Yellowfin warm the heart
  |  First Published: August 2008

There has been some great action on the continental shelf so dust off that game gear and get out there, the Winter yellowfin tuna have been on the bite.

The have been ranging from 15kg to 40kg, just the ticket to get some solid exercise to warm up the body. There are good numbers of small albacore too just to keep you guessing.

Out of necessity, anglers are again falling in love with cubing and live-baiting, thanks to the absurdly high cost of fuel.

Tuna can often be very shy of heavy leaders and big visible hooks in a cube trail.

Don't fall into the lazy trap of simply grabbing a 300lb marlin leader because it is convenient. Downsizing leaders and hook sizes can make a huge difference to the day's catch.

I would go no higher than 100lb and it could be well worth looking into sourcing some sinking fluorocarbon. It is extremely hard-wearing for its diameter, which would allow you to ‘skinny dip’ with possibly 60lb leader.

It is simply a matter of matching the hook to the size of the cube being used. Just because a yellowfin has a big gob doesn't mean an extra-strong 5/0 or 6/0 won’t go the distance.

Choose something with a pretty short shank so that the hook can be hidden in the bait with just the point protruding.

Circle hooks are also worth consideration, particularly if releasing the fish is your main objective.

Anglers with no fear for burning up a heap of fuel on the troll have been scoring well using Squidgy Jelly Beans in various colours. Many of the ’fin have been crammed with big cowanyoung, so the big Squidgies represent the bait really well.

A few lucky crews have found the tuna in closer to shore, around the 40- to 60-fathom mark, so don't ignore the feeding sea birds if they are there.


The inshore snapper season has been pretty good with anglers scoring some impressive reds to 8kg on soft plastics in the shallows.

There will be still plenty of cuttlefish carcasses floating about this month as they came on a bit late this year. Find the cuttlies and you should find the snapper.

Rodney from Harry's Bait and Tackle has been having some luck on the snapper by trolling hardbody lures, scoring a number of fish to 4kg on a $5 bargain-basement cheapie.

Conversations with anglers who prefer bait fishing for their reds have shown a misguided belief that the fish are presently only available on the wide grounds.

Bait fishers have been consistently finding fish to 4kg in depths of 40m to 60m so there is a diverse range of options available on snapper, however you choose to fish.


Salmon are schooling in big numbers off the Moruya reefs and boaters have been getting stretched on light spin gear.

Metals, plastics or the fly rod, it doesn't matter too much as the fish have been ravenous.

Small poppers are the most exciting way to get your thrills, even if the hook-up rate is not as high. Nothing beats seeing your target species smashing the surface and inhaling your lure right beside the boat.

The beaches are also still brimming with salmon and the odd big tailor after dark.

Jewfish, too, have been about but it will take some staying power and some warm layers to last out the night. Fish around 10kg have been captured but the chance of something three times that size is always a possibility.

If you are serious about trying to crack a nice jew off the beach, spend some time securing a few fresh squid, there are plenty of them off the rocks throughout Winter.

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