No time for golf!
  |  First Published: March 2004

I’VE SAID it before and I’ll say it again: March is one of the best months for fishing around Batemans Bay.

If you score some good weather in March and can’t find a few fish, then it may well be time to take up golf. The ocean temps usually peak in late February and taper off a just a whisker throughout March.

I have always found the slight drop in sea temperature to be the precursor to some sensational land-based game fishing sessions. Memories of mid-sized kingfish scoffing anything and everything, spiced up with a few demoralising bust-ups from the odd bigger specimen, will hopefully occur once again.

The anticipation of a big hook-up with a monster king as you free-swim a freshly caught frigate mackerel sporting a 7/0 Sea Master hook through the nose is a buzz that only a dedicated LBG nut knows. The hair on the back of my neck is pricked just thinking about it!

Add to that the possibility of a stray northern bluefin or big mackerel tuna and it is not hard to see why a dedicated band of rockies spend an inordinate number of hours floating hard-earned live baits. With a good showing of school yellowfin off the shelf this year, it will be interesting to see if any stray close to the coast. If the slimy mackerel are present, anything is possible.

Estuary fishing should be outstanding, with oyster rack-dwelling bruiser bream a big drawcard. I have been fishing the Squidgy Surface Bug rigged with Shipton Trading’s SoftFloat floating jig heads with outstanding success. The jig heads are OK but tend to spin a little. They also, unfortunately, react with the soft plastic when the hot sun is belting down, turning into a gooey mess (Gary recommends a thin layer of Glad Wrap between the foam and the plastic to prevent this – Editor).

I have been playing around with some home-made floating jig heads in different shapes and now that my Polycraft project is finally on the water, I can at last do some extensive testing of them. If all goes well, I hope to toss a few surface Squidgies at some Hawkesbury bream in the next ABT BREAM qualifier.

Flathead continue to provide bent rods in all of our estuaries and the message of letting the big ones go is thankfully getting through to at least some people. Big praise goes out to an angler fishing at Tuross who caught a 7.3kg flathead that was weighed at the boat shed, photographed and released back into the river. Well done!

Beach fishing should be happening in a big way with stud whiting high on the hit list. Phil Petridis and his son Dimitri scored some fine hauls of nice whiting recently on freshly caught beach worms. The big beaches of Durras, Broulee and Moruya are the best producers of whiting, with smaller beaches like Malua Bay and Mackenzies Beach occasionally fishing well.

Beach jewfish is a mugs game on the South Coast in my opinion. Last season I lost count of the number of trips I did at around trip 42 for a grand total of one bite that I believed to be a jewie. We always had superb, freshly caught bait but could not raise a scale. Then a tourist scores a 25kg beast the other day on a pilchard off the middle of a big beach at 6am on the second cast and not a cloud in the sky! Boy I hope this season is markedly different to last year, it certainly couldn’t get any worse!

Roy Willis with a 35cm bass caught with a surface lure on the Clyde River.

Roy Willis with a 38cm bass caught with a Squidgy spinnerbait on the Clyde River.

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