How to catch a MONSTER Murray Cod!

by Dean Norbiato

How to catch a MONSTER Murray Cod!

'Aaron Hill with his PB Murray cod caught on a surface lure at Copeton dam'

The pinnacle for any Murray cod fisho is access to the magical Metre Club. Members of the club boast a raft of instant benefits, including a status shift from a weekend warrior to an overnight expert and a comfy seat at the table for every cod conversation that eventually ends up about a triple figure green machine.

While this club to the uninitiated seems simple enough to enter, with its free access and one simple criterion, the reality couldn't be further from the truth. I know a number of anglers, good anglers, real good anglers, plying their cod trade for over a decade who have yet to bring up three figures.

In the same breath, I know greenish greenhorns who have tagged along, under duress, to fishing trips only to upstage the group and land a metre of muscle and cement their place in Murray cod folklore. It's for this reason the club has such a rich tapestry of diverse backgrounds and skill sets all woven together by one commonality and mythical three-digit measurement.

The Murray Cod Percentage Game

The Murray Cod Percetage Game

'After years of toil, Jeff Harris proudly cradles his first metre beating Murray cod that ate his hardbody on the cast'

If you are serious about joining freshwater fishing most illustrious club then it pays to be flexible with your fishing. We all know that some fishos prefer to troll away the hours, while others are happier casting lures at logs looking for that backbreaking green machine.

When looking to join the metre club you need to put your preference, trolling or casting, to the side and employ the best technique for the scenario.

An example of this is the early autumn tendencies of Murray cod in the bigger rivers and dams like the Murray River and Copeton Dam. With history as a guide, a lot of big fish that come from these waterways during summer and early autumn fall to the graphite sword of the switched on cod trollers.

Many pundits hypothesise that it's the hot weather that keeps the big fish in the deeper, cooler parts of the waterway. While I'm not sure of the exact reason I do know that countless cod casters leave the water at this time of year scratching their head as to where the cod are hiding. So, cast you ego aside and always play the percentages.

Mix It Up

Mix It Up

'Always keep metre plus Murray cod in the water for as long as you can to preserve their wellbeing.'

One of the most common traits I have seen from anglers who are constantly in the big cod mind set is their desire to try new things. They are all fully appreciative of the methods and lures that have seen them plunder tens of metre-beating cod, but all have a constantly lit pilot light to find the next thing.

I have no doubt Murray cod are much smarter than we give them credit for. You don't become the King of a colony, weighing more than a small fridge and out living any other Australian freshwater fish, by being easily fooled.

Yes there are those rare occasions when they are easily tricked into gobbling your lures, but for the majority they are one of the fastest learning fish that swims.

You only have to look at the renaissance of casting hardbody lures for Murray cod over the last coupe of seasons. Banished to the back of the box in favour of the shiny swimbait brigade, the only thing these lures were catching was dust.

So, if a lure's catch rate is on the wane, flick the switch and try something new, or even old for that matter.

Fishing Fundamentals

Fishing Fundamentals

'Hilly proudly hoists this metre of green that smacked his Jackall Gantarel'

How often do you hear those twisted stories, lashed with agony, of the monster that got away. So many anglers have had one foot in the metre club only to have the door jammed on their toes, as the monster fish either pulled the hooks or found a chink in their armour.

By dissecting your tackle and scrutinising every aspect of your system you can identify the pressure points. These key pressure points, like links in a chain, are often the root of your fishing miseries.

So to help bullet proof your fishing, let's take a look at the most common pressure points in an anglers arsenal that too often get exploited by old man Murray.

Pressure Points

Pressure Points

'Norbs with a goodoo that smacked his soft plastic and stretched the lie detector to 1 metre exactly'

  • Braided line - smaller diametre line snaps under the weight of a giant greenback. Nothing under 50lb
  • Leader - under-gunned breaking strain 'snapage.' Again, nothing under 50lb
  • Knots - inferior braid to leader and leader to lure knots break
  • Bibs - snap due to lack of reinforcing wire from the bib to the lure body.
  • Split rings - weak split rings uncoil allowing the hook to side out. Nothing under 50kg strength
  • Hooks - thing gauge hooks straighten and snap. Nothing under 2x strength.
  • Landing net - small mesh nets can catch hooks and lead to missed monsters. Minimum net width should be 60cm

Murray Cod Membership

Murray Cod Membership

'Will Curtain with a metre of impoundment green he caught on a 200mm soft plastic'

While some cruise into the club on their first attempt, others invest a lifetime and still fail to meet the one 'seemingly' simple criterion. A lot more than just blood, sweat and tears gets devoted to this pursuit of fishing happiness.

Understanding and accepting that a lifelong quest may not be enough, definitely amplifies the rush when the planets align, your battle rattle stays together, and you are proudly gripping and grinning your first metre Murray cod.

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