That was one hell of a summer wasn’t it! We got back to the good old days of afternoon thunderstorms, heavy rain, showers then hot, steamy and humid sunny days before the cycle repeated. I’m not saying that it was a bad thing – it made for some great fishing opportunities, especially for those species affected by atmospheric pressure like bream and bass.
However, now that summer is all done and dusted we can hopefully look forward to some more stable autumn weather as we roll through the month of March. At this time of year on the south coast of NSW we can expect nice, still mornings followed by somewhat mild east or northeasterly winds throughout the day. Then we typically get cool, comfortable nights perfect for spending an evening fishing either on the beach, perched on the river bank somewhere or perhaps anchored in your boat in that favorite fishing hole!
So where should you go and what should you target this month?
After the onslaught of the Christmas holidays and the pressure the Basin copped over that two months, it’s surprising that there are any fish left in there let alone still biting. They are though. It’s bounced back quite well; there’s still good whiting and bream fishing over the flats. Although not quite as good as previous years, it’s still a great option as the fish are having to work a little harder for a feed, with not as many prawns and baitfish over the flats as in summer. I’ve had good success on the new Jackson Ebi Panic Prawn.
We’re also getting some XOS tailor and more frequent catches of good sized mulloway. It all makes for some exciting fishing and is giving the Basin a name as one of the best recreational fishing havens on the coast! It’s also one of if not the premier spot on the coast for trophy flathead, which can be caught right throughout the year.
Since early January the beach and rocks have been fishing very well. Although the whiting are lacking in numbers from previous years, the size has definitely been making up for this with some stonkers around the 45cm mark being taken. Plenty of good sized salmon and even a few tailor are also being taken, along with plenty of small bronzies.
The southern facing beaches of Steamers and Target are producing their fair share of the big whiting, while the big open beaches like 7 Mile and 5 Mile are producing salmon, tailor and sharks. There have even been a couple of rumours floating around of a few early season mulloway.
The rocks have seen schools of salmon and loads of rat kingfish patrolling in close, and a few nice kings up around the 25kg mark are being taken. As I write this there haven’t been any marlin taken from the tubes inside Jervis Bay, but I’m sure it will only be a matter of time, with a few fish being sighted just outside the mouth of the bay.
It’s been a pretty good marlin season both on the shelf and at the banks. The stripes showed up first, which is pretty typical, then the blacks appeared around the Australia Day weekend and have continued to bite on and off throughout February. It’s quite scary the amount of big bronzies at the banks this year; it’s even scarier when you see divers and spearfishers jumping overboard in these shark-infested waters, floating through berley trails looking for something to shoot. Call me boring but that’s not my idea of fun!
Finally, for this month why not get out and catch and release one of those big late season bass? They’ve been gorging themselves all summer on all sorts of tasty morsels. The Shoalhaven river has had plenty of flow over summer so the bass have reached well upstream into most tributaries. Soon they will begin their annual run downstream to spawn. We’ve caught plenty on the Jackson Namazami Cicada this season.
That’s it for another month. Fish hard and stay safe. Johnny out!Reads: 546