Small lures for smaller fish
  |  First Published: October 2008

Pack away the big lures and hang up the heavy artillery, you have another two months to contemplate your efforts last season and how you can improve when the new one opens on December 1.

While you’re doing that, I will stay clear of the rivers and hit the salt in search of some line-sizzling action. I have high hopes on catches that might include giant kingfish, XOS snapper and, with luck, a monster beach jew. But let’s not count our fish before they’re caught.

For those who remain a little closer to home, there’s still plenty of fishing action.

Along the Murray River and its smaller branches, the golden perch should come on the chew as the days begin to warm.

Small spinnerbaits around 3/8oz are likely to tempt these feisty fish and less likely to draw a response from larger, unwanted cod. Small hard-bodied lures also work well on the goldens and when fished with lighter-gauge chemically sharpened trebles, are easily popped free of accidental cod with a little thumb pressure.

For those concerned or confused by this tactic, the hook does not remain in the fish; it simply bends and pulls free still connected to the lure. It will need to be changed before you resume fishing for goldens because it will be significantly weakened after the event.

Bait fishos will also see plenty of action and while shrimp will be hard to catch for a month or so, they will be among the best baits if you can get your hands on some. Worms come in a close second and when combined on a hook with small yabbies, you create a cocktail bait that few goldens can refuse.

Anglers fishing bait will also see plenty of small cod as they also begin to feed with the warming weather. Unfortunately, these smaller fish have a large gob that in most cases means they swallow baits and hooks right down.

When this happens, just cut the line close to the mouth and let the fish go. In most cases these fish will pass the hook over time.


When you begin to feel the approaching warmth, the redfin are should begin to come on the chew.

Several lakes between Swan Hill and Kerang have fished well over the past few seasons, producing redfin in size and numbers.

Lake Charm has probably been the pick but they are all capable of turning it on with some red-hot sessions. Local whitebait, which equates to juvenile bony bream, is the pick of all baits in these lakes. I’m told the frozen stuff meant for bream, flathead and so on works ideally as well.

Soft plastics are also worth a go, as are other baits and lures.

The lakes also have significant stocks of golden perch, Murray cod and, like everywhere else, the dreaded carp are also bound to scoff a few baits. They’re a pest but they do keep the kids and some of the senior anglers well and truly entertained and that’s what fishing’s about.

So, until the cod season reopens we will have to keep ourselves entertained targeting other fish, be it a few goldens, a redfin or two or a stint in the salt, it’s all fishing and its all good fun.

A double hook-up on golden perch. For those who continue to fish the Murray River, these will be the target species until the cod season opens.

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