The Off Season So Far

18 10 2012

A goal of mine every closed season is to chase Golden Perch or Yellowbelly (Callop if you’re from South Australia). However, this area doesn’t have a rich population of these golden natives in the creeks and rivers, but they’re certainly on the rise.

Fishing the river, no matter how smaller lure or spinnerbait I’ve been using has only produced by-catch Murray Cod of late so I’m now keeping well away, at least until I hear reports of the Goldens coming on.

A by-catch cod that took a Gangster Lures Bidgee Bait the second it hit the surface

Retreating from the river and leaving it alone to allow the Murray Cod to breed I headed to a tiny farm dam which I’ve come across Redfin and Eel-tailed Catfish in the past. Second cast I managed to hook into an extremely healthy Golden Perch which smashed the lure as it floated up and over a weedbed.

First Golden (not legitimate) for the Spring – Pressy Bream Bait

I also spent about a week working on a property, a property which happened to also be the home to some amazing farm dams which are privately stocked with Murray Cod, amongst the only places where cod may be targeted through the Spring time.

One afternoon I had knocked off work just as the sun set and headed off to the main dam. With the time that it was I opted to head straight to a surface lure. The night started hot with many fish, some of a very respectable 80cm+ chasing and smashing the lure at my feet. However  the real excitement came about halfway around the dam in one of the feeder channels. I cast toward a patch of thick reeds and slowly paddle the lure back across the channel, with the little light left I notice a considerable change in the wake and then a very large boil from underneath when the lure passes over the drop off.

The next cast was in a similar direction, I slowly retrieved at a constant pace anticipating an explosion. The fish did not disappoint and made certain to explode on the lure and then thrash around on the surface, throwing itself out of the water many times. I knew straight away that this fish was BIG. The fish pulled with all of its might against a locked drag and heavy set up, but the Syren, Vanessa combo soon tamed the beast and I had at my feet a 108cm surface cod.

Hydrobug Jerimiah Surface Lure

Beyond satisfied with the fish I grabbed a couple of quick photos on my phone and straight away walked the beast out to the drop off to ensure a healthy release, after clenching down on my hand the fish shook its head and with one solid tail beat was off back into the depths. From here, I didn’t bother with another cast and headed on home.

The following day I decided to have my lunch break back at the same dam and check over the channel to make certain of the monster’s survival. As I ate I flicked around a Bidgee Bait and was soon on to another fish, this one being a nudge over 60cm.

Gangster Lures – Bidgee Bait

A couple of days later I stopped for lunch on the bank of a much smaller dam which was also stocked but never had a fish caught from it. After emptying out the lunch box I made a quick lap around the dam using a large surface lure. As I get close to the wall I watch as a large cod shoots from the deep and stalks the lure. The fish chases the lure to the shallows but then turns and swims back into the centre of the dam,  however staying higher in the water column. A quick cast over the fish which I could see in the clear water and the fish disappeared before exploding up on the lure.

After a solid battle, the fish was at my feet for a quick measure, photo and release.

A super solid 79.5cm off surface at 1:30 in the afternoon – Kingfisher Mantis 120mm

Once the work was done, I had organised a day of fishing with Ethan beginning at the main farm dam and then heading to a creek which I regularly fished as a kid. The dam had its ups and downs, we ended with a total of 5 cod off the surface (from 60cm – 71cm) and another 5 cod on large Gangster Lures spinnerbaits (from 58cm – 71cm). However whilst un-hooking fish they flicked and put hooks straight through my finger, not just once but twice in the one morning!!  This lead to many coarse words and a lot of blood.

Kingfisher – Mantis

Kingfisher – Mantis 120mm

Kingfisher – Mantis 120mm

Kingfisher – Mantis 120mm


Kingfisher – Mantis 120mm


Gangster Lures- Frogger

Gangster Lures – Frogger

Gangster Lures – Frogger

Gangster Lures – Frogger

Gangster Lures – Frogger

Gangster Lures – Frogger

Gangster Lures – Frogger

Following this we headed off to a small creek system which is generally quite productive, with a target species of Redfin or even a Golden Perch. However the fish in the creek proved tough with only a few fish hitting our lures and an odd couple of Redfin or Goldens chasing lures to the bank. From here we resorted to fishing some rock pools chasing a few Redfin or the ever-rare River Blackfish (Slimey). No Redfin were caught but 8 Slimeys were landed with some bigger mystery fish taking our offerings and snagging themselves in amongst the rocks. I also had a turtle chase my Shiver Vibe, snap at it and then hook itself in the foot while turning to retreat.

A River Blackfish

River Blackfish


River Blackfish, this was all photographed to release them ASAP

Gladiator – Shiver Vibe


After leaving the creek we quickly ducked off to fish another farm dam to chase a few Goldens which we were told about. Time was limited but Ethan did manage one little Golden Perch on a spinnerbait to end the trip.


Gangster Lures – Bidgee Bait

Back home I’ve been as busy working as always, however I have managed a few quick sessions which seen the breaking in of the new finesse combo on a 39.9cm Redfin on a plastic.


Bozos – Galaxia (Smelt)

I also managed a chance to fish an often over-looked local lake. I was very impressed with the clarity and cleanliness of the shoreline and then the fish getting about, I witnessed two decent sized Golden Perch, a large Cod, a large number of catfish and I’m even pretty certain I seen a very large Trout in a shallow, weedy area of the lake.

Following this I also headed to where the Redfin have been holding up lately, however I was pleasantly surprised with an extremely hard-fighting 53cm Eel-tailed Catfish on one of my own lures.

Pressy Lures – Bream Bait (excuse the crooked glasses)

The Spring is not over yet, and hopefully I manage to strike solid gold before the re-opening of the Murray Cod Season.

The set-ups used here are:

Cod set up: Banax Vanessa 6’6″ 10-14lb 2 piece rod with Banax Syren with 40lb braided line and 30lb leader

All-round spin set up: Gladiator Snake Skin Sports Spin 2.1m 2-4kg rod with Banax Snake Skin Spin 800 reel with 10lb braided line and 14lb leader

Finesse fishing set up: Banax Vanessa 6′ 2-6lb 2 piece rod with Banax Snake Skin Spin 800 reel with 4lb braided line with 3lb leader




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