It's a great time of year. The days are noticeably longer, the chill is now gone and the fish are becoming more active.
There has been a spate of striped tuna action, quite close to the rocks at times. Many anglers have been cranking metals and trolling small lures to good effect.
The bulk of the fish have been found on the surface, hounding small baitfish anywhere from just north of Batemans Bay to Brush Island and anywhere in between.
Using 1kg-3kg bream outfits and 20g lures is a big challenge on striped tuna around 3kg. With this type of tackle you will quickly see the bottom of the spool approaching and it can take up to 15 minutes of hard work to finally tire them out.
Pound for pound, these fish on light gear are about as tough as they come.
With a few nice stripies secured for bait, it would be well worth dropping anchor over a patch of reef and floatlining a strip bait for a big snapper.
Depths of 20m-40m should hold some good-sized fish and if there is some decent current rather than none, it shouldn't take too long before the mandatory berley starts to bring in the fish.
Water temps are nicely on the rise and there are already good signs of the north- south current kicking into action. Sneak a deep-set live bait into the trail and you may even score on an early season kingfish.
I am expecting another cracker year on the kings, with the previous run of fish in early winter the best we have seen in over a decade.
The game fishing scene is still viable, with albacore up to 25kg and yellowfin tuna to 40kg. If you are prepared to travel a long way there is still an outside chance at a 100kg bluefin, with the commercial guys still finding monster fish.
There was even a solid blue marlin caught of Bermagui, indicating the sort of water that can be found at times.
Last month I was working in Sydney and filing my report from my ‘smart’ phone, so I reported of a monster 56kg albacore mount that should have read 156kg broadbill. I'm sure Scott from Batemans Bay Fish Mounts had to answer some odd phone calls due to that one!
Now the sun’s warmth is having some impact, the estuaries will be firing. Big flathead start to wake from their Winter slumbers, bream are on the move and whiting too will become more active over the flats.
Daniel Dowley scored the kind of flathead that most estuary fishos only dream of. At 99cm, it was one impressive fish.
Wade Eaton has been braining the flathead and the odd jewfish using Thready Buster soft vibe lures. From all accounts they are now his go-to lures for big fish in the Clyde River.
With the return of the warmth, bass fishing starts to creep into my thoughts. Some seasons past have proven to be awesome for early season bass but last year I don't think I even got my first on the board until December.
Either way, I am sure I will be grabbing the canoe and tent and heading west to see if they are on the chew.
Armed with some spinnerbaits, divers and a few surface lures, I hope to find some willing takers.Reads: 1743