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Hot targets in warm water
  |  First Published: March 2014



March is easily my favourite time of year to fish Port because it’s when the warm currents become more consistent, bringing a whole new host of tropical species. Longtail tuna, mackerel and inshore black marlin are just a few of the tropical fish which ride the currents down here at this time of year. Also our resident snapper, mulloway and flathead thrive in these warmer temperatures and can always provide a reliable target.

Offshore

The warm currents are in full swing now and we should start to see our run of longtail tuna. From now until mid-May is what I would call longtail season. Garfish are a favourite bait for these top sportfish but most live baits should work if they are around. Put your bait under a float or balloon so it is sitting about 2-3m below the surface, and remember that it’s worth chucking around a plastic or surface popper while you wait.

The Fisheries FAD has plenty of mahi mahi (dolphinfish) on it but most are only rats; your best chance of hooking into a big bull is to find a fish trap buoy. If you want to fish the FAD you need to get there before the other boats do, as heavy boat traffic often puts the fish down and off the bite. So for these fish sadly an early morning start is needed. Cast surface poppers, soft plastics or troll. Dolphinfish will hit all sorts of lures if someone hasn’t gotten to them first.

The marlin fishing out wide has been excellent so far this season and hopefully the baby blacks should start making their way in very close again soon,. The Car Park has definitely earned its name lately as it has been literally packed with boats trolling in every direction. The trick with fishing this spot is the same as every spot: find the bait and you will find the fish.

Bay

Flathead are a great target this time of year. A good starting point is to drift with whitebait or cast 5” soft plastics around Shoal Bay and Corlette.

The bay break wall is producing rat kingies, and hopefully some bigger ones will arrive soon.

On the rougher days when the swell is up it is definitely worth hitting Little Beach Jetty and the break wall for snapper. I have seen photos of some thumpers lately around the 7kg mark. Fish whole squid or bonito fillet and definitely expect to put a few hours in, as they are not the sort of fish you should expect to catch every day.

Beach

Stockton Beach has had very good numbers of whiting on it during the day. Fish an hour either side of high tide in a nice gutter with live or fresh beachworms and you’re in with a very good chance of going home with a bucketful.

Most of the mulloway on the beach are only undersize soapies and are taking beachworms. Remember the new size limit for mulloway is 70cm.

Anna Bay and Fingal Beach have been holding good numbers of whiting, just remember to fish around high tide with beachworms.

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