Last Weekends of the Season

29 08 2011

I have been very busy of late but I have still managed to get out for the last two weekends of the cod season. Both only short day trips though.
The First:

Fishing with Tyson and Shannon

After a party the night before the other two guys were a little slow at getting going in the morning however we still managed to meet the water at about quarter past eight.
Arriving at the river it was perfect, not a ripple and clarity wasn’t too bad. Almost straight after putting the boat in we began casting the tree lined river bank. Only a couple casts in Shannon gives out a “Yep, I’m on.” followed by a bit of line pull and tussle amongst the snags and a quick thumb grip at the side of the boat, as we forgot a net, this 64cm model was landed.

Shannon starting off the day

Only about 2 casts after releasing the fish Shannon is hit once again and manages to bring another, much smaller, cod to the boat.

Shannon's second for the morning

Pushing on only just upstream I was hit on the drop by a small fish which I then manage to hook beginning the retrieve only to drop a second later. Tyson follows my cast with casting to the same snag and hooking into a cod and dropping it right at the boat, our sudden luck causes Shannon to have a cast and bang he is on to another small fish.

Shannon's stolen cod

Moving only slightly along the bank I get smashed by a decent cod just after beginning the retrieve but unfortunately drop the fish, however while this is happening Shannon throws a cast into a submerged tree to have his lure engulfed by a hard fighting fish which had him well in amongst the timber. After what did seem like a lost battle Shannon managed to land a healthy coloured 57cm cod.

Shannon 4 - Tyson and I 0

After releasing this fiery fish Tyson and I put our heads down realising in only the first half an hour of fishing we were both being out done 4 – 0.

The wind picked up very strong and it looked as if a storm was about to blow over but we pressed on upstream fishing in a secluded, wind free section of the hole. We flogged casts in around many snags and couldn’t get a touch.

Until I was slowly rolling a deep diving lure along the bottom smacking along timber and all other structure I had a light tap followed by my Gladiator baitcaster rod loading up with the pressure of a strong run for cover. Luckily I had my drag set right on my Banax reel which gave me all the power I needed to turn what felt like a good fish away from it’s home.

After a strong fight through the snags I was able to boat this very solid healthy cod, get some quick pictures and release this memorable little cod which fought well over it’s length.

Solid late winter cod

Bucket mouth shot

After this fish we spent about another 4 hours on the water only to lose 1 very large cod. Trolling through the middle of the river to our next snag my rod stopped on what felt like a snag, I stopped the boat, put it in reverse and put a bit more pressure on the lure to try and dislodge it from the snag when my line shot off upstream against all my drag and no matter what force I put on the rod. After an extremely strong run the fish slows a little and then my line goes loose as the lure falls from the fish’s mouth. I was shaking from head to toe and nearly in tears over losing such an amazing fish.

We headed back to my mate’s place for lunch out of the weather. That afternoon it cleared up a little and we had a bit of spare time so we decided to go for another very quick session.

As soon as we arrive tyson drops a small cod two casts in a row and then manages to land another.

Tyson's cod on Hydrobug Dytiscus

A little way upstream Shannon’s lure is taken by a drowsy cod from in a shallow snag which was quickly measured, released and then let go to fight a little harder another day.

#5 for shannon @ 61.5cm

This was the final cod for he trip as we had to head home. Was a very good day spent with mates on the water, even if Shannon well out done us.

Canoeing with Greg

Final weekend of the cod season seen Saturday as a very wet miserable day, receiving over an inch of rain. However Saturday night my brother Greg and I decided to brave the awful weather and the river conditions changing for worse and to camp the night and fish Sunday morning.
Sunday morning we were both slow to get started with frozen fingers and extremely tired from a bad nights sleep. But luckily the weather had changed and it was a clear hot day, but started with a very cold morning.

A shot of the river just after getting up

I had a quick cast before putting the canoe in which seen me lose a small fat cod at the bank, good signs for the morning to come.

After putting the canoe in we made the decision to fight the current and canoe our way upstream to drift our way back down. Once getting to where we wished to go we were both hit on the drop with our first casts which gave us a false sense of security with the day to come.

After the first hits it was well over half an hour before I hooked a fish right in a snag which I managed to lose shortly after hooking.

Over the next hour or so we had only a couple of half hearted hits in short periods but other than that, nothing at all.

Greg decided to chuck on a small yellow and red lure and throw it deep into a laying tree, soon he was smashed. The fish didn’t run for structure like normal but tended to sit low in the water and make strong, fast runs in all directions. It soon steered itself under the canoe just to reveal right next to me that Greg had hooked into a yella, a very decent one at that.

After a bit of a struggle at the boat (no net again), we landed the fish, quickly pulled up on the bank, got some photos, a measure and released the lovely 53cm river yella. Greg was more then happy because not only was it a new personal best but it is also very rare to catch yellas where we were fishing.

Greg and his new PB of 53cm

After releasing the fish we kicked the canoe back out and I had a cast into the same snag Greg just pulled his fish from and I was onto a fish of my own. After dragging the fish from the snag there was a couple of short but strong runs and I had opened my account for the morning with a nice little cod.

First cod of the morning

After landing my fish we moved on a bit further downstream. After I chucked a cast at a fence running into the river the wind picked up and turned the canoe so I was left bringing in my lure behind me with my hands over my head.
Just short of the boat my arms are jerked backwards and I am onto another cod, fighting it behind me and over my head. After many bursts of laughter and cursing from Greg I landed the cod and got a quick picture before releasing him back to his fence.

My backwards fought fish

After 2 cod and a yella in the space of 15 minutes it was as if a switch had been flicked and the fish had gone quiet again.

Downstream about 4 holes I was in a familiar place and told Greg that here we will find some more fish. Straight after making my claim I cast in under an overhanging tree and hooked into a small but acrobatic cod which came to the top of the water twice to make headshakes a bit like a barra would, gave us quite a laugh.

My 3rd cod

We quickly released the fish and then I chucked another cast in under some over hanging bottlebrush and hooked up to another cod, this fish hardly fought but it was good to land such a small but healthy little cod.

My final fish for the season

After this I cast back in and lost another small fish and then all went quiet again. Pushing on downstream through rapids I spotted some backwater which I quickly cast to and almost instantly hooked into a fish.After a quick run towards a snag I lost the fish in amongst a fallen tree.

About an hour of fishing later I was slowly rolling my lure along the bottom when it was smashed by what felt like a very good fish but I has failed to set a hook and the fish would not come back for a second go.

This seen the end of the day at about lunch time. It was sad to leave the river at only 4 little cod to end the season but was better then none and it was great to see Greg (my cameraman) get such a magnificent yella.

See you next Season.

Cheers, Joe.




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