Cod, Murray

(Maccullochella Peelii Peelii)

Commonly referred to as Cod!

The Mighty Murray cod are the premier fresh water sport fish species available in south eastern areas of Australia. They are a hard fighting yet elusive species that have grown in popularity over the last few years to become one of Australia’s most popular freshwater sport fish. Murray cod are famous for their aggressive natures making them willing to strike at some enormous offerings!


Australian bass are a highly sought after sport fish along the S/E corner of Australia and can be located in most freshwater systems from Q.L.D. down through N.S.W and into S.A and VIC. Murray cod can also be found in private dams and water ways throughout south western parts of W.A.


Murray cod can grow to around 60cm in length and weigh as much as 4kg in small streams with fish found in larger water ways growing to around 130cm in length and 45kg in weight. The largest specimen of a Murray cod ever recorded was a fish of 183cm weighing in at a staggering 113kg. There are also unsubstantiated claims of larger fish!


Murray cod prefer fresh water rivers, dams and streams with plenty of food and heavy cover present.


Murray cod can be easily identified by their thick, elongated body shape which is olive to dark green in colouration with  mottled black  markings on top leading down to a whitish cream under belly.  Larger specimens may be grey to dark green in colour depending on the water quality they are encountered in. The head shape is slightly concave with a protruding lower jaw and a small eye. The anal and pelvic fins are soft and the tail is large, rounded and very powerful!

Taste rating

  • Fifty Taste Rating

Murray cod are recognised for their sporting abilities rather than their eating qualities.

Sport rating

  • Ninety Sport Rating

Murray cod are highly regarded as a top quality freshwater sport fish and are a species that deserve the respect of all who chase them!

Tackle requirements

Rods, reels, lines and leaders – Medium to heavy graphite spin or over head rods 6’6” – 7’ in length that will cope with gel spun and braided lines rated from 10 – 24kg are ideally suited to targeting Murray cod and when coupled with quality spin or overhead reels in the 6000 – 20,000 class make excellent outfits for throwing both baits and lures. Larger outfits spooled with heavier 50 – 80lb nylon line can also be used when targeting larger fish around heavy cover with baits but will struggle to cast hard bodied and soft plastic lures. Fluoro carbon leaders with breaking strains of 80 – 200lb should also be joined to mainlines via an improved albrite knot and not only prevent the fish from seeing your brightly coloured main line but also help from being chaffed of on rough underwater structures.

Recommended baits, lures and rigs

Fresh or live earth worms, yabbies, night crawlers and small bait fish are an ideal option for chasing most freshwater species and should be fished on a pattern and size of hook that’s suit’s the bait. Example – earth worm fished on bait holder pattern of hook similar in size to the bait. Hard bodied, sub surface, spinner bait and soft plastic lures will also temp Murray cod into striking with this exciting new style of fishing really taking off amongst all anglers from beginners to the pro’s over the last few years. Many tournaments and clubs have now been set up to encourage and educate the new generation of freshwater fishing fanatics.

Handy hints and tips

Most large fresh water  lures will tempt cod into striking, especially if they resemble small crawfish or yabbies. Deep diving lures in dark or frog pattern colours are also great! 

Preferred fishing times and tides

Low light periods such as dawn and dusk are preferred for most forms of fishing including freshwater and a rising barometer also helps.


[What The Fish]