Outback MagazineOutback Magazine


Breaking the 'Goodoo hoodoo'Breaking the 'Goodoo hoodoo'

The chances of catching your first Murray cod are better than they've been in a long while, thanks to the effects of a raft of sensible conservation measures. But don't expect to land a whopper, they're now relegated to fishing folklore.

Story and photos Martin Auldist

The heaviest Murray cod ever weighed pulled the scales down to over 100 kilograms - surely the stuff of fishing legends. Their Aboriginal name is Goodoo and, according to Aboriginal mythology, the bed of the Murray River was carved by a giant Goodoo thrashing its way to the sea. They feature in European myths too, and throughout outback Australia old timers recall tales of monster cods caught on steel cable and shark hooks baited with parrots or kangaroo meat. Modern anglers with more sporting tackle also hold the Murray cod in high regard as a strong fighting fish that is excellent on the table.

Breaking the 'Goodoo hoodoo'Sadly, habitat destruction and over fishing have reduced cod numbers to a fraction of their original population. Though many casual anglers dream of catching a Murray cod, in the past consistent success has come only to dedicated cod anglers. Today, however, things are improving for our largest native freshwater fish. Story end

Full story Issue 34 April/May 2004

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