Murray Cod

by Jason Ehrlich | Australian Lure Fishing

Tweed River Mangrove Jack Map
Jason Ehrlich

Jason Ehrlich

Fishing Journalist And Lure Maker

Jason has been a Southeast Queensland freshwater fishing specialist for many years. A former bass guide and tournament fisherman, he’s written numerous magazine articles on Australian freshwater fishing and is currently the freshwater fishing field editor for Queensland Fishing Monthly magazine. His lure business “Hot Bite Fishing” produces a line of niche lures specifically for SEQ impoundment bass fishing.

Jason’s Top Tips For SEQ Murray Cod

  • The recent fish kill at Coolmunda Dam was the result of seasonal overturn, which is a natural event in freshwater impoundments and in this case mostly affected bony bream. Cod and yellowbelly were affected less and can be expected to continue fishing well.
  • With any sort of fishing it’s best to target one species. If you are interested in cod, target only cod and you’ll be better prepared.
  • Queensland impoundments fish differently to the NSW impoundments. Bony bream are the predominant food item for cod in SEQ impoundments and are abundant. Different lures tend to work in Queensland and there is less focus on surface lures and/or night fishing in Queensland cod impoundments.
  • Be persistent. When the fishing is tough, rotate between spots, keep mixing it up with different lures or techniques.
  • Most of Jason’s SEQ cod fishing takes place in water depths from 3-5m. Often cod in Queensland storages are well fed and don’t move too far to take a lure. Jason gets best results by getting a lure deep into a cods lair and making plenty of noise.
  • The best times of year are September to December with the best fishing in the days being the few days leading up to new and full moons. Low light periods of dawn and dusk are the most productive times of day.
  • Water levels are very low in Queensland storages at present, so look for break lines and dropoffs into old river beds. Often there are stumps and rocks that hold cod. If Scan 30-40m to the side of the boat and look for laydowns. Trees that have lost a lot of branches above water will often have good structure below them.
  • In deeper water at Coolmunda, fish the forks of the trees around 5-10 foot below the water surface as fish will hold above the bottom in these areas.
    When you’re in a new area, always go to the local tackle shop and buy a few lures. They’ll be able to help with local advice on what’s working and how to fish it.

Jason’s Murray Cod Fishing Tackle

  • Jason is sponsored by Abu Garcia. He uses a 5’8” Abu Veritas rod in 5-9kg line class coupled with with a revo reel, 30lb braid and a 40lb leader. This gives accurate casting and has the grunt to handle the heavy spinnerbaist and to muscle cod out.
  • For throwing vibes Jason wants greater casting distance and sometimes switches to a 7 ft spinning rod in the 4-8kg line class with a 4000 size spinning reel, 20-30lb braid line and a 40lb leader.

Jason’s Best Murray Cod Lures

  • Bassman Spinnerbaits, Codman Series in one ounce size, black and red colour is Jason’s preference. Bright fluorescent colours have been doing well lately, including brightly painted flouro blades. Blades are always double Colorado and Jason likes to add a 5” Berkley Bubble Shiner paddle tail plastic on the spinnerbait to add extra bulk and action. He also fits a Hot Bite assist stinger to the tail to convert short bites into hook-ups. When there is specific structure to target Jason casts the spinnerbaits and usually put in 4-5 casts per spot, allowing the spinnerbait to sink and slow rolling it back. If there’s no action he moves to the next spot. Trolling spinnerbaits is effective along old creek beds, where Jason puts the spinnerbait about 30m behind the boat and trolls at around 2.5 km/hr. The lure should be touching bottom periodically, but no so often you’re constantly getting snagged up. If the lure is touching bottom too often either speed the troll up a little or shorten the line to lift it up a foot or two.
  • Vibes are a great option for SEQ impoundment cod fishing, Jason prefers the soft vibes, particularly the Transam 95mm. Over flats and banks he makes long casts. Allowing the lure to sink to the bottom and working it back with a series of rod lifts, which should be sharp enough to feel the lure vibrating. Over rocks and laydowns he makes shorter casts and works the lure more vertically. In tough structure he won’t cast the lure at all, but will simply drop it down and work it back vertically, reducing the chances of getting snagged up.
  • Jason likes the Jackall Pompadour surface walker for SEQ cod too, although not so much in the storages. These are great in the river systems where the cod are more willing to work for a feed and will regularly take surface offerings.

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Murray cod fishing lures

Jason’s Sponsors And Business

Jason is sponsored by Abu Garcia  and mentioned some of the specific rods and reels in their range that he uses for targeting Murray Cod. 

Hot Bite Fishing is Jason’s niche fishing lure business catering to the specific needs of SEQ sweetwater fishermen, and in particular the large impoundment bass that Jason is famous for catching.