For any freshwater fanatic, it doesn’t get much better than a plus-sized Murray cod imploadling a topwater presentation, with the tell-tale ‘boof’ sound and a pizza size sinkhole near the rod tip. The sound alone is enough to send shivers up even the most seasoned anglers, and sees many coming back again and again to target this aggressive Aussie icon. To many of their most loyal followers there’s no better way to catch them.
Fishing with surface lures for Murray cod has been happening for decades, and as with most things, the technique has become refined over the years. We now know the optimum times in different waterways to be fishing in this way, and there is a huge range of over-sized lures designed specifically for this caper.
Murray cod can respond to topwater presentations at any time, but like most fish this activity will be heightened during hours of low light. During summer, autumn and winter - the seasons where targeting Murray cod is allowed - they will happily rise to boof a lure if the conditions are right. The right conditions generally involved low light or complete darkness, and relatively shallow and open water between 1-3m. Having good cover nearby is also helpful, as this will serve as cod real estate during the day. During the darkness they will venture out from their homes to search for larger surface dwelling game!
Working these areas over thoroughly, sometimes with 20-30 casts into the same spot, can provoke aggressive responses.
Cod don’t have the best aim when eating off the top, commonly missing the first few strikes. If you keep at it though, they’ll often keep striking until the hooks find their mark.
As with a lot of cod fishing, this technique involves making lots of casts with large lures. Swimbait or stickbait specific rods can make this task a lot easier! The Storm Arashi Swimbait Rod or Oceans Legacy Specialist Spin Fishing Rod will comfortably cast these big cumbersome presentations with ease.
As for lures, the Taylor Made Cod Walloper 90mm Hard Body Lure, Kingfisher Wake Bait V1 Hard Body Lure and Westin Freddy the Frog Swimbait are all proven on big Murray cod, and come fitted with sturdy hardware to minimise hook failure.
Surface lures are just as important to have in your cod box as hardbodies and spinnerbaits, so don’t be caught out when the cod start looking up!
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