Murray Cod Season 2020-2021
It’s mid-November and time to start thinking about the upcoming Murray cod fishing season. If you’re like me you’ve probably been thinking about it for a long time already.
It’s always hard to predict in advance what the conditions will be like, but at the moment, with 2 weeks until the season opens the rivers are all starting to settle down and look great. If we do not get too much rain then hopefully we will be in for a cracking Murray Cod opening.
Where to catch Murray Cod
Well we know that Lake Nillahcootie has plenty of Murray Cod that are biting at the moment because they keep turning up as a by-catch to people targeting yellowbelly.
Thanks to Victorian Fisheries Authority there are Murray Cod in all of our non-mountainous rivers these days.
From East to West; The Upper Murray river, the Mitta Mitta river, the Kiewa River, Ovens River, Buffalo and King Rivers, Broken River, Goulburn River, Campaspe and Loddon Rivers all have a healthy population of Murray Codthese days, and each and every one of those rivers is worth fishing.
The Upper Murray River suffered badly from last summers bushfires which were followed by flash flooding which led to fish kills in some areas. I have spoken to NSW fisheries who have advised me that the entire upper Murray River was NOT effected and that the fish kills were worse in some areas than others and that there are still plenty of fish up there.
If you are after a large Murray Cod, you are probably best to head to the Murray River including Lake Mulwala. The Murray River between Yarrawonga and Cobram seems to be a popular spot for people targeting the large trophy sized Murray Cod. If catching a monster is not your thing, and you just want to catch a Murray Cod of any size, then the Ovens River might be a better bet for you as it has a strong population of mostly smaller cod.
Bait fishing for Murray Cod
In recent years there has been a surge in popularity of kitchen baits when Murray Cod fishing, particularly cheese and chicken.
Small cubes of tasty cheese work a treat on Murray Cod and so too do small pieces of chicken breast.
I have friends who have caught Cod on chicken nuggets and chicken chippies although I have not used these baits myself.
These kitchen baits seem to catch a lot more smaller fish. For the larger Murray Cod it is hard to go past a large Bardi Grub, or a large yabby. Don’t be scared to use a very large yabby, the sort of thing that would be better suited to the pot as a Murray cod will not hesitate to hit a very large yabby.
Lures For Murray Cod
Lure fishing is by far the most popular form of Murray Cod fishing, with surface lures being most peoples favourite. The excitement of a Murray Cod surface strike, known as a “Boof” is really hard to pass.
Brett Corker with a small Murray cod that took his Codger surface lure.
I usually work on a system of deep diving, or sinking lures during the day, and surface lures in the twilight hours and even after dark.
Here are a few lure suggestions from the Trellys online store:
Bassman DT. (My favourite Murray cod spinnerbait) https://www.trellys.com.au/collections/spinnerbaits/products/bassman-spinnerbaits-codman-dts?ref=i68jzcdpol2e
Old Mate diver. (Excellent all rounder and proven cod catcher. Bright green is my favourite colour) https://www.trellys.com.au/collections/hardbody-lures/products/old-mate-lures?ref=i68jzcdpol2e
The Old Mate lures are one of the best budget Murray cod lures on the market and have accounted for a lot of Murray cod over the last few years.
StumpJumper. (Old faithful and very reliable) https://www.trellys.com.au/collections/hardbody-lures/products/stumpjumper-fishing-lure-2?ref=i68jzcdpol2e
Jackall Pompadour. (A topwater favourite for many Murray cod fisherman) https://www.trellys.com.au/collections/topwater-lures/products/jackall-pompadour?ref=i68jzcdpol2e
Codger Surface Lure: (Brett Corkers favourite surface lure) https://www.trellys.com.au/collections/topwater-lures/products/codger-topwater?ref=i68jzcdpol2e
Here is a video review that I filmed of the Chasebaits Smuggler a couple of years ago with a bit of action at the end:
A few Murray cod fishing tips:
Rule number 1; If you’re not getting snagged, then you’re fishing in the wrong spot. Murray Cod LOVE snags. From spindly skinny tree branches to large logs, Cod love them all.
Older logs are best as they tend to rot away and create excellent hiding spots for Murray Cod . Drop your bait, or cast your lure hard up against the really old rotted trees in the river.
Lowlight periods of the day are best. Murray Cod can be caught all day however I find dusk and dawn tend to be the best times.
Don’t overlook dirty water. In the event that we get big rains, making the rivers high and dirty, don’t think twice about Cod fishing. You may need to switch to bait fishing instead of lure fishing, but the Cod will still bite in dirty water.
Bright coloured lures in dirty water, and natural coloured lures in clear water. This is just something that I focus on. In really clear upland water I prefer a natural lure colour whereas in the lower reaches of the rivers where the water is often dirtier, I like really bright colours.
My tacklebox is simple and effective. I Just choose what I want to carry in my backpack, and leave the rest at home.
Well that’s it folks, I hope you have found this article informative and picked up a few tips from it.
Remember it is the anglers responsibility to know the rules and stick to them. With just 2 weeks until Murray Cod fishing season opens, now is the time to get organised, with tackle, and familiar with the regulations.
Good luck on Cod opening!