A season of promise
  |  First Published: October 2010

After a very cold Winter by South Coast standards, I don’t mind if we have a hot Summer.

Spring also signals the arrival of quite a few species that disappear over the colder months. Winter here usually means a few bream or jew in the estuaries, kings and reds outside or drummer from the rocks.

Many of us await the arrival of Spring with some anticipation. In the estuaries the flathead and blackfish re-emerge and close offshore, the slight rise in water temperature brings in baitfish along with pelagics such as salmon and bonito.

Out wider, the trickle of warmer water often brings yellowfin tuna or albacore and some mako sharks.

This Spring we hope to see a few yellowfin and albacore. Spring 2009 was virtually a waste of time for tuna but 2008 was one of the best albacore seasons in years. It will just depend on the ocean currents and baitfish activity.

The makos will be more predictable. They don’t rely as much as tuna on baitfish or ocean currents and they don’t travel as fast, so we can usually counted on them being around.

I reckon we’ll be tagging a few more this year or trying for one on lighter tackle.

Another welcome Spring fishery is the big inshore kingfish. Over Winter they seem to move out to the Banks or the Block but as the water warms and baitfish move in, they start to congregate closer around the headlands.

We’ll be out there chasing them with live squid or downrigged slimy mackerel on 24kg or 37kg stand-up tackle. Some big fish are taken each Spring this way; I’m talking 20kg and even bigger.

From memory the best fish I heard of last Spring/Summer was a 32kg thumper on a live squid.


My son Andrew, Scott Sharpe and I were fishing ganged pilchards for reds one Sunday. We were getting a few but the current was running and most fish were hooked about 50m from the boat.

Scott hooked a fish well out, our lines briefly crossed and we assumed he’d popped the 8kg mono. As I wound up I got hit by a fish down deep and assumed it was a bonito that had eaten the retrieved pillie, but it was a 2kg snapper.

Getting hit on the retrieve by a snapper is unusual and my suspicions were confirmed when I saw Scott’s hook gang in its mouth. I’d jagged it in the side of the head with my hooks.

Our lines had crossed and my braid had cut Scotty’s mono, looped around one of his hooks and as I wound up, I’d foul-hooked the fish.

The second story isn’t quite so funny. NSWFM contributor Bobby Russo was mowing a paddock on a property when sheep from a neighbouring property strayed in.

While Bobby was bent over working on his mower a ram knocked him to the ground and his left arm was broken in several places. It took him several minutes to subdue the crazy ram and ended up in hospital with a plaster cast and a metal plate on his forearm, so there’ll be no fishing for a while.


Website www.savejb.com has been set up to help make it easier to lodge submissions on the draft rezoning of the Jervis Bay Marine Park. This website is the brainchild of Fishing World magazine Jim Harnwell and many others all had a say and a hand in its creation.

It’s set up so that anglers can have their say to the NSW Government on how we would like the park to be set up and managed. You need to add your own comments to make the submission worthwhile. It takes only 10 or 15 minutes to do your bit to prevent the green groups getting fishing banned in more areas.



Yellowfin tuna and makos are a great Spring double but not so much when they turn up together. This yellowfin would have been a nice capture on 8kg line until a 200kg turned up.


Nowra angler Geoff Taylor with a 4.9kg snapper taken off Currarong on a floating bait and light threadline tackle.


Spring means blackfish reappear off the rocks. Some warmer water will have them up on top feeding on algae and flotsam, making for some great sight fishing.


Two sets of hooks, one fish. Scott Sharpe lays claim to this snapper that ate his ganged pilchard and was cut off by the author’s line, which was fouled the ganged hooks.

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