June traditionally is the true start to the Winter fishing season but, as I type this report (a month in advance), the water is still hovering around 22.5°. Summer’s lagging warm water bodes well for some great Winter fishing.
In the estuaries, fishing is still pretty good, in particular the Tomakin River, which is no longer subject to professional fishing. Wade Eaton and Ben Roberts have been having some ripper sessions luring quality bream from the few oyster racks that the system has. There are also the natural tree snags and rock bars. These keen new bream-spinners bought themselves a rough, cheap, leaks-and-all little tinnie about a year ago for next to nothing and quickly found themselves among the fish.
They really surprised me of how successful they were without the stealth of an electric motor. The lads scored themselves a Motor Guide electric at the Mercury Fishing Show in Sydney in March and now there is no stopping them. Flash boats typified in bream tournaments are by no means a prerequisite to bream-luring. A vessel that floats is all that is needed, as these guys have proved.
Not long back I took a run up the Tomakin River with Wade and was blown away by the size of some of the bream swimming in open water, between sets of racks. A few fish were definitely in the 1.5kg bracket and followed the surface Squidgy right to the boat but refused to even nudge it – frustrating stuff!
You have to search pretty hard to find the bream but I can assure you that Tomakin is not just the shallow flathead fishery that most people would have you believe. A big bonus for the soft plastic chucker is the number of silver trevally in this system. It is rare to not find at least one of these grunters each session and with most fish easily topping a kilo, you are assured of a tough scrap and a few laps of the boat before they grudgingly give in.
A negative side to this waterway on the improve was witnessing about 200 big bream being illegally netted at night. If you see any bottom-feeders partaking in illegal activities, phone Fisheries on 1800 043 536 so they can be exposed for the scum that they are.
In the Clyde River, Bruce Kelly caught a 65cm cobia on a striped tuna chunk while bream-fishing a deep hole. The mind boggles at the thought of these fellows finding their way this far down the coast. Let’s hope they stick around and fatten up in the years to come.
This is the month to get excited about snapper from the shore. A few cuttlefish carcasses should be bobbing about and as long as the westerly winds don’t blow for weeks at a time, as they did last season, old man reds will certainly be close by.
On the beaches, jewfish have been slow to start compared with last year but I am still confident of a good showing. Many factors have hampered my past 10 or 15 beach sorties in the quest for chrome. Big seas that hindered two moon phases, which then resulted in filled-in gutters huge banks of weed, or both on some beaches, have not helped the cause. Not to mention a long and late sustained run of whaler sharks that have diminished my hook supplies severely.
Beach fishing for jew is an incredibly fickle and frustrating game but the more dud trips I endure of late, the more determined I am. You have to be a glutton for punishment to be a South Coast jew-fisho, I reckon. Tailor to 2kg have been prolific on the sand this year so the subsequent tailor slabs should hopefully find a willing mulloway soon. I just need to find a new beach to ‘channel’ my efforts.
Pic 1 -
The estuaries are still producing good mulloway action but the emphasis will shift to the beaches for the next few months. Peter Alkousis caught and released this estimated 7kg fish on a favourite lure from an estuary bank.
Pic 2 -
The author scored this 8kg red from a gravel beach on fresh cuttlefish. Now is the time to score a cracker from the shore or in close in a boat, so what are you waiting for?Reads: 874