The use of berley can dramatically improve your catch rates, no matter where you fish or what species you chase. This month, Starlo examines the basics of berleying from land-based locations.
A morning fish at this time of year is either an early start for your tailor, snapper and rock blackfish, a later one for groper or luderick off the rocks, or a beach fish pre-dawn for that often quick tailor burst, with salmon thrown in (the salmon bite normally continues well into daylight). The same applies for those low light species later in the afternoon.
So it’s winter again. Short, cold days, even colder nights, and the game fishing enthusiasm is certainly on the wane — if it still exists at all! Most of us are in lockdown mode, gradually prepping gear for the season ahead, or re-stocking the freezer with reef species that make a nice change from the mahi and mackerel of summer.
Even though the water temperature has cooled down plenty, the fishing around Sydney remains quite good. Australian salmon, tailor, bream, silver trevally, snapper, drummer and luderick will be the targeted species off the rocks. Bream, silver trevally, John dory and luderick will be the targeted species in the bays and estuaries. Due to the clear conditions experienced this month, unless we get a lot of rain you will need to make sure that you have a steady stream of berley going.
Fishing smack dab in the middle of winter has very few redeeming features except 1 — there are way fewer boats at the ramp in the early hours of a cold winter’s morning.
The month of July certainly doesn’t offer as many options as spring, but there are still quite a few fish about to keep anglers going.
Well it’s finally got hard to get up in the mornings, with the temperatures plummeting into single figures and frost over everything.
Winter is well and truly here and the town is quiet, with very few visitors to the area expected over the coming months. Things won't pick up until it starts warming up once again as we head towards summer. As usual though, the fishing has been excellent, with clients here on my fishing accommodation packages amazed at the amount of fish they are catching over their 2 1/2 day visit.
Well the weather gods have looked over the north coast of NSW and Richmond area, and kept any major rain away. The river is looking better and better with every outing, and the offshore reefs are loving the result of the early flush out before winter really kicked in.
With cool westerly winds gracing our doorsteps in the mornings, winter fishing isn't for everyone, but for those willing to get up and have a crack, some excellent estuary fishing is available.
Offshore anglers are getting a tad excited as the tuna season is well and truly here, with reports just coming to hand of multiple hookups on yellowfin tuna. The fish are averaging 25-30kg, so not huge, but still a stack of fun on the right tackle. It seems the fish are quite widespread, with patches anywhere from the shelf to the 1000 fathom line, though I have heard of a few bigger models coming from the Kink region.
There’s always lots to enjoy in a boat review; after all, who wouldn’t like running around in a brand new boat? But the review of the Quintrex Renegade 460 side console was extra special because we latched onto a feed of fish in the Jumpinpin Bar area before getting serious with the camera.
I had a customer in the shop say to me that if you can’t catch a fish at the moment you must be doing something wrong. We all know that when it comes to fishing, success is never guaranteed, however, the guy’s remarks definitely generated enthusiasm amongst all within earshot and are probably not too far from the truth. We are blessed with a vast array of winter species in the Macleay Valley, and generally speaking these fish are in good numbers for those anglers keen enough to get out and give it a crack.
Winter has really kicked into gear now, but the fishing is still great, with all the typical winter species about in good numbers.
In the lead up to the cool blast of winter’s chill, the cod fishing along the Murray River has dropped away this past month, with many anglers finding it hard to put a bend in a rod. Maybe the increased influx of angling traffic at many locations has prompted the lockjaw attitude of the local cod population.
Water temperatures have been slow to drop this winter and as of the first day of winter we still have 19° here. As a result, the winter species have held off and we are experiencing 1 of the best early winter bites I can remember.
There are many things to offer native fish anglers around Mildura during the month of July. The cold winter starts to take its toll and begins to slow everything down, including some fish species, but monster Murray cod will be lurking and definitely worth casting the snags for.
In July we see the end of the bream schooling along the wall, the black drummer spawning in the last couple of weeks at Crowdy Head, and the tailor move on. Bream are usually plentiful until the last week of July, and then most of them move up-river. How far depends on how much fresh water comes down. Usually there isn’t much rain in August, September and October, and the bream can be right upstream to below the falls by November.
By the time you read this, the contest will be all over, because the trout stream season closed in NSW and the ACT on June 8. The challenge between anglers and the brown trout on their annual pre-spawning run in the Thredbo and Eucumbene Rivers has been a beauty this year.
As predicted in last month’s column, the much-awaited whiting run has started, with excellent catches reported. As a matter of fact, the fishos from the Woronora RSL have been getting their bag limits, with specimens of 38-48cm the norm.
It has been some years now since the jigging craze became popular, whether it be offshore or inshore, and whether it be soft plastics, metal lures or vibes. So, is it still popular? Well you betcha! And it doesn’t seem like stopping any time soon.
Already it has been a very cold winter, and it doesn’t look like changing soon. So us anglers also have to change our styles and work harder for the rewards.
Now that we’re entering the very coldest period of the year, with westerly winds being a very common feature, fishing can be little bit on the tough side. Keep an eye on weather forecasts and pick your days, and some first rate angling is still possible.
Any species of fish may be easy to catch 1 day and frustratingly difficult the next. Sometimes it’s just about impossible to figure out why this is so, although there are usually specific reasons — some obvious, some not so obvious.
It seems that every time I write this report we have another wet weather event, and no doubt we have had enough flushes in the rivers lately to last us a little while.
Yep, it’s a wee bit chillier these days to say the least. I must be getting softer as I get older, because old Jase is finding it hard to get out of bed and into the fish on some of these mornings lately. On the plus side, there are plenty of great fish on offer, so once you shake the winter chill whilst having a nice hot coffee before your trip, you shouldn’t have any problems finding a few quality fish around Lake Macquarie.
With the winter transition complete, it’s time to focus on close-in snapper, rock blackfish, and the big bream left in the lake. The recent BETS bream comp held at Forster was a good indication as to the quality of the bream fishing still available to the average punter. A winning bag of 5.6kg was outstanding, as were the following placegetters’ bags of 5 bream.
Mulloway have been the hot topic lately, and for good reason too. Plenty of schoolies and larger metre-plus models have been active in the lower reaches up to Spencer. Soft plastics and vibes are producing the best results, but live baits of pike, tailor, yellowtail and squid have been pulling the better fish to 30kg on the major points and reef edges around Broken Bay.
Living where I do, you get to appreciate the four seasons. I remember a conversation I had with a mate of mine who had shifted to 1770 in Queensland for a short stint:
Righto! Last issue I made the call. July 10, hooked up by 2.40pm to a nice southern bluefin tuna. Well the time has come; let’s see how accurate I am. The commercial boats have been doing very well, but as I type the rec’ boats are still only catching the odd tuna. As you read, let’s hope by this stage a few good yellowfin have put some smiles on anglers’ dials.
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