Not a classic Summer
  |  First Published: March 2012

We’re marching into March and it really is the best time of year here on the South Coast.

Cool mornings and relatively calm, balmy days are what the script says but, hang on a minute, someone forgot to tell the weather man!

Summer and Autumn in 2012 will be remembered as a generally cool and mild affair. Sure, we’ve had the odd scorcher, but there have been plenty of mild, overcast days and reading the weather and planning ahead for a good fishing adventure has been a challenge, to say the least.

Summer has gone down as one of the best in terms of estuary snapper and bream in St Georges Basin but we’ve been fishing in a classic cooler-season style with blades and plastics in the deeper sections.

Summer should be all about the surface bite for bream.

Don’t get me wrong, fish have been chewing on the surface but not with the gusto of seasons gone by.

What should also be noted is a significant amount of extra cockle weed, which in some has cases choked traditional surface lure country, making it difficult to say the least.

While we’re on the subject of seaweed, DPI Fisheries and NSW Maritime must implement extra education programs to stem the tide of habitat destruction and the transfer of pest species.

The wider boating community, particularly the ski, wakeboard and tubing set, need to be further educated about the safety aspects of boating in very shallow water and the destruction of the precious Posidonia seagrass habitat which is vital in maintaining healthy estuaries and fish communities.

It’s a serious issue which needs immediate attention.

Back up to the surface, though, where the bass have been on fire thanks to tge right amount of rain allowing fish to travel well upstream.

Most feeder creeks and dams in the area have been producing cricket-score catches and plenty of trophy fish.

Cicada patterns have come into their own since January and it’s very interesting to note the number of trophy bream in the brackish sections of the Shoalhaven River that will scoff a cicada.


The blue water filtered into the bay around the third week in January. While there was much anticipation surrounding this, it didn’t quite live up to expectations across the board in terms of kingfish.

The fish are there, and some big 15kg to 20kg models, I might add, but they have been patchy, much like the weather.

As we go to print I’m hoping this situation will change and we’ll see plenty of good mid-week sessions with no boat traffic and the bait balls being harassed by big predators.

The land-based game guys have been shoulder to shoulder and dragged a few marlin onto the rocks in late January at the most documented LBG ledge in the world, so the big fish have been around and time and perseverance will reap the rewards for those who put in the effort.

Offshore, The Kink has been producing some good striped marlin and the annual run of small blacks and stripes are making their presence felt on The Banks.

There will be plenty of sick days coming up for the trailer boat marlin-on-spin-gear mob, who will be champing at the bit to pick a day when the weather is right, and that’s usually midweek.

The 60kg to 100kg fish are great fun on spin tackle and can be easily tagged and released in good condition. Make sure the batteries are charged on the camera before you go, fellas.

Rapala's Chris Beldon with a PB 43cm Shoalhaven bass on 4lb leader.

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