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T_Bert83

Big Murray Cod Tactics

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I have heard many comments like “I only dream of catching one of those” over the years when pictures of metre cod are posted or stories told. I have been fortunate enough to encounter a few now and thought I’d share a few things that I have learnt. I still have a lot to learn but hopefully this can help someone catch their fish of a lifetime.  

These are the things I consider when specifically targeting large Murray Cod in dams. This only covers lure fishing as that’s how I target them.

•             Bait is key. Look for signs of small fish either jumping or on sounder and also for birds. I’ve found massive schools of gudgeon which the carp and yellas feed on and generally a decent cod hasn’t been  far away. Seagulls, cormorants and pelican are the birds I look for..

•             Isolated timber or cover are productive areas.

•             In cooler months fish shallow, the bank to 5m early moving deeper as the sun gets higher. This is not a set rule as I’ve caught fish in water around 1.5m middle of a bright sunny day.

•             In warmer months I generally focus around the thermocline and fish low light and into the night generally don’t fish shallower than 3m.

•             Key bite times are sun rise, sun set, moon rise, moon set and also with a bit a research found 80% of my bigger fish 80cm+ have come from minor or major bite times according to a solunar table. I wouldn’t build a trip around this but something to consider.

•             Lures are a personal choice so many will work I use the following,

- Chatter baits & Spinnerbaits– so versatile I cast them everywhere I especially like them at night.

- Crankbaits – use them when I want to make a lot of casts and to cover water quickly.

- Swimbaits & Glide baits – Usually fish these in low light conditions and water less than 5m. Although with heavy chin weights you can fish them as deep as you like. I try limit the weight as light as possible to allow for long pauses without the bait plummeting.

- Lipless Crankbaits – When I think fish may prefer a smaller offering and something that I can fish super slow.

- Also think big. 6-10 inch lures is what I’d spend 90% of my time casting but I have caught big fish on 90-100mm lipless crankbaits so they will definitely eat smaller lures.

•             Lure retrieves I generally keep pretty simple with just a slow roll with pauses to keep bait close to the bottom catching most of my fish. Don’t be afraid to use long pauses as I’ve had fish eat lures just floating out the back of the boat. 

•             Barometer is an important factor. I have found if you can score a high barometer 1020+ that stays high for a week or more the fishing is generally really good.  Other than that I usually try allow 2 days for the fish to settle after large pressure change.

•             Stop main motor a long way from spot you intend to fish and motor in on electric in. (I do roughly 500m)

•             Keep noise to a minimum.

•             Don’t give up on spots If it ticks all the boxes i.e has bait and cover as the fish will be there. One particular spot I fished took till the 4th occasion before I caught a fish and pulled 2 in 3 casts.

•             I’ve fished these principles across 3 different dams with good results so definitely not dam specific the only thing will be to find what food source the fish will key onto for your waterway.

•             Most importantly is to put in the time and keep casting.

Hope this helps someone,

Cheers,

Trav

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Thanks for posting your insight into fishing the dams for large Cod Trav. Some very helpful information there which I shall pass on to my mates who fish Burrinjuck Dam. My main fishing (almost entire fishing) is in the Murrumbidgee which is an irrigation supply river where I live. I have to say that I haven't caught any big Cod but am very happy doing what I do...mainly bait fishing and an occasional lure/spinnerbait opportunity, when the river is not running too fast and has enough water in it. I suppose some of the major differences in the dam and river fishing equations are water flow, depth and snag distribution (being much more snaggy in the river environment). Very interesting comments about seeing what the fish may be feeding on. The types of lures which you suggest as effective is much more extensive than I use (mainly trolling with Stumpjumpers or such and casting spinnerbaits and 100mm lures at stumps}. It's thrilling catching them using lures as they hit hard and head for the safety of the snags.

Where do you fish when living in Orange? I have fished a few times at Burrendong and have relos in Wellington. If you fancy taking an elderly angler sometime, to teach a few tricks to, send me a pm. Always keen to learn new things...

One thing that is common to both of our fishing environments is  "put the time in and keep casting".

Cheers for passing on your experiences Trav. bn

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Great report Trav Cod would have to be one of the top fresh water fish to target

80cm20goodoo.jpg

Edited by masterfisho7

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13 hours ago, big Neil said:

 

Where do you fish when living in Orange? I have fished a few times at Burrendong and have relos in Wellington. If you fancy taking an elderly angler sometime, to teach a few tricks to, send me a pm. Always keen to learn new things... 

 

Hi bn,

Being in Orange there is only small dams such as Lake Canobolas and Gosling creek dam and a few streams close to town but I usually head to either Burrendong, Wyangala or Windamere or head to the Maquarie river when chasing natives and also spend a fair bit of time around Lithgow chasing trout.

I'll be in touch we'll tee something up for sure.

Edited by T_Bert83
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12 hours ago, masterfisho7 said:

Great report Trav Cod would have to be one of the top fresh water fish to target

80cm20goodoo.jpg

Ripper fish mate. There is definitely something special about cod I can't get enough of fishing for them.

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