Offshore scene heats up
  |  First Published: December 2011

At this time of year the fishing offshore in our area starts to really fire up, and it wont be long until it is again a fishing paradise.

Baitfish have started to appear in numbers, with a yellowtail kingfish recently caught off the beach by a local angler fishing for salmon. Gummy shark are being taken off the beaches, as this time of year they come in close to shore to eat swimmer crab and other tasty morsels.

The best news of all for locals and visitors alike is the entrance at Marlo is still deep and wide allowing good access to the ocean from Marlo as well as Cape Conran. Although the entrance at Marlo is good, anglers should take every precaution when traversing an entrance or crossing a bar, for every year boats come to grief here.

As mentioned the fishing offshore is excellent, with reports coming in of good mixed bins of flathead, gurnard, pinkie snapper, squid, barracouta and shark, all being taken by anglers drift fishing and bottom bashing.

For the anglers looking for a bit more excitement schools of baitfish have arrived and with them more pelagic fish are arriving every day. Local angler Vincent Joiner fishing with his brother Michael on a recent outing reported seeing a big bait ball that was being harassed by dolphins.

The baitfish were in such frenzy they were boiling out of the water. The brothers decided this was a perfect opportunity to gather some easy bait, discovering they had no bait jigs, and no landing net aboard, they decided to improvise. They reversed the boat right up to the bait ball and used their gaff to hook the baitfish gathering enough for the days outing.

The reported the fresh baitfish proved a real winner boating an excellent bin of flathead, gummy shark and pike. Other reports of seals herding baitfish and eating their fill, another report come in of crew fishing for flathead noticed a seal surface alongside their boat with a big snapper in its mouth, they think it was just teasing them.

Another crew called in at the shop to display their catch, a huge 7’+ seven-gill shark, a lot of flathead and several snook. Many other anglers reported bagging out on gummy shark.

Going by the way the water is warming, schools of kingfish and striped tuna will be arriving for their annual visit. With all the action anglers will pit both their skill and equipment to the maximum.

For those anglers who are land-based the surf beaches are also fishing very well. Schools of salmon and tailor are patrolling along the coastline giving anglers plenty of action.

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