Is it any wonder so many people travel to our neck of the woods come Christmas holiday time? Nowra and its surrounding townships have so much to offer, especially for the fishing family looking to throw a line and catch themselves a feed of fresh fish and maybe some prawns or a squid. So where can we catch fish these holidays?
St Georges Basin is one place. This awesome recreational fishing haven is one of the best on the coast. During the summer season, it has a myriad of species on offer for bait and lure fishers. At the moment we’re having a terrific run of big flathead, which started in October and ran right into the summer months.
Most fish have been in the main basin, but there have been some absolute honkers also travelling through the canals and lagoons of Sussex Inlet. I would say 95% of the big fish pulled from the basin are taken on soft plastic lures of one type or another, but it’s still hard to go past the Squidgy Prawns or the Squidgy Fish.
The vast shallow sand flats that line most of the basin’s shores are producing great whiting on popper opportunities. Long casts, quick erratic retrieves and fish lining up to take your surface walker or popper are things associated with pelagic or tropical species up north, but since this style of fishing has taken off in the estuaries down our way it’s gone crazy and added a new dimension to estuary lure fishing.
Five years ago, no one would have thought whiting of all species would be smashing our surface lures, and with such gusto. No water is too shallow in the basin for the whiting. If it’s more than a couple of inches deep, whiting could be there hiding in amongst the weed and divots in the sand.
A few casts with one of the many surface lures on the market will soon tell the story if the whiting are in the area you’re fishing or not. If you’re not getting the hits or follows from the whiting, keep moving along quite quickly and cover the water. Eventually you should come across a few fish.
A good pair of polarized sunglasses is essential for this form of fishing. If there’s a severe glare on the water, there may be fish there that you just can’t see. You could be getting the follows and all it takes is a lure change to bring on a strike. Rather than thinking there aren’t fish there and moving on, I wear the Spotters sunnies in the gold mirror lens.
The mirrored lens helps cut out the heat, which can do damage to your eyes. A bronze colour glass is great for picking out fish in amongst the weeds and undulations of the sandy bottom. They can also give you a greater depth perception!
Whiting! They’re here. Finally the water has warmed enough and most beaches are producing good numbers of them with a few bream thrown in the mix. Even the odd mulloway is still being taken from the beach. Fresh beach worms are a must for the best success.
The art of catching them can leave you frustrated and kicking the sand as you walk away with your tail between your legs, empty handed. If this is you, the next best thing is live nippers, which can be pumped locally in our estuaries.
Danjera, Tallowa and the Shoalhaven and tributaries are all fishing well for the mighty Australian bass. If you’re holidaying down our way, be sure to bring a handful of bass lures or call in and see us at the shop for a bit of local knowledge and advise as to where to go and the lures that are working best. The bass are still one of my favourite fish to catch and can take you to some amazing picturesque places!
I hope you all catch a few fish over your holiday break. Be good, stay safe and have a happy fishy New Year! Johnny out.Reads: 1149