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Thursday, November 10, 2016

MURRAY COD EXPEDITION!

To chase this particular species we had to traverse continents and put in quite a few miles on the road. The elusive Murray Cod, once hunted to near extinction, is the holy grail for Australian freshwater anglers. It is indigenous to the Eastern side of the Australian continent and more often than not the sweet water holes that these fish call home offer some astounding scenery. Here's how we did it...

You don't need particularly heavy gear to tackle these freshwater giants. Armed with the trusty Evergreen Zephyr MJ Racing baitcast rod we were pretty confident...

Your typical gorge country Cod haunt, set against breath taking country...

The late afternoon start didn't yield results until the sun had set. Then this little Murray Cod obliged with a nice topwater take...

Working the large Evergreen Royal Flash swimbait slow on the surface drew the strike...

Surface baits are the best way to catch Cod in the darkness. This one liked the noisy Jackall Pompadour walker...

Another Cod gets tangled with the sexy Evergreen Royal Flash swimbait, a favourite of ours for ultra natural wakebait presentation...

The topwater explosions were something else, and of course there were many missed strikes too but it provided much suspense in the darkness. This one fell for the walking Jackall Cup Rup...

Slowly walked pencils like the impressive IMA Little Stiks worked wonders too. Here's a nicer Cod...

Next morning we were up bright and early but the fish were not as cooperative in the daylight hours. Getting hits were tricky and we had to pull out all the tricks in the book to get this nice one to strike...

When all else fails this Geecrack Swing Chatter laced with a soft plastic tail might just turn things around. And it did, with two nice fish in succession...

More like the fish we had come to chase, this is a proper specimen of the beautiful Murray Cod...


Cod are not the only freshwater predatory species that call these waterways home. This beautiful Yellowbelly or Golden Perch liked the DUO Realis Crank meant for Cod...

These fish really fatten up in these holes. Here's another look at this fine Yellowbelly...

Murray Cod are classic ambush predators, they are never far from structure so that's where we had to get our lures. Casting tight against snags can be daunting, but certain lures offer excellent control in flight and the IMA Pinjack 200 crankbait is one such...

When natural swimming action is called for, the Zipbaits Khamsin DR is never far...

It accounted for this little Cod...

While the always versatile Evergreen Combat Crank made its mark with this capture...

Going light with the Evergreen Kaleido spin rod, this little Cod fell to the well-placed Jackall Cherry crankbait...

Along with great scenery we were treated to spectacular sunsets...

The new DUO Realis Fangbait 120DR makes the perfect Murray Cod lure, it goes deep and has an enticing wobble...

No monster Cod but a nice little one none the less...

The DUO Realis Jerkbait is another great lure for targeting shallower weedbeds. This one gets the approval from a feisty Cod...

Every session we cover lots of terrain in the quest for Cod...

Here's a trophy sized Cod which represents a dream catch for many an angler...

Topwater strikes in the day are few and far between, but this time the IMA Little Stik did the trick...

Wakebaits like our favourite Evergreen Royal Flash also turn a slow session into a hot one...

Here we get consecutive strikes on the Royal Flash...

We never tire of the explosive hits...

The Jackall Mikey proves effective as well in this particular hole...

And we get a few fish in quick succession...

The Cod seem to love the natural swimming action of the Jackall Mikey...

Then after dark something miraculously happens. As the Jackall Mikey gets slammed by an aggressive Cod another much larger one tries to snatch it away. An amazing fight ensues which sees both fishes landed after the tussle...

The result is the fish of the trip, and at just under a metre long, possibly a lifetime...

And this is what you get by sticking bare hands into a big Cod's jaw...

The next morning we get right back into it, this time with the DUO Realis Jerkbait 100DR cast into a deep channel...

The lack of rain over the past months mean water levels are at an all time low, revealing all the best structure...

Throwing a topwater star like the IMA Little Stik in the shallow water is a great way to score...

Another way is to work weedless lures in thick weedy areas...

This is where a lure like this Kahara Rat N Rats comes into play...

A spectacular view of a typical breath taking gorge that has been shaped through millions of years...

In the darkness the Jackall Mikey once again rules, with this little guy...

The Yellowbellies proved pretty elusive thus far, but this morning at a landlocked river it would be different. This nice one took the slow worked FCL Labo HKTS minnow...

Spinnerbaits worked tight in structure also drew the Cod out. This is the Jackall Super Eruption doing its job...

And this is the fish that provided the entertainment on the Evergreen Kaleido spin rod...

The handmade FCL Labo HKTS accounts for another Cod with its life-like swimming...

Then we get lucky with another good-sized Golden Perch which gave a great account of itself on the spin gear...

The Jackall Cherry crankbait did the trick for this one...

The river draws you daily. It is a special place...

And it pays off to work hard into the dark, as that's when most of the action happens. Another Evergreen Royal Flash victim...

And not forgetting the explosive topwater strikes courtesy of the IMA Little Stik...

But the wilderness can be a dangerous place so it is essential to pay attention at all times...

After a few fantastic days we had to leave our little cottage behind for the long trek home...

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