For some anglers Winter is a time to scale things back and pursue other passions for a while but for others it’s simply a matter of adjusting to the conditions and the reaping the rewards.
Those who like to cast metal slugs will do well this month targeting tailor and salmon from the rocks and the beaches.
Head north and Point Plomer will be the go for a throw off the stones, while to the south any of the great vantage points on Point Perpendicular will be good producers.
Just remember to watch the swell and spend time scoping your fishing spot before casting a lure. Wear appropriate clothes and footwear and never fish alone.
Off the stones this month you will also be able to pick up some solid bream. Best baits will be unweighted pilchards, whole or cubed, while cunjevoi is also a prime bait if it is accessible.
The beaches will also fire up with bream and mulloway as they lurk in wait of the many feeding opportunities they’ll have this month.
Soft plastics will account for plenty of school mulloway and a few oversized fish. Live baits will also prove irresistible, with poddy mullet topping the list, followed closely by live worms.
North, Lighthouse and Dunbogan beaches should have some nice gutters. Make sure you have a current council permit to drive on the beach if you intend taking the 4WD and keep a close look on the tides to ensure your vehicle doesn’t get swamped.
Snapper will be the main targets offshore and already plenty of squire are meeting the cleaning table. Cubed pilchards and tuna and soft plastics account for many of these fish over the inshore reefs and gravel grounds.
Those venturing further out will catch morwong and pearl perch as well.
I’ve heard a few reports that the flathead ground straight out from the Hastings River bar is beginning to fire up. Again, plastics have been accounting for many flatties but fishos have also been doing well on slabs of mullet and bonito.
Estuary angling this month will be concentrated on the lower reaches of the Hastings and Camden Haven systems where bream, flathead and luderick will be the main targets.
Mulloway will also be on the cards and with plenty of baitfish in the water it shouldn’t be hard to locate a few school mulloway. The walls and deep holes around the Dennis and Rawdon Island bridges should be the best spots.
The coal walls will be busy with anglers chasing luderick as they move in and out of the system.
The run-in tide always seems to be the best time so frame your session around the tide, not the time of day, and you’ll do well.
Best spots on the Hastings for luderick will be the bend in the south wall, along the coal wall in the main river and in some of the deeper holes near the oyster racks in Limeburners Creek.
Bream will also be in these spots as they school up. Don’t be surprised if you catch plenty of fish all around the same size.
If your looking for bigger fish, it can be a matter of changing the size of your bait or lure and keep weeding through the fish until you find bigger fish.
Flathead will be throughout the system but don’t dismiss the idea of a trip upstream to target fish lying in the shallows to warm themselves. They’ll also be there to feed on the abundant baitfish that move throughout the system at this time of year.
Back-eddies and shallow flats close to deep drop-offs on bends in the river will be excellent grounds to target decent flathead.
Live bait will get you some of the bigger fish while slab baits and whitebait will be excellent if you like to anchor in the sun and enjoy a session on school fish.
Any soft plastic worked in a jerking motion along the bottom will around interest. I like to fish with jig heads around 1/8oz with 3”-5” plastic jerkbaits.
Fish as light as you possibly can to enable you to impart a natural action to your plastic. Don’t forget, though, to up the ante with your leader material to counter the flathead’s teeth, which can wear leaders very quickly.Reads: 1650