It’s a real variety show
  |  First Published: March 2013

If it is variety you crave, whether offshore, from the beaches or rocks or in our estuaries, March is simply the best month to sample it all.

In the estuaries, the last of the prawns make their way to the ocean and fish are feasting on them to fatten up for the cooler months ahead. This may also be the last chance for humans to acquire some of these succulent crustaceans before they disappear for the season.

Prawn-style soft plastics are working well on flathead in Wallaga Lake and the Bermagui River. If you find conditions a bit windy, try drifting the lakes and just twitching these lures along the bottom.

Other species like whiting, bream, luderick, mullet and trevally move over the flats with the incoming tide, providing excellent shallow-water action. A nipper, prawn or squirt worm is all that is required to gain a result.

Often the easiest way to find fish in the shallows is to simply sight them through polarised sunglasses.

On the beaches, anglers to fish night or day. At night expect all types of surprises like whaler or gummy sharks, jewfish and tailor.

In the day the shallower gutters are producing lots of whiting on worms with the occasional bream and mullet, while on the incoming tide the deep gutters have packs of salmon.


For inshore anglers fish are plentiful. Kingfish, bonito, striped tuna, frigate mackerel, salmon and even small black marlin are patrolling the coast and islands for pilchards, yakkas or whitebait.

The baitfish also provide a feast for bottom fish like tiger and sand flathead, snapper, morwong, kingies, perch and pigfish may also seek out this bait supply. Out wider on the Twelve Mile Reef, expect more of the same but bigger.

Now is also prime time for marlin at the continental shelf and beyond. Slimy mackerel, cowanyoung and redbait are the main attraction, especially for striped and black marlin.

Small tuna such as frigate mackerel, striped tuna or juvenile yellowfin have been regularly hitting small lures and these fish attract the big blue marlin lurking out over the shelf.

For a serious blue, lay out a spread of large lures so you can cover plenty of water and push out to areas like the seamount east of Montague, wider out from 1000 fathoms.

For the stripes, blacks and even the blues, try working the edge of the shelf from the Twelve Mile Reef through to Tuross Canyons until you discover where the bait is concentrated, then work over the area.

Other predators like spearfish, yellowfin and mahi mahi that may be hanging around the buoys attached to the fish traps just inside the shelf.

If you are live-baiting for marlin, mako, whaler, hammerhead and even tiger sharks may also turn up.

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