Worth grinding it out
  |  First Published: July 2009

Just like a good, old-fashioned rugby league match in the dead of Winter, the fishing is extremely tough.

Conditions may be more conducive to sitting at home and watching telly but those who get out to have a go may well grind out a good result.

Anglers in the know can generally tough out a feed of fish, no matter how poor the fishing can be.

Although August is the worst time along our coast, there are some options and places to try.

Find a vantage point on a headland where you can overlook beaches and merging rocky ledges. Often, where the rocks meet the beach, deep holes are scoured out by wave action and this is where fish like to feed.

Expect plenty of variety. You can fish here with any gear you choose, (I like a light 6’ spin rod with mono line) and a light ball sinker running to a No 1 circle hook will catch most fish that come along.

Cut baits like striped tuna, slimy mackerel or mullet will work, while softer baits like prawns, nippers, squid, cunjevoi or crab will also appeal.

Berley is a must, with striped tuna the best to bring the fish up close.

Bream are on the shortlist to take a cut bait, as are salmon, mullet and flathead while drummer, luderick, wrasse or groper may prefer the softer ones but can also be partial to a nice bit of tuna.

The wharf is a great place to visit for plenty of trevally. These cold-water species pull hard, taste fine and seem to be in reasonable numbers.

Mixed in are plenty of yellowtail, which make good bait for tailor at night, while using berley closer to the rocks will attract some lovely sea gars.


The Bega River is poised to open back up to the ocean, if it hasn’t already done so, with the river being so high it has pushed a lot of the fish downstream.

Since the nets have gone there are way more estuary perch in this system. Obviously they have bred well and at present there are good numbers around the bridge and many of the rocky outcrops. It’s closed season with a zero bag limit on EPs at the moment.

Most other common species are there including bream, flathead, luderick and even the odd jewfish, so you may need many casts before a result is achieved.

Tailor are an easier river option in Winter and with the system filling, these fish are concentrating down around the bridge in a range of sizes.

When the river opens they may well cut loose, feeding on what is pushed out by the reseeding water.

This is also a good time to fish the beach as many predators arrive at the entrance to feed on the rich food washed out. Expect plenty of tailor, jewfish, small sharks, salmon and bream.

Offshore options are limited but there are plenty of salmon close to shore which will take just about any small trolled lure. You might get lucky and pick up a stray kingfish.

Snapper are around on the reefs but not in great numbers. Plenty of moves may be required to find a few although there are some good morwong in between the reds.

Tiger flathead are starting to show in the usual areas.

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