SEA TEMPS STILL WARM
As we move into the cooler months offshore water temperatures are still high and there are all sorts of fish species cruising our oceans. Some of the visitors we have had here this season includes wahoo, dolphin fish, cobia, spearfish, along with mack and long tail tuna. These fish would show up regularly in years gone by but sadly over the past decade or two they have been absent.
So, with these types of fish showing, are we in for a yellowfin tuna season of old?
Well let us hope so, as May has been in the past the best month for them. Out around the Continental Shelf and beyond to the Canyons is where anglers should be concentrating their efforts. Trolling lures is one way of locating them where once found burley trails in conjunction with live baits, pilchards or cubes of fish will more often than not produce the goods. A more modern approach is if the tuna are up on the surface chasing bait schools of mackeral or sauries , stick baits on heavy spin gear is growing popularity and producing the goods.
Marlin are always an option at this time of year so some large lures deployed or live baits in burley trails may produce one. I have always stated where there is tuna there are sharks, especially makos or blues, so have handy some gear to handle them or try targeting them as there is something special about a big mako cartwheeling out of the water.
Expect to find the kingfish on the chew up at Montague Island as they have been consistent all season with some larger fish showing in recent times. Mixing with them are bonito which are partial to a well-presented live bait or lure.
For the bottom fishos there are plenty for all, snapper are increasing all along the coast with larger specimens occurring down out from Goalen Head right through to the Twelve Mile Reef. Mixing with them are the usual like morwong, nannygai, perches, or jackets while over the sandy muddy areas flathead are still around in numbers with the grounds south out from the Murrah or Cuttagee producing nice mixed bags of sand and tigers. Throw in an occasional gummy shark and the evening banquet looks set. Those gummies are also featuring in catches along the beaches with anglers also encountering some small whalers. Salmon are the main fish being captured from the beaches although tailor, bream, whiting or an odd jewie are also providing some variety.
Fishing the estuaries at this time of year may be tough although there are fish to be found providing you are willing to put in the effort and change tactics. We all like to catch fish on lures however I find at this time of year it is tough going. Bait fishing now becomes a good option and if it is bream you like to catch start focusing on the shallow flats as these fish will fossick over them in search of worms, pippies, small crabs, shrimp or nippers being some of their favourite foods. Whiting, luderick, mullet, flathead, or flounder may also be cruising these flats in search of prey and with the clear late autumn waters can provide some exciting visual angling. Randomly scattering nippers over the flats is often all that is required to produce with the better areas around Bermagui being the river itself just upstream from the bridge or out at Wallaga Lake either side of the bridge.