Rocks and reefs productive
  |  First Published: September 2005

The action off the rocks and over the inshore reefs has been excellent with great catches of morwong, leatherjackets, drummer and snapper.

Some locals report this as the best snapper run in the past 20 years with reds around 2kg to 3kg common and bigger fish to 6kg and more. Fish this big really liven things up.

Anchoring and laying out a berley trail is the best method and anglers have commonly watched the snapper take their unweighted baits at the back of their boats.

I can see no reason why this quality fishing will not continue for some time yet because there are still plenty of cuttlefish around and that’s what the snapper are dining on.

The odd kingfish has been caught with some boats managing to catch three or four fish, much to other anglers’ surprise.

The recent rain has probably helped stir up things for the snapper but the same can’t be said for the local rivers. They are just starting to clear and all reports indicate slower fishing since the rain. A few black bream have been caught, with nippers and sandworms the reliable baits.

The rivers will ultimately benefit from the winter rains and my prediction is for everything to fire up this spring.

The beaches have been fishing slowly with the usual good run of winter salmon proving a bit scarce at present.

Wonboyn received around 100mm of rain in early July and as with other estuaries in the area, this lowered the water temperature considerably and also dropped the salinity virtually overnight. The result has been very few fish caught and with few people out there fishing it’s not surprising there is little to report from down that way, apart from a few salmon and tailor from the local beaches.


Some of the recaptures of black bream tagged in three local estuary systems have produced some interesting results.

Research into black bream has been carried out by DPI Fisheries and I have been a part of the tagging process since March 2004. A total of 850 fish have been tagged, 90% of which were caught on lures prior to tagging. Nineteen fish have been recaptured, four of which within two weeks of tagging. Eight more were recaptured in under 100 days.

Seven fish have been recaptured after 100 days at large with the longest period at liberty 377 days.

All of these fish have been recaptured on bait, 14 of which were recaptured within 500m of where they were tagged.

The longest distance from the tagging point for a recaptured fish was around 30km, in a different estuary system. This recapture occurred not long after good rain, probably indicating that the fish used the rainfall to leave one estuary and enter the other.

It’s still early days yet but I’m waiting to recapture a fish I have already tagged using a lure, as the only recapture I have made was with bait.

The black bream tagging program is already starting to yield some interesting results. Despite 90% of all fish being tagged after eating lures, all of the 19 recaptured fish have been caught on bait.

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