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Opportunity knocks offshore
  |  First Published: February 2010



The warm currents have arrived offshore from Cape Conran and the whole ocean seems to be teeming with baitfish.

Slimy mackerel can be found schooling just off the boat ramp and out to sea. Stripy tuna are breaking the surface everywhere creating plenty of action.

Of course when the baitfish are here, so are the predators such as yellowtail kingfish, mako shark and barracouta, with plenty of other species to pick off the scraps, as well as the resident fish species; flathead, gurnard, squid, morwong, pinkie snapper, salmon, tailor, trevally and gummy shark.

Many anglers are taking advantage of the explosion of baitfish and are catching slimies just off the boat ramp using Sabiki jigs and using the baitfish for gummy shark, kingfish and any other species.

Regular local anglers Joe and Pauline Connelly, on one outing caught their share of flathead, and a couple of gummy shark, decided to try catching a few stripy tuna. They informed me they had a ball using small, skirted lures and small Christmas tree lures and getting double hook-ups on most occasions thus catching their bag limit in very short time.

Peter and Glen Farley have also taken advantage of the live bait schools capturing enough for the days fishing and then using them to bag out on gummy shark. On their way in Peter and Glen also caught their share of stripy tuna. On another occasion they caught a couple of gummy shark each with Glen outdoing Pete and capturing a good size mako.

There have been plenty of other reports of blue shark, mako and school shark being captured. When the baitfish are about, on the way in it pays to have a lure or two out ready for any action that may chance to strike.

Surf beaches

The surf beaches are all fishing well, holding plenty of salmon, tailor, mullet, flathead an occasional pinkie snapper or kingfish and plenty of sharks. Anglers fishing during the day using lures are getting plenty of action catching, salmon and tailor, and using Laser or any shiny lures.

The bait anglers are also getting plenty of action fishing for salmon and tailor using salted baits, pilchard, and squid and of course surf poppers.

The gummy sharks are still running in good numbers with anglers going out in the evening when tide and weather is right. Best results fishing a rising tide using squid, eel and fresh fillets.

Estuary action

The fishing in the rivers and estuary is still very good. Prawns are still here and in good numbers providing plenty of bait and table prawn for those who gather them. Bream are in both rivers, but with the good size ones are plenty of undersize fish.

Luderick are holding along the rock groins in good numbers, with anglers fishing with sandworm under a float getting the best results.

Estuary perch are holding on most structures with anglers using live prawn or lures getting the best results. Salmon and tailor are still providing plenty of sport for the anglers casting and trolling.

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