An enormous Murray cod caught at Curlwaa, Steve Cooper

Curlwaa is downstream of Mildura, between Dareton and Wentworth. The boat ramp is nothing flash – a basic dirt facility suited to smaller boats. A kilometre or so upstream from the ramp is the old Abbotsford drawbridge, and the river on the NSW side is littered with fallen trees, deep holes and channels – ideal cod water. On one of my visits, most anglers were fishing the opposite bank’s lightly treed flood plains accessible by family wagon. A few boats were trolling lures along that bank, concentrating their efforts around the huge concrete piles supporting the bridge. Big fish like bridges, make no mistake about that, but on this day, the best fish were in the deep holes on the Curlwaa side. By bouncing slow- trolled lures off the rock on the bottom and feeling them through the fallen timber, I got solid results with yellowbelly to 1.5 kg and Murray cod to 16 kg. When I asked a couple of locals about this stretch of the river they said: ‘Oh, yeah. It’s good cod water isn’t it? We prefer not to talk too much about it.’

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