THE BIG CHILL has certainly clicked in with morning frosts the norm for early risers although the days have been rippers.
Fishing has been indifferent with many Winter species still not in numbers normally experienced at this time of year. Varying theories have being bandied about, with unusually high water temps perhaps one cause for the late showing of many species. But, thinking back, I remember similar years when Winter species were late arriving or just failed to show, totally bypassing the area.
Around the stones a few good fish are on the prowl with anglers managing to knock out a feed from most local ledges.
Tailor are cruising the local headlands. There is nothing better than an early-morning session on tailor: As first light breaks you rip in that first cast and then get a solid hit as a nice greenback takes the bait. A dogged fight, littered with a number of acrobatic leaps until the subdued fish is yours, certainly make it worthwhile.
Bream have certainly been a little slow with numbers slightly down on what is expected at this time of year. Not to despair, as a little old-fashioned patience should see you knocking over a feed. The next few weeks should hopefully see a steady improvement in bream action with more travelling fish moving along our beaches and around headlands.
Drummer should start to make their annual presence felt. Last year’s season was a real fizzer and I can’t remember a worse year on these black powerhouses, but the signs are there for a better year with some anglers encountering fish already. Fishing for drummer is like hand-to-hand combat and a good session on pigs can definitely be an exhilarating experience.
Blackfish remain a little quiet with no two days producing similar results. Some spots are turning up fair numbers, though, with Limeburners Creek one area that seems to have a few fish on the chew.
The walls have not been producing as they should but I expect this to change within days. When they finally turn up in numbers it will be standing room only as blackfish anglers come out of the woodwork.
Keen anglers willing to brave the cold are rolling some nice bream at night. Oyster lease areas have been the go with the racks harbouring some good fish.
Freshly-pumped yabbies are the gun bait with bream sucking them in greedily. Bream give a good account of themselves around the leases, gaining their freedom on the oyster clad racks quite often.
When fishing these areas, take care not to damage anything as it is someone’s livelihood you are playing with. A little respect keeps lease owners on side.
Flathead remain a fairly good option in lower parts of the system. Rubber tailed jigs of all types are the go, although with the array available it gets very hard to choose which wiggly plastic to purchase. One good thing is they all work; just some better than others.
This time of year always produces prime bottom-fishing action offshore with a number of species available. That pesky current that surges from the north has backed right off during Winter, enabling anglers to get to the bottom without the aid of a house brick – certainly a much better working scenario.
I had a chat with John Bolton of Ocean Star Fishing Charters the other day. He informed me that catches had been fairly reasonable. Some good pearl perch, snapper and the odd samson have been about but, if all else fails, rig with wire and target the leatherjackets which are in plague proportions at the moment.
The close reefs are also producing some good action with tailor, bream, some good reds and a drummer or two providing plenty of entertainment for boaties.
Close reefs to the south of Port are producing some great snapper. Hard nosed snapper fishos always remain tight-lipped on the exact location of their captures and who can blame them, with hours spent on tracking down the mighty red.Reads: 519