The warmer months have been mainly kind to anglers and there is no reason for that to stop as we slip into Autumn.
There seem to be plenty of fish for everyone and not too many fishless reports through to the end of February.
Flathead have been thick in the lower part of the lake. They seem to be everywhere and of all sizes.
Whiting also have been a fishing highlight over the warmer months, whether you’re using surface lures, beach worms or yabbies. They have been plentiful over the clean sand around the bridge and channels leading up past Hells Gate and Breckenridge Channel.
Good catches of blue swimmer crabs around the main lake weed beds have encouraged a lot of anglers to throw in a few witches’ hats at the beginning of their day’s fishing and pick them up at the end of their time.
Nets can be left out overnight but stingrays can ruin your nets and eat the crabs you have enmeshed. It is best to recover your nets before you come off the water.
Bream up to about a kilo have been smashing surface lures around the heavily-snagged shores of the Wallamba, Coolongolook and Wang Wauk rivers.
Yabbies, prawns and mullet strips fished in the same area will turn a few bream and flathead and, if you are live-baiting for something bigger, your wish may be answered but it perhaps will not be what you are expecting.
The rivers have a few bull sharks (juveniles, mostly) hunting the mullet and they often attack hooked fish, so be warned. These sharks are only around 1m-1.3m long but they do have a bad attitude out of the water, so be careful of their teeth.
While up the rivers, if you are inclined to set a crab trap (one per licensed angler) there have been some big muddies caught. You will risk share-farming because traps are prone to pirating but hiding your marked float among the mangroves is an option.
There are a lot of big mud crabs lurking up the rivers and while you may not get heaps, one or two make a great weekend lunch.
Anglers spinning the beaches have been enjoying some big tailor and salmon down at Janies Corner and off Seven Mile beach. A few mulloway have been taking worm baits in the gutters in the same areas.
From the rocks there are a few small kingfish kicking around with bonito, tailor and mack tuna making up the mix caught on long-cast metal Raider-type lures.
The Tuncurry Breakwall has fished very well for jewfish around 8kg-10kg on live pike and yellowtail.
With the live bait will come the table-sized stingrays and whaler sharks. One angler in the holidays landed a 1.6m whaler during the day and many of the passers-by were as fascinated as the angler.
So to avoid the disappointment of catching something you don’t want, I’d be inclined to bounce plastics along the bottom on a 1oz jig head; it’s more fun, anyway.
The walls have also produced a lot of tailor, bonito and even the odd small kingfish, some of which have made their way into the lake.
I do like spinning the end of the wall during the run-out tide. It’s like pouring food out through a funnel at times and the fish go nuts.
A trickle of the small black marlin from the northern waters continues to give the offshore guys some hope but there are always mahi mahi at the FAD and a few cobias that will find a live slimy mackerel irresistible.
Pan-sized snapper and a few solid pearl perch have been reported but the pearlies are just part of the bottom bouncing lottery.Reads: 1152