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  |  First Published: April 2012



Calmer Autumn weather should now allow anglers to fish as they wish and there are so many options available, from the blue-water game fish, offshore reef and sport right through to our beautiful estuaries

It’s quite possible to catch subtropical species such as mahi mahi and spearfish while typically cool-water fish like albacore and yellowfin tuna are also present.

When it comes to sharks we’re likely to see anything from tigers and hammerheads to makos, blues and threshers.

The inshore grounds and the estuaries are also changing seasonally and the recent rain has improved these areas no end.

If variety is what you are looking for then head to the inshore reefs and the entrances of our estuaries as warmer water from the ocean pushes in to stimulate fish to feed.

Many big blue marlin have been caught in April. Trolling large skirted lures out over the 1000-fathom line is probably the best form of attack but trolled small striped tuna have also accounted for their share.

Closer to the continental shelf and the Twelve Mile Reef, striped and black marlin have been in good numbers with a variety of tuna and mahi mahi.

It’s also worth berleying all these areas for sharks and whatever else ventures into the trail. Always have a live bait on, say, 250lb mono trace under a balloon because there are always marlin and tuna caught in this way well into the Winter.

FLICK PLASTICS

Reef and bottom fishing is excellent as the generally calm weather allows anglers to fish as they wish.

When you get still conditions, get close to shore and flick some soft plastics around the reefs and rocky outcrops. Anywhere from 2m to as deep as you can get your plastic to the bottom will produce.

Anything can be caught in this manner and some of the oddballs that you pull up may shock you. Targets on the shortlist will be snapper and flathead on the bottom and a host of pelagics including kingfish, salmon, small tuna and trevally.

Conventional bottom bouncing will produce a wide variety of species and allows you to fish the deeper water like the Twelve Mile Reef. Large snapper, tiger flathead and Tassie trumpeter are much sought after and if you are geared up to run live bait on game gear, anything can come your way.

It is also a good time of year for anglers chasing surface fish from the rocks and beaches. Kingfish, bonito, salmon, bream and trevally may be encountered.

It is also a great time for chasing pigs (rock blackfish or drummer), especially early morning and in the late afternoon after the shadows creep over the water. The best areas for this are around the Blue Pool and out on the main headland.

Along the beaches the weather is still pleasant enough to fish at night and it’s a good time for gummy sharks, particularly on the full moon. Deep gutters on the bigger beaches should carry their share, along with salmon, tailor and possibly jewfish.

ESTUARY BREAM

Bream fishing in the estuaries and lakes is fantastic. Large schools of yellowfin bream have moved into most of the systems, especially those open to the ocean due to those rains.

The better fishing is now in the lower parts where the warmer water is being pushed in by the tides. Use lures or bait on the first of the run-up tide; my favourite tactic is to use striped tuna as bait and berley.

Flathead in reasonable numbers are still being taken on lures and bait in the Bermagui River and Wallaga Lake.

Plenty of blackfish are taking green weed and cabbage on the last of the run-out tide around the rock walls, the boat ramp, the harbour and at Wallaga around the bridge.

Brogo Dam is naturally at 100% capacity and is fishing quite well. Plenty of black crickets are encouraging the bass to feed near the surface, providing plenty of topwater action.

You can use the crickets as bait but small surface lures and flies are providing many memorable moments.

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