Rug up and go hard
  |  First Published: June 2011

Conditions have cooled down but you couldn’t say that about the fishing.

Although you have to rug up a bit, there are options for most anglers, whether shore-based or from boats.

Those who venture offshore face water around 20° and if the water quality is there, so are all sorts of fish species.

For the game fishers this means tuna, and lots of them.

Yellowfin are on top of the list with good numbers hanging around the continental shelf and beyond to the 1000-fathom drop-off.

With the right weather berleying is proving popular and turning up some very large fish.

In with the yellowfin are some very nice albacore only too eager to take a cube or a live bait. A livie could also attract a late season marlin so use sufficient trace to handle one.

Berleying will also attract sharks, especially those hard-fighting, acrobatic makos which are also so good on the plate. A shark rig at the ready by may also result in a blue shark, whaler or the occasional tiger.

If there is no action on the berley try trolling for the tuna or a marlin. And there is always a chance of an early season southern bluefin tuna, although I think July will be better for them.


Kingfish have been consistent all season and now there are some very big fish up at Montague Island and along the coast. These are responding well to drifted or slow trolled live baits and bonito are also likely to get in on the act.

Over all the reefs snapper are plentiful. The close grounds are providing plenty of options for those working lures and the deep reefs are rewarding those using more conventional methods.

Deep-water fishing is catching on for anglers berleying for the tuna using electric reels to target fish like hapuku, blue-eye trevalla, gemfish and cod in depths of 100 fathoms or more.

Simply drifting in around 30m of water off most beaches should be all that’s needed for anglers to acquire a tasty meal of sand flathead.

Back onshore, the beaches are producing exceptionally well after the recent rain. A multitude of salmon means anglers can acquire enough for a meal and then catch and release many more.

Along with them are some quality tailor with the odd jewfish and gummy shark. Bream and sand mullet are the go in the shallower gutters.

Rock fishing is also excellent as with the cooler weather come the abundant drummer, along with other species like luderick, bream, groper and trevally.

The rain has kept a lot of our estuaries open and the warm ocean waters push in with each tide, getting the fish on the chew and extending our season.

Bream, luderick, trevally, flathead, tailor and garfish are still abundant, especially towards the entrances in the shallower water. Definitely the pick of the estuaries is Wallaga Lake.

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