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.
With the cold water now upon us, some outstanding captures are still being reported, particularly of fish that should be well and truly outta here by now. Big inshore kingfish and Watsons leaping bonito should have evacuated the area, as too should the mahimahi, while the flatties are also usually in hibernation by this time of year. If this keeps up, the warmer water temps will be back before we know it, and when spring hits it’ll be game on again.
As we move into the second month of winter the brown trout spawning is well underway and the rainbow trout are also starting to run.
Unlike 2014, it feels like we are going to get a proper winter this year. With some already chilly conditions experienced during the last couple of months, we have already seen a distinct change in the weather as well as the piscatorial climate.
Hi there, I would like to introduce myself. I am David Allan and I manage the Inland Waters Holiday Park Copeton Waters. I was born and raised in Inverell and have been fishing since I was 7 years old. I enjoy all types of fishing, both fresh and salt water, mainly lure fishing, but I will use bait if I have to. I have a real passion for Murray cod on lures.
Well what a month we have seen. The start of it saw cyclonic winds and a month of rainfall in 3 days, with an east coast low forming directly over the Broken Bay area. For the following 2 weeks there were trees and logs throughout the Hawkesbury, Pittwater and Broken Bay, making navigation difficult and fishing near impossible.
July is probably the hardest and most demanding month to catch fish in our impoundments in the Hunter. The 2 main factors are the cold westerly winds and the water temperature dropping to its lowest of around 11 degrees. However, if you can manage to get 3-4 days of consistent high pressure with very little wind, then head out as it can be quite enjoyable on the water.
I’ve been whingeing and moaning about the condition of the water and how bad the river has been fishing lately. Just recently though, a group of keen fisho mates got together for a private bream comp. I was feeling pretty confident of a top 2 finish as there were only 2 boats in it with 3 on each boat, however, there was a bit of contention about the rules.
The uni knot is a viable alternative to the locked half-blood knot (aka improved clinch). The Uni-knot is a universal knot, multi-purpose and suitable for almost every fishing scenario.
Guided fishing has become big business. Some 40 years ago in America, guided fishing was in its infancy. Tarpon, bonefish and permit were the big 3 species the fly guys wanted to catch, and offshore billfish, tunas and trevally were on the podium, so a whole new industry was spawned. About 99 per cent of it was catch-and-release — a far cry from the usual meat fishing charters where success was measured in how many eskies full of fish came home.
In the final instalment of this three-part series, I’ll be discussing the thick end of fly fishing by focussing in on saltwater fly fishing and dealing with heavy tackle.
The crisp winter mornings make it hard to get out of bed at the moment, that is unless it's to go fishing.
I have used the tail sections from a salmon to make this gravlax. You could, of course, use any piece of the fillet from one or both sides of the salmon.
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