It’s all happening down here this month. Warm weather, warm water and a heap of fish around so life is good and no one’s complaining.
November is a great time for fishos on the south coast. The rivers and estuaries are firing with bream, bass, estuary perch, jewies and flathead on the chew.
The Shoalhaven River is fishing very well at present and as you would expect St Georges Basin is on fire with some exceptional flathead, snapper and bream being taken.
The Basin has earned a reputation over the past few seasons for being one of the most productive and consistent stretches of water in the south coast.
If you haven’t fished it I recommend you make the time and get on the water there; I’ve never experienced estuary fishing like it. So if bream and flathead on plastics and blades are your thing, get out there.
Out wide there are some yellowfin, makos and albacore to keep the game fishers happy.
Back in September and October the makos were all fairly small and averaging around the 100kg mark. These fish were great fun on light tackle and reasonably good eating if you kept the odd one.
The past month has seen some bigger specimens turn up and feed around the offshore canyons. Some of these fish have been over 200kg and even up to 300kg.
They are unbelievable fun on 15kg tackle and when one of these monsters clears the water and jumps several metres in the air they look like cruise missiles breaking the surface and the splash when they land is quite spectacular.
In closer the reds are on the chew around the inshore reefs and gravel. You can catch a great feed of fish by anchoring up and fishing floaters on light line.
I get out and do this every chance I get, particularly now that daylight saving is back as it offers a good opportunity to get out after work or even a late session over the weekend.
If you’re keen to catch a snapper fish the tide changes regardless of when they may be. Into the dark is also a prime time, especially if there’s a bit of moon. The fish will come up in the water column as it gets dark and sometimes even smash floaters as soon as they hit the water.
A couple of gamefishing tournaments in November herald the start of the season: the Shoalhaven Light Tackle on November 13-14 and the Jervis Bay White Sands on November 27-29.
Both of these tournaments are great social events to fish, but there are usually some good fish taken each year.
The Light Tackle is based around fishing 6-10kg tackle only (hence the name) and usually sees some reasonable albacore, kingfish and yellowfin taken.
Some solid makos are usually around and even the odd striped marlin. We rose a striped marlin two years ago on a lure and 10kg line during the Light Tackle but didn’t manage to hook it well enough.
The White Sands Tournament is more or less based around tuna and marlin and despite shark captures not being very well rewarded, there is still a good number of capture entries.
The tournament offers some very good prizes and usually attracts around 80 boats and teams each year. Details and entry forms for both tournaments can be found on the Shoalhaven and Jervis Bay Gamefishing club websites.
On the subject of big boats and tournaments it looks like Greenwell Point, or Numbaa to be more precise, is going to get a large marina complex.
There has been a lot of talk over the past decade about a marina at Greenwell Point and also of another one being proposed for Jervis Bay but up until now nothing has ever been put in place.
This all changed recently with a Development Application (DA) being approved by Shoalhaven Council for a huge marina complex at Numbaa on the Shoalhaven River.
Numbaa is about half way between Greenwell Point and Shoalhaven Heads and it’s where the Comerong Island ferry crosses the Shoalhaven River and takes residents and their cars over to the island.
I was only made aware of the marina plans back in August but after a recent public meeting and DA approval it looks like this development will proceed and it’s going to be BIG.
The plans include marina and jetty berths for more than 200 boats up to 20m long and 240 boat dry stack storage for boats from 8-10 long. Walcon jetties will meander throughout the marina and there will also be a luxury clubhouse facility with showers, toilets and car parking.
There will also be a full suit of industrial marine services onsite, including engine and navigational repairs, antifouling and painting, a chandlery and refuelling service for all boats. The complex will cover 14 hectares overall, which will make it the largest marina complex between Sydney and Bermagui.
Now there are mixed opinions about such a marina and one of the reasons why no one has successfully built a marina down this way is due to objections by some local people.
Fortunately it seems a small minority hold such views. The general consensus around Greenwell Point is that the Numbaa Marina will be good for the area.
It will provide employment for the marine industry along with centralising a lot of marine services and technology in a purpose built complex on the Shoalhaven River. The marina will also provide mooring and berths for many local boats, which is long overdue with Greenwell Point running out of big boat moorings and wharves.
A facility that can supply fuel on the water in this area will also be greatly appreciated by local boat owners and travelling boats. Over summer the entire south coast sees an enormous influx of visiting boats. Believe it or not there is nowhere in the Shoalhaven where you can get fuel without carrying it in drums or a fuel cell and trying to get it near your boat on a wharf. In this day and age I think that is just a complete nonsense.
The Greens may be up in arms and have a thousands reasons why this shouldn’t happen but with DA Approval the Numbaa Marina will proceed next year and should be completed by mid 2012. Details are available at www.numbaamarine.com.
Scott Sharpe with a Shoalhaven River bass.
Graham Todd with a solid striped tuna caught wide of Culburra.
Craig Owen tight to an inshore snapper off Culburra.
Elspeth Finney doing a bit of down rigging for kingfish at The Banks.Reads: 3364