New challenges ahead
  |  First Published: May 2010

With the colder weather and water we’re gearing up for some new challenges.

We normally chase a few reds in close during Winter so we have our bait and berley organised. We were lucky enough to catch a few cuttlefish on soft plastics while chasing snapper in April and they were cleaned and frozen in sealed bags for snapper bait.

We also have some blocks of pilchards for berley so those reds are going to get a few visits from Voodoo this winter.

We also have plans to fish some plastics and even blades down the berley trail this season. We gave it a few tries last year and caught fish on lightly weighted plastics drifted down the trail but I reckon some of the blades will also work.

We’ve caught reds on them down at St Georges Basin so they’d have to work over the inshore reefs as well.

Another good option at this time of year is to have a go down at St Georges Basin. Many people think this piece of water is a Spring and Summer proposition but that’s far from the truth.

The Basin is virtually a year-round fishery with bream, reds, tailor and jewies all on the chew over the colder months.

I’ve fished down there a few times in the past month and we’ve had some great fun with blades and small plastics. Our most recent trip accounted for whiting, bream, reds, flathead and tailor and the action was virtually non-stop for several hours as we drifted and tossed lures on light tackle.

The number of boats on the water was quite a shock. There were still the old-timers in their standard tinnies but a large proportion of the boats are dangerously quick Skeetas and Pro Strikes that can be heard roaring as they travel from one area to the next.


Another great Winter target are the reds in Jervis Bay. Some big snapper get in the Bay from June to October and while many get caught on bait, they will eat soft plastics if you present the right lure in the right place.

Jervis Bay can be a cold and barren piece of water in Winter, especially if a bit of westerly wind is puffing away, but it produces some big reds.

Most of the larger fish come from out around Long Nose Point or over at Plantation Point. Fish around the edges of drop-offs with 5” or 7” Gulps and you’ll be in with a chance.

Don’t go out there with 10lb braid and 15lb leaders while the big boys are around, either. I normally fish 20lb braid and 20lb Vanish leader and I consider that light when chasing reds that can be up to 7kg around bommies and reefs.

You’ll avoid a lot of hard-luck stories of big reds doing you on the reef by fishing sensible tackle and not attempting to pull them up on bream gear.


Anyone who fishes will know what I’m talking about when I say that many fishing friendships last a lifetime.

I fish with a few mates whom I met through fishing a good 30 years ago. We’ve moved out of Sydney and had children and even grandchildren but we’ve always kept in contact and managed to get out for a fish now and then.

You don’t realise it at the time but those friendships are very special and valuable. Of course, there are always those friendships that last a few years and then break up over silly things and what, at the time, seems like nothing important. I’ve had a few of those as well and I guess in a way they make you appreciate the good mates who have shared fishing experiences with you.

I have mates whose wives enjoy my wife’s company and those friendships revolve around good times together and not just a couple of mates fishing.

My boat was recently off the water for a few weeks while it had some work done and one weekend I fished with my son Andrew and one of his mates. Guy Jameson and Andrew have been mates since they went to pre-school in Nowra in 1992 and it wasn’t until we were all sitting out there in Guy’s tinnie that I realised that they’d known each other for 19 years and they’re only 20-year-olds!

At pre-school Guy was always in trouble and, come to think of it, Andrew was probably as bad or worse. They’re both mad-keen fishos and these days regularly fish together out of Jammo’s 4.7m tinnie. It was nice to see them fishing together and even being kind enough to invite the Old Man along when he didn’t have a boat.

Andrew doesn’t seem to have suffered any long-term effects from the terrible damage he did to them while shark fishing in January. He was off work for about eight weeks and physiotherapy helped the healing process. He was very lucky not to have any long-term damage.



Making a full recovery after bad hand injuries while tracing a shark, Andrew Finney gives it heaps on 24kg stand-up tackle.


Arrow squid seem to be more common at night and out in open deep water. This one grabbed a snapper jig off Currarong.


Winter is kingfish time on the South Coast. This fish was taken on a jig inside Jervis Bay.


Culburra skipper Neil Rowlands with one of last year’s southern bluefin tuna.

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