A cod season of questions
  |  First Published: July 2010

They say self-praise is no recommendation and as guns go, this season there has been no shortage of big shooters who have failed to see a wisp of smoke clear the barrel. For others, though, large Murray cod have been regular visitors.

For those who are catching them, the adaptation of new ideas has kept pace with the cleverest of fish that are seemingly smarter each season.

In the past few years the majority of cod along our weir pools have seen a squillion lures come and go. These fish are not stupid and to tag them so is to show a distinct lack of understanding of cod fishing as a whole.

You can be pretty sure that most big snags along the Murray River will hold at least one large resident fish. So why is it that after we’ve flogged the water to foam that they will sit there unimpressed by your very best efforts?

Perhaps you should be asking yourself, how is it that a natural-born predator with a gob the size of a bucket can allow an imitation baitfish to swim within centimetres of its nose and totally override its primal instinct to feed?

You can be sure that there is no single answer and consistency more often comes from observation than anything else.

Robinvale has fished poorly this past month, with a good number of visitors leaving after hardly a bump.

One visiting angler from Mulwala was lucky enough to put the brakes on a metre-plus model while casting a Mumbler among the snags. Other than that, there have been a few cod caught on grubs fished wide out in the river.


Perhaps grubs are the ‘next new thing’ because most anglers fishing this area are doing so with lures. It’s possibly been a while since these giant fish have been drawn to the tantalizing aroma of natural bait.

A few golden perch have been taken on smaller lures and shrimp bobbed around the snags.

Perhaps things will improve over the next few weeks as we head towards the end of the season.

The shallow waters below Euston have been a little kinder, with several nice cod and a few golden perch caught on lures and spinnerbaits.

We spoke earlier of staying one step ahead of the big cod and we have seen this put into practice in these shallow, current-rich waters with the adaptation of the 90mm shallow-diving Codzilla lure from Koolabung.

In the past month alone I have seen several metre-plus cod landed on these little gems and a string of fish in the high 90s range sucked in by their action.

They are this season’s most productive shallow-water cod lure in this area and the bonus is that the golden perch don’t mind a chew on them, either.

Bait fishing has slowed around Wemen in the cooler water with just the odd perch caught on cocktails of worms and small yabbies.

The Wakool River has been a little dirty and unless the rain stops falling, it will continue to run so. Poor clarity has made it hard for the lure fishos but there’s always the chance of a cod or golden perch on bait if you do the time.


The Murrumbidgee has been very clear and I expect that this might be the spot to extract, or at least connect to, a giant cod or two – especially if the water stays clear.

If you are after big cod then fish big – don’t get sucked into casting smaller lures because the water is tight.

A giant cod in these smaller rivers is no different from a giant cod in the Murray, other than it will be a little more switched on.

Big lure, big fish – try lures with large profiles like Bassman DT spinnerbaits or large hard-bodied lures. The best way to catch big cod is to actually fish for them.

All up, the season so far has been pretty good. If nothing else, it has made you think a little outside the square to stay in touch with what our elusive green fish are all about.

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