‘Coota crawling out of holiday season
  |  First Published: February 2017

The holiday period saw the town swell and get very busy, with visitors coming from all around and it seemed like all of them had brought their own boat.

Great weather along with light winds saw plenty of fish being caught, both offshore and in the lake. You definitely needed to cover up or use sunscreen to stop sunburn, as without it you’d come home looking like a lobster after a day on the water.

Offshore the fishing has been really good, and with the water temperature sitting around 20°C, everything has come to life. Big tiger flathead have been caught out wide in around 60m of water; these fish are well conditioned and as well as being fun to catch are also top tucker.

Closer to shore the sand flathead have been on the bite, with good numbers caught out around Gabo Island along with a fair few legal size gummy sharks.

The odd kingfish has been caught, with the star banks fishing well. The fish have often been seen in big schools around the boat, but catching them can sometimes be near impossible.

A number of great white sharks have been sighted, with the beach at Bastion Point closed to swimmers on a number of occasions as a result.

Those fishing the beaches have been catching salmon, with schools moving along Big Beach and around the general area. Tip Beach has also been firing, and a few gummy sharks being caught down at Quarry Beach by anglers soaking baits into the night.

This time of year sees plenty of Fisheries officers out and about, so make sure you have a license and you are adhering to size and bag limits, or you might be in for a nasty surprise.

The flathead fishing in the lake has been excellent, with plenty of eating size flatties getting caught. As far as the big flathead are concerned, they’re very scarce. Mallacoota was famous 10lb fish getting caught regularly, but it seems these days are long gone.

The yellowfin bream in the Bottom lake are not as plentiful as in years past, with a few fish being caught out around Goodwin Sands.

Good numbers of sand whiting are in the bottom lake, with some good-sized fish falling to on both bait and lures.

Black bream and flathead have been caught in the Top Lake and upstream towards Gypsy Point, but once again you need to keep moving until fish are found.

Some great estuary perch have been caught over the years, and these have been one of my favourite fish to catch. I have seen big numbers of quality fish in the system, but unfortunately they don’t successfully breed every year. This is the reason those in the know should do there best not to advertise their location, as a good number of fish are gracing the cleaning table with visitors seeing them as top tucker. This is probably isn’t in the best interest of the fishery, and anglers need to fish for the future, and not for the day!

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