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Cool runnings
  |  First Published: June 2005




A warm beanie, a pair of track pants, socks and shoes – now you’re ready for the Winter.

The cool-water fish should now be in full swing and it can be a rewarding time of year. Grab your beach outfit as best option, dust off the Alvey and head for the rocks.

June should mean cooler south-west winds gust in regularly. Keep a good eye on the weather patterns: As soon as we see high pressure in the northern part of the continent, we’re on!

Head for the headlands from the Currumbin Alley down towards Hastings Point, where there should be some good catches of quality tailor. On your journey, keep your eyes out for deep gutters along the beaches. Good catches of choppers have already been taken with some consistency and this pattern which should only increase as the cooler weather moves in.

Some massive schools of what look to be frog-mouth pilchards have been moving up the coast, a good sign of things to come. It’s always an encouraging sight to see a supply of baitfish around and these little fish, perfectly sized from 10cm to 15cm, form a deadly bait for tailor on a gang of three 3/0 hooks.

Here’s a hot tip from a local legend Tweed fisherman – my Pop, Ron Cronk –have some sea gar handy. This bait seems to extract quality tailor when times are tough.

ESTUARY

Estuary fishos are enjoying plenty of success, mainly from bream, trevally, flathead and luderick.

Flathead remain the easiest and numbers are healthy right throughout the system. Big ones should continue to be caught in the deeper holes and channels towards the mouth. Recently a few specimens around a metre have been caught and released.

The simple drift-and-jig technique has been working a treat. A correctly weighted jig in relation to the water depth is the perfect way to pick up a few lazy lizards. Best lures seem to be the 3” shad and the 4” Berkley PowerBait.

Try to keep your jig close to the bottom at all times to give those flatties the best chance of taking it. Remember, the big flathead are the breeders and the future of our fishing stocks. Think twice about keeping such a fish. A photo, a smile and a quick release is a positive step toward our fishing future.

Some impressive Bream have been caught around the entrance and along the Fingal rock walls with soft plastics and live herring being the best methods. These catches should improve further this month.

Best times seem to be early or late on the run in tide. Nice by-catches of trevally, moses perch and flathead keep interest levels at a high.

OFFSHORE

Conditions continue to frustrate offshore fishos with gusty southerly winds. Reports indicate fishing has been patchy to OK but some relief should be on the way. June should bring the cooler offshore winds, flattening the sea and allowing the fishing to become easier.

Some of the local boys seem to feel that snapper should show up a little earlier this year. After such an early and strong mackerel season, they feel the knobbies aren’t too far away.

Places to try are the local reefs such as Fidos, Five Mile, Nine Mile and the 24-Fathom Line where mixed bags run from jewfish to parrot fish (venus tuskfish).

Keep an eye out for surface fish as the topwater bait schools encourage plenty of predators. Keep a spinning outfit ready at all times to launch a lure into a potential hot spot for remaining mackerel, tuna, tailor and cobia.

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