The changing of the guard
  |  First Published: May 2017

The fishing has been pretty good around here lately, especially for luderick anglers. These guys have been bagging out along Horseshoe Beach and the lee wharves.

Bream and mulloway are coming onto the scene, and both walls are fishing well with the bigger fish finally turning up. I think this is due to all the rain we have had, which has been driving the fish downstream into the harbour proper. Prawns are the best bait, as they are getting washed down also. If you prefer lure fishing, try some clear-coloured Zerek prawn lures, as they work well when mass prawn schools are around.

Flathead are becoming a little slower off the usual spots; we just aren’t getting the numbers anymore. The flatties that have been coming in have been pretty big and dark, indicating that they too are being driven down the river.

The back channels are being churned up, and some nice big mud crabs have been caught over the last few weeks. Just be sure to adhere to the rules and mark your pots, as a rope wrapped around your prop isn’t fun and it can wreck drive pins. If the rope is thick enough it can even snap the drive shaft on your motor.

Offshore, bonito, tailor, medium-sized mahimahi and big bream, nannygai, blue morwong, teraglin, mulloway and kingfish are all around the shallow reefs. Interestingly, a mate told me he saw a trawler running a net about 80ft in close on Stockton Beach. I don’t know the rules on this but as it was just out the back of the breakers, there go all the sand flathead that love these areas.

Further out offshore, the Allmark Mountain has been giving up hapuka and some blue-eye cod, but you need a very efficient boat that is reliable to go out that far. Once you’re out there, it’s a lonely long way from land.

Squid have been scarce lately. I have been out in the mornings trying to get a few fresh ones for mulloway baits, but they are hard to get for some reason. Maybe the fresh has something to do with it.

This month I recommend heading out to the close reefs chasing kingfish, squire and blue morwong, as they are in good numbers. Alternatively, if you have a big, reliable boat you can hit the northern and southern canyons and play with the marlin and hapuka. Just remember there are huge tiger sharks that like cutting up the fish as you are trying like hell to get them up to the boat!

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