Murray Cod are one of the largest freshwater apex predatory fish in the world! It is also Australia's largest freshwater fish growing to over 100lb and 140cms in length and the oldest recorded fish lived for 48 years! For your average Murray Cod fisherman any fish caught over the magic metre mark is classed as a trophy fish. Cod can't live in saltwater and can only be found in freshwater systems including rivers, plus stocked dams and impoundments through out QLD, NSW, VIC & SA often making them the premier freshwater sportsfish in those areas.
Cod are their systems apex predator! As a result Murray Cod are perfect for lure fisherman. They are known to eat everything from fish, crustaceans, birds, lizards, turtles, snakes, mice and frogs. They have a very big mouth and something enters the water a Cod will probably have eaten it at one stage in its lifespan. This makes it very exciting for lure makers to experiment with different animals other than your traditional fish shapes. We have had everyting from birds, lizards, mice, rats, fish, yabbies and turtle lures at some stage in our store specifically made for cod to eat.
Ash Holdsworth - Purchasing Assistant at Motackle & Outdoors
TARGETING MURRAY COD
Depending on where you live in Australia there would be a place close by where you could catch a Cod. It may be a dam or impounment stocked by a local fishing association, or a natually free flowing river. These areas are where you will find all sizes of cod and each area may have a different technique to catch them on lures. With all fishing, using lures that imitate the diet of the fish your chasing will give you the best chance. I'll refer back to the section above about the huge range of species cod have been known to eat so I suggest doing some research before heading out to new spots.
Daran Ryan - Fishing Store Manager at Motackle & Outdoors
Dams & Impoundments - There are many different ways to fish for Cod in dams and impoundments. Depending on how you want to fish, you can throw surface, wake baits, swimbaits, glide baits, sub surface, spinnerbaits/chatterbaits or hard bodies. Look for areas that will suit the use of these lures - points, fallen timber, weed beds, stone boulders and drop offs. Cod tend to hold in these types of structure for protection and ambushing prey.
As with most fish, major bite times are sunrise and sunset but also concentrate your efforts on moon rise and moon set times.
Freshwater Rivers - Fish heavy structure such as fallen trees, rock bars, eddies adjacent to faster flowing water and rapids or areas of high water disturbance. Surface fishing is very popular in rivers around sunset, sunrise and after dark when the fish are active. Increasing over the last few years swimbaiting for cod has taken off in freshwater rivers, especially for land based anglers.
Ash Holdsworth - Purchasing Assistant at Motackle & Outdoors
Spinnerbaits - Often seen as the best all round lure for murray cod. One of the orginals, a slowly swan spinnerbait can cover all depth ranges and is deadly around fallen timber and vertical trees.
Chatterbaits - Chatterbaits are fairly new to the scene in comparison to spinnerbaits however they can be fished in very similar fashion, that is up and down the water column. Often fisherman rig them with an additional stinger hook towards the tail of the lure.
Soft Plastics - Big paddletail and grub soft plastics have two purposes when fishing for Cod. Firstly they can be rigged behind a spinnerbait or chatterbait to add more action to the lures or they can be fished by themselves with either a jig head or single hook. Often additional stingers will be rigged under the chin or further back towards the tail to provide additional chances of hooking up.
Swimbaits - A few years ago the swimbait craze landed in the Murray Cod fishing scene. Big, heavy, multi-jointed baits worth anywhere from $20 to $300 were being thrown at big fish and getting results! Predominately coming from the american bass scene often these lures need upgrading terminal to suit the much larger Murray Cod. You can fish them around structure, over weed beds and even make them sink with the addition of weights to the lures. The way to use them is to mimic the action of swimming fish.
Josh Kerridge - Fishing Store Assistant Manager at Motackle & Outdoors
Hardbodies - One of the original methods of catching cod was trolling hardbody lures. Using a deep diving lure sometimes up to 30 feet deep, and covering a lot of ground was achieving good results. Nowadays there are a fair few lures out there that are both deep diving and can be casted by the angler at structure.
Surface & Creatures - The most exciting way to catch Murray Cod is using surface lures. Nothing beats the explosion on the surface that a cod makes when trying to eat your lure. The added bonus is they often aren't the best surface eaters so they can have a few goes at eating your lure before hooking up adding to the excitement.
This is also where different looking baits come into their own. I've seen surface and wake baits that look like birds, rats, turtles, snakes, fish... the list is endless and cod will try to eat them all!
Fly Fishing - For more of a challenge there are people that target Murray Cod on fly. Big 10-12 weight rods and reels are throwing big fluffy flies similar to the flies used for Pike overseas. The ability to create your own custom designs and have them eaten by a large cod is every fly fishermans dream.
Craig Hanlon - eCommerce Admiistrator at Motackle
The cod lure scene is one of the most exciting for lure fisho's. You can find local Australian made hand crafted lures often made with custom Australian colour ways and great attention to detail as well as innovative designs made for other overseas species such as Bass and Pike by award winning lure makers. Cod hit hard, pull drag quickly and grow to exceptional size, they truly are the pinnacle of freshwater lure fishing.
- Ash Holdsworth - Purchasing Assistant at Motackle & Outdoors