Summer is on and it’s crazy times. For most people it’s travelling, work parties, family, New Year, sales and, hopefully, fitting in some fishing and bbqs with mates. If you do head out for a fish and you are thinking offshore then there is a lot of bait out wide and where there is bait, there is marlin!
Game fisthing should start to warm up by January. The bottom out on the shelf is still seeing some good fish captures, so if you are heading out for some beakie action and the morning is beautiful with a slight current running north to south and then pull up at one of your deep drop spots for a chance to boat some of the best eating fish in the sea. It’s always nice to start the day knowing you have already made the effort worthwhile with some nice blue eye or perch on board. The big bonus is catching livies whilst doing it! You can then go about your day chasing marlin.
When trolling lures for marlin, make sure you have a small to medium size lure out for mahimahi. They are getting around at the moment, and you never know your luck you may even pick up a small yellowfin tuna!
The species to target closer to shore have been the brutes of reef fishing, one of our favourites, kingfish. Good schools have been swimming along our coast in a variety of sizes. There are lots of rats out at the wave rider but underneath them could be some bigger models. In along the rock ledges and bommies, bigger models have been hooked and lost, with some being claimed by the spearfishers.
Anglers that have found kingfish in numbers have been casting poppers over them and stirring them up, then switching to plastics. Big soft 7” Gulp Jerk Shads and big soft ZMans have been working well in these situations. The good thing about the weighted plastics is that you can get close to the bottom, which puts you in for a chance of a nice snapper. Charlie Azzapardi found this out when he and his mate Paul were having fun catching kings and big salmon.
Once again if there are fish in numbers ready to feed you can bet Ray ‘Fish flirt’ Smith is already there. His not so secret weapons have been Gulp Jerk Shads, Nemesis and short skirts – I don’t mean short-skirted lures, he actually wears short shirts! Sometimes you have to do anything and everything to get a bite…
Other reef fishing has been average to good. There have been some anglers finding a few nice snapper and most have been getting onto mowies, pigfish or a few nice salty flathead. Not much beats blue spotted or tiger flathead tails with a beer over summer.
There are also a lot of sharks and small makos around. ‘Brendon Bruce Martin’ the white pointer off Moruya, hasn’t been seen lately to my knowledge but that doesn’t mean he isn’t around.
Off the stones you can expect the odd school of kingies swimming by as you collect some squid for dinner and you curse yourself for not bringing the popping stick as you pelt your squid jig at them in disgust with your laziness. If you’re not successful with kings off the rocks then you might find some salmon or tailor in the process. Drummer and grouper live around the rocky coastline and you can always rely on them.
On the beach it’s this time of the year where it shines. Take your shoes off and roll up your trousers. The water is warm and there’s nothing better than soaking your feet in the ocean and relaxing on the sand immersed in our beautiful south coast landscape chasing whiting. We really do live in a special place and over these warmer months you can soak up the scenery on one of our many world class beaches and when the beach is alive with whiting you have one of the best eating fish for dinner. Congo, Bengello, Durras and Bawley Point are all good options for whiting off the beaches.
The estuary is fishing very well, with only the odd slow day here and there. It’s good to see decent numbers of bream and mulloway on the go. Big and small flathead and perch have been common catches from Big Island to Nelligen.
Sand flats off Little Island would be a good place to catch whiting, along with a lot of other river destinations. Fishing the front of the racks with Ecogear SX, Daiwa Double Clutch 60s, Saku and Yakamito lures have all worked well. Out over the sand in about 2m of water the Saku copies of Jackall Chubbys have been doing very well.
The Saku lures in the shallower diver in the dark colour with orange belly has been a winner on bass lately and you can’t go wrong with the black and purple Ausspin Mini Spin Spinnerbaits, which has been the spinnerbait of choice for our area the last couple of years. The Kokoda Bats are probably one of the most successful bass surface lures around – they’re affordable and actually work!
Mudddies and blue swimmers are abundant at the moment, but the prawns have been small of late. They should improve in January.
Summer is doing what summer does best, sunshine with some arvo drizzle or odd storm and a good choice of sea life. Marlin, kingfish, whiting, bream and bass is what summer is about and we have not been disappointed.
• For more up-to-the-minute information on what’s biting where, drop into Compleat Angler Batemans Bay and have a chat to Anthony or one of the other friendly staff. They’re located at 65A Orient St, Batemans Bay (02 4472 2559).
These kingfish treats are bound to tempt the fussiest eaters.
Ray Smth having a ball on the light gear and plastics for some healthy little kings.Reads: 331