It’s time to break out the big lures in hope of that fish of a lifetime. The Murray cod season is officially open and I can hear the codaholics out there saying, “It’s about time.” Every cod closed season feels longer then the last as we anticipate what sort of season is ahead of us. Floods at the right spawning time this year will have helped with natural recruitment this season. Crazy numbers of cracker cod encountered through the closed season show that signs are looking very good at this early stage of the season.
The target species over the last few months has been golden perch. This will all change as anglers switch from small lure presentations to large ones to increase their chances of hooking into a Murray cod. Casting lures rather than trolling them is becoming more popular on the freshwater fishing scene – this is most evident at Blowering Dam where 10-12 years ago you would rarely see someone casting lures. Now it seems every third or fourth boat is giving this casting thing a go.
If you have never targeted Murray cod on the cast before, I highly recommend it. The strike from a big Murray cod while retrieving your lure is second to none. It’s hard to explain the feeling, but sometimes it’s like you’ve been shocked. The hits are that violent. If you’re faint hearted, I probably wouldn’t recommend it, as the heart almost always skips a beat or two when a big cod first hits or you first see the true size of the beast you’ve hooked.
The best lures for casting at Blowering while targeting the Murray cod are mostly silent, natural looking lures. You’ll still catch the odd one on massive spinnerbaits, but on top of being a highly pressured waterway, it’s super clear with 20ft of visibility as the norm. In saying this, it’s hard to beat large soft plastics rigged by themselves, or on Angel Baits or chatterbaits. These two blinged up jighead styles are far more natural looking than conventional spinnerbaits and have been standouts over the last couple of seasons. They’re also a great way of giving the large fish something to home in on, or to get their attention from a bit further away if you haven’t already.
For anglers that have caught Murray cod in every conceivable way and are looking for new challenges, something different or new ways of bettering themselves as anglers, try catching a Murray cod on fly this season. Flyfishing for Murray cod is not as hard as some will have you believe. You cast the flies into exactly the same places as you would your lures and you retrieve them in a very similar way. Simply cast to your chosen snag, weed bed, drop off or other suitable fish holding structure, allow your fly to sink into the strike zone just like you would with a lure, then slowly and methodically strip the fly back to your feet or the boat.
Some days, fast constant strips are needed. More often than not, what’s needed is a slow but steady strip with the odd pause to allow your fly to sink back into the strike zone. It’s worth noting for Murray cod, you only need to cast short distances to cover the small area that you think the fish are holding in. You don’t need to be able to cast a million miles. You can teach yourself, watch an instructional DVD or YouTube clip and learn to cast the short distances required for catching Murray cod on fly in no time at all. Just like the lure casting, once you start this form of fishing, you’ll find it hard to do anything else.
Many anglers get their fishing fix in December, especially over the Christmas break – not just the diehard fishos, but people who might only wet a line once a year. This makes December one of the busiest times of the year to be on the water. This isn’t all bad news though, as a lot of fish species are very active at this time of the year. There’s more than enough fish to go around for everyone. It’s not all about the cod this month either. Golden perch will be a viable target and for your best chances at good yella action, focus your efforts super early in the day or late in the afternoon and into night. The sensational trout fishing to be had this month in our lakes and running water is also worth a mention. With the amount of terrestrial insects around already, December could be one of the best dry fly months of the year. Even if you’re not into flyfishing for trout, they’ll be catchable on bait and lures. They make a great target fish this month, especially if you want to avoid the crowds. There’s a massive amount of small streams in the area that hold great numbers of trout and are great places to get away.
On top of fishing the small creeks over the busy period this year, I’ve opted to fish a private fishery over the Christmas break. I’ve never done it before, but I’m looking forward to it, especially the chance to hook into a resident albino rainbow trout. No matter where you decide to fish this holiday period, I wish you all luck with your fishing ventures and safe holidays.
The dry flyfishing for trout is sensational over the December period.
Targeting trout in our smaller rivers and creeks this month is a great way of avoiding crowds and can also be super rewarding this month.
A massive plastic blinged up with an Angel bait was this beautifully marked cod’s undoing. Large plastics blinged up or fished naturally will be your best bets at Blowering Dam when targeting XOS Murray cod.
Blowering Dam has some of the clearest water you’re likely to come across anywhere in the country, which makes fish like this a bonus.
With the new season comes new challenges and new goals. If you’ve caught them every other conceivable way, why not give flyfishing for Murray cod a go this season? This very dark Murray cod was caught on one of the Kaos Cod Flies’ Cod Skulls.Reads: 40