Biggest prize ever for Shepparton angler

By James Bennett

What came first, the moustache or the fish?

For a small group of mates they put this question to the test.

It all started in May when the men — calling themselves Just Us Fishing — decided to grow moustaches until they caught a trophy Murray cod longer than one metre, much to the dismay of their wives.

After nearly four months, Shepparton angler Brad Armstrong recently snared that whopping Murray cod on the Murray River near Yarrawonga.

Mr Armstrong believed the beast was about 125cm and weighed about 70kg.

It was also quite a timely catch, as it came just ahead of the cod season finishing.

The best way to celebrate was completely shaving off the moustache.

"The other two guys (Jamie Michael and Blade Larkins) both shaved their moustaches because they had some important events," Mr Armstrong said.

"When my wife told me to shave it, I told her 'I think it's a good luck charm'.

"I haven't trimmed my moustache since I started growing it except for over the lip."

The prized Murray cod not only smashed the one metre challenge but was easily the biggest fish ever caught by Mr Armstrong.

He said it took him about five minutes to reel it in using a Bassman Spinnerbait 4x4.

"I got the snag but you can't tell at first how big it is.

"When I had a better idea I told my daughter and niece to grab the phone and GoPro and get as much photos and videos as possible.

"When I finally got it in the boat is when I was besides myself." 

After taking pictures of his proud moment, Mr Armstrong released the big fish back into the river.

It had been a frustrating winter for Just Us Fishing as they searched the Murray and Goulburn rivers for the elusive Murray cod.

They even went as far north as Blowering, just west of the nation's capital.

"It's quite a hard time for fishing," Mr Armstrong said.

"Because you either catch something big or nothing at all."

Cod season starts again on December 1. You can follow Just Us Fishing on Facebook and Instagram.