Weather working water wonders
  |  First Published: October 2016

With the mix of good and bad weather we’ve had over the past few months, there’s been some pretty good fishing. And if you’ve been able to pick your times, there are absolutely awesome days on the water to be had! Offshore, inshore and even from the shore, fishers are having some good success.


Firstly, offshore we’ve seen awesome yellowfin come in. Mid to late August saw beautiful fish in the 70kg-80kg class hit the decks on amateur fishers’ boats, along with big albacore. Some of these fish were taken in only 60-70 fathoms, which is basically the shelf line. These fish were taking lures of all shapes and sizes. The new Halco Max 190 proved to be a real winner and accounted for nice fish. Skirts in a variety of brands took plenty as well.

In value for money, the Fat Boy range was hard to beat. They have a great range of rigged lures in 6-8” with some awesome colours and the rigging is top quality and ready to be fished straight of the shelf. In more recent weeks, I’ve heard of big blue marlin being seen, hooked and lost, as they dump almost 1km of line in just seconds. They leave intimidated anglers standing on deck and scratching their heads.


There have been a few nice reds kicking around the bay for those in the know. The soft plastic fisho’s are continuing to target these guys and in some quite shallow water with some pretty good results. The latest lures they seem to be using on the reds are the Samaki Vibelicious in both the fork and Thumper Tail patterns. The trick with these is to find the edge of the reef/kelp beds and work them either adjacent or away from the structure.

The treble hook set up on these lures make any cast onto the reef or weed pretty much a costly mistake at $20 a pop, so it pays to know the territory you’re fishing. The squid have been more than co-operative in the bay for both the boat and shore-based angler. Plenty of jigs are working but the standout is definitely the green natural colour jig in the Yamashita Aurie Q range. I’ve sold this jig to many squidders who come back for a repurchase.

Shoalhaven River

As much as the flood wasn’t wanted in the river, it’s done wonders for fishing! The lower reaches have plenty of mulloway for the soft plastic fisher. Samaki Vibelicious, the largest Squidgy Prawn and a range of other large plastics are all working if put in the right spot. So where is the right spot? Here’s a couple to start from, which are no secret. You can branch out from there.

Firstly Pelican Rocks, it’s so obvious but many fishos drive straight over it. It’s produced more mulloway over the years than I care to count. Pretty much anywhere through the canal will hold mulloway at some time or another – just find the feeding fish and get them away from edges. Further upstream and anywhere within about 300m of the mouth of Broughton Creek can produce fish. I prefer the run-out tide and drifting along the southern riverbank in about 15ft, working plastics up the drop-off.

Plenty of flatties are being taken around Broughton creek, along the front of the mill. There are nice fish in the Terrera Gut. Estuary perch are in abundance throughout the river, like last year, and are quite partial to the Squidgy Prawns in bloodworm or cracked pepper with the wriggler-tail. There are so many small bass in the river, which is a great sign for years to come. Here’s hoping for some early season warm weather, and maybe a thunderstorm to kick off the very anticipated surface bite season.


A quick look at the beaches has seen a nice run of tailor and many late season school mulloway along Seven Mile Beach. Another season has passed on the mulloway, and I still haven’t heard of big fish from the beach. I have heard of a couple taken from the river around 20kg+. Maybe they’re just not getting to the beach, before they’re caught – something to think about now, with so many people chasing them on plastics and baits in the river.

Bring on the warm weather! Be good and stay safe.

Johnny out.


A squid caught by the author on the ever-popular green Yamashita jig.


Leslee Nolan enjoying an early morning fish upstream, on the Shoalhaven River, from the shores of Shoalhaven Ski-park.


Plenty of small bass are making their way upstream in the Shoalhaven. This one took a Squidgy Prawn meant for a flatty.


This is the jig doing damage on squid at present – a must have in any squider’s box.

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