Predicting Productive Prawning
  |  First Published: September 2005

For the first time in many years the local abalone divers are making their way out to sea through the bar. Clear water is pushing its way back into the system revealing a channel, much to everyone’s delight.

The full benefit of the rain I mentioned last month will be felt over spring, summer and well into the future. Travelling fish such as jewies, yellowfin bream, whiting and snapper are benefiting with good access to the ocean.

This could also be the much-needed key to a good prawn run this summer. I’ll go out on a limb and predict a great prawning season one the way after a few slow years in the past.

With everything starting to settle, the fishing is picking up. The rain we experienced certainly muddied everything up and it became hard to find a few fish.

This drop off in fishing was apparent during a recent fishing trip to Mallacoota, while filming the TV show Fishing Australia. We saw one group of anglers fishing for a day and half without a fish, trying both the Gypsy Point and the Narrows area of the system with soft plastics.

The water was a nice green colour around the Narrows but still muddy around Gypsy Point. The key to catching fish on soft plastics in the Gypsy Point area for bream was the use of Firebait Red-Gum Longtail Minnows, fished very slowly close to the bottom. Hang on for fish between 800g and 1.3kg – they make for some great fishing! With this information passed on to the unsuccessful anglers, their luck changed and they enjoyed some great fishing for big bream.

For the flathead, the key was to find schools of baitfish on the sounder and fish slowly, keeping the lure on the bottom. The bait schools were scattered over a big area and were only small schools, making it necessary to keep moving if you wanted success.

The stand-up jighead made by Bassmaster is good for this style of fishing, giving the look of something edible with its head down in the mud and tail wagging above, just enticing the fish to have a go.

The rivers have been fishing well for bream with some big flathead also caught. Soft plastic anglers and bait fishermen have both taken their fair share of fish.

The salmon off the beaches have been slow with only small ones caught recently. Once the recent rain settles and the big seas calm down, things ought to improve on this front.

For those of you stuck at home or constrained by the weather, check out my new website at www.wildernessfishingtours.com

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