It takes a little longer to drag myself from the swag these days, especially when the drone of a few dozen mozzies is on the opposite side of the mesh.
A quick squirt of bug spray and a hot cup of coffee are preparation enough to greet the first light as we make our way onto the water in the coolness of the morning.
We are fishing the Murray River and the clear flow shows promise as the large surface lures are tied in preparation.
Reports had been flowing in thick and fast of numerous large cod landed over the past few weeks from the surface.
Most of the captures have come from Lake Mulwala with the upper Murray also producing a few sizable catches.
With hardly enough light to see the snags, the first cast was sent along the trunk of an old submerged river gum.
I was working a big three jointed paddling lure that had all the size of a large water rat, duck or lizard.
All three prime top water tucker for a big hungry cod.
Several prime snags were cast and the struggling lure returned to the boat unscathed on each occasion.
A new snag and the long cast landed alongside the twisted branches of a half-submerged log.
Once again it returned full distance without so much as a sniff. The lure was once more cast to the same spot and retrieved at the same slow steady pace.
Mid-way back it was violently ripped from the surface by an explosive strike that did little for my heart.
A dogged fight threatened to go either way as the line could be felt running through the very snags the fish had come from.
The strong leader material held fast and the solid Murray cod was led to the net before a few snaps were taken and the fish was released.
We had two more strikes that morning and these were also from larger fish that failed to find the hooks.