Light at the end of the tunnel
Greg Clarke

Light line and small lures means a ton of fun on fat striped tuna that are about off the Illawarra coast this month.

The westerlies are still blowing and it’s cold but there is some light at the end of the tunnel, with a few warmer days towards the end of the month making life bearable. The pickings are a bit thin on most species but for a few there are plenty on offer. More on them later.

GROPER

Let’s start with one fish that’s about all year and not that often targeted: groper. With the ocean calm during the westerlies there is no better time to have a look and see just how many groper there are on any given reef off the local coast. They seem to be everywhere these days and have a fearsome reputation of being a ‘knock down, all over in seconds’ fighter, leaving anglers with straightened hooks and broken lines.

The old timers’ liked the good old fashioned 100lb+ handlines and used to tie them around the rowlocks or the seat. Legend has it that a few seats were ripped from their mountings by a rampaging groper.

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