I recently wrote a feature on Jervis Bay for the 2008 Catch annual. Writing it was easy because I'm very passionate about this beautiful stretch of water for a variety of reasons.
It turns on some great fishing just about all year but compared with many other NSW waterways it is in pristine condition and has avoided overpopulation and ugly waterfront developments and tourist traps. JB’s beauty is all that it needs to be a great tourist attraction and judging by the numbers of visitors I don't think I'm alone in that belief.
One of JB's greatest attractions is the fantastic family fun it can provide, whether it's boating, snorkelling, fishing, towing a donut around over Summer or just fishing and picnicking in Winter. A recent trip highlighted the winter possibilities.
We got off to a slow start because my wife and two daughters were unable to drag themselves out of warm beds so it was around 9am by the time we got to Woollamia ramp, near Huskisson.
By the time we motored down Currumbene Creek and out in to the Bay it was late in the morning but at least the sun was well up and the early chill was long gone.
First port of call was Long Nose Point, where we tossed some metal lures into the washes and around the reefs and within half a dozen casts I had several salmon climbing all over a 15g Sniper lure which hooked up next to the boat.
With light threadline tackle we ran two rods and spent an hour catching and releasing a heap of salmon to around 2kg. We sat just off the whitewater and cast back to the rocks and took turns holding the boat in position or fishing. The girls had a ball casting and hooking salmon.
By lunchtime we decide to head down to the southern shore to have a bite to eat and a coffee. We pulled up down near Scottish Rocks and had lunch while we drifted about with a couple of squid jigs out.
Then we got serious and started to cast and retrieve the squid jigs. It didn't take long before we had about 15 nice squid for a feed so we packed up and motored back to Huskisson.
We had crumbed calamari for dinner the next night and salmon fish cakes with dipping sauce the following night. Like I said - just because its winter doesn't mean you can't enjoy yourself out on the water and bring home a feed.
With Spring on our doorstep you can expect JB to be fishing even better. There should be some pelagics about, along with some decent reds on plastics. So what are you waiting for?
Spring means a lot of options start to surface over the next few weeks, not that things have been that quiet. St Georges Basin has been producing some enormous bream with fish to 45cm regular and there have been some good tailor around.
There's a photo hereabouts of a 7.02kg tailor caught inside Lake Conjola. I don't have a lot of details about that capture but that's one hell of a tailor that measured 90cm.
We've had more than a month of weekends wiped out due to big seas and strong winds so reports from out wide are scarce. A few boats have got out mid-week in the weather breaks and caught a few yellowfin and albacore. We just need some decent weather to get out there and have a serious go.
Back in late June the boys on Predator Charters got some bluefin tuna out wide during a mid-week charter. They caught eight fish to almost 60kg on cubes and lost a couple that Daniel Bennett called for over 100kg.
A few other fish to 40kg were taken in July by other boats that lucky enough to come across a school.
Another noteworthy fish was taken in July by Josh and Matt Wall on Doughboy over the back of the Drum Canyons. They landed a 74kg yellowfin after three-and-a-half hours on 24kg tackle. Those Rapala X-Rap 30s are one hell of a lure and have the runs on the board down this way on yellowfin.
This month some flathead should move in the local estuaries so I'd be getting the light gear and plastics ready for an onslaught.
The inshore reds will be moving about so the heavier plastic gear should be getting tidied up and ready for a serious workout.
The warmer water will also mean blackfish school under scum lines from the rocks and that's something I'll be looking forward to.
There will also be an increase in pelagic activity so keep an eye out for schools of salmon, tailor and even bonito in close or in Jervis Bay. Striped tuna and rat yellowfin should be out a little wider.
Not a lot gets written about the local beach jewfish in September but if you're a keen beach angler you could do a lot worse than get some fresh bait and put in a few nights. You know the drill – run-up tide and first quarter of the moon.
If the seas are up and you've got jewie fever then have a look in the Shoalhaven River with bait at night or big plastics around structure.
Rebecca and Andrew Finney with a couple of soft-plastics reds.
Elspeth Finney with a solid squid from Scottish Rocks in Jervis Bay.
Josh and Matt Wall took this 74kg yellowfin on a Rapala X Rap 30.
This 7.02kg tailor was caught in Lake Conjola. Details are sketchy but it certainly is a ripper.Reads: 1915