Pig out in Winter
  |  First Published: July 2011

Cooler water has encouraged the bream, blackfish and pigs to get into full swing along the coast.

Many anglers have a hiatus through the Winter months but it is totally unnecessary, with the breakwall fishing at possibly its best all year.

In previous months the walls had jewfish stacked up but now they will also have the sea-run blackfish and big bream working the rocks on both sides of the inlet.

On the points of the breakwalls, a rising tide and a bit of wash will encourage the resident and visiting rock blackfish or pigs to take prawn or cunjevoi baits.

Just like the ocean rocks, the breakwalls provide food and protection for the pigs but the irregular structure of the wall itself can make the fish difficult to land.

With the abundance of blackfish, bream and school jew at this time of year it becomes comfortable and easy to fish late afternoon after work or of a morning on weekends.

There has been a good run of blackfish along the wall and straggling schools of mullet hitting the coast are evident in the curling waves along the beach.

The south-westerly winds did their job over Autumn with a reasonable run of bully mullet from the lake and frantic activity by the commercial fishers tight near the Tuncurry breakwall.


Offshore, there have been growing reports of snapper, pearl perch and trag on the close reefs and an increasing number of leatherjackets.

The jackets will increase until they hit swarm numbers later in the season, when many anglers will complain that they are ‘everywhere’. That’s not a bad thing, is it?

If you want a quick, easy feed of fish, the leatherjackets certainly fill a fish tub.

Wallis Lake will slow up now but some bream and flathead should still be knocking around.


Winter bream fishing with lures is always great fun and the oyster racks is in the lower sections of the lake, and perhaps the weed flats out in the lake proper, are the focus.

Also in the lake will be stray schools of tailor that hunt the drop-off around The Step near Wallis Island. The most consistent method of taking them is a metal slice like a 40g Raider or Halco Twisty.

One of the great pleasures of Winter is the non-stop action that can be achieved from the ocean rocks.

From early morning spinning for tailor, jew and salmon to daylight pigs and night time blackfish, there isn’t a minute when you can’t catch some fish around the rocks.


One style of fishing that is generally for the diehards is potholing for blackfish at night with yabbies or cooked prawns.

The darker nights are best so it is important to incorporate a luminous bead above your leader knot as a stopper. This prevents you winding your bait and sinker to the tip of your rod.

The leader should be the length of your rod, to your reel at least, so when the bead stops you winding, you just swing the sinker and hook to your hand. It is a form of Kelly poling but very effective.

A 00 size ball sinker, a 1/0 hook, a 20lb leader and a bucket of yabbies and you are set.

Any protected area or gutter or hole in the rocks is worth investigating. It is surprising where the blackfish, and often pigs, will get on a rising tide at night.

Bream and dart are everywhere at the moment off the rocks so targeting the bigger bream with small poddy mullet is a good way of sifting through the smaller fish.

Early morning spinning can be hit and miss but well worth the effort if you want fresh tailor, otherwise concentrate on the bread-and-butter species

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