Don’t pack the gear away!
  |  First Published: June 2007

Cold, miserable wet winter weather. Many anglers at this time of year tend to pack the gear away until the warmer days return – big mistake.

Right now is the best time to be on the water in search of snapper. Whether you fish from a boat or off the stones, June is one of the best months to hook a bragging-size snapper.

Cuttlefish will be massing for their annual breeding in the shallows and already the pods of dolphins have been doing regular laps of the rocky shores in anticipation of an easy feed.

Anglers plying their trade off the rocks have already scored some nice reds to 5kg with more stories of unstoppable turbocharged fish winning their freedom. Similar stories have also come from boaters working the shallow grounds on fish to 5kg.

Plastic-tweakers will be out in force this Winter, no doubt with more new hopefuls forgoing bait to conquer their first good red on rubber.

Last month’s prediction of a good late run of kingfish came good with some metre-plus hoods landed along with plenty of smaller 6kg to 7kg specimens. Providing the ocean continues to gradually drop in temperature, kingfish should still be well worth pursuing. The latest I have encountered kingfish was an 8kg model off the rocks at the end of July so the season is by no means over.

Kingfish fanatic Rodney ‘Ned’ Cootes had a nice distraction recently when a huge school of 4kg yellowfin tuna exploded into life in just a few metres of water. All lures drew a blank but when some tiny yakkas were deployed, they were eaten. The boys figured the surface-feeding tuna to be bonito but were pleasantly surprised at the outcome.

Speaking of bonito, there has been the odd one about but you’ll need to be spinning for a few solid hours to bag two or three. The upside is that they have been around 3kg, providing a good feed for the hard work.

Leading up to this report, a late push of warm water re-ignited a fantastic run of marlin on the Tuross Canyons and surrounds, with some lucky crews tagging up to eight in a day. The marlin might be over by now but anything is possible if the water remains good.

I’d wager that yellowfin and albacore will fill the void however if the beaks have moved on.

On the sand, bream numbers were thin in May when normally they’d be firing so hopefully they are just a bit tardy in showing up. Some solid tailor are still making their presence felt after dark and salmon are virtually everywhere you care to lob a pilchard.

Jewfish talk has been conspicuous in its absence lately after a good showing a few moons previous. But this could simply mean the clandestine jewie anglers have tightened their lips.


Estuary fishing is still fantastic with solid bream still in the systems. The best action has been confined to the bottom ends of the rivers, which coincides with the lack of bream activity on the coastal rocks and beaches. If the bream are still there it won’t be for much longer.

This isn’t a problem, however, because estuary perch have been big and plentiful in the Tuross and Clyde rivers with many tales of EPs averaging 45cm. I am not a marine park supporter but regardless of your standpoint on the subject, the removal of commercial fishing effort will be a fantastic thing for the Clyde River in years to come and I predict the perch fishery to become one of the best on the coast.

I have lost count of woeful tales of big breeding perch floating down-river, belly up after being discarded from nets. Good riddance to bad practices.

Jewfish, too, should really bounce back in the Clyde. It has been a good season for school jew, which seem to grow reasonably fast so it shouldn’t bee too many years before this waterway can reclaim its once legendary status on these majestic chrome beasties.

Some jewfish restocking into the Clyde and Tuross systems would be fishing licence dollars well spent, if you ask me.

It‚s snapper time on the South Coast and getting them on soft plastics is all the rage.

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