Despite the reports in the paper saying the fishing is dead quiet, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The front lake has been very productive with the Scallop Wharf being the best option.
Massive schools of trevally and tailor have moved in and feed on scraps being washed off the decks of the boats. While most fish have been around the 35cm mark, there have been a few exceptions to brag about. I watched one morning as an angler struggled to subdue a massive tailor on bream gear. After a series of long runs, head shaking jumps and a large gathering crowd, the angler finally managed to land his thumping 10lb tailor. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get any photos but I was glad I got to see the fish and a very excited angler. It was taken on a pilchard fillet fished under a float, which is the main method being used for the trevally. Small metal lures and soft plastics have accounted for plenty of fish also.
Further along at Bullock Island there have been good numbers of Australian salmon and tailor hammering the whitebait and can easily be seen on calm days churning the surface to foam. If you’re fishing land-based, try throwing pilchard fillets, whitebait or bluebait on a 1/0 hook about 1m under a bobby cork float and let it drift in the current. Try also throwing minnow style plastics on a 1/8th jig head. If fishing from a boat, follow the schools around and cast plastics or small metal lures into the mayhem. If you’re really keen grab the fly rod and have some fun. Any small baitfish pattern will work well.
There have been isolated reports of whiting taken further up the lake towards Nyerimilang but there is lots of waiting between bites. While soaking a bait for a whiting it often pays to throw a soft plastic around for a few flatties, as there are still plenty around, although now the water has cooled off you'll have to fish much slower for these fish. Try slowly dragging a 3'' DOA shrimp along the bottom as slowly as possible and be patient.
It is also this time of year that the luderick start their migration and move into the front lake. The fish are generally not as big but still great fun and much safer to fish for from the jetties, especially if you have kids with you. Fishing a slack line with some shrimp will not only account for luderick, but will also see bream, trevally, mullet, tailor, salmon and any other number of species which adds variety to the bag. Just remember though to take only what you need and let the rest go.
Lake Tyers has been the exact opposite with only minimal reports at hand. In fact the only good thing I've had at lake Tyers recently is the prawns. For those of you who are crazy enough (I fall into this category) to still be wading in shorts chasing prawns in winter the results are there and they are thumpers.
From what I've been told the flathead have moved up the system and are being taken on live baits such as prawn and live garfish, and sadly that’s about all I've heard in recent times but lets hope it improves soon.
The surf fishing has been nothing short of phenomenal, as massive schools of salmon and tailor move up the beach into the gutters to feed. While not huge, there have been a few around the 2kg mark, with most around 800grams to about 1.5kg. Try spinning with metal lures on light spin rods for the best fun. This way you don’t have to worry about bait. Just grab a backpack, a handful of Lazer lures and walk along spinning the deeper holes. At night a few gummies have been taken on squid legs and fresh salmon fillets, so definitely worth having a go.
Offshore the snapper are still going mental and bags limits are easily being taken on pilchards and squid. There have been a few barracouta around making a menace of themselves. The mako sharks have all but vanished although there are still plenty of other toothy critters worth chasing. In close there has been good numbers of gummies up to 5ft, which is a ripper gummy in anyone’s language. Plenty of flathead have also been caught drifting in 40-70’ of water. Squid have been taken on the snapper grounds too, and often latch themselves onto the prized reds as they are being wound in. In this situation, keep a squid jig handy and when the squid is spotted, drop the jig and hang on!Reads: 831