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Changing of the guard
  |  First Published: April 2013



Water temps can be extremely variable now but there are still plenty of fish only too willing to feed wherever you go.

On the game scene, marlin slightly decrease in numbers as the water cools although this season the warmer water appears to be lingering so there may be a late run. This has happened regularly in the past and there often are some very big blues out over the canyons in April.

Tuna will replace the marlin. Yellowfin, albacore, striped and even big-eye tuna, are all now starting to feature in captures and it will not be long before those southern bluefin turn up.

Out over the shelf is where it is all happening, with trolling the best way of finding them. Skirted, bibless and bibbed lures work well, covering all options till you find what the fish prefers.

If the tuna are concentrated in one area, lay out a berley trail and fish with cubes or live bait. Vertical jigging and soft plastics also bring whole ways of targeting these species.

Around Montague Island, kingfish are generally larger now and can be seen busting on the surface as they chase the saurie schools. Trolling a live slimy mackerel through them will quite often produce a strike or, for lots more fun, use a solid spin stick and rip a popper across the surface for explosive results.

Bonito to 6kg are often in with the kings and at times may be even more ferocious.

On the bottom, snapper are increasing in numbers around most reefs. Those south of Bermagui down to Goalen Head are the better areas, and the wider ones like the Twelve Mile are definitely worth a look.

Blue and jackass morwong, nannygai, wrasse and tiger flathead are there, and out wider ocean perch.

In close, snapper are being targeted on light spin gear with good results kingfish and the odd bonito are providing plenty of action.

ESTUARY

On the shore, things have also changed. Cooler water and recent rain in the upper parts of the catchment have forced many species downstream in search of warmer water brought in on the tide.

Some of these species may even be starting to migrate, which is good news to anglers because the fish will be feeding to pack on condition before leaving the estuary.

Flathead, flounder, whiting and especially bream and blackfish are active.

The flathead can be taken on lures although bait is working best.

Nippers and worms will account for most species although weed takes the majority of the luderick.

For the best bream, try striped tuna as berley and bait. Flathead, trevally and garfish also like this and you may also take salmon around the estuary entrances.

Try this in the first couple of hours of an incoming tide, when the warmer water first hits, for best results.

Salmon are dominating most bags on the beaches. There are also good numbers of bream, whiting and on the full moon some gummy sharks.

Around on the rocks there is plenty of lure action on frigate mackerel, bonito, salmon, tailor and the odd kingfish. As the evening shadows creep over the water, drummer come on the chew.

Up in Brogo Dam the water is starting to cool, slowing bass activity. On the good days fish are still feeding.

Trolling is one good option, keeping a lure in the strike zone, although bait may fare a little better when the weather is changeable.

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