Cold times give up big rewards
  |  First Published: August 2014

If you can stand the cold winds and water, the walls and headlands have been producing good mulloway up to 28kg with large hardbody lures like the local offerings from Get Bent lures and Croaker lures, which have been working a treat on the local mulloway population. Just slow roll them through the washes of the headlands or on the insides of the walls if you want to get in on the action.

The cold weather has been good for the tailor as well. We’ve had the best season we have seen in years and there are still plenty  of them around off the headlands and beaches in the 2-4kg bracket. With plenty of bait around, hopefully the will stick around for a while.

The blackfish have been really slow of late; you’re probably better off chasing bream around the lower walls of a night. Gut baits like a chook and mullet gut have been working a treat. Don't just sit in one spot and hope you run across some bream – work up and down the walls searching for them, fishing as light as you can get away with depending on the tidal run. By being proactive you will have a much higher success rate chasing this bread-and-butter species.

In the same areas you will still pick up bream on lures, and blades and soft plastics in particular have been very productive when worked deep.

The cold weather has also been good for snapper, with plenty of good eating quality squire around to be had on both bait and soft plastics. The pick of the baits seems to be little bottle squid, but having a variety of bait on hand is always handy. If you’re bait fishing, berleying can improve your catch rate but you have to remember there is a very fine line between not enough and to much. You want to use your berley to get them interested, not to feed them.

If you’re fishing a paternoster rig, using a weighted berley pot is the best method to get the berley in the vicinity of where your baits are and draw the fish to them. My favourite method, however, is to use a lightly weighted bait drifted down a berley trail from the back of the boat.

If you want to target some bigger knobby snapper you may have to get up a bit earlier and endure the freezing cold. And when I say early, I mean getting to your favourite snapper marks in the dark, setting up your berley trail and fishing into the light using bigger baits. As well as using bigger baits you would do well to upsize everything else like hook size, main line and leader. You don't want to feel that haunting sickening feeling in the pit of your stomach knowing you lost the best one of the morning because you skimped on upgrading your hooks or leader on your big bait rig!

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