As we edge closer to Summer the fishing seems to improving almost daily. Kings, snapper, bream and bass are all going great guns so enjoy the warming weather and get out and catch a few.
Heading offshore has been interesting lately, with some fun-sized kings from 3kg to 9kg taking up residence at Fish Rock and some solid snapper to 5kg off the northern reefs. So heading north or south has been productive, it’s really a matter of whether you like battling kingfish or chasing solid reds.
Just around the corner you can expect the first of the mahi mahi, with the FAD and any trap floats out in 60 fathoms being well worth a shot. These early fish are often far bigger than those arriving later in the season, so if you want a shot at a 10kg to 20kg dollie, now’s the time to start looking.
Some good weather and relatively small swell have allowed anglers to fish the beaches and rocks to good effect.
The solid run of tailor has continued nicely, as have the big bream along the stones.
And if you put in the hours just on and after dark, some big jewfish have been caught. Most locals simply chop the head off the last tailor caught and lob it out on stout gear with a 10/0 hook. It’s pretty basic but you can’t argue with the results.
The Macleay River has started to heat up with a pretty good run of flathead in the lower reaches. Most of the action has been along the lower rock walls with fish up to 6kg.
Most of the fish along the deep tidal walls are generally of a larger size, from 1kg to 3kg, but you still also pull the little tackers.
For sheer numbers, though, it’s hard to beat the tidal flats up towards Stuarts Point.
Jewfish numbers are beginning to build. It’s been a pretty slow couple of years for jewfish but they have now been caught fairly regularly, although certainly not in the numbers we’ve become accustomed to.
As it stands, if you fish the right tides and know where to go, the odds are you’ll catch jewfish most outings. And with the fish averaging 10kg to 14kg, you can have loads of fun flicking plastics on light gear.
Bream anglers are still scratching around for a feed. Sure, there are fish in the river but a combination of flood water, followed by releases of stagnant floodgate water, and now very clear run-in tides have made it quite a challenging exercise indeed. However, if you put in a decent effort up around Jerseyville to Benalong, you should find some good schools of fish.
The first of what is hoped to be many annual Trial Bay Engineering Pro Flathead Comps was held at South West Rocks. Considering the short notice and subsequent lack of publicity, a solid contingent of 34 anglers showed up to fish the catch-and-release event, which was lure and fly only. The heaviest overall catch weight determined the winner.
With three weigh-ins for the day, the boat ramp was quite busy as a stream of keen anglers quickly weighed their fish and headed back out. The combined weight of the largest fish weighed and released for each of the three decided the final weight for the day.
Conditions were absolutely perfect with light winds and full sunshine but the fishing was a little slow by SWR standards but some terrific fish were weighed and released, including two rippers close to 6kg – the heaviest flathead weighed since the NSW Pro Flathead Series conception.
It was a great comp in a great venue and everyone had a ball. Special thanks go to Vic Grezl from Trial Bay Engineering, G. Loomis and Pflueger for supplying some terrific prizes making the event even more memorable.
I have no doubt that next year will be bigger and better, so if you’re keen on chasing big flathead, come join in the fun. I’ll remind you a month or so before the event.
The top three anglers were: Wayne Gordon (3 fish for 9.450kg); Geoff Schmidt (1 fish 5.990kg) and myself (2 fish for 4.550kg).Reads: 632