Surface fishing for Murray Cod – Colby LeskoJames Dainton
The Balista hunchback has long been a favourite surface lure of mine and has account for many of my Big cod! The hunchback comes into its own in the smaller rivers I have found. Rivers like the Darling, Edwards and Gwydir are some of my favourite spots to cast the hunchback. However, any and every river that holds cod is a great place to cast a hunchback. The hunchback has a small profile and perfectly matches that of a small bird or large moth trapped on the surface of the water. It makes a great sound as it paddles along the surface and catches Murray cod big and small.
My favourite spots to cast the hunchback are along weed edges, at big laydown logs and areas where foam piles up on top of the water. The hunchback works best on a medium paced constant wind. But if think there is a fish in a certain area, I will cast the hunchback into this area and give it a few twitches before winding it in. One of my favourite features of the hunchback is the lowered hook hangers. This hangs the razor sharp BBK trebles down low and clear of the body to help aid hook ups. The hunchback is also fitted with a removable bib that simply clips on and off, so if you ever lose a bib on a big fish in a snag you can get a replacement.
Topwater fishing with the hunchback is best done at first light and last light during the day. The hunchback also fishes well right throughout the night. On sunny bright days it can hard to get cod to come up and hit surface during the day but if it becomes overcast and dull or rain this is also a great time to throw the hunchback.
My favourite combo for casting the hunchback’s is a 7ft 8lb to 16lb rated bait caster rod with a 200 sized bait caster. I spool this reel with 30lb braid and 50lb leader. With this setup you will be able to take on the big meter cod that destroy the hunchback while also being able to cast with ease and accuracy. I like to run heavy drag on my combo and then once the fish has ‘boofed’ the lure and hooked up I will back the drag off a few clicks for the fight.
The hunchback works best is times of clearwater, but I have also caught the odd fish on them during periods of dirty water so it’s also worth a try. The hunchback can be fished all year round for cod. Most of the surface action will be over the warmer months but during the chill of winter you will find less action but bigger fish.
So there you have it my recipe for success on the Balista hunchback with surface cod. The hunchback had been incredible for me over the years with many meter plus cod and many of my best sessions coming on this bait. Its one ill always have in my cod tackle box for many years to come!