Rewards for those who rug up
  |  First Published: July 2008

The fishing might be a little ordinary but in these challenging times anglers who work at it will come home with some nice rewards.

Offshore, the game fishing can be hit-and-miss but for those who rug up can be rewarded with tuna – albacore, big-eye and the odd yellowfin would all be on the shortlist but the main targets are those hard-pulling southern bluefin.

Bluefin frequent our part of the world at this time of year and the best way to find them is with lures. A wide variety of lures work, from skirted marlin styles to deep-diving and bibless lures.

Where you find the bluefin also varies. Over the years I have seen them so close to shore you could almost hit them with lures cast from the rocks. These were mostly small fish, with the larger fish generally out towards and beyond the continental shelf.

Southern bluefin often respond to berley trails of cubes and live baits, resulting in spectacular visual fishing as they barge their way through the slick.

Expect sharks wherever you find tuna – makos and blues at this time of year, so make sure you have a rig handy.

Sometimes we can have some exceptional July weather when those big highs move across. The days may start crisp but warm to extremely calm conditions, allowing great offshore bottom fishing.

You can drift over the reefs, anchor and berley or jig with plastics for a host of different species including snapper, morwong, ocean perch, flathead, salmon and, around the moon, gummy sharks.

Deep reefs like the Twelve Mile or out over the shelf produce large Tassie trumpeter, blue eye cod, jewfish and the odd big hapuka.

Westerly winds allow rock anglers easy access to good numbers of drummer, some very large groper, bream and trevally deeper down. On the surface, tailor and salmon are there for those casting lures or pillies.

These conditions are great for the beach, where schools of salmon regularly pass. Standing on the dunes will allow you to polaroid these fish as they come within easy reach of light spin gear, providing heaps of fun.

If lure fishing is not your cup of tea, bait will produce and at night, gummy sharks feature around the full moon.

The estuaries are pretty quiet but down towards the entrances there should be trevally, tailor, bream and luderick.

Luderick are being targeted with green and cabbage weed around the bridge pylons, rock walls, entrance to the harbour and main jetties all producing.

The other species can be sought with striped tuna, slimy mackerel or nippers. Try near the fish-cleaning tables when offal thrown in the water provides a berley source.

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