Pigs at their prime
  |  First Published: August 2009

‘Pigs’ – rock blackfish or black drummer – have been around all Winter and they are just getting bigger, with hogs of over 4kg now regular visitors.

Don’t expect to stop them all because they are tough customers that take a lot of muscle and a bit of luck.

While the run of pigs isn’t like last year’s in numbers, the quality is certainly an improvement and they are a whole lot of fun, too.

Reports of big pigs have been surfacing from Blackhead to Seal Rocks and there are plenty of spots in between to get in on the action.

That said, it is worth having a couple of spots in mind to chase the pigs just in case the first one doesn’t fire.

And with the ban on using abalone gut in mind, your best bait choices are fresh green prawns or fresh bread.

Word is that there are big tailor still hunting the washes and beach gutters, along with thinning schools of bream.

Salmon are always a likely Winter/Spring catch while soaking baits off the beach or spinning the rocky fringes and some fish are marking 5kg and putting up a great fight – shame about their eating quality.

At the backs of the beaches and rock washes you can expect a few silver trevally up to a kilo or so at this time of year.

They do love soft plastics and on light tackle they are a great way to spend a late afternoon or early morning.

Along with the trevally you may encounter the odd dart and even a flathead or two.


Offshore, for those who don’t mind the run out toward the continental shelf, the lure of yellowfin tuna may be enough.

Those keen to travel less won’t mind some of the big snapper that are hanging around the closer inshore reefs.

The closer options will also provide a feed of flathead and the seemingly ever-present leatherjackets. Other species that will help to fill the fish box are pearl perch, teraglin and tailor.


Fishing in the lake has been up and down with some huge blackfish around the lower oyster leases and weed flats and some monster flathead just hanging around in the shallow water.

The big flathead are a difficult targets at this time of the year; seeing them is easy but getting them to take a bait or lure is the hard part.

Drifting over the shallow water while bream fishing or moving spots, we’re seeing flathead sunbaking on top of the weed and sand.

Some of the fish I have seen in the past month have been well over a metre and bouncing lures on their heads has no effect other than to irritate them sufficiently to move on.

They do have to eat, so hooking one is only a matter of time for the persistent angler willing to do the hours necessary.

For consistent results on the flathead you are better off to fish around the shallow areas of the river mouths further up the Coolongolook area.

The bream have been somewhat difficult in the past month.

There are plenty but the bite on lures can be frustrating and better results can be had with baits in the low light periods.

Moose from Barclay Marine managed to land a good 2kg bream from the leases on a lure a while back and I’m told he was a very happy angler.

The Paddock always produces some quality bream, as does the bridge on the turn of the tides.

Further in the lake, around the Step, quality tailor are still available. Showers of baitfish on the surface are a dead giveaway for the tailor and often quality bream will be close by the action, or under it, so keep your options open.

I’ve had no great reports from the wall, though it should be fishing well with the numbers of blackfish and bream coming back into the lake from inshore.

The jew hopefuls are always dotted along the seawalls and results are patchy but encouraging enough for the anglers to return.

At the bottom of the tide I saw two blokes spinning from the point of the Forster side wall and they were having a ball with tailor and salmon belting their lures.

The coming months will improve and as we settle into the Spring cycle and the lead-up to Summer, the lake fishing will only get better.

The flathead numbers will increase, as will the bream and other species like whiting as they get ready to spawn.

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