Serious whiting time
  |  First Published: October 2009

If you like a feed of whiting – and who doesn’t – this is the month we start to get serious.

Yes, there are a few big fish out there hiding on the sand patches in sheltered shallow bays over the
inter but now we see the school fish gathering along the beaches, fattening up for the
ummer ahead. Windang and Warilla beaches are always the first with good catches with MM
each not far behind.
s November draws to a close, the whiting seem to be on just about every beach on the coast.

Beachworms are the bait of choice but it can be difficult to catch them, not because it is an acquired skill but because the pro wormers hit a beach and clean them out.

Yes, some people can’t catch them or can’t be bothered to catch them but those of us who pay a fee to be able to catch them can’t, because the worms have been hammered during the week by very skilled professionals who can, and do, nail every worm in sight.

o again, it appears having a pro licence allows you to wipe out an area while an amateur licence restricts you. I am in favour of restrictions but sometimes you think ‘why bother’ when someone with a piece of paper is allowed open slather. Also grabbing worms in the surf are some solid bream, plenty of salmon and a few nice flathead.
owards the end of the month flathead really hit their straps and a walk along the beach casting soft plastics into likely gutters and channels can be rewarding. Some deeper gutters can also hold quite a few jewies.
ou will stumble across them if you persist.

The beauty of jewies is they seem to hang around the same area for some time, not necessarily the same gutter but within a few hundred metres of your first encounter.

So if you keep the ego in check and keep a low profile so the hordes don’t descent on the area, you can score plenty of fish over some time before the school moves on. Only then should you brag with the pictures!

vening is the best time on the beach for jewies but it is tailor time, too, and they make a mess of soft plastics, so grab some pilchards for the choppers and try Coniston, Windang at the towers and up off Corrimal and Coalcliff.
he deeper gutters on Bombo
each down south are also good.

The estuaries really get a kick on this month with the prawns running, so everything that likes to eat prawns will be out after them.

Flathead will be all over the place, from any sandy areas at the back of the lake right down to the entrance.

Bream will be hitting lures in the feeder creeks and along the rocky shores and islands, while the whiting will be taking worms and chasing poppers down around the entrance.

There are some spots less affected by the fast current but these are often covered by locals when the fish are about.

Minnamurra is good for flatties on plastics and whiting on poppers down around the entrance flats.
nder the bridges there are some nice bream after dark but the big eels can give you curry if you fish further up the river after dark.

The rocks are about the only place it remains somewhat static, with cool water still hanging around in close keeping the drummer on the bite under the lighthouse at Wollongong and up at Coalcliff at the bridge.

here have still been a few bonito and rat kings about chasing lures and some larger kings taking live baits down south.

Bread berley used in the bays and off some of the deeper ledges has produced some nice bream and quite a few trevally on peeled prawns. Try a bobby cork for the trevally with the bait set a metre or so off the bottom.


Offshore, the flathead have been going extra well, particularly up north around Bolga. Try fishing in 40m to 45m for flatties up to 2kg with heaps around a kilo.

Flathead have a great following in the Illawarra and are probably one of the most popular targets but things have been tough since the leatherjacket invasion.
ut Bolga of late seems to be a jacket-free zone.

Out in the same depth there are some nice squire but the current will determine your success. Light currents over the reefs and gravel should allow a good berley trail and some nice reds with the odd larger fish.

Over the closer reefs there have been plenty of trevally along with small samson fish, heaps of sweep, morwong and the first couple of trag for the season

Schools of salmon and rat kings are taking small lures and small live baits around the far north up to National Park, down around the islands and around Bass Point.

There are a few bonito and if you let your lure drop under the schools of salmon on the top, there are some nice trevally and some not so nice barracouta lurking below.

Kings to 90cm have been on close reefs like Bandit and Wollongong but they are hit and miss, with a combination of jigs and live baits set deep required to find them.

When you do, mark your spot on the GPS because they are in small groups that don’t stay on the bite long and are easily lost if you drift off too quickly.

t has been a very quiet season so far for yellowfin tuna. The conditions that favour southern bluefin are not that great for yellows so with the water moving back down the coast, we could see a few ’fin of one type or another show up this month.

Striped tuna have been less than abundant and albacore have been patchy at best but all that can change overnight.

Sharks have been quite prolific, with makos and whalers out around the shelf.

There has been the odd striped marlin about but with the advance of the warm water over coming weeks all will change – so bring on
ummer! Reads: 4546

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