Report 27/11/15

Benalla Bait & Tackle
191 Bridge St
Benalla, Victoria
Ph: 03 5762 3704
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Nicole Penfold
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Report 27/11/15

Post by Nicole Penfold » Fri Nov 27, 2015 4:53 pm

This week's report is a special cod opening preview! Hope you all enjoy it, and maybe learn something that leads you to catching that fish of a lifetime!

Lake Nillahcootie:
Nillah as you have all seen in the last 3-4 months holds some monster cod. We have seen 11 fish over a meter die due to natural causes or mishandled we don't know but what we do know is they are there. Nillah seems to be a fishery that you don't need a big profile lure to entice the bigger fish. 70-100mm lures catch the bigger fish. Ac invaders, oar-gee's, stumpys, codgers and predateks in this size are dynamite. Darker cours like your blacks, purples and greens with hints of Fluro are the go. As for location, the old river bed is a great start as most big fish like drop offs and structure. Between sandy creek, along the yacht club and school camps to the 5 knot zone on the mansfield end of the lake is by far the best spot to pull a big one out. This stretch has structure, depth and undulating bottom. Use your sounder to find hidden drop offs and lay downs.

Broken river:
The broken is home to some decent sized cod but time and patience is required to tempt one to strike. Caseys weir is a great start and the water backs up and is riddled with snags. Best access is by small tinnie or kayak. There are some great 5m holes throughout this stretch and a big yabby or grub will entice the resident cod to strike. As for lure fishos spinnerbaits casted into likely areas catches the fish. Your red/black, purple and chartreuse colours are a good start. With the broken I personally find putting in 50-100 casts in spots where you think a big fish might hold the best option. Change lures from a spinnerbait to a rattling hardbody to annoy the fish into an annoyance strike. You walk less, fish a spot fully and hopefully tempt the big resident fish. Surface fishing was ok last season but not as good as years before. Tailor made and mantis surface lures are the most consistent lures.

Lake Eildon:
We are now seeing the million cod program come into action. Many fish are between 50-70cm now with a few even bigger. The cod aren't to fussy there and have been caught on 40mm lures on occasions. But to get those better fish troll your 90mm ac invaders these will get you down 20-25ft depending on trolling speed. Ac's and eildon just work. Other lures like oar gees and stumpys are also effective. Colours are mixed, sometimes Fluro is the go other times its a purple and pink so if your trolling try and use a Fluro and a natural/dark and see what gets more attention. Bushranger lures and Austackle giant boomers are the new kids on the block and they will slot in nicely with the lures said above. Casters have to be either on a rocky steep bank or in the timber. Casting spinnerbaits and bigger lipless crankbaits (60mm+) is your best bet of pulling a cod.

Lake mulwala:
We all know mul is a hot spot, it's a cod haven. With that comes fishing pressure. Trolling runs get flogged out and boat traffic makes the lake a washing machine at times but that's just what happens. For casters the most simple way to fish the lake is to pick a good tight grouping of trees and tie up and start casting. Run spinnerbaits as stock but also throw chatter baits and 100mm hardbodys. A bigger lure I favor over there is a jaz lure Aussie 200. Dives to 4m and has a crazy amount of rattle. It sits in the strike zone well and annoys the c**p out of the cod. So pick a likely area, flick spinnerbaits then change to a bigger profiled hardbody with rattle to finish the area and hopefully you have caught a fish. Bait fishing is bait fishing just run bardis, yabbies and scrubbies in the trees close to riverbeds and channels.

Ovens/king rivers:
Two rivers I highly rate for lure casters. Above wang you see some great clear water cod action and below you see the monsters. Very hard to access so kayaking is the best method to gain access into remote locations. Spinnerbaits, hardbodys, surface and bait are all good methods. Above wang 1/2oz spinnerbaits in brighter colours seems to so well. A favourite for me is a Balista trigger. It is a led incorporated minnow that dives to 3m and suspends. It's perfect to crank along logs and hold and twitch in the strike zone. As we make our way down to peechlba and bundalong we see the river open up and boat access improves. Trolling is great through this section and many big fish get caught on bait.

Looking abroad:
You may be lucky enough to score a week off fishing but can't decide where to go. The following few locations are know hot spots for big cod.

Mildura and surrounds:
We have all seen movies of the monsters they get down there so why not give it a crack! Lure profile is paramount here 100mm is a minimum. Ac invaders in 120-150mm are a good start. A minimum for spinnerbaits would be 1oz.

Blowering dam:
Personally fished it and love it. It's a different dam with little structure. But when you do find the structure you find the fish. Trolling is a great way to explore this dam and 100mm oar-gees, 90-120mm ac's, bushrangers and predateks are a good start. Most of the big fish are caught in 5-8m of water. Darker colours work the best by far. A mottled method I tried was using leadcore with a spinnerbait in tow. It was very effective and utilised the spinnerbaits known ability to catch fish. I'd release it till it started to hit the bottom and wound it up till it was around a meter off the bottom. Different way of doing things but it works! Casting jackall doosers are also effective. One big thing about the lake is its night time trolling. 1/2 of the fish get caught at night there and this increases your fishing time and increases you chances of landing a monster. You can camp all around the lake and also have some fun on the Redfin population as they all school up there, for good reason!

Well there you have it, a personal bit of insight into a few waterways and fundamentals. I hope that maybe a few thing help you towards catching the big ones!

Wade

Benalla Bait & Tackle
191 Bridge St
Benalla, Victoria
Ph: (03) 5762 3704
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