Winter has fish on the move in this part of the world. Migrating out of the estuaries or offshore, fish follow the conditions they favour in order to feed or breed and anglers who have some knowledge of these patterns will catch fish.
In waterways like the Bega River, estuary perch in particular are on the move now. These fish can be found in the deeper, lower sections of the river but it is now illegal to possess them until September 1, when their closed spawning season ends.
Flathead are more active towards the entrance, along with some lovely yellowfin bream, silver trevally, tailor and the occasional jewfish.
Black bream are throughout the system and are good lure options, although many casts may be required to coax them out of their lairs.
Luderick are prime targets and you will find them hugging structure like the rock walls and the bridge in the river and around coastal rock platforms as well as the popular local wharf.
The wharf is a prime area for moving fish like salmon, bonito or kingfish. They following the slimy mackerel, yellowtail, garfish and pilchards which themselves provide lots of fun on light gear and good bait.
Some sizeable silver trevally can wrap lines around the pylons and at night tailor are a good option as they seek out the baitfish.
Salmon, tailor, jewfish, bream and whiting are also moving along the beaches. There are plenty of deep gutters to accommodate these fish and daytime catches can be rewarding. Anglers willing to brave the conditions at night may encounter gummy or whaler sharks.
At sea there are more migrating fish, with snapper moving along the coast on most of the reefs. In calm conditions try anchoring and berleying in various depths of water to attract them and catch them with soft plastics or bait.
In the past couple of seasons kingfish seem to be appearing more frequently in the Winter.
There are also the regulars like morwong, leatherjackets, perch and nannygai while those with the right gear to reach the deep water of the canyons can encounter some tasty big-eye trevalla, hapuku, cod, gemfish and others that will have you searching the fish identification books.
Close to shore sand flathead can be found in about 30m while gummy and whaler sharks along with gurnard are also on the shortlist.
For the game fishos it is time fir the migrating striped tuna and albacore are in reasonable numbers while the mighty yellowfin have appeared out over the continental shelf. Let’s hope we again will see those beautiful southern bluefin tuna on their migration, too.Reads: 1004