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An early Summer beckons
  |  First Published: November 2013



I’m sure this month we will continue to have very summery days, as we have over the past month or so, and maybe the fish are starting to think the same way, too.

There have been days out on the water this last month that would not have been out of place in the height of Summer. Hot whiting bites on the surface, warm, humid evenings that just scream bass or jacks and the nor’-east sea breeze has certainly made itself known.

The whiting have started to come on quite strongly in the estuaries, with many being caught on lures, worms and nippers.

If you want to chase the whiting on lures it’s best to throw surface lures around the yabby banks on the incoming tide. Retrieve fast and straight and try to bring your lure from the shallows and over a drop-off, if you can.

The odd flathead will be common by-catch with this technique as well.

As the estuaries heat up and the insect life kicks into gear, the surface luring will become particularly effective on the bream.

Small cicada surface crawlers are always popular but there are some cracker lures out now that mimic all sorts of surface insects and they can be dynamite for bream.

Surface bream tactics are the opposite of the whiting technique. Bream are very cautious fish so a slow, meandering and even dead still retrieve will give the fish a good chance to approach, assess and hopefully devour your lure.

Throwing one of these insect lures at snags and structure in the upper estuaries can lead to some great bream fishing, as well as a few trevally, flathead or even a jack.

If you’re going to give it a go, now’s the time.

MOVING BASS

Further up the rivers and creeks, the bass will be continuing to battle their way upstream. Decent rain would enable them to make the dash for the hills but the ground is currently so dry that any rain just soaks in so we will need quite a dump.

Before the rain, however, there maybe opportunities for some great sessions below those river wide barriers that block the fish.

Rapids that have a decent river drop, as well as weirs, crossings and other artificial barriers block bass moving upstream. The fish queue up waiting for rain.

This can produce a high level of hunger and competition, which is an angler’s ultimate combination of circumstances.

The bass this month will respond well to medium-diving minnows and soft plastics. You may have to take quite a finesse options while the rivers are running low and clear.

In the evenings the surface crawlers will become increasingly effective as it warms up and the cicadas break out after years of being stuck underground.

OFFSHORE

The offshore climate has been a bit more wary of the upcoming Summer, with water varying from 19°-23°.

The bonito schools have been relatively consistent over the past few months and the rat kingies have started to show up in numbers around most of the local washes.

Snapper continue to be spread out so it’s a matter of finding the fish on the sounder before bothering to drop a line.

My aim this Summer is to give micro/light jigging a full crack so I have been leaving temptation at home by not bringing any soft plastics with me at all.

I’m yet to have a real crack on the snapper but the jigs have been working very well on many reef fish, especially when searching for spread out fish.

A small jig (even a tiny 8g model) can get down into the zone a lot faster than a plastic, so if you locate fish on the sounder you can drop a lure on their heads in no time flat.

Once you put some action into the jig, though, it will still dance and flutter like a plastic and will attract a wide variety fish in the same way.

Although Summer has made cameo appearances this Spring in the estuaries and creeks I’m not predicting the same scenario offshore.

There may be Summer-feeling days and warm water but there hasn’t been any sign of the mackerel, tuna or marlin yet, so we’ll wait and see.

But with the way everything feels, it may be a good idea to get out and wet a line before Autumn shows up for Summer!

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