Big Broughton snapper
  |  First Published: December 2013

With the New Year upon us the fishing is certainly hotting up with mahi mahi and marlin offshore, and some quality flathead and whiting in the estuaries. What more could you ask for?

The warmer currents are starting to push their way down now so we should start to see a run of tropical species such as cobia and mackerel.


There are some great shallow water snapper being caught up around Broughton Island, with the popular spots being Cod Rock and the Sisters. Fish low-light periods with very lightly weighted baits, and don’t forget to berley.

The trag are still around the reefs. The 21 and V get pretty heavily fished but can produce a good bag of trag at night. Live yakkas will also give you a good chance of a jew.

Daniel thrift caught his first 20lb snapper at Broughton recently on a 5” Gulp Jerkshad on a very light set-up with only 15lb line. He uses a fighting technique called ‘softly softly’, which is basically backing the drag right off to let the fish think it is in control. This makes it more likely that the fish won’t wrap you around any structure.

The gamefishing is starting to really heat up, with some mahi mahi starting to show in numbers, and reports of marlin out wide. Out at the shelf the water temperature is 23 degrees in patches so hopefully we should be in for a good season.

A few drummer are showing up in the white water around Little Island. Chuck an unweighted peeled prawn into the white water for some light tackle fun.


The pelagics are starting to turn up now, and most headlands are producing good catches of kings and bonito. Metal lures or Halco poppers are great, and a live yakka under a balloon is a reliable way to connect to a king or an early season longtail tuna. Live squid are the best bait, if you can get them.


If it’s whiting you’re after, the beaches are the place to be. There are plenty of good-sized fish taking live or fresh beachworms. I heard of a 45cm fish which was falsely called for a small mulloway until it was washed onto the beach.

Fingal, Box and Stockton are all producing fish, and I recommend concentrating about an hour before and after high tide. A bit of red tube on the line can greatly increase catch rates.


There is plenty of kingfish action around the break wall, with loads of rats and the odd 10kg hoodlum. As the water warms it should only get better.

There are also some very nice snapper turning up around the break wall, and to catch them you’ll want to use large baits and sort your way through the millions of pickers.

The blue swimmers are starting to show up now too so it is well worth chucking out a few witches hats while you fish. Just keep a close eye on them, as I have heard a few reports of stolen traps.

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