A GOLF-ball eating Murray cod got as close to the green as it is ever going to get when it was cooked up with a side of salad last night.
The catch with its unusual clutch of three golf balls in its belly was caught by Sarah Musgrove, 10, while fishing at Kismet Riverside Lodge near Howlong during a holiday from Traralgon with her brother, Shannon, 13.
While she intends to keep the balls as trophies, Sarah said bragging rights having got one up on her grandfather, Ray Musgrove, were more important.
“I think that’s better because he loves fishing but he’s never caught a Murray cod,” she said.
“I never thought that’s what they would be — at first I thought they might be eggs.”
Meanwhile, Shannon said he was amazed by his sister’s find.
“I looked and saw the word “ultra” and thought it could have been a bait product,” he said.
“Then I saw the bumps and knew it was a golf ball.”
The fish came in at 64cm, so large Sarah could barely hold her catch aloft.
But grandfather Peter Cartwell, operator of the Albury Motor Village, said she had fought well to bring in her biggest fish yet.
“She can be a bit impatient but I told her to watch her line. When she said, ‘Pop, I’ve got a fish’, I thought she’d just snagged,” he said.
“But she pulled it in all the way, I don’t know how she controlled it.
“My word it will cook up well on the barbecue, but you do wonder how it was ever going to pass the golf balls.
“We might start drilling holes in golf balls and hooking them up.”
Kismet Riverside Lodge operator Mark Bailey said it was not unusual for Murray cod to be found with golf balls inside them.
“I’ve got one before with a golf ball in it — they believe they are eggs,” he said.
“A few of the golfers say the crows knock off their golf balls, but of course they hit some into the river, too.
“Birds nest over the river and if there’s a gust of wind eggs can fall in and there’s a meal for the cod.
“It’s fantastic for the young girl to catch one like that.”