Improvement at last
  |  First Published: December 2003

FORTUNATELY there’s a bit more fishing action to report on this month than last. Last month’s column was written in a severe state of depression and some readers may be surprised to know that I didn’t go out and slash my wrists after writing it.

Honestly, things were bloody dead and, even as I write this column, it isn’t all that much better. At least a few fish have shown up so here goes with me trying to talk it up and make it sound better than it really is.

Outside a few fish are starting to show with reds and flathead coming from most popular grounds. The backs of the beaches are fishing pretty well for flathead while The Mud and The Shallows are producing reds for those who put the time in. Laurie on Avalanche Charters and Cluey on Robert G have been coming back with happy customers so this is a good sign. There have also been a heap of salmon behind the beach breaks and fly and lure anglers have been catching and releasing as many fish as they like. It’s also good to see some of the local kids getting into chasing salmon with lures.

Out wider the water has started to warm with a 3° jump over a few days. The odd yellowfin has been taken and I’ve heard reports of a few early-season marlin sighted. Some nice sharks have been taken, mostly makos, and kingfish are taking livebaits and jigs at The Banks and The Block, along with a few fish from Currarong Bommie.

The estuaries have been firing for a few months with some nice flathead and the odd jew falling to soft plastics. The Shoalhaven River and St Georges Basin are producing fish although it is upsetting to still see some anglers making sure they get their bag limits and take home as many flathead fillets as they possibly can rather than just taking enough for their immediate needs.

I recently heard a story of one angler who even caught more than his bag limit because his fishing partner was dragging the chain and they knew they wouldn’t get fined if an inspector asked for a look at their combined catch. The sooner Fisheries gets serious and brings in some limits to prevent this kind of abuse the better. These anglers have no respect for a resource they are quick to abuse so stiffer bag limits and fines seem the only way to curb this kind of behaviour.

I’ve just got back from a quick morning session in the river chasing flathead with the kids. We headed up to the ferry and spent a few hours fishing plastics on light tackle. We brought home half a dozen lizards to 50cm for a feed and caught and released an 82cm fish in water just over a metre deep. I was on that fish for 10 minutes after it ate a 100mm Squidgy Fish in silver fox colour that the old girl inhaled right to the back of the gills. Young Andrew had to gently get his whole hand down her throat to get it back before we released her.

I don’t normally chase bass but quite a few enthusiasts have been telling me of nice fish coming from most of the popular creeks. A workmate has been catching some big fish in a nearby and I might just have to join him.

On the rocks, things are slowly picking up with blackfish finally moving out of the estuaries. On the subject of blackfish and bag limits, some anglers abusing our fish stocks – I was recently told of a Currarong angler who caught three or four times his bag limit of blackfish several months ago. That was bad enough but he sold them, which in my book is as low as it gets. Abusing our fish stocks and regulations is bad enough but doing it for money? Apparently it’s not the first time he’s done it and if I get another verified report I’ll have no problem giving all the details to Fisheries and pushing for something to be done about it.



Some nice lizards are taking soft plastics. This 70cm fish came from the Shoalhaven River.


Roger Morley nets a salmon out the back of Shoalhaven Heads beach.

Finney field testing the Loomis DSR822 S on a stubborn salmon. Just check the curve of this sweet little spin stick !


Rebecca and Elspeth Finney doing a spot of close-in trolling on Jervis Bay.

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