Catching Up

30 07 2012

Due to computer problems and mine being in at the doctors for a while you’ve not heard from me on here for too long, however I’m still updating Facebook regularly so be sure to ‘like’ Cod on the Cast on there at Cod on the Cast – Facebook

Also don’t miss out on Cod on the Cast’s Junior Competition for 16 year olds and under. However it’s already up to the voting stage, but I’d love for as many of you as possible to jump into the album, have a look and a vote on those who you pick to be the winner. The album can be found at Cod On The Cast – Junior Photo Comp – Voting

Now onto the fishing over the past couple of weeks. I’ve not been able to get out too often due to work, weather and other commitments however when I have been out I’ve managed a few and even something which will be quite a milestone for me to aim to beat!!

A Cold, Cold Cod

With work starting just before 9am and having to drive just less then an hour to get there my time to fish in the morning was limited to extremely early and only a small bracket before the sun rose and just after.

Dragging Greg from be at stupid o’clock we froze as we began to trek along the river at -5 degrees. Surface fishing is a very popular method of chasing cod during the warmer Summer and early Autumn months, though it does lose preference into Winter. However not fazed by this I pressed on with my surface lure whilst Greg flicked around an early morning spinnerbait.

The cold was really proving itself with every second cast the rod guides would end up looking like this:

A bit painful having to break this off every second cast..

Despite the literally ice cold, we pushed on to get the best out of the mornings session. I was soon casting in a narrow part of the river when my lure stopped at my feet as the frozen guides wouldn’t allow the leader knot to pass through. As I proceeded to snap the small icicles off my surface lure was stolen from the surface by a very healthy and hard fighting fish of 66cm.

Hydrobug Surface Lure

This was the only fish for a very cold morning, however with an above average river fish for the morning I was more then happy with putting the effort in.

A Long Winter’s Day

Following the success of earlier in the week the start of the weekend seen me extremely keen to get out for a fish through the day before the nights work. Reaching the river an hour or so after sunrise I notice it slightly swollen but continued on anyhow. The day was proving very tough with the first 3 and a bit hours not receiving a touch. However in a split moment my luck changed with my snag bashing spinnerbait being annihilated by a very aggressive fish.

The fish was heavy in it’s timber filled home when it grabbed the lure which made things very difficult as it buried itself amongst the snags. However eventually the fish was pulled from it’s home and soon enough landed.  A solid headed spinnerbait crunching fish of 63cm.

Gangster Lures Bidgee Bait with black half moon blade

Within 10 minutes of releasing the fish I was followed by and hit at the bank by a very nice river fish of up over 70cm, however sadly the hooks failed to set and the fish took back off never to be seen again. I then spent another few hours walking some normally very productive stretches of water for once again not a touch.

A Moment to Never Be Forgotten

Turning away from my normal river fishing scene I found myself fishing a dam which isn’t generally known for its big fish but there’s never been doubts about them existing. I would get my chance to fish for only smaller sessions but I would try my best to get out at least every morning and afternoon. The weed levels were extreme making the only real option surface fishing which was still a challenge as even surface running lures still fouled up with weed.

The first morning I’d been out for on toward and hour without a touch when suddenly an extra wake follows my lure, followed then by a large boil above a drop off. Bringing the lure into the shallow, clear water in front of me I watch as an extremely fat and large fish of about 95-100+ stalks underneath. I pause the lure and with a slight twitch the water explodes but the hook fails to set with the fish missing the lure. The fish would not return and the mornings session soon came to an end without another sight of fish activity.

The following afternoon I was back, this time armed with the stealthy and sturdy Mantra Noa kayak. I paddled around dropping lures along weedbeds wherever I could, but to no avail. Soon the sky darkened and the horizon turned crimson, there was no way I could resist chucking on a surface lure.

Only about 5 minutes in as my lure splashes down, the water a few metres moves with the wake of an intrigued fish. As I slowly move the lure towards me I watch as the fish, back out of the water, moves in close and then backs away. Eventually after about 20 metres of chasing the lure I stop the lure beside the kayak where the fish sits beneath it, completely ignoring me. The fish is in full sight and is of about 90-95 and just sits there staring down the lure. I give the lure a few twitches, but to no reaction. I eventually let it sit there when the fish moves and in a flash water is thrown everywhere. The rod doubles over as the fish heads deep, I apply just too much pressure to the fish and feel the tension release as the hook pulls free of the mouth of the fish, another surface feeding legend reduced to nothing but a fish story.

The afternoon was wearing away quick, no more hits but my lure did spook a giant fish from the shallows as it paddled past it, left for another day.

The rains had now set in and with over 2 inches of rain already and it still coming down I was looked at as if I was mad when I announced that I wished to go fishing. However being the day before my birthday and my final chance to go and try to find one of these big guys I’ve been near magically coming across I was not going to miss any chances.

The water level had risen over half a foot, making it much easier to fish opening up more options of where to cast without fouling up the lures on the weed. After fishing for half an hour along one bank and then three quarters of an hour along another without so much as a boil I was beginning to have my doubts. However reaching a point only 15 metres from where I encountered the first fish days ago I launched my cast along the narrowing section of water along side some reeds. This cast failed to produce, the next cast was placed just further along the bank and I slowly walked my lure out into the open.

As the lure flicks side to side along the surface the water beneath it breaks with what seemed the surface strike of a fish of no more then 60-70cm. However the weight of the fish and the strength of the runs against a locked drag I was soon aware that this was no ordinary fish. I grunted as the fish made it’s powerful runs, I cursed during the ‘hairy’ moments and I over all sounded like an over excited little girl as the fish surfaced in front of me showing it’s large head, long body and thick shoulders.

I landed the fish as quickly as I could, grunting as I hauled it up the bank and then screaming in joy when it was safely in my grip. And to my blessing as I landed the horse my dad had literally just pulled up to pick me up and have a quick flick for himself, right in time to get some photos.

I shook from the adrenaline of the fight and the excitement of landing the fish, and nearly cried in joy as I read the brag mat and the fish had pushed over the metre mark coming in at 103cm.

Hydrobug Surface Lure

Headshot of the big girl

Another shot, showing the rod and reel combo which stood up to the fish in the conditions.

The fish was soon unhooked and released slowly back into her watery home to terrorise the ducks or anything else silly enough to swim over head.

Following the release dad continued to fish, but to me, all I’d ever hope to accomplish for the session had been done well and truly and there was no way of improving on it so I happily sat back and looked back through the photos and cleverly named the big girl ‘Big Bertha’, short for Big Bertha-day present.

About Time I Cracked The Code

Following the rain the rivers of the area were a little worse for wear and rather higher and extremely dirty. However chewing at the bit to get out for a fish I took the little flat-bottomed tinny and 6hp motor up to Pindari for the day. My luck in the dam has always been on the worst side with never actually managing a lure caught fish, but I was still keen to give it another shot.

The dam was lower then it had been and finding places to fish was in many parts easier then normal. I began the day flicking large hardbodies in the shallower water which soon seen me hook into a very large cod. However after a reasonably lengthy fight amongst the rocky drop offs I managed to pull the hook.

Later I was cruising along (as quick as a 6hp will go anyway) when I noticed a stretch of bank which seemed as if it had some potential. I pulled up and sure enough first cast in I was onto a fish of 59cm. Now convinced there must be more I drifted along the same bank. After another 20 minutes I was on again, this time 55cm. After a quick release I cast back and received a slight tap. The next cast in I was hit hard and soon had a lovely cod of 67cm beside the boat. After pics she was let go and I continued to fish this snag. Only half a dozen more casts back in an I was on again. This fish was hard amongst the timber during the fight and loved to sit beneath the boat, but soon enough I had another lovely fish of 68cm as well.

After a nearby boat took a photo for me I was back into it again and now with the other boat drifting the same bank under my instruction. They’d drift over a snag and do no good and then sure enough I’d fish the same snag, letting the spinnerbait sink down deep and generally find the fish in the first couple casts, dropping many though. As they started their engine to start a new drift I quickly hook up again to another deep running fish which wasn’t afraid to get amongst the timber. Yet another lovely cod of 64cm was now caught and released.

As the other boat were preparing to leave I cast a large boulder with a couple of tress around it. I was getting slight nudges each cast and even one fish hitting a spinnerbait the moment it hit the surface but hook ups weren’t happening as the fish clipped away at the plastic trailer. Soon I was hit on the drop by yet another lovely fish of 58cm before heading back to the boat ramp to call it a day. All fish were caught on the same Gangster Lures 1oz Bidgee Bait with copper blades and one larger willow blade.


Another Cold Morning Before Work

With work coming around again on my days off school I was still keen to head out on the water for a quick fish with whatever chance that I could get. I caught up with two good mates and we were soon off to the river for a quick morning session in the cold. Thankfully our rods weren’t freezing over this trip but we could sure feel the temperature creeping on through our many layers of clothing.

We made our walk along the river starting off with surface lures, the fishing was proving tough with not one of getting touched before the sunrise and after. However eventually as I walked my lure along the surface over some shallower snaggy water it was stolen from the top by a little cod of just over 50cm.

Hydrobug Surface Lure

Our time was coming close to an end when fishing the final snag for the day I cast out my large gold lure which was hit hard just as it was pulled beneath the surface. After a reasonably drawn out fight and a lot of difficulty getting down the bank I had soon landed a lovely morning fish measuring 62cm to finish off the mornings session on the water.

Hydrobug Severn Chances

Finally got that out of the road which puts me back up to date. I’ll be keeping well and truly updated from now on and will soon have up the video of the 103cm off the top!! Just hang on in there!

Cheers, Joe.




One response

30 07 2012

A good read Joe!
Thanks for sharing!

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