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Fish at every turn
  |  First Published: April 2013



There are so many fishing opportunities this month that it’s hard to decide what to focus on.

With so much swell and rain driving down the coast from back-to-back tropical lows, the East Australian Current has been pushing fairly hard from the north.

There has been a glut of marlin massing off the coast, with some longtail tuna and even a wahoo being captured off Bermagui.

April can often produce some of the warmest water of the season from that last good push of southbound current, so expect anything to show up this month.

Big schools of tiny frigate mackerel have been invading southern beach corners in pursuit of tiny baitfish. If you luck onto these fish, be it off the rocks or in a boat, there is no better live bait to tempt monster kingfish, marlin or yellowfin tuna.

At worst, you will hook a hammerhead or bronze whaler shark – they love them too.

Kingfish have been hot and cold off our regular reefs, which is their usual deal. Some days, crews are bagging out and other times the fish are stacked on the sounder but refuse to bite.

If you can get a live frigate in front of their noses they won't be able to refuse.

Marlin have been on or not, with crews hooking a bunch of fish per session or simply just burning fuel.

Anthony on Topcat Charters put clients onto seven striped marlin in a day but only one fish stayed on until the tag went in.

Rohan Griffin reports seeing more schools of sauries than he has in seasons past. Game fish can be tricky to get a bite from when they are on sauries because unlike slimy mackerel, pilchards or cowanyoung, sauries move fast and rarely holding for any length of time.

Often a significant increase in trolling speed to match the sauries’ speed can bring a strike. It can be a hard call because fuel management gets thrown out the window when troll speeds increase but if that's what it takes to get a hit, it is all worth it.

YELLOWFIN

Yellowfin tuna numbers should swell this month and there are already some encouraging reports from both north and south of the Bay. Once the raging currents begin to slow, it’s a good time to think about cubing.

Typically, snapper season begins now. Fish big and small begin massing on the inshore reefs as they await the cooler water to kick-start their breeding rituals.

Good numbers of 3kg-6kg reds have been captured from boats fishing the Durras reefs as well as the extensive Moruya systems. Snapper fishing will only get better over the next few months.

ESTUARY

Wade Eaton reports sensational bream and whiting surface action in the Clyde River, with regular cricket-score numbers.

Large numbers of oyster racks have been removed from the system and there are now some seriously good weed flats free from obstruction and the whiting are really enjoying them.

On a recent kayak sortie chasing jewfish I lost three fish due to pulled hooks. They felt pretty small and follow-up trips have revealed there is a healthy recruitment of tiny kilo mulloway inhabiting deep stretches of the Clyde.

Good rains have reignited the bass in the upper reaches with fish again able to move freely from pool to pool. Ray Smith has been scoring around 30 fish a session and missing some really big girls on surface lures.

This is probably the last month that I generally fish for bass. I'm sure they are still viable through early Winter but I prefer to shift focus to other species.

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