Dean Norbiato

Freshwater Fishing Specialist

Dean is a high profile angler who loves chasing Australian natives in the south, as well as impoundment barra in the north. In fact, he’ll have a crack at anything with fins that eats lures. A regular fishing writer, a member of the mysterious “Team Goodang” and a social media personality, Dean has no doubt helped thousands to experience better cod fishing on lures!

Dean’s Murray Cod Fishing Tips

  • Dean does his cod fishing in the Murrumbidgee from the bank or kayak.
  • Murray cod can come from any part of the river system. Anglers who get familiar with a system may tend to focus on spots where they have caught fish before or the types of structure they expect cod to be in. When someone unfamiliar comes along and puts lures in different places or different structures they’ll often find cod in places where a lure wouldn’t otherwise have been fished.
  • Don’t expect to catch a Murray cod every time you fish, cod fishing can sometimes mean a lot of casts between fish.
  • The Murrumbidgee around Canberra is a rocky, boulder system with deep pools. From December through March the cod are typically in the fast water at the top of the pool or at the back of the pool. As the water cools going into May and April the fish will go deeper into the snags and rocks in pools. Once the water gets really cold they’ll come up to the edges looking for pockets of warmer water.
  • Crisp winters mornings that merge into an overcast day will fish well right through the day and into the evening.
  • Try and see getting your lure snagged as an opportunity. If you can shake it free using a bow and arrow technique or some other way, let the lure sit there a few seconds or more before you start to retrieve. Sometimes the commotion attracts a cod and you can end up with your recently unsnagged lure getting eaten.

Dean’s Murray Cod Fishing Tackle

  • A 7’6”, 6-10kg Wilsons Swimbait Rod and a 300 size Shimano Calcutta baitcast reel loaded with 50-60lb braided line and a 50-60lb leader is perfect for shore casting.
  • For casting from the kayak, a 6’9” medium-heavy Jackall Revoltage rod is super sensitive and yet super tough. Coupled with a Shimano Curado DC loaded with 40lb braid and a 50lb Daiwa FC Rock fluorocarbon leader, this outfit will handle most lures you’re likely to toss from a kayak.

Dean’s Best Cod Fishing Lures

  • For surface fishing the 4 piece mudeye snake is impossible for Dean to go past, mainly due to its uncanny ability to call in fish from a long way away. Many anglers don’t get to experience the success they should with this lure because they just don’t have the right tackle to fish it properly. Being a large, 4 jointed lure, it needs a heavy swimbait style rod to use it properly. This a great edge fishing lure for wintertime and is usually worked parallel to the bank, although Dean has also had fish follow it into the middle of the river at times. Be prepared to leave the lure in the water for a few seconds at the end of the retrieve and hang on for a strike at the rod tip. Working the lure is simple, just slow roll it back, putting in a pause here and there if you like.
  • For fishing below the surface Dean likes a swimbait – either a Giganterel from the bank or a Ganterel from the kayak. These lures do an excellent job of imitating a carp, redfin or yellowbelly and have a subtle but deadly wobble. The power of these lures is that when you pause the retrieve they stay horizontal in the water, especially when retrofitted with #2 BKK Raptor hooks, which allow the lure to get down as deep as 6ft. Work this lure as slowly and subtly as you can, as if to imitate a baitfish that is trying to avoid being detected by a cod. The slower and quieter the better, with occasional pauses to let the lure “hang”.
  • For fishing near the bottom in deeper water a 1oz Bassman 4×4 Spinnerbait is fishable at all depths and can be loaded up with a sizeable soft plastic tail. Cast tight against sheer rock walls, it can be fluttered down and will take fish on the drop. It can then be slow rolled with regular pauses back through structure. It’s usually when it’s paused that the lure will get crunched.

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Murray cod fishing lures

Dean’s Sponsors

Wilson Fishing Australia produces a ton of great cod fishing gear, including the swimbait rods that Dean mentions in this interview.

Jackall Lures Australia are the “gold standard” in cod lures, in Dean’s opinion – especially the Giganterel, Ganterel and Gantia.

Bassman Spinnerbaits are tough Aussie lures that are “cod-tough” 

BLA take care of Dean’s electronics needs with Humminbird sounders and Minn Kota electric motors.

Team Goodang

Dean is a member of Team Goodang – a group of gun cod fishers who produce some excellent videos, articles and resources for anyone wanting to experience the best that Murray Cod fishing has to offer. Definitely worth spending some serious time on their website!


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