Stole this of Artie (Rob). Posted on last years forum post. Still very good advice.
Morning all we cant leave until Friday afternoon so we should arrive before dark on Friday night and looking forward to putting faces to the names.
Tips from my backyard coming up, sorry its long winded, but I really want our team to be successful. Ive lived in this area my entire life, fished Mulwala countless times and all the rivers around the area...
Dont forget that this comp is also aimed at yella's, so dont exclude them. Ill have a rig for each on the yak at all times... rods will be fairly heavy, lightest will be a 4kg stick and heaviest will be an 8kg.
10kg main line (braid) in all cases and then on the cod rig 10kg flouro and 5kg for yella. Drags will be TIGHT, dont give these guys and inch, they are expert at wrapping you up in timber! Yes this means you may have a pulled hook at times but it also means you dont get bricked, catch 22, I know which way I go...
For those who havent caught a Cod yet, they are STRONG, very strong, but short winded. This means expect short brutal runs mainly headed towards cover, if you can keep them out of the sticks they will quickly tire and give up and then its like lifting a (moving) log up to the surface.... but they arent done yet...... when they see the hull they will start all over again. Dont try and net them too early, make sure they are done otherwise it can end in tears. BUT, do please get em in as quickly and as stressless as possible, many Cod die after release and light-line sport fishing isnt good for them, go heavy and fast.
If you are lucky enough to bring in the big mother, please dont lift it up by the mouth, larger fish are easy to damage in the gill and throat region by their own weight, a hand under the belly, or better still, leave them in the net and get to a weigh station supported by the water.
Cod are an ambush predator. This means they hide in the sticks and wait for food to traipse by (think flathead). They dart out, open their huge mouths and suck in 17.4 gallons of water (with dinner).... therefore I come back to the sticks, they wont be far away, so beware....
A Cod bite isnt subtle, it hits and then heads back home, expect a sudden hit and then a steady pull.... before it realises its all not well and panics... then just hang on for the ride (literally). With bait, a Cod may inhale your offering without you being aware, and then when you go to check it, all hell can break loose.
Yellas are much more subtle (at times) and will suck or hit but then have a characteristic fast 'shake' or 'pull pull pull', even their take can be 'hit hit hit'..... these guys punch above their weight, that 'huge' fish you are playing may well be only 200mm long, they can go harder than you would expect.
This isnt a fish per minute style of fishing, its a time and patience game. You will need to spend long hours on the water, we'll be wearing long sleeves and light trousers as sun block just wont be up to it. Hopping into the water every 30 mins or so (beware of sticks) to cool off (and practise re-entry), or take a bucket and swill water over yourself.
The bigger Cod lures (Stumpjumpers in large size etc) can be cast, but are really designed to be trolled and thats not always easy in a yak for hour after hour. So maybe have a selection of easily cast lures. Ill mainly be jigging vertically with SP's and spinnerbaits etc around the base of timber or structure as per the sounder as well as sudden edges or drop offs.
As I have said Cod like to hide, and usually in fallen timber on the bottom, so you need your lure to occasionally touch bottom to be in the strike zone, Cod dont like to move far (normally), so if you get a tentative hit, turn around and go back over and over, often they need to be annoyed into striking. You will need your tackleback, often, and thats a pain, but the price you pay.
Yella's are bottom to topwater feeders and also like cover, so think trees again, but not always on the bottom. Yellas tend to school and if you catch one, you may ctach many.
Finally, early morning, late evening Cod WILL wander about away from cover and even take surface lures, so open country in the morning can be productive and late in the day away from timber and in the shallows. Our camp spot is known for this activity. Ill fish close to camp in the morning and move into the timber during the day....
You cant teach Cod fishing by text, only experience, and when you feel that terrifyingly brutal first take on a lure by a big Cod, you will be incurably hooked yourself (and seriously rattled).... its a terminal disease which will see you suffer every time Cod season closes, but strangely excited when opening approaches... (like now).
All I can say is 'tight lines', the very best of luck and I look forward to meeting you all at Mulwala, and hear your stories at the camp that night, particularly the first timers..
-2m Mako-75 cm Salmon-70cm Snapper-63 cm Flathead-42cm Whiting-29cm Bream-