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  • Writer's pictureThe Cap

The comeback of Murray Cod

Updated: Nov 14, 2020

Why has Murray cod made such a big comeback in recent years?

After growing up in central Victoria listening to my father telling all these amazing stories of big cod it wasn’t until the age of 18 before I caught my first big Muzza.

I was on a solo trip because I had just bought my first car and was now free to explore the waterways that I wanted to fish. I chose the home of Murray cod because around that time, maybe 1990, the only place you could catch them was Lake Mulwala. Or that’s what all the Magazines told me.

Now fast forward to 2020 and you seem to be able to catch Murray cod almost anywhere. Social media has people holding big Muzzas all of the time.

What changed in the 30 years between 1990 and 2020?

I believe that we have some very special individuals to thank. There were too many people to mention in this article but the one person that I think had the biggest influence on the survival of many Australian native fish was the Man Himself Mr Rex Hunt. I have read multiple articles on the subjects around slot limits, closed seasons and water flows and they have all helped. But as I said, none more than the Bearded Burblers catch phrase “Kissin em and lettin em go.”

I have fond memories as a child of going out and setting springers/setlines (because that’s the way it was done in the good ol’days) with massive baits to chase Murray cod. And if you were lucky enough to catch one, and that was a big if, it was gilled and gutted before you could say Yibbida Yibbida. Look, don’t get me wrong, it was not wasted with a family of six. With Mum, Dad and the four boys we didn’t waste anything.

With Big Rex’s TV show going Australia wide the majority of people started to buy in on the idea of letting a fish go. I can still remember an Unnamed Uncle saying to me after he heard I had let a fish go “YOU DID WHAT”. But I was sold. I wanted my kids (if I ever grew up enough to have any) to be able to hunt camp and fish like I was able to do as a teen. And the only way to see this happen was to change. And change we did. As a Nation, Rex Hunts Fishing Show slowly but surely change the entire populations view on keeping every fish you catch. Yes, there are still a few bad apples but as a whole we do well as a country and I feel a little bit of pride every time I release a fish.

To end I would like to quote the big man himself again and say “thank your Mother for the rabbits” and Thank you Big Rex

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