Consistent action offshore
  |  First Published: December 2013

Holiday time is upon us and the waterways are congested with hopeful anglers trying to find a piece of action on the water.

By getting up before or on sunrise you will give yourself the best chance of success. The combination of minimal angler pressure together with low light conditions make the fish a little less cautious at this time of day.


In the Clyde River we are experiencing a magnificent run of small to modest sized mulloway (jewfish) on soft plastics. Fish from 0.5-8kg are eagerly grabbing soft plastic lures and soft vibes. In particular, there have been loads of fish following lures right to the rod tip which look more like small pike than the jewfish we have come to expect from this system. This indicates that the bigger fish are breeding well and introducing plenty of new recruitment to our river.

Wade Eaton has been consistently scoring on jewfish virtually every trip, as have other regulars Ray Smith, Scott Thornton, and Narooma correspondent Stuie Hindson.

The regular guys have also been finding the odd double figure sized fish biting their lures, and the night brigade are nailing a few solid fish on bait around 15kg.


Whiting will be biting well with the warm water flooding the flats, and surface popper fishing is hard to go past for them. It is highly visual, not to mention effective, so I don’t bother with bait much these days.

If, however, you’re not into the lure scene, I recommend using live nippers fished on a lightly weighted rig and a small circle hook. This is a positively deadly technique to employ. Simply leave the rod in the holder and the fish will hook itself. Great for getting the kids onto a fish and having it stay on the hook!


Anthony from Top Cat Charters reports consistent action for those chasing bottom species. His clients have been bagging big morwong lately both on baits and on soft plastic lures worked deep. Snapper are about as well, with fish to 4kg common.

Kingfish have been making an appearance also and should really kick into gear this month. I've got a score to settle – actually a bunch of scores to settle – with these fish after last season. I will be working hard off the rocks, from my kayak and in the boat, to achieve this. Big lures and big live squid will be my weapons of choice.

It's also marlin month, with the fast warm currents either side of the continental shelf the place to start looking.

This month the Batemans Bay Gamefishing Club are hosting the annual Tollgate Classic. This event is always a great indicator for how the season is faring, and it always receives a solid showing of competitors.


Despite the holiday crowds you can always find a quiet stretch of beach devoid of anglers where you can find an abundance of salmon, tailor, bream and whiting.

There have been some decent rainfalls opening creek mouths in conjunction with solid swells so it shouldn't be too hard to find a decent gutter to cast a line.

Choose a light rig rather than anchoring a bait to the ocean floor and you will catch more fish. It's a bit harder work as you need to walk at times to maintain contact with your bait, but you will cover ground and hopefully present your bait to where the fish are feeding.

Strips of fish fillets, beachworms, pilchards and pipis are all worth trying, and a light berley trail can really spark up a good beach session.

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