Fish on the move
  |  First Published: August 2005

With all the rain this Winter, all sorts of fish should be running by this.

The mullet should be on the move, followed closely by big jewfish fed up with the fresh in the river.

Bream and blackfish are never far behind and salmon and tailor should be patrolling the beaches and headlands at the change of light.

Despite the fish on the move this, time of year generally isn’t the best to go fishing. The water is usually clear and calm and the westerly wind blowing flat out all day drives even the heartiest angler from the water to the warm fireside.

But if you’re keen enough to brave the weather, there are still some fish to be had.

Although jewfish are thought of as Summer species around here, big fish can still be caught year-round. They hunt mullet as they run up the coast to spawn.

It can be cold fishing of an evening but find a nice sandy hole within casting distance from the rocks and hold on.

The beach is also a great place to try at this time of year for the mighty jewie. Tackle includes a heavier than average beach rod and a quality overhead reel or Alvey and enough rum to see you through til about midnight!

One tip when fishing for jewfish is leave the tip of the hook point exposed. Jewfish have an enormous mouth and I use 7/0 or 8/0 hooks, either 540 pattern or suicide work sharpened with a file.

People have argued for years about how long you should let a jewfish run before you set the hook and after many nights trying different techniques, I reckon the best way is to strike as soon as the rattle of the bite stops and the weight comes on the line.

What jewfish do to a dead bait is to pick at it first, very gently, and then engulf it. The moment the mouth closes is the time to strike because they can spit the bait out just as quickly as they can inhale it if they sense something is amiss.

Bream have been on the move with some good quality fish being caught on the beach as well as The Boulders just inside the port.

Fish on the beach when the ocean is a bit calmer and when the sea bumps up a bit, it’s well worth the drive around to The Boulders because the fish seem to sit in there out of the rough.


Locals have reported nearly being able to walk on the bream they’re so thick some evenings. And if you get sick of catching bream, try for a jew – they’re never too far from the Port and one might have your name on it.

Blackfish are all along the rocks with the local guns hitting them every chance they get.

Green weed holes are usually closely-guarded secrets but you can pick up some bait at Duffy’s tackle store at Salamander Bay. In the Winter it isn’t unusual for Duff to carry two, if not three, types of green weed.

The breakwall is also a good option, especially if you’re not confident on the ocean rocks. If you’re new to the sport there’s always someone hanging around these areas who will be eager to show you the ropes.

Remember, there’s only one way to catch blackfish – and that’s their way!

Salmon and tailor have been working the bait schools right along the coastline.

This time of year thousands get caught on the beach, falling to pilchards laced with ganged hooks, but I like to get up early with a light spin stick and walk the headlands chucking small metals. It breaks up the otherwise boredom of Winter fishing and gets you out on the water before the wind starts to blow – sometimes!


Salmon have been patrolling the beachES for a feed. This one fell to a Squidgy soft plastic cast into a gutter.


Renowned local blackfish angler Jack Wilson likes to berley with the weed cut up and mixed with wet sand and he gets the results to prove his method.

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