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Mulloway magic
  |  First Published: December 2013



We’ve certainly had some crazy, mixed-up weather over the past month or so. We’ve had heavy rains leading into summer and cold temps in the low 20s, and terrible bushfires with raging high temps. The poor fisherman can be forgiven for wondering just what’s going on!

Well the good news is that the fish don’t seem to be too bothered by it. Water temperatures are very good, with temps in the mid-20s all around the place, and the fishing is even hotter. Whichever fishing spot you’re able to get to, odds are you will come across a good feed or two along your way.

THE LAKE

The Lake has been fishing extremely well of late. Some good kingfish have returned to lake this year, which is something many keen local anglers have been looking forward to.

There is no one method doing the damage. Some anglers are having success with poppers and other lures while the bait fishers are doing well on live squid and other live baits. The Swansea Bridge, the drop over, coal point and Wangi all hold kings at this time of year, and all are worth some effort.

If you are serious about catch a Lake Mac king, you need to ensure your tackle is up to the challenge. That means new leaders, good knots and solid tackle capable of doing battle with these brutes.

The Lake is fishing well for a variety of species at the moment. Bream and whiting are firing on the flats, and the sand islands are hotspots in summer.

Due to the increased boat traffic, early morning or late afternoon sessions are generally more productive, and if you want real success on the flats you’ll find that a little bit of wind is a plus. The fish are far less spooky in those conditions.

If you’re using bait, anchor on the edge of the flats and set a good berley trail to lure them out. Ensure your baits are as lightly weighted as possible for the conditions, and use fluorocarbon leaders in this clear water.

Lure fishers are doing well throwing a variety of topwater lures such as poppers and walk-the-dog stickbaits. Shallow diving hardbody lures are also proving to be very productive.

The Lake continues to impress me with the number and quality of jewfish (mulloway) that come from our waterway these days. This year has been a ripper of a season with loads of jews in that 6-8kg range, and quite a few in the 8-12kg range as well. Lures are very productive, and soft plastics around 4-5” are fishing well.

The top end of the lake has been providing fishers with regular catches of quality jews and we continue to see time and time again that you don’t need to soak a livebait all night if you want to connect to a silver slab of Lake Mac jew. I have been landing my jewfish in the middle of the day in sunny weather on lures, which sure makes fishing more pleasant than doing an all-nighter.

The key to increasing your chances of hooking a jew is to locate the bait. Some anglers really do underestimate the importance of a quality fishfinder; a good sounder really can make the difference between a successful trip and a blank scorecard. It’s critical to know whether the bait is there, otherwise you’ll generally be wasting your time. Find the bait schools such as tailor and you can bet there will be a jewfish not too far away.

The flathead fishing has been steady. I personally prefer the cooler months for chasing flathead in the deeper water, but during these warmer months there are plenty on offer from the shallower 0.5-4m areas. Boat moorings, drops-offs and bays such as Belmont Bay are all producing. Half pilchards and mullet strips are doing well for the bait anglers and soft plastics are producing their share. My favourite at the moment is the 5” Damiki in white.

OFFSHORE

Offshore fishing is kicking into gear. Bait balls are on the rise and the pelagics just can’t resist them. Everything from Mahimahi through to marlin will now be on offer offshore. Mahi mahi from the fisheries FADS are generally smaller than those located out wider however in a good year you should see some nice fish on them and those who soak a live yakka out there will see the better fish. Cut pilchards are also productive but generally the smaller fish will hit these offerings. Marlin can be encounter by slow trolling a live Slimy around these bait balls when located or you can pull a spread of quality skirted game lures to locate some action.

Those anglers after a feed offshore have plenty on offer as well. Great kingfish action with plenty of rats for hours of fun and plenty of quality fish as well for those putting in the effort. Jigging the reefs is particularly effective as is dropping live bait down deep at the offshore and inshore reefs. Working the washes is also productive at this time of year and will be for a few months still. Generally smaller fish but still legal fish in the mix.

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