Counting the days again
  |  First Published: February 2006

With the scorching days of summer now behind us it won’t be long before one of the most productive times of the year for Mallacoota comes around again: April–May.

With consecutive January days of more than 40°, out fishing wasn’t the place to be. But with early starts and getting back off the water by 9.30am, there was still some good fishing to be had. Evening sessions and on into the night also proved worthwhile.

Yellowfin and black bream have been caught in the front lake and into the top lake on fresh bait, nippers, prawns and soft plastics. Last dark the prawns were on the move and with the new moon on January 30 and again on February 28, these prawns will be even bigger so make sure your prawning gear is in good order.

In the December issue I spoke of some great jewfish I’d sighted and included a picture of a ripper that Ron Brymer has caught. Well, it’s been bettered I’m afraid Ron with a fish of 35kg, caught on a fillet of tailor by local jewie chaser Jimmy Buckland. It’s one of many big fish he has caught. It was captured within 200m of where it was sighted six weeks earlier.

More big fish will be caught because this fish was swimming with others of the same size.

Live mullet has been the gun bait for flathead with fish of just legal size being the norm with the odd fish to 2kg. Fishing for flatties with soft plastics has been a bit tough of late.

Sand whiting have yet to make an appearance. It is still a bit early but with the prawns about they will definitely hang around once they do arrive.

Fishing for estuary perch has been a challenge with miles of water to scour. Just remember that when a fish is caught, there are usually more fish in the area.

At night, perch tend to move out from their homes and feed just like bass. Tactics that work on bass also work on perch. Surface lures such as Crazy Crawlers and Jitterbugs, along with the new style poppers such as Rack Raiders and Bubble Pops, all catch fish. Shallow-running minnows can also be effective.

And like bass, many of the perch caught at night are big fish.

Fishing offshore has been good with gummy sharks and flathead making up the bulk of the catch. Yellowtail kingfish are yet to make an appearance but it would be worth trolling a lure while travelling – you never know your luck.

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