What a lovely time of year it is! I can stand up on my front cast deck for hours at a time and not get dehydrated or sunburnt and still catch a few good fish.
There is plenty on offer for locals this month with some great catches about. Water temps are now very cold and the ambient temps are also crisp, but if you’re rugged up there is no excuse for not getting out and getting into a few. It’s a great time of year for it because the crowds are down. There are fewer water skiers as well which means the fish are a lot less spooked.
Overall, there are some good options available for all anglers whether you’re working the Lake or heading to the offshore grounds.
We’re continuing to see some fantastic catches of quality mulloway and it just keeps getting better. It was a great summer for them and the cooler months are still fishing really well. Live bait anglers are certainly getting their slice of the action, and most of the jews are coming in daylight hours at the moment as it’s generally just too cold for an all-nighter. And let’s be honest – if you can catch them during the day then why sit out there all night long?
Live squid are proving particularly effective but slab baits such as mullet and tailor are also producing. For those like myself who love to target these fish on lures, you’re also in for a treat. Plenty are falling to large soft plastics during the day with good numbers of fish from 70cm-110cm not uncommon. Natural colours are working great and we are finding that large paddle tails and large grubs are the best of the offerings. Remember these fish are solid ones and a good jighead is critical. We are having great results on the new Impact Tackle range of jigheads.
During these cooler months it is important to work the deeper sections of the lake, with the 8-11m mark a great place to start. You will come across some cracking flathead while you’re at it.
Bream numbers are also good with the usual places around Chain Valley Bay proving a good option. Slowly worked blades and 2-3” soft plastics in the deeper section are scoring bream to 40cm. Bait fishers are also doing very well on the bream in various locations throughout the lake. A good berley trail is a big help but remember not to overdo it on the berley as you just want to get them feeding, you don’t want them to be full.
Salmon should be about in big numbers this month and will often be found right throughout the lake. They can be a frustrating catch for many anglers but there is no denying they are a great sportfish. For those wanting a new challenge this year maybe consider targeting these speeders on fly gear. I know a few anglers who now do it and they have a blast with them each year.
Some very good tailor are being caught at the moment. Pilchards are by far the most popular bait and for good reason: they work! There are also bream being pulled from these same areas and smaller pilchard cubes and peeled prawns seem to be working well on them. We have seen some great bags being landed this winter which is good to see.
Those rock and beach anglers who love throwing lures are having a great time spinning up tailor and salmon. These hard fighting fish are providing plenty of action, and a fresh tailor is a very tasty one as well.
The offshore reefs have some hot kingfish action at the moment. The die-hards love to jig these schools with 100-300g jigs and this is a very productive (and exhausting) way of scoring some quality fish to over 10kg. Live baits such as live yakkas are also getting good results and are scoring some of the better fish that are being caught.
As for jig colours, they vary each trip. Some trips it’s pink and the next it might be green so be sure to have a few different colours on board. The southern reefs out from Terrigal are again the go-to areas. The Perch Ground and Texas for example offer some very good kingfish country and they’re well worth the trip out there when conditions allow.
You may come across schools of pesky leatherjackets at times, and if this happens I suggest swapping the expensive jigs for a small wire trace and some bait and get yourself and crew a good feed of fresh leatherjackets. You won’t be disappointed.
Game fishers don’t have a huge variety on offer this month but there is certainly enough to justify a trip. Shark anglers have the best chance at the moment as there are some great fish out wide over the shelf and off the canyons. Remember these anglers work very hard at their sport so if you’re out wide and spot a shark boat please do the right thing and stay clear of their berley trail.
Some yellowfin tuna (YFT) are also on offer. Generally the best approach is to troll a spread of skirted game lures including a jethead or two and once you find the fish, stop trolling and starting cubing with pilchards and float out a live bait. If you don’t have any livies, cubes of pilchard are still very effective.
We have jethead lures and pilchard blocks at great prices this month at Jayro Tackle, 396 Pacific Hwy Belmont for those anglers wanting to get into a few yellowfin tuna. Pop in and say g’day if you're around.Reads: 721