Cod v Mulloway
The Australian Murray Cod and the Mulloway have very different environments, but as apex predators, they also have a lot of similarities. These similarities can be utilised when targeting these species, so fishing for cod and mulloway can be approached similarly.
Both species are large bodied, so any form of water movement will require energy and effort to simply maintain their position. Big fish do not get big by continually burning large amounts of their body’s protein stores, so any features or structure in the water that will deflect or redirect the water will attract big predators. If this same feature an be used as an ambush site or launch zone to attach small fish, then the area is a great place to target by casting lures.
The final piece of the puzzle is the presence of baitfish. More specifically, baitfish will move past and potentially hold near this area, since the structure will also help them. For cod, regardless of whether you are fishing a lake or river, look for an area where carp, golden perch, redfin, or bony bream would cruise past. For mulloway you are looking for schools of mullet, tailor, and even blackfish.
You need confidence and concentration when casting lures for these species. What makes chasing these species different from others is that there is very little in the way of by-catch or incidental action from other species. Occasionally you may hook an overzealous older perch on a big cod lure or a feisty ducky flathead while searching for mulloway, but these encounters are rare rather than the norm.
Mulloway love small bait fish, don’t particularly like persistent and strong currents, hang around reefs and weed beds, and at times can be considered lazy feeders. Keeping these factors in mind will allow us to select the most “effective” lure. It’s also optimum to fish the slack water at the top and turn of the high tide. The slack water provides big-bodied mulloway a short window to move around and hunt without wasting large amounts of energy swimming against the current.
Murray cod are highly territorial, don’t particularly like strong currents, hang around large sunken trees and rocky features, and are also often considered to be lazy feeders. We know cod love to hold in cover at different depths, so a lure that sinks will produce more results than a floating lure. In addition, we know that banging lures against underwater features has been a long-standing method of getting the territorial juices of a big cod flowing. Low light conditions will provide big predators the opportunity to hunt under the cover of poor visibility, so work your lures around shadows.
With some patience, these tactics should see you catching some of the big apex predators in fresh and salt water.
July 31, 2016
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