The 5 Best Lure Types for Murray Cod

So far the current Darling River fish kill is being put down as a natural event due to low rainfall, hot weather and toxic blue green algae… and yes these are reasons why fish are dying.

But 2 years ago the Menindee Lakes were almost full! Where is all the water? It didn’t just evaporate!

The simple answer is that it was sold off for irrigation which has left the Menindee Lakes system nearly bone dry.

At the time of penning this we are standing at 2.5% water level and the water left in the lake system is toxic.

This is a major fish breading area as well as a major water supply for Broken Hill, so how could a waterway be so miss managed to the point we are left with toxic sludge water being pumped down the Darling and is right now wiping out everything that lives in the river. This issue never happened in the Millennium Drought that stretched for over 10 years… but only two years after flooding rains there is no water left? Well what’s the point in regulation then…

Thousands and thousands and thousands of native fish gone!

If these were Wombats, Kangaroos, Echidnas and cute fuzzy critters people would be up in arms! But fish, birds and water life doesn’t seem to matter to the people in the big smoke especially when they are being fed misinformation by the majority of the media.

Since the ABC Four Corners program aired and revealed the large scale water theft and the corruption of senior bureaucrats in 2017 we were promised sweeping change and people cried out for a royal commission into water theft and government corruption, yet nothing has changed.

Sadly the people in control of our waterways don’t seem to be owning up to the mistakes that have been made nor even caring and they are treating us that live and see the effects of this mismanagement like mushrooms. If this when on inside a sporting organisation the coach and CEO would step down or be sacked…

So how do we change this?

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Sadly names on a petition don’t work.

Neither do sad videos of countless dead animals shown on social media. The only thing that will make them waver is the loss of their seat of power.

So make it bloody well known in every post on social media in every video and every letter, email written to your local member we will vote you out unless we see change. This is the only threat that will work on those who are holding our rivers at ransom.

As I said this is only the beginning and we are starting to see the effects of mismanagement in the lower Murrumbidgee now too with stagnant water and dead fish starting to pop up in Hay.

For the benefit of a few rich cotton growers I will not stand by and watch the death of our once great river systems.

Please make it known and share it around, I will vote you out!

Chris Cotterill
Passionate Freshwater Angler

murray cod log root ball

Prime example of the root ball on large red gum logs!

murray cod logs

Another prime example of a large root ball on a log that would hold a big fish!

murray cod logs

Another prime example of a large root ball on a log that would hold a big fish!

When targeting this feature on the snag majority of the time you want to be casting tight in against the top of the root ball. One other tip; ensure to repeat your cast to this location a number of times as it is the most likely location for a feeding cod to hide.

Cross Overs

This is a term used for when (at minimum two) snags lay over the top of each other. The more crossovers you have in the one location the better. A cross over basically does the same thing as the root ball by providing cover and an ambush location for the fish. Many times you will find numerous crossovers from a number of snags in one pile. Make sure you cast to every cross over in the snag pile as they are all great ambush locations for Murray Cod.

casting murray cod snags

This is an example of a 'Cross Over' that's out of the water

Vs or Forks

These are the last of the three key features. A ‘V’ or fork is where the branches on a fallen tree split into two and run out at different directions. The best and biggest form of this is where the main branch on a log breaks off from the main truck of the tree.

Why is it a location you want to concentrate on? Because this break in the log creates cover either side for the fish. This not only makes the fish feel more protected but also provides the fish with more distraction from its prey. Same principles as the above two features.

These spots are even better when you have floating scum pushed up in the fork creating a little veranda for the fish. One; it is more cover but even better it means the food flows down with the current and funnels into the fork. All the fish has to do is wait for the food to come to it. These are the spots that you are most likely to find a hungry fish.

murray cod snags fishing

You can see here a great example of a fork in a log. Even though this is a small log it will still hold a fish. Cast into the circle and retrieve back out.

Other Key Things to Remember

All the above features are great spots to concentrate your attention on, but if you mix them with the factors mentioned below you will increase your chances tenfold.


This is such an important point! Shadows are your friend because Murray Cod love the shade. If you have two good logs in front of you and one is in the sun and one is in the shade, always take the shaded log and give the other one to your mate.

Cod will feed in both situations, but majority of the time you want to target those shaded pockets. Fish the bank on the river that is shaded from the above trees, or cast to the side of the log that is casting a shadow. Nine times out of ten the fish will be sitting in the shade.

casting shadows rivers

The shaded side of the river will always hold more active fish.

Current Flow

Fishing a river with almost zero current compared to one that has quick flowing water is totally different. You’re fishing style changes drastically!

Slow Current: In still water the fish could be hiding on any inch of the structure. As there is no current there is no particular cross over, fork or part of the snag that we can be sure the fish will be hiding on. In these situations you want to work the entire log as best you can. Cast to all the likely looking features.

Fast Current: When we add current, it’s much easier to determine where the hungry cod will be. Majority of the time they will be sitting towards the front of the log, somewhere close to flowing water, but still in under one of the above features, waiting for a feed to come past.  It’s much easier to pin point exactly where they will be which means you can fish these logs more quickly.

In saying this, when the current is slower you have a much better chance of landing larger cod that usually hold against the structure sitting in the deepest water. When you have fast current running over the top it’s almost impossible to get your lure down into the zone that’s 2-3m below the surface. So if you want to land that trophy sized fish, you need to be out there when the rivers are low and slow.


The depth of water surrounding the piece of structure is important. If it’s too shallow, chances are there won’t be many fish on the snag.

Cod will live in water less than 40cm but majority of the time you need at least a metre of water surrounding the snag (depending on the waterway you are fishing). Depths of 2-4m are the most common but they can exceed this, especially in larger rivers like the Murray.


I know that’s a lot of information but these tips will help you succeed on the water. Just remember you need to target the spots where the fish are hiding. Don’t waste your time in dead water – put in the effort where it counts.

Rhys Creed

Rhys Creed

Rhys Creed is the Founder of Social Fishing. He has grown up with a love for freshwater fishing, especially lure fishing for natives. His favourite style of fishing is casting for Murray Cod in fast water rivers. He is passionate about bringing to you the best in freshwater fishing education!

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