It is probably fair to say that everyone who fishes would love to catch a big Murray River Cod. And with Murray Cod, big is the operative word.
The minimum legal length is 60 cm, and they are thick, heavy, beautifully marked fish.
Of course, we all know catching a big Murray Cod will only ever be a dream for most fishers – everyone knows the Cod have been fished out of most of our rivers.
As a species it is struggling to survive in sustainable numbers in most rivers, in spite of fish stocking and tighter size and bag limits. Sadly, not all fishers observe these limits even though heavy fines apply.
Well, the Southern Brisbane Sportfishing Club has found “Cod Heaven”, within a few hours driving distance of Brisbane. A bit far for a day trip, but 11 club members and two prospective members recently spent a magnificent week in this Cod Heaven, and cleaned up big time.
35 Murray River Cod for the week, about one third of them above the legal size limit. The rest were great fun to catch and release.
One big Cod measured 83 cm, and fish over a metre have been caught by club members on previous club trips (the club does this trip every year). Five fish were caught on just one trolling run this year by members.
In addition to the Murray River Cod, club members boated their usual big haul of Golden Perch, better known to many as Yellow Belly. These are also big heavy fish, sometimes over 50 cm, and are a tonne of fun to catch.
“The really good thing about this club is that we don’t run any competitions, so people have no incentive to hide information about fishing spots and techniques from one another,” says trip Captain Trevor Saunders. “Indeed, Sportfishing clubs exist to help people to learn about fishing, and members share information openly and willingly.”
But when we asked Trevor to tell us where this Cod Heaven is, he merely laughed.
“You’ll have to come to a club meeting to find that out! We meet at Beenleigh Bowls Club at 7pm on the first Monday of every month – except January. Visitors are made feel very welcome, both male and female.”
Have you ever caught a Murray River Cod? Is it a fishing fantasy? Let us know!