WITH the Murray cod season having recently opened on December 1, it is all too easy to head for the lakes looking for extra-large cod.
If you want to catch your first cod, or catch better numbers of small to middle-sized fish, the rivers are the go.
In the rivers fish are not usually as big, but they are a little more aggressive courtesy of working up an appetite by holding against the current.
The small fish in particular can’t resist any half-decent presentation coming past because they have to grab it with urgency before it heads down stream.
Try medium divers, spinner baits, 5cm ripping raps and surface lures.
There are lots of reasonable cod fishing rivers within a weekend trip – one of my favourites for numbers of fish is the Bidgee around Wagga, and some of its tributaries.
Off the bank isn’t bad, but if you get into the tributaries, or if you’re lucky and main channel flows are low, holding into the current and casting upstream from a suitable fishing kayak is unbeatable.
Just keep working upstream with a new cast in each spot and you’ll see what I mean.
The Molonglo, lower Queanbeyan, lower Yass, lower Goodradigbee, Murrumbidgee where it enters Burrinjuck, and others are also well worth a look.
BAY PRODUCING VARIETY OF GOODIES
If there is one thing about reef fishing off the South Coast, it is the variety of quality fish that you will catch.
Anthony Stockman from Batemans Bay has been catching all manner of fish depending on the day.
On one trip it’s snapper, mowies and pig fish, on the next there’s just mowies but the kingfish move in and make up for it.
There is also some great fishing for sand and tiger flathead should you wish to catch your bag of these exceptional table fish.
Tiger flatties are brilliant – the Wagyu of the flathead world if you like, with moist high-fat fillets that rock on the barbecue.
The 40-fathom line has been the best for flathead, snapper and mowies when the drift is good.
A twin-hook paternoster rig baited with good quality squid and pilchard cocktails is a good bet.
Don’t go too heavy on the main line and leader – 20-pound braid main line and 20-pound leader is heaps and you will get infinitely more fish on nice light line like this.
Alternately, drop the pick on a north-facing reef in seven to 30 fathoms and burley up.
This has taken some good snapper and kings lately. Note that all manner of fish might turn up, especially hordes of sweep and leatherjackets, if so use bigger baits, live baits and cast large plastics for the snapper and kings.
If you are struggling, drop me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll lend you a hand.
A nice fishing rod and reel like a FAC601BRM will serve you well, and spooled with ideal 6kg reef fishing line it will catch and bend nicely on the reef fish, and handle a big king no problem at all.
Having the right tackle is a huge head start to having fun on the water.
See you on the water,