July on the south coast of NSW is make or break time for us fishers. We can either harden up and put up with the cold, miserable conditions this time of year usually dishes out, or we can be like a big fat grizzly bear and sit in our caves, hibernating and sulking for the next few months until the weather warms.
It’s been a long season for the mulloway anglers off the beach this winter, with plenty of smaller fish being caught earlier on before a long lull with not many fish. This was partly due to conditions not being right and a lack of concentrated bait on our beaches like tailor and salmon. Now things are looking up with a few better sized fish being taken by those willing to put in the time and effort.
It’s no secret that Seven Mile Beach that runs from the mouth of the Crookhaven River right up to Gerroa produces some of the best fish on our coast. It’s not the only one though, so do your homework and reconnaissance and you may surprise yourself with where you catch one of these monsters of the beach.
The river on the other hand has had some awesome mulloway fishing right not only the winter months, but for most of the year. It’s continuing to fish well, and the soft plastic fishers are getting plenty of smaller fish while the better fish seem to becoming under the cover of darkness and being caught by the bait anglers using either yakkas or slimies when available.
Offshore there have been some nice kingfish at both the Banks and the Block And Cheese, however, they have been on the move and not really predictable of their day-to-day location, so it’s a bit of a ‘suck it up and see’ situation at the moment. Sometimes you just have to go and see what happens, and when it all comes together and you get onto a good school, you get to reap the rewards and brag about getting your arms pulled from their sockets by these hard-fighting fish! Not to mention the delicious steaks or fillets you get from a reasonable sized fish. I never thought of kingies as much of a table fish until I was told how to cook them, or should I say, how to not overcook them.
St Georges Basins water temperature have now dropped to around the 13-14°C mark, which is typical for this time of year. The local population of massive tailor are causing havoc for anglers fishing for the bread and butter species like bream and flathead. Not only are they biting their lures off mid retrieve, but they’re also chomping their catches in half before they get them back to the boat! Some of these tailor are up around the 1m mark, making them awesome predators, and perhaps their only predator is the mulloway, which are becoming more and more prevalent in the basin.
The winter run of reds has started in the basin with the night time bait fishers getting some great catches, with plenty of fish around the 1kg mark and some of the better fish upwards of 3kg. Floating baits in a berley trail while on the pick in my opinion, is still one of the most productive and fun ways to catch reddies in the basin. Sitting back waiting for the unmistakable run of a good red as it screams off with your bait is pretty cool and always gets the blood pumping!
We’re almost on the downhill run now to summer, and it won’t be long and well be chasing marlin, bass and surface feeding whiting again!
See you next month. Johnny out!Reads: 3788