All I want for Christmas are some warmer currents and nor Easters to start the fishing off. Not that the action is slow, far from it, but a bit more warmth in the water won’t go astray.
The big news is the return of the jewfish to our beaches.
Stockton Beach has had plenty of fish all along its length. Worms and whiting, caught fresh on the spot and used as either live bait or a butterflied bait, are the two best options.
The I have heard of is a 17kg taken from the southern end of the beach and the same angler lost a bigger specimen in the waves trying to beach it.
The whiting are moving in rapidly. The first of the season were very big with broad shoulders, although there have recently been a lot smaller fish around the big guys and muscling in on the bait.
Worms, peeled prawns, pipis and cockles are the best whiting bait, the fresher they are the better are your chances. Expect a lot more just after the Christmas holidays, and we should be into full swing whiting fishing by early January. If the prawn season is good, so will the whiting.
The beaches are also fishing fairly well for bream, although afternoons and a good gutter is the key. This month a small strip of mullet or a whole prawn or a large pipi should pay off.
A rising tide can help because a lot of foraging fish make their way closer to shore as they move in to feed.
Flathead are becoming more active and I predict a shift into top gear from now until March. Soft plastics, deep-diving hardbodies and poppers in the shallows should see you get amongst them,
I fish deep areas with mullet strips and live poddy mullet, sometimes drifting or anchored in a corner where the flow of water cascades against structure and runs off.
Flathead love these sorts of places; they are very opportunist feeders. At times they lie over weed and wait for a feed to swim by, then at the top of tide they move around searching for something to eat.
I haven’t met to many anglers who don’t like blue swimmer crabs. I know I try fruitlessly to have a few on the Christmas table and this year it looks like we may have a good season.
A test run produced three nice big buck males, so don’t forget to load up the pots or dillies or even the dreaded tangling mess we call witches’ hats. The crab season should be well under way as you read this.
So as we all sit back and read the latest catalogues of fishing gear for the New Year sales, make the effort to put in a few hours in on the water and try a few new things. My New Year resolution is to chase squid a lot more. I think I am addicted to them and I don’t care how dirty the boat gets as long as some huge squid are sitting on the deck.Reads: 5746