What a difference a few weeks can make! The water temperatures recently rose again and the cold upwelling dissipated. More importantly, the current offshore decreased significantly.
We now have good amounts of bait holding and we have fish feeding on these bait schools. Marlin are starting to make an appearance and we are hoping it can only get better from now. Recent captures include a 180kg blue marlin caught by Square Metres and a 133kg blue marlin by Tania B caught on the same day. Jem Abbot caught his first striped marlin and quite a few have been tagged and released in recent weeks.
The mahi mahi (dolphinfish) are making a lot of anglers happy, and this action will only get better. There are a few quality specimens around, including a nice 15kg+ dollie caught off Bermagui.
One other species to be on the lookout for is yellowfin tuna. With all the different bodies of water out there, current lines and temp breaks, there is a chance of catching some yellowfin. You never know sometimes! One of my customers trolled in from the continental shelf the other day and as he reached the 60m depth (snapper grounds) he trolled up two 12kg yellowfin. And the week before in the same depth he trolled up a 70-80kg striped marlin. The fish seem to be well spread with good bluewater pushed down covering most of the coast now.
The previous cooler water brought some salmon and tailor onto our beaches. These fish are still present, along with some whiting.
Good size snapper still seem to be in the shallow water, which has kept them within reach of the odd rock fisherman. Stuart Ward caught himself a nice one recently. Fishing first light has been the advantage to catching one of these big guys in the shallows.
Those anglers using soft plastics casting from boats have been doing quite well on the snapper during the dawn period, and these days we are seeing more hardbodies being used on these fish with great success. Try a sinking vibe weighing between 17g and 30g, depending on the depth and current. A lot of these fish are being caught in 4-8m of water.
If you get up later and miss the dawn, that’s OK; people have been finding the odd snapper in 15-20m of water later in the morning.
There have been some large mowies caught in 15m+ and a run of flathead is also on the go at the moment. There are some tackle-thieving leatherjackets getting around as well, so look out for schools of them. If they get really annoying it’s best to move.
Still there is no real sign of kingfish! Loads of people keep coming into the shop and asking where the kingfish are, which goes to show how much everybody loves catching these fish. There are a few at Montague Island and few more at Jervis Bay, but only time will tell with these magnificent creatures.
The estuaries are still fishing quite well. During the Tuross Flathead Competition quite a few flatties were caught, a few in the 80cm range.
The south coast systems are producing some decent bream, whiting and some perch.
In between the Christmas and Easter period a few anglers are giving daytime mulloway on lures a crack with some success. The odd small shark and mulloway on fresh squid during the night is still on the cards for some.
For anglers heading bush, the bass are still going quite well in our upper reaches. There have definitely been no complaints with the bass fishing throughout summer and up until now. A small diving, dark hardbody has been getting these natives fired up. Surface lures and few spinnerbaits have also been used this year to good effect. It’s safe to say the fish are on! I can’t stress enough that if you target them correctly you’re in for a good chance with the conditions we have at the moment.
For more up-to-the-minute information on what’s biting where, drop into Compleat Angler Batemans Bay and have a chat to Anthony or one of the other friendly staff. They’re located at 65A Orient St, Batemans Bay (02 4472 2559).Reads: 552