Pelagics run late
  |  First Published: June 2003

Fishing at this time of year can be a funny business. Usually around this month I would be writing about drummer and luderick but with such a late run of pelagic fish, this month could be a turn around for what was a pretty poor season for the tuna.

Recently the northern bluefin tuna have been seen crashing bait schools in Stockton Bight and along with them have been some good-sized striped tuna. A vast school of tuna was spotted just off Redhead and, of course, the salmon made up the numbers to make that frenzy look really big. The salmon are along all beaches as I write and a few bream are mixed up with them, along with small schools of tailor.

And, sure, the drummer and blackfish are here, as they should be, and many anglers are getting among them, Off the breakwalls and along the coastal platforms, the bands of drummer and luderick fishos have been getting some great action, Horseshoe Beach wall and the front of Nobby’s Head have been turning up some great fish.

All through the estuaries I have been receiving reports that the fishing just hasn’t been at its best. Lure anglers have been complaining that one day the waters is too clear then, the next, after heavy downpours, it’s too muddy. We just can’t win with the weather so, as I say, a rock outing or an offshore venture may be the best bets this month.

Don’t forget the big handline. June is well-known for the big, hard-pulling groper that cruise through the kelp beds. A fresh rock crab or a hunk of cunje are the best baits.

Squid are still around and they get bigger and thicker from now until when the westerly winds really start to howl. A small piece of fresh squid tentacle on a small long-shanked hook is a great way to get a feed of leatherjackets. Quite a good number of them have been taken around Big Ben Reef and North Reef has also given up a few.

In a nutshell, the beaches have salmon and small schools of tailor hanging with, them along with sprinkles of bream. The rocks outside are holding drummer, luderick, groper and leatherjackets, while offshore odd schools of pelagics are turning up. I am guessing they may hang around a little longer this year.

The reefs have the usual trevally and morwong and the odd squire, but don’t know where the jewfish and snapper have gone. They may have moved north for a warm Winter – there just haven’t been many caught at all.

An apology for missing last month’s issue: I lost a fishing mate and out of respect I dropped the report, but life goes on and I am sure the fishermen up there look over us and help us find bigger and better fish.


No 1,

Pelagic fish are still showing up, although not everywhere Stockton Bight is full of small sprats – find them and the bigger fish won’t be far away.

No 2,

Groper and solid drummer are real suckers for live whole fresh crabs. A great way to get them is to lay a red-fleshed fish in a rock pool on sunset and, a few hours later, simply collect them with a torch.

No 3,

Any washy areas should give up luderick, drummer and the odd bream this month – the rougher the better, but be careful.

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