Rocking out in May
  |  First Published: May 2016

I’m not quite sure I’m ready for winter, but I suppose I’m going to have to be coz guess what we are in it. The south coast of NSW is not the worst place to spend it by any stretch of the imagination, in fact May days down our way can be very pleasant, you’ve just got to get past about 10am when the sun starts the warming the place up.

May offers some great fishing options around the Nowra/Jervis Bay area, and it’s looking to be a pretty good one if the weather holds it together. The squidding in Jervis Bay has certainly come along in the past month or so, with the southern side around the Murrays Beach boat ramp and surrounding waters producing some awesome catches. Just keep in mind that when in these waters the bag limit for squid is 10 per person, which is half the usual limit per person, which when you look at it is enough for several feeds, especially with some of the monster squid being taken!

The green Yamashita jigs in the natural series in size 2.5-3.0 have been doing most of the damage of late, but as always in squidding, it does pay to take a range of different colours and sizes for those tough days. They are very smart critters!

Some good reds and some hoodlum-sized kingfish have also been encountered in the bay of late. The reds have been in some of the shallower water locations like Plantation Point, and inside Longnose Bommie, which makes for some great soft plastic and micro-jigging fishing. When fishing these shallower locations, you can have some great fun on lighter gear, but if the big boys decide to move in on the action, make sure you have that dedicated snapper/king outfit ready for battle. There is no prize for coming off second best, except for a hurt ego and shredded braid!

It’s no secret now that the mulloway are making a good showing on the beaches this season. I’m not going to give exact locations, but it’s pretty easy to put two and two together and work out what beaches fish well. The first clue I’ll give is ocean beaches with big gutters and holes within casting distance at high tide are a good start. I like not too much run, as I’m a bit of a lazy angler and don’t like walking too far. The second clue is reef or rocky headlands nearby are definitely a bonus, giving the fish plenty of cover and aren’t too far to retreat to once the cover of darkness is compromised. The third and final clue is to find somewhere with a good supply of fresh bait to help attract these very clever predators. They love feeding on tailor, salmon, mullet, beachworms, squid and even crabs, so go do some reconnaissance!

On the rocks, it’s prime drummer and groper time and there are always a few luderick around our ledges for the hard luderick fishers! Remember, on the rocks it’s all about safety first! Please wear a life jacket when on the rocks. In this day and age, with life jackets being so compact and comfortable, you’re mad if you don’t wear one. Besides, I’m pretty sure within the next 12 months or so, it will be law!

Always fish in numbers, because it’s no good going into the drink and then not having anyone to call for help. Big B, the Hat on the north side of the bay, and the ever faithful Moes Rock and Stoney Creek on the south side of the bay are some of the more popular locations, but all can be very dangerous on their day, so watch the water for a while before wetting the feet. Also, never ever turn your back on the sea, or chances are you will probably find yourself on it and getting dragged into the ocean!

In the Shoalhaven River, bass and estuary perch are well and truly on the move downstream for their spawn run and with only a few days left before the three month closure to creeks and rivers in NSW, you may just have one last chance to catch and release a couple of beauties, which are being caught between Crams Rock and the Nowra bridge. Spinnerbaits and soft plastics or a very slow rolled crankbait should get you a show in on a high tide with a steady barometer.

Good luck for May, stay safe and make time to hit the water.

Johnny out.

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