Catch a mighty Murray cod

With the festive season here, we expect to see recfishers taking the opportunity to wet a line while enjoying the great outdoors with friends and family.

Since Murray cod season kicked off, it’s been great to see lots of freshwater fisho’s excitement on social media after reeling in their first cod of the season.

If you’re planning to target cod over the summer, make sure you stay up-to-date on if there are any restrictions to waterways particularly in the north of the state. Following the recent flooding events across northern Victoria, some of our waterways have been closed or have restrictions in place for recreational users.


  1. Visit the Victorian Fisheries Authority’s Fish Stocking Database to find where the fish have been stocked. The Victorian Fisheries Authority provides a searchable map online to help target which waterway you want to visit.

  2. Drop into or call the local tackle shop and ask the ‘where are they catching them’ and ‘on what bait or lure’ questions. The local tackle shop staff will have the good oil when it comes to zeroing in on likely fishing spots and techniques.

  3. Now that you have a good idea which local area the cod are and what they are biting on, the key to catching a cod is to put your bait or lure in exactly the right place. Reading the water to understand depth, cover and flow is crucial, but the really big question to ask before you cast is ‘Why would a cod be here?’ Finding places where cod spend most of their time resting (i.e. weed edges, under snags or on drop offs) or feeding is the key to increasing your chance of hooking the mighty Murray cod.


Since 2019, the Victorian Fisheries Authority have been stocking native fish, including Murray cod, into a number of recreational fishing lakes across metro Melbourne so recfishers can reel in native fish closer to home.

Some of the urban lakes that have been stocked with Murray cod include: Casey Fields Lake, Ferntree Gully Quarry, Karkarook Lake, Lilydale Lake, Albert Park Lake, Caulfield Racecourse Lake and more. To see what has been stocked in your local waterway, visit the Victorian Fisheries Authority’s Fish Stocking Database.


Care for cod logo
Care for Cod

If you are planning to target Murray cod during the open season, using best practice handling techniques will help you to take care of your catch to ensure the sustainability of this magnificent and unique fishery for future generations.

We have partnered with the Victorian Fisheries Authority and Native Fish Australia to develop a Care for Cod campaign. When practicing catch and release, adopting better handling practices can help cod to survive post-release.

Care for Cod follows a simple four point plan.


Have your cod gloves, knotless net and long-nose pliers ready for a catch.


Minimise the time the cod spends out of the water to under 30 seconds. Where possible, leave the cod in the water.


Support the cod’s body.


When bait fishing use circle hooks and a tight line to avoid deep hooking the fish, also reduce fight time by using heavier gear.


Murray Cod have a bag limit of one in rivers and two in specific lakes and impoundments. They carry a minimum size limit of 55cm and maximum size limit of 75cm.

For more information on Murray cod rules and regulations, visit the Victorian Fisheries Authority Murray cod page.


The Victorian Fisheries Authority are asking Victorian cod fishers to complete a survey that focuses on how anglers catch-and-release cod and how the Care for Cod Campaign can be improved. 

The online survey is part of a project titled, “Understanding angler perceptions and improving catch-and-release handling of large Murray cod – an iconic Australian native fish”. The purpose of this project is to understand how recreational anglers perceive catch-and-release handling practices of Murray cod, how practices and the Care for Cod campaign can be improved, and understand other perceptions of the Murray cod fishery. The project is aimed to provide better outcomes for recreational anglers and the Murray cod fishery.

It’s a partnership project with VRFish, the Women in Recreational Fishing (WIRF) network and world class fisheries experts from Keep Fish Wet.

Complete the survey and you can enter a random prize draw to win a $250 tackle voucher every week the survey is conducted. Survey closes 31 January 2023.

The results are expected to be shared in March 2023. 

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