July is one of my favourite months to target bream in the shallows at night. I know I sound like a broken record, but head down to the southern end of the lake and you will be rewarded. As I said, night time is the best time to target them and baits of choice are mullet, mullet gut, stripey fillets and the like. Fish in shallow water with little or no lead and you can’t go wrong.
This is the time Johnny Frith and I drool as we can hit 13.9C water temp at our local boat ramp and head 20-30minutes down south and we are fishing in a warm and toasty 23-26C. It only makes sense as in the colder water, most fish ‘shut down’ as the cooler water slows their metabolism and they are more lethargic and don’t feed as vigorously. In the warmer water the opposite happens and they are always looking for a meal and hence are ‘on the move’ so you will eventually find them.
Try fishing for half and hour to forty five minutes and if you have no joy, then move on a bit further. Once you do find spots and are getting fish regularly, then don’t keep going back to the same spots as you will just flog them to death and wonder why after a while you aren’t getting the fish that you once were. There are enough spots down there to fish that you don’t need to fish the same spot in one season.
Further up towards our end of the lake there is still some good fishing to be had for those that put the hard yards in. There will be some big winter flathead about and they can be found around the channel, the southern side of Salts Bay and out towards Wangi and Coil Point.
A few of you will get yourselves a decent fish when trolling for tailor. Big flatties are known to take lures meant for tailor so don’t think a big lure won’t get them, because they do. For those using soft plastics, then the Gulp 5” Jerk Shads in Bonejack, Sweet and Sour Chicken and the old favourite of many, the Nuclear Chicken are the ones to use.
The Shimano Pro Range Squidgies in the larger Wrigglers are also worth a shot.
If you have no luck on the flatties, then tailor are definitely worth while trying for. The Southern side of Pulbah, Wangi, Coil Point and near the drop-over are likely hunting grounds. You can try trolling deep divers or if the bait is ‘up top’, then the good old white feather jigs are a proven lure. The Smiths jigs have been popular this season as well.
If you don’t have deep divers and don’t want to fork out for some, then use the mid range lures, but work them down deep with a paravane, as they are a cheaper option. If you see bait working on the surface, then don’t scream over to them as you will be likely to spook them down and with them will go the tailor. Position yourself inline with them, cut the motor and get a few small chromies ready to cast to the school when they arrive.
The lake has been firing these last few months with many boats getting jewies regularly on outings. Fresh squid are the best baits or use strip bait such as mullet fillets and even the humble pilchard has caught a few. Wangi, the Trench at Valentine and even the drop over has a few on the turn of the tide. Most fish have been 3 to 8kg with more than a few over the 10kg mark.
Chris “Macca” won’t be making the same mistake again as he has recently by fishing with a couple of bream rods thinking that the jew were only small, only to get ‘smoked’ by some very big fish. He had one close to 20kg at the boat recently three times over 45 minutes, only to have the leader broken as he had a final net shot.
The winter whiting are about with the sand islands and Blackies beach the spots to try. Use beach worms at Blackies and either blood or tube worms in the lake. They are prolific, but if you persist, then you could be rewarded well. The same spots are a go for bream as well. There will be travelers about with some large fish amongst them.
Everything seems to have happened about a month later than usual this year. I don’t know if it is because we actually had a summer and now a winter, but the salmon have turned up later than usual. They aren’t for everyone, but they can be a lot of fun on light gear. Small chromies are worth a try as too some of the smaller soft plastics. The Gulp 3” Boji Blue comes to mind. Otherwise a pilchard is a good bait to use.
Off the rocks Catho and Blackies breakwall are places to try, and for those with a boat, you could try around Moon Island and inside at Salts Bay if you don’t want to venture too far. You will have a chance at some trevally here also.
Luderick and drummer will be around at the moment with Lucy’s breakwall the pick for luderick and down towards Catho and up towards Redhead the better spots for those chasing drummer. Berley well for the drummer and use Hawkesbury prawns and you can’t go wrong.
For those heading outside (if the weather permits) then the Southern Farm and Texas could have amberjack and gemfish as well as some good sized snapper and pearl perch. In closer there are some good squire about near Catho but unfortunately, the jackets will be around also. You could also try for some rat kingies that are around Catho, or head back towards the island and try for them there. Again, they are great fun on light gear. If at the island, then try for a squid or two, as there are some good green eye squid about. For those wanting to go towards the shelf, then yellowfin will be there, it is just a matter of finding them. Hopefully weather conditions will make life easy for you so that you can head out AND come back safely.
Well July is a cold month and it can sometimes make life uncomfortable but for those that persist and put the time in, there are fish to be had.Reads: 1136