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Monkey off my back!!


fenelious

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I've done a few little trips lately. Been getting a few Bass in North Pine. Took the kids out on the dam for the first time without the wife in the canoe, and got my PB Bass (49cm) trolling a Mini Dambuster with an attached willow blade troll attractor!

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49cm Bass. This one was released, the other one (38cm) in the bucket was kept for dinner for the 3 of us that night.

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I also went to Borumba Dam (and ran into Ray :) ). I spent an entire afternoon and into dusk casting surface lures all around the lower/middle end, and didn't get a single nudge! :(

I was going to stay overnight, but considering you can't camp on the bank I decided against putting myself through the ordeal of going back to the ramp, unloading eveything back into the truck, loading the canoe up, driving back down to the camp site to pay for a piece of grass to sleep on, then unload and launch again in the morning, to possibly get nothing again... So I loaded up in the dark and drove the 2.5hrs home with my tail between my legs :(

Over Easter we went down to Canberra to see the inlaws and a couple of old uni mates of mine that live there. I got a leave pass from the family and went camping Saturday morning to Sunday morning. My mate Matt has a 40 acre block of steep rocky bushland that backs onto the Murrumbidgee River (its only redeeming feature!) about an hour south of Canberra.

Just between us Matt's not much of a fisherman let me tell you. I've been quizzing him these last few weeks about the fishing opportunities... when I asked ages ago he started off by talking it up big time, but as it became clear that I was definately coming down to give it a go he started to play it down saying it was probably just full of Carp. He's tried fishing it a few times apparently (don't know what with... Trout lures I think), and never got anything.

Anyway, so I turned up with a bit of Cod fishing gear, and away we went; me, Matt, and Magoo (who is even less of a fisho than Matt). Matt had a couple of decent rod reel combos spooled with appropriate sized mono... but then I looked at what was tied on the line - a little inline spinner on one and a little jointed shallow bibbed minnow on the other... but both these lures were preceeded by a horrible big shiny snap swivel, and a foot up from that a SINKER! I didn't make a big deal of it but mentioned off hand that sinkers weren't really needed for those types of lures, but he seemed to think it was a good idea so I didn't push the point and let him go.

By this stage Matt (he'd done some reading on the Net) had assurred us all that there were virtually no Cod, Perch, or Trout in the river because it was infested with Carp. He said that he read only 6% of the catch rate were natives last year. So we took a bit of bait fishing gear in the hope of getting some Carp if nothing else. I brought my Cod gear in the hope of getting amoungst that 6%.

When we bush bashed our way down to the river at about 10am I immediately saw a number of big Carp. It was a beautiful piece of river though, such a shame about the Carp. We set up camp and I chucked my shrimp trap in baited with the only thing we had - bacon rind. I then rigged one of Matts rods with a simple weighted hook with bacon rind also, hoping to later upgrade to live shrimp or grubs that I would forage for. I'd told him to bring corn for the Carp but he didn't bother, and I guess I didn't either.

As I was doing all this Matt began casting his little jointed 40mm shallow bibbed minnow with the big snap swivel and the sinker :S

And Magoo started looking for a good place to swim.

I planned to set Matts rod and leave it in sight while I casted Cod lures with my rod.

As I was setting it up, before I'd even picked up my own rod, I heard Matt yelling from down the river. "What do you want?!" - Come here! he yells. "What?!" I've got something! he yells. What?! What could he possibly have? I was sceptical. I came out of the bush and saw his rod bent! Have you got a fish!? I yell in disbelief. Yeah! he yells at me, Hurry the F*** up and help me! I run to get my lip grips then over to Matt as he slowly reels in the fish. I couldn't believe it. I waded in and gripped it.

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Matt holding his 53cm Murrumbidgee Cod, with Magoo. You can just make out the little lure, and the sinker draped over the Cods body. We certainly let him go to fight the good fight against the Carp.

Anyway so I forgot about the second rod and set to work casting at the fishiest of spots with spinnerbaits, vibes, and a Stumpjumper. Matt reckoned he saw another bigger Cod follow his lure in around the same place he got the first one (a very nice shaded back eddy that I would have surely targeted had Matt not got there first!) So he spent most of the rest of the afternoon peppering the same area with no further success.

I gradually moved up stream into the steep rocky cliffs... So many Carp I saw cruising around, it was disgusting. At about 3.30pm I was nearly ready to call it quits and head back, have a swim, make an early camp, have some beers and spend some quality time with my mates, when it happened. Not a big hit, just a tug, then my line moved sideways as I set the hooks on the 75mm Stumpjumper - yes its a decent fish! Could this finally be it? I was standing up on a rocky ledge about 2m above the water and wondered how I was going to get down to the fish... when I saw him come to the surface I was in no doubt - holding my rod above my head I crouched down over the ledge and 'safety jumped' into the shallow water hoping for the best. The sandy bottom caught me nicely in knee deep water, and I gathered in more line. But no weight in the line! No, is he gone?! Yes!! he's still there, and after a bit of a run when he first saw me, and a thrash, the lip grips were on and I let out a whoop that echoed through the gorge!!

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59cm Murrumbidgee Cod. Finally my first Cod!! :woohoo:

After that I started making my way back to the others, with a few casts here and there. I actually hooked up to something else I assume was another Cod, but after a couple of turns of the reel handle he was gone :(

I was happy to call it a day fairly early, and we all proceeded to get on the the grog around the camp fire and talk of past glories :lol:

I think the boys were nearly as happy as me that I caught a Cod too, cos they thought I'd probably be out there all night trying to get one otherwise! No....

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