A changing of the guard
  |  First Published: April 2008

There’s a changing of the guard at this time of year with fluctuating water temps and variable weather meaning a variety of species will be on the move.

You can expect to see slightly decreasing marlin numbers as the water cools although high water temps this season may mean a late run.

As the water cools marlin are replaced by tuna with yellowfin, albacore, stripies and sometimes big-eyes starting to feature in captures.

Trolling lures out over the continental shelf is the best way to find them. Skirted, bibless and bibbed lures cover all options until you find what works on the day.

If the fish are concentrated, a berley trail with baits of cubes or live bait may produce although I suspect this will be better in the months ahead.

Around Montague Island, kingfish are generally larger now and can be seen busting on the surface as they chase schools of sauries. Trolling live slimy mackerel will quite often produce a strike.

For lots more fun, grab a solid spin stick and rip a popper across the surface for explosive results. Bonito are often mixed with the kings and at times may be even more ferocious.


Snapper are increasing in numbers around most reefs, especially those south of Bermagui down to Goalen Head. The wider ones like the Twelve Mile are definitely worth a look.

There is also plenty of variety on the reefs in the form of blue and jackass morwong, nannygai, wrasse and nice tiger flathead while ocean perch will feature out wider.

In close, snapper are being targeted on light spin gear with good results with kingfish and the odd bonito to provide plenty of action.

The estuaries have also changed with cooler water in the upper reaches forcing many species to the lower sections where warm water is brought in on the tide. Some of these species may even be starting to migrate and will be hungry to put on condition before leaving the estuary. This is happening to a host of species like flathead, flounder, whiting and especially bream and blackfish.

Nippers and worms will account for most species with weed working for the luderick. Try using striped tuna for berley and bait for some exceptional bream along with flathead, trevally, garfish and some good salmon if they are around the entrances. The incoming tide when the warmer water first hits is best.

On the beaches salmon are dominating most bags but there are also good numbers of bream, whiting and on the moon some very nice gummy sharks.

On the rocks there is plenty of action for those tossing lures, who are catching frigate mackerel, bonito. salmon, tailor and the odd kingfish. In the evening as the shadows creep over the water, drummer are on the chew.

Brogo Dam is starting to cool, slowing the bass activity. On the good days fish are still feeding freely, providing good sport. Trolling is one good option as it keeps the lure in the strike zone although bait may fare a little better with the changeable weather.


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