Shelf yellowfin rock
  |  First Published: July 2005

The fishing off the continental shelf at Eden has been great with yellowfin tuna to 70kg and plenty of school fish between 8kg and 10kg.

As usual for this time of year, the best method has been cubing. While cubing chunks of pilchard or striped tuna, a live slimy mackerel or yellowtail swimming around can also come up trumps.

One angler came up trumps on a black marlin estimated at 400kg which took a liking to a live slimy but on 15kg tackle, the outcome was predictable and the fish is probably somewhere off Coffs Harbour by now.

Bonito never really put in an appearance this far south this year although some fish were reported further north.

Kingfish are still being caught around North head and South Head but with the cold water pushing its way up the coast, these fish will soon be gone.

The inshore reefs have been fishing well for snapper with plenty of fish to 2kg and the odd fish to 3kg. What they lack in size they make up for in numbers. With some big sand flathead also around, with a bit of effort there is a good feed out there for the taking.

The beaches and headlands have big schools of salmon roaming backwards and forwards and some big tailor are also being caught.

The estuary fishing is starting to slow right up with the odd flathead and bream being caught and silver trevally and big tailor also putting in welcome appearances.

With the cold days and cold, clear water, many local estuary anglers are packing up the gear and waiting for warmer times. But the keener anglers are travelling a little farther afield and are often surprised to find some great estuary fishing not far from home.

I find this the best time of year to be fishing for bream – mainly black bream – but some of the estuaries will surprise you with great catches of yellowfin bream. Over the past fortnight I have had some great fishing with my biggest bream for the season falling to a green Firebait Longtail Minnow. It was just a shade under 2kg.

The best fish I have seen this season was a whopping 2.7kg, caught on a prawn on 7kg line.

So the rewards can be there for those wishing to explore. It’s worth noting that an early start often puts you on the water at the coldest time of day, while the afternoon often fishes a lot better with the water and the air a few degrees warmer.

The fishing at Lake Wonboyn has been pretty tough, which is normal for this time of year. Clear, cold water in the lake and the river makes for spooky fish. Some good tailor to 2kg have been caught in the lake early mornings and late afternoons.

The beaches and headlands in Disaster Bay have been providing the best fishing with heaps of salmon to 3kg caught on lures and pilchards.

The author caught this black bream, just a fraction under 2kg, on a green Firebait Longtail Minnow.

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