Winter species going crazy right now
  |  First Published: July 2017

Snapper, kingfish, bream and luderick are going crazy at the moment. Anglers are catching good numbers of fish at sea and in the river.

The snapper have shown up in large numbers with great-size fish being caught from 5-9kg on plastics. Many anglers like to use a 1/2oz jighead on a 5/0 hook if the water is dirty with a 7” jerk shad. In clear water, I use a 7” Gulp Anchovy, drop it to the bottom and work it to about halfway back up. A lot of the time they will hit it halfway up or on the drop back down, so you have to be prepared for the big hit. It’s a great feeling when a big red hits your plastic and well worth the time spent working the plastics.

Kingfish are abundant at the moment at the island and can be caught on knife jigs and plastics or stickbaits. Before you venture out, make sure to get a marine park brochure so you don’t end up fishing in the wrong place. We have them at our tackle shop, so call in and pick one up – it’s better than a big fine.

When fishing North Solitary Island, be careful on the northeast corner; you can only fish with plastics, jigs or artificial baits for about 200m on the northeast corner as it is a grey nurse shark habitat zone. The kings have been a good size, but have been hard to land. They have been up to 10-20kg and put up a good fight. We had a customer who was pulled over the side of the boat fighting a big king – he was lucky I grabbed his shirt as he was going. We managed to get him back on the boat to finish the fight. The kingfish was 17kg when landed.

The fishing in the river, the breakwall and the beach has been great. A lot of big bream are being caught at the slowing down of the tides and plenty are over the 1kg mark. Many bream have been caught on salted pilchards and it seems to be the favourite bait to use at the moment.

Luderick have been going well on artificial weed in the fluoro green colour. When making your flies, have the weed about a quarter of an inch below the gape of the hook. You can tie them with light braid or mono; I use a green braid, as you can’t see where it’s tied. A bit of super glue can help as well.

Try using two flies about 2ft apart; this works well and you can sometimes hook two at a time. It’s important with luderick to have your hooks at the correct level in the water and you must be where the fish are, otherwise you’ll find it hard to catch them.

The luderick have been schooling up at the breakwall in big numbers. You’ll see them nearly take your fly or weed. The water is mostly clear enough to see them without much problem and this makes targeting them a lot easier. If you have a boat, you’ll find them around the weed beds in the river and the same thing applies – you can see them in the weeds or just outside on the mud or sand.

When in Wooli, call in and say hello. I may be able to help with fishing problems.

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