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Home » Tournaments-and-Events » 2015 Cod Nationals Lake Mulwala

Team Venom Win 2015 Cod Nationals

The Cod Nationals is a 5 day tournament that gathers together some of the most talented Murray cod anglers and pits them against the waters of Lake Mulwala and the iconic Murray cod.

Staged in late April every year, this year was the fifth event and the first time Wilson Fishing had sent a dedicated team of employees to compete. The two anglers chosen were 2 x Champion of the event Anthony Pavlou, and Stephen Booth, a guy who has spent the last 20-odd years playing around chasing Murray cod in the upper parts of Lake Mulwala.

The form guide at the Teams Calcutta had these two at 5:1, in amongst it, but certainly not the favourites by any stretch. However the two had a game plan based on the expected weather conditions and the strengths and weaknesses of each other's knowledge of the lake.

There are five days in the event and each day has a sponsor's lure bonus. This allows anglers to catch legal fish on the sponsor's lure and be awarded extra points for that capture. There is also a chosen multiplier day, where the team nominates a particular day to get 1.5 x their daily score. Team Venom chose the Hardbody Lure Only Day, which was also the Kuttafurra Lures Sponsor Day for their Multiplier Day.

Team points are gained by ranking the teams each day on their captures. The team with the most capture points on any day is awarded 10 Team Points, second most gets 9 and so on through to 10th, who receive 1 Team Point.

It sounds more complicated than it is and this method allows consistency to come to the top and rewards teams that choose to use Sponsor lures on the appropriate days, something that Team Venom did very well over the entire competition.



The first day Team Venom headed up to the waters around Bundalong, looking for current and active fish. With neither angler having pre-fished, this day was as much about searching out fish holding areas as it was about catching, but catch the team did and they ended up in 7th position after landing three Murray cod.

The first day saw the tournament's biggest fish also get caught, a cracking 100.6cm monster to J-Kel!

After Day 1 Bassman Spinnerbaits were clear leaders having amassed some great numbers and size to their fish.



Day 2 was spinnerbait day with Bassman Spinnerbaits being the lure sponsor. The day started off slowly for Team Venom with an undersized cod all they landed for the morning, but they did have a good look around up the Murray and then down the Ovens, actually fishing where an 85cm cod was caught a few days later by another competitor.

The afternoon was much better with the team landing 5 more cod including a legal fish on the Bassman Spinnerbaits. Anthony came through on this day as Boothy is "pretty ordinary at fishing spinnerbaits" in his own words.



Day 3 was Team Venom's Multiplier Day and it was also Hardbody Lure Day meaning that the team had to perform to be in with a chance. It was also Kuttafurra Lures day and the team chose to use these lures all day. The choice proved valid as at day's end the team had three legal fish on the Kuttafurra Lures and finished in third place overall for the day. This meant the team amassed 8 points for third, an extra 4 points for the Multiplier Day and almost three extra points by using the sponsor lures.

All of these extra points propelled the team into first.

Day 4


Dash 4 Ca$h day meant that the morning was free to recover and prepare for the last two days of fishing with the Dash starting at 1pm and finishing at 5pm.

As the start was in Mulwala itself, the team chose to fish the lake starting off in the famous Horseshoe where one brief hook up was all they could muster. It was then that Divine intervention took place with Pav and Boothy deciding to head upstream to one of Pav's favourite areas. With trees everywhere and Pav not really sure where they were, they decided to fish a likely looking area anyway.

This decision to fish the newly named 'Lost Water' proved a big bonus with the team catching three legal fish, all on sponsor lures, giving them the results they needed and finishing second in the Dash 4 Ca$h, again to Bassman Spinnerbaits, a team that was on to some very good fish.

Day 5


The last day dawned with a much improved wind forecast but a lot of overnight rain. On the way to the ramp, the team discovered they had forgotten their daily token and had to drive back to Mulwala Fish, Camp & Ski to pick it up! There may have been the odd nerve being strummed.

They still managed to make it in time for the 8am start and on the way to the ramp the plan was hatched to fish similar areas to the Lost Waters.

Using only the sponsor lures, as they knew second placed Bassman Spinnerbaits had their Multiplier Day, Team Venom hoped to land 5 legal fish on sponsor lures to nullify any advantage the Multiplier Day may have for their closest rivals.

The decision was justified with the first cod to Boothy stretching a touch over 63cm, giving the team confidence they were in the right area.

Five legal fish and one undersized fish later, Team Venom returned to the ramp satisfied they had done as much as they could to hang onto to the top spot having had their best results day of the tournament in terms of legal fish landed.


The nervous wait was answered just after 8:30pm that night when Team Venom was announced the winner and Bassman Spinnerbaits coming in second place. A total of 53.5 points for Team Venom in what was a tough five days of fishing that turned out to be extremely rewarding.

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