"You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces - just good food from fresh ingredients." - Julia Child

Pick & Preserve Olives

Rub & Sizzle Beef

Honest Farming Principles

Catch & Release Murray Cod

Perhaps no one knows the Lachlan River better than the local fisherman. They know its depths, its bends, its floods, its life forms, its sunken logs and grassy shores, like they know their own backyard. The greater the prize the greater the effort. The Murray Cod is a protected fish, so they are released back to the water, and the fisherman's prize is the heart pounding thrill of a close encounter.

Those that fish for the Murray Cod go to great lengths in the thrill of the chase of these graceful giants. There is nothing , they claim, that matches the exhilaration of a Murray Cod lunging from the depths to grab at a surface lure.

As a territorial fish, fishermen find Murray Cod hiding out in sheltered, deep holes, such as those formed by rocks, overhanging vegetation, clay banks and underwater logs.

Forbes, like many regions in the Murray-Darling Basin, is home to Catch and Release fishing. When it comes to Murray Cod it is more of a boof, catch, snap and release.

The boof is the exhilarating sound a fisherman hears as the Murray Cod lunges at to surface to bite the lure, the catch is when they have secured the Murray Cod on the lure, the snap is the trophy, a photograph of the fisherman with their prize, and the release is the careful release of the living Murray Cod back into the water.

The Murray Cod is the most revered freshwater fish of Australia. In NSW, fossils of fish that are an anatomical match to the Murray Cod, date back some 26 million years ago. Scientists have speculated that the Murray Cod could be potentially as old as the Murray-Darling Basin, dating back 60 million years. The Murray Cod lives predominately in NSW, though it does touch the south-west tip of Queensland and the northerly tip of Victoria.

The Murray Cod can live up to 48 years and can reach over one metre in length. Its beauty, its powerful graceful lunges to the surface, and its scale, make the Murray Cod one of our most revered native animals, with many people dedicating their lives to have a chance encounter. The Murray Cod is an important creature in Wiradjuri creationist stories.

Once the staple of Aboriginal people and early settlers, overfishing in the late 1900's put the great Murray Cod on the endangered species list. In recent years the Department of Primary Industries committed themselves to a restock program which aimed to restore the Murray Cod numbers to their formers levels. Today, the only Murray Cod you are able to eat, are those that are raised in fish farms.

By using big lures the fisherman is assured of a sizable prize, with catches regularly ranging from 70 to 90 cm. The few who have cracked the one metre plus Murray Cod size, all have hall of fame status. Fisherman say around 70 per cent of the time you will catch one or no fish and 30 per cent of the time the fish will be "on the chew". The biggest Murray Cod on record was 130cm in length.

Mill & Bake Wheat

The Murray Cod season runs from December 1 until 21 August. The break in fishing for the Murray Cod is to allow the critically endangered fish an uninterrupted spawning season. The Murray Cod fishing seasons are protected by the 2000 Fisheries Act, which has been designed to preserve both the fish and their habitat.

Murray Cod fishermen are out almost 24 hours a day, cherishing all times of the day, with dawn, arguably the best time for fishing. Fishing by moonlight has big appeal.

There are many ways to fish for Murray Cod. By canoes, around log jams with spinnerbait lures, is great for bottom dwelling fishing, and perfect for those who like the heart racing excitement of not knowing what is on the other end of the line at the first tug. Surface fishing, land based fishing, are the two most popular methods to fish for Murray Cod.

If you want the opportunity to get up close and personal with a Murray Cod, join the Murray Cod Catch and Release Workshops held in Forbes in Murray Cod season.

The Forbes Visitor Information Centre has information packs on Guided Tours in the Lachlan with a Murray Cod fisherman.

Don't forget as you release your prize back into the Lachlan River, be sure to give it the traditional fisherman goodbye "see you next year mate!"