Can you believe December is here and Christmas is only around the corner? The rain has continued through spring and water levels continue to rise at Copeton. The new concrete boat ramp that the park installed over the past two years has gone from not reaching the water to underwater in a couple of months.
It seems as if the end of the year has rolled around very quickly, and it certainly seems we rushed into summer at a great rate of knots. The water temperature has kept climbing steadily, and now the warm water has really gotten things going.
A few very basic steps can not only improve your enjoyment of summertime fishing, but also dramatically reduce the likelihood of injury from accidents and mishaps.
Those itchy twitchy feelings you get this time of year when you hear cod are starting to stir. With a three-month hiatus on cod fishing all but over, it’s time to blow the cob webs off the native gear and plan your assault on the next month or two’s fishing. Unusually high water levels in many places may make things tough, but one thing’s for sure: Lake Mulwala will be at its constant high level producing quality cod day after day after day.
And still we wait. This has been without a doubt the crumbiest start to a gamefishing season anyone around here can remember. If it hasn’t been the monotonous procession of northeasterlies every couple of days, it’s been the cold, insipid water that has been almost totally devoid of bait and therefore predators.
Many anglers will ask me when the dusky flathead come on the bite. My answer will depend on which estuary system in NSW that you’re going to fish. The NSW Fisheries Resources book I have states that dusky flathead tend to spawn from January to March in NSW, but this may change due to weather cycles and other influences like floods.
Who doesn’t mind a feed of prawns for Christmas? Not those frozen things you get at the fish markets, but fresh ones caught and cooked at home and iced ready for a feed the next day, washed down with a cold beer. The best prawning time this month will be right on queue for the Christmas and New Years period, with the new moon on the 29th. The week leading up to Christmas and the week after will be excellent.
This time of year, fish move around the edges of the dam to feed. I find that 10ft or 3m is the magic depth that fish are actively feeding at, so I put my boat around that 15-20ft mark and target the fish. The hard part is to find the lure they will eat and the technique that the hungry fish will respond to.
Continuing on from the theme of many other reports, it’s hard not to get excited about cod opening! Australian anglers have a soft spot for the icon as they are the ultimate predator and prized catch. We all love them, even when they play hard to get – that’s what makes every encounter with a cod so unique. Now’s the time to get back into targeting Murray cod!
Nothing beats the smell of long, hot summer days and afternoon storms, except summer whiting frying in the pan. Great fish have been caught around the sand flats, especially on the Yamba side and local beaches. They’re being caught on poppers and the popular Bassday Sugar Pens in the 70mm 4.3g size.
It’s time to break out the big lures in hope of that fish of a lifetime. The Murray cod season is officially open and I can hear the codaholics out there saying, “It’s about time.” Every cod closed season feels longer then the last as we anticipate what sort of season is ahead of us. Floods at the right spawning time this year will have helped with natural recruitment this season. Crazy numbers of cracker cod encountered through the closed season show that signs are looking very good at this early stage of the season.
The past six weeks have been all about the current screaming down the coast keeping the boats away from the outer grounds and in close to the coastal fringe. Tailor are the talk of the town with catches on the beaches, estuaries and rivers. With a little rain, tailor can move up to brackish water and be caught in drains and all sorts of unusual places around the Hunter. The best shot is off the break walls and beach rocky platforms.
December is here with the promise of warmer water and pelagic fish offshore. Expect mackerel, both spotted and Spanish to have made their normal early run to Shark Bay on the north side of Woody Head, as well as Freeburn Rock to Shelly Headland to the south.
Since the Hobie’s humble beginnings in the 1950s shaping surfboards, the company has been synonymous with innovation and quality. Introducing a range of revolutionary products over the decades, no brand has impacted the kayak angling fraternity more than Hobie with the introduction of its Mirage Drive pedal propulsion system in 1997. Anglers quickly saw the potential of this new technology and in 2001, Hobie released the Mirage Outback, a purpose designed angling kayak that allowed anglers to propel the kayak using leg power, freeing up their hands to cast and retrieve.
The past month has seen a lot less rain in the Eden area than in the Mallacoota area. Warmer days as we head into summer have been the key to fire up the fishing. It’s great news, even though we’ve had warm to hot days, we’re still getting some unusually cold days for this time of year.
The past month has seen more rainfall, adding to what has already been a long wet season with still plenty of cool days. With summer around the corner, we should start to see hotter weather – it’s well and truly needed to liven up the town. The cold wet weather keeps the visitors moving, looking north for the sun. Fishing wise, there are fish to be caught so long as you’re prepared to put on a raincoat, rug up and have a shot.
Spring has promptly sprung to an end. Warmer days, howling northerlies and evening thunderstorms have set the scene for another cliché summer, but it’s not all sunburn and pedestal fans – summer brings with it a host of good fishing. The Tweed area particularly fires up this season. As the mercury rises, we can expect to see good scores of mangrove jack through the river and creeks. In the offshore department, mackerel, marlin, mahimahi, tuna and trevally should all start to push up the coast as the water temperature rises.
It’s hard to believe that summer is here already. The year has flown by and with Christmas around the corner, we’ll see an avalanche of visitors hitting our shores. The Merimbula region will look more like Bourke Street than a sleepy coastal town. It brings anglers – lots of them, so early morning starts will be the norm before the waterways get too busy with boat traffic, especially in the estuaries.
The Narooma region is about to get inundated with visiting fishos over coming weeks. If the fishing remains the same, these anglers are in for a great time. The fishing is exceptional at present. Outside sportfishers are getting excited, as marlin season is upon them. There’s already been plenty of sightings with the odd fish lost, so all looks good for a cracking marlin season.
In contrast to purchasing a first motorcar, boat ownership seems to involve a bit of stress. First there are new rules to consider. There’s the boat ramp – the place where the boat will enter or leave the water. Who would believe that boats pass each other on opposite sides to cars? Or that a beacon’s shape and colour dictates on which side the boat should pass, when moving towards or away from a major port. These scenarios both seem to cause worry, especially for the new boat owners in our ranks, so we’ll look at ways to overcome those concerns.
Prior to this review, I hadn’t seen many Mahindra Pik-Up utes around the city. In country towns, they’re no rarity. A run to the New England area surprised me, as I saw two in Tenterfield alone. Dirty, unwashed, with tools of trade and drums of chemicals in one, a stock crate in the other, it was fairly obvious that land owners had seen the great value for money in these Pik-Up utes. It made me feel a big smug to think we had the Trek camper trailer on the back of my loan car and were heading bush for a couple of days of fishing.
Summer is here again and with longer, warmer days. It gets easier to find time and motivation to get out and wet a line. The Christmas period will bring droves of fishers to the mid north coast of New South Wales chasing everything from bass to marlin. With the changing seasons, possibilities are almost endless when it comes to fishing methods and the species available in the Macleay Valley region.
With the warmer weather here, things are looking up. Finally, this clean, warm water is starting to liven up the fish along Broken Bay in Pittwater. Most mornings, surface activity can be found along Pittwater or out in Broken Bay.
Early December is a great time to be a local angler in Port Stephens. The town is still relatively quiet with plenty of great fishing to be had. Make the most of this period – by the end of December, the population will have doubled. Thousands of visitors will hit Port Stephens for summer holidays.
This season’s big rains have ensured a healthy, vibrant flush in many of our local rivers that have provided the optimum conditions for our native fish stocks to breed.
The season has kicked off well despite big swells and dodgy currents. The salmon run has been huge, with fish massing around North Head and sometimes up the main harbour around Bradleys Head. The upstream fish seem less focused on spawning and have found larger baitfish than those at North Head. As a result, they’re easier to catch on a range of lures and flies. There’s more fish at North Head, but they’re much harder to catch and focused on small bait.
It’s the festive season! Holiday season is on for you lucky beggers not in the retail game! I’d just like to take this opportunity to say a big Merry Christmas and a happy, fishy New Year to my readers. I hope you all have an awesome and safe break over the holidays – catch plenty of fish.
The past month has been a steady time for angling in the Harrington area. There have been nasty southerly winds and a bit of rain that’s made fishing very uncomfortable for the land-based fishers, as well as boat anglers. Very little rain has fallen in the freshwater part of the Manning and the river is just running nicely with clear water.
Spring hung around a little longer this year. Both the local impoundments have been running a few weeks behind from where they were last year, with colder water temperatures. This is great news, because December is usually the transition month into summer deep patterns. If this cooler weather holds up, this should keep the fish shallower for longer.
The weather remains the constant topic of conversation here. Mostly it’s about rain – how much we’ve had, how much more we’re going to get and how much is too much. It’s ironic that in an area where we were always short of rain, we now have more than we need and it looks like there’s more to come.
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