A big hello, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from me, Johnny Nolan, your new reporter for the Shoalhaven region in this great magazine. Up until now, Wes Murphy, a good mate of mine, has done a terrific job in bringing you all the latest in fishing info for our area, but it was time for Wes to step back due to work commitments and bringing up a young family – so I’ve come on board. It is a new year after all, so why not start it off with a fresh new face and new outlook and perspective on fishing?
Make an incision just below the skin behind the head and along its body all the way to the tail. Note that the cut runs above the ‘belly organs’ and avoids thinner flesh around the ribs.
Christmas has been and gone for another year, and if you were lucky you may have received a few fishing gifts. If you didn’t, just treat yourself, I sure did! I’ve actually ordered a new boat – but that’s another story!
Where did the year go? The good news is that the fishing has maintained the high standards we’ve grown used to before Christmas. Our creeks, estuaries and local reefs are producing plenty of bread and butter species alongside trophy sportfish. Out wider, reports from the gutters have been few and far between courtesy of the ever-present northerlies keeping all but the keenest anglers’ boats in the garage.
January is a time to reflect on the past year and to start planning our fishing experiences for the coming year. 2015 was a memorable year for Mackay with both positives and some unfortunate negative aspects from the perspective of an angler. Rainfall records indicate that this was the driest year since 2005, which has had a dramatic effect on fishing and fish recruitment for the future. My rainfall readings were about 50% less than 2014. We missed the late spring and early summer storms, which will impact on barra – particularly as these conditions set them off to head to the islands and headlands to breed.
Welcome to 2016! I hope everyone had a safe holiday and enjoyed it. January is set to be a ripper of a month for fishing, with a lot of great signs in our canal systems pointing to plenty of solid fish getting around!
The barramundi fishing has been top notch across many of the lakes where they are stocked. Big fish in excellent numbers have been reported right through the latter part of last year with some seasoned anglers reporting the best fishing in years.
The weather has been a little up and down, but we have still gotten quite a few offshore trips in.
Welcome to the New Year, or as I like to say – Happy new gear! If you were successful at dropping those subtle hints you may have found some great new fishing gear with your name on it under the Christmas tree! It has been great to see our waterways so busy over the festive season, and the weather has given us a reasonable serve of good fishing days over the last month. Sporadic southeast winds have typically peppered the northern bay, which has fed the many rivers and estuaries with a large presence of baitfish. This has made the fishing decent over these steamy humid days.
The weather and the water temperature have certainly turned up the heat, but unfortunately I cannot say the same for Spanish mackerel and wahoo. There was an early run of spotted mackerel down off the Gold Coast, which is unusual, as they tend to arrive a little later. The Spanish mackerel went really late this year and we were still getting fish in August, so it’s possible there will be a late start to their run this season, and if so, they should hit their peak in February, March and into April.
The warm water has arrived off the Gold Coast and the pelagic activity has greatly increased.
The New Year is already here, and the resolutions have been penned – most of which will be short lived. No doubt there are a few out there who indulged a little too much and embarrassed themselves at the work Christmas party. No need to hide in shame though! There’s a whole year to make up for any impropriety!
As we enter into a new calendar year it is interesting to look at the final stages of 2015 to give us some idea of what the month of January will hold.
Even though the rains have been great, there still hasn’t been enough to make a crucial difference to the water levels, or the fishing – but we’ll take what we can get! For those concerned about the fish kill that happened recently at the Barratas, it was officially deemed to be a naturally occurring black water event, caused by water sitting for long periods of time and becoming deoxygenated. Just enough rain overflowed the lagoon and travelled downstream which killed a lot of aquatic life along the way.
What an eventful month at Monduran, there have been plenty of barra caught on the cast and the troll, and we have released around 100,000 baby barra fingerlings back into the lake.
The road into Stanage is still dirt, so please remember to drive to the current conditions, and remain on the legal side of the road, not in the middle. The road is mostly unfenced with stock and wildlife roaming freely, so please slow down and take in the views of this beautiful land we love.
The start of another new year is upon us. I bet there were a few New Year’s resolutions to fish more this year. Mine certainly is! So far this summer we have had some great weather and some equally great fishing. With so many anglers out and about over the holiday period, there have been plenty of lines in the water and plenty of fish caught!
There’s been some exciting times on the Fraser Coast for anglers with a great range of fishing on offer. The last couple of months has had something for just about every keen angler.
I hope everyone had a great Christmas break! It’s time to open the fishing account for 2016! This is the year to tick those new species of the list and smash a few PBs!
Many creek anglers shy away from fishing surface lures because of the misguided belief that it’s just too hard. In actual fact, surface fishing for fish like mangrove jacks, barramundi and even bread and butter species like bream and flathead is not as hard as it seems and it can actually be a go to method when the variables are right.
Suzuki motors seem to be intent on spoiling Australian motorists, releasing a stand-out SUV in the Vitara. Unlike many smaller SUVs, it’s more of a high riding wagon than a chunky hatchback-style vehicle. It’s available in both RT-S (manual or auto 2WD) and the more heavily specced RT-X, which offers the All Grip AWD auto variant for those who like to drive forest trails, bush tracks and the like. As well as all the off-road fun, this model can easily double as the kids’ taxi to school.
In the freshwater there are fish that require finesse, some that require brawn, and others that demand both mastery of technique in casting and fly presentation. Last but not least there’s an iconic fish that is easiest to catch if you are prepared to put in a bit of effort to reap the rewards. They’re all specialities of summer!
New Zealand born and bred Stabicraft are alloy pontoon-style boats renowned for immense stability, toughness, longevity and easy performance from a given horsepower. In fact, many professional services rely on these attributes to carry out their work using these well-regarded boats.
Mangrove jack have been the flavour of the month in loads of local spots from Corio, The Narrows, Ross Creek, The Causeway Lake and the lower end of the Fitzroy River.
The action over the last few months has been great for the pelagic fishers in particular. Good numbers of mackerel, tuna and the occasional cobia have graced our inshore waters while further out past Moreton and Stradbroke there has been marlin, wahoo, mahimahi, tuna, sailfish, Spanish mackerel and a few others on offer. Inshore opportunities exist for mangrove jack, estuary cod, sharks, flathead, bream, snapper, threadfin and numerous others.
For all anglers, having good connections is very important for a successful result. For those using lighter tackle, this means knowing the best knots for your chosen main line and leader material type, and also for the fishing situation at hand. Whether joining main line straight to leader or to a swivel, solid ring or hook, there are numerous knots to learn and then put into practice during the fishing day.
The festive season has delivered some very cheerful fishing for all who have indulged in the abundant angling options in and around Gladstone. The estuaries have produced nice full crabs, plenty of jack, grunter, and salmon as a result of afternoon storms over the past month. Inner reefs and out wide are equally giving up the goods on pelagic and reef species action.
The Sunshine Coast is really enjoying a hot summer with plenty of evening storms, but I think that makes the fishing even better.
Violent surface strikes, powerful runs, great speed and a top eating quality make Spanish mackerel one of our most popular pelagics to catch. Is it any wonder so many anglers work so hard to catch their first ocean brute? In this article I will cover the main points to get you started and help improve your Spaniard catch rates.
January is a great family time with the as the weather encourages fun summer activities like fishing, adventuring, and just having fun out on the water. With a vast majority of people enjoying holidays over the Christmas and New Year break, the waterways will be a bit crowded. However, don’t let that put you off, as there are still some great tides in January that should fire up a few fish.
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