Hoping for warm water
  |  First Published: December 2003

BOXING day is when things go ballistic around here with holiday crowds but things in the meantime should be pretty good for a fish

Offshore, albacore should start to show up this month, along with yellowfin tuna and possibly marlin, going on previous years. Naturally, that all depends on the warm currents doing the right thing by everyone. The continental shelf area due east of Merimbula is a good place to start, with the Tathra Canyons definitely worth a look.

Kingfish could be a strong possibility around the headlands if last year is anything to go by. The reef off Morwarry Rock, just south of Eden on the stretch towards Green Cape, had kings laid on thick there last December. Those jigging metal Shiner lures with a piece of squid on a single hook at the top of the lure did the best. The kingies would sit on the bottom like schooled bass and occasionally a few would surge up to the surface, where they were even taking poppers at one stage.

Off the rocks it would definitely be worth a go for big silver drummer and silver trevally in the washes. I’ve been diving for abalone lately – it’s my job – and I’ve been seeing some really big models of both species ghosting around in the whitewater. Best way to get in on the action is to float out a lump of cunjevoi under a bobby cork, wine cork or piece of polystyrene foam. While the trevally are OK to eat, the silver drummer really aren’t so you should just enjoy the sport they provide and send them back for next time.

You should also get salmon bobbycorking the washes and you should always have a metal slug, Shiner or other casting lure on standby for passing schools of salmon. Best spots to try are the rocks at Haycock Point or the top of Long Point at Merimbula. Always check sea conditions first before venturing out onto the platforms – no fish is worth drowning over! Another good spot to try throwing a lure would be between the wharf and Bar beach, which produces quality tailor and salmon quite regularly.

In the lake, the whiting should be really starting to make their presence felt. Those one-armed bandits, the yabbies, or, especially, squirt worms, are the best baits. Gather only what you think you might need immediately and leave the rest of the bait where it lives for another day, so there’s some left when you come back next time.

Some people like running water for whiting but I prefer slack water, particularly at dead low, probably because I use such a light sinker and can get a nice light bait just floating around to appeal to a hungry whiting. Night is the best time to target real stud whiting and now that the weather has warmed up, it’s no chore to be out there on a balmy evening.

The Top Lake will have plenty of tailor and flathead and the mulloway will be well and truly travelling in and out of the system by this time. Mulloway may require a lot of patience and skill but they’re well and truly worth it when you get that big run.

Best baits for local mulloway are fresh squid, live tailor (minimum size 30cm) or you could even try throwing large soft plastic lures. There are plenty of plastics to choose from at Blue Water Sports and they’ll point you in the right direction.

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