Forget hibernation
  |  First Published: July 2003

Brisk, if not freezing cold, mornings with the smell in the air of the previous night’s smoke from suburban heating rituals, should not be taken as a precursor to placing the rods into hibernation.

Indeed, the exact opposite should be the philosophy for the keen fisho in July. Snapper and mulloway are certainly at the top of the list for my focus but there are plenty of other options that are more easily obtainable.

On the beach, tailor continue to dominate the low-light hours. Plenty of kilo-plus specimens have been hitting the sand, not to mention the odd larger one, with a 4kg Tuross greenback the best I have heard of recently. Salmon to 3kg have also been numerous, as have big snow-white bream. Paul Howe from Burrill Bait and Tackle reports similar action around the Ulladulla beaches and is only too happy to provide up-to-the-minute information to the travelling angler willing to call in for a yarn.

Pesky whaler sharks and the usual mixed multitudes of bait-stealing flat things are still causing headaches for the jewie fisho but the odd hush-hushed rumblings have confirmed a 20kg jewfish and a few schoolies here and there.

On the rocks, drummer or, more correctly, rock blackfish, have been copious in both size and in numbers. Either side of the recent deluge that flooded other parts of the coast, a barrage of fat pigs to 4kg were captured and there were a few hard-luck stories. Rex Medbury lost an estimated 5kg-plus pig only centimetres from the gaff. Anything better than 10 pounds in the old money is definitely a trophy fish and for a drummer fiend like Rex, that’s a pretty tough loss.

The water temperature may have dropped but the vast numbers of slimy mackerel up and down the coast should still have some big predators lurking beneath. Kingfish in particular will still make sporadic but hard-to-predict appearances throughout Winter so make sure the just-in-case live bait figures somewhere into the game plan where possible. Squid are also prolific around weedy areas off the rocks, with South Broulee being a good choice. They taste pretty good but I think I’d rather try and turn them into even tastier meals of pan-fried snapper or jewie fillets!

Estuary freak

Fellow fishing club member Paul Rixon and Goulburn-based trout guide Mark Bowles witnessed local netter Rob McCloskey haul up a whopping mangrove jack, estimated at 4kg, near Big Island, as well as a small tarpon (said without a hint of a soapbox!). What the hell is going on? Winter is here and the tropical freaks just keep showing up!

A customer came into my takeaway the other day and swears black and blue that he caught a 2.5kg golden trevally off Brush Island on a handline while catching slimies. He promises to drop me a photo. I threw out the book of rules years ago and these incidents simply justify my move.

Murray Cooper has had several unexplained incidents in the past, along the same Big Island stretch. Hard-bodied bream minnows fished off a heavy ‘come-here’ Calcutta oyster-rack outfit, returning with both trebles (all six hooks!) straightened out. Could a red devil be responsible? I’ll leave you to stew on that one!


1 -

Trish Hudson with a run-of-the-mill kilo tailor. Expect plenty more of these, and bigger, this month.

2 -

Dean Heycox with a trio of South Coast snapper, the best going just shy of 8kg. A great catch considering he was back home before 9am!

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