Those winds that blow straight off the snow should start to slow up now, making early morning fishing adventures a little more pleasant on the body.
But those who braved the Winter cold have been rewarded with some exceptional fishing especially close inshore.
There's been a good run of pan-sized snapper on the inshore reefs with the average red 1.5kg-2g. At that size they make a great feed and when you find a patch you can expect half a dozen fish pretty easily.
They have responded well to a number of techniques although best results have come from drifting fresh baits down a berley trail while at anchor.
Some fishos find this a bit much work and would rather drift to cover ground. This is a deadly approach at times but with the fish schooled in small areas, anchoring is certainly the go.
You are better off anchoring on the harder ground and drifting your offerings to the edge where the hard reef meets the gravel or sand. The fish will hold there especially when you use berley.
You can also use soft plastics and at times they will outfish bait two to one so give them ago. Having a quality sounder and knowing how to read it will certainly improve catch rates.
Also expect kingfish, morwong and very big sand flathead as by-catch.
Further offshore has been very hit and miss with the odd southern bluefin tuna trolled up. It's certainly not like it was a month or so ago but that's to be expected when the water is 15°.
A little later this month there's a possibility of yellowfin and albacore but a lot will depend on water temperature and current movements/direction. I'd be saving the fuel until some solid reports come from northern ports like Narooma and Bermagui.
The beaches have been red-hot for months with salmon in plague numbers, with Tura Main the pick. Casting metal slugs is very popular, great fun and ideal for kids and anyone new to casting.
For a feed bream, yellow-eye mullet and bigger whiting will take beach worms, pipis and cut pilchards. A lighter outfit with a dropper or running sinker rig is definitely a key to better results.
It's been a quiet month for the rockhoppers with very cold water and flat seas. When the swell has picked up a little there have been sporadic catches of drummer, blackfish and bream but even the local gun fishos are saying it's been tough.
Short Point would be the pick of the ledges with salmon spinning a good back-up if the table fish don't play the game.
In the estuaries Pambula Lake is a stand-out with trevally, flathead, bream, salmon, tailor and lots of decent blackfish.
The pelagics have come from the lower river on soft plastics fished in the faster channel water, but the other species have been in the main lake. Most have fallen to blades fished dead slow with one recent guided trip producing 16 blackfish in two hours in only 4m of water.
Who would think you could actively target a weed-eater on metal? It doesn't make sense but I've been back to the same area many times and it's always the same.
They only chew on the dropping tide and the colder the water, the better. That's what keeps us fishos coming back, there's always a surprise.Reads: 537