While a lot of anglers have packed the boat up until September, a few of us have been braving the cold and reaping the rewards of the best winter whiting season ever as well as some good squid and bags of flathead offshore.
The occurrence of — and how to deal with — shrinkage of fish that were legal sized when caught, but then measured as undersize some time later, has been known to fisheries agencies for some time. Possession of undersized fish is one of the most common offences seen in the fisheries compliance field, resulting in large numbers of Penalty Infringement Notices for minor offences and court appearances, convictions, boat/vehicle seizures and major penalties for more serious offences.
August is shaping up to be a cracking last month of winter 2015. After last year’s patchy and mild winter it has been a welcome surprise to have such a defined season. There has been the odd mackerel captured, but mostly once it hit the end of May the Coffs Coast has been in full-on winter mode.
The last month of winter sees a turnaround in the way the lake fishes.
This issue I want to look at 1 of my favourite types of fishing and how some recent experiences have reinforced the importance of mixing things up, taking note of what’s happening around you, and being prepared to alter techniques to catch a wider variety of species.
Dead cold winter nights are sufficient incentive for most people to stay at home in front of the heater and watch the idiot box, but up here on the northern beaches there’s a mad kind of fella that loads up the boat and heads off down the Cowan in search of the mysterious and prehistoric hairtail.
Bluefin fever has hit the south coast. Now I know I made the call of the 10th of July, and I was like a week late and I’m never late! (Well, except when it comes to this fishing report...) We worked hard and got fish on the 29th of June, but it’s still the 10th when things should really kick into gear.
Fishing on the Tweed has been great over the last couple of months, and has seen the place restore its reputation as a fun and rewarding recreational fisho’s paradise!
The wind is my friend, the wind is my friend, the wind is my friend. The power of positive thinking will surely be tested this month and next up at Thompsons Creek Dam. I have often doubted my intentions, right up until that next rainbow trout smashes my spoon and gets aerial and then the wind is soon forgotten.
We have been blessed with quite pleasant weather this winter, through plenty of big high pressure systems delivering stable, wind-free days. Calm weather makes for great lure casting and this is where I have been focussing my efforts most days. The ability to have a matching bait imitation in the form of a lure, whether hard or soft, is quite beneficial on an early bite that you would miss if you were sourcing bait at first light.
It’s true that August is not the most attractive month on the year’s calendar, and the winter holiday periods that bookend the colder months are not patronised by as many visitors. However, it can be a month of greatly settled weather that allows boats to venture offshore to find a feed of mixed reef fish. It is also the start of the yellow leatherjacket invasion that is cursed by so many, but should really be enjoyed as the jackets aren’t too bad on the plate.
Well it’s that month of the year again. It’s probably my least favourite fishing month if I am to be totally honest. Don’t get me wrong, there are always fish to be caught and it’s true that you won’t catch them sitting at home, but there is something about August that makes it hard for me to get up and out there.
As we enter August, the last month of cold weather, we look forward to the great fishing continuing. Obviously no one told the fish it is too cold and there have been plenty of options for locals and tourists to get into some of the great fishing that has been on offer in the rivers and offshore.
This year has seen very high water temperatures, which in turn have resulted in some special fishing that’s not about to stop any time soon. The estuaries are unseasonably fishing better than they should, with Wallaga Lake being the pick and having the most species on offer.
This fishing year has been great, with water temperatures high and staying high, producing some excellent angling. This is set to continue, with the reef fishing the best at present.
Although we are now starting to notice an increase in sunshine and some of the mornings don’t quite have that viciously cold bite to them, it’s still officially winter and unfortunately the month ahead is notoriously tough for fishing.
In the past two years the weather warmed up quickly as soon as September rolled around. Let’s hope it happens again this year, as we’ve just had the coldest winter on the Central Coast I can ever remember.
Botany Bay is a great attractor of baitfish, and this in turn lures large schools of tailor during the winter months right through to spring. They can be taken both day and night, with the smaller chopper variety more predominant during the day. Best catches are taken on small lures and ganged pillies.
The mid north coast has experienced a cold and wet winter so far. Most of the rain has fallen on the edge of the coast, while the headwaters of the rivers have not had as much. This means that there have been no ‘freshes’ coming down and the river has been able to clear and let the salt water move up to the boundaries where the water changes to brackish.
Well it’s definitely winter! Those bitter winds in the morning are certainly making it hard to get up, but the rewards are there if you can suffer the cold.
The Canberra-Monaro district is now in the depths of winter, with snow and ice abundant on the mountains. This means a major change in fishing tactics that visitors in particular should take note of.
This time of year we really see the cold weather set in and with the good movement of water out wide off the shelf, we should have yellowfin and southern bluefin tuna turning up in big numbers. This means lots of miles travelled and big hours put in to find these beasts of the bluewater, but if you do find them the rewards are big!
With a lot of our in house boat tests nowadays, we complete a video that shows the craft in action and interviewing an expert about the hull. You can access these by scanning the QR Code published hereby with an app on your smartphone – or just by searching YouTube for the model in question.
It is definitely the time of year to start casting the snags for Murray cod. As winter rolls on, casting becomes the technique of choice for most cod anglers to draw out those giant fish.
August can be a very enjoyable time of the season to head out for a fish, but the mornings can be cold and foggy, although are usually followed by very bright and clear days. It is also quite common to get long periods of high barometer readings, which tend to peak around midday. This is the peak bite period.
August can be a tough month for fishing at Port Stephens, with relentless westerly winds turning the estuary into a foamy mess and making it very uncomfortable for boats heading offshore. This doesn’t mean that August is a month to write off, in fact there are some really good fish around at this time of year. It’s just a matter of taking advantage of those calm weather windows. Even on those days when the westerlies are puffing, all is not lost, as rock fishing will provide plenty of sheltered areas.
There is a great number of kingfish holding in Middle Harbour, and the way things are going it looks like they are staying for winter.
It’s August already and winter has flown by this year. Calm conditions have been a regular occurrence of late and the weather has even been fair on weekends for a change, leaving no excuses but to get out and give it a crack, as you never know what you might catch.
Stessco, on Brisbane’s north side, have been turning out excellent alloy fishing craft for years. I actually owned one for quite a while, and that no-frills but very functional little boat brought me a lot of enjoyment.
This neat 4.5m Horizon side console rig has a lot going for it. While a team of keen anglers could put the well turned out alloy rig to good use for some serious fishing in bay or estuary, there’s no denying the craft’s tremendous family boating appeal given the generously wide layout, ample interior work room plus a red hot price, at under $21,000 from the dealer’s yard. And that’s with electronics as well.
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