Nagambie Lakes is home to our icon, the Murray Cod, which could win you $80,000 come this April. We are now into 2020 and the competition date is getting closer and closer. Its time to start prepping yourself for a massive competition that could change your life.
With that said, I want to share some tips for targeting cod and how I would go about catching them both during the competition.
The lake system is full of a healthy population of Murray Cod from plenty of smaller cod in the 45-60cm range, right up to those metre plus models. These large Murray Cod are extremely intelligent and trying to fool them will be difficult, especially when everyone else is trying to chase them as well.
In saying that there are three different tactics that I would use, if you’re chasing that winning fish:
- Use Big Baits: there is no denying that bait is the best way to catch cod. It’s the most natural presentation you can offer, and it will successfully catch fish. Even more so when there are hundreds of lines in the water, you want to have to most natural presentation possible. If you prefer to use bait and you want to go big, use massive baits! Try and catch the biggest yabbies possible, that would be my go to bait, as well as big bardi grubs. Try and find the biggest log or deepest hole, tie up and wait for the big cod to find your big bait.
- Troll Deep: I’ve said it before, that the main river channels hold good quality fish. The largest cod will hold on the edges of the main river bed on the larger structures and in the deep holes. This is how Paul and I landed the 94cm cod while filming the IFISH episode. Trolling lures larger than 100m close to the bottom and close to structure is a go to technique for chasing big cod.
- Shallow Flats: this is the third tactic and probably one of the best to use. The river sees a lot of traffic so trolling and bait fishing the main river could be difficult with the boat traffic close by. A way to move away from the traffic and still find big fish is by moving out onto the flats. You’ll be surprised how shallow cod will go and there are some massive large expanses of water in Nagambie and if you can find these area with at least 1m of water you will find cod, and big cod at that in low light. It’s worth pushing out into the shallow areas and throwing surface lures and swimbaits around the standing and fallen trees as well as the reedy and weedy edges.
Rhys’ Competition Strategy
After covering those three main tactics for chasing that winning cod I want to run through the strategy I would use. The competition runs across two and a half days, and the first thing you need to take away from this, is to fish every moment you get. The more time spent on the water the more chance you’ll have. So don’t give up and keep on fishing.
On the first day is when you’ll have you’re best chance at getting a fish. This first morning I would pick a good trolling run and fish it hard, troll back and forth over your chosen run. Make sure you choose a good troll run with plenty of timber in about 6-7m.
Continue to do this through till mid-afternoon. By this stage the fish may start to becomes a bit shy due to the traffic on the water. This is when I would venture out into the shallow flats and try to find some good water for the evening session. Then I would fish out in these areas, as far away as you can get from other boats fishing with swimbaits and spinnerbaits before using topwater late in the day.
Day two I would use the same technique from the afternoon before. Start with surface then move to swimbaits and spinnerbaits. Once the sun gets up, if you’re keen to bait fish I’d bait fish during the heat of the day in a shaded spot with a deep hole. Then return to fishing the shallow in the evening.
Then the same process for the last half day. This is my game plan so if you’ve taken the time to read this enews you will be ahead of the other competitors.
Good luck with your Nagambie preparations and I’ll be sharing more tips soon!