Mixing of the seasons
  |  First Published: April 2014

It is that time of year when warm weather species start to mix with cool water ones and for anglers in our part of the world this becomes an interesting time.

If you like offshore game fishing, then you won’t get a better opportunity than now. The excellent weather conditions allows anglers to venture further afield with ambitions of a variety of species. Big blue marlin are a top target species with some of the largest of them captured in April. A spread of large pusher style lures is often the preferred manner to drum up some business out over the Continental Shelf and beyond through to the Canyons or further afield. Mixing with them are the smaller stripes or blacks of varying sizes, mahi mahi, yellowfin tuna and the odd spearfish. You never know just what will present itself out there at present.

Closer to shore around Montague Island or the closer inshore reefs, kingfish and bonito are on the short list. These lighter sportfish are providing plenty of entertainment on light gear with lures or bait.

The inshore reefs are also providing plenty of bottom fish for those who wish to put some tasty species on the table. Fish like snapper are starting to show along the coast and should keep increasing in numbers as the weather cools.

Mixing with them are the other usual reef dwellers like morwong, nannygai, perch, pigfish or even that tasty curse of the ocean leatherjackets. Most of these fish can be acquired along the southern reefs with the better ones being down towards Goalen Head.

Not to be out done, flathead are also in reasonable numbers with sandies being more predominant. To find these fish try in and around 30-40m water depths, or if you are looking for some big tigers get out to the Twelve Mile Reef. When weather conditions will allow or if you have some electronic reels, go out over the shelf into the abyss looking for those deep water critters like hapuka, jemfish, ling, blue-eye trevalla and many more.

Beaches in the area are also primed. Even though it is starting to get cooler, it is still pleasant enough to fish into the night. Anglers are encountering plenty of tailor and salmon, with a few gummy or small whaler sharks and the odd mulloway. During the day, whiting, mullet or bream will also grace the sands.

Into the estuaries, it has been a brilliant season and it is not over yet. Most estuarine fish will look to migrate out into the ocean where they will move to another warmer system over the winter months. However before they do so, they will feed in earnest building up body condition. This is when anglers can really cash in making the most before the waters cool.

This is also a good time of year to concentrate on the lower parts of the estuaries towards the entrances, especially on a rising tide where bait is likely to be a better option. Bream, flathead, luderick or whiting along with most other species will move over the flats in search of worms, prawns, nippers and small crustaceans, like crabs, providing some excellent shallow water and often very visible angling. There is also a run of blue swimmers in Wallaga Lake so get out and get them before it is too cold.

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