This trip has been in the planning for some time, as my wife’s family come to this competition annually and have done for over a decade now. We had planned to come in 2013 but with a wedding looming it wasn’t good timing for us.
Fast forward what seemed like a very short 12 months and the 2014 Yamaha Cod Classic was just around the corner. This was our second time chasing Cod and our first time at this comp, but going with seasoned entrants we had a fair idea about what was on offer and how tough this place was going to be!
We left North Nowra on Sunday to catch up with the others who had left the day before and set up at a free camp on the Murrumbidgee River just out of Wagga Wagga. I had to work on the weekend, so we didn’t get started until 3.15pm.
We fuelled up and decided to take Moss Vale Rd, through Kangaroo Valley instead of heading through Nerriga.
A huge storm had popped over the mountain so we travelled through rain most of the way. Although long, this stretch of road along the Hume Hwy offers some spectacular scenery and really turns on a show at sunset!
We fuel stopped at Yass along with some dinner then powered on to camp arriving just after dark at around 8.30pm. When we caught up with the rest of Ash’s family they had talked about the couple of small Murray Cod they had caught off the bank using live bait. We got the rooftop tent set up, got the chairs out and sat around talking until it was time to get to bed.
Not seeing what was in front of us on our night time arrival, it was nice to wake up to the sound to Cockatoos calling and the flowing water of the Murrumbidgee River on our doorstep. Thankfully a few weeks before I had got around to getting the dual battery kit put in the FJ Cruiser, so we had the ability to have the Waeco CFX 65 running and could grab some cold milk for our cereal.
We were back on the road after breakfast and driving south for Albury before changing direction and heading west to Yarrawonga (VIC)/Mulwala (NSW) where we arrived around 1pm and set up the FJ at the Mulwala Waterski Club.
The heat here has been obnoxious. No breeze and mid to high 30 degree celsius days, there was no escaping it. But hotness aside, the location is stunning. From the foreshore you look out and about 1km away you see the standing timber that this lake is famous for!
After the warmth had subsided somewhat, it was time to head out and have a quick afternoon fish. The plan was to go out and troll some lures in the hope of getting something to rise to the occasion. The light quickly faded and so did my hopes of catching anything that afternoon.
Day 2 at Lake Mulwala had arrived and the forecast was for an even hotter day. I chooffed off to one of the local tackle stores called Intents Fishing & Outdoors where I met the owner Ben, who gave me advice on some of the lures to go for and some spots to try to get my first Mulwala Murray Cod. With my wallet a little lighter and my brain ticking over with the hope catching a cod on surface, it was time to head back and wait for the temperature to drop off.
As the day progressed and the heat subsided, we pack the boat and headed out. We trolled, we cast, we trolled some more then cast some more….nothing. We watched an awesome sunset over the lake then before we knew it, it was night, time to head back.