River gets a flush
  |  First Published: December 2010

After all the rain we’ve had it’s good to see a little bit of life back in the Shoalhaven.

With this good lot of fresh water in the system we should see more prawns come on and if there is plenty of bait, there should be plenty of fish.

Last month we saw the biggest bream ever caught in a mainland bream tournament – a whopping 2.510kg, 46cm fork length, black bream caught by Adrian Van fishing the Squidgy Southern Bream Series grand final.

This monster took an Ecogear VX35 blade in the shallows of St Georges Basin and I was lucky enough to see the whole event. I was Adrian’s partner in the grand final and it was a pleasure to be the chief netter – in my opinion it was by far the best netting job I have ever seen.

On the Shoalhaven River we should start to see good numbers of flathead and jewfish, mainly at the Greenwell Point end.

In past years I have caught good numbers of blue swimmer crabs in the river and, as always, fresh bait is the best for crabs. I find an oily fish works best so you shouldn’t find it too hard to catch a salmon or two for your pots from the beaches or headlands.

As usual at this time of year, you will get plenty of bass and estuary perch in the upper reaches of the Shoalhaven. Just on sunset is the best time.

I like to use deep- or shallow-running crankbaits in natural colours but the bass and perch also are a little partial to a surface lure.


Jervis bay has been very consistent with good numbers of bonito around.

They’re not hard to find, just look for the birds diving into the feeding schools. A little Christmas tree lure trolled around the edges of the activity will do the trick on the bonnies.

There have also been some kingfish around the Middle Ground but they’re being caught mainly midweek. I think the numbers of boats around on the weekend may have a bit to do with that.

There has been rewarding rock fishing with quality bream and blackfish the main attractions. Although most have been landed on conventional bait tackle, some people are just using an unweighted soft plastic, which seems to get the job done.

Down on St Gorges Basin we have seen some very nice flathead turn up, with multiple fish over 90cm being caught. I also heard of some jewfish being caught on plastics around the drop offs.

The Basin has also been producing numbers of snapper. I find blades and Swimming Mullet in camo rigged on 1/4oz jigs best for these.

Don’t forget about the Basin Lure and Fly info nights on the second Monday of every month, visitors are welcome. Check out details at www.basinlureandfly.org.au.

In Lake Conjola I’ve heard of jewfish to 14kg caught and I think we will see more people target them down here in the future.

It’s Christmas time and we tend to get very crowded so everyone needs to just take it easy and use common courtesy, especially at the boat ramp.

Have your boat ready to go before you get on the ramp, don’t prepare everything when you’re at the end of the ramp and just about to go in the water with a queue behind you.

It’s the little things that can make your day more enjoyable. Let’s make this Summer safe for everyone.

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