Murray River

TIPS FOR CATCHING MURRAY COD

The season opens on the first of December, which means its time to spend my weekends chasing the elusive speckled green beasts along the rivers of my native southern Queensland. For some reason, Australian native species always seem to be the most elusive. Targeting Murray Cod delivers some of the most testing fishing conditions all year. Every ounce of patience and skill I can muster is required, and even then, there are no guarantees. But once the surface breaks and I spot a flash of green as my lure disappears, the adrenaline rush makes it all worth it.

LOOK FOR STRUCTURES AND ROCK BARS

One of my favourite places for taking Murray Cod here in Southern Queensland is Leslie Dam. It has a handful of granite rock bars which attract the Murray Cod. When the lake is full, the upper part also has a few submerged trees which are a goldmine for Murray Cod. Look for submerged structures and root balls and run deep diving lures over drop-ledges. Cast into the shadows created by rocky overhangs to lure them out of their hiding places for dinner.

KEEP YOUR DEPTH

Especially in the impoundments, the strike zone for Murray Cod is usually near the bottom. When trolling, I let my lure find the bottom and then give it a couple of good turns until I can feel it swimming on its own just off the bottom. When I’m throwing plastics out, I let them drift to the bottom, once the line has a little bit of slack, I will give it a couple of strong pulls, then let it sink to the bottom again. Keep repeating this until something grabs on.

MAKE THE MOST OF LOW LIGHT

Dawn and dusk are the best times to hunt Murray Cod. This is the time when they hunt, so the fish are hungry and generally more aggressive on the lure. Night fishing is also a good way to target Cod with surface lures. In my experience, I have seen them striking the surface far more frequently under the cover of darkness. They also venture away from structures and into the shallows at night, so don’t be afraid to branch out in your search.

KEEP YOUR HOOKS IN GOOD NICK

Murray Cod are not the fish to use old gear on. They are ferocious and strong and make light work of cheap hooks. Chemically straightened hooks don’t cost much, so grab a few and keep them covered to preserve them. I usually use 3/0 hooks and 6/0 octopus style.

DON’T GIVE UP

Every Murray Cod fisho will tell you, days without any action are common. Murray Cod are unpredictable, and like all the best things in life, they come to those who wait. Be persistence and don’t give up. Keep casting and reeling in a slow retrieve. It may be tiring but stay poised and ready for the big one. When it comes you’ll be waiting with your camera, and I can promise your fisho mates will be jealous.


 

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Peter Hollingsworth
peterh@dinga.com.au

Peter has been fishing all around Australia since he was a boy. He loves camping, fishing and kayak fishing.