Offshore action for everyone
  |  First Published: April 2017

If you haven’t been offshore this season, you have been missing out on a great run of black marlin, which have turned up in numbers once again. They have been well within reach of the smaller offshore vessels, and even the kayakers are getting in on the action!

Another favourite target at this time of the year is mackerel. Both Spanish and spotted macks are being caught from Plomer Bay all the way to Grassy Head. Live bait has been the go and a fair few have been taking lures as well.

Other offshore species like mahimahi have been caught near the FAD, and Crowdy Head is also throwing up a few. Cobia have put in an appearance with a few caught while trolling live baits for the mackerel. As always, there are days when the sharks can be a complete nuisance taking fish, so I’m not in a hurry to take my kayak out!

The Hastings river

Let’s hope this month the whiting make amends for one of the quietest seasons I’ve seen in recent times. A lot of the flats have been barren for whiting this summer. I know a few fishos have been getting them in the deeper water on baits and vibration lures and they’re not big catches. Maybe it was too hot for them in the shallows. Time will tell if this goes down as a bad year or not.

Bream have been excellent and surface fishing has still been the go-to method. Cicada or prawn imitations both get the job done. Most of our surface fishing has taken place in the upper reaches and casting into the bankside structure. Accuracy in casting your lures is paramount here, as a correctly placed lure inevitably gets hammered!

In saying that, the only way to get accuracy is to get out on the water and hit a few snaggy looking areas. Remember, fortune favours the brave and the tackle store owner, so get your casts right in there. Lures to use that have been doing well for us are the ever-reliable Bassday Sugapen and a reasonably new player – the SF62 Pencil from ProLure.

There have been a few mulloway showing up in the river. Recently you have really got to put in the effort, especially with lure fishing. The fish have been patchy. Conditions can change quickly, so if you’re after a silver ghost, keep fishing your spots. They will turn up.

Night time bait fishing has produced good results on the mulloway lately. A well-presented livie or a slab bait of mullet, tailor or bonito will give you a great chance of getting action. While you’re doing this don’t forget your crab traps. Muddies are still on the menu and at least this way you can stay close to your traps to keep a safeguard on them. I’m sure you know why.

Flathead in the river have been quite good and plenty of fish have been caught up to the 50cm mark. Some days you go 50/50 with undersize and legals, so remember the legal size for dusky flathead is 36cm. If you are keeping these fish for a feed, any smaller fish should be returned to the water as quickly as possible. Locating flatties has been simple – find some weed beds and cast your lure or bait next to them and a hungry flatty will not be too far away.

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