Warm weather, Summer fun, school holidays approaching and plenty of fish – what more could one ask for?
Offshore water temps are rising all the time and the pelagics we so desperately await each season are on the way. Yellowfin tuna are in good numbers schooling around the edge of the continental shelf and beyond to feed on the bait schools. These fish range from 2kg to 40kg and are mostly being taken on the troll.
Lures used vary from small skirts to larger styles with the best results on lures that will hang deeper when trolled with there own built-in action, (bibless and bibbed styles).
When schools of tuna are encountered you may wish to try another form of lure fishing just to spice up the day’s action. Working in conjunction with your sounder, use a heavy spin outfit with braided line and work jigs through the schools the sounder has detected. This action can be very exciting and those larger yellowfin will be a real handful using this type of tackle.
Other tuna are also in the area with albacore featuring as a by-catch while chasing the yellowfin and of course there are plenty of striped tuna with marlin and sharks hot on their tails.
December is the lead-up to the marlin season and a few fish have already filtered down to Bermagui. They have come to feed on the schools of slimy mackerel and are being encountered while trolling for tuna. Sharks are also following these schools and are more readily encountered using livebait with the occasional mako being taken on a lure.
Other forms of offshore fishing are also very good with the kingfish up at Montague Island progressing quite well. Jigs, livebaits and squid are all performing on their day with kings and bonito being taken on the troll.
A newer popular method for chasing kingies is by down rigging so keep an eye out for some of the new systems coming out.
For the bottom fishos most of the reefs and flathead grounds are producing well. Snapper are still being caught on most reef with ever-present schools of morwong topping up the bags. Some kingfish have been encountered out from Goalen Head, south of Bermagui, and with a bit more effort in this area more fish could be taken.
Tiger flathead are in extremely good numbers with most fish in 50m-plus; the deeper you go the better the quality of fish. Sand flathead are being caught in shallower water with the most popular areas out from Tilba, Cuttagee and Murrah beaches.
The increasingly popular art of inshore soft-plastic fishing is producing all sorts of weird and wonderful captures. I suppose it’s so exciting because you never know what’s going to jump on next, from shallow to mid-water speedsters to bottom-dwelling ooglies, it is all fun.
The beaches are fishing well with most popular areas choked with salmon. Lures and bait are producing with early mornings and late evenings on higher tides creating the optimum times.
Bream are also arriving on most beaches and are being taken regularly on baits such as tuna strips and cut pillies. Whiting are also being taken regularly on beach worms.
Fishing the rocks is good early in the morning before the wind and seas get up. Plenty of drummer and groper are mooching around at this time of day so most anglers should have little trouble getting tied into one of them.
It’s also a very good time to throw lures from the stones for the surface species. Anything from kingies to salmon are passing, with the odd schools of small tuna sometimes surprising anglers.
The lakes and estuaries are now at their peak with most systems fishing all the way through from the entrances to the freshwater. Most species are well on the chew and this is the time to fish in your preferred manner.
Lure fishing, whatever form you choose, is at its best. Fish the deeper holes, drop-offs and weed-lined channels for flathead and the shallower, rocky oyster areas and flats for bream and trevally.
Baitfishing will produce at will and those who use nippers and worms over the flats will see nice bags of whiting, bream and other assorted species. Live mullet in the deeper areas or drifting the lakes will produce good flathead, with trolling another option.
Brogo Dam is also at its best, especially early mornings and late afternoons when insect life is at a peak. This is the time for the fly fishos; surface fishing with dry flies is a great way to catch Brogo bass and the styles of flies will vary as much as size of the bass in Brogo.
Work along the weed banks with minnow-style lures, get spinnerbaits down deep and trolling may produce some action during the day closer to the dam wall. Some fish are still being caught in the river below the dam.Reads: 957