Pelagics, please!
  |  First Published: December 2009

With water hovering around 21°, it’s great to see the pelagic species turn up and keep our offshore boaties happy.

Yellowfin tuna, albacore, striped marlin and a host of shark species will all be available, with a few black marlin just to keep you on your toes.

All methods will work, trolling lures and live bait, switch baiting, with berley and cubes catching a few tuna, too.

If the past few weeks’ captures are anything to go by, all indications look promising for a ripper game season.

Anglers have been treated to some great tuna action with fish to 40kg and a few bigger fish lost. Most of the action has come from the 70-fathom line to well beyond the continental shelf, find the good water and concentrations of baitfish to ensure great results.

On the inshore reefs the action has been steady with snapper, morwong, kingfish and striped tuna.

The flatties have been a little quiet, but that will change this month as the water warms further. Concentrate your efforts at The Sticks off the Pambula River mouth with Horseshoe Reef producing fish, too.

Some decent reds have been encountered in the deeper water off Lennards Island in 30 to 40 fathoms with kingfish to 10kg at Long Point.

All this action will continue throughout January. If one reef isn’t firing, move to another until you find the fish. Better baits to use are fresh squid, striped tuna fillets, pilchards and particularly for the kingfish, live bait.

The beaches will continue to produce over coming weeks. Bream, whiting, tailor, salmon, mullet and the odd jewfish all hit baits with gusto.

Best baits for the bread-and-butter species are live beach worms, prawns, pipis and striped tuna cubes. Pilchards and blue bait will suffice for the pelagic species with salmon plentiful on most beaches.

Mulloway will be a lot harder to target than the other beach species but if you put in enough time and patience, the rewards will happen. I like using fresh squid, tailor fillets and big bunches of live beach worms for the mulloway.

Fishing for these bronzed brutes isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but they certainly do it for me. Better areas to try are Tura and North Tura, though any beach with a decent gutter is worth a look.


Anglers fishing the stones for pelagic like salmon, kingfish, striped tuna and bonito should be getting excited – January is a cracking month.

Lures from 15g to 60g will catch fish but try to match the size of lure to the baitfish present for more consistent results.

Fishos live-baiting the rocks with yellowtail or slimy mackerel will have a more realistic chance of hooking a quality kingfish. Every season a few hoodlums are hooked, especially at the ledge at Tura Head.

If you’re after a feed, the washes still hold blackfish, drummer and bream, though you may have to move around a bit to locate them. Fresh bait like prawns and cunjevoi, used with a little berley, should produce some action.

Short Point would be the best spot to try, with the washes at the eastern end of Long Point certainly worth a look, too.

In the estuaries it’s all systems go. All species are available; it really depends on what you want to target.

Flathead, bream, flounder and whiting are what most people will catch with bait and plastic throwers are catching plenty.

The Merimbula and Pambula lakes are firing with the upper reaches of Pambula a standout.

At the moment the lower sections, especially towards the river mouth, are hard to fish as a red algae has filled the water. It’s almost impossible to fish there but for those who keep persisting there are quality fish.

Smaller soft stickbaits cast towards shore will certainly produce a fish or two.

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