Guide To Murray Cod Success
The highs and lows of Murray Cod fishing can only be described as a rollercoaster of emotions stemming from countless donut trips to scoring multiple big fish in a session, and everything in between. Some anglers would give a tooth to just witness a big Murray Cod capture whilst others have an uncanny ability to encounter big Murray Cod consistently. Whatever Murray Cod fishing means to you, the one thing that remains consistent is the journey to success is never ending.
This guide touches on some key elements in helping you along that never ending journey to success.
Do Your Homework
Whilst I fully acknowledge that telling you to do your homework is a horrible way to kick things off, it will inevitably pay dividends, ensuring your time is invested on the water rather than spent. And who can complain when 'homework' is really just studying for your next fishing adventure?
Learning the environment in which you choose to target Murray Cod is the most important factor, of which there are two key elements.
- Studying the nature of the waterway will help you to understand how it might impact a resident Murray Cod to hunt its prey. Rivers will often feature many haunts such as large sunken timber, rock bars, drop offs and deep pools that will often be home to a large Murray Cod. In contrast, lakes and dams may have standing timber, boulders, or rocky outcrops and the Murray Cod may hunt in a more pelagic type manner. Understanding the nature of the waterway will help narrow down how and where Murray Cod can be caught.
- Learning what forage food lives in your chosen area will help you to understand what the resident Murray Cod will naturally hunt. This could be anything from small Spangled Perch, Redfin or Roach, found in many lakes and dams. Through to larger European Carp or Bony Bream found in most river systems. Knowing the food source of the Murray Cod in your chosen area will help narrow down the size, colour and profile of your lure choice.
Understanding these two key elements will help ensure that the first steps taken on your journey to Murray Cod fishing are in the right direction. And remember, understanding them will come with time and experience so be patient and enjoy the experience.
Once you've got a grasp on the environment in which you're chasing Murray Cod, choosing the right gear will see you equipped to going into battle with a green beast when the time comes. whilst being ill prepared will only result in tears.
In the interest of keeping things simple, a 6-12kg baitcast rod, matched with a medium sized baitcast reel loaded with 30-50lb braid and 60-80lb leader will cover almost any application in Murray Cod fishing. This is information readily available to all. What isn't widely discussed is the smaller considerations that can make all the difference when you connect with that fish of a lifetime…
- Upgrade all terminal tackle in your system! This includes heavy gauge trebles and split rings, swivels, assist hooks and trailer hooks. Any weakness in your system will be quickly taken advantage of by the jaw pressure and pure bulldozer-like power that Murray Cod harness.
- Be sure to have all your tools at the ready! This includes a large net capable of holding and lifting meter long fish, a good set of pliers to safely remove those heavy gauged hooks, a brag mat to take a measurement, and a camera to capture the special moment.
- Lure choice can be mind-boggling, with countless options available. Be sure to simplify your approach to cover a handful of techniques by limiting your choice to spinnerbaits, surface lures, hardbody lures and some swimbaits. Learning each of these approaches intimately is key, and once you're confident with a certain lure, stock up!
- Invest in a mid to high range fish finder as this will give you a read of water depth and help you understand what lies beneath the waters surface. By taking note of structure, bottom contours and whether bait is present can help position you in a prime Murray Cod feeding zone.
By taking the time to carefully consider the choice of gear, you will be more comfortable and confident on the water and ultimately improve your success rate.
Before you set out on any adventure, it always pays to be across the open/closed season for the area in which you're fishing. Once fluent with your regulations, you can look at two key seasons in relation to how best to target Murray Cod.
- In the warmer months, Murray Cod can generally be caught in better numbers but are smaller in size. Targeting the deeper water in the larger systems and the shallower nooks and cranny's in the smaller systems will generally put you in good stead to learn the warm water Murray Cod game.
- In contrast, the cooler months will see the forage food disperse and the larger cod will begin to feed more prevalently on baitfish, making them easier to target on lures. However, whilst the average size increases, the number of encounters decreases. Targeting the shallower margins of the larger waterways will see you more likely to cross paths with a beast is hunting mode.
Regardless of when you choose to target Murray Cod, be sure to adjust your approach to suit the season in play to ensure you put yourself in with the best chance. This may mean learning to fish another system at certain times of the year, and can ultimately help build your understanding of targeting Murray Cod.
In fishing, many say that you learn more from the tough days than you do from the good. In Murray Cod fishing, it's not quite the case. Each encounter holds a wealth of information for those willing to pay attention. In the excitement of the capture, it's important to take away the factors that contributed to the encounter.
Analyzing all variables such as weather, time of day, retrieve speed, lure colour, depth, water height, & flow, barometric pressure and location can all help to piece together the puzzle, increasing the chances of your next encounter. The more fish you catch, the more information presents itself and ultimately allows you to learn and develop as an angler. Over time, you will begin to notice consistencies among the variables that produce fish, which will in-turn allow you to predict key bite times, increasing your success rate on the water.
Murray Cod are habitual creatures and can be predictable at times, but don't be fooled. They can just as easily leave you scratching your head time after time. So my advice is, the more time you can spend on the water, the more you will learn. Become comfortable with your surroundings and the gear you're using and be patient and open-minded. Success within Murray Cod fishing comes from experience and time on the water, so get out there and enjoy it!