Written by Jacko Davis. Every couple of years there is a new craze technique to target a certain species, no matter what the species. Murray Cod are a great example of this, from old flatfish, floopy’s and oversize inline spinners to the big wooden hardbodies and spinnerbaits to the more recent surface lures. Although some Aussie swimbaits date back to the 1960’s a recent rise in quality and success has them at the end of many passionate Cod anglers rods. It’s been well published over the last year and rightly so, that swimbaits are proving the biggest lure advancement for targeting Murray Cod since the spinnerbait. Americans have been using them on Largemouth Bass for years and now we Aussies have caught on.
The swimbait category encompasses both soft plastic and hard body designs, and both are very effective. These can be jointed, surface or subsurface, slow sink and fast sink – covering a range of depth options to suit. Their realistic action and appeal is the difference between them and all the old proven lures out there. Lure fishing for Murray Cod has grown in leaps and bounds over the last few years, and in high pressured waters, having a more realistic lure can prove the difference. A lot of these swimbaits are quite large, and using them is made easier with technique specific outfits.
At first I found it hard to tie on a swimbait with any confidence over proven lures like spinnerbaits and surface paddlers, but once I caught my first Murray on one, I haven’t looked back. I’ll be the first to admit that I thought I’d be fine casting differing swimbaits, sizes and weights on my old trusty Generation Black ‘Cranky” baitcast setups. I’d read a lot about how important having a swimbait setup (rod & reel) to match the baits you are throwing were, but I continued to lob casts out with my Cranky. Not until Daiwa released their new Tatula swimbait rods did I realise how wrong I was. These rods allow you to cast any bait with confidence, work the lure how it’s designed to be done and handle large fish with ease. The major factor I’ve found is the casting. You can cast a 5 ounce bait like you would a ½ ounce spinnerbait on the ‘Cranky’. It lets you fish significantly more water, in most cases I could cast twice as far, and this is a recipe for successful fishing in any circumstance. One thing I’ve noticed since becoming hooked on this swimbait craze is the average size of fish has increased considerably. I’ve been able to land some monumental fish in my short time swimbaiting, and a large reason for that is using quality gear that is technique specific – horses for courses. The reel I have matched with the Tatula rod (TAT76H-SB), is a Daiwa Lexa CC 300H and it also plays an important role. Having a larger reel balances the rod out, holds more line and has more drag (10kg), all important factors.
It’s pretty evident swimbaiting for Murray Cod is changing the way many people approach the species, and the success is widespread. Since I caught on, I find myself using a swimbait 9 times out of 10, my spinnerbaits are collecting dust! I’ve been super impressed with the swimbait setup I’ve been using, its allowed me to cast and retrieve large baits how they should be and helped me land some large Murray Cod. The quality of Daiwa products goes without saying and the price point of this setup I’ve found to be significantly lower than other products in the same category. For anyone who wants to give swimbaiting a crack, it is addictive! Be sure to buy quality baits and setups that are specific to the fishing you are doing. Always remember that Murray Cod are a fish of 1000 casts, success will come.