While the weather starts to drop off and cool down, the offshore season is starting to pick up with tuna and albacore making their presence across the shelf.
Solid numbers of albacore and tuna in the 15-25kg range are now being boated over the continental shelf in approximately 500-700m of depth. It looks like we have now missed our usual early run of fish in close for smaller vessels, but again it is only early in the season and these fish should start pushing in closer abiding that current lines are in our favour.
With the recent balmy weather creating plenty of calm days, gummy and school shark have been on offer for boat anglers. There's no need to travel out far as great catches have been coming from 8-12m, which consist of 2m ledges creating a fish highway.
If the school sharks turn up it pays to have some wire handy or at least some good quality circle hooks to avoid bite offs. Green point and Danger Point are always a good starting point, but with the use of technology these days it's not too hard to find some untouched territory.
Crews bottom bouncing out deeper in the 70-100m line will also pick up these tasty and great sports fish. Drifting is a common technique and a great way to cover ground and potentially pick up a different species. This technique has been turning up some surprises in recent years. A well sort-after pelagic, the samsonfish, have been reported from the same grounds at just about the exact date from previous years. So making sure your tackle is up to scratch is a must if you wish to get one of these hard fighting specimens to the surface.
It's this time of year when the funny little critters called elephant sharks take over the coastlines surf beaches. A face only a mother could love and not really known for their fighting capabilities they certainly won't let you down dished up on the table.
Target these fascinating little creatures the same as you would target salmon or mulloway, only on slightly down graded equipment. Snelling up a gang of 3/0 or 4/0 octopus hooks on 60lb mono (to handle other species just in case) and presenting a fresh pilchard will bring unstuck the fussiest of elephants.
Still good quality mulloway to 30lb and snapper to 15lb have been coming from around the 42 Mile and Ti Tree area. We had a bumper winter run of mulloway last year, so let's all hope that repeats itself again.
Consistent fishing for bream and estuary perch has been the story all summer and there are no signs of it slowing down yet.
Bream seem to have been spread right throughout the system in good numbers. Fishing the well-known area such as Wilsons Hall or Dry Creek it shouldn't take long to find some action.
Estuary perch have also been on fire and excellent catches have been coming from Wilsons Hall and higher. Minnows and surface lures have still been working well along with bait techniques such as live shrimp and minnow baitfish. Small mulloway in the 50-70cm range have been in good numbers around the Donovan's area. Varied techniques, including live baiting mullet and trolling bibbed minnows, have all been successful. It was the start of winter last year when there was a bumper run of mulloway in the 10-20lb range so it could be worthy poking around for a look once the weather cools off for good.Reads: 644