A long hot summer was just what the doctor ordered! There was plenty of sunshine, warm water and awesome fishing experiences shared by tourists and locals.
Offshore there were some big mahimahi caught and some good marlin bites. In close around the rocks, the rat kingfish, mac tuna and frigates kept things interesting and gave anglers plenty of fun.
The main talk of the town was, once again, the prawn run off Lake Wollumbulla out near Culburra, which was epic. There were so many people and so many prawns – big ones! It was a shame to still see so many anglers doing the wrong thing - no license, too many prawns and too small or big net depending on whether you were scooping or dragging.
During February the lake has still been open to the sea and the prawns have been running on the dark with the run out tide. Here’s hoping we get another shot in the March dark.
Summer is almost officially gone for another year, which means we can start to enjoy some milder weather as we come into my favourite time of the year - autumn. Autumn is an amazing time on the south coast of NSW. You get still mornings, light winds during the day and glorious clear sky nights that make for some of the best conditions of the year for fishing. Now I just hope the weather gods are listening because that’s my order for this year (also, we don’t want any of those early westerlies that we got last year please!)
On the fishing scene it’s been pretty good all-round. Catching luderick on artificial flies seems to have taken the fishing world by storm, just like the snapper on soft plastics and the whiting on poppers crazes did a few years back. Now even the diehard weed exclusive luderick anglers are bending in their stubborn ways and succumbing to this new style of chasing these tricky adversaries. With weed not getting any easier to collect it looks like it is a trend that is here to stay, and why not? It sure beats scrounging around drains or scuffling over slippery rocks to try and collect your bait. If you’re still one of the non-believers I encourage you to give the flies a go, you might be pleasantly surprised! If you find it’s not your thing you won’t have lost much at only $4.99 a pop. I have customers who came into the shop who have been luderick fishing for 40 odd years that I never thought would try fly, and are now sold on them.
With the awesome weather I know we are going to have in autumn, there will be plenty of opportunities for anglers to get out and chase snapper on both baits and plastics. They were a little quiet through January and February but have started to show in recent weeks in some of the shallow water locations around the Bay and off Crooky and Culburra. The go to lure for snapper is still the good old Gulp Jerkshad or Nemesis in the larger sizes matched with the appropriate head size for the water you’re fishing.
Micro jigging for snapper is slowly becoming more popular in our waters but we are slow learners down this way and can be a bit set in our ways. I’m no expert on this form of fishing and I can only go off the stories I’ve heard and the photos I’ve seen, but there’s a handful of guys in our area who have embraced this technique with some pretty cool results. It might be something to try next time you hit the water. They’re relatively inexpensive at around $7 to $10 a jig, which is about what you’d pay for a pack of Gulps.
If you’re after a feed of flathead you’ll find plenty either offshore if that’s your thing or in the river and the Basin if you’re a calm water angler. Now that Squidgy prawns are back in good stocks you shouldn’t have any trouble picking up a few lizards for a feed in either of these locations, with reports of plenty being caught. If you throw around the smaller Wriggler Prawn your chances of nailing one of those big basin bream will also increase.Reads: 1005