June is a tough month to fish on all fronts. The weather can be less than kind, it is mostly cold and we are between concentrations of fish. Being ever-optimistic, there is always something you can glean from the lean times.
Bream will be around all along the coast and in the estuaries looking for a feed. With a little help from a little berley you can have some excellent sessions. Most days start with a cold southwester that flattens the ocean before backing off mid morning to make fishing a little easier. Most of the rock platforms will have a few fish hanging around hunting.
Prawns or small chunks of mackerel fished with little or no weight in the berley trail is the way to go. Light lines will score more bites than heavy gear and 2-3kg lines make it fun. These lines are more than adequate to handle most of the fish encountered.
From time to time you get dusted up by something larger. Most times you will beat the salmon, trevally and even snapper on the light tackle. It just takes a little longer. Fishing light and losing the odd fish is so much better than fishing a few kilos heavier and not getting a bite at all.
June can also throw up some foul weather. The bream are still there and they aren’t stupid, they’ll head into the sheltered areas like the harbours and quiet protected bays. Using the same berley and bait you will get them here as well and it will be so much safer. Anglers are not always as smart as the bream and some will still venture out onto the open ledges with waves that can wash over them at any time. Be smart like a bream when the seas get nasty and stay away from the open ledges.
Big seas also chase luderick, drummer, trevally, snapper and even salmon as well as the bream into places you would normally never see them. Be prepared for anything. Bread berley will get most of these species on the chew, but often the luderick will only look at weed in these situations. The rest will all still be keen and often bread will be the top bait.
The boneyard near Kiama and most of the sheltered bays and harbours including Kiama, Shellharbour, Port, Wollongong and Bellambi are worth a look at these times. They can be quite popular with plenty of anglers braving the conditions, as they know there will be plenty of fish about.
One fish that seems to buck the trend this month are the large mulloway that show up with the big evening tides. These are real trophy fish. Like all good things they rarely come easy and a lot of hours spent on a cold beach are often required to get that one solid bite.
One bite is all you need when they are fish of 20kg+. They can be caught on cold nights with a howling westerly at your back and absolutely no swell or when the sea is up a bit and gutters are hard to find in a southerly blow, you just have to persevere.
Fresh bait is the key with squid, mackerel and tailor all at the top of the list. There will be pickers like bream, tailor and salmon stealing that bait, but stick to your plan and that good fish will come along. I will take one solid mulloway over 50 tailor, bream and salmon any day of the week.
The best tides in the evenings will be 7-10 June around the full moon then later in the month with the new moon from 21-26 June, which will be some of the biggest high tides for the year at around 2.1m.
If you are not into the big fish then there are plenty of salmon and tailor about and the bream as well with lighter lines getting most bites. You will struggle if that big one comes along and takes a small bait meant for bream.
On the rocks there will be more than just bream and on good days there will be plenty of drummer in the washes of just about every headland along the coast. Cunjie and prawns are good baits. Bread and a bit of berley also help the cause. Luderick will rise to floating bread and they will also be about biting on weed. Drummer will respond to the weed as well. Trevally and the odd snapper will respond to your berley too.
On the deeper ledges you might still find a few kings, bonito and lots of salmon taking pilchards and live baits. There may even still be the odd longtail about if the water stays warm. The estuaries will be quiet apart from the bream.
Offshore most eyes will be watching for the reports to come in of southern bluefin making their run up the coast. Last year they went wide before they hit our part of the coast, although they made a show at the Kiama Canyons for a couple of days for the lucky few that were out there. Hopefully this season they will come a bit closer and stay a little longer.
The yellowfin tuna seem to be forgotten when bluefin fever hits. They can make a show at any time depending on the currents, but so far they have been quiet with just the odd fish captured for a lot of hours being put in by quite a few boats. There have been a few better fish being taken by the long liners out wide of the shelf down south and it doesn’t take a lot for them to show out here. We can only hope.
The odd albacore has popped up in berley trails, but they will become more abundant over the coming months. Don’t discount the chance of a few mahimahi on the FADs either, as they have been around in June in the past two years when the water has been that little bit warmer.
In closer there are a few early snapper starting to show over the inshore reefs and they will get better over the coming weeks peaking in mid July and August. It will be worth a good look at the end of this month with the new moon. Pick and berley over your favourite reef. Plastics will get some of the bigger fish this month as they move about looking for early cuttlies. White will be the colour of choice.
A few kings are still poking around the islands, but seals seem to gather in numbers at this time of year. They are trouble enough when you only have one or two about but when there are dozens out on Gap Island it means putting a live bait in the water is just asking for trouble. They rarely ever get hooked – they have getting your bait off down to a fine art. If you are lucky enough to get a hook-up on a king they are straight onto it and it is a very lucky day if you get your fish back.
A few bonito and plenty of salmon are about taking pilchards and lures around the islands, headlands and along the backs of the beaches. On the drift the flathead have slowed, but there are a few fish about and they are nice fish of 40cm+. Mix them in with the odd mowie, a good scattering of small snapper, trevally, samsonfish and pigfish as well as plenty of leatherjackets and you will get a feed on most days.
The dreaded barracouta have started to make an appearance removing hooks and sinkers and generally making a nuisance. Keep an eye out for whales as they don’t have a worry in the world about you. If they are breaching, stay well away. They’re pretty dumb and could land on you and really spoil you day, and give you a story to tell if you make it back.Reads: 245