Big stir-up has benefits
  |  First Published: August 2007

Mother nature of late has been seriously acting up. A chain of back-to-back low-pressure systems has produced damaging winds, floods and massive seas to ravage the entire east coast.

Every creek, river and lake on the South Coast has received a much-needed flush that will bode well for the next Summer's estuary season. What this means to the fishing right now will be evident along the rocks and beaches with a veritable smorgasbord of food being washed into the ocean.

June was basically a write-off for South Coast fishos due to relentless swells prohibiting any shore-based angling and stopping boats hoping to head outside.

Many beaches have suffered drastic sand erosion from the seas. I expect to see some of the best gutter formations in years once the seas settle. The muddy, stormwater-stained ocean can mean only one thing to a keen fisho – mulloway! This will be a great time to hit the beaches if you can stand the cold and I predict some monster jewies to be on the prowl.

Just before the bad weather we also ran into some sensational runs of tailor with fish from 2kg to 3kg quite common. All fish fell to big slab baits of salmon or tailor aimed at jewfish after dark on the run-up tide. We also encountered a few noticeably larger tailor that easily bit through mono leaders in the shore dump. Wire unfortunately is not part of my jewfish kit.


Snapper, too, will be a massive drawcard, with the bump coinciding perfectly with the cuttlefish run and that ideal 17° to 18° water that I rate highly.

Local rock angler Andrew Powell has been finding some sensational snapper action lately with numerous 4kg fish. His latest effort yielded him a personal best 6kg snapper that currently holds the top position at the Malua Bay Fishing Club.

Expect a bunch more big snapper to be captured this month with every hot spot firing. Whether you use bait off the rocks, plastics in the shallows or floating baits a tad wider, it will not matter – just get out there.

Rock fishos chasing drummer have had it easy because this is one species that revels in rough weather. There are a few spots around that are tucked behind islands and reefs that can be safely fished in wild conditions and those in the know have been easily bagging out on tasty black drummer to 3kg.

If you choose to fish the stones, exercise extreme caution, the spots that fire for drummer in the rough are protected and quite safe. No fish is worth taking silly risks.

Some good kingfish were around before the rough. Ben Roberts found a 99cm fish when a lightly weighted squid strip got crunched and ACT LBG angler Jason found a nice 11kg fish off the rocks on a live pike. Other stories of metre-long kingfish encounters were also encouraging to hear but whether they will still be around now is purely guesswork.

Although seas have been on the extreme side, a few brave, or quite possibly crazy, crews got out to the continental shelf and scored yellowfin to a whopping 80kg and lost others due to the inability to keep a tight line to the fish aboard boats rolling in the big swells. With some decent conditions I expect a rash of yellowfin action to take place over the next few months.

Andrew Powell has been taking advantage of a good run of snapper off the rocks, with this recent 6kg fish being a personal best.

Many of the beaches on the South Coast have suffered drastic sand erosion, like this 3m cutaway at the creek entrance of Mackenzies Beach.

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