Winter brawlers take the bait
  |  First Published: June 2017

It’s officially winter according to the calendar. The early morning chill and fog pretty much confirm it. The short days and plummeting evening temperatures are set to continue, as is the run of good fishing in the area.

Apart from the moderate rain event in April that upset the mackerel run for a week or so, rain has invigorated the fishing. Even now there are a few spotty mackerel being caught and I think it’s safe to say it has been one of the best Spanish runs in a while.

Shaun Sypher got into the spotties and Spanish mackerel slow trolling slimies in 20m of water. Slow trolling allows you to find the fish. It’s the perfect way to enjoy the big hits and aerial jumps. Spotties to 15kg and Spanish to 22kg were common through April and May. Let’s hope it isn’t all over by now.

The mackerel don’t turn up without bait pushing into the area. The LBG anglers have been hitting a lot of mac tuna and big bluefin from the rocks. As usual brown shirts are taxing some of the fish. A good run of cobia has been falling to live baits from the rocks and the occasional trolled slimy.

The biggest drawback for the LBG angler is the number of people on any given platform over the weekends. This presents the issue of rubbish left by a few grubs. It’s a regular gripe, but the message needs to get through. We will get locked out if we don’t clean our own mess up. We all know what will happen when the serious and concerned anglers get fed up with retrieving someone else’s’ crap.

In the meantime, it’s worth drifting out a livie early this month to take advantage of the larger bluefin that often end the season. There will be a few cobes and mac tuna sticking around too, so there is a good chance of decent fish.

For the bread and butter angler, the rocks are loaded with bream, luderick and pigs in the right washes. Big tailor are lurking in the washes and an early morning spin can be just the ticket to get the blood flowing and your muscles warmed up. Where? Take your pick. Most of the headlands should surrender a tailor or two. Bennetts Head, One Mile and Elizabeth Beach would be my preferred target areas. Janies Corner has been fishing well around the north end of Seven Mile Beach.

The lake

As you would expect, the lower lake is fishing well for this time of the year with the earlier flush of freshwater perfectly timed. Any reluctant bream that had been holding up in the tributaries and rivers have been encouraged to move down toward the wider entrance of the system.

Big bream to 42cm fork length are common in the racks. Extracting them takes a bit of luck and skill. Table size flathead can be found over the muddy flats and around the racks, generally while fishing for bream on lures. The quality of the bream in the system can be no better illustrated than the quality of the fish caught in the recent Berkley Teams Event. Forster Tuncurry always turns it on for the competitors. The bridge gets plenty of attention during the competitions and for good reason. The pylons harbour some good bream and flathead in the depressions around them. Slack water is the best time to soak a bait or slow retrieve a lure.

There seems to be the odd giant herring getting around the Paddocks. At least two anglers I have spoken to were surprised at the long silver fish that go like the wind. Identification is easy with a quick description and confirmation. The lake waters have always been open to visitors, both human and fish. It makes things interesting.

Wild River Bass 3

On a personal note, Wild River Bass 3 is set to be released next month. It has been a long, difficult project and is dedicated to my mate and co-producer of the first two movies, Dave Scarlett. I think he would be delighted and proud of the end result.

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