This is a fantastic time to get out on the water and chase a few fish. Even though we’re about to start the crazy holiday season and be inundated with the inevitable congestion as tourists descending upon the coast, early December can be one of the quieter crowd-free times to wet a line. With many families tightening the pre-Christmas budget the waterways will be receiving less than normal angling pressure.
In the rivers, bream, whiting, flathead and mulloway will all be viable targets and light boating traffic will always equate to better fishing. Being on the water super early or late in the afternoon will only add weight to success.
Bream and whiting will be keenly seeking food from the surface this month in the form of skittering surface fleeing prawns, cicadas and other insects. And what better way to attract their attention than to flick a few surface lures around the shallows. There are a multitude of lures that fit the bill and the local tackle shops are in the know with what’s working and where. As a general rule, the longer stickbait profiles work with a quick and erratic retrieve and cup-faced poppers or cicada imitations need to be worked slower with plenty of lengthy pauses between twitches of the rod tip.
Mulloway have been on fire of late with heaps of fish taking plastic lures and soft plastic vibes. The big fish that were around a few months ago have gone a bit quiet but there are plenty of 6-7kg fish about. Anglers continue to show restraint and have been releasing most of these majestic fish to provide the next angler with the ultimate thrill.
Local angler Scott Thornton recently snared a PB mulloway over 15kg working his lures around an active tailor school feeding on the surface. You will undoubtedly lose a lot of gear working the tailor schools but mulloway have a magnetic attraction to them and are usually close by.
Yet again the Clyde has produced another whopper snapper of 7.3kg that was captured near the Nelligen Bridge.
Each season there seems to be at least one 6kg+ snapper captured well upstream.
Off the beaches there has been a good run of 1.5-2kg tailor mixed in with the salmon schools. Lures worked through washy gutters seem to produce more fish through the day than bait and is far more exciting. Once the shadows start to fall bait will become a better option and by nightfall you can expect the big tailor to make an appearance. Tailor to 4kg and bigger are possible through the dark, particularly on big strips of bonito fillets, which can excite a prowling mulloway from 5-30kg.
Offshore currents should be boiling now and full of pelagic fish.
A recent trip with mates aboard Top Cat Charters revealed some early 21ºC water that produced a nice little rat yellowfin on the first cast with an Ocea stickbait. The rest of the day yielded only striped tuna but the sighting of several sunfish and multitudes of birds.
The signs are all there for the gamefish to fire right up and this will be the month to chase them.
Inshore the kingfish have been busy eating jigs and baits in the 40-60m depths, and should now also be found on the shallow grounds. Last season the kings seemed to set themselves up on the inshore reefs for several months so here's hoping they do the same again this year.
The bass season now will be in full swing with top water lures the way to go. Cicada's have been in full swing for a while now and they really fire up the bass’ aggressive nature, making them easy to hook. Getting them out of tight cover however is another thing!Reads: 774