Big chill is on its way
  |  First Published: May 2006

With the water starting to cool and the days getting noticeably shorter, Winter is on its way and this means many species start feeding up before the lethargy of Winter hits them.

Flathead and bass slow right up over Winter on the South Coast. With warm water on the continental shelf all the usual game fish are being caught including yellowfin tuna, albacore, striped tuna and striped marlin.

Unfortunately the marlin fishing has been hit hard by the longliners with well over 1000 striped marlin finding their way to the fish markets. This in essence means those targeting the striped marlin are putting more effort for less reward. We don’t need to wonder why the yellowfin tuna fishing isn’t what it used to be.

As has often been said, fishing for kingfish is unpredictable at best; the fish are there but whether they bite is another thing. They’re on one day and shut down the next. The pick of the action has been at Mowarrie Point.

Some good snapper are starting to show, let’s hope the season is as good as the past one with fish to 4kg plentiful along with some bigger fish.

All the other species are there, including sand flathead, morwong and perch. Fillets of slimy mackerel are a good choice of bait.

From now through to mid-Winter is the time for some big tailor to show up on the beaches and headlands and even in the estuaries, with big fish often caught at Wonboyn. Salmon will become more prevalent as they start heading north.

The estuaries have been fishing well with all species on the chew. As a fishing guide much of my enjoyment comes from seeing people catch fish and at times this isn’t easy, taking into account skill levels of clients, the mood of fish and all other variables.

The past few months have been very satisfying for me. I’ve been cracking a pattern and adding another species of fish that can be caught consistently on lures to my list. I’ve been surprising myself and many of my clients with captures of 25-plus whiting on lures and they’ve been big fish to 40cm.

By targeting whiting, the bream and flathead become the by-catch. The total catch for the period exceeds 300 whiting. It sounds hard to believe and I’m still shaking my head. Keep your eye out for more on this in a future issue.

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