Gummy sharks on fire
  |  First Published: December 2010

The weather has warmed up and so has the fishing.

Offshore from Cape Conran the bait fish have appeared and with lots of big schools. It looks very promising for a great season which will happen once the water temperature rises and the pelagic fish arrive.

In the meantime the fishing is good, with many anglers bagging out on flathead and gummy shark. Anglers are also getting plenty of pinkie snapper, gurnard, barracouta, morwong, squid, trevally, ling, pike and shark of many species.

On one particular day many boat crews reported that the baitfish were every where and the action was electrifying. The whole area had erupted into a feeding frenzy, birds were working frantically on the schools of baitfish, seals were diving and darting everywhere and ferociously feeding barracouta and salmon were also attacking the pilchards.

But the most exciting event was that migrating whales had joined the feast and were coming up from under the big schools of pilchards and opening their huge mouths and engulfing huge numbers. It must have been an amazing sight, just one of those things you may encounter fishing offshore.

They also reported that the flathead that day were like barrels, when they cleaned the catch most had four or five pilchards inside, who would know what else was enjoying the feast.

The fishing in the estuary system has come on in leaps and bounds since the fresh in the Snowy has gouged out the entrance, allowing new fish to enter and leave the system at will, ensuring good fishing most of the time.

This season big schools of mullet have entered the system for the first time in a couple of years, much to joy of local anglers who find them one of the tastiest fish in our estuary.

Luderick are also in good-sized schools and are of mixed sizes. They can usually be found on the rock groins and mud banks throughout the system. In our area luderick seem to have a preference to sandworm or shrimp as their favourite tucker.

Schools of bream have moved throughout the whole system and up the rivers and in the lakes. Reports have come in of bream being a bit fussy and are taking different bait in altering conditions. Anglers have reported to capturing bream on black crab only, other fishers report catching them on sandworm and others capturing the on frozen prawn. It appears they are taking all baits.

Salmon and tailor can be caught from the entrance all the way up to the lakes, giving lure anglers plenty of action.

The sand flats along the foreshore at Marlo is always an excellent place to fish for flathead, the shallow water holds plenty of small bait size prawns and is a haven for flathead waiting in their lies to ambush them. Anglers using lures seem to get the best results, either using soft plastics or hardbodied lures.

The surf beaches are also fishing well with plenty of salmon, tailor, flathead, mullet and shark. With the warmer weather more anglers have been venturing out in the evening and are getting some very good size gummy shark, best bait on the beaches seems to be blue bait white bait, pilchards and squid.

Digger Howard and a good size gummy shark caught off Cape Conran.

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