Spring starts slowly but still plenty to catch
  |  First Published: September 2013

While this month is never the greatest month for chasing a feed of fish, winds are usually cool and water temperatures are slowly rising however there has still been some reasonable activity for those brave enough to venture out into the cold.

Waters off the coastline from Eddystone Point down towards the Gardens have yielded very good catches of quality flathead with bag limits of solid fish being caught. These quality flathead have also been caught off Binalong Bay and Tailors Beach in about 20m of water and down off Scamander River mouth as well.

Further out wide the small breaks in the weather have allowed a few anglers to head to the shelf where some good hauls of blue eye trevalla, hapuka, gemfish and ling have been caught as well as some quality striped trumpeter in on some of the closer reefs.

For those unable to venture far offshore the waters of Georges Bay have seen the salmon schools continue to move about the bay feeding hard on small bait and chasing garfish. Some of these fish are the big bruisers we have become accustomed to over the last few seasons and this year has not disappointed with fish pushing 3kg.

Lures such as 20g Halco and Raider and soft plastics such as Yep Tassie Tackle 3” Minnow and Squidgy Flick Baits have been ideal. The jetty anglers have also faired well on the salmon using similar lures and casting to fish moving past.

The birds don’t seem to work these fish so don’t expect them to give the location of the fish away. As the water throughout the channel is not relatively deep (2-5m) the fish seem to hug the bottom pretty closely so heavier weights on soft plastics and weighted flies need to be used or let your lure drop to the bottom before starting the retrieve.

A tasty edition to the bay during the last month has been the snotty trevally or blue warehou; these are a hard fighting fish, great fun to catch and are very nice to eat. Most fish have been taken by jetty anglers both on the Beauty Bay jetty and the Kerwins jetty and a common technique is to use berley to attract the fish and then small Sabiki rigs with multiple flies, such as the Wasabi Bait Catchers, and a small piece of chicken breast on each hook.

Large garfish are still being caught in good numbers and can be found mostly around the sea grass beds down along the red channel markers. A small float with a small #10-12 hook and a tiny piece of white squid bait is the perfect rig for the garfish.

Whenever fishing for garfish, berley is as important as the bait and some Ground Berley mixed with a small amount of fish oil and sent in a trail down current will attract a school of gars very quickly.

Large southern calamari are still quite prevalent in the Georges Bay also, some of these fish are reaching monumental proportions with hood lengths of up to 500mm and are proving to be excellent sport as well as fine eating.

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