Paddlers are a great lure type to throw for Murray cod at night.

Chasing Murray cod with paddlers

UNFORTUNATELY, or fortunately, Murray cod can be the fish of a thousand casts. Cracking a pattern without experience can be a tough thing to work out. This is where I hope to impart a bit of knowledge to make it a little easier, but I am by no means an expert.

Like most anglers that chase these elusive fish, I have spent more than one occasion casting endlessly for no result. These rules are by no means hard and fast, instead more of a starting point to get you in the game. Cod on surface lures is one of the most visually rewarding ways to catch these iconic fish. Murray cod paddler

I will share some of the observations I made zoning in on key areas to try and take out the guess work, but always remember if it looks fishy, give it cast.

When caught in clear water, cod can display beautiful colouration.

When and where

So where to start? This will depend on whether you are fishing an impoundment or a river. I have found that most of the impoundments I have visited can be very different in appearance, but will have some patterns that stay the same or similar. For example, I find fishing the twilight hours around sunrise and sunset will increase your chances. Murray cod paddler

These fish will also bite well into the night, so be prepared with torches and headlamps. So, what areas to look for? With fish in impoundments, over weed beds is a great place to start. These give the fish an excellent ambush area. If possible, pick water depths between 2-15ft as a guideline.

Another good spot is a flat that is adjacent to deeper water, along with any laydown timber and standing trees. If you can find all these things in one area it would be an excellent place to start. I have found that when river fish are in the mood, time of day is not as import as where you fish. Murray cod paddler

What I look for is areas of cover, such as back eddies, the head of deeper pools at the point of inflow, below and behind rapids and rocks, undercut banks, logs and log jams, areas of weed creating cover and any shady pocket. Murray cod paddler


While you can use a spin rod, I find a baitcaster outfit is the best option if you are casting at structure. This is because it gives you the control to land the lure exactly where you need it to be. I’ve actually been using a Samurai swimbait rod as a bit of a utility on the rivers and it absolutely sends lures of all sizes sailing with ease. I recommend 50lb braid and leaders anywhere from 40-60lb. Murray cod paddler


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