Driving rain, bitterly cold winds and huge seas for weeks at a time. Welcome to the depths of winter!
Prior to the foul weather, there were still water temperatures nudging over 20ºC, schools of rampaging kingfish and a hot striped marlin bite going down! But now it is reality check time with 15ºC brown water and pumping swells.
The upside is I would anticipate this month to be a ripper for targeting snapper inshore and off the rocks providing we actually get some safe and fishable weather.
Before the storms, squid numbers were high in the shallows but cuttlefish were still absent. That will have all changed now so make sure you factor this into your game plan. Fishing plastics around floating carcasses of dead cuttlefish is deadly as is lobbing unweighted or lightly weighted baits in close proximity. Even if you cannot locate any visible cuttlefish, don't be scared to cast at the trailing end of cruising dolphin pods as big snapper actively follow them at this time of year in the hope of a free feed.
Drummer fishing is another sure bet this month, with plenty of fish responding to the big stir up. Recent trips have yielded good numbers of 1.5kg fish with the odd larger fish thrown in the mix.
Silver drummer have also been present, but most have been lucky to hit the 1kg mark. Now that there is some actual cold water about, we should start to see some of the big specimens show up. It goes without saying, a 6-7kg silver is a real handful in tight rocky country but they fight much cleaner than their darker friends. Be sure to release all of your silver drummer because, unlike the black drummer, they are terrible to eat.
Solid bream and trevally will also be encountered in the soupy conditions and a lightly weighted prawn piece floated down a sparse berley trail is about as complex as it gets.
In the estuaries, big mulloway to 15kg are still being encountered for the night bait soaking brigade. This fishing will only improve with so much rain sweeping down the coast.
Big estuary perch in big numbers have also been present. Wade Eaton has been having some blinder sessions on them recently reporting cricket score catch and release days.
The game fish scene will be on fire now too, with the cool water targets all there for the taking.
Big southern bluefin, yellowfin tuna and albacore along with plenty of mako sharks have been present in cube trails when weather allows.
Hopefully, there will also be some continued winter kingfish action available. Recent trips resulted in some big fish and even bigger bust ups on fish not meant to be stopped! With cooler water, the fish have been stacked tight on the sounder but unwilling to bite. Watching the downrigger drag your live squid directly through a big school of 10kg+ fish on the sounder is pretty frustrating stuff but patience and persistence often pays off.Reads: 1263