Last month we saw a great run of bass in the rivers as they finished their spawning and started spreading back through the freshwater reaches of the local systems.
Even though it has been closed season for bass the past three months, it has been virtually impossible to avoid them if you’re fishing the snags in the local estuaries.
It’s simply been a case of treating them gently and doing everything possible to return them to the water in the best condition possible.
As of the start of September, however, the season is open again and you are entitled to target and take bass if you want to.
We should still make sure that any fish being released are looked after as best we can, and remember the bag limit on bass is two per day and only one can be over 35cm. You need to watch that; it’s one of those funny slot limits with an upper size restriction. If you are unsure at all about any bag/size restrictions, refer to the NSW Fisheries Saltwater and Freshwater Guides, online or through a local office.
The estuaries have also been producing great bream and flathead with above-average fish easy to find.
Another little bonus in the estuaries lately has been the number of school jew up to 60cm, with the odd better one as well.
There have been big concentrations of them in some areas with schools of fish just stacked on top of each other.
Dropping blades and plastics to them is effective when you find them like this. Bounce a lure along the bottom through the school and one will eventually grab it.
There have still been plenty of salmon around for those hitting the beaches and rocks but thankfully there have been plenty of tailor willing over the past month as well.
The salmon are great fun but I much prefer a fresh tailor when I’m chasing a quick and easy feed.
Some of the tailor have been good fish, too, with reports from a couple of the local jew gurus who scored 4kg greenbacks. They even found a few good enough to engulf entire 6” hardbodies and leave them with nothing but a frayed bit of 80lb mono.
If you want to give them a go, a whole pilchard on gangs or a metal lure like a Spanyid Raider cast out around the washes should do some damage.
Avoid wire if you can to keep your strike rate up but with the size of fish that’s been getting around, you might have to use it to keep getting bitten off.
Snapper have been firing on the inshore reefs and we’ve had a bit of rough weather here and there which seems to have pushed in a few good fish even closer – within reach of a few land-based spots.
This is definitely evident down south, where Phil Butler from Nambucca was able to pick himself up a fantastic 8.5kg red from the beach at Valla. Phil said he missed the first bite and brought in a completely crushed bait, then put a fresh one back out and put the hooks into a big red almost instantly.
The fish had obviously been feeding around those reefs just off the beach and Phil’s bait must have been just right for him. Either that or I’m going to get Phil to teach me to cast that far!
I’m looking forward to this month’s fishing – the bass season opening is up there towards the top of my list of but it’s still warm jumper weather at night so not quite there.
I will be hitting those rocks a bit to try to find some more of those big tailor that have been getting around. I’ll see if I can put some solid loads on light spin tackle messing around with them.Reads: 858