As forecast in last month’s issue, the entrance to the Georges River delivered the goods in the shape of outstanding catches. I also pointed out that this was the time to find new spots. Well, I found one in the shape of a reefy, shaly type of bottom right in the middle of the Georges River between Towra Point and Dolls Point. I tried this possie at least five times during February with surprising results. After losing fish after fish on light gear I decided to step up the tackle with heavier artillery, and this paid off. I got big flathead, bream, tailor, tarwhine, snapper, cobia and really good size kingfish. Yes, that’s right: kingfish in the Georges River. Unheard of!
Most anglers want the most from their fishing options, so a little homework on the best locations and especially the best time to visit them is important. You can have the greatest area in the world, but if you are there at the wrong time it can be a very disappointing experience! For Bermagui, March is arguably the best month of the lot.
Ever thought of secluded beaches, remote rocky headland, beautiful blue oceans or estuary systems you can have to yourself with no other anglers around? Well, it is possible in this area, so why not come stop, camp and explore what is possibly one of last true wildernesses NSW has to offer.
We’ve now reached the peak fishing season of the year and one of the very best months for nearly every species we encounter in this part of the country. I certainly wouldn’t complain if every month was like this, for the fishing and weather.
Many keen anglers agree that autumn really hits the spot. Sure, there’s something good on offer during every month of the year, but for sheer variety of species, consistency of catch, and stability of weather, the next few months are hard to beat.
First Denis Rivers hooked and landed a monster bull shark just before Christmas, and then Chris Micallef and his dad Anthony followed his performance with another whopping 11ft brute estimated at 250kg. I talked to Chris recently who gave me a rundown on how these enormous sharks fell.
The weather has been a little up and down. We have had periods of heavy rain and floods and we have had periods of bright blue skies, calm seas and hot days. The one thing that has been consistent has been the fishing… consistently great that is. Estuary fishing, inshore fishing or wide offshore, all options have been firing over summer and it looks set to continue through March.
The consistent rain over the last couple of months has provided some relief from the usual overgrowth of weed in the freshwater. A bit of flow means the weed doesn’t float on the surface and this makes fishing easier.
After a very wet start to the year the river should begin to turn back to a shade of green instead of the brown murky water we have been dealt of late. Despite the water colour, the fish have been biting well wherever cleaner tannin coloured water is found. Berowra and Cowan were the most reliable places to find a few fish by casting and retrieving soft plastic grubs and minnows along the many rock walls. Mixed bags of bream, flathead, tailor, soapy mulloway and the odd whiting have been common in the weeks after the fresh.
The north and south walls have seen some epic action. I’ve started fishing the end of the Fingal wall casting into either the surf side or the river. Last time I was out there I used plastics, chicken and a big popper, but I was late to the party and missed out on the best spot, which in my opinion is right out the end on the river side.
The acronym ‘FIFO’ stands for fly-in, fly-out and is most often used in relation to remote mining operations employees who fly to the site to commence their week or fortnight of shifts, then fly home afterwards for a break with their families. However, with the advent of fully equipped ‘turn-key’ hire packages of vehicles and boats, the FIFO concept now has genuine relevance in fishing circles as well!
March would have to be one of the best times of year to go camping on the Central Table Lands of NSW. The heat of summer has passed, and cool nights are made warm and toasty with the glowing embers and heat from the fire. The smell of hearty camp oven cooking will hopefully fill the nostrils; it could be a damper, or a bubbling stew, a mixture, or a broth to be shared among family and friends. This is what makes my March.
The summer fishing, even with its wet patches, has been on fire. I was fortunate enough to get dragged away from my hectic schedule by some mates from Sydney and out into a crazy marlin bite. We got out there, and to our surprise we discovered acres of bait with marlin swimming all over the place.
We’re into a terrific offshore season at the moment with some very good fish being caught out the front of Sydney. Small and big boats alike have been hooking into marlin out wide with some very good mahimahi captures as well.
The last couple of months of weather have been pretty crazy in the Snowy Mountains. One day we have it hot and steamy and the next day freezing – which has been reflected in the fishing of late.
The beginning of autumn is here but we’re not going down hill yet. This summer has been an incredible season on many fronts. In March, it’s set to continue with water temperatures warm and hopefully more settled weather.
Practice is imperative to master any activity, and when it comes to casting accuracy, there are no shortcuts. I’ve spent many hours in the backyard practising my casting techniques, which demonstrably aids my fishing game when I’m out on the water trying to reach the tight spots where fish hold. This article will give a little insight into casting.
After over a year of inflicting my bad selfies, ‘fish on the floor of the kayak’ and fish in my hand photos on Fishing Monthly readers, some recent windy and wet weather inspired me to spend some time in the man cave and sort out my kayak camera mounts and cameras.
Following on from last edition’s loop knot with the same name, this month we look at the other version of the perfection loop; this version is a completely different knot, with a completely different purpose.
Fishing is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to catch! When you are fishing for popular sportfish such as barramundi, flathead and even tuna you can catch a range of fish you weren’t even targeting, sometimes trophy or rarely seen fish.
I caught my first big fish at 12 years old – a longtail tuna, caught on an old Abu Garcia Toby spoon and 12lb mono. I kept the fish frame in the family’s freezer to admire proudly until my mother threw it out! I’m sure I’m not the only angler that claimed tuna as their first big fish, and I can attest after 10 years of guiding in Hervey Bay, that tuna definitely win the most sought-after target. And why not? They grow big, fight hard (pound for pound they’re the toughest), and can be caught in a variety of ways.
After a good drop of rain at the end of January things are looking up for the autumn fishing season. The whole ecosystem benefited from an injection of freshwater, which carried nutrients and food into the Sandy Straits and Hervey Bay. The only downside has been the influx of fork-tailed catfish that inhabit the reefs and estuaries after a good drop of rain.
This month we’ll be cooking up one of the tastiest and most available little crustaceans, the redclaw, or freshwater cray. You can catch dozens of these dozens of these critters in drop nets and Opera House pots in dams, rivers. Although we’ve used redclaw in this dish, there’s other species of cray in Australia that you can eat, and can be used in this recipe.
What a start to the barra season, with the first week of February delivering neap tides, heaps of barra and some great wet season downpours. February was a great month all round and the best way to kick off barra chasing for 2016. This month promises to be just as great.
This month we’re set for explosive topwater action! Mangrove jack fire around this time of the year, smashing baitfish on the surface! Not only will jacks be on the list, but flathead, bream, whiting, painted sweetlip and trevally will also be biting.
There has been a bit of rain over the past month. While there have been heavy falls in some areas, the bigger falls haven’t been widespread enough to affect the lake levels too much. The ground is soaked and the feeder creeks to the lakes are mostly trickling in. All it will take is a good rain event to top the lakes back up. Keep an eye on the weather if you are planning a trip to make sure you aren’t heading to a full lake or running river of dirty floodwater.
The weather has become a bit unstable as it does at this time of year, but the fishing remains brilliant.
What a cracking summer we’ve had! Finally we have experienced the weather patterns synonymous of our summers in the South East. With humid high temperature days fuelled by moderate to high south easterly winds, these patterns are a recipe for only one thing in the northern bay, and that’s good fishing.
At this time of year, the weather in the South East gives us limited opportunities to get offshore, and so far we’ve only had a handful of fishable days in both January and February.
We’ve just entered the first of the transition months on the Gold Coast, and although summer may not have been everything we thought it’d be, March is set to be a cracker.
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