Catching the mighty Murray cod

Catching the mighty Murray cod

Recently, Alpine Country prostaff team member, Joel Petzke, and his mates, ventured on a trip to Lake Mulwala to chase the iconic freshwater native Murray cod.

After chatting with Joel and the team at Tackle World Sale - Alpine Country, we have compiled a list of tips and tricks that will give you the best chance to catch this elusive fish.


Murray cod can be found in parts of lower New South Wales and Victoria (somewhere a bit closer to home try fishing the Goulburn River near Shepparton). Murray cod can be found close to any structure or habitat that provides them with shade and a place to ambush prey. Structures like submerged logs are a common hotspot for cod.
As Joel would agree, careful navigation of these timber-infested waters is made easier with the use of an electric motor. The advantages of which is being able to move through these waters quietly. If you have a kayak, maneuvering stealthily is not a problem, in many situations you can get to places a larger boat can’t.


Murray cod, like most native fish, are more active over the summer period, however, winter can provide some great fishing. As the water temperature declines, so does the fish’s metabolism and they become sluggish. The cod won’t move as far and will generally target larger lures/prey. This means making sure that your lure appears to be an easy feed. When casting, make sure you land your lure right in front of the cod, ensuring that your lure stays suspended in the strike zone.
Fishing at first light or at dusk is when the cod are known to bite best, so prepare to rug up. It should be noted, the closed season for cod is between September 1 and November 30.


Now let’s talk about what you should be packing. Swimbaits that range from 100mm to 250mm are a perfect size. Some of Joel’s favourites would be the Bone Focus HoverJet as well as select Old Mate lures. The HoverJet is a dual function lure, which is a topwater pencil bait on the surface, but when the flaps open it becomes a topwater prop-bait making it a versatile lure to the tackle box. If you want to use bait, you are better off using some fresh European nightcrawler worms, shrimp or, if you can find them, yabbies.

In terms of reels, you can’t go past a strong baitcaster reel like the Abu Garcia Revo Beast 40. With heavy duty gearing and a drag capable of producing 30lb pressure, you can be confident to extract the metre fish. Spool it with 15 or 20lb mono or braid, whichever you prefer. Pair your reel with a baitcaster graphite 6-10kg rod for casting medium sized lures like the Bone Black River 6’ 6” XH. For casting larger lures over 2oz a specialised swimbait rod is required and anything like the Daiwa Sol or Tatula swimbait rod series will be perfect. Oh and snacks as well, you
might get a bit peckish out there. Finally, as Joel and the boys found, it can be a good two or three days before you catch a cod because of these conditions; it’s
tough but not impossible. With his perseverance, Joel managed to reel in three decent sized cod over their week-long trip.

I’m sure that after using some of these tips and tricks that you too will be catching one of these beloved sport fish in no time. Check your local rules and regulations before going out fishing.

Sign up for our Newsletter