This month is all action no matter where you choose to fish. So let’s get straight into it and see what is on offer for the local fisho and the holidaymaker.
Whiting numbers have swelled dramatically over recent weeks with some quality specimens hitting the sand. As usual, freshly caught beach worms and pipis are the best baits.
The run-up tide to high has seen the best action and if you time the tides to coincide with early morning and late afternoon you should do well. Light leaders and light lines around 3kg in conjunction with just enough lead to maintain some bottom contact is the desired rig to employ.
Hooks to do the job are generally of the long-shank variety in sizes 8 up to 4.
The action hasn’t been confined to the popular big beaches either side of town, either. Some of the biggest whiting have been captured from the less obvious small beaches too so have an open mind on where to fish.
Most platforms have been fishing really well with a mix of fish, is to be expected at this time of year. We are basically on the threshold of the change of seasonal fish movements.
Pelagic fish will certainly still be rife with hordes of bonito, frigate mackerel and rat kingfish for the lure angler, pilchard-tosser and live-baiter. Even the odd Watson’s leaping bonito and small amberjacks were recently encountered.
Other fish like bream, blackfish, mullet and jewfish will be on the move as well as the big snapper slowly beginning to converge on the shallow grounds for the coming Winter.
Anglers working the washes have been doing really well on trevally and bream, working lightly-weighted fish baits and prawns. Expect the likes of black and silver drummer with luderick to really fire up towards the end of the month.
Squid numbers have been staggering in some of the known hot spots with a squid a cast quite common. No doubt I will be partaking in a number of jewfish and kingfish sorties with some fresh cephalopods as the main course.
Speaking of kingfish, the LBG brigade has been finding a few good ones along with the usual tales of woe. Expect a few more runs of land-based kings if the water temperature and baitfish numbers remain high, particularly around full and new moon.
There has been the odd sighting of longtail tuna with one 10kg fish taken on spin tackle but you’d be lucky to pin one unless you are putting in some big hours on the rocks. Even a few marlin were landed off the rocks south of Jervis Bay this season and it wouldn’t surprise me if one was hooked this late in the season. It has been the best run of land-based marlin this season by far.
Kingfish action has been either fantastic or non-existent lately. If the current is flowing nicely the fish are receptive and when there is no flow, the fish just won’t eat. Most fish have been 65cm to 85cm with just enough big fellas to dust you up in quick time.
Loads of small slimy mackerel, yellowtail, garfish and pike have been schooling up over the reefs so if the current is on the move the kingfish should show.
Some fine mahi mahi have been captured off commercial trap floats but finding these without inside information is like chasing the proverbial needle in a haystack. Batemans Bay no longer has the wave rider buoy in place and the Fisheries FAD that was put off here last season wasn’t redeployed this time around to the best of my knowledge.
So if you are keen to hunt down some big dollies before they head north, I suggest you befriend your local fish trapper or regular blue water marlin charter operators, otherwise finding a trap float on the wide blue will be next to impossible.
After some much-needed heavy rain the local estuaries have sparked into life. Estuary perch have converged over shallow weed flats and are happily smacking any type of small popper you throw at them.
Bream have been prolific but many are undersized. Bigger bream have been found closer to line-shredding structure like oyster racks and rocks but heavy-handed tactics will see the majority of fish reaching the net.
A few good school jew are being hooked in the deeper sections of the Clyde. One unlucky angler hooked a substantially better class of fish deep around the bridge pylons but the hook pulled 40m into the run, thanks to a mix of panic and an overloaded drag. The plastic that almost produced the bragging-sized jewfish was the biggest available Squidgy Flick Bait.
Tuross continues to be the place to chase whiting with numerous reports of these fish succumbing to intelligently-worked poppers. Big casts well away from the boat with the wind at your back is vital for popping the shallows.
Flathead really fired up in the shallows after the rain with some rippers being released to fight another day.Reads: 1957