THE first day of December marks Murray cod season in NSW and the ACT, and for the keener fresh-water anglers targeting the impoundments, it can seem like a race for the best spots.
Big old Lake Burrinjuck, which is fed by large rivers such as the Murrumbidgee, Yass and Goodrabidg Rivers, is a classic example but put the word “race” into the quest for big Murray cod in any impoundment and you’re starting off on the wrong foot.
These fish can take many days to catch, even when conditions are perfect.
Many people also ask me where my secret spots are. Well, they aren’t that secret! Large rocky outcrops, single overhanging rocks, or big snags with few other snags about are the go.
You just have to work them over slowly and methodically from afar (long casts), and without making too much noise on the bank or in your boat.
Once you’ve worked one spot, try the next, and be prepared to go home empty-handed. This holds true in other big fish lakes such as Googong, Blowering and Burley Griffin.
Good lures include deep divers, chatter baits, rattlin’ raps, surface walkers and spinner baits.
I sometimes sweeten my lure with a yabby for extra effect where possible.
Please let cod go, especially the big ones, as you are very likely to catch a few golden perch along the way, and these are a much more sustainable fish to take for the table.
Meanwhile on the coast there is some easy surf fishing for good-sized salmon and tailor in the gutters and adjacent to deep headlands.
Metal lures and pilchards are best, especially if fished on a rising tide.
If you need any more pointers on how to get stuck into these fish, e-mail me at email@example.com.
SAFETY COMES FIRST
With the big increase in people on the water over the next month or two, I must stress that mobile phones and spot devices do not take the place of an emergency beacon in a distress situation.
An emergency beacon is the only way of guaranteeing your distress signal and position is received quickly and accurately by search and rescue, especially if it is GPS enabled.
An EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) is required by law for anglers heading offshore in many instances – check the boating regulations in each state you intend to visit.
I carry one even where not required by law – the ocean can turn dangerous quickly even when you’re well prepared.
The smaller PLBs, or personal locator beacons, are typically not required by law, but are increasingly being carried by anglers, myself included, who are bush walking, four-wheel-driving, kayaking and mountain biking into remote areas.
For more information on EPIRBs and PLBs, visit www.gme.net.au.
See you on the water,