Fishing Icon And Television Personality
Paul started fishing as a young boy and had his first job in a tackle shop as a teenager. He spent many years doing fishing radio, writing articles, running tackle stores and being co-host of Rex Hunt’s fishing adventures. Paul started the iFish Television show in 2009 and has since shot 507 episodes….. and counting. Whilst his fishing exploits have taken him all over the world, he’s a Melbourne lad and enjoys nothing better than slipping up to Lake Eildon for a little cod fishing with the family.
Pauls Lake Eildon Murray Cod Fishing Tips
- Don’t be fooled into thinking that Murray cod can only be caught on surface lures during the low light periods. Paul has caught cod on topwater throughout the day, but admits the low light periods do fish better. He’d rather catch one cod on surface than 20 below the surface.
- Cod are the fish of a thousand casts. Put in ten thousand casts and you’ll get ten cod.
- Work your lures super slowly and don’t be afraid to put your lure close to structure. If you’re not snagged every ten minutes or so and losing the odd lure you’re not cod fishing.
- Don’t try and predict when the cod will come on the chew, they are notoriously difficult to figure out. Just put in time on the water. Paul keeps a pet cod as a barometer to know when the cod will be on the chew. If his pet cod is shut down the fish are probably also shut down.
- Finding fish starts from the moment the boat is on the water, they are all over the lake. Paul prefers steep, rocky banks where he can troll or work spinnerbaits down the slope (or walk and cast, working the lure back up).
- Shallow bays that are 1-3m deep tend to hold fish during winter, sneak in on the electric and put in plenty of casts.
- Paul likes to cast his lure as far as he can when he’s cod fishing. The further the lure is from the boat, the better the chances of presenting a lure to a fish without spooking it.
Paul’s Cod Tackle Suggestions
- Buy the best you can afford. Baitcaster reels for cod start around $150 and for $250 you’ll get one that will last for life. For his own use Paul likes the Shimano TranX, Curado’s and Chronarchs, which are a bit more pricey.
- A longer than typical rod helps with casting the large, heavy lures often used for cod fishing these days without straining the wrist. A 6’10” to 7’10” rod that allows for double handed casting is perfect and Paul prefers the Shimano Zodias, though he reckons Shimano’s budget Raider range of rods will do the job just fine.
- Paul’s mainline is 45lb Fins 40G braid, which is extremely thin for its strength. His leader is usually 60-80lb fluorocarbon.
Paul’s Murray Cod Fishing Lures
- A big Koolabung Wake Snake, multi-jointed surface lure about a foot long is Paul’s choice for fishing the shallow bays. He casts this lure long over and around structure and then simply works it back slowly on a constant retrieve and holds on. Let the lure sit for 2-3 seconds boat-side before lifting it out for the next cast. It’s amazing how often a cod will smash a lure right at your rod tip.
- A large Codman spinnerbait in dark colours such as green and black and loaded up with twin Colarado blades works well around timber and on steep, rocky shorelines. Paul likes to cast this lure towards the shore and then work it down in hops, or walk the shoreline and keep the lure in contact with the bottom. The snag resistance of spinnerbaits also allows these lures to be cast deep into heavy structure in shallower water and slow-rolled back out. Give the line a couple of quick rips at the very start of the retrieve to get the blades working, then wind as slowly as slowly as you can with the blades still working.
- A Storm Arashi 25’ diving lure in frog pattern is Paul’s final lure choice, which he’ll use for trolling rocky banks or interchangeably with the spinnerbait for casting because “sometimes cod eat hard bodies when they won’t eat spinnerbaits, for no good reason”.
Paul has been doing fishing TV for a very long time and has a lot of great sponsors who he considers to be personal friends – many have been with him for a decade or more. However, he has three sponsors in particular who have been with him since the day he started (15 years) and he wanted to pay them special attention. They are: Shimano Australia, JM Gillies and Tackle World.
Over the past decade Paul’s iFish television show has become an Australian fishing institution. With over 500 episodes shot and aired on public TV and social media throughout that time, most Aussie anglers will be very familiar Paul and his exploits. Paul reckons he might have at least another couple of hundred episodes left in him yet! Check Out iFish on 10Play