It’s now the middle of Autumn and things begin to change. Warm water is still persisting and with it the a chance of all sorts of different species. Late Summer rains have also had a very positive effect.
A combination of different species occur at present. It’s quite possible to be catching warm-water, subtropical species such as mahi mahi, spearfish and even a stray sailfish while albacore and yellowfin tuna are also present. Shark species can also vary from tigers and hammerheads through to makos, blues and threshers.
The inshore grounds and estuaries are also changing and the late Summer rains have improved these areas no end. If variety is what you are looking for, head to the inshore reefs and look towards the entrances of our estuaries as the warmer waters pushing in from the ocean stimulate fish to feed.
Game fishing is excellent and in the past many big blue marlin have been caught in April. The best attack is with large skirted lures trolled out over the 1000-fathom line but consider trolling small striped tuna because they have also accounted for their share of blues at this time of year.
Closer to the continental shelf and Twelve Mile Reef, striped and black marlin are in good numbers mixed with a variety of tunas and mahi mahi.
All of these areas mentioned are worth berleying for sharks and if you are into shark fishing, always keep in mind what other species may venture into the burley trail. Always have a livebait out under a balloon rigged on, say, 250lb mono trace because there are always marlin and tuna to be caught in this way well into the Winter months.
Reef and bottom fishing is excellent because the generally calm weather allows anglers to fish as they wish.
When you get these lovely still conditions, get close to shore and flick soft plastics around the reefy outcrops. Anywhere from 1m to 2m of water through to as deep as you can get your plastic down to the bottom will produce.
Anything is possible to catch in this manner and some of the oddballs that you pull up may shock you. Those on the targeted shortlist will be snapper and flathead off the bottom and a host of pelagics including kingfish, salmon and small tuna through to trevally.
For those who just want to fish in the conventional ways with bait the bottom will produce a wide variety of species, with the Twelve Mile Reef fishing best. Large snapper, tiger flathead and trumpeter are much sought after and if you are geared up to run livebaits on game gear, anything may be possible.
It is also a good time of year for shore based anglers because there are a lot of surface fish moving in close to the rocks and beaches. Kingfish, bonito, salmon, bream and trevally may be encountered.
It is also a great time for chasing pigs (rock blackfish or drummer), especially early morning and late afternoon when the shadows creep over the water. The best areas for this are around the Blue Pool out on the main headland using my preferred bait of abalone gut.
Along the beaches the weather is still pleasant enough to fish at night and it’s a good time for gummy sharks, particularly on the full moon. Deep gutters on the bigger beaches should carry their share and mixed in will be salmon and tailor with a chance of a jewfish.
Bream fishing in the estuaries and lakes is fantastic. Large schools of yellowfin bream have moved into most of the systems, especially those which have opened due to those late summer rains. You will encounter these fish through most of the estuaries although the better fishing is now in the lower parts where the warmer water is being pushed in by the tides.
Fishing the first of the run up with lures or bait but my favourite is to use striped tuna as bait and berley. Flathead are still in reasonable numbers and are being taken on lures and bait in the Bermagui River and Wallaga Lake.
Fishing for blackfish around the rock walls, boat ramp, harbour and bridge at Wallaga is very solid with plenty taken on the last of the run-out tide using green weed or cabbage.
Brogo Dam is at 100% capacity and fishing quite well. Plenty of black crickets are encouraging the bass to feed near the surface, providing plenty of topwater action. Of course you can use the crickets as bait, although anglers using small surface lures and flies are enjoying many memorable moments.Reads: 565