I’d like to start this month’s column by introducing myself. I’m Aaron Donaldson, and some readers would already know me from working in tackle shops for the last few years. I have been fishing the Central Coast all my life, and I enjoy all aspects of the sport from gamefishing to flyfishing and lurecasting. My aim with these reports is to provide up-to-date information that beginners and experts will find of interest. Here’s what’s been happening in recent weeks.
Welcome to July and a very wintery Jindabyne. By now snow on the top of the mountains is attracting plenty of people to come to the Snowy Mountains area and this makes getting accommodation in town difficult. There is plenty of accommodation nearby in Cooma if you want to come up for a trout fish.
For the most part the fishing in our area hasn’t been particularly hot or cold. All the usual winter suspects have been active, but not going ballistic. It’s the middle of the year, the middle of winter and the middle of the road.
The colder months are well and truly here now and with temperatures getting down to -5°C in the first couple of days of winter last month, bigger Murray cod are on the move.
This issue I thought I would walk you through one of my kayak setups from tail to tip, outlining the kit that I carry on my kayak, what I use it for and any tips associated with that piece of equipment. Your kit may vary depending on your kayak and the fishing adventure that you’re undertaking, so I have opted to describe my larger pedal kayak kit, allowing you to trim back the gear to suit your requirements.
A St Georges Basin round record of 64 anglers competed in the Pro Lure Round 7 of the Hobie Kayak Bream Series 9 over the May 20-21 weekend.
Anglers from Victoria, New South Wales and the ACT headed to Batemans Bay and the Clyde River system on the South Coast of NSW to compete in the JML Anglers Alliance Round 6 of the Hobie Kayak Bream Series 9 – a one-day event on April 30.
The 17th annual Grabine Classic will be held at the beautiful Grabine Lakeside State Park on 25-27 August this year. Registrations will be at the park from 8am Friday 25 August.
The bluewater scene is picking up out off Sydney, with reports of tuna on the rise. Trolling small skirts and cubing pilchards is proving successful out wide. Providing we get the right weather and seas over the next month, a flotilla of anglers will be in the thick of it offshore.
Right now we’re all hoping the bluefin are parked off our coastline, and that we’ll have a season blessed with big fish and good weather. The month of May was a little disappointing in regards to yellowfin, and the Canberra Game Fishing Tournament held at Bermagui didn’t see one caught.
Opportunities knock for those brave souls that venture out fishing in freshwater on the central Tablelands at this time of year. Extremes in weather create opportunities on both ends of the spectrum, in summer and winter.
The waters of the Wallis Lake system and surrounding areas never cease to amaze me. The seasonal visitation of transient species reads like a bucket list of angling achievements throughout the year: small hammerheads in November, giant herring in summer, kingfish in autumn, bonito and small tuna until winter and big slabs of silver trevally during winter – that’s just to name a few.
Water temperatures remained quite stable over the last two months, but will drop right off this month with a good frost or two, reaching lows of 14°C around Broken Bay and as low as 10°C up at Windsor and Penrith.
The ice-cold mornings and chilly days are forcing anglers to stay inside huddled around the wood fire heater at this time of year. We all know the struggles of waking up and getting your body into gear at this time of year is hard, though with those monster green fish out there to be caught, you just have to knock yourself into first and get out there amongst it.
It’s easy to turn off the alarm and pull the doona up on a fresh July morning, but be warned – you could be missing out on some top fishing this month if you don’t get out of bed and switch the kettle on!
Winter is a lovely time of year here on Lake Macquarie. All you need to do is dress to the conditions, and then get out there and make the most of it. These days there are so many fantastic clothing options available that there’s really no excuse for not fishing, even during the dead of winter. Things like a set of thermals, neck warmers, head socks and so on can all make a big difference, and really do change how you think about fishing in winter. If you really want luxury, there are even pie warmers, Makita battery-powered coffee makers and other nifty gadgets so you don’t even have to rough it during these cooler months.
I couldn’t help but feel a little bit excited when I first laid eyes on the Extreme 645 Game King. It happened when I was standing on the main ramp in Port Macquarie, about to get a firsthand look and test run on the boat with Jason Herbert from Hastings Marine.
You may have noticed I will regularly write about wandering the beaches with a spin stick and a handful of lures, and why? Well it is a lot of fun and on these beautiful sunny days in mid-winter. You can often find yourself alone on some of these beaches that surround Tathra.
July is proving to be the month for chasing those famous and often very large southern bluefin tuna. Winter blues now takes on a completely different meaning.
As always, the stream trout season in NSW and the ACT finished in a flurry of activity, for two main reasons. One, we had rain, which pepped up the streams and gave the fish a great late-season boost. Secondly we had the annual pre-spawn run of browns in the big rivers attached to the mountain lakes like the Eucumbene, Thredbo and Murrumbidgee.
July can be a very cold time to be out on the water in the Hunter Valley. If you’re brave enough to put up with it, you can be rewarded with some great fishing and near cricket scores of fish caught. The frosty mornings can make for glassed out beautiful days on the water.
Let’s face it, there has been a time in all of our fishing journeys when we wanted a Quintrex. If you were an offshore boater, it might have been a centre console, but if you were an inshore angler, it’d probably be a Hornet. For many years Hornets have been swarming in waterways across Australia.
It’s not every day you get to test a boat that can be made into a configuration that allows the installation of a bow mounted machine gun. Granted, it’d be great for when you get to the secret snapper spot and your so-called ‘mate’ that you took fishing last week is anchored up, hooked up and pretends to not speak English.
We’re in the thick of winter on the NSW South Coast. You just got to love it, don’t you? If you can get through the first few hours of cold, the days can be quite glorious.
The past month has had many changes in weather and fish movement. The mullet have run and the overall catch by the netters was not up to usual standards. The weather was not consistent with nice sunny days mixed up with rain, wind and southerly seas.
The mornings spent getting the boat out of the shed have been bitterly cold, but the fishing surprisingly sweet if you’re prepared to travel.
This year has been the year of the mulloway. I can’t ever remember a run of school-sized mulloway (4-15kg) this good. There have been a few seasons that have produced better runs of big fish, but never in the numbers we are experiencing at the moment.
Despite July being smack bang in the middle of winter, it’s always a good month for fishing in Port Stephens. If you can put up with the cold, there’s some great fishing to be had with bream, luderick, drummer, tailor, salmon and snapper all on the chew.
As the crisp chill of winter bites at the skin it seems time to don the scarf and beanie and hit the water in hopes of a bite.
Winter has finally decided to show its face on the Mid North Coast of NSW after a mild autumn that brought reasonably settled conditions. The fishing has been fairly good with the transition of species providing the possibility of some quality mixed bags, especially when fishing offshore.
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