Fishing surface lure for Cod

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jimmymate
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Fishing surface lure for Cod

Post by jimmymate » Tue Mar 24, 2015 10:39 am

With the recent interest in this site and all things surface I thought I'd ask for hints and tips regarding surface lure fishing for Murray cod.

I have only recently had a few opportunities to fish surface for cod and have managed to nail a few small cod but I am far from experience in this method.

Any tips from people who have had success in still and moving water for Cod. Ie. lure type, colours, sizes. Weather conditions, water conditions, time of day?

Any input from makers in what you look for when making a surface lure?

Jimmy

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Re: Fishing surface lure for Cod

Post by Baz » Wed Mar 25, 2015 3:58 pm

Ive never caught a Cod off the surface but I imagine they would like similar things to Bass.....only BIGGER. Lures that have maximum movement at slow speeds would be a great start.
Wishin I was Fishin..!!

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Re: Fishing surface lure for Cod

Post by Rellik-doc-rob » Wed Mar 25, 2015 5:27 pm

G'day Jimmy ,

I,m glad someone finally put up a response to your post...well done Baz clapclap

I was going to respond the day you put your post up , but didn,t want to come across as a know-all or smart arse. So I left it for others to hopefully give their thoughts.

Anyway for what its worth , and I certainly don't know everything about it ......

I have had a lot of success with surface luring Cod for many a year. I reckon the first Cod I caught on a surface lure was in the late 70,s . At the time I was fishing for eastern Cod in the head-waters of the Sara / Mitchell & Henry rivers in the Brothers state forest , in the back blocks of Kookabookra , lands end area and part of the catchment that eventually becomes the Mann River and altimately the Clarence.
The first capture was with a diving lure where the cast went wrong and laid the line over the trebles and bib causing it to scuttle across the surface. Hardly went 15 feet and was abushed top-water and resulted in a nice fish just before dark. I continued to throw the lure for a period of time , swimming as it was meant to do ( a diver ) but got nothing. Thinking about the surface strike and hook-up , I experimented with purposely fouling the line and lure as was with the first fish. To say I was amazed by the results that followed is an understatement. I would be guessing all these years later , but think I got another 6 or 8 fish , with the fouled lure experiment.
Anyway.... that was one of the most important and productive lessons I think I ever learnt about Cod fishing & of course top-water fishing. I did all sorts of thinks to the existing lures I was using back in those days , like removing bibs all together , bending bibs so the lure didn't dive at all , but snaked across the water surface , and even continued to purposely foul hook line over bibs or trebles to stay on top. Had some fantastic results , especially on or just after dark , through the night and even early morning. I,ll touch on daytime surface fishing a little later....

I have always stated that my favourite all time lure maker is Fred Arbogast , I doubt that will ever change , what a genius and inventive legend of our craft he must have been. My life would have been complete had I ever had the chance to sit down and listen to his stories and theories on the many legendary lures he invented. Freds Jitterbug is also my all time favourite lure , particularly the double jointed 5/8 ozs ( in BLACK ) .... is there any other colour ?
Sorry to get slightly side-tracked there...... but it does have something to do with the topic at hand.....

Heddon , who took over the distribution rights to all of the Arbogast lure range , released a Super sized Jitterbug , I,m guessing .... in the late 80,s ( may have been early , as I said it is a guess ) . It was about 4" long and also had a super-sized Jitterbug bib. There was even one that had a treble on either side of the head , not all had this but the ones I like the most were those. Your hook up rate and hook exposure was fantastic. But as with most lures in a small country town.... the prices were a joke.
I copied the lure , for my own use only , never ever sold one. Gave the odd one away , but you had the be a special friend to get one. Anyway , I made the bodies on a normal lathe.... larger than the 4" model of Arbogast , mostly 5- 6 "long in the body , and hand beat large aluminium bibs , proportionate to the increase of body size. Still copying the Arbogast , but bigger.
The success with these was something that had to be seen. But luckily for me , I have a witness who at the time was Australias foremost freshwater fishing writer and very accomplished angler. Rod Harrison.
One evening , fishing the Gwyder gorge , Harro less than 50 metres from me on hook-up , and standing next to me an hour and a half later when I landed the Cod on 6kg monofilament , I landed my biggest Cod ever. It went 39kg , and was on the home made Jitterbug copy.
Now that same lure had caught Cod from 3lb .... up to that Big-mother , and hundreds in between. It is in Rupes collection now , been repainted 4 or 5 times , and featured in a story that Gill Shott did for Fishing World magazine in the 90,s. That's were ill touch on daytime fishing with surface lures for Cod.
Gill called me and wanted to spend a few days in the bush and on the river , to de-stress from his city life. So he drove up for the weekend..... Murphies law..... rivers struggling to produce even a strike , but we kept at it anyway. So it was about 11am , sun blazing , fishing below a small rockbar on the Severn River. Rob pulls out this bloody surface lure that I,d nick-named the Duck !. 2 cast later produced a cod of around 12 - 14 lbs , photographed , released and the lure became the hero. Never discount what time of day you can raise a Cod on a surface lure.

This is not advise.... but these are some things that have worked for me....
1. Large surface lures like the Arbogast super sized one I talked about...are great and I think still available from F.T.A ( Mo tackle ).
2. plenty of suface noise and water disturbance , but at a constant relieve speed... no need to pause , although after a missed strike , I have left it sit there for a while , and maybe give it a gentle twitch to leave circles on the water. It usually is not too long before it is inhaled..... if the Cod hasn,t lost interest.
3. My personal preference is that the lure resembles a baby duck or duck-diver paddling across the surface. That's exactly what they do ...( I have seen where on other sites they refer to them as POPPERS...... so much for authorities on all things lures .... DIC*HEADS ..... ).... they are paddlers..... not poppers.
4. Time of day has been covered a bit in my extended dibble..... after dark has always been the most productive , with the help of a bit of moon ( good for angler to navigate the dark ) and also to help create the silhouette you need for the Cod to attack . Time of year has never been a major factor , but most angler prefer summer. That's only for their comfort...... in the cold of winter a lot of other baits are hybinating , so unless your a sook , get out in the cold of winter , you might surprise yourself.
I do apologise for this long and extended post , I love surface lure fishing , have done for more than 30 years and really enjoy listening and talking about it with others. If this post has not put you to sleep....... you better have a shower.... and a coffee and head to work..... because it now tomorrow.

RDR
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Re: Fishing surface lure for Cod

Post by jimmymate » Wed Mar 25, 2015 11:07 pm

clapclap thanks for taking the time to respond boys. Much appreciated and some handy information. thumbsupsmilie

Love the story of catching cod with the fouled up lure Rob. Have to admit, every time I'm fishing and the lure fouls up and circles across the top of the water I out loud say "boof, boof" half way through the retrieve thinking how cool would that be if it got smashed.

Another questions.

Do you fish what would possible be considered unproductive water ie shallower, or open somewhat barron water, or are you still really concentrate on fishing the snags and typically "fishy" water?

Is it worth flogging large, deep pools with surface, or would I be better concentrating my time to tail outs and heads of pools?

Thanks boys.
Jimmy.

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Re: Fishing surface lure for Cod

Post by Fizza. » Thu Mar 26, 2015 7:43 am

Jesus Rob, just spent a week in a coma after reading that lol lol lol

-duh -duh -duh thumbsupsmilie thumbsupsmilie

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Re: Fishing surface lure for Cod

Post by Fizza. » Thu Mar 26, 2015 7:45 am

jimmymate wrote:clapclap thanks for taking the time to respond boys. Much appreciated and some handy information. thumbsupsmilie

Love the story of catching cod with the fouled up lure Rob. Have to admit, every time I'm fishing and the lure fouls up and circles across the top of the water I out loud say "boof, boof" half way through the retrieve thinking how cool would that be if it got smashed.

Another questions.

Do you fish what would possible be considered unproductive water ie shallower, or open somewhat barron water, or are you still really concentrate on fishing the snags and typically "fishy" water?

Is it worth flogging large, deep pools with surface, or would I be better concentrating my time to tail outs and heads of pools?

Thanks boys.
Jimmy.
Jimmy there's a misconception that cod are deep water fish.........I've caught more in shallow water than deep. I think the same goes with snags as have caught heaps of cod in open water. Personally I don't think there's a hard and fast rule.

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Re: Fishing surface lure for Cod

Post by Rellik-doc-rob » Thu Mar 26, 2015 7:54 am

Jimmy ,

Great question , and I could or should have covered that in the earlier post.

I would typically start early in the session by covering all those normal daytime spots.... Logs , rocks & boulders , heads and tails of holes . But as the evening/night got into proper dark , I would start to fish the backwaters , bays , inlets and any shallow water that had deeper water nearby.
The tucker for the night feeding fish would be up in the shallow water , the fish know that . So with the cover and safety of dark , the Cod have NO problem hunting in those shallows.
In answer...... you could get a strike anywhere in the pool ( providing there are fish in there of course )... but I try to be as stealthy as possible. The only disturbance I want on the water is my lure. But in saying that , in recent years I have done a lot of fishing from my Kayak , so I like to be out there in position just before nightfall. Not a good idea to go paddling around in your Kayak like Trevor Hendy in an ironman contest , creating a bow-wake like a ski boat.
If possible..... land based is the best , but you may not be able to cover all the water if it is a larger hole.
Stealth is a must !
RDR

I went to submit this post and saw Fizza,s reply..... I totally agree with you mate.... clapclap
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Re: Fishing surface lure for Cod

Post by Fizza. » Thu Mar 26, 2015 8:05 am

Vince, Gav and I spent a day at Glenbawn Dam experimenting with surface lures to see how they swam. Some of the most unlikley lures can do things you'd be surprised at.
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Re: Fishing surface lure for Cod

Post by Fizza. » Thu Mar 26, 2015 8:08 am

Cheers Rob, I'm with you re the Jitterbugs but also don't discount the large cup face f the Hula Popper Jimmy especially the 5/8oz job thumbsupsmilie thumbsupsmilie

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Re: Fishing surface lure for Cod

Post by Rellik-doc-rob » Thu Mar 26, 2015 1:36 pm

Decided to open the D-archives treasure chest and photograph ( very poorly I might add ) some Cod surface lures.

All timber , some one-offs , and the photo of the single lure , is the one that got the 40kg Cod when harro was acting as my net-boy... lol lol lol . This same lure has accounted for well over 100 Cod , and including the big-mother...has caught 5 over the old fashion 50lb mark. All on 6kg line !!
RDR
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