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A breath of fresh air
  |  First Published: October 2005



October down this way is when things start to warm up and the fishing should definitely be on the improve at the moment.

After the past few months, which are traditionally pretty quiet, Spring is a breath of fresh air, to say the least. The next month or two will see several options open up as a few fish start to move and get hungry.

Most of the action revolves around water and air temperatures picking up as the warmer weather, nor’-east winds and water currents from up north all descend on us and October is when it all starts.

Of course, it isn’t all pelagics and flathead – some of the bread-and-butter species also start to make an appearance.

The past few months have seen some very nice drummer and blackfish being taken from the rocks north and south of Jervis Bay and it will only get better. August and September are usually pretty dead when it comes to these two species but this year there were quite a few about, in contrast to Summer and Autumn when the blackfish were fairly quiet when they should have been in numbers.

Locations that usually have a very reliable supply of blackfish were virtual deserts for some reason and many of the locals blackfish specialists were scratching their heads and looking for answers – and a feed of blackfish. No one I’ve spoken to has come up with anything resembling an answer as to why they were scarce in autumn and why they have been around over the past few months, but I’m not complaining.

The local drummer have been fairly prolific recently with some nice fish to 3kg quite regular catches. Most of the platforms north and south of JB have been firing but the best locations are areas that are shallow with a lot of broken reef and some whitewater about.

Berley up the whitewater with a bit of wet bread and some rock cabbage and then fish with baits of royal red prawns, cunje or abalone gut.

The old drummer is one hell of a fighter and I haven’t hooked one yet that didn’t try and do me over some reef or go down deep.

They are also one of the finest eating fish about with lovely white flesh that is so sweet and moist. Make sure you fillet and skin them and get the rib cage bones out. Then shallow-fry the fillets in egg and breadcrumbs or just brush them over with some soy sauce and put them under the griller for a low-fat alternative.

There should also be a few kings starting to move around the next full moon in the middle of this month. In close along the rocks is worth a fish with live slimies or squid but so is The Banks or The Mud out wider.

Jervis Bay also produces some nice kings about this time every year so check out Long Nose Point or even in under the lighthouse. Fishing these areas with down rigged slimy mackerel or live squid is the go and make sure you’re fishing at least 24kg stand-up tackle with serious drag settings.

PRIME REDS

October down this way is prime reddie time and some nice fish have been on for the past month or so. After many years of promoting anchoring, berleying and fishing floaters, we’ve taken some reds recently by drifting with bottom baits (yes, bottom plonking) and even fishing lightly-weighted floaters from a drifting boat.

The trick to fishing floaters from a drifting boat is to try it in very calm conditions and in a very gentle current. Any wind or current will have the boat moving too quickly and you are much better off fishing heavier leads to get the baits down.

With very little boat movement, we feed down floaters with small ball sinkers straight on top of the hook. We’re still playing around with this technique but so far we’ve found it quite successful and much more effective than heavily weighted baits.

We’ve been fishing Mustad light gauge circle hooks recently and I’ve been very impressed with the hook-up ratio. The model is 39951NPBLN in sizes 4/0 and 5/0.

Some solid reds are also being taken on lures now with a couple of areas in Jervis Bay and in close to the rocks producing the best results.

The best locations over the past few months have been within spitting distance of the rocks. It doesn’t seem to matter whether it’s close to a bommie or in tight against the rocks.

Most of the fish have been falling to 150mm plastics in various styles and colours. Just make sure you work them slowly and keep them down deep if possible.

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