There's heaps happening, including jewies from the local beaches, pelagics along the beaches and inside JB, jewies in the Shoalhaven River and reds and kings outside.
April is a very good month for fishing down this way and just about everyone is coming home with a feed or tales of good fishing.
The water is starting to cool down and next month should see a few species start to move on and others turn up or increase in activity, so now's the time to be out there and having a go.
Between bouts of very hot weather and cool changes that had us digging out jumpers and doonas, the fishing hasn't been too shabby.
After what seemed like years, the marlin finally turned up and put on a good show in February and March. The Banks produced some nice blacks including a 129kg fish on 10kg line for a Shellharbour junior, an outstanding capture.
A few teams from Shoalhaven Gamefishing Club fished the Ulladulla Jess Sams Tournament at the end of January. The weather could have been a bit better but most boats fished the three days.
One of the highlights was the arrival of Little Audrey, which travelled all the way down from Sydney. A 23m custom-built Warren, this is one hell of a boat which just about dwarfed the entire fleet and the crew caught a couple of marlin while in the area.
Little Audrey does charter work from Lizard Island to Port Stephens and offers five-star, live-aboard comfort a long with being a very good fishing boat. Check it out at www.littleaudrey.com.au
But the boys on Shotgun, a 6m Nowra trailer boat, put in a pretty good performance. Shane ‘Nugget’ Croot, my son Andrew Finney, Adam Simons and Jeremy Hawkins are all between 19 and 21 years old and fished the tournament as hard as only those so young can.
They do a lot of shark fishing and carted a heap of bait and berley down to Ulladulla but on the first day they came across a big bait ball when they reached the shelf so they jigged up some slimies which they fished on 8kg and 24kg tackle.
After a quiet hour they decided it was time to go shark fishing but as the 8kg bait came into sight, so did a striped marlin which ate the bait in full view.
For his first marlin, Jeremy put in a very good effort pacing himself during the three-hour fight. Andrew took the trace and Nugget gaffed and by lunchtime on the first day they'd caught an 82kg striped marlin on 8kg, taking out Most Meritorious Capture with 15,082 points.
Saturday dawned a bit wild and only some of the bigger boats fished in what could be called ‘sporting conditions’ in which a few marlin were raised and tagged. The Shotgun crew took the tournament dinner pretty easy and the guys put in a big effort on the final day.
They found a bait ball at the shelf and several boats trolling lures or drifting with live baits. The guys put a bait out on top on 15kg and one down deep on 24kg and in 10 minutes the deep bait went off and Shane Croot grabbed the rod.
The circle hook found the corner of the fish’s mouth and Shane was hooked up to the biggest marlin he'd seen.
After two-and-a-half hours the fish was boatside and because of its size they decided to take it, knowing it would win heaviest marlin for the tournament. At 3pm that day it pulled the scales down to 159kg.
The boys came back to Nowra that night exhausted but very happy with their weekend’s work.
We recently enjoyed some fun in Jervis Bay on my boat Voodoo. With strong north-east winds tipped, we decided to fish inside the Bay for a marlin over near The Tubes.
About 8.30am we launched at the Murray's Beach ramp and motored out to the Middle Ground to jig some slimy mackerel for bait and had the sounder blacked out with rat kings.
We couldn't catch a slimy and with only a couple of light 3kg squid rods, we decided to have some fun on the kings.
We got blown away several times fishing 15g and 25g Snyper metal lures but daughter Rebecca landed a 66cm king after a 20-minute battle and I got one about the same.
It was mayhem for a few hours as we tried to stop those fish on light tackle but we had some fun.
We finished the day off with a few squid and a swim while anchored up out of the nor’-easter. We never got around to fishing for a marlin but we had a great time.
The following weekend blew southerly and prevented us heading wide again, so I got a few small jigs and some better tackle together and we had another assault on the JB kings.
With a couple of jig outfits loaded with 30lb and 40lb braid, we hit it early and spent a couple of hours fighting kings on mini-jigs from 50g to 100g with assist hooks.
The best fish we landed went 72cm but I got blown away by one king on 30lb and hooked another solid fish on 50lb braid over a Stella 10000.
That fish gave me a solid workout for several minutes before the hook pulled. I never saw it but a few kings were taken the previous week between 6kg and 8kg so it was probably in that range – not a bad fish on a jig inside Jervis Bay.
It certainly was great to see the Bay firing with some good kings.
The Shoalhaven boys and their 159kg black marlin taken in the Ulladulla Jess Sams Tournament – from left, Quikka, Jezza, Finney and Nugget.
Craig Owen with a mammoth squid taken on a Yamashita squid jig in Jervis Bay.
Rebecca Finney going hard while jigging kings in Jervis Bay.
Bec with a 75cm king on a jig from the Middle Ground.Reads: 2615