The mornings have really started to cool down, but the water temperatures are still hanging around in the low 20s. If you’re up for a last ditch attempt at catching a marlin, then don’t leave it any later than right now! Yes, now! Put this magazine down, jump in the boat, and finish reading this otherwise excellent column when you get back! Alternatively, take it with you, as you’re bound to have plenty of spare time up your sleeve while puttering around the big blue towing lures waiting for a strike. Keep an ear on the radio for chatter and you might be able to hone in on where the fish are.
If you lack the dedication or patience of a Samurai, then perhaps stay a little closer to shore and hunt around for the kingfish that are still inhabiting the cliffs, The Banks, Middle Ground and Long Nose Bommie. Just make sure you take along a couple of packs of jerkshad soft plastics and ¼-1oz jigheads for the snapper that also call many of these places home. If you’re not up for casting lures, then there have been plenty of squid at Murrays, and a plethora of slimies near the buoy off Plantation Point. These fresh baits will ensure your best chance of hooking up.
Up the river, we should see the bass starting to make their annual pilgrimage down from the fresh and into the salt. As you may have heard — or experienced — this year has been abysmal for these guys, perhaps the worst I’ve seen in the last 5 years. But now’s the time to start changing your style of fishing and get back to plasticing down rock walls such as under the hospital, or blades around the ski park. It’s not my favourite style, but it catches fish.
There have been plenty of bream caught down in St Georges Basin, and while they haven’t really been there in size, they have made up for that in numbers. The edges are starting to quieten down, but if you persist you should be rewarded with some better quality fish. Cranka Crabs have just come back in stock after being unavailable for some time, and the guys fishing the major bream competitions around Australia are dedicating their wins to this dynamite little lure.
South of the artificial reefs, the word of mouth reports are suggesting that this is the place to be if you want to try your luck at a Basin mulloway or a giant croc flathead. Not only should you find some of these guys, but you could also run into the massive tailor that start to inhabit this waterway during the cooler months. A good example of this can be seen in the photo accompanying this month’s article of local gun fisho Wal Balzan, aka Uncle Chop, with a phenomenal 86cm tailor he caught in late February.
Your columnist with a prettily marked snapper caught on a plastic south of Jervis Bay.
Murp0415 _ 2
Now that’s a tailor! Wal Balzan is having a cracking year at The Basin.Reads: 458