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Fish are firing across the board
  |  First Published: June 2017



The fishing over the past months has been remarkably consistent. There have been no long periods of shutdown fish or baitless reefs. The fishing has been firing pretty much across the board.

Up the mountain the trout have been thoroughly enjoying the increased flow throughout much of the plateau as well as the drop in temperature as we descend into winter. Most anglers have found the fish very active and willing to move around to chase a feed.

The ease and effectiveness of sight fishing increase exponentially as the fish become more active. You can be far more effective when you know that by watching a stream, a trout will reveal itself, rather than having to blind search for them with your fly or lure.

There was no need to see the fish during one session I had with the family last month. While camping on the Little Styx River there were so many fingerlings in each pool that a dry fly landing pretty much anywhere would be slurped off the surface within a few seconds. The kids each got their first fish on fly in about 10 minutes as we shared one 2wt rod around between us. They were all tiny, but a great way to introduce trout fishing and flyfishing to the kids.

Unfortunately, we’re coming to the close of the trout season here in NSW. The end of the season occurs at the finish of the long weekend, so you only have a couple of weeks to get up the hill for a last trout session.

The bass and estuary perch ‘no take’ season has been going for a month now and there have been plenty of by-catch bass being caught around the brackish regions of our waterways. It hasn’t been unusual for a few bass to show up in the middle of a bream or mulloway session, particularly in the major systems like Bellinger and Nambucca. Remember that all bass and estuary perch caught between May and August (inclusive) must be released without harm.

In these brackish stretches the bream and mulloway have been quite active. There are still trevally and mangrove jack around but they are becoming slightly less active as the weather cools. The gravel beds right up towards the fresh are always a very productive area for the bream at this time of year. The bridges and deeper holes have been holding good numbers of school mulloway but only the odd bigger fish.

Most of the larger mulloway have continued turning up along the beaches and headlands. Around the headlands it’s soft plastics that have been the standout for scoring a decent mulloway. On the beaches the success has been spread between squid baits and live or dead mullet. Although there haven’t been many huge fish reported, the average size has been well above soapie size. Fish in the 6-10kg range have been quite common.

June is likely to be the transition month for the offshore fishing. The warm water pelagics are still performing well. This season has seen a lot more spotties around than Spanish mackerel, but as usual it’s the Spaniards that seem to finish the season strong. The warm water will usually hang around right into July and even August, so we can expect to see mackerel still popping up over the next month or two. After June we won’t see too many being targeted.

Tuna have been the number one menace for those targeting the mackerel over the last month. There are some big longtail tuna that most anglers can at least enjoy a few screaming runs with. Mac tuna have been taking a liking to many mackerel baits. Once the tuna are around it can be hard to keep your live bait long enough to find a good mackerel.

On the other side of the coin, to many anglers’ delight, the kingfish and snapper have been taking a liking to many live baits and stickbaits aimed at the mackerel. As winter moves on we can expect the kingfish to increase their dominance and anglers to start focusing deeper than the surface once again.

No matter how deep you’re looking, I hope you can hit those fish.

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