A spot of sportfishing
  |  First Published: July 2017

The fine winter weather has meant plenty of anglers have got out to enjoy a spot of fishing, and most haven’t been disappointed with plethora of great sportfish landed.

Blue mountains trout have been high on the agenda. There have been some great catches from Thompsons Creek Dam, with fish over 7lb not uncommon and much bigger ones witnessed – but ‘dam’ hard to catch! A lot of these fish are caught on the old Tassie Devil or small soft plastics, but some of the more memorable catches are by guys experimenting with large swim baits. I think we will hear a lot more about these in the coming months and years.

And don’t discount the old standby impoundments like Lake Lyell, Oberon and Wallace because they’ve produced some great fish lately. These impoundments are also easier to get to and fish, especially Lake Wallace. It’s literally like a walk in the park.

While still on trout, if you are young and fit enough (fit being the important one here), and you’re up to nice long walk and camp out in the freezing mountain air, a hike into the Coxs River can be very rewarding. There have been reports of good spawning fish coming from in there. I’m a bit sad that I’m past that effort these days.

Us old fellas can still enjoy closer, warmer fishing on the saltwater estuaries though. The last couple of months have seen some fantastic catches of bream and mulloway (jewfish), and I really believe the lure fishers are catching way more fish than the baiters. Still, if you’re after the really big fish then large live mullet or squid are the way to go!

School mulloway and the occasional bigger fish are falling to well-presented lures, with soft vibes like the Samakis and Jackall Transams our first choice. Work these lures close to the bottom around drop-offs and structures that break the tidal flow, such as bridge pylons and the corners of bays and jutting reefs. I usually use the old lift-and-drop soft plastic method, but sometimes a ripping action with pauses works a treat.

When all’s said and done though, the most important thing is to stick with it and try different spots and retrieves. Your persistence will be rewarded with some great fish. Plenty of PB mulloway catches have occurred this year, with our young Ethan Hennessy landing his best recently, and he’s happy to tell anyone and everyone that comes into the store all about it.

The bream this winter have been the mainstay of many anglers, and why not? They’re plentiful, fun to catch and can make a great feed. Just remember that we live in a city of 5 million people, many of whom are anglers, and if all of them were selfish and kept all their fish, we couldn’t enjoy this great pastime for very long. By all means keep a fish or two, but please let the majority go to catch next time.

The salmon have made their way into the harbours and rivers as well, and if you’re after some pelagic speedsters keep your eyes peeled as they will pop up occasionally. Once they have breached the surface, patiently make your way to the school and cast small metals, flies, surface lures or plastics. Burn them back and hold on!

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