Dinosaur caught in the Macquarie

DINOSAUR-like metre plus Murray cod were once a common catch in days gone by, however, it’s not very often that they are found on the Macquarie River in today’s day and age.

Fishing on a local reserve not far from town recently, keen Dubbo angler Wayne Gilbert got the surprise of a lifetime after he managed to catch and release one of the biggest Murray cod to come from the Macquarie in a long time, when a 110cm “Greenie” with an estimated age of 30 to 40 years emerged from the depths.

The oversize leviathan slammed a 75mm Oar Gee Plough cast into the structure, and proved to be a handful for Gilbert, who was fishing on his own.

“I couldn’t believe it when it came up”, Gilbert told Dubbo Catches. “It was just absolutely huge.”

Wayne is no stranger to catching fish of this size, and has caught Murray Cod to 125cm in the past, but this fish was by far his heaviest to date.    

“I have caught fish longer than this big girl in the past, but this one was in superb condition, and was by far the most solid cod I have caught.”

“I was retrieving my lure from down deep hard against the tree roots of a fallen red river gum. She didn’t even know she was hooked until the Fins braid went tight” he said.

Research has proven that Murray cod are extremely long living, with larger fish reaching ages of 30-35 years.  The oldest specimen recorded during research is 48 years of age, with studies indicating that much older Murray cod are in existence, and could even reach 100 years of age. Extreme longevity is a survival strategy for many native fish, particularly Murray cod, as this enables them to outlast prolonged periods of drought and to capitalise on exceptional conditions for spawning when they occur.

The NSW DPI reports that Murray cod can reach a maximum size of about 1.8 metres and 113kg, however the majority of cod caught in recent years have been between 50 and 70 cm in length, and weighed less than 10kg.

Some anglers can fish for many years before they join the Murray cod “metre club”, but Wayne Gilbert has shown us all that the fish of a lifetime can turn up anywhere on the river, at any time! 

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Metre-plus Murray cod were once a common catch on the Macquarie River, and still turn up on occasion often close to major centres such as Dubbo.

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