Fraser Island, about three hours north of Brisbane and 15km off the coast of Hervey Bay and Maryborough, is the largest sand island in the world, and a popular location for sightseers, campers, 4WDers and anglers. I’ve been visiting Fraser with family and friends for over 25 years, and I believe it lives up to the name given to it by its original indigenous inhabitants: K’Gari, meaning paradise.
I’ve been checking the weather forecast daily, and every time it’s disappointing. That’s typical for winter though I guess, with those persistent southerly trade winds never letting up. It’s maddening because I know there are so many hungry fish out there, and during August they really start chewing their heads off. We just need to get the weather windows to shoot out and get the rods bent and test those drags out.
Australians are increasingly embracing technology in our day-to-day lives, and the same can be applied to fishing. It is those anglers who embrace the technology who will reap greater rewards. If you’re a novice when it comes to using sounders and electric motors, or fishing for goldens, this article is for you. As a predominantly golden perch and bass angler, I will focus on how you can use sounders and electric motors to improve your catch rates.
You have to dedicate yourself to a single species of fish if you really want to understand them fully — what depths they feed in and why, peak times of the year, water movement and tides, and bottom structure to name a few.
The colder water has moved into Pittwater and along the coast, but there are some great fish to catch.
Many manufacturers want us to believe that AWD is as good as true 4WD. The Suzuki Jimny, by contrast, stands out from the would-be-if-they-could-be pack. This is no high-sitting hatchback with double diffs and marketed as an SUV, nor is it offered in 2WD only either. Make no mistake – this little vehicle is a genuine 4WD in every sense of the word. It has a two-speed transfer box offering high or low range, which sees the ability to transmit power from rear wheels to all four wheels in high or low range by the push of a button. The ample ground clearance – 190 mm – very generous departure and approach angles all scream for a bit of fun off road.
In last month’s issue I mentioned just how easy it is to organize a fly-in camping trip to Cape York, with Weipa as a base. If you book extra baggage you can bring icebox with tackle and camping gear in it to complement your usual baggage of rod tubes and other kit. Hiring a 4WD in town provides transport, and from there you can enjoy really great fishing at virtually every bit of accessible water. I prioritised tackle in last month’s article, but there’s more to tackle for a successful FIFO trip to the Cape!
Fraser Island is infamous for the beach and rock fishing on the eastern side of the island by diehard anglers in their serious 4WD vehicles, but on a recent trip I discovered a far more relaxed style of fishing from the Kingfisher Bay Resort jetty. While the approach is relaxing, the fishing action is some of the best land-based action going.
Other than December, August would have to be one of the most anticipated months for cod fishing.
I know that it sounds a little crazy catching snapper in the middle of winter, but if you’re prepared to put the time in and endure the cold you could be rewarded with a trophy knobby.
I have been fishing Western Port for nearly two decades, and during that time I have seen a lot of changes when it comes to fish movement and behaviour. When you write a regular column for almost 10 years, reporting every month on the highs and lows of the most common species caught, you can’t help but build a solid history of when fish are at their most active throughout their season. Sure, there are factors that can alter the usual patterns (e.g. weather) but you do end up with a good basic idea of what’s going on and what will happen in the coming months.
Winter means only one thing for a lot of anglers: time to garage the boat and wait until the cold fronts pass and the snapper migration kicks into gear again. It won’t be long before this all happens, but for now we still have a month of winter left and plenty of hungry fish are still on offer.
The cold start to winter on the bay has continued, and has kept anglers honest on the water. Strong and persistent onshore winds have also been a common thread, making conditions less than comfortable for the most part. The calm and clear days that anglers crave at this time of year have been few and far between, but when they have come we’ve seen more anglers getting out on the water and amongst the action.
When August rolls around and water temperatures are at their lowest, I get ready for a very deep relationship with the bream. They school up in huge numbers and lure anglers can score amazing tallies of bream with metal blades or small hardbodied vibes. Bait anglers can also get in on the action, and for some reason these same schooling bream prefer sandworm over all other baits.
Despite winter’s clutches having been around for ages there haven’t been any massive dumps of rain to get the rivers really flowing hard and brown. Although this might seem a bad thing for many angling prospects, there are some interesting angling options available when this occurs. Many keen trout anglers wait for these heavy flows of dirty water to get the trout up and into feeding on the shallow runs. It takes persistence and dedication to blindly and relentlessly flog a lure or large wet fly in the dirty water, but when a big brown smashes a lure unexpectedly at your feet it keeps you motivated to persist until the next time.
Over the last month reports have been flooding in of bass still being caught at Blue Rock Lake in good numbers. Adding to the excitement of winter bass, some big reddies have also been caught jigging worms and lures, and some nice-sized trout are being picked up trolling the lake. A few years ago Blue Rock was a quiet lake dubbed ‘Lake Disappointment’, but now it’s quite the opposite. It’s a great option for those brave enough to face the cold, and wet a line outside of the stream trout season.
Major dredging works at Werribee South have been operating over the past month in order to create a deeper and wider boating channel and therefore provide safer access to and from Port Phillip Bay.
With most fish in spawning mode during the last few weeks the angling has been a bit spasmodic and many people are getting frustrated by seeing large fish free-swimming in numbers with many in very shallow water.
About 3.5 hours from Melbourne and only a short 5-minute drive from the centre of Lakes Entrance lies the ever so popular Lake Tyers. The reason Lake Tyers is so popular is the amount of species that are available on offer, with the prized targets being bream and flathead.
Even though it is officially still winter in Tasmania, we do not let this break us for one minute. Steely resolve and a resolute conviction that the sun will burn long and warm once more has us continually reaching for the rod rack when we find the time.
On water boat testing can be and is a lot of fun. The opportunity to spend two or three hours putting a boat through its paces and getting to know the people that are putting the package together provides a great insight and knowledge of a great variety boats and what they are capable of.
It’s cold and windy outside but that’s no excuse to not go fishing. In fact, it has been a rather dry winter so far and that means all the local estuaries are fishing well for black bream.
Winter can certainly seem slow on the weeks which present endless grey and gloom. Yet we have been reasonably lucky through the last month with those periods generally punctuated by a respite and a few days of light breezes and good, if still grey, fishing conditions.
The cold wet weather of winter often keeps fishers indoors at this time of year but the keenest of anglers are still putting in the hard yards and being well rewarded for their efforts. Some of our best fishing can be had in winter and August is no exception.
With the frosts on the ground the full chill of winter has done little to dampen the enthusiasm of anglers fishing the Murray River.
It was a very odd month to say the least, with the powers that be deciding to let an absolute truckload of water out of the lake – up to 10,000 megalitres per day at one stage. This went on for three weeks and dropped the lake by around 4%. Apparently it was for environmental reasons but my main concern is what damage these massive flows could have done to the recent spawn. You have to wonder how it would have affected the beds of eggs that had only been in place for 3-5 weeks. I just hope it hasn't completely destroyed the entire season’s spawn below the weir.
It’s a very different looking lake from the Bonnie Doon Bridge when the water level is in its low 50s, that's for sure. It’s easy to forget that it wasn't that long ago when you couldn't even see water from the bridge. Let's hope it doesn't happen again too soon.
This winter the rain has been very constant with plenty of east coast lows regularly dropping 40-50mL. With plenty of run-off, the rivers have been running hard for most of the time and have been constantly refreshing the whole system.
The Bendigo region has been in the grip of a chilly winter. We have received some very good frosts, and on those windy days if you’re not careful it feels like the wind will cut you in half. With these trying conditions, few anglers have been fishing lately. It is only the most dedicated anglers who are prepared to put the hard yards in at this time of year.
Some miserable days that make it a total write off for fishing or the exact opposite with perfect winter windless days has seen anglers getting out on the water when they can, and just like winter fishing every year for those people who are out there on the water the results are excellent.
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