This time of year usually brings calm, crisp days and hopefully 1 of them coincides with great conditions offshore! If all these things come together, then I am sure that there are some employers out there who may start to notice a pattern in people taking sick days off every year around this time. Why? Well the tuna of course!
We should start to see the annual run of southern bluefin tuna soon, but you will need to put in some effort to find these guys. Big boats, big fuel tanks, and big reels are all needed to make the run out wide.
There are a couple of different methods, but most choose to cube. Cubing involves purchasing blocks of pilchards, cutting them up into ‘cube’ sizes and throwing them over the side of the boat 1 at a time. When you see the first cube disappear into the depths, throw the next over. One of these cubes needs to have a hook in it, so back the drag lever off and pull line off until you’ve let about 150m out. Reel it back and repeat the process while still throwing other cubes in. Make sure you listen to the radio for talk of where the fish might be, as this should ensure you have some success. He who shares, wins!
As the weather cools, the snapper warm up! These guys can be found up and down the coast and targeted inshore in the washes, out wide on pinnacles that show up on your GPS, or raised reef areas you have identified on the sounder. Have a talk to your local tackle shop when you’re in there next time, as these guys have their eyes and ears everywhere, and the information is usually only hours old.
Kiama, Currarong, Jervis Bay and Ulladulla are all great places to go find some reddies, with some of the best grounds at this time of year being The Banks, Middle Ground, Long Nose Bommie and Moes Rock. My preferred method is casting soft plastics. Gulps and Z-Mans in the 5-7” range, bright greens, reds and pinks, rigged on ¼-1oz jigheads are my go-to choices. Cast out, count it down to the bottom, double hop the plastic, and then let it sink again before repeating until you’re ready for another cast.
In the estuaries, we have seen a good number of bass and estuary perch move further downstream. The bass are holding west of the Shoalhaven Bridge, and there is no need to go any further up than Shoalhaven Lodge. The estuary perch are now congregating around the bridge pylons and downstream of the canal around Comerong Island. The surface bite has disappeared, so look at throwing blades and soft plastics around. If you want to bait fish, see if you can grab some live prawns off the commercial fishermen. The bass and EPs go nuts for them, but don’t be surprised if you catch good numbers of bream and flathead too!
In St Georges Basin we have seen the surface bite die off, with the bream still feeding up on the shallows most days, but now preferring a slow rolled hardbody lure. If you can’t find them, then go out a little deeper and chug away with blades and plastics. The Department of Primary Industries have just deployed some new artificial reefs here, so check out their website for the updated marks: http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fisheries/recreational/saltwater/artificial-reefs/st-georges-basinReads: 656