Winter is well and truly here but that doesn't mean the fishing is going cold. The past few months have seen some exceptional action just about everywhere.
The rivers and estuaries have been firing for bream, estuary perch and jew and the beaches are producing some nice bream and jew. The Shoalhaven is also serving up some solid blackfish at night for those who fish with squirt worms.
Jervis Bay is fishing well for snapper and squid and the rocks are yielding some very tasty drummer and the odd reddie.
The outside action hasn't been lacking, either. We had a great run of late-season marlin including quite a few blues in April and now that they've moved on, the yellowfin are around. What more could you ask for?
I know I've come unstuck gazing into the crystal ball to see what should be happening this month but here goes.
This Winter will be sure to see some decent yellowfin fishing. Last year was good but with fewer longliners decimating the schools, this year promises to be even better.
Last Autumn was fairly quiet on the yellowfin front but by July they were about in good numbers out wide and we experienced some of the best action I've seen in years.
We got most of our fish cubing out over the shelf but some reasonable specimens were caught on lures. I fished a couple of lumo green lures with good success but blue and pink worked well for other anglers. We didn't spend a lot of time trolling, to be honest. From memory, fuel was running at around $1.40 a litre so when we found a few fish on lures we pulled up and drifted with cubes.
We also had some great fun jigging kings at The Banks last Winter. The fish turned up around May and hung about until to October.
We ended up releasing a heap of fish to almost 15kg and kept the odd one for a feed. We fished overhead and threadline tackle with 250g and 300g Williamson jigs.
The Trinidad TN40N was nice to fight fish on but the Stella 10000 won me over. Stellas aren't cheap but they are just so smooth and a delight to fish with. I fished 50lb Techneed which it did a wonderful job of pulling up those kings. There'll be a lot of anglers down here hoping those fish turn up at The Banks again this Winter.
My son, Andrew, is a keen game fisher who spends way too much time out on the continental shelf chasing sharks, marlin and yellowfin. He fishes most of the local tournaments on various boats and has great fun despite never having won anything other than a couple of pieces of wood with his name on them.
Back in April he fished the Kiama Blowhole Tournament with our neighbour, Chris Pender, aboard his 6m Savage Marlin Magic. Chris usually chases sharks and has taken out the capture section in most of the local comps at one time or another. Magic has taken out the capture section of Kiama twice in recent years with big tiger sharks. He’s a bloody good fisherman but he fishes to win and uses his brain during a tournament.
His talent is knowing what to fish for and when for a tournament and also has a viable back-up plan in case the weather turns bad. During the Kiama Blowholes Tournament the weather was blowing southerly on the Saturday so instead of getting bashed around out wide, Chris and crew fished in closer and ended up tagging seven bronze whalers for 14,000 points. They were all caught and tagged by Crystal Wietecki, a junior girl.
One other boat tagged a marlin for 10,000 points, which meant Magic had only to hang on over Sunday and they'd take out T & R Boat and Junior. On Sunday they tagged a marlin to take out the T & R section. They came away with a heap of gear and prizes and Crystal even won $200 on the lucky door prize.
The Shoalhaven Open, held the weekend before, was blown out for most of the three days. I came down with the ’flu the day before and Shane Wietecki took my place and won a $500 cash prize on my angler number. You can imagine how good that made me feel!
As many readers would know I'm setting up a new boat at the moment. Quite a few local boaters recommended Ken Maloney at May Day Marine at Sussex Inlet and I can now see why. He installed a great canopy and clears and I'm very happy with the job. Ken can be contacted on 0416 281 393 and, yes, I paid for the work. I'm giving him this mention because he did such a fantastic job.Reads: 706