Get out the prawning gear
  |  First Published: February 2010

Get out the prawning gear!

It’s now the perfect time to get out for a fish. The weather has been very confusing but the fishing has been firing. Around the front lake there have been some cracker flathead along the shallow sand flats and these fish are taking a range of large plastics and hardbodied lures.

By far the most reliable plastic for picking up a few lizards again is the DOA Shrimp, as the flatties have been feeding heavily on prawns, but more on those later.

Just remember again that the big flatties over 60cm are generally females and should be released so they can replenish the local population. Younger anglers in particular enjoy releasing larger fish, which is great to see.

If you’re after a feed, flatties between 40-50cm are ideal plate size fish and are around in good numbers.

Some days the flatties are in such shallow water that they become a surface lure possibility. Try throwing small 50mm surface poppers on those muggy, overcast days in water as shallow as 10cm. Keep the popper blooping all the way back. The strikes can be violent and they even jump!

Mixed in with the flatties have been some solid yellowfin bream which can be seen flashing around in the shallows digging for worms, crabs or yabbies, or actively hunting prawns.

Casting hardbodied jerkbaits like the Atomic 50mm Jerk Shads and ripping the lures across the flats and around pylons has been a proven method.

Also worth throwing is the Ecogear PX45 surface walker. It is a deadly prawn imitation and it’s worth having a few in your kit.

Some big whiting are still present at Kalimna and Barrier Landing around the weed beds and channel edges, with plenty of 40cm fish being taken. Pipi and mussel are the most productive baits at the moment, whereas earlier in the season the fish would touch nothing but shrimp. Keep moving around until you find the fish.

Plenty of salmon have also been caught along the Kalimna wall on soft plastics fished on a run-in tide.

Lake Tyers has been hot and cold, but those persisting will ultimately bring a few fish to the net.

Local angler Matthew Duggan has been doing well fishing topwater lures around the glasshouse for bream and flathead. The best lures have been Lucky Craft Sammy stickbaits, Tiemco Red Peppers, Atomic K9 Pups and small cup-faced poppers. Tyers has a surprisingly good surface fishery and this is a technique that is often overlooked.

The surf beaches have been fishing well for gummy sharks of an evening and large salmon and tailor during the dawn and dusk periods. The salmon and chopper tailor have been up to 3kg, and have taken Lazer lures and whole pilchards on ganged hooks.

As the light fades the crabs have been in full force but using squid legs has held them off for a while. When the crabs go quiet there is generally a gummy in the area, so check that your baits are good and keep them in the water for as long as possible.

Nothing is better than a feed of fresh flake. Some enormous skate and lots of Port Jackson sharks have been a nuisance but if you have kids with you it is a great experience for them. Teaching them to release any unwanted fish gives them a better appreciation of sustainable fishing too.

Offshore has been very productive for snapper when the weather has allowed anglers to get out. Some massive reds up to 9kg have been landed but the average fish is still a very respectable 3kg.

Squid legs, pilchard and striped tuna have all been productive baits. The six-Mile reef has been the most consistent but the Four-Mile is also worth a look.

Back to the prawns. We are currently experiencing an awesome run of prawns, and although most are around bait size there are still plenty of eaters amongst them. Some anglers have been getting up to 15kg a night dipping around the eastern beach channel and Bullock Island.

Keep an eye out for a few flounder too.

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