Few visitors to annoy plenty of fish
  |  First Published: July 2015

Winter is well and truly here and the town is quiet, with very few visitors to the area expected over the coming months. Things won't pick up until it starts warming up once again as we head towards summer. As usual though, the fishing has been excellent, with clients here on my fishing accommodation packages amazed at the amount of fish they are catching over their 2 1/2 day visit.

The fishing offshore has been very slow. Few boats have been able to head out under the consistently bad conditions — big seas and wind have been the norm over the past month. On the odd day when a boat does head out, there have been a few sand flathead caught along with the odd gummy shark and pinky snapper. With the water temperature around the 15° mark, the fishing won't pick up until the water warms up once again.

The local beaches have all got some great gutters after the recent big seas though. Plenty of salmon are being caught and they will be around in numbers right through until Christmas. Some salmon have come from the new breakwall at Bastion Point, with good catches of blackfish from inside the harbour for anglers using weed under a float.

As mentioned before, the lake has been fishing really well. The water temperature is around 12°, and the bream have been going crazy. The water is still dirty after the recent rains, with clear water pushing in on the rising tides. Plenty of yellowfin bream are been caught around the margins of both the Top and Bottom Lake, with a variety of lures catching fish — plastics, vibes blades and hardbodies are all working.

The increased numbers of yellowfin bream in the system is helping to keep fishing at a good standard. Those who have fished the system for long enough can remember when black bream made up 95 per cent of the catch, with plenty of fish caught around the 1.2 kg mark. It would be interesting to know precisely, but I would guess they only make up about 60 per cent of the catch nowadays.

The black bream are being caught in both lakes, with some good fish also in the rivers. The schools of blacks can be found by using the sounder at this time of year. Some good size silver trevally are also being caught from the channels near the entrance.

Salmon are starting to move in and out of the lake, and it won't be long before they will spread right through the system, terrorising the bait schools.

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