Big bream busting and a few good kings
  |  First Published: May 2017

It’s autumn and that means big bream. Put 6lb braid with 4lb fluoro on a size 1000 reel and jump on a hard fighting estuary horse of a bream. You’ll feel like you’re gamefishing in the estuary, especially if you’re chucking expensive crab lures around racks.

Speaking of gamefishing, last month we were expecting warm water from the north to continue to push down and keep the gamefishing in full swing, which it did. What we also experienced was a good amount of water being pushed in from the east and a slither of cool water running down the second drop-off to produce a nice run of yellowfin right at the tail end of summer. The commercial boats made the most of it and some lucky recreational boats scored the odd one.

Now we are hoping to see more yellowfin tuna action as we approach winter. We are expecting the marlin to taper off with the chance of a blue marlin encounter. The FADs come out of the water now and our hot mahimahi run is coming to an end. Let’s hope they stick around as long as possible like last year, until the tuna start to show up.


What we can expect through May is some big kings knocking around after we had a good showing of them through April. Some fishos had kingfish holding around the boat for over an hour. This doesn’t happen every day but the best thing to do is berley up as soon as you find a school. It’s a bit like what you would do with tuna. When you’re looking for kingfish trolling headlands or reefs and you find them on the sounder, start to berley and drop a livie or jig, or whatever you have ready for them. This way you have a reason for them to hang around.

On some occasions all methods are working and you have a blast. If you get kingies up and following your surface lures, remember to get a bit of a splash going on your retrieve. Poppers do that the best and you’ll find that excites them more. You’ll have more chance of getting a bite out of them. You can expect some good kingfish getting around this month.


Snapper came in close straight after that early autumn rain and don’t be surprised if they stay in close for a while. It’s shaping up to be a good snapper season and as there are good snapper at this time of the year you might find yourself losing your gear to the odd unstoppable king. There have also been some horse salmon galloping through just to keep you awake.

This winter we are seeing young fishos getting 10ft rods made up with high reel seats and small overheads casting their occies and squid right out there the old-school way. We should still see plenty of anglers casting plastics at them and the old pearl white and BBQ chicken Gulp Jerkshads are still a favourite down here on the south coast.

I’m sorry to say Pure Fishing have announced that they will be taking BBQ out of the range. I think it doesn’t make sense taking the closest colour to a cuttlefish out of the range. Still, there have been more new colours added and they all seem to be working on reds.


On the beaches we are seeing welcome catches of salmon and tailor and they are coming up big! Anglers are having a ball with some of these larger than normal sambos and greenbacks. Get yourself a 9-10ft spinning rod matched with a size 4000 spin reel to go out and have a blast with these fish in the coming cooler months.

Whiting are still around and the Bawley Point area can be good as it approaches winter. Beach fishing of a night is still seeing plenty of sharks around the metre mark and there is always the chance of a mulloway.


The estuary and lakes are starting to bustle with big bream that have been feeding on all the prawns that have been around. At this time of the year the bream have the shoulders of a front rower! The most popular hardbodies used on bream at this time of the year are Nories Laydown Minnow Chigyo, the Daiwa range, Atomic Muddy Prawns, the new Sugar Minnows, Saku Minnows in brown dog, Ecogear SXs, Cranka Crabs, Yakamitos and on the surface Bent Minnows are still amazingly popular and effective. We still have plenty of Smith, Bassday and Lucky Craft lures that catch plenty of bream as well. So get out to some of the lakes and estuaries this autumn for the chance of a bream.

What was going mental at this time of year last year were the mulloway in the estuary and around the Clyde River Bridge at night. We’ve seen great numbers caught over the last month around that 70-90cm size, and hopefully the estuary is in top gear with these beautiful specimens.

Freshly caught squid and live mullet will always be the best presentation for these river monsters, and if you can butterfly a slimy or yakka you are still in the game. Days are getting fresher and shorter, but the fishing will go on. There’s still plenty on this autumn.

• For more up-to-the-minute information on what’s biting where, drop into Compleat Angler Batemans Bay and have a chat to Anthony or one of the other friendly staff. They’re located at 65A Orient St, Batemans Bay (02 4472 2559).

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