Challenging times
  |  First Published: May 2006

We are now heading into the quiet time as far as the town and tourism are concerned but for many anglers this is a time of year they look forward to.

The area received a much-needed night of rain, topping up the water tanks, but a lot more is needed to really fire up the fishing.

At different times over the past month it has been a challenge to get a few fish, not because the fish aren’t there but because there have been so many prawns the predators are all stuffed to the gills with the tasty morsels.

This year the prawning at the river entrance has been memorable with people catching prawns by the bucketful. This has all ended now but there are many already looking forward to next prawn season.

The flathead have been biting well with plenty of fish around 45cm to 50cm being caught. Fish of this size tend to be in a bit of a bunch with the bigger fish scattered around the entire lake system.

Small lures worked slowly along the bottom have accounted for some big flathead because they are mistaken for prawns. The Firebait Longtail Minnow in yellow with red and blue fleck has been a gun lure.

Some pinky snapper have been biting with most of the fish undersize but of a morning or evening you can catch fish to 35cm with the odd one even grabbing a lure meant for a flathead.

Jewfish up to around 10kg are being caught with the best areas being the Narrows and Cape Horn. The odd fish is being hooked in the day but if you are really keen on catching a jewie the go is to put the time in at night with good fresh bait.

Plenty of good-size yellowfin and black bream have been caught with lures and bait working well. Fish are around the rock walls, around the weed beds and in the rivers around the snag piles.

The odd estuary perch has been caught among the snags in the river but they seem keener to bite at night. These fish are very predictable as far as where they hangout, with certain snags to their liking for one reason or another.

Even knowing where to fish, you still often need to make plenty of casts before these fish wake up and have a go at your lure.

Fishing off the beaches for salmon has been good and should only improve because the Winter months normally provide a run of bigger fish. Gummy sharks are still being caught of an evening off any of the local beaches.

Bill Coombes with an 84cm flathead caught on bream gear lure with a yellow Firebait Longtail Minnow.

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