A Quick Lunch Session

3 01 2013

Headed out at lunchtime quickly. The sun was high and HOT!! To the point that the headcam actually overheated. However flicking Gangster Lures Mother Froggers into the shady snags I managed 3 very fat and healthy little river cod.

I hope everyone is managing a few fish!





Surface Success

2 01 2013

With river levels chopping and changing, cold water was flowing hard and was getting a fair bit of colour to it. I was very surprised to find very little activity sub-surface with spinnerbaits and hardbodies but the fish more then happy to attack the surface.

Here’s my very first video report, switch it over to HD and enjoy!

The following day I headed back and found the same results. Not a touch sub-surface but they certainly came out when I tied on a surface lure. Firstly with another above average river cod.

Hydrobug Jeremiah Surface Lure

This was then quickly followed by another small river cod.

Hydrobug Jeremiah Surface Lure

On another note, I hope you’ve all had a happy and safe Christmas and New Years break!!

-Joe





Pindari.. Dropping, Dirty and Productive!!

27 12 2012

I don’t often spend too much time up at the dam, however after some success last season I’ve decided to spend a bit more time getting to know the dam and learn how to fish impoundments.. The dam has been releasing large amounts of cold, dis-coloured water lately which has been making the river below difficult to fish, meaning that I am often left with the dam to fish. The dam however, as it drops but also gets occasional large in-flows the water clarity drops and algae levels rise and drop, often off turning conditions.

However I’ve started with kayaking around a bit. I’ve managed to run into one good fish from the kayak in the past which towed me around shortly before I pulled the hooks, however it wasn’t until a short session Sunday just passed that I managed to really find the fish. Casting large spinnerbaits amongst the standing timber I managed my first kayak Cod from the dam.

Gangster Lures Mother Frogger

This was then followed by a decent Golden Perch which attacked the large spinnerbait 10-15 times before finally hooking itself on the stinger hook.

Gangster Lures Mother Frogger

After that successful short session, I was back up the dam today, this time in a small tinny with a small motor allowing for access to parts of the dam otherwise un-fishable. Getting right amongst the timber I was quickly onto a very thick, healthy Cod.

Gangster Lures Mother Frogger

Only another two casts back through the trees and rocks behind me and I was back on to another fat little Cod.

 

Gangster Lures Mother Frogger

Now working out the sort of structure and banks we had to fish around, we headed off to find another area which was similar. The next place we came across another fish was hooked but then soon dropped. Following this we continued on to find a couple more places to try, the second of which seen another decent fish follow threw hitting the lure a number of times before hooking up solid and battling through the trees..

 

Gangster Lures Mother Frogger

The numbers may not match the other places which I fish, but the quality of the fish is definitely greater. I can see many more fish and some good fish coming from this great bit of water, stay tuned for more reports and even a few of my growing techniques for impoundment Cod fishing!

Tackle Used:

Rod: Banax Vanessa 6’6″ 2pc 10-14lb
Reel: Banax Syren
Lures: Gangster Lures Mother Frogger





A Kayak Before Work

10 12 2012

Not finishing work until after midnight, I was a bit reluctant getting up at 5:30am. But reaching the water to witness a picturesque sunrise over clear, flat water, really made it worth it and got me excited for the morning’s fish before having to be at work by mid-day.

After setting up and paddling around assessing the area that I was planning to fish I stood up on the kayak and proceeded to work along a bank with a decent drop off. My plan of attack was simple, I would just cast a spinnerbait about 1 metre off the bank and allow for it to sink to the bottom before flicking it and retrieving it just off the bottom and along the drop off.

I was soon hit and hooked up solidly to my first fish for the morning. After a quick battle, I pulled the fish into the net and I had my first Cod for the morning, measuring in at 63cm.

Gangster Lures Bidgee Bait

Only a small stretch further up the bank I cast in under a willow allowing my lure to sink right to the bottom. As soon as I began my retrieve the lure was picked up by a fish that felt solid but swam diagonally toward me into the deeper water before escaping the hooks.

I then continued further upstream, to no joy. As time was running out I changed over to a larger lure in the same black and gold pattern. The first willow I came across, I placed half a dozen casts in under before deciding to make ‘one last cast’  before moving on. I would lift the lure off the bottom and then allow it to sink back down before repeating. As the lure almost cleared the willow it was hit twice before I had hooked into my next fish.

This guy was smaller but definitely a bit of a challenge as it ran in amongst all the timber and weeds at the base of the willow. However soon enough I had the fish in the net (for a second time as it jumped out the first). This guy measuring 58cm.

Gangster Lures Mother Frogger

Time was running out so I was doing very little fishing, but as I passed the tree where I lost the fish earlier in the morning I decided to give it another shot. One cast was all that it took and on the drop my lure was smashed and the fish ran and fought solidly. With the rod loading up solid and being dragged into a slightly undercut bank I knew the fish I had connected to had a fair bit of weight behind it. Even in the clear water, it took a fair bit of fighting before I got my first look at the fish, slightly disappointed with the fish not being as big as I expected at first, I was also amazed by how solid and fat it was and impressed with the fight it was putting up.

The fight was not over though as the fish took off along the bank, dragging me along the bank. I was soon getting my shirt and net caught in overhanging blackberry bushes, making fighting the fish much more painful. But soon the fish was giving in and I’d freed myself enough to land him. I quickly paddled to the bank to grab a decent measure and a few photos before release. The fish ended up weighing a very impressive 8kg (9.5kg in a ~1.5kg net) at only 72cm.

Gangster Lures Mother Frogger

Fatty on the mat

Now running behind time, there was no time left to fish so this seen the end to my day of fishing and time to get to work.
But I certainly was pleased with the morning on the water.

However, on a sadder note. While paddling around I came across 2 set-lines which weren’t there a few weeks ago when I was in the same area. Also the bigger fish had a very obvious chunk cut from the side of its mouth where it has done battle with a set-line in the past.

Even those that do manage to escape set-lines, don’t escape unscathed

Lures used: Gangster Lures Black & Gold Bidgee Bait and Mother Frogger





After School Fish

31 07 2012

After missing out on a session I was hoping to have on the weekend I took the opportunity to head out straight after school this afternoon and try to catch a few green guys.

Reaching the water I still had a gold Severn Chances tied on from a few days ago and decided that it would be a great place to start for the day. At first I cast across a quick flowing, shallow hole with only a few snags causing a bit of slower water. I timed my casts and retrieves perfectly to drag the large lure through the likely ambush points.

It was in the first half a dozen casts when my lure gets tapped a few times followed by a quick take and run. The fish was far from big but certainly was smart fighting using the current wherever it could.

Hydrobug Severn Chances

The next 2 hours didn’t even see a touch or follow. But as if a switch had been flicked right on dark (and only a small while before having to head home) the fish came on. I noticed a quick hit on the surface tight in some snags. I cast in and as my spinnerbait drops down the water column I feel a quick take, soon at my feet the lure is taken. After a quick fight the fish is back at my feet but soon  throws the lure from its mouth before I can land it.

A few more taps from a couple different snags and things went quiet again, I quickly changed back to a large hardbodied lure which made plenty of cod attracting noise and action when reefed around in the timber just under the surface. I was soon hooked up to another fish which also managed to escape my control before safely landing it.

With the countdown on and already late for leaving I made one last desperate cast which proved ‘gold’ when the lure was taken whilst paused just under the surface at my feet in full view. The fish ducked into the deeper water but was soon enough at my feet ready to have its photo taken.

Hydrobug Severn Chances

Without another cast I rushed back to get in the ute and then home on time, on my way back coming across a few small wild pigs which made certain to frighten the life out of me running from the grass at my feet.

Certainly not a bad way to spend an afternoon after school.

Now there’s only one month left in the 2011/2012 cod season and I’ve set myself a target of catching another 18 cod (16 after today) to reach a total of 150 for this season. I’ll be sure to keep as updated as possible now until the end and keep you up to date as I hopefully come closer and closer to reaching the goal.

The Gear Used:

The rod was the versatile 6’6″, 10-14lb Banax Vanessa which can be easily pulled into 2 pieces and stored easily in the cab of the ute, the reel was the exceptionally smooth and small Banax Syren which is still gutsy enough to cast lures from 130mm harbodies down to small spinnerbaits accurately into the various snags. The lure which was the weapon of choice was the Hydrobug Severn Chances in gold, my go-to colour in dirtier waters.





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.





Just What I Was After

11 06 2012

Along came the long weekend and much the same as most weekends lately I worked everyday, including the Monday. However with my shift not starting until 12 I decided that my only chance for getting out for a fish would be to get up early and try a bit of water not very known for its fishing. After much talk with many locals and a couple trips of my own I was yet to find or hear of any cod in this particular stretch of small water, but decided to give it a try nonetheless.

Awaking to an overcast sky I was pleased to notice temperatures were much more friendlier then usual. However the barometer was on the drop which dampened my hopes for the morning.

I finally reached my destination just before seven and after a short hike I was at the water. My game plan was to fish surface walking upstream until I had to turn around where I would then swap over to sub-surface for the return trip.

Walking upstream through the first few holes the water was very narrow and shallow but nice and clear. I eventually found a nice deep pool with many visible rock ledges and perfect places for a cod to hide up against.

A few casts past the first ledge I had seen and I soon had a small cod come up behind my lure and produce a boil in the water, very promising signs. However about a dozen more casts and no return. Next I spotted the perfect cod ‘home’ a deep sheltered rock outcrop with trees over head for additional shelter.

I was expecting that if any fish were to come out it would have to be of decent size, however first cast over I watch as an average size cod comes up in the clear water and hits behind the lure twice before hitting the lure on its third attempt. I quickly hook up to the fish but the hooks pull as I try to turn it away from its rocky home.

I then have only one cast back over the same place before deciding now to flick the next cast into the shallower weedy water in hope that another sneaky little cod would have a crack. Only two sets of pops on the surface before a rather large small water cod erupts on the surface and begins to run with my lure.

The fish knew exactly where to go and after a few seconds of running had buried itself amongst the nearby weed bed. I pulled at two different angles in hope to drag the fish back out but to my disappointment the hooks soon pulled from the fish and I had nothing but a clump of weed to drag to the bank.

From here I continued on upstream finding some beautiful looking holes, yet just as many shallow dried up holes. Soon it began to lightly rain on and off but I still pressed on further, now finding some larger holes, but still no more fish.

Looking upstream to a massive hole in comparison to the rest..

Sadly I quickly ran out of time and had to turn around a power on back downstream at about 8:30. Now swapping over to a large Severn Chances in purple to suit the crystal clear water.

The way back down proved as successful as most the way upstream with not even a hit or follow. Eventually I reached the same deeper hole that I dropped the fish in earlier in the morning.

Third cast out I placed my lure perfectly to run over a rock ledge running out into the deeper water. I also decided to change up my retrieve a little, retrieving quick to get the lure only about a foot off the bottom and then pause it and allow it to float only a couple inches below the surface before repeating.

As my lure floated its way up for the second time I notice a dark figure appear from no where followed by a white underbelly as the fish grabbed and rolled at my lure. This fish like the other two knew exactly what to do and headed straight for cover. However a bit of clever rod work and pulling from the right angles the fish was soon out.

Now in a bit more open water the fish took short powerful runs followed by many head-shakes that left me praying that the hooks wouldn’t come free. But eventually after some wild landing techniques I managed to land a beautifully marked, fat, healthy and very solid small water cod going a bit over legal, from a place where they’re believed not to be..

Purple Hydrobug Severn Chances

Sadly the alarm for 9:30 soon rang, which meant it was time to quickly make my way back to the place I’m meant to get picked up.

However going home I was well and truly stoked with the mornings efforts. I was able to get out and find some cod of varying sizes (and get proof) in water which is considered by many to hold very few if any of these beautiful fish.

The Set Up I Used Was:

The usual Banax Vanessa/Banax Syren combo with both the Hydrobug Severn Chances and Jerimiah Surface lures tied on the end. All I could possibly need when chasing these magnificent fish, even in the most trying of conditions and places.