At the end of April, Joel Edwards ran the inaugural JJ’s Plague Topwater Invitational Competition. The rules were simple, you were allowed to fish topwater lures only, no subsurface and no trolling.
Fishing times were from after the briefing at 4.00pm on Friday until 8.00am Saturday, then again from 5.00pm until 7.00am Sunday. The invitational saw some of the best cod anglers in the country gather for a chance to test their skill against each other and Copeton’s monster cod.
The fishing was tough, but the anglers who cracked the code caught and released some terrific fish. The winning team managed nine fish for the weekend, which measured 676cm. There were 30 cod caught on Top over the weekend for a total length of over 24m. The biggest cod for the weekend was caught by Daran Ryan from Coffs Harbour and went 118cm, a new PB for Daggs. There were a total of five fish over a metre.
Cod were caught on a wide verity of lures during this comp, and a lot of the competitors were cottage lure makers and it seemed that a lot of prototypes were being thrown over the weekend. The lures that caught fish varied from small lures like the Jackall Micky, to huge ‘one offs’ up to 400mm! It’s going to be very interesting to see the new lures that are going to hit the market this year.
Early indications are that this winter season are that if the big fish are a bit hesitant to hit the surface, than swimbaits will be the lure of choice. The Jackall Gantarel, now available in 3 sizes has been the stand out, but there are others becoming available. Lucky Craft have some good models as well. I also know that some of the Australian lure manufactures are working on models, which should be available soon, watch this space.
The dam has continued to rise slowly through the autumn months and this combined with the cold weather has bought most of the big fish action onto the flats. Now is the time to get out of the boat and fish these shallow banks. You will not disturb fish hunting the shallows if you are quietly walking the shore, and we find each year that some of our biggest fish are taken this way. There is just something special about fishing this way as well. A handful of lures and a pair of lipgrips (big ones) and that is all you need. Maybe a brag mat and camera, if you want to be able to back up your stories.
So, pull on the thermals, jackets, beanie and gloves and get to Copeton for the best big cod fishing in Australia. Remember that the surface fishing is at its best now, and happens mainly between sunset and sunrise.Reads: 1988