We got the most rain ever, now the most sun ever. I don’t care as long as it’s the most fish ever! And at this stage it is looking pretty good.
It only feels like yesterday we were talking about bluefin tuna, probably because such a good run is still etched into our memories. Now offshore we are eagerly waiting for the beakies to show up, and with the way the warm water is moving in it could be sooner rather than later. The last few years we saw a few marlin kicking around in December, but with the water warming and the current pushing down they are definitely more than welcome to visit us in November.
There have been few whispers of small yellowfin just north of Batemans Bay, but we haven’t had much action off here at this stage. November can be a good month for school yellowfin and albacore so don’t write tuna off the menu yet. Boats are still excited about getting out and putting their electric reels to good use and the currents are still favourable at this stage. There have also been plenty of makos out there for the shark fishermen, so if the conditions are favourable the shelf and beyond isn’t a bad place to be.
Moving in closer to the inshore reefs, the snapper are doing what is expected of them at this time of the year. That hot shallow water snapper bite has slowed right off and now we are finding bigger schools out in the 50-90m depths. So far there has been a good run of snapper and along with them there have been plenty of mowies, nannygai, pigfish and plenty of big blue-spot and tiger flathead. Spring has seen an abundance of inshore reef fish at this stage.
There seems to be a lot of bait, and chasing the bait are schools of kingfish. Through the spring you get the whales, dolphins, seals, stripy tuna and kingfish chasing the bait all over the place, and chasing the stripies and kingies are the anglers in their boats. This can be a bit of a cat-and-mouse game. You see the birds working and you rush over there only to push the fish down. Then you see the fish have popped up right where you were a few moments ago. You can find yourself darting all over the place trying to get onto the surface action. It’s probably best to take your time and slowly cruise up towards them and shut down your motor just within casting distance of a 60-80g metal. Obviously a 7’6”-8’0” rod will get you extra distance.
Sometimes the lure landing on the fish will spook them, so if you can get it past them that would be ideal. I let the lure sink for a few seconds and then I bring it up through the water column at a fast speed. Sometimes the fish are very flighty and easily spooked no matter what you do, so bottom fishing in the area and waiting for them to come to you can be the best option. When trolling the area sometimes they come up close to the boat and might take a lure, and I have caught plenty of stripies by running them right back also. The few buoys in the area will hold kingfish at times now as well.
Beaches have been fishing OK with salmon and tailor present and some whiting being caught on live worms. There’s also the possibility of a mulloway, which are still being caught around our small oceanic bays. Our man Ray Smith cracked his previous PB record of nine mulloway in one session on lures the other day by catching a remarkable 13 jewies! Pretty good effort for daytime fishing off the stones on lures. John Hilyear landed a 30kg and a 25kg mulloway in one night on his livies as he does this time of the year in one of his river locations. A few jew have been getting caught up the river a little also. There should be a fair bit of mulloway movement through the estuary system as you read this, and November should continue to be a great month to target them.
The flatties are on the chew, the bream are moving back in, and the perch are moving further up and are on the snags, rock walls and holes. It’s a great time to be in any one of the south coast’s estuaries.
The lake systems are kicking into gear now and a lot up and down the coast seem to be open. Some good schools of whiting have been seen in Tuross and the flatties are there in Durras. And it’s also time to come in and get your prawn light and nets. Last year Lake Tabourie was popular, and the year before Corruna was the spot. Must be Coila’s turn this year.
All up, it doesn’t matter what you’re into, it’s the time of the year with many options. Enjoy!
For more up-to-the-minute information on what’s biting where, drop into Compleat Angler Batemans Bay and have a chat to Anthony or one of the other friendly staff. They’re located at 65A Orient St, Batemans Bay (02 4472 2559).Reads: 1376