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Cod and perch surge in Canberra lakes

 Murray cod and golden perch have shown a surprising burst of activity in Canberra's urban lakes, Googong and Burrinjuck, in the past week.

Anglers have been quick to take advantage. Lake Ginninderra was the most productive, with Murray cod and golden perch caught on bait and lure, then released.

Nathan Walker and Dave Eals used spinnerbaits and other lures from the shore to land four cod to about 45cm one evening, then two the same size the next night.

Other anglers nearby landed similar-sized cod, including at least one on a surface lure and some thumping big golden perch. Several of the golden perch were about three kilograms and there also were plenty of redfin. The peak activity is late in the afternoon and early evening.

Boat anglers also fared well, landing some good-sized cod and goldens on spinnerbaits and deep divers.

Some nice golden perch were caught in Lake Yerrabi, with the best catches coming after dark. Fish to an estimated three kilograms were caught on small yabbies, scrub worms and small Halco and Strike Pro minnows.


The lake is very weedy and it is necessary to hunt around to find a spot clear enough to fish. Boat fishing, providing access beyond the fringing weed beds, was the most successful. Several cod to about 75cm were caught.

Night success at Burrinjuck

Fishing patterns have shown a distinct change at Burrinjuck Reservoir, with night-time trolling and bait fishing for Murray cod and golden perch now as popular and productive a technique as daytime fishing.

Anglers this week landed a good array of golden perch and Murray cod to just over one metre, on trolled spinnerbaits and deep divers, and bait, fishing at all times of the night. The top hard-bodied lures were Burrinjuck Specials and Jackals. Several fish were taken on big surface lures. The clearest water was in the Main Basin and that should be the most productive area this weekend.

Visitors to Googong Reservoir should note that access to the Tin Hut (southern) end of the lake is restricted while storm damage is repaired. Access to the northern boat ramp remains unaffected.

The lake has been fishing well for redfin of all sizes, with some especially large fish coming from the deeper water on bobbed yabbies and scrub worms and hard-bodied lures. One fish this week was 52cm in length, the largest recorded to date from the fishery.

On the coast

Holidaying anglers at the coast report good fishing despite erratic weather and big crowds at popular spots.

Salmon have been easy to find on many beaches, with fish to about three kilograms taken on bait and lure. Many anglers have rediscovered the pleasures of barbecued or smoked freshly caught salmon this summer and the fish is no longer referred to jokingly as "mother-in-law-fish".

There have been a lot of whiting, caught mostly on nippers or beach worms, in the surf or in the lakes. Fish to 50cm were caught in Tuross this week.

Flathead have been the most common catch. They are mostly just either side of the legal size of 36cm but occasional larger specimens, including one of 91cm in Tuross, have been caught and released. The fish have been taken on bait, especially live poddy mullet, fly, hard-bodied lures and soft plastics.

Bass are at the height of their activity and nice fish have been reported from the Clyde River, Bega River and Brogo Reservoir. Surface lures, fished among fallen cicadas and Christmas beetles, have provided much of the fun.