Water temp dictates action
  |  First Published: June 2007

Water temperatures dictate the fishing terms this month.

It is still quite possible to target marlin if the water is warm and you would expect there still to be lots of yellowfin and albacore tuna. Or the water could be cold and you have nothing at all.

I have caught marlin in late June on the Twelve Mile Reef. There was lots of bait there and the water was 20° although I reckon that year was an exception. You are more likely to encounter marlin (if any) with a live bait under a balloon while fishing for tuna.

Yellowfin, albacore and the occasional southern bluefin tuna can be prolific at this time of year and the best way to encounter them is by berleying. It would be interesting to see from the air all the oil slicks trailing from the backs of boats as anglers look to entice the tuna with cubes of slimy mackerel, striped tuna, pilchards and live baits.

When fish get thick at the back of the boat, anglers can choose their line class to suit and sometimes the albacore are in such numbers it’s quite impossible to get through them to hook the larger yellowfin.

Sharks are an extra while tuna fishing because they just love fresh stripies and albacore. Makos are especially partial to the scent of tuna oil and blood, which will attract these blue missiles right up to the boat. So have a trace handy and get ready to hang on, they’re great fun.

If nothing is happening, try trolling up your berley trail with diving and surface lures because there may be fish in the area that are not responding to the cubes but the lures may entice them to strike. It may also be there are no fish in your location so running a spread of lures out the back may be the way to go.

Other forms of offshore fishing are likely to be good with the Winter kings that often visit Montague Island being large. Fish up to 20kg will smash sauries off the surface, showing no fear to the boats that surround them. Trolled or cast surface poppers will work, as will rubber saury imitations or slow trolled live slimy mackerel.

Mixed with the kings are bonito that will supply plenty of entertainment for anglers as they await the kings to come on the chew.

For the reef fishos this is probably the best time to target snapper, whether you drift or anchor and berley.


Many close reefs will hold snapper with the best areas down south to Goalen Head. Try anywhere from about 10 metres through to as deep as the currents will allow.

Vary the baits you use and the depths you use them. Baits used can be pilchards, yellowtail, strips of tuna or mackerel or whole small mackerel.

Morwong, trevally, flathead and a host of other species will also appear in the trails, so have some light gear on board to raise the excitement level. Bottom-bashers on the drift should expect an array of species with those who fish the deeper Twelve Mile Reef hoping to encounter those lovely Tassie trumpeters.

With the water cooling, estuary fishing is now at its best on the incoming tides and the higher the better.

Yellowfin bream are the main prize currently and are targeted in many ways. Lure fishing is effective with small scented soft plastics, although I feel for best results you should berley the channels with striped tuna as the tide rises and move onto the flats when the tide is higher.

Berley works well here, as do fresh nippers randomly scattered over the flats.

It’s now a great time to chase blackfish in the traditional way with green weed or cabbage. The main areas are near the boat ramp at the bridge, around the bridge itself, all the rock walls surrounding the harbour and through to the rocks at the entrance to the harbour. Falling tides are best.

Blackfish and some very nice drummer are in good numbers around the Blue Pool area and are being caught regularly on cabbage weed, cunjevoi and abalone gut.

There are some nice salmon along the coast which are being caught in a variety of ways. Trolling around Horseshoe Bay and adjacent rocks is one method, while casting lures from the beaches and rocks is also effective. Bait fishing will always come into its own with these fish and a variety of other species as by-catch.

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