Winter’s here! This means you should be targeting deeper water in St Georges Basin if you want to hook into the schools of bream and snapper that should be stacking up by now. Leastways, this would usually be my advice, but some rippers are still being found in the shallows, so make sure you have a bit of a hunt around through the cockle beds. You probably won’t get the numbers, but they should make up for that in size.
If you’re wanting to give this a go, then make sure you’re taking along some Atomic mid divers or Gulp Camo Grubs on lightly weighted jigheads. A slow roll with both of these should see you getting the net out.
In the Shoalhaven River, there has been a few mulloway kicking around between the canal and the mouth. Keep an eye on the tides and make sure you’re out there on the change for your best chance of hooking one. Just remember though, that they’re called ghosts for a reason, with reports of the Shoalhaven River having one of the highest commercial catch rates of these amazing estuary species. The rape and pillaging of the river by the netters sucks for us recreational fishos, but it also means that they’re there if you’re willing to put the effort in.
If you want to try something different, take a fly rod, as there has been a lot of salmon making their home in the river lately. I’ve caught them at the mouth and in the canal. Keep an eye and ear on the water, and where you see or hear a bust up, make a cast and hold on tight while these awesome sportfish peel line and fly through the air. Whites and bright colours should bring you success.
In and around Jervis Bay, if you don’t have the option of a boat, there has been some great catches from the stones. Drummer, blackfish, tailor and salmon are all hanging about at the moment. If you’re wanting to target the drummer, try a very lightly weighted peeled cooked prawn thrown into the washes, but take some heavier 15-20lb gear as these things will try and bury you in seconds. For the blackies, carry a float and weed rig and slowly drift it along the stones, and some metal slugs for the tailor and salmon.
There has also been a lot of good-sized squid in Jervis Bay, with the usual areas of Murrays, Plantation Point and Callala being the best place to target them. As much as I don’t like to see them being used as bait, the snapper that have moved in recently are loving fresh squid strips. The kings are hanging around Longnose Bommie, or if you venture around the Heads at the Sideboards, they have really taken a liking to whole live squid.
If you’re like me and love catching fish on lures, than target the snapper on 5” jerkshads using a simple double hop retrieve.Reads: 630