just looks so good. But there will be something that offers just that little bit more.

It may be something as subtle as a slight protrusion or indentation in an otherwise straight stretch of bank. It could be a slightly larger branch on a large submerged tree.

If you find yourself saying, ‘Mmm, that looks real good, a spot within a spot’, and the grip on your rod tightens slightly, you’re probably seconds away from glory.

Early morning and late afternoon, cod fishing can be a little different.

The strike zone is larger and depending on the weather and fishing pressure, they quite often get out and about, actively searching for food.

This is when you can move a little quicker, casting and trolling as you go.

Surface lures are great searching lures for active fish; they can get a cod really fired up and even if it misses the lure, your mate with a sub-surface offering can quite often catch it.

Wyangala, Carcoar, Burrendong and Windamere are all suffering from very low water levels at the moment, with weeks of rain needed in the catchments to lift levels.

Let’s hope that’s just around the corner. Be aware of other water users at this busy time and enjoy your cod fishing.


I can finally say with confidence that catching a bass in Lake Lyell is an available option.

For quite a few years now, it’s been on and off with spasmodic captures here and there, but recently I have been catching them on almost every trip.

They’re not big fish, with most of them 25cm to 35cm, although there have been whispers of a few larger specimens.

All the usual tactics are pulling fish, with a leaning to smaller offerings the best tactic.

As the weather warms, I’d be looking to move out a little wider and deeper when in the boat. Use the sounder to locate small schools and vary your tactics to suit the depth and conditions.

It’s a unique fishery, really, and a credit to Fisheries to have the forethought to continue with the bass stocking.

How many more dams in Australia can you be casting and catching bass one minute, then change tactics slightly and be hooked into a solid rainbow or brown trout? How good is that!

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