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Fishing fever is catching
  |  First Published: December 2011



It’s fair to say that if you haven’t got kingfish fever at this time of year then you must have been hiding under a rock for quite some time.

In fact, if you haven’t got fishing fever this month then you need to take a good look at yourself in the mirror.

January is prime time to wet a line. The East Coast Current is starting to fill in and those warm blue tropical waters are embracing our shores, bringing with them the full gamut of pelagic species.

The kings started to fill inshore in late Spring and should now be in full swing attacking surface bait schools on the inshore reefs.

You can’t beat those barefoot warm Summer mornings casting white 5” to 7” soft stickbaits into schools of erupting yakkas.

Multiple hook-ups are regular occurrences now and if the previous months are anything to go by, late January should produce the real unstoppables.

Anything less than 80lb braid line with 80lb to 100lb leader usually ends in tears if the fish is hooked near a reef, although the technique of simply putting the boat into gear and walking a fish away from the reef before you crank the handle does work and is worth a try.

As we all know, Jervis Bay is a renowned land-based game fishing destination and the most well-documented ledge of them all should produce the goods this month.

Every year we see multiple free-swimming marlin well into the Bay itself. This year should be no different.

While it’s true that the hardcore LBG guys lost accessible ground with the marine park politics surrounding the area, the fact is there are still good opportunities available. Do your homework and hit the stones this month for pelagic madness.

Inshore, bonito, salmon and tailor will be eating off the surface in large schools and creating a natural berley trail for a host of species following around underneath.

The hardest thing will be to get an offering through the surface chomp to the prize below.

You need to me able to stay mobile to work the schools but sometimes you can lock in on one that remains stationary for over an hour.

With this month’s peak boating times, approach a school slowly – don’t drive in like a bull at a gate – and everyone can share the fun.

Offshore, the marlin will have game fishos in a lather of sweat and there’ll be plenty of fishing widows at home. Just remember, gents, ‘it’s easier to ask for forgiveness rather than permission’, so check the weather and hit it today!

ESTUARY

In the smooth water you need to be going topwater – lures, that is.

You diehard bait fishos are missing out. Truly, you don’t what you’re missing. You don’t have to take every fish that comes over the gunwale to have to justify hitting the water.

Surface luring the estuary hits its straps this month. The build-up to an afternoon storm brings on a boofing bonanza, with bream, bass and whiting the main targets. Flathead will also get in on the action, to a slightly lesser degree. Catching flatties on poppers is a cool thing to do, and believe me the big ones seriously boof like a barra.

Rain in late January may also produce run-off conditions, which will attract creek mouth surface lure sessions of a lifetime.

Large (60cm plus) tailor will also get in on the action. Tailor are the lure maker’s fish of choice when it comes to expensive lures and light lines, but you only live once.

A few live nippers or prawns are the gun live baits of the month.

Fish light and shallow for good bream, whiting, and tasty mullet on fresh white bread.

A session on the mullet in flat water with light line is also great fun for the younger kids and a great way to introduce them to fishing as a positive outdoor lifestyle choice.

And here’s hoping you’re having a happy New Year.

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