How to avoid cod confusion

December 01, 2017

Murray cod season has reopened and it is now legal to take cod from waterways other than Lake Eildon.

Trout cod are protected and must be released unharmed if caught.

At last, cod season has reopened and it is now legal to take cod from waterways other than Lake Eildon. The season opened at midnight last night so let me take the time to remind everyone of the regulations regarding the taking of cod.

The minimum legal size is 55cm and the maximum is 75cm. The bag possession limit is one fish from rivers and two fish from lakes and impoundments. All cod must be retained as a whole carcase with an absolute statewide possession limit of five fish or 30kg of fish anywhere in Victoria.

Another thing to watch is that trout cod are often confused for Murray cod and the differences are as follows: trout cod have an overhanging upper jaw, a black line through the eye and generally have a bluish tinge. They also have a different-shaped tail and fins. It is your responsibility to be aware of the differences — trout cod are totally protected and must be released if caught.

If my recent results are any indication, the season should be a good one.

This week alone I managed to catch a nice sized fish on shrimp, and I got smashed off once again by something that really wanted the yabby I was using as bait and treated my 5kg line as if it were cotton.

The recent environmental flush has freshened up the water and the level is almost back to normal, although some parts of the banks are still soft and slippery so take care.

Other action around the region has centred mainly in the high country rivers and streams where anglers are reporting catching plenty of trout with some trophy sized fish among them. Small bladed lures and minnow-style lures are working as well as mudeye and scrub worms.

Dartmouth and Eildon are also worth a visit and anglers using large lures say they have been catching cod around the wall at Eildon while trout and redfin have also been caught. There was one report of a haul of 40 fish being taken by a couple of fishing mates around the Fraser National Park area.

There is no size or bag limit on redfin because they are an introduced species.

Redfin are also being caught at Waranga Basin and Lake Eppalock although I have not heard any reports from Greens Lake or from Nillahcootie — two good fishing spots in our region.

Down south

At Queenscliff, Rod and Peter from Adamas Fishing Charters have been bagging plenty of pinky snapper inside the heads as well as off the mouth of the Barwon River along the reefs. Rod said he was also getting jumbo-sized calamari along the grass beds near The Cottage as well as at the mouth of the creek near the ferry terminal.

Peter said some bigger fish were off Mornington and using unweighted lines with a variety of baits was the method he preferred in this area of the bay.

It was also action stations off Western Port with the Hastings boat ramp car park full of trailers as anglers head out in search of fish. The best areas are around the edge of the shipping lane and also off the steel works and around the rubble beds towards Cowes. Whiting are also coming on the bite and the grass beds near the submarine is one spot being targeted for them.

A trip to Flinders Island is also worthwhile, according to James Luddington.

He said snapper, gummy shark and quality flathead were being caught around the islands near Lady Baron.

Up north

At Eden, John Liddell said the inshore reefs were the go at the moment with snapper and flathead biting. The best areas were in front of Boyd’s Lookout and anywhere south of Green Cape. John said it was also becoming busy off the shelf as game boat skippers were starting to look for marlin.

Graham Cowley at Narooma said it was a similar situation there with schools of kingfish around the northern end of Montague Island, snapper and flathead inshore along the reefs and an occasional tuna or marlin off the shelf.

He said when boats could not get offshore, fishing inside the lake was worth a try with bream and flathead being caught around the oyster leases and other structure.

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