New writer for Nowra
  |  First Published: January 2016

A big hello, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from me, Johnny Nolan, your new reporter for the Shoalhaven region in this great magazine. Up until now, Wes Murphy, a good mate of mine, has done a terrific job in bringing you all the latest in fishing info for our area, but it was time for Wes to step back due to work commitments and bringing up a young family – so I’ve come on board. It is a new year after all, so why not start it off with a fresh new face and new outlook and perspective on fishing?

I have been writing reports for several years in the local rag with good feedback from my readers, so hopefully I’ll get the same from my new audience and be able to bring you some great info and fishy stories that you’ll be able to take on board and enjoy.

OK, so a little about me. I live just out of Nowra on the NSW South Coast. I’m a born and bred local and have fished this area my whole life. I work at McCallum’s Tackle World in Nowra and have done so for about 15 years. I’ve sampled many forms of fishing over the years, from the beach to the rocks, offshore, inshore, estuary and freshwater. You name it, I’ve had a go at it! And whether it be lure or bait, I love it all.

Now I’m not saying I’m an expert… far from it! But I do know a lot about fishing tackle and what’s working where, and I have some great reliable sources when it comes to getting info on what’s happening in our local waters. Plus I will share my own fishing adventures along the way, fishy or fishless! Recently I’ve started doing more trips with my new partner in life, my wife Leslee. It’s great to see so many women getting into our fantastic sport; they can really hold their own, often out-fishing the guys!

But enough about me, now to the fishing!


From the start of spring we had a pretty awesome season and we have some great fishing to look forward to in late summer. At the moment the local fishing has been nothing short of exceptional.

The bass have been firing in the freshwater reaches of the river as well as the brackish, and with hot weather forecast it’s only going to get better. Stormy summer afternoons make for some great surface bite sessions. As the storm begins to roll in, the high barometer begins to plummet, sending the bass into crazy mode smashing lures off the surface left, right and centre. One of the hit lures this season is the new Jackson Cicada, with its soft, lifelike legs and wings.

What an amazing season we’ve had so far on St Georges Basin! I’ve never heard of so many big flathead coming from this great recreational fishing haven, with most being returned to the water to live on and terrorize anything they can fit their mouth around. One of the number one lures for the basin this year is the new Squidgy Prawn paddle-tail in the cracked pepper colour. If you put this lure beside a real prawn, the similarity really stands out; at a quick glance it’s hard to pick from the real thing. It really is a winner for the lizard chasers.

Recent weeks have seen some good catches of whiting on the beaches… finally! It was one of the leanest winter/spring seasons on the beach I can remember, so it’s great to see some quality fish showing up.

In Jervis Bay the squidding has been hit and miss. They have either been big and not many of them or small and plenty of them. Actually, they are some of the smallest squid I’ve seen in the bay in recent years, but they are still willing to have a go at a jig, which is about the same size as them. They’re an amazing fearless predator.

Happy fishing until next month.

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