This is one of the best fishing months down this way and it’s not hard to understand why.
The fishing over the past month has been pretty good, with outside anglers getting gamefish out wide, reds, kings and flathead in closer and the river, beaches and rocks also fishing well.
I don’t have to tell you now’s the time to get out and wet a line because it won’t get much better than this.
The rock scene is firing now with some filthy big kings being hooked out around Currarong at most of the remaining LBG platforms. Locations out the front including Big Beecroft and The Eaves seem to be the best bets but The Tubes is also producing the odd fish along with the best chance of hooking a marlin.
Some of the kings out the front are just too big to stop from the rocks with fish to 20kg landed on 24 kg tackle and live baits. Quite a few have also been hooked on lures by guys spinning for an early morning bonito.
The bread-and-butter species are also doing well with quite a few blackfish and drummer from most platforms with a bit of wash and some cabbage on the rocks. There are also some nice bream for those who are prepared to put in time berleying and fishing floaters in the washes.
The Shoalhaven is fishing well with some nice jewies caught on bait and soft plastics. Most of the fish are 6kg to 10kg but the odd 15kg fish and even bigger is being taken now and then. Just about anywhere from Nowra down to Crookhaven Heads is worth a go but obviously deep water and drop-offs are the places to concentrate on.
It doesn’t mater whether you’re fishing bait at night or lures on a low tide, the rules are still the same. Find some deep water adjacent to flats that drain the low tide and if there’s any baitfish activity, get ready, because jewies won’t be far away.
As you would expect for this time of the year, there are also some nice flathead in all local estuaries. Most of the regular catches are coming on soft plastics and why anyone would even bother fishing bait for flathead these days is beyond me. Most of the better quality plastics are as or more effective than bait as well as being a lot easier to fish and more fun into the bargain.
February is usually the peak of the gamefish season down this way and this year is no exception. The fishing is pretty hot with striped and black marlin at The Banks and the continental shelf along with some solid mahi mahi and the odd yellowfin. There seems to be a heap of bait around so finding slimies up on top rippling usually means that marlin or mahi mahi won’t be too far away.
The fish are being taken on lures and live baits so it doesn’t matter too much whether you have time to catch bait or not, the main thing is be out there with a line in the water. You won’t hook anything sitting at home talking about it or saying that you’ll do it next weekend.
The Banks and The Mud have been fishing pretty well for kings over the past month and this doesn’t look like slowing down in the short term. A lot of the fish are 3kg to 5kg but there are enough thugs in with them to make it interesting – especially if you are jigging with 6kg or 8kg tackle.
The fish have been taking jigs and livies fished deep. I much prefer to jig because it’s a lot easier than trying to catch live bait. Simply get out there and start fishing – it doesn’t get much simpler.
Most of the guys jigging are using knife-style jigs in lumo with a single swinging hook on the head. Depending on the current, you’ll probably need anything from 100g to 300g. Some of the guys have been fishing 6kg to 10kg tackle, which is great fun until a decent kings grabs the jig anywhere around The Banks and dive-bombs your leader over the edge.
I’ve been fishing a sweet little 15kg jig outfit comprising a Loomis SWR78-30C overhead rod and speedy Shimano Trinidad 16 reel with the new Siglon multi-coloured braid in 15kg and wind-on leaders of 50kg to 60kg mono.
Percy Bow from Sydney with a nice red taken out off Currarong.
Finney handlining reds. The latest hi-tech tackle is nice to use but it does the soul good to get back to grass roots now and then.
The current selection of soft plastics is catching just as many flathead as bait used to – so why would you bother getting your hands smelly ?Reads: 550