Lizards liven up
  |  First Published: November 2005

Now that the weather is warming ,the fishing shouldn’t be too shabby at all.

I’d put money on some nice flathead being about in the Shoalhaven River and also down in St Georges Basin. They’ve probably been around for a few weeks now with some big females out there breeding and hopefully making more baby flathead for the future.

I shouldn’t have to say this but those big flathead really need to be released because they are so important for future generations of flathead and also future generations of anglers.

There is no excuse these days for keeping any flathead over 70cm. They don’t taste anywhere near as good as the smaller fish and any responsible angler should understand how vital it is that all the big ones get put back.

Another species worth chasing at the moment is the reliable old blackfish.

They’ve been pretty quiet over the past few months but now that the water is warming up they’ll be about in droves along the rock ledges.

Look for any platform with a bit of wash or near some shallow water in the form of a bommie. If you have a look in the foam or any scum floating up on top you’re likely to see blackfish.

You can fish with a float or a bobby cork but fish as shallow as you can if the blackfish are up on top. If you can’t see them on top, try fishing about two to three metres deep and concentrate on the wash area and white water.

Try sea lettuce (cabbage) for bait but if the fish are on top they’ll usually grab a bread bait and even respond to a little bread berley.

Last month saw quite a few striped tuna about in close around Currarong and Jervis Bay so hopefully there’ll be a few still hanging around. Fish to 5kg and even 6kg were taken on trolled and cast lures.

These fish provide some great fun on light threadline tackle. They were feeding on pilchards which had travelled down with some warm water so trolling and casting lures around 100mm long worked fine.

We’ve taken them on small Christmas trees in years past but these days we have more consistent success with Rapala CD11s in the grey/silver body with a red head.

These lures are very close in size, colour and action to a pilchard and the stripies just love ’em.


The Shoalhaven has featured on a number of TV fishing shows over the years. Several years ago the team from Rex Hunt’s show travelled up from Melbourne and spent almost a week fishing and filming on Jervis Bay and the Shoalhaven River. Rex had met my young bloke, Andrew, at a tackle show and thought he was photogenic enough to go on TV so young Andrew got his half-hour of fame at age 11. I’m told some of those old Rex Hunt episodes still air on pay television regularly.

Of course Rex has retired now but another fishing identity recently visited the area to shoot a show. Rob Paxevanos is based in Canberra and has shot several of his WIN TV Fishing Australia shows on the South Coast around Batemans Bay.

I got wind of Rob’s pending visit when he contacted a couple of local anglers with the intention of chasing some reds and jewies on soft plastics. There’s a growing band of local anglers earning quite a reputation by catching some very nice fish on plastics. Last season they took jewies over 20kg in the Shoalhaven River and this year they’ve accounted for some very healthy reds in Jervis Bay.

Most of these guys are young, enthusiastic and with a lot more time than most of us so they fish every chance they get. Their results speak for themselves.

Rob Paxevanos heard about their exploits and decided it was worth dedicating an episode to them. It didn’t take my young bloke and his mates long to find Rob – fishing from Greenwell Point wharf was a mistake if he didn’t want to be noticed.

Andrew rang and asked if I’d like to come down and meet Rob and like most TV personalities I’ve met, he is a lovely bloke and quite passionate about his fishing. We had a good old chat.

I was away with work a couple of days later when Andrew called to ask if he could have a day off school to go fishing with Rob. I smelled a rat straight away but apparently a couple of the guys who were supposed to be fishing with Rob had come down crook so he was looking for a crew to fish the rocks.

Andrew and his mate, Jeff Smith, fished with Rob and even caught a few blackfish and drummer south of Jervis Bay. So once again Andrew got his head on TV. Talk about leading a charmed life and always landing on your feet!

Rob also fished with John Nolan from McCallum’s Tackle Shop and they got a few reds on plastics in Jervis Bay.


Rob Paxevanos fishing from Greenwell Point wharf. His Fishing Australia show on WIN TV was very well received locally after he visited the area recently.

October saw quite a few striped tuna about in close to Currarong and the entrance to Jervis Bay and there should be more about this month.

The next few weeks will see some serious gamefishing get into gear. The yellowfin and sharks are already here and the black and striped marlin will arrive in January. Now’s the time to be doing some tackle maintenance if you plan on getting into the action.

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