Considering the poor live-baiting results lately, I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of regulars call it a season on the land-based game front.
Some northern bluefin have come in on Bennetts Head but more traditional spots such as Seagull Rock and Flat Rock have been ordinary. A fair few angler-hours have been invested with little return from the LBG platforms this year.
The good news is there is a gathering of travelling blackfish along the rocky fringes and the pigs are getting bigger with every rough south-easter, and we’ve had quite a few of those lately. If weed for the blackfish is hard to find, try some yabbies late in the afternoon or at night.
Brian Everingham and I fished Blueys Beach and a few other spots for 17 blackfish up to 850g and a 2kg pig. No berley, just yabbies pinned on a 540 Mustad 1/0 hook and a pea-sized sinker.
Bream in the washes are also on the cards when you’re fishing for the blackfish and peeled green or cooked prawns will help you get among the bream and pigs. Salmon are turning up in greater numbers, with one fellow at Shelley Beach having a bucketful and a few 800g tailor as well.
The lake fishing is set to slow a little this month, with flathead pushing back up the system and bream moving down to the entrance. Sand whiting, too, tend to move and can be caught on baits right up the rivers. Big bream are on the cards around the lower oyster leases and slimy mackerel fillets are great bait. Of course, soft and hard-body lures are also very popular and an active way to stay warm.
Crabbing in the lake has dropped off to some extent but it’s still worth dropping a witch’s hat or two around the weedy fringes of the lake. Visiting anglers should be aware that there is a restricted zone at the entrance of the lake and details are posted at the main boat ramps and at tackle stores.
If you want to chase the flathead and can’t find them down the front of the lake, it would pay to try the mouth of the Wang Wauk River or the shallow side of the Coolongolook River.
Some of the travelling tailor and the odd trevally have been hitting lures and baits near the bridge and close by oyster leases. The tailor are from 300g to 500g while the trevally range up to 40cm. They should add variety and an unexpected catch for anyone fishing the area.
As mentioned, weed isn’t plentiful and the rocks at Forster were left bare after the last school holidays. With some luck they should come good by the time this magazine hits the shelf. The breakwall blackfish will be targeted through the Winter and we’re expecting some thumpers.
The beach fishing has picked up lately, with tailor and salmon coming on. Big travelling bream and school tailor have been falling to single-hook baits, while better tailor and salmon have been taken on ganged-hook baits such as gar, pilchards and salted slimy mackerel.
My experience is that the salmon are from 1kg to kg but expectations of bigger fish later in the season will have me spinning the beach early mornings and late afternoons.
The odd whiting is still being picked up along the beaches and there are no better baits than worms or yabbies at this time of year. One thing I did notice last trip to the beach was the thousands of 25mm mullet that are drifting in the shoreline and rock pools at the end of the beaches. A live mullet for a jew on a rising tide of a late afternoon and you are in with a very good chance – but rug up and take the thermos.
Brian Everingham with a tidy little blackfish from the ocean rock fringe. Winter will see a continued build-up of bronzies and they are often hungry for weed and yabbies.
Burgess Beach rocks offer good fishing for pigs and bream but the place is dangerous in a heavy south-easterly swell.
Mr Bream is present in the lake and around the rocks year-round and is always willing to take baits and lures. This one took a Storm shad on the drop next to a fixed oyster rack – and then bolted.Reads: 1990