Get My Drift by Glen Stewart

glen tremor codIt’s been interesting watching the take up in fishing for bigger Cod in southern Impoundments over winter. Slowly but surely the word has leaked out in regard to the opportunity’s that present in places other than Copeton Dam in northern NSW. Not so long ago during the depths of winter on dams such as Wyangala, Burrenjuck, and Blowering you could have set off an artillery 21-gun salute and not a soul would have heard it…

How times have changed. It was and is inevitable especially in this day and age whereby information spreads so quickly right into the very palm of your hand. Just as anglers are learning so are the Cod. Sustained pressure changes habits I’ve seen this with Golden Perch in Windamere Dam. My 25 plus years of fishing the dam has given me a valuable insight into the associated learning patterns that have developed with the Golden Perch, all of which is totally relevant to Murray Cod if not more so.

glen juggernaut65 goldenAngling technique’s as a whole have changed markedly over the years for Golden Perch in Windamere Dam and nearly all of it has been fish or numbers driven, let me explain. Now this is far from black and white, there are many blurred lines, and it’s very much a generalization. If you were to fish a sinking rattling lipless crankbait 10 or so years ago with a standard slow roll, with maybe just a few hops and pauses close to the bottom you would have absolutely cleaned up, double digits most days during spring. You can still catch them this way but the numbers using this method have diminished markedly. Extending the bite with silent models, different sink rates, different retrieves, different brands has for the most part been mostly exhausted. The fish have learned by association the harmonics and footprint of such lures presented in such a manner mean DANGER Will Robertson DANGER… Hence the move by anglers to a different lure a different technique to keep catch rates up. There are other floating factors at play here but more on that later.

COD FACTORS

glen tremor cod2Murray Cod are a long-lived fish 75-100 plus years in suitable relatively stable environments, ones with healthy water, and plenty of food. That’s a whole lot of associated learning taking place, some factors are already in my opinion effecting behavior’s of these bigger fish in pressured waters. Adjusting is key. As with Golden Perch at Windamere Dam over the years every single popularized lure or technique will run its course on Cod on pressured waters. But there are other factors at play here and they need to be taken into account. If I was to tell you the floating shiny amplifier we choose to fish out of and the way, we behave while onboard is directly affecting catch rates in some impoundments would you believe me…??? Now in unpressured water it can be a case of the opposite being true I have on more than one occasion seen big Cod come up out of the depths and have a look at that strange object floating above. On the flipside in more pressured water I have seen hot bites on Cod in a shallow feeding zones shutdown by the actions of boats and the people in them from 50 meters away… In pressured shallow feeding zones that I know well my sounders are off, I’ve usually done my scouting the day before and confirmed the presence of bait. I will kill my main motor hundreds of meters away and move in on the electric motor. If I can I will position the boat upwind and drift back only using the electric motor sparingly, sometimes I even throw out a drift sock to slow my speed. My movements inside the boat are kept to an absolute minimum. My casts with the Balista Tremor are made downwind I’m trying to get the lure as far away from the boat as possible, in doing this you are also covering a lot more water with fewer casts in what is an early morning bite window that closes with every passing minute. Don’t underestimate the drawing power of a big bait such as the Tremor in open water, big feeding Cod will move a long way to eat one. The early success of the Tremor is no accident, its different and adaptable to so many different Cod fishing scenarios. Its life span on pressured waters will go well beyond those in its running stable…