November – an exciting time of year for fishers on the south coast of NSW. So much is happening or about to happen, let’s jump in and start with the offshore fishing! It’s usually the transition time for the offshore fishers where the last run of tuna for the season are caught before they vacate our waters over the warm water period. Striped marlin begin to show on the shelf in numbers at places like the Kink and the Canyons, depending on where the bait decides to hold up.
The first run of fish usually frustrates anglers as they once again try to learn the art of hooking these feisty, stick-faced fish. Year after year we have fishos come into the shop wondering what they’re doing wrong and why their hooks aren’t sticking. There’s always a healthy debate on whether to use double hook or single hook rigs in your striped marlin lures. I’m not one to comment on which is best as I’m not much of a game fisher, and don’t claim to be, but the same thing happens year in, year out. By December and January, anglers have it all worked out, or maybe the fish have changed the way they take lures accounting, for more hook-ups.
Inside the bay, we’ve seen some awesome squidding. Over the past months, most corners of the bay have held squid, but the Long Beach seagrass beds on the north side and the same sort of terrain on the south side between Bowen Island and Bristol Point offer the best opportunities. The stand-out jigs are still the Yamashita range. The 3.0 size is the most popular, and finally we’ve been able to throw these jigs without losing one every second cast to a leatherjacket. The green natural colour in the glow body and the yakka colour in the clicker range are two of the more popular jigs. If you’re not sure which jigs are where, call into the shop and ask one of us. We’ll point you in the right direction.
The reds inside the bay have been a little on the quiet side, but the wash fishing outside along the cliffs is making up for it. This type of fishing requires a good skipper, plenty of caution and a reliable engine due to conditions and how close you actually are to the razor sharp rocks. It should only be attempted by the experienced, and only when conditions are right. Soft plastics or lightly weighted baits tossed into the wash and worked slowly back to the boat can produce some awesome fishing. Make sure you have the heavy gear rigged for when a school of kings decides to bust up within casting range. Here a big plastic, stickbait or popper can be either the fish’s or the fisher’s undoing, depending on who gets the upper hand first. More often than not it’s the fish who gets the trophy!
If you’re after a trophy flatty this season, it’s seriously the time to start targeting these fish in this amazing recreational fishing haven. I’ve already seen pictures of 2m+ fish this season so far – one taken in only a few feet of water and the other in the deep. Fish of 70-80cm have been quite common. With the upcoming annual Flathead Classic run by the Basin Lure and Fly Club, I’m sure we’ll see some awesome fish come in.
For the first time in a long time, river fishing is rivalling its above counterpart, and may even have it over the Basin. The flatties have been biting like crazy in the lower reaches on both the Samaki Vibalicious and the Squidgy Prawns. Estuary perch are biting further upstream around the bridge and Ski and Animal Park rocks. Broughten Creek has been graced with some pretty good bream action right throughout, and a few mulloway have been caught around the entrance to the creek during night hours.
The bass season has well and truly started. Fish were pretty much hitting the surface lures with gusto from day dot! The Shoalhaven and its tributaries are all producing good fish and are all running well with plenty of water to coax the fish as far upstream as they can get. Break out the backpack, that short, tight water bass stick, the gaitors or a good pair of high-top boots for snake protection, and a small box of your favourite bass lures, and hit your favourite sneaky little creek. Jackson Cicadas, Megabass Sigletts and the Tiemco Soft Shell Cicadas are favourites now in most serious bass fishos’ boxes. If you’re not catching them on these three lures, you may as well pack up and go home.
Maybe don’t be that extreme – you get my drift. Coolondel and Gradys are great base camps to launch a bass expedition on the upper Shoalhaven, and both have good camping and canoe and kayak launching facilities. There you have it – options aplenty for the next month or so. See you on the water. Be good, stay safe. Johnny out.
Chris Robertson from Tassie is usually at home chasing trout. He caught this 102cm flatty from the Basin while visiting – quite an achievement!
The Samaki Vibelicious Thumper Tails are working a treat on the flatties in the river at the moment.
Heffo and Shacko with a pair of shoalhaven river bass from around the ski park area – bass are moving upstream fast and are well into the freshwater sections of the river.
Tait Fortier with a solid king of around the 1m mark caught recently when snapper fishing. A school of fish this size and bigger busted up behind the boat and Tait couldn't resist throwing a stickbait at them – a good decision!Reads: 362