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BETS Lake Mac Report • GTS Brisbane Waters • SBS Georges River • Port Stephens Shootout •


Boat Trailer Accessories • Lake Mac Mulloway • Canberra Cod •


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APRIL 2014



it’s time to cast and destroy

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Mathew Cockington landed this impressive 13kg snapper while fishing at Adelaide Metropolitan Waters. Mathew’s fish took a Black Magic KS 8/0 hook.

A Black Magic Spinsect ‘golden grub’ was used to catch this 2.2kg hen brown trout while fishing on Lake Elingamite. Rod Shepherd also used Black Magic 8lb Fluorocarbon tippet.



George Dean landed this bream while fishing on Gorges River, NSW. George used a Black Magic C Point 2/0 hook and Black Magic 8lb Fluorocarbon tippet.

A Black Magic KL 1/0 hook was used by Nigel Saville to take this 49cm King George whiting. Nigel was fishing in Western Port, Melbourne.

Ramon Dellaca was fishing using a Black Magic KL 3/0 hook and Black Magic 60lb Tough Trace when a salmon took the bait. As Ramon pulled the salmon in this 25kg mulloway ate the salmon.

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April 2014, Vol. 19 No. 8

Contents BYRON COAST The Tweed 12 Ballina 14 The Clarence 16 COFFS COAST Coffs Harbour Coffs Game South West Rocks

18 20 21

MACQUARIE COAST Port Macquarie 22 Harrington 24 Forster 26 HUNTER COAST Hunter Coast 29 Swansea 30 Central Coast 31 SYDNEY The Hawkesbury 32 Sydney North 34 Pittwater 36 Sydney Harbour 38 Sydney Rocks 40 Sydney South 42 ILLAWARRA COAST Illawarra 44 Nowra 52 BATEMANS COAST Batemans Bay 55 Narooma 57 Merimbula 58 Bermagui 59





From the Editor’s Desk... April really is the favourite time of the year for a lot of NSW anglers – and that’s not just because Easter and Anzac Day nearly collide to make a clever worker’s holiday dream. Cooler estuary temperatures and warm ocean currents bring out the best in inshore and offshore fishing. According to Port Stephens’ Paul Lennon, April is also the best time of year to catch an XOS mulloway – like the one featured on the cover. Check out his feature inside giving you some pieces of the big-mulloway puzzle. By the look of the images in the article, his crew has a fair handle on extracting the giants. We know that while the fishing is so hot, boat trailer maintenance and pimping is probably the last thing on your mind,

but that’ll change when you check out the feature in boat trailer accessories in this issue. There’s nothing like making your pride and joy’s ride a pleasure and not a pain. LAST CHANCE TO FIND THE HOOKS Response to the latest Find-the- competition has – as always – been exceptional. Thousands of entries have been forthcoming for the C-Point hooks hidden in the pages. At the end of this month, the Grand Prize winners will be drawn. And don’t worry if you’ve missed out this time. There will be a new and exciting Find-Thecompetition starting in May. BATEMANS BAY REPORT Apologies to readers in the Clyde catchment – our replacement writer has let us down a couple of months in a row and we’re on the

lookout for a replacement! If you live in the area and want to contribute, shoot me an email (s.morgan@ and we can discuss. GET YOUR COVERS IN! We’ve had reasonable response so far to the Reader’s Cover competition, but there’s still an opportunity to get your mug (or a photo of yours) on the cover. The main thing to remember is that the image needs to be PORTRAIT format, not LANDSCAPE. We’ve had a lot of great submissions that are simply the wrong orientation. So get snapping and emailing! SBT – BE HEARD Finally, there’s a piece inside this magazine that outlines the request for submissions into the management of southern bluefin tuna. If you’re a keen offshore angler, now’s the

time to have your say and contribute to the feedback - you have until April 16. Portrait


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A Paul Lennon image.


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Mark Lennon with a ripper beach mulloway.


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APRIL 2014

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SPECIAL FEATURES Big Beach Mulloway Boat Trailer Accessories



REGULAR FEATURES Fun Page 45 Back to Basics 53 Kayak 62 Dam Levels 71 What’s New Fishing 74 Tournaments 78 Boating 81 Trade Directory 86 What’s New Boating 89 Tides 91



FRESHWATER Canberra 64 Batlow 66 Jindabyne 67 Maitland 68 Lithgow-Oberon 69 Tamworth 70 Moama 71 Wagga Wagga 71 Yarrawonga 72 Robinvale 73






Bag a beach mulloway PORT STEPHENS

Paul Lennon

When it comes to catching fish from surf beaches, big mulloway are the ultimate prize. Fish over the 20kg mark are what surf anglers dream of. They are rarely caught by luck and almost always by those who have spent many hours targeting them for no

end up quitting or in some sort of asylum, the ones who stick with it eventually get that monster mulloway. This first catch gives them the knowledge to repeat their success. Getting someone to cough up this hard-earned information after they’ve done the hard yards is often like getting blood out of a stone. In fact, don’t even bother asking. What you will

Double trouble. Ben Doolan hidden behind a couple of monster beach mulloway. result. These anglers would have doggedly ground their way through many fishless nights, constantly changing their approach, trying to figure out what works. While many of these guys

likely be told is a fanciful story conjured up to throw you off the scent and send you in the complete wrong direction. The reality is that there are no shortcuts to working these fish out, but

that’s also what makes them so special. TIMING When it comes to mulloway on the mid north coast of NSW, timing is perhaps the most important piece of the puzzle to get right. You can catch beach mulloway any month of the year but the peak times are around April through to June. Many anglers think that luck plays the biggest role in catching a monster mulloway and that it’s just a matter of cramming in stacks of all-night sessions and simply waiting for one to come along. The reality is that only a very small percentage of people crack a monster beach mulloway out of luck alone. These fish are creatures of habit and once worked out you begin to understand that it’s almost a waste of time fishing for them outside of certain timeframes. Being exceptional hunters, especially when in excess of 20kg, they don’t need to spend a long time in feeding mode to get enough to eat. This is why short sessions around key times are far more practical and productive. These fish are not silly and just like us they know that the period around high tide is most likely to be when a surf gutter is holding the most tucker. This high-tide window is the best time to focus your efforts. Around and after dark is without a doubt far more productive than daylight hours. This, however, is only the beginning of what makes

As the sun sets, predators like mulloway come out to play.

The author holding 60lb of beach mulloway.

Fishing gutters like this one is the key to success.

As seen on the cover: Mark Lennon with a ripper mulloway. 8

APRIL 2014

up ‘prime time’ for mulloway on the beach. Surf conditions are another contributing factor, as too little or too much will greatly decrease your chance of success. The reason fish hang in gutters is not just for shelter but because they create a massive food chain, holding baitfish as well as pipis, worms and crabs. All become dislodged by the waves pounding surrounding

shallow edges of gutters, washing these food items into the deeper water. This is heaven for species like whiting, bream and tailor, but it quickly turns into hell once the sun goes down and bigger predators like sharks and mulloway come out to play. When there is no swell, however, the gutters are no longer defined and all the action is no longer concentrated in one area,

making things much more difficult. PREPARATION Being there at the right time is only one side of the coin. The other thing you need to be on top of is making sure that your bait and rigs are all spot on during the prime time. Many anglers dedicate a lot of time to catching one of these fish but then use a week old, thawed out strip of

mullet that most mulloway would swim straight past. Fresh is definitely best. Mulloway are spoilt for food choices on the beach so don’t skimp on bait. Sometimes I spend longer chasing bait than I do fishing for the mulloway. I always try to get myself half a dozen or so fresh squid before any planned beach mulloway session as I think these are the best dead bait you can possibly use. However, squid are still only a secondary option for me as I like to get to the beach an hour before dark and try to pick up a tailor or whiting to use for a livebait. Nothing increases your chances more than having a livie in the water. It gives you a great deal of confidence knowing that if there’s a mulloway in the area, you have your ‘A game’ out there. Regardless of whether I’m using live or dead bait I always apply the same rig. This is simply a star sinker connected to an Ezy Rig that runs freely up the line to a swivel attached to an 80cm length of 50lb fluorocarbon leader. My hook size is determined by bait size, with 2 snelled 7/0-10/0 Gamakatsu in octopus patterns for dead baits and a single 8-10/0 for livebait. Some gun mulloway anglers also swear by a big, whole, live beach worm rigged up on a 5/0 longshank. The problem I have on the beaches I fish when using worms like this is everything else wants to eat them too, like salmon, bream, rays and shovelnose sharks. As far as I’m concerned, the less time I spend dealing with unwanted bycatch during the prime time, the better. OUTFITS Good mulloway sticks for the surf need plenty of grunt down low but still a soft enough tip to take the shock out of a big head shake and not rip hooks out of baits during a cast. My favourite rod for this is the FSU 5144g

grip on understanding them is to dedicate many hours on the beach working them out. Good Luck!

Having your rigs ready will save you valuable time. blank. It’s 12’ long and has a graphite butt that runs into a fibreglass tip at about the last third of the rod, giving it a perfect blend of power and softness. I build these up with heat shrink grips to keep the blank diameter down at the butt end. Depending on your preference, both spinoverhead and Alvey make

great mulloway beach reels. If, however, you do choose to go a spinning reel make sure you use a Baitrunner type that can be easily put in and out of freespool. This way you can place your outfit in a rod holder when you’re not hanging onto it, and it won’t disappear if a fish hits when you’re not looking! I spool my reels up with 12kg mono

when fishing for mulloway in the surf. This gives you a good cast and still allows you to put plenty of hurt on a fish. Hopefully the above information will help put you on the right track to catching a monster beach mulloway. Just remember these fish don’t come easily and the only way you will ever get a

Top: The author was stoked with this cracker beach mulloway. Bottom: Ben Doolan with another quality mulloway.

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APRIL 2014


Tech Tricks

Flexible ganged hook rigs for fishing pilchards BRISBANE

Gordon Macdonald

One of the most commonly used hook rigs for beach fishers, especially in Southern Qld and Northern NSWs, is the ganged hook rig. Whether you’re fishing with pilchards or other long, thin baits such as fillet strips, whole squid and other whole fish, the ganged hook rig is a great way to present your bait. It also has a greater hook-up rate than many other rigs. The traditional way of joining hooks has always

been eye to shank. Many hook patterns, such as Mustad 4202D and VMC 8755, are made with opened, turned in eyes to make the ganging process easier. The downside of joining the hooks eye-to-shank is that the rig is fairly rigid. This rigidity makes it more difficult to put the bait on the hook and also means that the hook eye can distort or even break due to the torque created when the hooks are bent in opposing directions. Many years ago, anglers began experimenting with different hook styles and methods of joining the hooks, and came up with the swivel-linked ganged rig. This modification solved the

shortcomings of the rigid eye-to-shank rig, replacing it with a more flexible and durable hook rig that make it easier to put the bait on. Additionally, as a result of each hook being able to move independently, this rig has a higher hook-up rate and is less likely to fall out during the fight. For whole fish baits, I put the hooks down through the back of the bait. This decreases the hooks’ visibility and places the hook points in the soft gut cavity which is easily punctured when a fish bites down on the bait. Another advantage of this placement is that it creates a

central pull to the bait, which makes it appear more natural in the water. The leading hook is in the hard head which decreases the chance of it tearing out during an aggressive cast. Rigged in this way, pilchards make great cast-and-retrieve offerings when slowly rolled through the water, especially in the surf for tailor. While many of the original ganging hook patterns can be used for this rig, you will get a more compact and neat rig by using inline hooks (not offset) with straight eyes (not turned in or out). The main patterns I use are the VMC 9255 and Tru-Turn 711, which are both readily available. In fact, I use

a combination of these two patterns for my preferred rig. The Tru-Turn hook pattern has a kink in the shank which helps roll the hook point upright as a fish bites down on the hook. This increases the hook-up rate with the hook commonly piercing the roof of the mouth. For this reason I use this hook pattern for the two rear hooks in the rig as they can both swivel independently which offers awesome hooking potential. For the leading hook in the rig I use the straight shanked VMC 9255. It makes the bait more stable in the water and decreases the chance of a pilchard or other

whole fish bait spinning. In a moderate current the bait should just waft slowly side to side, which makes it look more lifelike and enticing to predating species. For this to work however, the leading hook (VMC 9255) needs to be placed centrally in the head, approximately halfway between the eye and the nose of the bait. Additionally, the bait needs to be straight and a little flexible. This hook placement keeps the mouth of the bait closed and keeps the whole rig streamlined. Now let’s look at the steps in making a good, flexible ganged hook swivel rig and putting on your pilchard.


To finish the rig, put on the trailing hook (Tru Turn 711) by passing the lower swivel of the second hook over the eye and then closing. Your rig should now look like this.


Both the VMC 9255 and Tru Turn 711 have closed eyes so we need to begin by opening these so we can put the swivels on. Although some multi-purpose pliers have hook eye openers, I prefer to use a pair of side-cutters as it is less likely to weaken the hook eye. Put the side cutter’s two blades against the gap where the end of the eye meets the shank and squeeze down on the handles.


Depending on the type of side-cutters used, you may need to open the eye a little more. If so, slightly pry the tool outwards against the hook to open the gap enough to put the swivel on. It will only need to be opened a little bit however as the swivel eyes are not very thick.



Let’s start with the middle hook of the rig, a Tru Turn 711. Put the first swivel on and let it slide down and around to the hook bend. Put the second hook on and leave this one on the hook eye.

Lay the hook rig along the side of the pilchard to work out where the rear hook will need to be inserted. Keep in mind that your leading hook will be inserted approximately halfway between the eye and nose of the pilchard.

Use a pair of pliers to close the hook eye. I like to use my crimping pliers as the dual action and grooves in the blade make this task easier. Be careful not to crush or damage the swivel while closing the hook eye.



When closed, there should be a flush meeting of the metal with no gap left where the eye meets the shank.



Now you need to choose a suitable swivel. I use Shogun rolling swivels [see inset for the correct sizes for VMC and Tru-Turn hooks between 3/0 and 6/0]. For other swivels and hook patterns you will need to ensure that the swivel moves freely over the hook shank and that it cannot slip over the barb of the hook. 10

APRIL 2014


Put your top hook (VMC 9255) on next by passing the swivel on the eye of the middle hook over the eye and down the shank. You can put an additional swivel on the eye of this leading hook or just close it.

Insert the hooks down through the middle of the back of the pilchard as shown with the leading hook placed centrally through the head. Your pilchard is now ready to be deployed. If you need a little more weight you can add a sinker directly in front of the hook. CONCLUSION Rigging baits well will definitely increase your chances of initially hooking and staying connected to a fish. Good bait presentation can often mean the difference in acceptance or refusal of a bait, which makes a dramatic difference to your end result. For pilchards, gar and pike, this rig is the best I have used, especially when targeting tailor, mackerel and other toothy critters which can easily bite through hook rigs snelled on monofilament or fluorocarbon.

The ganged hook swivel rig is flexible, easy to insert, durable and has low visibility when inserted in the bait. You’ll need different sizes depending on the baits you’re using, however a 4/0 or 5/0 will suit most pilchards. These rigs are also easier to store than normal gangs and you can fold them up and wrap them in alfoil. You can prepare a heap of different sizes in twin hook, three hook or four hook gangs ready to suit a variety of bait sizes and types. I’m sure you will love using them.

Cooking with Lynn

Asian spring rolls BRISBANE

Lynn Bain

This is a step-by-step guide to making Asian spring rolls. Because of the generic Asian ingredients in these spring rolls, you could serve them with a dipping sauce from any of the cultures – either soy and mirin (Japanese), sweet chilli sauce

2 6

(Thai), chilli jam (Thai) or hoisin sauce (Chinese). Alternatively, you could have bowls of all four of these dipping sauces and give your diners a choice. INGREDIENTS 1 tablespoon peanut oil 2 cloves garlic, finely grated 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger 2 green shallots, finely chopped 500gms green prawns,

Heat the cooking oil in a frypan. Then fry garlic, ginger, green shallots and chopped green prawns until the prawns change colour. sure it’s not too sweet.


peeled and chopped 6 or so dried shitake mushrooms, soaked in water until soft, drained and then chopped 1 teaspoon Squid fish sauce A good pinch of sugar 1 tablespoon ABC Kecap Manis 1 tablespoon lime juice 3 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves Spring roll wrappers Oil, for deep frying

Add the mushrooms, fish sauce, Kecap Manis, lime juice, sugar and chopped coriander to the prawn mixture and continue to cook for a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat and allow the filling to cool.

1 4

The ingredients for the prawn filling.

All ready to roll. A spring roll wrapper, the cooled filling and some water for sealing the edges of the spring rolls.

9 Roll the bottom edge of the wrapper up and over the filling (wet each of the edges with a little water each time that you roll or fold the spring rolls – this ensures that the edges seal)


The completed spring roll. Rolled and ready for deep frying.


Completely cover the filling with the wrapper.


I find that the easiest (and gentlest) way of carefully lowering the spring roll into the hot oil is to use a slotted ladle.


Fold over the left-hand side of the wrapper.



A spoonful of the prawn filling is placed towards the centre-bottom of the wrapper.

Folding the right hand side of the wrapper over the left hand side. Make sure that you seal each edge as you roll and fold (use water in which to dip your fingers, then let the water drip from your fingers and onto the spring roll paper at the seal’s edge). Doing this step ensures that the spring roll doesn’t unwrap when being deep-fried.

Cook the spring rolls until golden brown and then drain them on paper towel. Spring rolls and dipping sauce presented ready for eating.

APRIL 2014


Now for the fun stuff THE TWEED

David Solano

Last month I talked about luring for bream on the Tweed and I mentioned how good the bycatch it can be. But what happens if you specifically target these other species with plastics or hardbodied lures, such as flathead, whiting or tailor? April is a good time to target these fish so I’m going to share with you some hot spots, what lures to use and when to use them. Let’s start with the Tweed lizard. Big flathead will take little lures but not on all occasions. Recently I spotted a monster flathead under my yak, then I quickly backed off and cast a 2” Gulp Shrimp at it, bouncing a TT 1/12oz jighead along the bottom. The first cast it went by its mouth by a couple of centimetres and it didn’t bat an eyelid. Hmm! Guess I need to get closer. This time the lure hit its head (I was hoping I’d foul hook it) and it still didn’t move. Was I seeing things? One way to tell – I paddled over and sat right on top of it and banged the side of

my yak with the paddle and yep, a big flatty alright! It took off like a rocket but interestingly stopped 10m or so away (I was glad I

had my Spotters sunnies on so I could see all this). So I had another go at it with the same result. I think this fish was toying with me.

A healthy whiting caught on the flats.

A great lizard. It was satisfying to watch it swim away when released.


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APRIL 2014

A week later I was trolling through the same arm (yeah I know, trolling!) with my jack rod. I had on a ZMan Paddle Tail SwimmerZ with a 3/4oz TT jighead. When I got to the area where I’d seen and cast at the big girl I got smashed by a 90cm plus lizard and it got me thinking it was the same fish and the bigger lure did the trick. Those big girls are pretty territorial after all. Oh, and I swear she winked at me when I let her go. I like to name the big fish I let go, particularly the big flatties. Well, Norma was caught in the stretch of river behind PKG’s Seafood and if you do happen to catch her, treat her kindly, take the photo and then enjoy the pleasure of watching her swim away. OK, now for the fun stuff. How do you go about catching a whiting on a hardbodied lure? These fish love fast moving surface lures, whether it be a popper or something like a Megabass Dog X Junior. The technique is very important. When I first discovered you could catch whiting on surface lures I couldn’t have been in a better spot to have a crack. I’d hired a houseboat for a week and we were anchored off Ukerebagh Island right next to a massive sand bank which, on the high tide, made the perfect whiting hunting ground. When my girlfriend had her beauty sleep I paddled on over to try this new idea out. It worked! I caught a whiting on my second try, not legal but at least I knew the approach was working. Initially I found myself getting a bit too excited and kept pulling the lure away from the following fish, but by the end of the week I

found the best way was to just keep working the lure regardless of how many fish were chasing it. Keep going even if it’s getting bitten, and only strike when your rod loads up. Sometimes it can be hard to do as it’s all so damned exciting! Give it a try and it won’t be long before you’re addicted. Some awesome flats to check out are the Cobaki Broadwater and the Terranora Broadwater, really anywhere it’s shallow. If there’s weed and rocks

skull dragged over the top of the water. Both the rock walls at the Tweed work well but I prefer the Fingal side, casting into the surf. Any surface lure angler will tell you that the hits are pretty cool, particularly when a tailor hits the lure so hard that it flies out of the water. My favourite spot for tailor is near Fingal Light House. It’s the causeway, really a little island all on its own, kind of like a ‘rock boat’, i.e. you can fish from it just like on a deck. A

Ben (the Phantom) with a massive mulloway caught off Fingal Beach that made my flathead look small. on the bottom, so much the better. Tailor are my favourite fun fish. This time of year the big greenbacks can be caught on a cheap slug lures

word of warning: you have to cross the causeway to get to it and this can be dangerous, so watch what the waves are doing, wear shoes and get into ‘em!

abt E




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Warm water, rain and mackerel BALLINA

Tristan Sloan

For the offshore fisherman this last month has been the month of the Spanish mackerel. Whenever conditions look right there have been upwards of 20 boats on the reefs at Black Head and Lennox Point. While there has been an abundance of anglers the same can’t be said of the mackerel. That isn’t to say the fish aren’t there, they certainly are – it’s just that the anglers who catch them are the ones who think about their technique and use a bit of finesse. Clunky wire rigs are certainly not the go here. While you may get the

odd fish that commits suicide, most sharp-eyed mackerel will avoid these like the plague. Most fish have been caught by anglers slow trolling live baits around structure and bait schools using live yellowtail as the slimy mackerel are quite small at the moment and are hard to catch. The slow trolling rig involves a 5/0 keeper hook pinned or bridle rigged through the bait’s nose and a stinger treble usually a size 2/0 pinned in the tail, wire is only used between the nose hook and the stinger treble and is normally about 10cm in length. Sure, you will occasionally get bitten off but 90% of the fish will be pinned on the stinger. If you’re having a quiet

day and aren’t sure whether there are any mackerel around, try putting out a live bait on just mono. If you are quickly bitten off you have to find some way to modify your rig and get a bite. Mackerel can be such fussy buggers sometimes! We have done this several times in the past month and often have only been able to catch a fish trolling minnows, notably the smallest Halco Laser Pros in the 120 size in either pink or gold. These lures are trolled with no wire and a long way behind the boat. The size of the lure perfectly imitates the small slimy mackerel on the reefs, and by using finesse in trolling the lures a long way (50-80m) behind the boat we have been able to catch some quality fish. For those who have trouble catching mackerel, there are still plenty of mahi mahi on the FAD which are suckers for

cheaper when you pump them yourself. The inshore sport fishing should really heat up this month as the garfish should turn up in droves off the shallow reefs and rocky headlands. This is one of my favourite times of the year as closely following the garfish are the northern bluefin tuna and big greenback tailor. This really is the time of year for the local rock fisherman who is looking to catch a pelagic from the stones. Garfish are very easy to berley up on the surface with a few handfuls of mushy bread and, unlike yellowtail and slimy mackerel, you can catch them at practically any time of day with the top of the tide preferable. I like to use small squid pieces on size 10 long shank hook under a float. These garfish are then kept alive in a bait pool and drifted out under a torpedo

This average Richmond River bass scoffed a weighted black woolly bugger. best spots tend to be the Chair at Byron Bay at the end of Wategoes Beach, any of the headlands at Broken Head and the Peg at Boulders Beach near Skennars Head. Please be

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APRIL 2014

Keith Sloan with an average mackerel caught trolling Halco Laser Pros. a live bait tossed in close to the buoy. There are also plenty of squire, pearl perch and the ever-present sand flathead on the 32 fathom reef. ROCK AND BEACH For the rock and beach anglers there have been plenty of quality tailor off the headlands and beaches. I’ve had several exciting sessions spinning up choppers off Flatrock lately. One afternoon was especially exciting; I was catching tailor cast after cast and suddenly I noticed the whole school of tailor jumping out of the water, closely followed by a pack of big rampaging Spanish mackerel. Unfortunately the mackerel remained just out of casting range but hopefully I’ll jag one of those big beachcombers one day! As well as tailor there have been plenty of whiting in the surf gutter, with South Ballina Beach and 7 Mile Beach being the pick of the bunch to catch a feed. Pink nippers are my bait of choice as they are almost as effective as worms and considerably

float with a 5/0 in the tail in search for a tuna. Don’t be surprised if you lose a few garfish to biteoffs, the culprits will be either big greenback tailor or more likely those big beachcomber

careful fishing the Peg as this spot is very dangerous to fish in any kind of swell. ESTUARY I wish I had something positive to say about the estuary fishing this last month

main river has fished very poorly. I struggled on several occasions to get a few fish even when I drifted live poddy mullet through all the likely haunts around Pimlico Island. The only fish I have been able to catch (and lose) with some regularity are mangrove jacks. I have endured some painful brickings throwing lures around the boat harbour at night. There certainly are some serious sized jacks in there. BASS I’m happy to say the little bit of rain we have had in recent weeks has finally stirred some life back into the local bass streams. I’ve had some great sessions in the upper Wilsons River throwing surface lures and I’ve also managed to nail a few fat fish on the fly rod. Initially I pulled out the 5wt to get some casting practice for an upcoming NZ trout trip but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how effective the fly is. I assume it’s because the fly line lands very softly on the water and doesn’t spook the bass in the shallow water. The setup I use is very basic and consists of a 5wt Redington rod, WF floating line and a 9’ leader. I’ve

Daniel Sloan slowly strips a fly past a likely looking snag. Spanish mackerel. Those mackerel can’t resist a live chopper tailor drifted out under a balloon, but unfortunately neither can the local shark population. The

but it has been very quiet and patchy to say the least. I’ve managed to regularly scrape up a feed of flathead in North Creek spinning the sand flats on the run-out tide but the

been using standard trout wet flies such as zonkers, Mrs Simpsons and woolly buggers with the standout fly being a black sparkle bugger with a gold bead head.

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LBG season kicks off THE CLARENCE

Ben Pilch

April is the month when I start to get excited about my rock fishing again! Lots of options start opening up as we get closer to the colder months. The main reason I get excited about fishing in April is because it marks the start of the land-based game (LBG) season in Iluka. Without the rain and flooding that plagued us over the last 4 or 5 seasons, hopefully this season will be a good one – although as soon as there is a whisper of a longtail getting caught off Iluka wall it is packed the next day. The deep water fronted headlands to the north and south of the mighty Clarence River also produce

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fish, so a little exploring and adventurous spirit could see you catching fish all by yourself without the crowd – that’s if you are willing to put in the work. Long, fishless days have been the norm for last couple of LBG seasons but hopefully the change in weather patterns will see us return to the action-packed days of seasons past. The best baits for our region are by far live gar, which you can catch by berleying up using bread and tuna oil, then using a sabiki rig. The hooks I like to use for chasing longtail tuna are 5/0 Mustads along with a couple of meters of quality 50lb leader and 30lb main line. This set-up and a lot of hours on the rocks should hopefully see you hook up to a LBG tuna this season. All these fish will also be available to the boat going anglers as well; often April and May are when those better quality pelagics are getting around. To get among these better sized fish your best option is to  tow around a live or a well rigged dead bait. Because these quality fish are around at this time in the season I like to upgrade everything in my rigs. Use the best quality you can buy, double check all knots, and take the time to check rigs again after a hook-up – don’t just bait up and put them back in the water straight away. It is all these little things that will help you to land a quality fish and get those brag photos that will make all your mates jealous. This time of year is getting close to the mullet run as well, so it’s time to dust off the live bait and mulloway lure sticks and start  rigging up for another season of chasing these majestic silver fish on the mighty Clarence River. If you have never landed a good sized mulloway and

Local lure maker Steve Patti of Croaker Lures has been testing his jointed surface lure of late and catching some horses like this 110cm model! would like to tick it off your bucket list, the next 2 months is when you should be putting a lot of effort. If you’re lucky enough to be there when a school of mullet swims by, you never know – your mulloway fishing dreams might all come true at once! On the tailor fishing front the last couple of seasons have not been anything special. Hopefully this season with the different weather pattern we might get the quantity and quality of fish that we’ve seen in seasons past. This weather has also had an effect upstream where the Clarence starts in the valley, leaving many of our local cod haunts with not much of a trickle in them at the time of writing this, but this has not had an effect on local lure maker Steve Patti’s strike rate. Lately he has been picking up some horse size cod on his surface lure Black Betty.

Damian Book sporting some of the quality Clarence River mulloway that can be spun up in mullet season.

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Kaspar Lenigas dragged out the 20 year old gear to nail this Northern NSW bass on a Jitterbug.


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Fulfilling summer plans COFFS HARBOUR

Stephen Worley

April is the time of year when I realise that all the fishing plans I made back in November never eventuated. I tell myself I need to get cracking on that bassing adventure or trout trip up the hill, and get a few more jacks, mackerel and longtail on the board before it’s all over. Apart from this pressure to get some fishing done, I do always love the fishing in

April. Most of the summer fish are still on but there’s a few temperate species turning on a bit already. There are also fewer crowds due to the summer fading, and we anglers can enjoy some time off during the Easter break and ANZAC day (and maybe even a few sneaky days off to join them up). Clear conditions in the estuaries and offshore have led to some spectacular fishing over the last couple of months. So far this year we have only had around 200mm of rain or about a third of our average rainfall • Gold Prawn • Bloodworm • Abalone • Wasabi ” nt be d o “Th ur r e SCE NT that keeps yo

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expected for this time period. In this period last year we had already had almost 1000mm, so it’s certainly a dry one on land but a bountiful year so far in the water. OFFSHORE The offshore fishing has particularly benefited from the lower rainfall. The bait and summer pelagics have been happy to hang around clear inshore reefs and so have been readily accessible to small boats and kayakers. There have been plenty of mackerel caught but they have been a little hit and miss. I have noticed that many of the negative reports have come from more popular wide marks at the very same time shallow water reports have been noting plenty of fish, so it may be a case of many boats driving over fish on their way out to popular, but less productive reefs this month. Many of the spotties last month have been almost as big as their Spanish cousins, with 7-8kg specimens being

APRIL 2014

on large, trolled live or dead baits. There are cobia being caught from the inshore reefs, the headlands and out to the islands. However, as always, they tend to turn

It’s not what you know but who you know. Nathan Medland got this bass out of a very nice looking hole after accessing this section of river through something like a friend of a mate’s friend’s dad. common. The Spaniards have averaged around the 8-12kg mark but there are still plenty of larger models being caught mostly


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Tommie Strydom with an average Spaniard. It might be a bit less sensational than his cover shot marlin last month, but it was great on the plate.



up here and there, being caught by anglers targeting other fish such as mackerel, kingies or tuna. Around the headlands are the go-to locations, and live yakkas or pike are a gun bait if you want specifically target cobes this month. The snapper have been plentiful on the inshore reefs and have been the saviour for many fishing trips that have failed to bag a mackerel for the table. Either freeing your live bait to swim deeper or downrigging will increase your chance of some snapper while still being able to fish for mackerel. There are plenty of hammerheads and reef sharks that will be as willing as any other fish, so be prepared to deal with some bycatch. ESTUARIES In the estuaries the clear water and lack of rain has

meant the salt and brackish water is pushing well up into the upper reaches. Fish have sometimes been a bit spooky due to the visibility when fishing the lower estuaries but the whiting continue to fire on the surface lures around the weed beds. Further upstream, bream and trevally are chasing baitfish seeking cover in the snags. Hardbody lures, especially surface lures, have been working well out in low light, while diving lures have been the best during the day. A live bait drifted around a snag is a sure fire way to bag something decent, whether it’s bream, trevally, mulloway or mangrove jack. I wouldn’t say this year has been exceptional for jack fishing as I have heard of fewer fish being caught than normal. However, the lack of reports may just be due to changes in anglers’ attitudes; a jack capture is becoming more normal every year and so talked about less, and the gun jack anglers may be getting more secretive as jack fishing gets

more popular. The last of the cicadas will be almost gone by now but expect the surface walkers to continue working on the bass throughout this month. Perhaps it’s because bass can’t resist a surface shimmy, or maybe the bass think there’s one last cicada for the year to still be eaten. Either way, you can’t beat catching bass on the surface. It may take some time and logistical organisation to gain the river access, but with the lack of water in the rivers, finding those deep holes that haven’t been fished is what it might take to catch that big bass you’re after. This drought has certainly led to some great fishing, but for the sake of suffering farmers on the land it’s great news that we should get better rainfall this month. Hopefully the extra rain will be spread throughout the month and not in a big dump. Whatever happens, make sure you get out there and wrap up all those summer plans before it’s too late.

There are always mulloway in the washes in our area. Nathan Medland chases his mostly on lures and recently came up with this great specimen.





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Rampant chaos off Coffs Out wide, the current continues to pump hard to the south, bringing awesome looking 27ºC water, but making it hard to work any proven grounds. Trying to get up north into the current is seeing boats burning a lot of fuel without making much headway. An easing of the blue torrent, which usually occurs


Glen Booth

The Coffs Harbour game fishing season continues to meander along with the odd marlin here and there, but there’s not been a whole lot to get excited about over the past month.

Coffs Harbour boat ramp entrance back in midsummer. Fail, fail and fail, Coffs Harbour Council.

round the end of summer, should restore the marlin fishing to its usual quality. Meanwhile, it’s a matter of just driving over one. There remains a number of school yellowfin along the shelf line though, although the size has declined over the past month. These are mixed in with striped tuna, so sneaking a feather or Christmas tree into the spread is a good way of accumulating additional tag points, scoring some sashimi, or topping up the bait freezer for the winter snapper season. Mahi mahi remain pretty good, and older trap floats, the FAD, and wave recorder continue to hold them. The trick is winkling out the wise old bigger ones — which are quite visible down deep — as the uneducated bubbas are quick to pounce on anything thrown at them. In comparison to last season, the little blacks haven’t really clicked into gear this summer, the water inshore perhaps not being to their liking despite a reasonable amount of bait present. There are a few stragglers out deeper and along the shelf, and it’s as comical as it is frustrating watching a 30kg black trying




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to eat a 14” lure! That said, it’s only mid-way through the season as I write and the Gold Coast is still enjoying a good bite, so never say never. Terns, usually a gaggle of 2 or 3, have often been pinpointing their presence. The mackerel, however, have gone from strength to strength, with some saying it’s the best season on record. A big call, but if I’m catching them they must be thick! Whether this has to do with the lack of run-off from the coastal flooding the Coffs coast usually gets hammered with at this time of year is difficult to say, but regardless it’s happy days all round. The Spanish are mostly small, from 4-12kg, while the spotties are huge, some hovering around the 8-9kg mark. There have been two ciguatera cases reported from northern NSW and in Queensland, so the modest size of the ‘bar-ees’, while perhaps not boastworthy, might actually be a blessing. Of course, the scattered inshore blacks love nothing more than spoiling a mackerel troller’s day by nailing that often hard-won slimy and tying him up for half the morning, when the game fishos would kill for such an encounter… MAJOR GAME FISHING EVENT FOR COFFS The Solitary Islands Game Fishing Club will be hosting its fourth Heavy Tackle Challenge out of Coffs Harbour on the 29th and 30th of March, 2014. There are some tasty prizes on offer, with a nice cash component in addition to the ever-popular Calcutta. Let’s face it, running a trailerboat or a flybridge cruiser is getting ever-more expensive, and increased financial incentives to offset operating costs is a direction club-based game fishing in this state needs to embrace if it is to prosper. Late March is a great

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Blue marlin of just about any size can scoff these babies down like lollies. This one probably should have gone back out wearing a big circle hook, but they taste too good! time to be fishing at Coffs, especially for blue marlin, and there are bonus points for each identifiably photographed blue release. To emphasise the heavy tackle aspect, the minimum line class is 24kg. For further details and a downloadable entry form, go to www.solitaryislandsgame or phone President James McGinty on 0418 969 798. RAMPANT CHAOS Readers may have seen the nearby photo doing the rounds of fishing social media, but if not, this is what passed for Coffs Harbour’s boat ramp back at the end of January. Whacko, we have a new beach — break out the buckets and spades!

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What an absolute bloody disgrace. Coffs Harbour City Council’s expensive long arm excavator was nowhere to be seen, and the ramp remained closed for 3 days. This came as a great surprise to a number of out of towners who had travelled to Coffs to go fishing, and a fibreglass runabout got smashed up on the rocks when it grounded while coming through the entrance. The ramp entrance should never have been allowed to get to that state, end of story. A million dollars has been slated to re-construct the ramp area, with work proposed to start later this year, but that doesn’t mean the council can take their eye off the ball in the meantime.





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Super slimy success for macks SOUTH WEST ROCKS

Brent Kirk

The key to success offshore this month will come down to one small species: slimy mackerel. Gathering slimies for bait is a relatively easy task for most of the year, but it usually becomes progressively harder as we get further into the mackerel season. The last few weeks have been hit-and-miss with slimies but luckily there have been plenty of scads around to fill in as a close second when it comes to live baits. Mackerel numbers have been awesome of late with Spanish catches far outweighing spotties. The majority of fish for both species

Head and South West Rocks. Some solid cobia have been caught from around Fish Rock on trolled diving lures as well as the odd decent kingfish. Black Rock and the surrounding reefs have also accounted for some nice black kings. There is a buzz moving through the rock hopping community with the arrival of several schools of bluefin tuna over the last few weeks. These fish have been harassing the schools of garfish that are in the area at the moment. Marlin, Spanish mackerel and cobia are also frequenting the inshore washes. Big bream are starting to enter the Macleay at present, mostly concentrated in the first few kilometres of the river system. Unweighted baits of

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Little 2 year old Koa Kirk looks impressed with Dad’s flathead. grub soft plastics aimed at bream are accounting for most flathead. Jewfish catches in the river are rising now, especially catches of bigger fish. This should only get better as the mullet start to run. Big schools of trevally can still be seen on a daily basis, especially around a tide turn, busting up everything in sight. There have been countless reports of anglers getting blown away by fish well over 6kg on light estuary gear. Smokey Beach is fishing well through the mid section of


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the beach. Whiting have started to thin out, but the average size outweighs the lack in numbers. Blue spot flathead have been ever reliable and bream numbers are ramping up as we edge ever closer to winter. Bass fishing in the upper reaches of the Macleay has come down to a game of finding a decent hole with water in it. If you find one you should be rewarded with some solid fish. Surface lures are still producing the best action and will also help you stay above the weed.

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The author and mates showing that 7 slimies equals 7 mackerel! of mackerel have averaged around 7kg. However, there have been Spanish caught up to the 30kg mark. Slow trolling live baits and anchoring up with a berley trail have been the most productive methods for catching mackerel. However, trolled diving lures have accounted for plenty of fish on the way to and from the mackerel grounds off Grassy

tuna or mullet floated along the rock walls are proving deadly, as are small lightly weighted grub soft plastics. Flathead are in good numbers in the mid reaches of the Macleay between Jerseyville and Smithtown. Most fish are being found tight against the rock walls waiting in ambush for unsuspecting prey. I have found smaller 2”

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David Poulton

Estuary action is something I really look forward to at this time of year. There is an influx



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of baitfish in the system, which can really turn on the predatory species like bream, flathead and mulloway. Unfortunately, it can also work against you, as the fish are full of bait and it is sometimes impossible to get them to bite! Bream will still be in the upper reaches, where previously cicada and fizzer style patterns were the number one choice; this will more than likely no longer be a viable option. They are still looking to feed on the surface but the quarry has changed, it’s prawns and baitfish they are after now. Pencil style lures are the best option with bigger lures generally pulling bigger fish. If you encounter fish that just don’t seem switched on then it’s worth trying the ‘Monty Python’ approach as I call it – no matter how full you are you can always fit in an after dinner mint! And a small profile pencil lure or stick minnow is just that little delight the fish can’t refuse. A Tiemco surface pencil in floating or sinking can be a great option for enticing the bite. Top places to target bream in this way will be around mangrove edges where there is a change in water depth, over weed beds and around oyster leases. Limerburners Creek and Rawdon Island are good places to have some fun. With the baitfish schooling, we normally get plenty of school mulloway, but sometimes there are so many they can be a pest, mainly due to their size. Nevertheless, you can’t beat the fight on light gear. If you’re looking to get larger size mulloway and filter out the small ones then upsize your lure. Throwing bigger plastics will also get bigger fish. Best places this month are certainly along the coal walls in the lower reaches

early in the morning or in the evening. Dennis Bridge will also be well worth a try. I like to drive towards the pylons with the sounder going about 300m before and see if I can see active fish schooled on approaching the pylon. Best lures in this area are 4-6” soft plastics. I like to use jerkshad style plastics and 6” sandworms. A long slow hop along the bottom with pauses works really well. The start or last of the run-out is the best times. I like to start my drift under the bridge near a pylon and drift away hopping the plastic along the bottom. You’ll feel a gentle take on the lift and strong fluid set of the hook gets the best hook up and will generally pin them in the upper jaw or hinge of the mouth. This time of year will see a lot of flathead in similar areas as mulloway, and are a great by-catch. My son loves to come fishing when I do this as he usually cracks the flathead pattern before me and has a ball reeling them in. Flathead will also be lurking in the shallows and make an easy target. April is always a nice time to take a trip to the Camden Haven River and target lizards. The mouth of Stingray Creek is a great place to start. With live baits and soft plastic a good choice. Another top spot on the Camden Haven this month is the flats at the mouth of Whatson Taylors Lake. Look for subtle changes in depth and try and target fish along the mangrove edges. Long repeated casts across an area covering as much water as you can locate fish, and in areas like these the fish tend to congregate and repeated catches in the same area are common. Beach action this month

Schools of bream, like these five, will be commonplace on surface lures around Rawdon Island. will be interesting to say the least. Reports have been about that plenty of whiting have been on the beaches. Dunbogan Beach is the best spot followed by Lake Cathie Beach, and North Beach. Live beach worms have proven to be the best bait. Only thing that concerns me about this is people taking their limit, ducking home and coming back to get another. Why, do they really eat that much? Do they need to have so many fish in the freezer? Please do everyone a favour and take what you need not your limit, and if you see someone doing the wrong thing, have the intestinal fortitude to suggest they try to limit their catch. Bass have still been in good numbers and willing to take a host of lures, although they are slowing down on surface lures.

Crankbaits and vibes have accounted for most fish lately. I’ve been informed by a Fisheries mate that illegal eel traps are being set in the Hastings River. If you encounter any suspicious behaviour or traps then please note their location and take a photo if you can and alert Fisheries immediately. I’m told these traps have not only been responsible for the illegal removal of eels, but have caught bass and trapped and killed platypus. If we all keep a vigilant eye out then these individuals will either stop or be caught and put out of action. No matter what you intend to do in the piscatorial world this month, make sure you enjoy yourself and the lovely weather that April can bring to the Hastings and the Macquarie Coast.

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APRIL 2014

Baitfish style lures will yield good results on flathead, along with soft plastics.

The mullet are coming down the Manning HARRINGTON-TAREE

Ian Pereira

The past few mullet runs have not been spectacular to say the least, but this year should produce a big run of mullet. I have spent a couple of weekends up in the freshwater reaches of the Manning and the number of mullet schooling up is nothing short of amazing. There are many thousands of larger sized fish that will run this year, as well as heaps of smaller fish that will not be ready to run until next year.

It has been a particularly dry year for the country above Wingham and this means all the freshwater parts of the Manning. The river is only trickling from Mount George

up to the headwaters of the river. While several good showers of rain have been experienced by the coastal areas, not enough rain has fallen upstream to put a run

Mulloway were absent on the last full moon, but may well make a return this cycle. Photo: Kris Hickson

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in the river. Consequently we are experiencing water restrictions which will become more severe if we don’t get good falls in the headwaters of the Manning. It must rain soon or there will be no run in the river and the mullet will not be able to get out to spawn when they want to. ESTUARY Because of the lack of run in the river, the water is much more salty up towards Wingham than it usually would be. Consequently, the fish are concentrated further up the river. Good catches of bream and flathead have been made up around the islands and up towards Abbots Falls. Some anglers have been taking good bream on surface poppers and flathead on soft plastics. A flathead of 1m in length was caught and released just upriver from Harrington and 5 other big fish were seen departing the scene when the big fish was hooked. Luderick have been biting mostly at night on fresh yabbies, but a few fish have been taken from outside the weeds at Chinamens Point. Mulloway were absent on the





02 6552 2333 24

APRIL 2014

last full moon and I can only suspect that the schools of baitfish offshore kept them too busy to come into the estuary. BEACH AND ROCK Beach fishing is all about tailor at the present time. Fish to a bit over 2kg are being taken on chromed lures spun where the birds are working. Occasionally fish are taken on pilchards and bonito strips but the big bags fall to lures. The bite is not confined to sun up and sun down; any time the birds are working the tailor will be there. OFFSHORE The main species on the bite at this time are teraglin and mahi mahi. The mahi mahi can be caught around the FAD and are better than legal size. The trag are mainly coming from the northern grounds and are around the 2-2.5kg mark. Snapper have been off and on the bite with the best fish going 6kg. Bonito and slimy mackerel are around in big numbers and are easy to catch for bait for snapper and jew. The mullet will run by ANZAC Day and it should be an exciting time at Harrington as they will come down the river and get in behind the sandbank in the mouth of the

Snapper have been off and on the bite with the best fish going around 6kg. Photo: Kris Hickson river. The sharks and jew will have a great time tearing into them while they are trapped up against the sand bank. Tailor will be plentiful and

jew of all sizes will be chasing the mullet. There will also be plenty of bream in the lower reaches of the river as they run after the mullet have left.


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For the first time the rulebook that guides most of the organic production in Australia, the Australian Certified Organic Standard, includes a section on aquaculture.
 Health authorities promote fish for cardiovascular health, especially because of its omega-3 content, yet some wild caught fish may have unacceptably high levels of heavy metals and other chemical residues. Some environmentalists support aquaculture over wild catch because of its potential to relieve pressure on the oceans of the world, while others criticise it as a source of pollution from spilled feed, for the introduction of alien species, and for the spread of fish pathogens into aquatic ecosystems.
Australian Organic spokesperson Joanne Barber says, “Global consumption of fish is now more than 150 million tonnes including 60 million from aquaculture.
 Total fisheries production is now more than beef, pork or poultry, and aquaculture is becoming much more important and is predicted to soon overtake capture fishing.

“Scandinavian and European countries have articulated organic standards on aquaculture, it was time we did too so that consumers can be assured it has been caught or farmed sustainably and without synthetic chemicals.”
The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) estimates certified organic aquaculture is worth over $500 million dollars internationally, producing well over 60,000 tonnes.
 Shane Buckley from Wapengo Rocks became the first Australian Certified Organic producer of certified organic Sydney rock oysters in 2013.
 He says, “Organic is the way I can see all aquaculture

going in the future. We are privileged to farm in a way that respects the estuary and the environment, and when we do simple things, such as reducing our impact on the lake bed allowing the sea grasses to regrow, it is actually good for the oysters and the health of this beautiful estuary.
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Enjoying the species overlap FORSTER

David Seaman

It’s difficult to know what the weather will do from one to day to the next at this time of the year. Last year the rivers were only just settling down from the flooding they experienced just after the New Year, and then again in the April/May school holidays. While the flush of freshwater is always

a good thing long term, the fragmented spits of rain we’ve had lately have done little but wet the ground, so the fish have not yet been driven from the upper reaches of the rivers. Failing significant autumn rain, water temperatures will eventually drive the bream out of the snags and shoreline structure back into the lower lake where they will prepare to make the coastal run. Until then, I would suggest you make the most of it

and berley, bait or lure the bream from their summertime digs. An increasing number of small, but legal, flathead have been appearing up river too, suggesting the water is cooling and triggering their return to the tributaries. The overlap in species can make for interesting fishing and a good mixed bag to take home. Driving over the bridge always provides plenty of wishful thinking and the weed beds on the western side of Miles (Sandy) Island can often

The rocks around Burgess beach offer good wash and good fishing provided the water isn’t super clear.


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APRIL 2014

hold big female flathead at this time of year. It is a good early morning lucky dip that draws my imagination every morning as I drive over the bridge. Scooting into the shallows on electric power will often reveal how big and how many fish make this area a resting and ambush spot. The fish are not always there, but the deep water of Tuncurry channel around the bridge, as I mentioned last month, is another spot I’d try for trophy flathead. Blackfish too are plentiful in the Tuncurry channel with early fish movement along the training and sea walls. Yabby baits of an evening or weed during the first of the run-out and slack water seem to be the best options for reasonable results. I suspect we will see good numbers of mullet this year, but the Easter start of the mullet run will help determine the pig, luderick and bream run on the coast this winter. It seems the better the mullet run the better the overall rock fishing is. Whether the sheer numbers of mullet help encourage better runs of blackfish and bream I’m not sure, but it’s a good indicator and I have my fingers well and truly crossed. I have had reports of a few

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the fish were caught on ganged pilchards so a beach worm Continued page 27

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Kingfish are common catch PORT STEPHENS

Billy Gillon

OFFSHORE If you’re looking for trag you should find them on most reefs in the 35-65m mark. Low light periods and into the night will produce the better catches. A two-hook paternoster rig should do the job, a good technique is to drop it to the

on the line so you can drop it to the same depth each time. The Gibber Gravel and 21 are well known trag spots. The Sisters are holding a few bonito. Trolling with diving or small skirted lures will work. It holds some big snapper at times too but keep an eye out for breaking waves and bommies. Yellowtail kingfish should be a common catch this month. Slow trolling live

baits in close or around reefs is a good way to find them. Steve Limond managed a decent 17kg specimen on a

live yakka near Little Island. Snapper are about if you are looking for them. Floating baits in the shallows should produce a few in April. For the plastic throwers, Edith Breakers is a great spot. If you head there from the bay make sure there isn’t a southerly forecast as it can be a long trip home, and remember it is plastics only and no anchoring while fishing. There are nannygai on most of the 45-70m reefs too and if you get a few of them they are one of the best feeds you’ll have. The simple paternoster should work great for them. GAME There are plenty of marlin out on the car park and canyons and in closer a few blacks are being caught on live slimies. The dollies are still at the FAD, but their size is a bit down. Keep an eye out for floating logs and fish trap buoys because they often hold one or two bigger specimens. There have been reports of a few yellowfin on the shelf too. Always keep an eye out for birds and look for the water temperature changes and colour lines.

the washes already. Cunje is becoming a more popular bait with me again, as the ‘cheap’ cooked imported prawns are

selling for up to $25 per kilo. Just 18 months ago I was buying them for $10 per kilo. I guess the Aussie dollar and

Graham Gillon with a big shallow water snapper. bottom and very slowly start to retrieve it. Once you find how deep the trag are biting you can tie a piece of string From page 26

approach may see better results from the mulloway and scaling down will produce the last of the whiting, some dart and even silver trevally at this time of year. The salmon should start to show up in greater numbers but hopefully not in the plague numbers they were a few years back. My pick for an early pig season rock fish has to be the southern end of One Mile off the rocks around Burgess Beach at high tide. The broken rocks around Burgess are a haven for blackfish and pigs, and snorkelling around the rocks lately I can tell you there are a few pigs up to 2kg and bream hunting

Big eye trevally are often mistaken for tailor when they are slashing through baitfish. Their large cousins, the GTs, will also make late season appearances in the rivers.

BAY There are plenty of mud crabs up Tillegary Creek and the Karuah River. There are a few rat kings near the co-op break wall and some decent bream on peeled prawns. Long-tail tuna are inside the bay chasing the garfish; use a floating live baits under a balloon. There are some nice flathead getting up around Corrie Island, and 5” plastics work great. For the bait fishos, as simple as it sounds, a few whitebait on a longshank hook will produce fish. BEACHES Most of the beaches are holding good numbers of bream, whiting and if you’re lucky mulloway. Shoal Bay and Jimmys Beach have plenty of whiting on them, and beach and blood worms work best. ROCKS Off the stones there are plenty of bonito and big tailor, and small diving lures will out fish metals some days. It is definitely worth trying a few different lures to work out what’s working on the day. If the winds are right it is worth floating a balloon out with a live bait for a longtail. global economy has caught up with my bait habits. Australian green prawns are the next best option at about $17 per kilo. There are still heaps of gar in the lake as well as blue swimmers out in the deeper water. The swimmers don’t like too much freshwater, and rain runoff can drive them away from the weedy fringes of shallow water. The mud crabs have slowed a little over the last month but it is worth setting your one pot up close to the mangrove edge or deep hole adjacent to creeks and so on. I love the transitional period between seasons and I’m hoping for a good one this year.

Steve Limond with a 17kg kingfish he caught on a live yakka near Little Island.



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Lake Mac mulloway PORT STEPHENS

Bill Gillon

Before the ban on commercial fishing in Lake Macquarie, a mulloway catch in the lake was quite rare. Some people even doubted they were in the lake at all. Nowadays things are very different, and although any lake jew is one to be

and you end up with a real fight on your hands. I use 2 snelled 6/0 hooks connected by 50lb leader to a swivel, then an Ezy rig which slides up and down the line. I only use enough lead to keep my bait on the bottom and it usually varies depending on size of bait and current. TOP BAITS I have found some weird things in jewfish’s

don’t catch anything! Fresh bait is just as essential as putting the boat in the water. Slimy mackerel Slimies come into the Lake at different times of the year but are most common around summer/ autumn. They are best fished live but a butterflied or filleted slimy is a close second. When you’re fishing

Live squid are the number one mulloway bait in the lake.

Lachie Ma with an average size Lake Mac schoolie. proud of they don’t really become brag-worthy until they are about 10kg. They fall to both bait and lures but in this article we will be concentrating on bait. It’s the most common and arguably easiest way to temp a Lake Mac jew.

stomachs at times. They will have a go at anything, from bream to leatherjacket, but if you want to stand a real chance of catching a Lake Mac jew I would stick to the following baits. Squid Squid are without a

Trumpeter are and effective and underused live bait. GEAR AND RIGS I run 2 separate outfits when fishing for lake jew. One a 20lb set-up which I usually fish with a small live or fresh squid and the other with 40lb braid which I normally use for larger fish livies and big cut baits. You’d be amazed how many times a big jew opts for the lighter set-up 28

APRIL 2014

doubt the number one Lake jew bait. Live is best but mulloway will still smash cut and fresh dead baits. Just remember that they have to be fresh – either catch them yourself or buy them from a reliable source. It amazes me the amount of people who sit out all night with a freezer-burnt servo squid and wonder why they

cut baits the bream pickers can sometimes drive you mad, but if the mulloway turn up the pickers will usually go. Yellowtail (yakka) These fish are a close second to slimies and are best fished using the same methods. Just remember that, due to the spines on these fish, jew have to swallow them head first. As far as a jew is concerned, a big yakka can seem like too much of a chore, so the smaller the better. Other great baits such as poddy mullet, pike and striped trumpeter can work great at times too. BEST TIMES While mulloway can be caught year round in the lake, I have found summer and autumn, when the water is at its warmest, to be the best time of the year. They are caught in daylight hours at times but they are far more active at lowlight periods and into the night. The tide is extremely important to mulloway fishing, even in Lake Macquarie where there is very little tidal movement. is a great site I use which gives the tides for within the Lake, and it is amazing how many times I will sit out all night but right on the forecast high tide my rod will scream off. If you can’t get to Willyweather, as a general

rule the lake’s tide is about 2-3 hours after the channel. I like to fish about 2 hours either side of the forecast tide and usually get a good bycatch of bream and flathead while waiting. Berley is not a necessity but I still believe it is very important. It is great just to attract action around the boat from baitfish, flathead and bream, and can provide some lighter entertainment while you wait for the mulloway to show up. AREAS I know a lot of people reading this article would love for me to list GPS locations for jew hotspots, but if I did that I would have to immediately go into witness protection. What I can tell you is what you should look for in a jew spot, and describe general areas where jew are a common catch. Steep drop-offs, underwater hills, reefy terrain and other underwater real estate in the lake such as sunken barges and dumped materials are all great things to look for when sussing out a jew spot. For those fortunate enough to own a boat a depth sounder is a necessity, not so much

to find the jew but to find the terrain they live in. Finding bait is also key to finding mulloway. If you can see some baitfish balled up or skittering around the surface there is a fair chance there is something bigger underneath.

when I specifically target them. The size most of the time is up as well, and lizards around the 70cm size are not uncommon. However, not every trip turns up fish, jew or otherwise. Even when taking all of the above into

Jase Aguiar with a bigger than average Lake Mac mulloway. Another jew technique for the lake is to fish under tailor schools busting on the surface. The jew will sit under the school and most of the problem is getting a bait or lure past the tailor. UPS AND DOWNS When jew fishing, I catch more big bream and flathead than those trips

account, expecting a jew every trip will leave you very disappointed. She simple equation really is ‘time on the water = fish’. That might mean spending many cold, rainy nights bobbing around on the water, but when that big silver shine pops up on the surface it is worth it.

If sunset coincides with high tide your chances of hooking a jew increase dramatically.

Melting pot of species HUNTER COAST

Gary Earl

A fair bit has been happening over the last few weeks. Bluefin tuna, tailor, big bream and the last of the whiting have been caught recently along our part of the coast, and hopefully as you’re reading this the action is still as hot.

can get winter and summer fish gathering together over reefs and along beaches, and it can be a real mixed bag on any given day as to what you can catch. Water cools and the current starts to swing round and head uphill again to the north, bringing with it kingfish and salmon. Both follow the squid that love this type of water, around 18-20ºC. The pelagics wide offshore thin a little so all the action

Tailor should still be about this month. Trolling, casting and bait fishing are all effective ways to catch them. April is a great time for species to mingle together. At this time of year we

is in a bit closer for the smaller boat owners as well as the rock hoppers.

Snapper are still around as the water cools and at times you can get some very big fish over the close reefs. They feed up for the winter with gusto, and often some are taken from the rocks as they are brought in close by the berley being used for drummer. The drummer should show up any time now. Groper, leatherjackets and kingfish all run in close to the rocks for a feed, and April is great for all these fish from the rocks. The beaches have been holding travelling schools of tailor, bream and whiting, and salmon should be on the cards if the water cools quickly this year. Spinning and pilchards on gang hooks should do the trick for the tailor and salmon. Size down to a 2/0 with half pilchards for the bream, and there is nothing better than live beach worms for the whiting and also the bream in the mornings. If I am fishing the beach I like to set a rod with bait then as the sun rises I spin the holes with medium sized chromies. In the afternoons I gear up a big rod with the freshest squid I can get for mulloway, and bait up with worms and pipis for the rest

Drummer washes such as this one should be studied for a while before attempting to fish it. Some nasty waves hit this area on rough days. of the day until sunset. Offshore reefs are holding better size kingfish. The pesky rats, which have been around in large numbers, are moving out for the bigger fellows, and a few have been taken on the Marble Reef. North Reef usually holds kings around the buoy as well, and a few have been caught around the rocks off Merewether. Spearfishers are great to talk to because they see what’s going on under the water, and one I spoke to said he had seen some sizable kingfish around lately. That means the close

reefs should be holding them in some numbers. I sat down and chatted with a few anglers not long back and was surprised by just how many put some time into chasing groper. They said the groper have been protected from spearfishers for so long that their numbers are getting up there. They are an easy target from the rocks along Newcastle; both Nobbys and Stockton walls hold them, you just need cunjevoi or fresh red rock crabs and some hefty gear to hold onto them as they pull like steam trains. I am

definitely going to put in a few days chasing them this winter. In the estuaries, flathead will thin out but the remaining hungry fish should still snatch lures and baits. Try the inner harbour or up around Sandgate and Hexham where the water is warmer. Bream should be still in the system but moving down towards the heads and school size mulloway should be doing the same. As we get into the cooler weather here’s hoping for a great season. Tight lines everyone.

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True love comes around when crowds leave SWANSEA

Jason Scerri

I know a lot of anglers love summer and all that it has to offer as far as great weather and some fantastic fishing opportunities, but I cannot get enough of the cooler months! April through to the start of September is what I love best. If I didn’t take the boat off the trailer for a month in summer I wouldn’t be upset at all, but during the cooler months I cannot be on the water enough. Living on Lake Macquarie and fishing lures the way I do, it’s all about mulloway and big flathead. I love everything about it, I love not getting

burnt, I love the lack of crowds on the waterways and I love the fantastic fishing that is on offer. The lake is starting to

Solid Lake Macquarie flathead, like this one caught by local angler Col Stobbs, are a very welcome by-catch.

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fortunate enough to tangle with, have well and truly gone. The whiting are not taking the surface lures as much and there are not many flathead prowling the flats. Sounds a little doom and gloom doesn’t it really. But it couldn’t be further from the truth! Flathead are certainly still about and really starting to turn it on. Just remember that with the change in weather a change in tactics is also required. They may not be on the flats like they have been in the last few months but as the water temps cool these flathead will now make their way into deeper waters. The 6-10m mark is a great depth to target quality fish for the next few months.

Lures such as 4-5” paddle-tail styles worked at these depths will produce some good catches. For bait anglers a half hitched pilchard is as good as it gets when it comes to fishing a bait down deep in this cooler weather for a big flatty. You will also see plenty of mulloway taken as by-catch and those specifically targeting this fish with live baits, such as squid, will reap the rewards. We get quality specimens this time of year to around 15kg while fishing lures. The bait guys fishing livies have nudged over 20kg even in these cooler months. Bream anglers are also in luck. They too are starting to fire up again and have also moved into deeper waters. It’s time to put the poppers away and those surface lures to work the deeper bays around yacht moorings and similar. Fish blades and slightly heavier weighted soft plastics in the 2-3” range and you will soon find some great schools of solid bream. Bait fishers are getting their share of quality bream as well. Prawns are proving very effective and a good berley trail is making a world of difference. Not only does the berley attract the schools but it also helps keep the schools hanging around for longer periods of time. Offshore anglers are in that ‘in between’ season. The hot marlin bites have certainly died off and the other pelagics such as mahi mahi have gone off the chew for another season. However,

all is not lost. Like many species at this time of year, the kingfish have started to venture out a little wider to the deeper, offshore reef systems. Grounds such as the Perch Grounds, Texas Reef and other similar offshore marks are producing well. Deep water jigging is producing some fantastic results. Yes, it is hard work but very rewarding at times. Those anglers fishing live yakkas down deep are also scoring good numbers of kingfish and there are some solid fish in the mix. There have also been a few nice snapper coming from these same offshore reefs

off the wide grounds for a blue marlin. They may not be around in huge numbers like the smaller blacks are in the warmer months, but what they lack in numbers they make up for in power and size. Rock and beach anglers are getting into a few good fish as well, which is great to see. Anglers spinning metal lures are scoring some nice tailor and there are still some good bonito encountered. Salmon are not far off now and should start to come on the bite as this article goes to press. They offer many anglers a great sport fishing opportunity and are a good fish to get new anglers into

Another healthy flathead in the high 60cm. The author landed this one on a Boneyard soft plastic worked in a deep water column. and anglers fishing slab style baits, such as slabs of slimie or yakka and even pilchards, have been getting some nice table fish. A few marlin remain on the bite and it’s a great time of year to pull some big lures

the sport. Just remember to keep safe when fishing any of those rock ledges, or any day on the water for that matter. It’s only a fun day when you get to return home to your loved ones and brag about it right?


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DPI Fisheries officers have apprehended a commercial lobster fisher who they will allege illegally took 192kg of Eastern Rock Lobsters and then sold the lobsters to two men. DPI Director of Fisheries Compliance, Glenn Tritton, said the commercial fisher could face fines in excess of $100,000 and imprisonment if convicted in court. “The man, a 59 year old from Malabar and two other males, a 31 year old from Cabramatta West, and a 25 year old from Canley Heights, were apprehended at Blackwattle Bay in Sydney earlier this month,” Mr Tritton said. “Fisheries officers observed the two men take possession of the lobsters from the commercial fisher’s boat which had just moored after fishing that morning. The lobsters were loaded into a vehicle,

which was subsequently stopped nearby. “During these inspections, fisheries officers apprehended and questioned a number of people relating to the landing and removal of 192kg (215 bodies) of Eastern Rock Lobsters, worth almost $14,000. “Pending further investigations, the three men will be charged with a number of offences including trafficking of an indictable species. The commercial fisher will also be charged with exceeding quota, failure to complete log books and failing to tag lobsters.” If convicted of trafficking, the men could each face up to 10 years imprisonment and can also be penalised an additional monetary penalty of ten times the value of the lobsters. All of the lobsters were returned to the water alive.

A total of 215 seized eastern rock lobsters were returned to the water alive by DPI Fisheries Officers. “The rock lobster fishery is quota managed with strict legislative requirements placed on commercial fishers,” Mr Tritton said. “The Department will continue to enforce the regulations relating to quota managed fisheries to ensure the

long term sustainability and viability of the rock lobster fishery.” To report illegal fishing, contact your local Fisheries office, call Fishers Watch on 1800 043 536 or log onto au/fisheries/compliance/ report-illegal-activity. - DPI

Winning weather and species spectrum CENTRAL COAST

Glenn Ellis-Helmers

Another great month for Central Coast anglers is now upon us and we have got a broad spectrum of species and fishing styles to choose from. Not only that, if all goes well, we should also get that glorious autumn weather so being in the great outdoors will be all the more pleasurable. Offshore boaties will be rejoicing in the fact that they don’t have to head in early because of those relentless summer northeasterlies are now gone. Cool south westerlies may make for a crisp start but that also means the seas are calm, so it’s easier to concentrate on the actual fishing.

towards the end of the month. While some of the marlin and mahi mahi action may be fading away this is a very good month for kingfish, especially close in around our headlands and bommies. They are not always big kings, but plenty of fish around 4-8kg can be caught by slow trolling or downrigging live squid or yakkas. If catching live bait is difficult, then squid strips or large soft plastics are the next best thing. Still around are the bonito and frigate mackerel if you want to top up on some good snapper bait or just get out the light gear and have some fun. Maybe you’ll run into some other fish like mac tuna, salmon, tailor or kingfish when spinning for bonito, as all of these species are likely to

also be productive during the autumn months. Mulloway and trag are the main species to chase once the sun sinks down, but some good snapper can also be a bonus. Back inside the calm water, our estuaries have been fishing well and this trend is sure to continue over the next few weeks. Bream are definitely worth chasing this month, with virtually any sort of lures being in the race, as well as good baits fished early in the morning or at night. If you really love your topwater action than go hard this month as bream may become more hesitant about hitting surface lures as the colder weather moves in. Flathead, whiting and mulloway are well worth fishing for in April. The

April is a great month to be on or around the water. Bream and whiting should be quite easy to catch on most types of lure or bait at the moment. Water temperatures are still normally warm at this time of year although it could start cooling down

show up this month. If you’re well prepared and keen, then fishing offshore after sunset can

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blackfish should start coming on too, at places like Woy Woy Channel and the entrance. We certainly

have some great estuary action on our hands at the moment! Rock fishing is another popular and productive arena for those seeking some sport or a fresh feed of fish. Again there’s plenty to choose from. Bonito should still be running close into the rocks so you can get out there with some small metal lures and cast them from some of our deeper rock ledges. Frigate mackerel normally get thicker this month as well, so the younger guys will be getting around Terrigal Haven with their light gear and having some fun with these little silver bullets. The frigates can also show up anywhere, especially places that are sheltered from the main ocean swell. Some good squid are also around the rocks at the moment and they also like the sheltered bays with a bit of kelp. At some spots you could catch a few squid and then use them to tempt any resident kingfish. Around Catherine Hill Bay and down to Red Ochre there are plenty of excellent spots where you should try this; squid and kings really like this stretch of coastline. Back on the beaches all the usual favourites can be caught. It may not be mid summer but whiting fishing during the day can be very rewarding and quite relaxing too. Some thumper whiting are caught from all of the beaches along the Central Coast and, even though beach worms or blood worms are often thought of as the best whiting baits, it’s easy enough to find some pipis at your feet while you are fishing. Bream, tailor, salmon, flathead and mulloway are all a good chance along the beach right now, especially the mulloway. So you can take your pick and as long as the weather is ok then any of these beach species should be yours.

Some very good whiting are around during the autumn months. This one took a large topwater lure.

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Dan Selby

Conditions have been very favourable over the last few months, giving anglers plenty of opportunities to wet a line in the Hawkesbury and its tributaries. Some great captures have been made recently by my clients and also some lucky recreational fishers who caught a Spanish mackerel trolling hard bodies in Pittwater last month! Looking back through the diary, April has to be one of THE months to get a trophy fish from the Hawkesbury. The water

temperatures usually drop a couple of degrees, triggering different responses from the various species. The most common response of all species though is to put on weight before the leaner times of winter. Hard work for the fish, but great for anglers! Bream have been appearing in catches again and are in good condition. The rock walls are producing the better numbers of fish from Wisemans Ferry to Broken Bay. A run-out tide is the key ingredient to get the eddies forming along the rock walls and the bream in feeding mode. Bait anglers will do well with live or fresh baits of crab, nippers, prawns,

Flathead like this 71cm dusky will be in good numbers for those using soft plastics hopped across the bottom.


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Big bream, which were gorging on cicadas in the upper tidal limits of the Hawkesbury’s tributaries in summer, can now be found feeding on the rock walls in the river proper.

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yakka, pilchard, slimy fillets and pudding baits. Berley is required to keep the fish at your location for a longer period and to bring in adjacent fish to the activity being created by other fish in your berley trail. Lure anglers are doing well casting deep running crankbaits and soft plastic grubs tight to the rock walls and fallen timber snags in Berowra Creek and the main river up to Wisemans. Following the contours of the bank with your presentation is crucial to find the fish that are hiding in the cracks and crevices beneath the murky water. Snags are commonplace with this style of fishing so I find an electric motor to be an essential item these days. It allows you to quickly and quietly manoeuvre yourself back near the bank and attempt to flick your lure off the obstruction. Flathead are a common

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Kingfish are a viable proposition while the waters are still warm. This Pittwater fish took a liking to a live squid on the downrigger.

bycatch for bream anglers fishing along the rock walls, and can be actively targeted in these areas using slightly larger sized soft plastics and jigheads. Some decent flathead can be found in these areas so a leader strength of around 12lb and upwards is recommended. Smaller tides and around the tide change period will aid in getting a good drift and keeping your plastics on the bottom more easily. Lure and bait fishing for mulloway should be good this month based on previous results at this time of year. Live herring, poddy mullet, squid, pike, yakkas and legal tailor are relatively easy to obtain for a session of bait fishing. Use them live, butterflied or as strip baits to mix up the presentation to any likely takers. Soft plastics are the most effect and affordable way to search the Hawkesbury’s waters, and school mulloway love them. A selection of soft stickbaits, paddle tails and curl tail grubs in colours of white, silver, gold, pumpkin seed and blood worm will cover most situations when matched to an appropriate jighead. Tide changes are the prime time to fan casts across your chosen area and cover the ground. Bass and estuary perch have started to school in minor numbers but these numbers should increase as the month progresses, especially if we get some much needed rain. Soft plastics, blades and fast sinking fly techniques all work well once the fish have been located using your electronics.






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Quality squid opportunities SYDNEY NORTH

Darren Thomas

Here we are, already a third of the way through the year! With the seasonal transition taking place, the option is still available to target both warm and cold water species. Our waters are still quite warm for this time of year so going after a few different species in a session should be on

the cards. If you’re fishing for drummer and groper, take another spinning rod so you can cast some metals if the action is slow. If it is mulloway that are eluding you, take some plastics and hit up the large schools of trevally hanging near the washes. It’s an awesome time of year to fish because of the potential to double-up on species. Our local rock and beach guru, Alex Bellissimo, has

Tony Mendoza was happy with this 10kg kingfish.

been getting into some nice tailor on his second rod at the ready. He always has a metal or plastic prepped in case a school of pelagic fish comes past. Until a couple of years ago I would always release tailor because their quality on the plate generally left my tastebuds wanting. However, I’ve since discovered that they’re excellent when smoked. You really have to try them this way because there’s no species that tastes better when smoked. Our rock ledges have been firing, with some good sized kings still being caught. Tony Mendoza is one guy who chases them all year round with great success. On a recent landbased trip Tony landed a 10kg fish on a live yakka whilst fishing the bottom with a 40lb outfit. We are beginning to see a good few trevally showing up in many anglers’ bags, and these will hopefully stick around through to winter as they make great sport. Berley consistently and they should appear at the boat for some light gear fun. We even target them landbased at night with soft

plastics. Little Manly Point, East Manly Esplanade and Fairlight Rocks are all great locations. Our favourite plastics are the 2” and 3” Gulps and the 60-80mm Squidgy plastics. Chasing mulloway on soft plastics is also taking off, with most anglers preferring daylight sessions when targeting these tricky customers. The most success is had by the kayak brigade, as the ability to go to where the fish are is far superior to waiting for one to come past. Fishing with 6-8kg kit and 30lb leader with a 5-6” soft plastic will get you on the money. Make sure you choose a heavy gauge hook when selecting a jighead as jewfish have powerful jaws that will crush your finer gauge hooks and spit them out like a cherry pip. Some of my favourite pre-rigged lures include the Squidgy Pro range Super Slicks, Fish Candy or the new Spanyid soft vibes, and the Ecooda or Zerek pre rigged prawns. Finally, when targeting mulloway you should berley hard. I know it attracts a lot of undesirables but jews eat a lot of different fish and

Gary Gregg with a southern calamari jigged outside South Head. action attracts action. If the lure caper is not your bag there are plenty of quality squid opportunities around Sydney. River squid (commonly called ‘arrow squid’) and southern calamari (‘green eyes’) are being taken inside and out of our harbours and bays. The impressive southern calamari in the picture was jigged outside South Head in 20m of water.

Inside Pittwater and Middle Harbour the river squid dominate in large schools. Getting a feed or enough bait can be easy if you locate a school of these voracious predators. My best advice when squidding is to cover ground and Cwork the entire water column. If they are there theyM will hit your jig, as they are Y particularly aggressive in large schools. CM


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Pittwater paradise produces PITTWATER

Peter Le Blang

While fishing along Pittwater over the last month, sometimes you could be excused for thinking you were in heaven. Calm clear warm water, blue skies and very little wind first thing in the morning – an angler’s dream! We have been blessed with a few surprise fish show up along the river. Ken Noble, while taking some overseas visitors to fish along Pittwater on his boat Karma,

had a great capture. While trolling the western shore of Pittwater with a Rapala lure they hooked up and landed a Spanish mackerel. This very lost fish measured in at 1m and cooked up a treat. Another great report was one of a jellybean yellowfin tuna being caught in Pittwater. This little guy was caught on a bait jig while gathering yellowtail. This month, because of these visitors, I suggest that if you are going to hit Pittwater or Broken Bay, catch squid for the kingfish and a few slimy mackerel or yellowtail to entice our

northern friends. The areas to try for squid are the same as last month, Palm Beach weed beds, Mackeral Beach, Currawong Beach and Towlers Bay. The 2.5g jigs are working well but they have changed their preferences to orange. The flashy jigs are still attracting

schools of kingfish cruising around and aren’t afraid to eat slimies, yellowtail or squid strips. Most fish are of the smaller size but there are bigger fish about, you just have to hope that the smaller fish let one of the bigger ones get the baits. Another area to try while

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Ken and Dianne Noble proudly show off the Spanish mackerel caught on Pittwater. a few squid. For those that are after the kingies there are a few areas that are worth trying. The western shore between Towlers Bay and West Head is seeing traveling schools of kingfish. They seem to follow the tide and work towards the mouth on the falling tide and move back towards the bays on the rising tide. The Stokes Point area has been a hot area of late but the fish that are in this area are also traveling and finding which way they went can be a bit tricky. The Supermarket and the Kingfish Highway has also seen a bit of action on the rising tide. For those of you that can get out onto Broken Bay, Barrenjoey Head has seen

at Broken Bay is West Head. This area is the live bait grounds and quite often there will be a few kingfish about that are responding to the berley and then the activity that is created when the yakkas show up. While gathering live baits put a livie on the bottom in case a mulloway is around and another pinned mid water to target a kingfish. Along the coast there seems to be kingfish present at most headlands and closer reefs. There are kingfish to be caught at Whale Beach Head, Newport Reef, Mona Vale Reef and Long Reef just to mention a few. The kingfish in most areas are small but, once again, if you persist and keep moving about there are some bigger kings to play

with. The common theme for these areas has been to take a variety of baits and take the time to get live yellowtail or slimy mackerel. Once again the offshore reef fishing has been rather slow. The fish are still marking on the sounder and with a great variety of baits, there aren’t as many bites as you would expect. Once again the main fish that are being caught are morwong, nannygai and the odd marbled flathead. There are some leatherjackets that are

showing up on the odd reef but they aren’t that bad yet. The better reefs to try are the scattered reefy ground in 80m off Long Reef, 40m of water off Mona Vale and the Newport Reef area. It really is a matter of grabbing half a dozen marks and sound out the area or, better still, drift before plonking out the pick. • Peter Le Blang operates Harbour and Estuary Fishing Charters, phone 02 9999 2574 or 0410 633 351, visit www.estuaryfishingcharters.

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Fishers using ferry commuter wharves in Sydney Harbour to fish have been the subject of complaints from the community. DPI Acting Director Recreational Fisheries, Bryan Van der Walt, said ferry wharves in Sydney Harbour provide some great fishing locations, but fishers should be respectful of other people, including neighbouring residents. “Authorities have received complaints about excessive noise by fishers late

at night at some wharves,” Mr Van der Walt said. “Reports have also been received of recreational fishers not reeling in their lines when ferries approach, and litter and fish waste being left on the wharves. “The wharves are managed by Roads and Maritime Services which has been working closely with DPI and recreational fishing groups to promote responsible fishing behaviour on the wharves. The primary purpose of the wharves is to provide commuter access to

Sydney ferries but fishing has traditionally been permitted on the wharves. “Recreational fishers are reminded to help keep Sydney Harbour’s ferry wharves open to fishing.” Fishers are reminded to follow some basic advice to minimise impact on other members of the community, including: 
 • Be considerate of others and keep noise to a minimum, especially in residential areas and especially late at night; • Collect and dispose of all litter, bait, fish waste and

discarded tackle responsibly; • Vessels and commuters have priority at ferry wharves - wind in fishing lines quickly before ferries reach the wharves; • Do not obstruct passengers; and • Respect your access to fish from these facilities or risk potential loss of access. “The majority of fishers do the right thing,” Mr Van der Walt said, “and we hope they will continue to do the right thing to help ensure these great fishing spots remain open to the public.” - DPI

The great kingfish experiment SYDNEY HARBOUR

Craig McGill

Autumn has always been my favourite fishing period, with mixed bags made up of the last of the summer fish feeding up for winter and the first of the winter fish moving in. Good February rains stirred things up for a while but in the long run it’s always for the best. What a good flush does, apart from turning the system upside down for a while, is inject the system with a burst of nutrients. This comes from 2 main sources, the main one being in the form of plant and animal matter washed off the land. Secondly, depending on the extent of the flood, the river bed (along with the vast variety of marine organisms) gets lifted and dispersed downstream. When you combine this abundance of food with the fact that water temperatures have just hit 23ºC, you need no further explanation as to why the fishing has been so good. FLATHEAD Flathead have come on strong after the rain although they are probably more interested in the abundance of baitfish that have been flushed down as opposed to the scraps. All the areas mentioned above are fishing well for flatties, with the Washaway Beach area really firing. If you plan to anchor for flatties, try to find a drop-off on a sandy bottom or an area of broken sand reef. Live baits are the way to go when at anchor as the flatties like a moving bait. Drifting the shallow sand areas around Balmoral

and Rose Bay is extremely productive. There are plenty of fish there, albeit smaller specimens. Whitebait and anchovies make good drift baits, but once again livies pinned through the top lip are way ahead. BREAM Being an opportunist feeder, bream are

chicken and mullet gut and chicken breast fillet dipped in tuna oil seem to work better than live baits like yabbies, prawns and worms. However, once the water is back to its normal clear condition the live baits will be way ahead. KINGFISH I’ve been doing a bit

Cuttlefish make top baits for kingfish. particularly turned on by a big flush and this is evident at the moment on the lower harbour where they are in almost in plague proportions. The Spit Bridge, Clarke and Shark islands, Sow and Pigs, Bottle and Glass and Bradleys Head are all producing well now and should continue to do so for the next few months. The shallower spots like Balmoral and Sow and Pigs are best fished early in the morning, late in the afternoon and into the night. Once the sun is high in the sky, try the deeper areas like Bottle and Glass and North Harbour. With a bit of colour in the water, baits like skirt steak, fresh tuna cubes,

of experimentation with bait options for kings this season and have noticed some interesting things. These fast, sharp-eyed predators have teeth that are raspy like sandpaper – very good for holding slippery things like squid, cuttlefish and octopus. If kings mainly hunted large live fish, like a Spanish mackerel does, then they would have sharp, cutting teeth. Despite kings’ food preference being mainly cephalopods, they do occasionally hunt small baitfish like whitebait, anchovies and pilchards. These are small, soft baitfish that can be inhaled and swallowed whole. Overall, you can’t give yourself any better chance

of catching a king than putting a cephalopod on your hook. Yakkas are a poor option for kings and I use them only as a last resort. Slimies are much better and gar better still, but none of them come even close to a ceph. Slimies were so abundant in the harbor this season that I decided to try a little experiment to revalidate my long-held belief that livies were next to useless as a king bait. I fished a live slimy alongside squid baits over a period of 4 separate hot bites on kings. Of the 80 or so kings we caught, none fell to the slimy. The silly old slimy swam in circles, right next to squid baits, and never even got a hit – while all around it kings were smashing the squid. I abandoned it in disgust but felt satisfied that my years of rejecting live fish baits for kings were justified. My experiment also revealed something I had not expected. Although kingfish have evolved to be hunters, they nearly always eat our cut squid baits ahead of our live squid baits. My usual spread of baits is a squid head, a squid gut, a strip from the tube and a live squid. 90% of our kings, including the bigger fish, are taken on the cut baits – first the gut followed closely by the head, then the strip. We have even had a number of sessions during hot bites where the live squid, like its useless slimy mate, has gone untouched. Strange but true. Fishabout skipper Steve Windsor, who often fished alongside us during our kingfish experiment, threw in an extra dimension of fishing a slimy fillet (head


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Big squid are common in autumn and make great bait for kings or mulloway. left on) alongside his live slimy and squid baits. Revealingly, while the fillet did not come even close to the squid it did fish noticeably better than the live slimy. On subsequent trips I have included a fillet in my spread and, sure enough, the fillet has regularly out-fished the livey. In my experience you are best off starting your kingfish session with trying to catch some squid to use as cut baits. If you can’t get squid easily, the best fall-back is to keep squidding. Try harder! If this completely fails, try to catch some live bait – preferably gar but if not try for slimies or, as a last resort, yakkas. Put one out live and the rest as fillets. NEW TACKLE SHOP Sydney’s northern beaches has a new tackle shop. The Fishing Station owned by Alex and

Dina Qasabian is at 461 Warringah Rd, Frenchs Forest. It’s right next door to the new 7/11 servo near the corner of Wakehurst Parkway and Warringah Road. This modern, well stocked shop will be a boon for northern beaches anglers who use Roseville boat ramp as it is directly en route. They open early and have a great range of tackle, frozen bait and soon live bait as well. Being on the same complex as the 7/11 servo you can fuel up, get snacks and drinks and any last minute bait and tackle, all in one stop. But best of all, it’s within walking distance of my house! For more info check out www. • If you are interested in doing a guided fishing trip on Sydney harbour with Craig McGill please call 0412 918 127 or email


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Bream are plentiful at the moment.


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More legal kings at last

Yellowtail kingfish should continue to prowl the Sydney rocks this month. If you speak to anyone who pursues kings regularly, they’ll tell you that undersized rats have been a real problem this season. However, in recent weeks there has been a steady increase in numbers over the 65cm legal length. Instead of walking away with no legal fish on at least 60% of outings, you can now reasonably expect to take home a feed. Most headlands on the northern suburbs of Sydney have been producing kings from 65-82cm. The more reliable rock spots are Bluefish, South Curl Curl’s

are using a white 9” Slap Stick, salted or unsalted sea gar, fresh squid strips and live yellowtail in the medium size suspended under a float. Bonito, tailor, frigate mackerel and mac tuna are also around in reasonable numbers, the tailor more so during the night and just around that false dawn. The preferred method is to use ganged pillies virtually unweighted or under a float, while the tuna have been taking 15-45g Snipers and Knights. I have been using the ones with the green strip with good results. If you have the gear, try throwing out a live frigate or mac tuna, especially one that’s in that half kilo size bracket. It will suit a 6kg fish while also being very enticing to a whopping 20kg+ king.

James Peereboom with two kings, one caught on a live yellowtail and the other on a 9” Slap Stick. Flat Rock, South Whales’ Ovens and Barrenjoey Head. The favourite methods lately

The bream are about in great numbers, and you can expect to get half a dozen

fish to a bag on most outings if you fish the high tide in low light conditions. A light 2-4kg outfit, a selection of baits like small to medium sized pillies, fresh Hawkesbury prawns and some mullet or tuna fillet should see you on to some quality bream. Some of the better locations include the ever green shallows of Long Reef, off Narrabeen Pool and the shallows of South Avalon. These spots are relatively safe as far as rock spots are concerned. Avoid fishing Narrabeen and South Avalon in a swell larger than 1.3m (Long Reef can still be OK even in a 2m sea). Rock blackfish tend to be on the backburner throughout summer and autumn because of the kingfish hysteria. Still, they are in good numbers at the moment and range in size from 1kg to some stud 3kg+ fish. They’re on most rock spots, with the best reports coming from Little Bluey in Manly, North Curl Curl, Long Reef, Warriewood, and North Avalon. Luderick are still being caught at these locations as well, and also at Narrabeen Gutters and Bluefish. Use either hair or cabbage weed and fish very shallow at Long Reef, around 30-40cm under the float. At the other locations, a rod length to 2m is generally the preferred depth. In the washes a mixture of snapper, trevally, bonito, tailor, kings and samsonfish have been showing up at some rock spots. The samsonfish are up to about 1.3-1.5kg. They are a great fighting fish and are really good tucker on the table. Fishing the washes of Bluefish, South Curl Curl and Turrametta are yielding mixed results. Baits like large peeled prawns, half to full pilchards, and fillets of mac tuna, frigate mackerel and striped tuna work really well. I like to use a 6kg outfit but

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APRIL 2014

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can only be seen as a darker patch of water. Making a visual check before casting out your lure or pilchard will help you avoid frustration. The Pines at North Narrabeen to within 50m of the lagoon entrance has been performing well for tailor of late. All these locations produce well into the dark. Take a carry bag with you so you are not restricted to fishing near your bucket and gear. You may need to work several gutters in a vicinity of 200-300m. Whiting continue to be caught in good numbers with a mix of other species like bream, tarwhine and some sizable dart. It is fairly common to catch at least 1 bream (often several) when you’re fishing for whiting. Manly, Curl Curl, Dee Why, Collaroy/ Narrabeen, Warriewood, Mona Vale, Bungan and Bilgolah are the producers for anglers of late. Bloodworms are the ultimate whiting bait. If you can obtain them from your local tackle shop you are in for a few fish (beachworms are a good substitute). Make sure these baits are alive and fresh. It may sound a little unusual

to say alive and fresh, but just because a worm is alive doesn’t necessarily mean it is fresh. Make sure when you purchase the worms that they are relatively firm and active, i.e. wiggling around a lot. Fewer bronze whaler sharks have been caught than in previous years; in past seasons you could often expect at least 4 hook-ups a night, occasionally up to a dozen. Mulloway have been tough to find all season as well. Fortunately, gummy sharks have been caught in better numbers than in previous years. Gummies are considered to be a bonus in this part of the country, and are highly regard as a fantastic tablefish. Some evenings you can get up to 3 in a session. In summing up, this is my favourite time of the year for a mix of species. You could get up to half a dozen edible species in an outing. How great is that! For rock and beach guided fishing or tuition in the northern Sydney region, visit www.bellissimocharters. com, email alex@ or call Alex Bellissimo on 0408 283 616.







The Super Radio Network

that can be a bad choice at times because some nasty kings from 3-5kg can turn up and make things a little difficult. An 8-10kg outfit with line to suit is a safer choice while still being light enough to not put off the smaller species. BEACHES I love this time of the year with the migrational movements of most species. Tailor are in good numbers on some beaches, and Manly is one of the best. It has some good numbers of fish to 1.2kg. Fish from the Queenscliff side of the beach to the volleyball courts. Dee Why has quite a few fish as well along its entire length, from Dee Why to Long Reef end. Some salmon are there as well. Collaroy Beach from the pipe to the large block of flats called Flight Deck is consistent, with a few fish every evening. Remember that Dee Why and Collaroy are notorious for kelp weed. This area can be inundated with this plague. When you arrive at a likely gutter before dark, take the time to look for the dark patches and the floating weed. Sometimes it is not visible on the surface and


SAT / SUN 4am - 7am

From left to right: Dave Cox, Sal Santoro, Adam Varrica and Charlie Seaman with 3 gummy sharks to 1.3m.

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APRIL 2014


Awesome April action SYDNEY SOUTH

Gary Brown

Believe it or not kingfish are still being caught inside Botany Bay at places like the end of Monoliex wall, and on the eastern side of the oil wharf at Kurnell on the run-out tide. You could either try trolling live or dead yellowtail and squid about 1-1.5m off the bottom. If you are not into trolling

you could try anchoring up at Bare Island and the oil tanker mooring drums. Then try sending down those live baits to about 1-1.5m off the bottom. The bream have started to come into the bay from outside after their spawning run on the beaches and rock washes. Try using whole and peeled prawns during the dark of the moon. Other baits that have worked for me during April are pink nippers, blood worms, strips of fresh mullet

and slimy mackerel. You can get the bream while drifting, but I prefer to anchor up and berley with a combination of bread, chicken layer pellets and smashed up old pilchards. While anchored up I use either the ball sinker down onto the bait or a sinker, swivel and a leader of 1-2m in length. Luderick, drummer, bream and silver trevally are still being caught by anglers fishing off the rocks. Places that are worth a shot are South Bondi, Maroubra, Coogee






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APRIL 2014

Close offshore reefs are producing a few snapper on the run-up tide. You could also try trolling a few lures out through the heads of Botany Bay. south, Kurnell Peninsula, Little Marley in the Royal National Park and north and south Garie. You could also try South Stanwell Park Beach and off the pool at Coalcliff. Just remember when fishing off the rocks you will need to keep an eye on the swell. Georges Cooks and Woronora rivers are producing quality luderick from both the shore and out of a boat. Try the Caption Cook Bridge, Kangaroo Point, the entrance the Oyster Bay, the first 100m of shoreline going into the Woronora, Soily Point and the stretch of shoreline on the western side of Alfords Point Bridge. Another place to try is the George River State park. This is a great place to take the kids for a fish. Just remember you will need to get quality green weed. Try looking at the ends of storm water drains, off the coastal rocks or if all else fails go to Mac’s Bait on the northern side of Tom Ugly’s Bridge. Bream and flathead have been caught from both the shore and out of a boat along the stretch of water at the end of Forest Road at Lugarno. Mullet, bonito and striped tuna have been working extremely well. Whole Hawkesbury River prawns, nippers and blood worms are worth trying as well. George Barns and Peter Wells from Como have been working 40mm Berkley PowerBlades along the edges of the channel that goes from Lilli Pilli Point to the entrance to Burraneer Bay for success on trevally, whiting, bream and flathead. They have also been fishing the flats at Lilly Pilly at night for whiting and flounder. I was out on the Port Hacking the other day and I did notice a number of schools of luderick hanging around the same stretch of water. So to see what they liked for a feed I harvested some green cabbage off the rocks nearby, chopped it up and mixed it with some semi-dried sand and chucked it in the water. The next

chance I get I am getting out the luderick gear, getting some cabbage and getting myself a few luderick. While out I also noticed a number of anglers getting a few squid on squid jigs. One trick I have learnt over the years is to have a look for squid ink when I go down to a wharf. Many anglers who target squid will do it at night. Find the squid ink on the wharfs and you will find squid. The beaches off Cronulla have been producing a few good catches of bream and whiting, and my mates have found that fishing during the night has produced the better catches. Beach, blood and tube worms are my favourite

baits off the beach, but coming a very close second is the pink nipper. Salmon and tailor will start to show up on the beaches during the early and late parts of the day. The falling tide is generally the better time to fish. Try using either whole pilchards or garfish for bait, but don’t forget to take along a few metals. You can have them ready for those schools of fish that are out of reach of a well cast pilchard. If you would like more information on where to go in the southern areas of Sydney, send me an email to and I will try to help you out.

Top: If the conditions will allow you could anchor or drift off Wedding Cake Island or Maroubra Beach for trevally. Try using a paternoster rig. Bottom: There is a rocky point just inside of Bare Island that’s worth a shot for bream, trevally and luderick. When you get there you’ll see a small reef about 20m from the shore.

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Nail a red on the stones ILLAWARRA

Greg Clarke

Haven’t fully recovered from last month? Well, there is no need to slow down just keep charging forward as this is another cracker of a fishing month! We even have the added bonus of Easter and ANZAC day long weekends only three days apart, so the opportunities are extreme. Take a deep breath and get your second wind because the full moon will bring on the snapper and they will be right in close in the washes and around the bombies. The rock hoppers are in with their best chance all year to nail a big red from the stones. The deeper spots down south around Kiama, Marsdens, Bombo and Cathedral rocks are all prime ledges. Take some berley

and start your trail very early in the morning or late in the arvo and fish unweighted fillets of mackerel. If they are about they will find you. The same method can be used at Bass Point, Windang Island, Port Kembla and further north at Coalcliff. If you want to get adventurous try the area between Wombarra and Stanwell Park. It is a bit of a walk and rock scramble but few fish it and it is well worth the effort. The boaties will do well to get in close and put out the berley over any of the shallow reefs. A few of the best spots are Puckeys, only 300m from Wollongong boat ramp and right next to the CBD, and Bellambi Reef a little further north or straight off Wombarra Cemetery only a few hundred metres from shore. Fishing the close in shallow reefs is all good but with shallow water comes the chance of breaking waves,

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so tide and sea conditions must be taken into account when fishing these areas. Local knowledge also is a big bonus. Stealth is also required because the reds are very alert in the shallows and take some skill to catch, which is much different to drifting plastics in 50m of water and hoping. With the water cooling, the rocks will also see the big drummer start to get into gear with all the above places and all the shallow headlands in between holding good fish. If the snapper are a bit slow, and let’s face it you don’t get big ones every time, there will be plenty of drummer and bream in the berley, particularly if you use some bread. A few royal red prawns or bread fished unweighted in the trail will score some very nice fish, again the area around Coalcliff will be a standout this month. If drummer and bream aren’t your style then there are plenty of bonito, salmon, mackerel tuna, and kingfish. There is even the chance of a

This is the month for the big bonnies and you just don’t know where they will turn up, but a good bet would be around the islands. longtail on the deeper ledges if you have a live bait out or toss a bit of heavy metal


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APRIL 2014

about and crank it back fast. If you are lucky and find a few frigates hanging about put one straight back out and any kings in the area will hone in very quickly. If not you have the very best snapper bait available. On the beaches we have a big full moon rising just on dark, so if the weather holds this is when the big tailor come out to play. April is always good for fish well in excess of 3kg there is just one problem, you have to get past the salmon. They are everywhere but there is nothing wrong with a bit of healthy competition. Both fish are great to catch on light tackle, but don’t go too light as there are still a few mulloway about. It hasn’t been the best season for big fish and the schoolies haven’t really schooled. Nevertheless, there have been enough to keep the die-hards interested and you just never know that next run might be the big one. Sharks are still a problem particularly when using fillets of slimy and frigate but they usually bite you off

quickly and you can get on with fishing. During the day there are some very solid whiting getting about but beachworms are a must while flatties are still grabbing plastics and baits on the edges of the deeper gutters. A few nice bream are in the deeper gutters too with some of the better fish coming from the gutters running out close to the rocks of one of the many headlands. The lake will produce for a good while yet with plenty of good flathead on the bite all up through the main channel and into the lake proper with the dirty water right at the bottom of the tide the best time to fish. You tend to struggle to get a hit when the water is clear but it is nice to see the water so clean in the lake.

There are some nice reds like this around if you berley the shallows. This one was another accident that took a livie meant for a king. Bream are gaining in numbers in the deeper spots in the channel with the evenings on the run-out tide the best times to try. If you can get some weed there are heaps of good blackfish along the edges of the weed beds but squirt worms will get a lot of fish if you can get the worms. Some big whiting are hanging over the shallow sand flats where the water warms during the day but squirt worms are virtually a must for a descent catch. Minnamurra has a few flatties but they have gone a bit quiet of late but plenty of decent bream and blackfish are gathering around the bridge pylons to make up for the flatties. Some nice whiting and the odd big trevally can be found on the flats down around the entrance. Offshore, apart from the snapper, the other feature of April is the gathering of big bonito off the coast as fish to 7kg prowl the reefs before moving to greener pastures. They love big live baits meant for kings and will gather in numbers if you toss a few pilchard cubes into the berley when chasing snapper. They are great fun on light tackle and aren’t too bad fresh on the barbie either. Kings are gaining in size as the rats start to all get to legal-size after fattening up over the past few weeks. Some big fish will be hooked but they are hunting the shallower areas at the moment with Bass Point and the islands the top spots. However, shallow water and big kings don’t mix so most will beat you up and take your tackle. Big live slimy mackerel

slow trolled on the top or downrigged are the killer baits or if you are lucky enough to score a late frigate you are in business. If you use small slimies or yellowtail you will get kings, many of them smaller, but you will also get plenty of salmon knocking off your baits as well so the chance of kingies will be severely depleted. Further offshore there is the chance of a few yellowfin tuna showing up out wide but as of yet it has been a bit quiet on that front but it can all change at any time so keep an ear out for any mentions. Big blue marlin are a good bet past the shelf with a few striped marlin taking lures now the blacks have moved on. But there is always a chance of a black as we have caught them right into June in the past. If there is a late push of more warm water there could be a few more mahi mahi on the FADs, but for the moment there are only the odd stragglers hanging about on some days. In closer the drifters are getting some nice flathead over the sand patches with many of the old timers lamenting the loss of the Port Chimney Stack. It was the main mark used for spots for most anglers who chased flatties and just didn’t get the marks into their GPS before it all came tumbling down. Over the reefs the small reds have been consistent along with gathering numbers of trevally and the odd samsonfish, while morwies have been a bit quiet there are plenty of piggies and leatherjackets to keep you busy. Good fishing.


Anglers who break Fisheries rules




Name Address

P/Code Phone (day):

The first correct entry at the end of each month will win a Hawk Fishing cap, Hawk Fishing line, Hawk HB Lure, assorted Panther Martin lures and 3 packets of Youvella chemically sharpened hooks. SEND ENTRIES TO: NSW Hawk Tournament Competition

PO box 3172, Loganholme Qld 4129 NSW APRIL 2014


SUBSCRIBER PRIZE The subscriber prize winner for February was W Koerts of Cambridge Gardens, who won a Flowrite Live Bait Tank Kit. All subscribers are entered in the monthly subscriber prize draws. Prize delivery takes up to 8 weeks. – NSWFM


BITE ME by Trisha Mason

The Find the Black Magic C-Point Hook prize winners for February were P Lyneham of Fern Bay, A Booth of St Ives, A Ashbury of Liberty Grove, D Harvey of Barringbar, J Scanlon of Croudace Bay, G Waugh of Greystanes, O Gale of Avalon, J MacDonald of Petersham, S Pollock of Avalon Beach, B Offley of Wollongbar, S Cameron of Tyndale, K Thomas of Braidwood, C Carter of Richmond, S Toohey of Ingleburn, W Keeley of Glen Davis, R Dowden of Goondiwindi, A LeBlang of Church Point, N Webster of Kurrajong Heights, R Turnbull of Franklin, D Walker of Thornton, S Roweth of Millthorpe, C Brown of Binnaway, D Johnston of Bulahdelah, D Currie of Bongaree, A Sinclair of Lalor Park, I Dando of Tuggerawong, J Haddow of Brandy Hill, T Kennedy of Summerland Point, R Kresevic of Canley Vale, C Deboer of Valentine, B Mannering of Leumeah, A Higgins of Helensburgh, J Stranner of Rose Bay, R Gear of Oberon, R Small of Orangeville, T Boseski of Leumeah, M Baker of Gorokan, J Neilson of Rochester, M Wetteland of Wagga Wagga, C Wood of Penrith, D Miller of Cobar, S Aniol of Cardiff South, D Nacinovic of Nth Narrabeen, D Jones of Wauchope, D Manks of Gilgandra, H Thompson of Ermington, J Gill of Laurieton, R Rich of Port Macquarie, P Stever of Austinmer, K Burgess of North Haven, who each won a packet of Black Magic C-Point Hooks valued at $5.95! Prize delivery takes up to 8 weeks. – NSWFM


The answers to Find the Black Magic C-Point Hook for February were: 9, 16, 20, 22, 26, 36, 40, 55, 58, 62, 70, 71, 73, 80, 82. – NSWFM

FIND-A-WORD WINNER Congratulations to Jenny Blevins of Harrington, who was last month’s winner of the Hawk Tournament Find-a-Word Competition! Monthly winners receive Hawk Tournament Tested Bayer Perlon IGFA line, assorted Panther Martin lures, Youvella hooks and a keyring. Prize delivery can take 8 weeks. – NSWFM 2


APRIL 2014


Trailer Feature

Pimp your trailer with accessories you can’t We all know that there is nothing unhealthy at all about polishing your pride and joy for hours on end. In fact, we’re sure that there’s something written, somewhere, about the time

spent in your boat not being deducted from the number of days one is allocated on this planet. And if there isn’t, there certainly should be. Sitting in and around

boats talking fishing, or engines, or the weather, is one of Man’s joys and the boat certainly steals the show when it comes to being the centre of attention. We think, however, that

it’s time your trailer got the attention that it deserved. After all, it’s the cradle that gets your boat to the water and back. And it’s the bit that invariably leaves you stuck on the side of the road

when it’s not given enough attention. Just as a properly set up trailer can be a pleasure to use, a poorly set up trailer or one the wrong type, can actually damage your boat

quite significantlty. There’s a pile of pimping that can be done to your trailer and plenty of products that’ll turn heads at the ramp when your boat’s not even on it.

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There’s more to like than a standard, 50mm tow ball and cast hitch. Even though that’ll do the job in a majority of cases, you can get specialised hitches that allow a greater range of movement. Just what you need when you decide to take your tinnie to places where only serious 4WD owners dare to drive. After all, there are always more fish in places that threaten to destroy all that you own just by attempting to get there.

No matter how good a captain you are, there’ll be the time when you’re the poor bloke busting your chops winching up the boat. Immediately, you’ll think, ’there’s gotta be a better way’. There is. Upgrading to a winch with the correct gear ratio can make the chore a lot easier. Or you can go the whole hog and set yourself up with an electric winch system that gets your boat loaded with a push of a button.

Tired of looking up the pants of the poor mug hanging over the front of your boat trying to clip on the winch cable? There are systems that do this automatically (the clip the boat on part - not the anchor-padded bend).

Jockey Wheels Yes. You can upgrade your jockey wheels. Considering that this is one of the most sworn at parts of a trailer, you might get a lot of pleasure out of a small investment.

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Tyres Don’t just pull the tyres off the old Datsun 120Y. When they blow out on the way to the hottest mackerel bite in history, you’ll be pissed off.

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Let’s face it, there’s nothing like a little trailer envy to get the strut going after a day on the water. In this feature, we will have a look at some of the improvements that can be made to turn your tub-toter into the sweetest ride your boat will ever have.

Of course, none of these enhancements are a substitute for a good maintenance regime. A little bit of TLC goes a long way with a piece of machinery that’s repeatedly immersed in salt water and then left to bake in the sun. - FMG.

Trailer Wraps What the heck is a trailer wrap? Printed vinyl that’s so popular with tournament and sponsored anglers can be applied to the trailer - usually on the main frame on the outside - both forward and behind the guards.

Trailer Feature Springs

Galv Spray


Are you a galvanised spring user or is raw steel more your thing? Ever seen the torsion blocks without springs? They work a treat and they don’t sound like a flock of budgies following you along the highway.

Need to touch up a few places where the galvanising is wearing a bit thin? Never mind that it’s because you cut the corner next to that concrete post. There’s products that’ll restore your trailer’s original level of awesome-ness.

Stopping in a hurry is awesome when you find out traffic is stopped in front of you and you’re pushing the limits. Trailer brakes make this dream a reality! Adding brake kits to a trailer isn’t as hard as it sounds. You need a little technical nous, but my no means need to be McGyver. Remember that the legal limit for unbraked boat trailers is 750kg. If your loaded and fuelled rig weighs more then this, you need ‘em.

Rollers Bearing Systems The old standard of greased wheel bearings in your hubs is under threat. There are several varieties of oil filled hubs that let you see the status of lubrication at a glance.

Does your boat have enough rollers? If they’re not set up properly or there are too few, you risk damaging your precious boat. Too many rollers is just enough. Just.




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Gone are the days where you need to replace light globes every other trip. Modern LED lights are nearly impervious to water, dust, vibration and the punishment that a boat trailer dishes out. And they’re brighter - and therefore safer - than bulbs. You can even get plug-andplay kits for the novice pimper.

If you have a skid-style trailer, is the material used the best for your hull? Commonly, aluminium hulls are cradled on nylon skids,

Got the right boat…

Mags Nothing says “my trailer is awesome” like a shiny new set of trailer mags. Not just any old rims will do, though. They need the correct offset and stud pattern for your hubs and if you use them in salt water, they need to be at least a little resistent to corrosion. Even though you’ll be polishing them to within an inch of their life.

backed with wood or galvanised pipe. Glass boats love a flexible slab of wood covered with carpet and others get the best result from a trailer rollered to within an inch of its life. Make sure your system is the best for your hull.

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APRIL 2014

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Ausmarine Seatrail trailers

If you’re after value for money in a trailer you should definitely check out the Seatrail range. Ausmarine distributes and sells the full range of Seatrail trailers in both galvanised steel and aluminium frame models. Seatrail trailers range from small, lightweight folding models for small tinnies up to heavy roller trailers for 6.5m hulls with 2000kg ATM. Ausmarine can also have galvanised steel and aluminium trailers powder coated in different colours, a new option available should boat owners want to match their trailer to their boat or car paint. New to the range is the Seatrail 4.6m trailer that is designed to take boats to 4.7m with ATM of under 750kg (not requiring brakes), and is available with either skid or rollers. This model is available in both aluminium and galvanized steel frame. As well as producing a great range of boat trailers, Ausmarine also have a range of popular box trailers, car trailers and camper trailers. Accessories required for trailer upgrades and maintenance are also available. The range includes wheel bearings, spare wheel brackets, jockey wheels, LED lights, and spare wheels, all at very competitive prices. For the full range of Seatrail trailers and accessories go to or for more information call (02) 9772 4857. To find your nearest dealer follow the prompts on their website. While you’re on their website also check out their range of Seacraft aluminium boats from 2.1m – 4.5m and their range of 2-stroke and 4-stroke SeaKing outboards. - FMG

Oceanic Trailers

Oceanic Trailers is a company whose motto is to strive for excellence in both design and durability. This Australian company is based on the Gold Coast and employs Aussie workers with the same goals as their customers: to live the Australian way and use Australian product. In keeping with this philosophy, the Oceanic team only use Australian tube to manufacture their trailer frames, and they’re so confident in the build quality that they offer a 3-year structural warranty on all Oceanic branded trailer frames. Options abound – these guys are happy to accommodate customer requests, no matter how small. Paint or powder-coated finishes over hot dip galvanising gives the finished product a look that is as individual as the colour you choose. Oceanic also offers (at a fraction of the cost of the other coatings) vinyl wraps. Mud guards are available in either plastic moulded, steel round, checker plate or plain 4-bend design. The injection moulded plastic guards are made in Sydney by a company battling the imported competition. To fight back against cheap imports they have been innovative and have tooled up to be very competitive, and Oceanic has passed on the savings to its customers. Choosing wheels is another way of personalising your trailer. Dress alloy or galvanised – there is a choice of wheel for everyone’s requirements. So when you’re deciding to purchase your next rig, think about wide variety of options available to you offered by Oceanic Trailers and ask your dealer for a price. For more information visit www.oceanictrailers. - OT

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Trailer Feature 1

Tinka Redco – 50 Years Strong!

Australian made for Australian conditions, Australian owned, using Australian steel. If there are iconic names in boat trailer manufacturers, it would have to be Redco and Tinka. This year, these highly regarded brands celebrate 50 years of operation. This is a major milestone and reflects the respect for which Redco and Tinka trailers are held among the boating fraternity. For the last 15 years, Tinka Classic and Redco Sportsman trailers have been manufactured by Brisbane’s Mayfair Marine 2000. Designed for fibreglass and plate alloy boats, Tinka trailers are immensely strong, durable, and loaded with features that other brands count as options – including a spare wheel and mounting bracket, checker plate alloy guards, bearing buddies, swing-up jockey wheel, cradle protectors, poly keel rollers, conical wobble rollers and LED lights. Mayfair Marine’s Redco Sportsman and the new Redco Slider trailer range is as equally comprehensive with trailers for the smallest tinnie through to the biggest trailerable cruiser. Redco trailers are available with a variety of roller set-ups and with fixed and tilting rear cradle models for easy shallow water launching. The new Redco Slider range features a ‘V’ Loading cradle, rear roller rack, long skids, suits 5-6m aluminium boats, can be fitted with rollers, and has a ‘C’ channel upgrade option. And coming soon is a very exciting range of aluminium trailers, so watch out for them! Visit for the full range of Redco Sportsman, Redco Slider & Tinka trailers and your closest dealer. – Mayfair Marine

Bargain White Vision LED’s

When LED trailer lights first came out, you needed a second mortgage to get a set. As time passed though, the cost of these low maintenance necessities dropped – dramatically. These ‘White Vision’ branded boat trailer lights are fully waterproof and come in 12 and 24 volt versions. With a 12 month warranty and slimline design, you’d be expecting these to cost $100 a set. Try $45 a pair – and if you mention Fishing Monthly, you’ll pick up a set for $25 (for April 2014 only). Why wouldn’t you bone the old set of wonky, globe-models of your sled and upgrade to these. They even come with the stainless steel bolts to mount it and the mandatory number-plate lighting. Did we mention that they are only $25 a set this month? Yes, we did, but we thought it was worth repeating. Call Active Fabrications on (07) 3807 6666 to order. - FMG


White Vision LEDs



Mount me

Active Fabrications sells spare wheel holders that bolt to your trailer frame and keep your spare where you need it – on your trailer and not sitting in the garage at home in the moment of need. The Spare Tyre Bracket kit comes with studs and U-Bolts to mount it to your frame and $24 is a small price to pay for the convenience. Tyre and rim options Are your trailer tyres and rims looking a little sad? There’s a broad variety of sizes and stud patterns for your boat trailer tyres. Active Fabrications have 8, 9, 10, 13 and 14” models available at fantastic pricing. For example, a 10” wheel and tyre will set you back $95.60 and a 13” model $119.45. Call Active Fabrications to order on (07) 3807 6666 or visit www.activefabrications. for more information or to order. FMG

Treat your trailer right Keeping your trailer in good shape isn’t that hard, and it’s a very worthwhile exercise. You don’t want to find yourself in that nightmare scenario of being stuck on the side of the road, smoke coming from your trailer wheel, and telling yourself life just isn’t fair. Take it from me – life is a whole lot more fair if you do take a few easy steps to avoid nasty surprises! BEARINGS Bearings are one of the more vital items on your boat trailer, but they’re something we often forget about – until they fail. Wheel bearing failure is the most common problem people have with their trailers. If you keep your bearings well greased they will last longer, but eventually they will need to be replaced. To check your bearings, jack the wheel off the ground and spin the wheel. If there’s a grinding sound, that’s bad; your bearings should be smooth and silent. If you grab the wheel at the top and bottom, there shouldn’t be much play in it. If there is excessive movement you’re

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Large pneumatic jockey wheels make for easy maneuverability. Keep it well lubricated and ensure the lugs are locked before moving your trailer. on borrowed time. Lots of boaters replace their bearings at home. If you haven’t done it before there are plenty of YouTube videos showing how it’s done. Or,

if you want to avoid the mess and hassle, just take it to your local tyre shop or mechanic. There are several bearing Continued page 50

Buy Local, Buy Aussie, Buy a Redco

Mayfair Marine

APRIL 2014


Trailer Feature From page 49

lube systems available that will allow you to keep your bearings well greased and oiled. These include brands like Dura Hub and Bearing Buddies, and you’ll find they are easy to fit and come with helpful instructions. And finally, if you have an extended road trip planned I would suggest taking 2 pairs of bearings plus a tub

a much bigger problem. If you have significant rusting of the trailer frame or parts you should get them replaced immediately or get a licensed trailer repairer to fix the damage. Because springs aren’t galvanized they’re one of the areas that are particularly susceptible to rust, and so they need some attention to minimize this problem. I

to failure after repeated dunkings in saltwater, as well as wear and tear on the road. For this reason it’s wise to make a visual inspection of the wiring to check for corroded or damaged wires or loose connections. Before each trip you also need to check your indicator and brake lights. If you have a large trailer, check that your clearance lights are working. Every so often, take a look at the electrical tow plug connectors on your tow vehicle and trailer. You want to avoid surface rust on the plug, and you can help to prevent this with a good quality silicon spray. If there’s a small amount of corrosion you can clean the contacts with a small wire brush and a light spray of CRC. If there’s heavy corrosion you’ll need to replace the plug.

Replace rusty U bolts as these are what keeps your axle attached to your trailer; a very simple and easy job.

There are several bearing lube systems on the market to ensure you keep bearings greased or oiled at optimum levels. of waterproof grease and a general tool kit… just in case. SPARE TYRE In an ideal world, your spare tyre would happily spend its life perched on your trailer and never have to touch the road. But just in case your luck runs out, you

recommend spraying your springs several times a year with a rust-inhibiting silicone spray. It’s also a good idea to clean them thoroughly after each trip. If you’re planning an extended trip you should bring a spare set; it’s difficult to find exactly the right

The seatbelt type winch straps have very high load ratings and are easy on the hands. Notice the safety chain attached securely.

Surface rust must be treated once it becomes visible. Hit this area with a wire brush and treat with a Cold Gal spray, available from most chandlery outlets. need to make sure your tyre is ready to roll. The next time you’re at the servo, top up your tyres to the recommended PSI rating (this is displayed on the wall of the tyre). You also need to carry a tyre wrench that fits the nuts on the wheels. Another option is to get a quality X-bar wrench. With 4 wheel nut sizes they’re compatible with nearly all trailers. Lastly, remember that wheel nuts have a habit of coming loose, so give every nut a tighten on a regular basis. RUST Got some light rust on your trailer? Attack it with a wire brush to remove any surface corrosion, and then give it a good coating of antirust agent such as Cold Gal. Major rust is obviously 50

APRIL 2014

spring when you’re off the beaten track. WIRING AND LIGHTS The trailer’s electrical wiring system is prone

When it comes to the lights themselves, many boaters have made the switch to sealed LEDs because they last longer and usually have fewer problems. They also have a low power draw and are very bright. If you’re not familiar with the wire colour codes, here they are: the yellow wire is for the left indicator; green is the right indicator; brown is for the tail, side and

It is important to grease and spray your coupling frequently, otherwise it will end up looking like this neglected item.

clearance lights; red is for the stop lights and the white wire is the ground/earth wire. If you have power brakes they’ll most likely have a blue wire. JOCKEY WHEEL To keep your jockey wheel in good nick it’s a good idea to keep grease inside the winding mechanism and on the internal shaft. If you have a swing-away jockey wheel, check that the handle (or other parts of the assembly) doesn’t scrape on sloped surfaces when retracted. If this is an issue it may be possible to secure the handle to the drawbar of your trailer. BRAKES Boat-trailer packages with a specified gross capacity of 750kg or higher are required by law to have trailer brakes. If this is you, you should test your brakes and brake lights before each trip to make sure they’re operating properly. Also remember that if you’re going on an extended trip it’s all too easy to overload your rig with ice, tackle, camping gear plus a big load of fuel. Have a look

When your rollers don’t roll it’s time to buy new ones. Measure the length of the roller itself and the pin it sits on so you know exactly which ones to get. If your trailer is designed for driving on, it’s good to replace the first keel roller with a selfcentering roller. It’s a bit more expensive than a plain roller, but it’s easier and quicker to drive on. So that your new rollers don’t quickly end up shredded like the old ones, you’ll need to smooth the keel. You can do this with a file or grinder, and it only requires a light touch. All you want to do is take out the nicks and dents to leave a smooth surface. Once the keel is smooth, it’s time to get the old rollers off and put the new ones on. To do this you’ll need

This bearing cap is well overdue for a service. at your VIN plate to see the manufacturer’s guidelines regarding the net maximum capacity. TRAILER ROLLERS If you own an aluminium boat and the trailer is over three years old, your rollers probably aren’t doing their job as well as they used to. It doesn’t help if your keel gets knocked about, because the uneven surface damages trailer rollers. You can see the bits of blue or red poly stuck to the keel when you’re tying the boat down.

long-nose pliers, side cutters and a hammer. It’s also good to bring marine grease to increase the pins’ lifespan, plus a decent sized rag to clean up with. Pick a quiet time or a blustery day when nobody wants to be on the water, and head down to your local ramp. Once the boat is off the trailer and you’ve parked out of the way of other users, you can get cracking. Get your hammer and whack the split pins to get them through the holder so the roller can come off (just remember

Trailer Feature to hit only one end or the dented metal may prevent the pin from coming off). The next step is to put grease on the new pin. Be generous with the grease, because the saltwater environment is pretty unforgiving. Then position the new roller between the posts, push the pin through and then secure everything

with the split pins (if the split pins are too long you can trim them with side cutters). When the pin and split pin are in place, put grease all over them to ward off rust. Going through this procedure with all the rollers should take you around 20 minutes in total. Getting the boat on and off the trailer should now be a lot easier.

your boat to overtake you on the highway. Every once in a while use a shifter to make sure all the nuts and bolts are tight on your trailer, as they tend to

LED trailer lights are a great addition to your trailer; they’re bright yet draw very little power.

Keep all moving parts greased or oiled regularly.

WINCH Check your winch cable regularly for signs of wear. It can be good to change your winch straps to the seatbelt or Spectra rope type as they have very high load ratings and are easy on the hands. It’s also good to periodically spray the working parts with a good quality silicone spray. Finally, make sure that the safety chain from your winch post is in good order and hooked up to your boat before you hit the road. CLEANING It’s important to give your trailer a thorough hosing down after each trip to

prevent the saltwater from attacking the metal. When you’re washing the boat, wash down the trailer as well with warm, soapy water. The biggest problem areas are the springs, axle, wheels and rollers, so give them some extra attention. When you’re finished, give your springs, axle and any moving parts a spray with good quality silicone spray or Inox. It’s also advisable to have two safety chains from your trailer to your tow hitch, crossed and secured with a quality D shackle. A shackle is something you don’t want to skimp on unless you want

gradually loosen. Remember, you can’t get to and from the water without your trailer, so look after it and you’ll get many years of faithful service. - FMG

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Do you love your monthly issue of Fishing Monthly? Do you think it’s about time you were on the cover of it? Well, we think that too and are offering readers the chance to do just that. The June, July and August issues of Queensland, NSW and Victoria/Tasmania FMs will all feature readers’ pics on the front covers. And there’s no reason why it can’t be you... Entry is simple. Email us your cover-worthy pic. Remember, though, that it needs to be the right composition and resolution to work. After that, it just needs to get through the Grumpy Old Men committee (of Steve Booth and Steve Morgan) and then BOOM, you’re the latest cover model.

Be creative - we like images that aren’t just ‘person holding fish’. • • • • • •

Other parameters of which you need to take note: Portrait format (turn camera on its side). Leave enough room for a magazine masthead at the top of the image. Shoot in the highest resolution your camera can take. Use fill-in flash to help remove any shadows under caps or biminis. Live fish look way better than dead ones. Any fish must be legally captured (within season/size limits).

Head not too high in the shot to allow for Masthead Portrait format showing focus area

And then email your image to: with a description of the what/when/where/how of the capture. Be sure to include your details, too, because we’ll post out a framed copy of the winning covers to the entrant.

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Snapper will fire up BOMADERRY

Wes Murphy

Currarong Beachside Tourist Park • • • •

Two hours from Sydney or Canberra Cabins, camping and caravan sites Pet friendly with conditions Home to some spectacular land-based and game fishing with marlin, yellow fin, bream, kingfish, mulloway, whiting and flathead. • Situated on the northern shores of Jervis Bay Marine Park.

It’s starting to cool down, the days are getting shorter but the fishing is heating up! Down south in the estuaries there have been good patches of black bream up the back of Burrill Lake on the edges. There has also been a decent run of black fish towards the mouth next to the bridge with plenty of people floating weed down the drop-offs.

Scott with a mahi mahi off the FAD wide of the banks. In the basin the snapper really start to fire up this time of year in the dropoffs. A lot of lure and bait fishers do well anchoring up and digging in with a consistent berley trail. I find a simple cube trail, similar to what you would use for tuna works most effectively, with no other berley in the water. Throw one cube in, then when that one disappears throw the next one in, then repeat. From this, expect a by-catch of flathead or tailor that hang in the trail waiting to pick off whatever they can. Moving up into

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Young Billy ‘the bream whisperer’ with a nice bream from Burrill.

the Shoalhaven River, mulloway continue to reward the dedicated angler with reports of 20lb+ being a common catch. This time of year we start to see the Bass bite slow down, as they start to move their way down stream ready to spawn. Now’s the time to pull out the tray of divers, as the surface action can be pretty inconsistent. Offshore really started to fire last month and we hope that it continues into April. There have been reports of a good number of kingfish off the humps at the banks Continued page 49




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Rod maintenance NSW STH COAST

Steve Starling

Last month in this column we looked at the maintenance and care needed to keep your fishing reels in tip-top condition. This time around, the focus shifts to rods. The old saying, “Spare the rod and spoil the child” has become rather politically incorrect in this modern age, when dishing out physical punishment to kids is widely frowned upon. Perhaps we could alter it these days to apply to our fishing tackle instead… Something along

certainly extend the life of your favourite rods. One good habit to get into involves simply removing reels from rods when the outfit is not in use and storing all your rods in soft bags or socks, on racks or pegs, or in speciallymade rod tubes. Taking multi-piece rods apart for storage is also an excellent idea and can help prevent the various bits from gumming up and sticking together, effectively creating one-piece rods! A quick hose down after each outing (especially when fishing in saltwater) and an occasional wipe over with a wet, soapy cloth is also worthwhile. I’ve been known to take my rods into

again, especially if they’re going into rod bags or tubes. Once or twice each year (at least) I like to spray some aerosol lubricant onto a soft, clean rag and wipe the whole rod down, paying particular attention to the reel seat or winch mount, guide frames and ferrules or joins. Between trips, rods are best stored horizontally or vertically on pegs or in racks, but you can also stand your rods in a corner, so long as they’re completely straight. Storing rods bent or under load can cause them to take on a ‘set’ and stay that way…forever. Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight degrades rod finishes and can ultimately

the shower with me after a hard day’s fishing, but I’ve also been told this is a tad extreme! Whichever method you choose, make sure the rod and all its fittings are completely dry before packing them away

weaken the blank material itself, so avoid leaving your rods on the roof of the car or out in the backyard for lengthy periods. Oh, and while you’re at it, don’t do what a mate of mine did and leave your

gear lying on the front lawn. He thought he’d lost his favourite surf-casting rod, until he mowed the long grass. Crunch, bang, sproing… Ouch! That’s certainly one way of turning a one-piece rod into a multi-piece. Cracked, grooved or chipped guides (runners) or guide inserts can be a major issue with some rods, and will play havoc with your line, often causing mysterious break-offs whenever you hook a good fish. If you suspect a guide insert may be damaged, draw a section of lady’s stocking or pantyhose leg through it. Damaged guides will snag and pull at the fine material. If this happens, replace the guide immediately. If you’re not up to completing this job yourself, have it done by a reputable tackle shop or custom rod builder. Rod care is mostly basic common sense, but you might be surprised at just how uncommon that valuable commodity is!

the Shoalhaven FAD (Fish Attracting Device) you stand a good chance of hooking up to one of the great number of mahi mahi that are hanging around it currently. To find the GPS coordinates to any of the DPI’s FADs go to au/fisheries/recreational/ saltwater/fads/map. Your best chance for success will come from throwing almost anything around the structure as close as you can to the FAD, from silver flashes to 7” jerk shads and

bibless minnows – whatever you want! Generally the marlin are hanging around a little wider this time of year. Head to the kink at Jervis Bay, as it is a good spot to start with bait and switch being a great method to cover a lot of

Hmmm. Cobwebs in the guides and broken varnish coats could be an indication of a lack of maintenance! the lines of, “Spare the care and spoil the rod!” Thankfully, most modern fishing rods don’t demand an enormous amount of maintenance. However, a little bit of TLC (tender loving care) can From page 48

but the sharks continue to give everyone a hard time. The guys out there catching fish have been bagging out within a few hours of fishing. If you sneak out a little bit wider and head out to

Count the rods! Tournament and competition anglers typically own (and use) dozens of rods. A little preventive maintenance will help keep them all in top working order.

Roller-runnered game rods demand extra attention. It’s important to keep those rollers clean and lightly lubricated to ensure that they work as they were intended to. ground and find the fish. April kicks off the snapper season in Jervis Bay, where you will find good numbers on a lot of the reefs, such as Plantation, Middle Ground and Long Nose, with the odd bigger knobby turn up to give

you hell. There’s always a good chance of finding a decent kingy hanging around a couple of these reefs, so be prepared for the encounter and look out for the patches of bait. Until next time, good times and tight lines!





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• • • •

A new perspective can make all the difference BATEMANS BAY

Anthony Stokman

What a difference a few weeks can make! The water temperatures recently rose again and the cold upwelling dissipated. More importantly, the current offshore decreased significantly. We now have good amounts of bait holding and we have fish feeding on these bait schools. Marlin are starting to make an appearance and we are hoping it can only get better

there, current lines and temp breaks, there is a chance of catching some yellowfin. You never know sometimes! One of my customers trolled in from the continental shelf the other day and as he reached the 60m depth (snapper grounds) he trolled up two 12kg yellowfin. And the week before in the same depth he trolled up a 70-80kg striped marlin. The fish seem to be well spread with good bluewater pushed down covering most of the coast now. ROCK AND BEACH The previous cooler

days we are seeing more hardbodies being used on these fish with great success. Try a sinking vibe weighing between 17g and 30g, depending on the depth and current. A lot of these fish are being caught in 4-8m of water. If you get up later and miss the dawn, that’s OK; people have been finding the odd snapper in 15-20m of water later in the morning. There have been some large mowies caught in 15m+ and a run of flathead is also on the

the Tuross Flathead Competition quite a few flatties were caught, a few in the 80cm range. The south coast systems are producing some decent bream, whiting and some perch. In between the Christmas and Easter period a few anglers are giving daytime mulloway on lures a crack with some success. The odd small shark and mulloway on fresh squid during the night is still on

the cards for some. BASS For anglers heading bush, the bass are still going quite well in our upper reaches. There have definitely been no complaints with the bass fishing throughout summer and up until now. A small diving, dark hardbody has been getting these natives fired up. Surface lures and few spinnerbaits have also been used this year to good effect. It’s safe to say the

fish are on! I can’t stress enough that if you target them correctly you’re in for a good chance with the conditions we have at the moment. For more up-to-theminute information on what’s biting where, drop into Compleat Angler Batemans Bay and have a chat to Anthony or one of the other friendly staff. They’re located at 65A Orient St, Batemans Bay (02 4472 2559).

Tim Stewart and Charlie Jabbour with a nice dollie caught on Topcat Charters. We can expect to see more of these this autumn. from now. Recent captures include a 180kg blue marlin caught by Square Metres and a 133kg blue marlin by Tania B caught on the same day. Jem Abbot caught his first striped marlin and quite a few have been tagged and released in recent weeks. The mahi mahi (dolphinfish) are making

water brought some salmon and tailor onto our beaches. These fish are still present, along with some whiting. Good size snapper still seem to be in the shallow water, which has kept them within reach of the odd rock fisherman. Stuart Ward caught himself a nice one recently. Fishing first light

go at the moment. There are some tackle-thieving leatherjackets getting around as well, so look out for schools of them. If they get really annoying it’s best to move. Still there is no real sign of kingfish! Loads of people keep coming into the shop and asking where

100% Fluorocarbon Leader • Made in the USA • 100% fluorocarbon • Low refractive index Dean Dawson with a little yellowfin tuna caught on a stickbait. a lot of anglers happy, and this action will only get better. There are a few quality specimens around, including a nice 15kg+ dollie caught off Bermagui. One other species to be on the lookout for is yellowfin tuna. With all the different bodies of water out

has been the advantage to catching one of these big guys in the shallows. INSHORE AND ESTUARY Those anglers using soft plastics casting from boats have been doing quite well on the snapper during the dawn period, and these

the kingfish are, which goes to show how much everybody loves catching these fish. There are a few at Montague Island and few more at Jervis Bay, but only time will tell with these magnificent creatures. The estuaries are still fishing quite well. During

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Top species on the doorstep NAROOMA

Stuart Hindson

Offshore anglers around the Narooma region are in for a good time over the coming weeks with 22-24ºC water straight out the front of Narooma. You can expect all marlin species, yellowfin tuna, mahi mahi and a host of shark species to be chewing. The bait is in plague proportions along the 70 fathom line; slimy mackerel the most prominent. This is a great place to start trolling for the beaks. The gun methods are slow trolled live slimies and switch baiting, after teasing them up with hook-less skirted pushers or skipped striped tuna. There will still be fish hooked with skirted pushers but, with the bait so concentrated, live bait will be a better option. There’s been reports of black and striped marlin upwards of 150kg, which are solid fish for this neck of the woods. I’ve heard of some very big blues hooked but all have won their freedom. These beasts are hard to stay connected to as they usually win the battle as anglers go in undergunned with too light tackle. On the tuna front yellowfin have been consistent with the average size fish 25-30kg – not monsters but still fun in between marlin bites. This month will see bigger yellowfin caught, every April is the same it’s the start of the jumbo season. There will be fish 80kg+ possible, and the shelf is the place to fish. Trolled bibbed minnows will work

but drifting using a berley cube combination would be the best method. At Montague Island the kings play the game one day, then have the next two off. If you’re there on the good day the fishing is excellent with kings to 10kg possible. They have responded well to live bait and jigs, where their feeding depends on what the current is doing. The north end is the go when the current is pushing south, if the current is pushing north then the shallows about 2km south of the island is your best bet. The smaller kings are in huge schools at present and have been for months

the odd king when fishing for the reds. Look in 25m on the southwest corner of Montague, it’s been fishing pretty good. In the estuaries it’s a bit hit and miss, depending on what system you’re fishing. The smaller lakes, like Corunna, Mumugga and Tilba, have been the best, especially for eatingsized flathead. Getting your 10 legal fish out of these systems isn’t hard at all: cast smaller softies around 3-4m for best results. There’s been a few bream with the flatties, most of these have been caught by bait fishos and anglers using blades. In Wagonga the flatties have

Mike Harrington from Canberra releasing his best flattie to date a solid 88cm model, this fish was caught in Tuross on a soft plastic. now. Those days when the bigger fish don’t play, you can at least still have some fun on them. Anglers after the bottom species, especially snapper are going great guns. These fine eating fish have been excellent and easily caught on most reefs. I know a few of the offshore charter operators have bagged out at times, which is awesome fishing in my books. You can expect morwong and

been okay, but you have to work for them. The 5th Flathead Classic was recently run by myself, Dawso and Obe out of O’Briens Hotel. There were around 200 anglers and 62 boats, with about 400 fish caught and all released. It’s a great event that raises plenty of money for the town and various charities. What was interesting during the comp was some of the unusual species caught: 2


Have your say on SBT rules Anglers are encouraged to provide feedback on proposed new rules for the fishing of southern bluefin tuna. The Minister for Primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson, said for the next few weeks a Species Impact Statement evaluating the effects of the proposed changes will be on public exhibition. “These proposed new regulatory arrangements are considered vital to the protection of southern bluefin tuna, while at the same time ensuring the recreational fishery can provide social and economic benefits into the future,” Ms Hodgkinson said. “The southern bluefin tuna was listed as an endangered

species in NSW in 2004, after the NSW Fisheries Scientific Committee found the species was facing a very high risk of extinction in NSW in the near future. “Interim fishing arrangements were made to allow continued, but regulated, fishing. “Although only taken in small numbers by the State’s recreational anglers, southern bluefin tuna is a valued species. I would encourage anyone with an interest in fishing to read the Species Impact Statement and have their say. All issues raised in the submissions will be considered before a final decision is made.” The proposed controls to be implemented by

regulation amendment are: • A daily bag limit of 1 southern bluefin tuna; • A daily boat limit of 2 southern bluefin tuna; and • A charter boat limit of 6 southern bluefin tuna. The Species Impact Statement and draft Ministerial Order can be found at www.dpi. and submissions will close on Wednesday 16 April 2014. To make a submission, email fisheries. threatenedspecies@dpi. or post a letter to: Southern Bluefin Tuna Order NSW Department of Primary Industries LMB 3020 NOWRA, NSW 2541

amberjack, grinners and a flathead species I have never seen caught before. A noticeable absent from the species list was mulloway. They are tough going at the moment, as they are in low numbers, along with the whiting. Hopefully things should change this month. Up at Tuross the fishing has picked up considerably with some mega flathead being captured. I’ve heard of several fish over the magic 90cm mark with a heap of edibles around the 40cm – that’s good fishing. The lower sections of the system are fishing better for the bigger fish. Most of the big girls are falling to live bait, those fishing larger soft plastics are finding it a whole lot harder to nail the crocs. There’s quite a few smaller mulloway throughout the system, with the majority being caught undersized. Anglers need to remember that the minimum size is now 70cm, let these smaller fish go and watch over the next few seasons how much bigger they will grow. Those fishing the stones have done ok with bonito, rat kings and a few salmon hitting the hard stuff, although a lot of casting is required to get results. Anglers fishing smaller metal lures up to 30g have faired best with whole pilchards rigged on ganged hooks a close second. The action should pick up, all we need is some warmer water to come in closer to make the fishing more consistent. Look at Mystery Bay to the south of Narooma for your best chance at connecting to a speedster. Off the beaches the

Tom Williams from Melbourne landed these two 60cm soapies at Tuross within minutes of each other. He also got another and dropped two more so there are a few there, all fish released in super condition. pelagic action is tough. There’s certainly a lack of salmon around at present with tailor almost non-existent. What is keeping the beach-goers happy are solid sand

whiting and a few bream. The northern beaches, like Coila and Blackfellows, are the best places to wet a line with live beach worms the preferred baits. Good luck.


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Awesome Estuary Action MERIMBULA

Stuart Hindson

It’s arguably been the best marlin season we have seen off Merimbula for a very long time. I’ve talked to many locals and visiting anglers and 90%

striped and blue marlin, although the majority being landed and released are striped marlin. Some of these models have been big; 130kg is an everyday occurrence. There’s been reports of 150kg fish released plus a handful of stories about mega blue marlin that have been

with in a trailer-boat! These larger models are winning their freedom due to the fishos being under-gunned in the tackle department. It’s a 50/50 situation – have fun on the lighter gear with the stripes or fish 80-130lb and concentrate on the blues only. I’d be picking the

Now that’s a huge Dusky flathead, at 95cm long and released, you don’t see these type every day that’s for sure.

Black bream numbers will only increase as we head further into Autumn, this was one of 16 caught for the session and all released. of them think the same, which is awesome to hear. There’s been black,

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lighter stuff as well. The beaks have been in close too, with the 40-fathom line a good place to start. There’s been a stack of bait holding there for weeks now with slimy mackerel the most prominent bait species. And with the warmer water north of us, I can’t see this action cooling off just yet. Most fish are falling to trolled skirted pushers with a few on skip baits, as well as switch baiting. All methods will work at times, just be prepared

to mix it around for consistent results. We should also see a smattering of yellowfin tuna. There’s been a few school fish around 30kg caught but I suspect over coming weeks that a few jumbos will turn up. Hopefully, they do, as that has been the case in past seasons. In the estuaries, it’s business as usual. The fishing has been nothing short of awesome and has been for months now. Sure you get the odd day when it’s a little tougher, especially when windy, but overall is has been awesome. Pambula and Merimbula are the places to fish, some very big flathead are coming from both systems. Over recent weeks guiding at Pambula we’ve managed three fish over the 80cm mark, an 84, 88 and a monster 95cm model. All these fish were captured on small soft plastic presentations,

which is interesting. We have been throwing bigger softies with some success on fish to 60cm but the big girls won’t eat them. I suspect they are feeding on smaller prawns and shrimp, hence the smaller lures working. Other species like bream, blackfish, whiting, flounder, snapper and tailor have made both these places home. It’s not uncommon at present to get 6-7 different legal species in a session. This great fishing will continue as long as the water holds above 20ºC. The ocean rocks has been mixed, some days the bonito and kings play the game then on other days it’s a desert. The only thing you can do here is keep going and hope you strike a good day. Anglers casting whole pilchards on ganged hooks have faired best, although live-baiting and casting shiners will get results. Look towards Tura Head if live baiting,

if spinning North Head or the Wharf in Merimbula Bay is worth a try. If the pelagics aren’t for you, you should be able to pick up a few blackfish and drummer on cabbage, especially after heavy seas. On the beaches it’s a bit like the rock fishing, sporadic to say the least. Salmon numbers are almost non-existent at the minute, not too sure why but maybe the dense schools we used to see are not getting this far up the coast, only time will tell. The whiting and bream numbers are good. They have been excellent all summer and with a few of the yellowfin bream leaving the estuaries this month to do their thing more numbers should be available. Better beaches to try include North Tura (northern end), Tura Main and the mouth at Pambula Lake. Best baits include live beach worms, pipi and tuna cubes for the bream.












02 6882 2853 | | 36 Bourke St DUBBO 58

APRIL 2014

On Marty Garratt’s first attempt at cod fishing he caught this 68cm fish at Burrinjuck Dam on an AC Invader.

Mixing of the seasons BERMAGUI

Darren Redman

It is that time of year when warm weather species start to mix with cool water ones and for anglers in our part of the world this becomes an interesting time. If you like offshore game fishing, then you won’t get a better opportunity than now. The excellent weather conditions allows anglers to venture further afield with ambitions of a variety of species. Big blue marlin are a top target species with some of the largest of them captured in April. A spread of large pusher style lures is often the preferred manner to drum up some business out over the Continental Shelf and beyond through to the Canyons or further afield. Mixing with them are the smaller stripes or blacks of varying sizes, mahi mahi, yellowfin tuna and the odd spearfish. You never know just what will present itself out there at present. Closer to shore around Montague Island or the closer inshore reefs, kingfish and bonito are on the short list. These lighter sportfish are providing plenty of entertainment on light gear with lures or bait. The inshore reefs are also providing plenty of bottom fish for those who wish to put some tasty species on the table. Fish like snapper are starting to show along the coast and should keep increasing in numbers as the weather cools. Mixing with them are the other usual reef dwellers like morwong, nannygai, perch, pigfish or even that tasty curse of

the ocean leatherjackets. Most of these fish can be acquired along the southern reefs with the better ones being down towards Goalen Head. Not to be out done, flathead are also in reasonable numbers with sandies being more predominant. To find these fish try in and around 30-40m water depths, or if you are looking for some big tigers get out to the Twelve Mile Reef. When

water critters like hapuka, jemfish, ling, blue-eye trevalla and many more. Beaches in the area are also primed. Even though it is starting to get cooler, it is still pleasant enough to fish into the night. Anglers are encountering plenty of tailor and salmon, with a few gummy or small whaler sharks and the odd mulloway. During the day, whiting, mullet or bream will also grace the sands. Into the estuaries, it has

All sorts of game fish will mix in at this time of year, like this big-eye tuna.

With prawns still around it makes sense to use lures that imitate them. weather conditions will allow or if you have some electronic reels, go out over the shelf into the abyss looking for those deep

been a brilliant season and it is not over yet. Most estuarine fish will look to migrate out into the ocean where they will move to

another warmer system over the winter months. However before they do so, they will feed in earnest building up body condition. This is when anglers can really cash in making the most before the waters cool. This is also a good time of year to concentrate on the lower parts of the estuaries towards the entrances, especially on a rising tide where bait is likely to be a better option. Bream, flathead, luderick or whiting along with most other species will move over the flats in search of worms, prawns, nippers and small crustaceans, like crabs, providing some excellent shallow water and often very visible angling. There is also a run of blue swimmers in Wallaga Lake so get out and get them before it is too cold.



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Hot bite in warm waters TATHRA

Darren Redman

What can you expect to happen at this time of year when the water from the ocean moves into the estuary? The water is a lot warmer than the inland waters and this will bring the fish on the chew.

Like us humans, when temperatures are favourable we become more active, and so do the fish. All the estuaries within the Tathra area that are open to the ocean are primed with a variety of species concentrating towards the lower sections of the systems. Fish like bream, flathead, whiting, mullet, luderick and quite a few more will move over the flats when the tide

There are plenty of solid bass in Brogo Dam, enjoy them before the water cools.

rises in anticipation of the variety of food being stirred by the tide. Foods like squirt worms, nippers, prawns, small crabs or shrimp all move about with the rising warmer waters creating opportunities for the predators to feed. Anglers following these fish into the shallows can have some very exciting fishing often sighting the quarry before casting. Baits will produce best in this situation, however a good lure angler may produce enough strikes to keep satisfied. Make the most of it though, as these fish are likely to migrate when the water starts to cool, meaning you only have a month or two to take advantage. Along the beaches this warm water has the fish firing too. Whiting have shined this season becoming a regular catch and of good size. On the falling tide in the shallower gutters try using either beach worms or nippers for the best results, were not only the whiting are firing so are bream, mullet or even the odd small mulloway. For larger ones or some salmon and tailor, try the deeper gutters or the rising tide. Of a night there are some sharks lurking in the form of small whalers or

Whiting have been a regular catch this season and are still going strong. gummies and with the chance of even a bigger mulloway. This is also holiday time were the local wharf gets a working over, this can be a lot of fun when schools of slimy mackerel pass by providing multiple hook ups and tangles. Following these fish are predators like bonito, salmon or kingfish just to make things interesting. Other species frequenting here are the usual, like silver trevally, yellowtail, luderick or drummer close to the rocks and starting to show in increasing numbers

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are garfish. Out at sea, the reef fishing is very consistent with a lot of species on offer. Over the closer to shore reefs, kingies and bonito are patrolling where anglers trolling or drifting a live bait are producing some action. Fishing the deep reefs on the bottom is resulting in plenty of snapper, those stock standard morwong, some nice pigfish or nannygai, perch and leatherjackets. Close by, drifting the sandy, muddy areas flathead are also making their presence felt

with some excellent catches of sand flathead in a very short time. Not far northwest of Tathra about half hour drive is Brogo Dam stocked with Australian bass. These fish are thriving in there and provide some excellent sweet water angling. One sad thing about bass is they don’t like cold water and will start to sulk through the cooler months. This is really the last chance of the season for us anglers to go and have a crack at them in this pristine location, so go out and enjoy.

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Twofold Bay turns on the magic mulloway EDEN

Kevin Gleed

There are plenty of people still around enjoying the good weather, and the fishing hasn’t let them down. There has been great fishing reported both offshore and in the estuaries. The one exception has been the kingfish. In past years we’ve seen some excellent fishing for this species but this year the season is yet to eventuate. Out along the shelf there has been some great fishing for striped marlin, with one boat tagging 9 marlin. The yellowfin tuna are yet to turn up but the coming months should see the tuna on the go. The water temperature is good

out along the shelf but along the coast there has been a cold current running for the past few weeks (16-17ºC). It’s a bit of a shock when you jump in for a swim but the water should warm up again before it goes cold for winter. The inshore fishing has been good with both sand flathead and tiger flathead caught off the pinnacles and down in Disaster Bay. The usual reef species like snapper and morwong are being caught all along the reefs down to Green Cape. Inside Twofold Bay there are plenty of mulloway. A netter caught a school of fish which were spotted from the air and mistaken for a different species. All the fish were released and they were all 15kg and above. There has been some

great fishing reported in the estuaries with sand whiting around the entrance of the rivers. Nippers, beachworms and prawns have been the pick of the baits. Good yellowfin bream are being caught in the same area. Lure fishers are using surface lures and suspending hardbodies with reasonable success. Further upstream, black bream are being caught around the rock edges and timber snags. Some days they have been on the go while on other days it has been hard. The past month has seen very little rain so the rivers are only just flowing. We need rain over the next month just to stir things up, so here’s hoping there’s some on the way. Until next month, good fishin’.

You have got to be happy when a mulloway jumps on the line. John was stoked with this 15kg model.

Homing in on the big bream MALLACOOTA

Kevin Gleed

The town is still busy with plenty of visitors in the camping areas, and it seems like they all have brought a boat judging by the amount of trailers at the boat ramp. With the break wall under construction, Bastion Point is a no-go construction zone with no public access until its completion (around October). This means that any boats heading offshore need to launch in the lake and head out across the bar, and with

the water temperature at 16ºC not too many boats are heading out fishing so there is little to report. The cold water has meant the beach fishing has slowed down. The only fish still on the go are the salmon, which are available on all the local beaches with the best gutters fishing well on the top of the tide. The entrance area to the lake has been fishing well, with sand whiting and yellowfin bream and the odd flathead being caught. The most success has come from anglers using fresh bait, with beachworms working best. The amount of

mulloway caught this year has been amazing with the smallest fish weighing in at around 10kg and the biggest up around 25kg. On my last 2 charters we landed a jew each time, 1 around 10kg and the other just over 15kg – both a great effort on 3kg leader. Mulloway are being caught from a few different areas at the moment but the successful anglers are keeping quiet; you can’t blame them though as you have to put in a lot of time to catch jewies consistently. Some great fishing has been had on the estuary perch in recent weeks. Soft plastic lures and hardbody lures have both been working well, but once

again perch fishermen are a secretive bunch which is understandable. You are only as good as your fishing spot, so putting in the time to find your own spots is the key to success. The bream are about in good numbers, both black and yellowfin, but catching them in any numbers has been a challenge. Hardbody lures fished across the shallows has worked well when there has been a bit of a breeze to ruffle up the surface. Black bream and flathead are still being caught well upstream from Gypsy Point, with the bream around the 30cm mark.

Ray with a bream caught on a blade. Good fish are about but catching them consistently isn’t easy.



Illegal fishing lands angler large fines $1000 but elected to have the matter heard in court. He faced Narrandera Local Court last month where he pleaded guilty and was convicted and fined $1,320 plus instructed to pay $660 in professional costs, a total of $1980. “The DPI takes illegal fishing very seriously and offenders will be prosecuted.” - DPI




admitted to catching the two fish and putting them into the keeper net. The fish were seized and returned to the water alive. “The man was issued with two penalty notices totalling


water immediately if caught. The Murray cod measured 41.5cm in length [the minimum legal length for Murray cod is 60cm]. “One of the men, a 51 year old from Griffith,

R E V A L LY . S N A P P E R . E S G.T TU A


The contents of the offender’s keeper net. Fisheries officers seized the trout cod and undersize Murray cod.





A man has learnt an expensive lesson after being caught in possession of a threatened fish species in the NSW Riverina. The man was caught by DPI fisheries officers during a routine patrol of the Murrumbidgee River at Berembed Weir near Grong Grong in April last year. “During the patrol, fisheries officers inspected a camp with six rods set from the bank into the Murrumbidgee River,” DPI Director Fisheries Compliance, Glenn Tritton said. “Three men were in the camp and a check of the keeper net revealed a trout cod which is a threatened species, and a prohibited size Murray cod, along with two carp. “Trout cod are a threatened species and should be returned to the








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0424 625 160 APRIL 2014


Rosco’s one-person Scamper FMG

Stephen Booth

Canoes have faded into the background somewhat in fishing circles as the rise and rise of sit-on-top fishing kayaks continues. However there is still plenty of room in the market for quality and Rosco has been producing quality for years, especially in their canoe range for anglers. The latest additions to

the Rosco range of fishing canoes includes the Scamper series. This series has two versions, a one-person Solo Scamper and a two-person Duo Scamper. In this review we’ll be looking at the Solo Scamper and all that it offers anglers. COMPANY THOUGHTS Rosco says of their Scamper that being, “Lightweight, stable, and versatile is the key to the success of the Rosco Scamper canoe. This canoe can be enjoyed by

The portability of the lightweight Solo Scamper makes it an amazing asset to access water, even through overgrown goat tracks.

entry level or experienced paddlers alike and is ideal for day tripping on flat water. This craft is perfect for one and plenty of gear can be carried.” So just how realistic are these thoughts on the Scamper when you actually get one on the water? Well we had that chance recently and here is what we thought of the Rosco Scamper. LIGHTWEIGHT First impressions are always a good indication and when you first see the Scamper you know it’s built with great sense. There are no frills, whistles or fireworks here, the Scamper has been designed to be simple, lightweight and able to be customised for your needs. With a single seat placed amidships, the Scamper is super light at 20kg and one-person can mange this craft easily. Its lightweight also allows the Scamper to be transported almost anywhere. On our test day we easily manoeuvred the Scamper on and off the 4WD’s roof racks with one or two people and carrying the craft to and from the water up and down a steep access track that was overgrown was a delight. By simply placing the Scamper on your shoulder and wrapping your arm around the seat you could carry the Scamper plus the electric to the water easily. If you didn’t want the electric motor option, then carrying your rod and having a tackle vest or backpack would mean you could go almost anywhere with this craft in one trip. STABILITY AND RIDE Canoes are not made to skate through the water at speed, rather they are there for the user to enjoy their surroundings in a safe and stable way. So how do you

With the Scamper resting on a shoulder and the arm wrapped around the single seat, you can almost carry this thing anywhere. 62

APRIL 2014

test a single canoe with a 180kg payload? Simple, you load a 145kg bloke into one and set him free. When our intrepid tester first got into the Scamper there was a little wiggle and wobble, but this quickly settled down and he got on with the job of paddling and powering around with the electric. I have to say we were more than disappointed that he stayed upright, but not everything works out as planned and it goes to show that one of the Scamper’s neat design features works. This feature is the large tumblehome design. What’s a tumblehome design you ask? I know you did, because I did. Tumblehome design

The Solo Scamper is so simple in design that it’s brilliant. You can add accessories like an electric motor and bracket, sail kit, anchor kit and rod holders, but really this is as difficult as it needs to be.

Like most things associated with the Scamper range, the rod holders are so simple you’ll kick yourself for not thinking about it for yourself!

After the trip we thought it only fair that Livo would solo carry the Solo Scamper back up the hill. He did it easy.

is a clever bellying out of the sidewall of the canoe to provide a little extra stability. Basically the more you roll over to one side, the more the tumblehome design kicks in to provide extra buoyancy. Until it’s pointed out to you, you really don’t notice the design feature, but on the water it works really well. No it won’t stop you going over if you push a boundary or two, but it does give just that bit of extra security to users. And if you do happen to go over the side and the craft becomes swamped, the bulkheads are designed to encourage the craft to be self-righting. This is a good safety design because you will go in at some stage, or is that just me? The bulkheads are sealed as well, meaning that the floatation material will not be affected by outside factors such as petrol, weather or damage from being knocked around. We paddled and electric powered the craft around and both propulsion options worked really well. If I was to set the Scamper up for electric power only I would place the electric as far

DIMENSIONS Length:............................................................4.02m Width:...............................................................88cm Weight:.............................................................. 20kg Payload:........................................................... 180kg Passengers:....................................................1 adult Accessories:....................................... Motor bracket ....................................................................... Sail kit .............................................................. Rod holders Warranty:....................................................... 5 years Price:............................................................... $1029

With Shayne in the Solo Scamper, the stability and fishability of the craft was well tested. The Scamper came through in spades whether Shayne was paddling or under electric power. towards the stern as possible to ensure I had the best steering. A handle extension for the electric would be great. We used an 18lb thrust model and with the Solo Scamper fully loaded, this little electric pushed the craft around quite well. Paddling was great. You can use a single, traditional canoe paddle or a kayakstyle paddle, but for ease of use the canoe paddle wins hands down. With the canoe paddle there is very little water that enters the cockpit and the control you have is first rate. The bigger face of the paddle pushes a lot of water and directional changes, picking up speed and simply cruising were easy. The seating is simple and effective. A simple bench made from metal tubing covered with double ripstop fabric is all there is. You can add a kayak seat if you’d like, but that’s not necessary at all in my opinion.

BUILD The Scamper’s build is a straight composite lay up, which is all fibreglass. Other options include Kevlar or carbon at an increased cost. Using this material provides the ability to form very fine lines, literally down to a knife-sharp entry if desired and the Scamper makes good use of this material. Some of the advantages of fibreglass include that it is extremely lightweight with the Solo Scamper coming in at 20kg, it has a high strength-to-weight ratio, it can be formed to very fine design lines and it has a moderate cost. All these factors are displayed very well in the Scamper. And being that the Scamper is fibreglass, what about damage and repair? Damage, of course, is a problem and these craft are not designed for going down classed rapids. If you want to do that, grab a proper whitewater kayak or

a Rosco Chief, a 15’ canoe manufactured of Royalex, a material designed for whitewater use. Damage will occur from sharp rocks hit with force so avoid these situations. But the good news is that they can be repaired fairly easily and cheaply. Just remember that this is a canoe, not a rock hopper. BASIC BRILLIANCE The Scamper is deliberately designed to be easy to use, easy to transport and to be simple overall. It’s a no frills unit that allows the end purchaser to add-on where and how they want. You can have an electric set up if you want and there is also a great sail option if you want to minimise your paddle workload. You can add on some neat little rod

holders that are so simple you’ll kick yourself for not thinking about it and you can add on drop anchors, paddle holders and more. The open plan allows for unrivalled customisation and I really like that. But most of all I like that it is simple. Grab a rod, grab some lures, grab a paddle and go catch a fish. How easy is that? Single person everything and a whole lot of fun waiting for you in the Solo Scamper.

Lightweight and stable, this canoe will have you rethinking a lot of your ideas for a small watercraft. I was more than impressed by these little wonders. To find out more about the Solo Scamper log onto au or drop into the Rosco Canoes and Kayaks display rooms at 295 Gympie Rd in Kedron. You could also give them a call on (07) 3359 9330 for more information.

Transporting the 20kg Solo Scamper is simple for one person, even filled up with tackle, electric and battery. The carry handles make it very simple to manoeuvre this craft around to the water.

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CANOES & KAYAKS On the water with the Solo Scamper is a fish catcher. Shayne McKee with a Brissie River golden perch. Also stockists of...

APRIL 2014


Canberra is Cod Country CANBERRA

Toby Grundy

In my early 20s my friends and I would pack my old Corolla to the brim and spend the day driving to various ‘big cod’ spots like Burrinjuck Dam in search of a 100cm trophy. While I cherish these memories, I

experiencing a huge influx of small to medium sized golden perch which are being taken in the local lakes. This is due to stocking programs by the Canberra Fisherman’s Club. These fish move in enormous schools and catching 30-40 fish is a real possibility if they are in the mood. Likewise, the ACT has an abundance of

(for saltwater applications) instead of the standard lead and just reversed the roles. If you don’t get any interest from a cod on either the bait or the lure, try a yabby wrapped in a scrub worm on a running sinker rig. I have been using this method for many years and though it looks odd and is an enormous bait, it does

An 86cm specimen that had been chasing smaller fish around open water. never did get the big fish I was hoping for. It wasn’t until the start of 2013 that I started to look in my own backyard for opportunities to catch a monster. What I found was a fishery very much on the rise and, by using some unorthodox techniques, truly the best cod fishing that I have ever experienced. THE OPTIONS Canberra has a plethora of freshwater fishing options due to the 3 large lakes (Burley Griffin, Tuggeranong and Ginnindera) as well as three rivers (Cotter, Murrumbidgee and Molongolo) and in these lakes and rivers you can catch anything from Macquarie perch to rainbow trout and everything in between. STARTING OFF Targeting capital cod is very different from chasing cod in Burrinjuck or Mulwala. Over the past year I have become convinced that cod follow schools of yellowbelly and redfin, and more often than not can be picked up in open water. This was a revelation to me. I had never caught much of anything in open water at other locations around NSW, but after catching my first large cod in amongst a school of redfin holding in a patch of water without any structure, and catching many more in amongst other schools of fish, I now always start by finding a large school of roving fish. Canberra is currently 64

APRIL 2014

medium to large Redfin which eat anything in sight from late August through to late May. Following these fish are the cod. TECHNIQUES Locating a school of feeding fish is the hard part. Walk along a stretch of lake or river while casting a scrub worm and slowly retrieving. I always cut off the bottom of the scrub worm to leave a scent trail. Once you pick up a few fish whether yellas or redfin, switch it up and try for a cod. I carry a few large yabbies with me as well as some large scrub worms. I also always bring a box of lures ranging from deep divers to crank baits. Throw a yabby out into the school on a running sinker rig and let in descend while on your other rod cast and retrieve your chosen lure. I recommend using a big lure because, although a few smaller fish may have a go, on the whole you will get bigger rather than smaller fish interested and so increase your chance of a cod. I have been trialling a type of paternoster/lure rig lately with some success. Essentially, I use the yabby almost like a sinker and at the end of my line, I attach a lure and retrieve slowly. I have caught a number of fish on the yabby and quite a few on the lure which looks like it is chasing the yabby through the water. I created this technique after reading an article about using a metal slice as a sinker

at times deliver phenomenal results. If a green fish doesn’t come in during the

power in the bottom of the rod to winch up big cod. I bring 3 spools with me. I start with light mono (4-6lb) for flicking out the scrub worm while wandering around and once I locate the school, I switch to 10lb mono for the set bait rig and 10lb braid with 16lb leader for casting the lure/yabby combination. I started out using a Mitchell Copperhead baitcaster with a SpiderPro reel. However, I found that by going lighter I was getting the most out of the sessions, being both challenged by the larger yellas in the school and pushed to the limit by the big cod. I use 4-5 different types of lures every session that can cover the water column, and each one brings something different to the table. I use AC Invaders in the Bumblebee pattern (my go-to lure), Jackal TN 60s, SK lures (Wild Willy and Pizz Cutter) as well as Predator lures in colour no. 3 and the Predatek Boomerang. All these lures are available from most tackle shops in the ACT. LOCATION If it is your first time visiting the ACT for purely fish related fun, I recommend sticking to Lake Burley Griffin. It is situated

Small yellowbelly send out distress signals when hooked, and the cod find this irresistible. caught a number of large cod here. Be prepared to share the ledge though because when the redfin are on, everyone seems to know. This spot reminds me a lot of Tathra Wharf – lots of fish and constant action with the occasional monster cod snapping light lines. If this area is too crowded, pop down to Blue Gum Point and wander the

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first 30 minutes or so, pack up and move locations. TACKLE I use a Daiwa Tournament Master X and

right in the heart of the city and is easily accessed from any number of car parks and picnic areas. I recommend starting

banks. This is very deep water and despite the lack of structure, you will find a lot of fish here. There are also plenty of cod. My PB cod of

A small Murray cod travelling with a school of golden perch. a Daiwa Advantage, both matched with 2500 reels. These rods are medium/light so I can feel the smallest of reddie bites but I still have

out at the Canberra Museum. Behind this building is a long rock wall where large schools of redfin and golden perch congregate. I have

100cm came from this area. If you are a local, I recommend giving both the Cotter and the Murrumbidgee up from Redrock Gorge

a crack. Casuarina Sands on the Cotter River is a popular picnic spot and swimming hole and just up from this picnic spot are stretches of open water that contain good numbers of native fish. I have found that the techniques described above seem to work best here. The only issue I have with fishing this area is that the carp seem to respond well, too. This can be frustrating, especially when a large carp pops its head up when you had your heart set on a cod. In the Murrumbidgee, there are several lengthy areas devoid of any discernable structure from Redrock Gorge up to the Tuggeranong town centre, but in these areas are schools of yellowbelly and some good sized cod. There are carp here too, but unlike at the Cotter, I find that they don’t tend to hit the baits as often. If you hook a large fish you can be almost guaranteed that it will be a cod. TIMING March through to May is the most productive time, but I have caught good fish even at the start of June. If you are after some stud yellowbelly using these techniques, I recommend having a look in early September. Canberra really is, in my opinion, the best cod fishery in Australia. Yes, I am biased! But if you think about it, in what other city in Australia can you go from fishing for impoundment 100cm+ cod to chasing genuine river cod all in the space of 10 minutes? There is so much variety here and I genuinely believe that you will agree with me should you decide to be a little unorthodox in your pursuit if the mighty Murray Cod in the Territory.

Drought takes its toll in Lake Eucumbene CANBERRA

Bryan Pratt

Things are crook in Australia’s premier trout fishery, Lake Eucumbene. The long drought has seen the water level drop to 40% of capacity; the water is overly warm and short on oxygen and the few fish seen are listless and uninterested. Rainbows are almost non-existent, for reasons we yet do not understand and most of the browns that have been caught look to be older fish getting to the end of their tether. Finding fish to catch has been a major hurdle. Few have been seen in the shallows during the day and shore based lure, fly and bait anglers have had a hard time of it. Many anglers have returned after a three or four day trip with

no fish, or one or two at the most. The only ones to score fish seem to be those

fishing deep down in water well offshore or fly anglers fishing at two o’clock in

a great tussle. The redfin are mostly in the 20-30cm range with occasional

spinnerbaits, Jackalls, Burrinjuck Specials, and a wide range of other small deep divers. Best baits have been shrimps, yabbies, scrub worms and saltwater prawns. The top spot in Canberra has been the deep water at Black Mountain Peninsula on Lake Burley Griffin and in Burrinjuck the flooded trees up round Scrubby in the Murrumbidgee Arm. Most anglers can land two

to five fish in a session and catches of 20-25 fish have been recorded. There have been a lot of cod around and the average size this year has been very pleasing, no doubt because catch and release is now so common. Many fish over 1m have been recorded, mostly on spinnerbaits, big deep divers and especially surface lures used at night or on quiet, undisturbed water during the day.


The Perfect Fishing Get

Trout have been hard to find at Eucumbene but yabbies have been easy to catch and make a great feed.

Top: Starting kids young is a great idea. Three yearold Harry Clarke fished with Dad in Canberra’s Lake Yerrabi and landed this fat little Murray cod. Bottom: Reilly Maslin, also three years old, was impressed with this fine redfin caught in Canberra’s Lake Ginninderra, with a little help from Dad.

the morning when the temperature drops a little. The fish are certainly there. On the sounder they show regularly around 12-14m, especially amongst flooded timber, and they can be taken on Tasmanian Devils and other lures on five colours of lead core line or a downrigger fitted with a 1.5kg bomb. It’s hard fishing, but that’s what happens during a prolonged drought. If you have a boat, the lake is worth a try. If you are shore-bound think yourself lucky if you land one fish. Many anglers have given the traditional fishing away and settled down to catch yabbies instead. They are easy to find and are great to eat. You are allowed five two-ring drop nets in Eucumbene and can bring up to 200 yabbies home. TROUT STREAMS LOW All the trout streams in the Canberra-Monaro region are also in big trouble. Few are still running and the trout have either escaped back to the lakes or are huddled in residual pools hoping for rain. Many will not survive the hot, deoxygenated conditions. It’s a grim scene. KIDS GALORE On the brighter side, it’s been great watching the numbers of mums and dads taking kids fishing in Canberra’s urban lakes this summer. Apart from Murray cod and golden perch the lakes carry inordinate numbers of redfin and carp. And both are dead easy to catch; the carp on worms and corn, and redfin on worms and lures. The carp vary in size but fish of 2-3kg are common and give the kids

specimens to 38cm. Both fish are pests but while they are here we might as well get some fun out of them and they are great fish for the kids to learn on. In addition the sense of adventure and the bonding between mum, dad and the kids is great to see. NATIVES STILL ACTIVE The trout scene has been grim but thankfully the native fish have been going gangbusters. There have been continuing good catches of golden perch in Canberra’s five urban lakes and in Googong and Burrinjuck. Best lures have been smaller

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Perfect conditions for Batlow BATLOW

Wayne Dubois

This month spells almost perfect conditions for fishing and camping in the greater Batlow area. The nights aren’t too cold just yet, the sun has certainly lost its midday bite, and add to this the lack of water skiers and jet skiers, you’re in for some great days on or near the water. BLOWERING DAM Blowering Dam has

been a hive of activity with anglers travelling from far and wide to get amongst the sensational Murray cod action and, although the numbers have dropped off considerably, they are still certainly worth targeting. Murray cod at this time of the year are best targeted with large spinnerbaits and deep diving lures, the bigger the better. Lures such as the 150mm AC Invaders are ideal but any lure over 90mm will put you in with a chance. Best places to troll are

the old river bed up around the top end of the dam and any rocky point or wall would be worth running over a few times. At night time the big Murray cod will often frequent the shallows in search of a good feed under the cover of darkness so once the sun goes down it often pays to head up into the shallows and throw around a few big lures. With big golden perch often doing the same thing as the cod, you just never know what is going to whack your lure while scouting around

It doesn’t get much better than flyfishing the Tumut River when it is in low flow. There is a good chance of the Tumut River being in low flow this month so get your trout gear ready and get amongst some sensational trout.

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in the shallows. Golden perch can also be caught in the same areas as Murray cod this time of the year but it pays to downsize your lures if you really want to target them specifically. Best lures to troll and cast for golden perch are the Balista Dyno 60 and 75, Trollcraft Double Downers, AC Slim Invaders, Stuckey lures and lipless crankbaits. REDFIN Over the last few months, redfin schools have been spread out all over

the lake from the surface down to 100ft in depth, which can make it difficult to locate them at times. This month the majority of those smaller fish in the shallows will work their way out to the deep water with there ‘big’ mates as they start forming their massive pre spawn schools. Once the fish are in pre spawn schools they can be easy to catch because they are so competitive. As the fish have almost all moved out to deeper water and fairly consistently hold at around the 25-70ft mark it makes it much easier to locate them. Troll, cast, drift and/or use your sounder to find the schools then once a school is located drop plastics, ice jigs, blades, vibes or lipless crankbaits into them and jig up a storm. Bait fishos can do the same thing with worms or yabbies bobbed on a paternoster rig. Whether you jig with bait or a lure it often pays to add a small 1-2” soft plastic or fly about 1m or so above your offering. This will give you a chance of bringing a couple up at a time instead of just one but it is also handy if fishing around weed as the plastic or fly will still be fishable if you happen to foul up your bottom offering. TUMUT RIVER By the time this article hits the shelves the Tumut River should be in low flow (fingers-crossed) making for some spectacular fishing. While it is in low flow, almost the entire river is accessible on foot that makes it both easy to fish and quite easy to walk to another spot if your favourite hole or section is being fished already or you think you have exhausted that hole. Lure and fly selection in the flow doesn’t get much easier: if you’re casting lures all you need is a few spinners like Rooster Tails

It’s not just big Murray cod being caught at Blowering Dam. Joel Mortimer displays one of the many big golden perch (65cm) he and his mates caught while on a recent fishing trip. and Mepps Bugs and some little hardbodies like the Rapala CD and F range or IMA Sukaris. It also pays to stick to natural coloured lures in the low flows as the water is almost always crystal clear and a bright flashy lure can some times spook the fish, stick with natural rainbow and brown trout colours and you can’t go wrong. If you’re fly fishing and would like to target fish with dries you will have to fish the first hour of daylight in the morning or the last hour of light before dark. Alternatively, if you want to catch fish all day long then it is hard to beat a small bead head nymph suspended about 1-3ft below an indicator or highly visible dry fly. MURRUMBIDGEE RIVER The Murrumbidgee should also be in low flow this month, which will make all the canoe enthusiasts very happy. And if it fishes

the way it has all summer then there should be some cracking fishing to be had. While the river is in low flow it is often hard to fish by boat, as you can only fish small stretches of river (only a few hundred metres or so) before you come to an unpassable shallow rock bar or fast rapid, not to mention trying to launch a boat. However, if fishing from a canoe or kayak you can successfully fish long stretches of river with relative ease. Casting lures is really the only way to go for regular success during the low flows and it’s hard to beat the ever-reliable spinnerbait but on tough days it is also worth casting shallow running hardbodies, lipless crankbaits, chatterbaits, big paddle-tail soft plastics and even surface lures around to try and entice a strike. Giving them something slightly different to have a go at can sometimes be the key to success.

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Snowy trout feeding up JINDABYNE

Steve Williamson

Welcome to April and cooler weather in the Snowy Mountains. It’s a busy month for the Snowies, with school holidays, Easter and of course Anzac weekend, which brings me to the reminder that the Rapala/Discovery Holiday Parks Family Fishing Competition will be held over the Anzac Weekend this year. It’s going to be a lot of fun, and more information is available at www. I will always remember April and Easter as always a possible start to the trout spawning season in the bigger rivers like the Thredbo and Eucumbene but this always depends on just how much rain we get. Last year we had a very early start but this year will depend on that rain once again. Substantial rainfall

easier to catch. The great shore based angling should continue right through the winter months like it did last year. Spinning on the lake will also improve this month as the water edges cool down, but you may find the best spinning will be early and late in the day, and steep drop-offs with plenty of rocks will be the best areas. Bays like Rushes, Hatchery and Creel Bay all fish well. The best areas have been down at the South Arm or near Banjo Patterson Park but as the month progresses Waste Point and the Snowy Arm will start to fire. We will start to use pink and orange Tassies this month as the fish also move into spawning and aggression mode, but for now green and gold Tassies like the number 111 Willys Special and maybe the Canberra Killer Tassie will be good. Most of the Rapalas I use at this time of year have a little orange on them as well. In shallow

the bottom in deeper water with the aid of downriggers. I find about 20ft of water is a good place to start. The Tasmanian Devil number Y48, the yellow wing Brown Bomber, and the holographic Tasmanian Devil have been the best overall lures to use on the lakes over the past month, however this is the time of the year that we sometimes start to move into pink or orange colours. It’s also well worth running the brown trout or spotted dog Rapalas, and the pinkie Rapala will also be worth a try as the trout become more aggressive. Of course, if you are targeting the really big brown trout then you are best using really big lures like 9cm to 13cm Rapalas. I find the Jointer Rapalas best as you can troll them a bit slower and still have good action on the lure. Some of the better trolling areas this month will be Sid’s Bay through to Rushes Bay but this is a tricky area to fish with the

Regular Jindabyne angler Amanda Walshaw with a nice rainbow caught trolling a Rapala Brown Trout Scatter Rap. will mean a spawn, and no rain will mean that the trout will stay back in the lake. April is also the last month that you can legally take 2 trout over 25cm from the spawning rivers like the Thredbo. After 1 May the rule changes to only 1 fish over 50cm per angler per day. On the lake, the fishing has continued to be very good and now that the lake water temperature is cooling into the trout’s comfort zone they are happier to move in close to the edges of the lake. This makes the fishing a little better for those anglers who don’t have a boat. Autumn is a great time to go trout fishing. The trout are feeding up in readiness for winter and so are often

bays I like to use the glow Vibrax spinners and also some of the small soft plastics like the Strike Tiger spotted brew colour using a small lightweight jighead. Boat trolling will improve again this month now that the water temperatures are starting to reach a comfort zone for the trout, and early morning surface fishing can be quite productive. It’s also the month that the lake trout start to feed up before heading into the rivers to spawn. The best way to attack the fish is to start off the morning by surface trolling lures and maybe a lead line at 2 colours out so the lure is about 3m deep. Later in the morning you can still target some of the browns by fishing close to

lower lake levels. You need to be vigilant as there are trees and shallow spots that can pop up out of nowhere. Also try Waste Point or Creel bay for downrigging as there may be a few early spawning brown trout about, but they will mostly be deeper at 20 or so feet. On the rivers and streams last summer was a very hot one and at present there is not a lot of flow (but that can change). I have found that the best flyfishing has been higher up in the mountains, with the mountain streams still producing lots of small trout on dry fly. This is heaps of fun, especially if you are just getting into the art of flyfishing. Try a small Hopper pattern, Royal Wulff or Royal

Nick Elliott and David Hogan managed a good few hours trolling on the lake with all fish taken on the Tasmanian Devil 111 Willy’s Special. Humpy. A caddis moth fly is also not a bad option. The Thredbo River still has a little dry flyfishing to offer on some days but we will be swinging into the nymphing season very soon. As the month goes on and more early spawning brown trout move into the Thredbo River you might start trying a black nymph, and if we get that heavy rain and a rise in the river we might see a start to glowbugs and nymphs. On the lake, the best flyfishing is at night. Try any of the streamer patterns such as Craig’s Night Time or a black Woolly Bugger. Olive green nymphs and shrimp patterns are also worth a try. The South Arm, Creel Bay and Hayshed Bay are all great. For the lure anglers, the Thredbo River will only improve as the month goes by and the best lures will be jointed minnows as the brown trout start to become really aggressive and territorial. Other lures like the Gillies Spinas, Vibrax spinners or Celtas are certainly a must in your lure box. It is also well worth a try in the smaller alpine streams using these same lures, as once again these little fish can be a lot of fun. I always crimp the barbs for easy release. APRIL ROUNDUP – THE BEST OF THE BEST! Best method – Surface trolling early and then using lead core lines at 30m out.

Best depth - Trolling at 25ft deep. 35ft middle of the day using downriggers. Best lake lure – Tasmanian Devil number 111 or Y82. Best lake area – Hayshed Bay and it’s worth a look at Waste Point. Best fly method – Dry fly: Parachute Adams or black cricket. Wet fly: black weighted nymph.

Best river – Thredbo River above The Diggings. If you want to know more about the latest in fishing conditions just give me a call on 02 6456 1551 or check out our Facebook page at Steve Williamson’s Lake Jindabyne Trout Fishing Adventures. Until next month, hope you catch the big one.



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APRIL 2014


Feeding up before the spawn fish into gorging on bait. Their goal is to put on fat before winter in the dams and in the rivers, and to build up condition for the spawning cycle. April is usually characterised by beaut foggy mornings and mild daytime temperatures. We also get mild winds at this time of year, which make for very enjoyable day’s fishing both on the dams and in the rivers. Over recent weeks there have been plenty of bass


Dave McLean

Mid-Autumn can be the most rewarding time of the season, especially when it comes to fishing the local impoundments for bass and goldens. Over recent weeks the dams and rivers have received some good rainfall, which will put plenty of food and oxygen into the water. Along with the added

bass have been in very good numbers although they have been in the 30-35cm size. This should continue through this month as there will be more fish coming down the river to get to the spawning areas. Up the Paterson and Allyn rivers there have been some nice bass caught, especially on surface lures in the low light periods. Up at Lostock there have been some good catches coming from around the banks on lures and this should carry

China from Orange with 2 nice bass from Glenbawn caught in 40ft on a cut down plastic. food source, the water temperature is beginning to fall which will trigger the

coming from all the local rivers. Up the Williams around Clarencetown the

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on into next month. If you have not fished in this area I recommend that you call in and see Scott Everitt at the local Gresford service station for advice and some of the locally made Marz lures. The Hunter, right through from Aberdeen down to the Terrace, has also been producing plenty of nice bass with the better catches coming from the low light periods of the day. If the rivers continue to remain clear the bass will nail virtually any type of lure or variation as





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Em a il: re c e pt ion@la k e k e g 68

APRIL 2014

they feed-up before their spawning cycle begins. Because of their ability to cover a lot of water quickly I like to use small crankbaits and compact spinnerbaits until I locate where the fish are holding and then go to Betts-Spins, blades or plastics. There are plenty of lures to choose from these days, but I still have my favourites – Jackall Chubbys, Jackall 40mm Vibes and Marz lures. When it comes to spinnerbaits I like a compact design, either 1/4oz or 3/8oz with copper Colorado blades with some purple in the skirt. Towards the end of this month and through until the end of autumn some areas to target are rock walls and deep sections adjacent to native trees or rock bars. ST CLAIR Lake St Clair hasn’t fished very well in recent weeks because the dam level has been falling, but with some recent rainfall this could easily change once the height stabilises. The other problem with this dam is there is very little weed and so there is no section or cover to hold the fish in the immediate area. Trollers have been getting onto a few fish in the 7-8m deep water adjacent to the river area up both the Fallbrook and Carrowbrook. There have been very few fish coming from the edges, and only very late in the day and into the night.

Greg Eslick with a healthy golden from Glenbawn that fell to a TN60. across a flat. These bass can be very hard to get to bite so a more sensitive approach can help. These means using small plastics, beetle-spins, blades and hardbody lures on light leaders. As the dam has risen over recent weeks the bass will be constantly on the move in search of ideal conditions so you will need plenty of time to locate them, looking for gullies

Bass at Glenbawn in very deep water holding up around deep submerged timber. St Clair usually fires in April as the water temperature falls into the low 20s, elevating the oxygen level and raising the fishes’ metabolism, making them more active. During this month the thermocline is usually around 6m so you should target around this level. This means you should look to try around the ends of long points, where the level drops to around 7-8m, or where a gully or creek enters the dam and flows into the river channel

and the right cover and structure. This is where the use of a side scan function can be a very helpful as you can cover a lot of area and also do not have to sound over the top of the fish. A few good areas to try that have produced fish in recent years include up the back of the Carrowbrook from about Adams point, Loder and Perkins points and around Gindigah Point. Up the Fallbrook has also produced fish over recent years around Carnells Corner and The Ruins and

further down around Wood bay and the left hand side of the start of the reach. In the Broadwater around Swannys and St Clair Island can also hold some fish off the points. Baitfishing has been very slow with the lack of cover in close, but with the dam back up to its present level I am sure the catties will take a live yabby or worm. Lake Glenbawn has been fishing really well recently with some nice goldens and bass being caught. Most of these fish have been coming from the deeper water on plastics and mainly from the bottom of the dam up to around the Dogleg. As there is virtually no weed around the banks, most of the areas the fish are holding in are around 13-18m in the water column. That is constant for anywhere in the dam at present, with good cover nearby. There are some good schools holding around the main basin on the western side in this depth and also up near the North Run. Further up the dam up around the Dogleg and New House Bay there are some good fish out in the deep water and near some of the deep timber. Around the Narrows in close to the timber but in the 20m depth there are also some school bass. These bass and goldens are in excellent condition with an average weight of around 1kg. Targeting these deep fish can be a bit frustrating, as they are easily put off

Change in the weather LITHGOW/OBERON

Glen Stewart

By the time April arrives the weather has well and truly started to change. In fact, in at some of the higher altitudes around Oberon it will have started weeks ago

with small frosts on the deck up high. I love the distinct four seasons of the area I live in, partly because it creates different opportunities for fish and the environment they live in. When we start getting colder nights and the water temperatures start to drop, it’s like a trigger for several different species

of fish. Trout quickly sense the change and start to feed up big time, especially the browns. Larger prey items such yabbies and small fish account for a larger percentage of the diet at this time of year. Keep this in mind when selecting lures and flies. Native fish, especially cod, feel the change as well. Thousands of years of evolution have taught them to put the feedbag on at this time of year to build up fat reserves for the upcoming winter. Again, it’s not time to be bashful with lure size. It’s amazing what these cod eat, especially the bigger ones! These fish are top of the food chain in the underwater world and on the right day there’s not much that scares them. Presentations still need to be thoughtful though, because the big fish have lived for many years and have seen quite a bit in their

Colder cloudy weather and cool nights drop temps quickly, and this seems to be a trigger for the bigger cod to put the feedbag on. Dale O’Neil made no mistake with this 72cm Wyangala fish. your sounder off, tip toe around the boat and make your first presentation from a distance and make it count. This approach works well at Wyangala. BASS ON THE CHEW I hope so! Cooler temperatures mean fewer

a big part in where the fish are. They are very active in the early morning and late afternoon, flipping about chasing titbits on the surface and just below, and the bass will not be too far behind. Surface lures will still

Believe it or not this golden perch was halfway down the hatch of a good sized cod boat side. The cod don’t muck about at this time of year when they are hungry. the bite, but using light leaders of about 2-3m and cut-down plastics usually will account for a few. If they bite but you seem to miss the hook-up you may have to try using a small stinger hook in the plastic’s tail. Another option can be small blades jigged up off the bottom through the suspending fish. I have found that running fluorocarbon straight through is the best option for this. Quite often you may have to keep circulating between different areas until

you find some that are on the chew. Tr o l l i n g can sometimes be an option on these deep fish but at the depth they are holding at present it can be very hard to get your lure deep enough. Next month as he water temp cools further the bass will come up a bit higher in the water column and so trolling will be better then. For all the fishing clubs out there go to the Lowrance website and take up the Insight Genesis Fishing Club Challenge and you could win some $$$!

When chasing redfin, quite often golden perch will get in on the act. time. In popular waters I am sure they know the dangers of a boat, and those rattling doohickey things that come trundling past. If it’s good water, don’t be afraid to pull the boat up well short and drift in. Turn

water users, and at Lake Lyell that’s a real blessing. It’s been pretty busy and the bass fishing has been hit and miss. Hopefully with some stable autumn weather things will change. Crucian carp will play

be on the menu so don’t put them away just yet. With falling surface water temperatures the chance of the daily double (trout/ bass) in the same session is well and truly on the cards. There aren’t too

many lakes where you can do that, so think about your lure selection if that’s what you have in mind. REDFIN IN NUMBERS The summer season has seen a plenty of redfin coming over the side. Ben Chifley and Carcoar have both fished well, along with Oberon Dam. As the season progress we should see some bigger fish starting to appear. Around 40cm+ is what I call a better class of redfin, and they give a good account of themselves on light gear. On the table you won’t find many fish that will top them. Soft bodied lipless cranks are a favourite of mine with the bigger fish. Sometimes it pays to throw a little wider of the main school (smaller fish), let the lure sink and rip it violently up from time to time as it sinks, then let it fall again. Stay just in contact with the lure as it falls with just a bit of slack line. If the line tics or jumps slightly on the way down, set the hook. If everything goes to plan you should have a good one boat side. Bigger redfin are shockers for throwing hooks at the net so make it count. Hope to see you on the water soon. Until then, tight lines.

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State Parks APRIL 2014


Fish getting aggressive TAMWORTH

Adam Mears

As the days become a little shorter and the temperature starts to drop, the fishing conditions in the Tamworth region become a lot more bearable, with anglers able to put in more time on the water and get rewarded for their efforts. April is traditionally a month were fish start becoming more aggressive and look to put on that extra condition leading up to the winter chills, the water in that dams is still very warm and fish activity should remain high so I expect to see some better than average fish making their presence shown.

DAMS Lake Keepit has been a hotspot over the last few months, with great reports coming in from afar. Baits of small yabbies and shrimp have been putting punters in with a better than average chance at landing a golden perch or 2. The second inlet from the yacht club and the trees in the main basin are the pick of the spots. For those wanting to troll around the dam, the shallower margins will produce some fantastic yellowbelly as they search the weed margins for an easy meal. Where there is one their friends are usually not too far behind. Finding Murray cod in the dam will take a little more effort as they hold deep in the water column in slightly cooler temperatures. Water

from 25ft to 30ft is a good starting point, having a good depth sounder can make the world of difference in finding deeper snags and drop-offs and parts of the original river bed. Chaffey Dam is a great fishery through April as its expansive weed beds will hold good numbers of golden and silver perch. At this time last year anglers fishing the rocky points were catching large numbers of these beautiful sportfish. When you’ve located a school of fish, work plastics or a soft vibe like a Jackall Mask along the bottom for the best results. The ever-present European carp in the dam will still be the curse of bait anglers but they fight hard and

Working structure will increase your chances on golden perch. This one took a Balista Dyno 75.

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will keep you on your toes on light tackle. Don’t be surprised if one of these opportunistic feeders grabs your lure either; with the water levels dropping each week they seem to be more competitive for food and will take many different presentations. The key is to pause about a meter in front of them, and then hang on!

RIVERS The Peel and Namoi rivers are still fishing well. My friend Trevor Hooper managed to land a cracking 105cm Murray cod on a Legohead surface lure in the early hours of the

morning, so even though the river isn’t flowing there isstill some great fishing to be had. The key to finding a few fish will be to look for the deeper sections of river, so sometimes a long walk is required. As they

say, you reap what you sow. Because the fish are more aggressive it can pay to upsize your lures leading into autumn, with lures around 80mm or bigger. Golden perch will often hit bigger offerings intended for their larger bucket-mouthed companions. With the cooler weather I expect the trout fishing around the region to pick up. Rivers like the MacDonald and Dungowan Creek will hold a few rainbows, but finding some fishable water may take some time and effort. Taking the time to search Google Earth or a decent topographical map will pay dividends. The Nundle Forest area is a beautiful place to start. Small soft plastics like the 1” nymphs or grubs will draw a lot of interest, as will small spinners like the size 3 Celtas or Mepps Thunder Bugs. When it comes to blades, I prefer the TT lures 1/8oz in black/red or pink. A steady retrieve will normally entice a strike. Remember that a light leader of 3-6lb will be plenty. Good luck this month and I hope to see you about on a river somewhere.

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APRIL 2014

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It pays to try something different now and then. This hungry cod snaffled a Delalande Crazy Craw soft plastic.

Big fish swing into action WAGGA WAGGA

Scott McAuliffe

April is traditionally a quality month for the Murrumbidgee and Old Man Creek. Many of the old-school die-hard cod fishermen have always said that when the first frosts of the year hit the ground around April, the bigger Murray cod swing into action and start to look for some quality feed before the cold weather shuts down the majority of the river system. A good rule of thumb as the water temperature starts to drop is to really upsize your offerings. The big cod feeding during April won’t waste their time chasing small meals that offer no great sustenance; they are more likely to chase big lures and baits that offer a greater reward for their effort. Think 100mm+ hardbodies, big Colorado bladed spinnerbaits or, if bait fishing is your thing, throw on the biggest yabbies you can get your hands on. Focus all of your

efforts on areas of the river that are likely ambush spots for these big predators. Back eddies, log jams and rock walls just off the main current are perfect examples. EUCUMBENE Silly season isn’t too far away from hitting the Snowies. It’s only a couple of months before the trout

season will close and Denison Campground on the Eucumbene River will look more like the Frankston Pier than the pristine alpine environment that it is. With the close of season in mind we should start to see a lot of fish stacking up from Angler’s Reach through to the Providence

Land-based fishing will really start to improve this month as the mature fish start to feed heavily in order to fatten up before heading upstream to spawn.

Matt Fletcher of Wagga has been out Old Man Creek quite bit lately and managed to pick up this solid Golden Perch on a slow rolled spinnerbait. Old Man creek has fished well this year and we should see some quality Murray Cod over the next few weeks.

Cod and release fishing MOAMA

Ian Page

As we get deeper into autumn we encounter some of our region’s best conditions. The results from local fishing competitions over the past weeks indicate our system is in great shape with some outstanding catches being recorded. A lot of juvenile cod have been landed and returned, which makes for a very bright future. It is very encouraging to see most anglers observing size and bag limits. Around this time of year lures come into their own and for those willing to troll large lures bouncing across the bottom and snags, the big cod will come. My favourite lures are Oargee, Custom Crafted, Predators or age old StumpJumpers. These are just a few that give great action and just simply work. The river system from the Narrows to Torrumbarry at this time of year provides deep holes and snags – the perfect habitat for cod and yellowbelly. The Goulburn is also a good option for casting lures and spinnerbaits. For those that prefer bait fishing try scrubworms, yabbies, bardigrubs or catch your own shrimp, which are excellent bait, but be

flats. This is where you should focus your attention, particularly if you’re chasing trophy browns as there will be plenty on offer from now through to mid-winter. If we get some decent rain events in the Eucumbene catchment towards the end of this month we may even see some fish heading

prepared to put a few on the hook for best results. We often see many new products come through the shop and I have been very impressed with the Ballista LED Hunchback: a new surface crawler with great action. The LED technology is producing some top angling at dusk and dawn. While cod seem to be our main focus at the moment

some nice redfin on small yabbies and I have heard of some cod being taken on lures in the deeper holes while trying for reddies. Despite it is starting to cool off a little, April presents great opportunities for everyone with school holidays, Easter and Anzac Day all in the same month. None of us have an excuse for not finding time to fish!

upriver to spawn early, so keep an eye on the weather and be ready to head up. A

general rule that I normally adhere to is this: the worse the weather the better the spawn run fishing will be on that day. So toughing it out on those cold rainy days is well worth it. If you are targeting the lake throughout April, your best option will be using aggressive colours that will elicit that sort of response from the fish. Reds, oranges, yellows and pinks are all top-notch colours to be trolling or casting. But in

A beautiful spawn run brown is released to fight another day, be conscious of looking after the fish you catch throughout the spawn run, limit their time out of the water and ensure they are fully revived before release.

saying that, if casting plastics is your thing you will have more success with darker colours fished off the bottom. Blacks and purples are pretty hard to beat. Those who are on the fly rod should see some good action throughout April as more and more fish start cruising the shallows looking for food before heading upstream. Woolly buggers, Tom Jones’ and bead head nymphs are super reliable patterns, particularly woolly buggers. Just be persistent with them and fish as close to the bottom as possible. Bait fishos have been having the most success with scrub worms and bardi grubs, but Powerbait has also been accounting for a few fish. I have said it before but if you’re fishing grubs or scrub worms, fish them unweighted within 3-4m of the shore and don’t sit on top of your rod. Make sure you’re a good distance away so you don’t spook any fish moving into the shallows.



Cod caught by Dieter Page on a Balista Hunchback surface crawler. we have many anglers who chase redfin and yellowbelly. Reports from the Gunbower area are that the yellows have slowed but are still taking lures and angled scrubworms. The Campaspe is seeing

• For the latest fishing and boating information in the Echuca/Moama region, drop into Boats and More’s Echuca store at 76 Northern Hwy or give them a call on (03) 5482 1992.

% Full


% Full

Blowering............................. 53

Glennies Creek....................... 89

Brogo.................................. 77

Hume.................................. 44

Burrendong........................... 14

Jindabyne............................. 82

Burrinjuck............................. 44

Keepit.................................. 17

Carcoar................................ 30

Lostock................................ 83

Chaffey................................ 45

Oberon................................. 68

Clarrie Hall........................... 94

Pindari................................. 16

Copeton............................... 33

Split Rock............................. 20

Dartmouth............................. 90

Tantangara............................ 29

Eucumbene........................... 40

Toonumbar............................ 89

Glenbawn............................. 92

Windamere........................... 49

Glenlyon............................... 39

Wyangala............................. 44

(All levels correct at time of going to press. Dam levels can change at any time, so please check with local authorities to ensure safe boating and fishing.) APRIL 2014


Consistent cod hunters head to Lake Mulwala Tony Bennett

With a bag full of 40ºC+ days behind us, Lake Mulwala is settling in to the place to be for cod hunters this time of year. A more consistent water temperature, minus the hot blasts, should see a reliable pattern emerge where the fish are biting on a regular basis. Your cod fishing ‘purists’ tend to cast a vast array of shiny painted trinkets, generally being rewarded for their efforts, but of late, those happy to troll bouncing a lure off a bit of timber are surpassing them for returns. Whether it’s a hardbody, spinnerbait or crankbait, trolling at slow speed in the 1-5m depth range could be your answer. It may be a tad boring at times as you doze off, dreaming about other pastimes, but when your rod loads up and the angry green beast on the other end of your line goes bezerk, all is forgotten. If we could only bottle that initial hit! My lure of choice for

trolling would be in the 85-110mm range with a shallow bib that would get down around the 4m mark. A 5/8–1oz spinnerbait is another great option, but remember, these have to be trolled slower than a hardbody to eliminate riding too high in the water column. Looking back, the past few weeks have produced some great cod, especially for a couple of local anglers. Storyteller, elite sportsman and raconteur, Winston ‘Whinger’ Rhodes deserves first mention after his recent outing landed him a mighty cod that measured in at a healthy 103cm. Whingers was casting spinnerbaits along the north side of the lake around the Kyffin’s area. Numerous others have reported quality captures with the average fish size being in the 50-70cm bracket. Surface fishing is always popular this time of year and it was none other than local ‘surface’ specialist CJ Wilson who was at it again – CJ boated a beauty that clocked 93cm. To make the capture more meritorious, it was caught on one of

Winston ‘Whinger’ Rhodes with his mighty 103cm cod caught casting a spinnerbait. his own home-made lures. CJ does have a You Tube video of a 112cm he got last year off the surface. If



interested check out 112cm Mulwala Monster. The recent Lowrance Da$h 4 Ca$h Super Series

again proved a massive hit with 99 teams competing. The 20mm of rain and strong winds made things

fairly difficult over the weekend but nevertheless, over the three 4-hour fishing sessions, 31 quality cod were returned to scale for measuring and release. Below the weir, fishing has been good with healthy cod and cracking yellas being landed. If you are in the area and looking for some quick action, the general rule says you will catch more, but smaller, cod in the river and vise versa in the lake. Late April, early May sees the running of the 4th Cod Nationals, five days of serious tournament fishing for the dedicated green fish angler. Anybody who is interested in getting involved should give me a call ASAP. If you are visiting town I urge you to call into Lake Mulwala Fish Camp & Ski, the shop with the big green cod out the front (Opposite the Post Office) in Mulwala and say G’day. We are your largest Murray cod specific shop in Yarrawonga/ Mulwala and specialize in all things ‘Green’! For any information on the upcoming events or fishing reports give us a hoy on 03 5744 3133.

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Cool change brings hot bite Rod Mackenzie

As the heat of summer makes way for crisp cool mornings and more favourable fishing weather, it’s a sure sign that the start of the real cod season is about to begin. Murray cod are in tune to the change in weather and the influences it plays on a rapid decline of their easy prey, such as shrimp and yabbies. If you were not excited before now, then you should be as March is the start of the big fish season along the Murray River. I spent the heat of February fishing the coast for anything that might put a bend in the rod and enjoyed the seaside relief of the cool salt breeze. Inland along the Murray River, anglers struggled in the heat and, other than a few cod around the 70cm mark caught on lures near Wemen, there was very little joy for cod fishos. Some good-sized perch were landed at several locations on bait at first and last light but the bite was slow and the summer heat intense. Robinvale, Wemen and Hattah were the most productive locations. While the weather is still quite warm the morning chill is a great time to be on the water. Several flushes have had the river up and down, which has made the fishing

have been caught on bait with scrub worms, yabbies and shrimp the best. Silver perch still remain a constant annoyance to bait anglers as they rattle every bait known to man clean off the hook. Every now and then you manage to pin one of these fish and

but true fact that ‘springer’ fishing continues to run rife, especially along the Hattah Kulkyne section of the Murray River. It just goes to show that while it’s possible for Fisheries to implement ethical and sustainable fishing laws they are unable to take the

of a lifetime. A thief is a thief no matter how you justify the act. With that off my chest I look forward to the real start off the Murray cod season and I can’t wait to spend the next few months getting teeth marks on all my favourite lures.

Gareth Lynch with a very fat golden perch caught trolling on the Murray River. These fish have been very quiet over the past month, especially during the heat wave. the average size of silver perch along the Murray locally has improved since the close. The water clarity still needs to improve a little before we see good numbers of fish on lures and this will happen as soon as the irrigation season slows to a halt.

moron out of the morons that still believe they have the right to set springers. The mere fact they tie their lines off underwater is testament in itself they understand that what they are doing is illegal. If you break this practise down into simple layman’s terms they are simply stealing



As the weather temperature begins to cool we can expect the better sized cod to come on the chew, like this one trolled on a 120 Godzilla lure.


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Tyson Smythe with a small silver perch he caught bait fishing near Wemen. These fish are a constant annoyance to bait anglers. a little unpredictable over the past few weeks. Those anglers lucky enough to be in front of the rise have managed a few cod on lures and bait. After the rise had passed through, good numbers of perch

While all looks great on the cod front for the coming month it seems old habits die-hard and unfortunately one in particular is robbing many anglers the chance to land that dream fish. It’s a sad

from all those that buy a fishing license and pay the right to fish. Each time a giant cod is caught killed and removed from the river on a springer it robs a genuine fisher person the chance to catch that fish

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The Okuma Trio Rex Salt is a specialist surfcasting reel that features the revolutionary Crossover Construction platform, leveraging the superior strength offered by aluminium and the featherweight characteristics of graphite. Internally, 6 + 1 stainless steel ball bearings, a worm shaft transmission system and machine cut brass pinion gears feature in the reel. Such quality components operate in perfect mechanical unison to deliver an effortless wind at a gear ratio of 4.5:1. The multi disc, Japanese oiled felt drag system generates approximately 9kg of drag pressure which is reinforced by Okuma’s Hydro Block drag seal to provide protection against sand and saltwater intrusion. As with all Okuma reels, the Trio Rex Salt comes complete with a Lifetime Guarantee. Price: RRP $329.95

8 9 10



Featuring a super lightweight design and quality components, Abu Garcia Salty Stage Shore Jigger rods have been designed in Japan for the ultimate in shore jigging. The series includes regular and extra fast actions for maximum casting distance and fish fighting performance. Powerful composite blanks incorporate a carbon X wrap to reduce rod twist and increase power. Premium Fuji K guides are used for casting performance, and the sophisticated grip design delivers a lightweight and ergonomic grip system for superior comfort and control. There are 4 models in the range, all 2-piece spin, packaged with a zip-up rod case for storage and travel. The line-up is as follows: 9’8’’ PE 1-2.5, lure weight 10-45g; 9’6’’ PE 1-3, 20-60g; 10’6’’ PE 1-3, 28-70g and the heaviest model, a 10’3’’ PE 2-4 with a lure weight of 35-100g. Perfectly matched to Penn Conflict and Abu Garcia Revo SX reels, Pure Fishing recommends using the Shore Jiggers with C’ultiva Gekito jigs. Price: approx. $350-$400





KVD Aluminium Pliers are your answer to affordable, lightweight and reliable fishing pliers. Made from aircraft grade ultra-light aluminium that has been heavily anodized for greater corrosion resistance, they are light and comfortable enough to use all day and tough and durable enough to last a lifetime. The KVD pliers feature titanium coated stainless steel jaws and replaceable tungstencarbide cutters, and have custom rubberized grip and coiled tether with a clasp to keep the tool handy. Everything packs neatly in the supplied protective nylon holster. Look for KVD 6.5” Ultra Strong Aluminium Pliers (#KVDAP65) at your favourite tackle store or visit the Wilson Fishing website for more information on the KVD range. RRP: from $59



With the popularity of soft vibes over the past few years it was only a matter of time before U-Make-Em-Soft Plastics brought out a mould so anglers could start making their own lures. They have produced 2 shapes: a 110mm model designed for larger species, as well as a neat little 85mm model for the small guys. The larger model comes in 25g and 27g versions and the smaller model comes in 19g and 22g versions. The kit includes a lead mould for the internals as well as the external soft plastic mould for the body. Price: Too new





Two of the latest jigs from C’ultiva are the Gekito Level and Gekito Jig Aero. The Gekito Level is a mid weighted jig designed for slow falling on the drop. The slow flutter action has proven effective in shallow to mid water reef jigging. These premium quality jigs have a tough ‘centre bone’ chassis making them nearly unbreakable and unbendable, delivering the perfect swimming action fish after fish. The 6 colour range features a highly reflective holographic finish to trigger strikes from predatory fish. It’s available in 30, 40, 60 and 80g sizes. The Gekito Jig Aero is rear weighted for increased casting distance and rapid descent in deep water/high current conditions. It’s a versatile jig ideal for bluewater pelagic and shore casting applications. They feature the super-tough ‘centre bone’ chassis. The 6 colour range features a highly reflective holographic finish, and available sizes are 30, 40 and 60g. Price: from RRP $17.95

The Megabass Siglett is the ultimate surface lure for bass and EPs. These iconic cicada imitations have landed countless fish, and they’re now available in some new colours. Bass and bream, which will readily take a Siglett, can be most active at dusk and at night. Fishing with lures very close to snags can be difficult if you can’t see your presentation, but the Glow Night Walker fixes this problem. It has a lumo body and plastic wings, making it perfect for anglers fishing well after dusk. Also available is the Siglett in FF (Fur Finish) Smoke. This lure looks extremely realistic in the water due to the fur on its belly. The FF Smoke colour has a brown/green finish. Both lures feature a tungsten rattle. The Siglett is 36.5mm and weighs 3/16oz, and the Grand Siglet is 45.5mm and weighs 1/4oz. The Siglett’s tow point is located at the rear of the lure, so when you begin a retrieve the wings will fold out creating a realistic appearance of a struggling cicada. With subtle slow movements, the rattle chamber and wings combine to create sound and little ripples to alert nearby fish. Price: SRP $35.95

Please send contributions to: The Editor, Fishing Monthly Group PO BOX 3172 LOGANHOLME, QLD. 4129

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Marukyu, the company behind Ecogear, has developed an impressive new soft lure: the award-winning Marukyu Crab. This soft bait has a potent scent and a very lifelike action, with legs that pulse enticingly. The Crab uses Marukyu’s Isome fish attractant material, which emits a stronger scent than regular bait. It comes in 3 natural crab colours (olive, dark brown and purple) and is available in large and medium sizes (20mm shell width and 15mm shell width respectively). The large size comes in a pack of 8, and the medium size comes in a pack of 10). To see a video, go to and type in ‘Marukyu Crab’, or use your smart phone to scan the QR code hereabouts. Price: Too new



Following requests from their Pro Anglers, Tackle Tactics has now added watermelon to their range of colours in both the 2” and 2.5” GrubZ. Watermelon has long been a popular colour when targeting bream, bass and a range of other species, and ZMan have stuck with the traditional watermelon colour, with a subtle black fleck. The GrubZ also provide anglers with all of the benefits associated with ZMan’s buoyant, super-soft and realistic, 10X Tough ElaZtech soft plastics. Through the testing stages the 2” and 2.5” watermelon GrubZ have already contributed to podium finishes in both bream and bass tournaments. The 2” GrubZ comes in 14 colours and the 2.5” version is available in 17 colours. Both come in packs of 10. Price: SRP $8.95.



The latest Jarvis Walker Tuff Tip range sees all 19 classic rod designs take on an attractive grey-black-red cosmetic design, plus a modern feel. Each Tuff Tip rod starts with the construction of a quality blank that features an extra-tough solid integrated tip design, with graphite and fibreglass used in all baitcast, spin and estuary models, for extra sensitivity and casting performance. These rods are designed to provide that perfect mix of long-lasting strength, fishfighting power, plus the sensitivity and casting distance you need for your favourite bait fishing tactics. The comprehensive range includes most popular styles of fishing rods, from the 7’0” 3-5kg light estuary, to the robust 6’6” 10-15kg overhead, to the big 15’0”, 6-12kg 3-piece surf rod, with all sorts and styles in between. There’s a good mix of 1- and 2-piece models to suit all needs. Price: from approx. $40-$90



The Strike Pro Archback Deep is a fantastic deep diving baitfish with an irresistible action. The Archback Deep features an internal weight balanced system which helps with casting distance and eliminates tumbling. It has a superb rolling action that fish find irresistible and a loud rattle that helps to attract fish, in particular in dirty water or low light conditions. This suspending lure is 12cm in length, weighs 37.6g and dives to approx. 12ft. It comes fitted with heavy-duty hardware including VMC Permasteel trebles. It is available in 8 fish-catching colours and is deadly on the likes of mackerel, tuna and queenfish, and has also proven to be effective on barramundi and mulloway. Anglers trolling for snapper, particularly kayak anglers, are also getting good results on the Archback. Price: RRP $14.99





Fluorocarbon leader material like Shimano’s new EX Fluoro Ocea Leader provides a number of advantages to discerning anglers dealing with wary fish under difficult fishing conditions. It’s thinner than equivalent breaking strain nylon, highly abrasion resistant, doesn’t absorb water so it sinks faster, is clear in colour and, with its refractive index being pretty close to that of water, is therefore less visible to fish. The structure of Ocea leader is quite different too, in that it has a soft fluoro core for knot strength, a hard outer shell for abrasion resistance, and then a fluorine coating over this to provide a smooth surface finish. It comes in 50m dispenser spools with a line retainer in 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 16, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 60, 80 and 100lb breaking strains — perfect for everything from estuary bream up to live baiting for small black marlin and cubing for yellowfin tuna. Price: from RRP $12.99





N.S. ONE’S Micro rods feature superb, crisp blanks and the latest rod builds. This series of rods offers anglers affordable high performance with the portability of a 2 piece blank. The latest, top-of-the-line Fuji components are used, such as the KDPS + VSS (spinning) and ACS (casting) reel seats, Fuji KR guides. They have an excellent feel, offering top casting ability and control. A premium, hard rod tube is included which can hold up to four of these 2-piece rods. The range has recently been expanded with the addition of 2 Australian-designed Beam Special rods. There’s a 2-piece, 7’, 2-6lb model, and a 2-piece, 7’, 4-8lb model, and both tick all the boxes for the discerning bream angler. Price: RRP $240

Please send contributions to: The Editor, Fishing Monthly Group PO BOX 3172 LOGANHOLME, QLD. 4129



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Beardy’s Lures are the brainchild of Daniel Beard. Daniel has only been making lures for a few years, but he has fallen in love with the process of producing timber lures. He makes the lures from his home in Beaconsfield, Melbourne Victoria. He makes a number of different models, however the Bandit is the one that sits closest to his heart. The Bandit is 65mm long, dives to 3m+ and is available in 6 colours. The colours are based around feedback from the anglers who use his lures. I know when I last spoke to him he had just received a call from a customer who was fishing Lake Eildon. This guy had been trolling the pink coloured Bandit and caught a number of yellowbelly, with the biggest being 3kg. The joy was obvious in Daniel’s voice as he went through it with me.

He went on to explain that although people do have a lot of success trolling the lures, it is when they are cast and retrieved that the Bandits come into their own. Being made of solid timber they cast very well and can be worked back or slow rolled, working any structure or weed edges to great effect. They have a great action and have proven themselves again and again on our Australian native species such as cod, yellowbelly and bass as well as being deadly on redfin. Daniel has number of other styles available, from smaller trout offerings to a very lifelike shrimp. It was a pleasure to have a chat with Daniel and I look forward to getting out and using his lures myself. The Bandit is available now and retails for $15. For more information on Daniel’s lures or to place an order, you can contact him on 0448 907 091 or look up Beardy’s Lures on Facebook. – Peter Jung

FEATURE PRODUCT Daiwa TD Sol II The TD Sol II, based on the game changing Tatula, rivals the performance of many current high-end reels. The superior casting performance and ultimate casting ease of the Sol II all stem from Daiwa’s revolutionary T-Wing System (TWS). A leap forward over traditional line guide systems, TWS delivers unparalleled casting performance and line control, a reduction in line noise and friction, and improved reel stability and balance. It allows for efficient, easy casting every time. The Digigear II gear design and the new Air Rotation system create a reel that is silky smooth on the crank and flawless when under load. There are 5 CRBB and a series of corrosion resistant treated internal components, and the ultimate casting control system is now at your fingertips with Daiwa’s legendary Magforce Z magnetic cast control system. It offers anglers of any skill-level a cast control system to maximize casting ease, distance and performance. The new Duraluminium spool is lighter, faster and stronger than traditional baitcaster spools. It’s also wider, a feature that delivers improved castability due to line being able to more freely unwind from the spool. This

attribute is further enhanced by the T-Wing System. The Zaion star drag is made from light, strong corrosion resistant material, and the micro click adjustment delivers precise control. Daiwa’s Ultimate Tournament Drag (UTD) can stop the hardest pulling fish. With 6kg of drag on offer you’ll have the ability to stop just about any fish, and do so with silky smooth stopping power. The 90mm handle delivers maximum cranking power, while the swept handle results in increased balance, power and comfort. Large EVA ball-shaped handle knobs offer added comfort and ultimate handle control. The TD Sol II has a 6.3:1 retrieve ratio, 9 ball bearings, left and right hand models and weighs 225g. Price: Too new


Mr Funnel Fuel Filters Mr Funnel Australia brings in a range of fuel filters that have to be seen to be believed – and in fact you can do just that by viewing a short video we made in the office of a 19L/minute funnel filtering out 500mL of water from a 1L fuel and water mix. But the Mr Funnel Australia fuel filters are much more than just a goof fuel filter. They incorporate a range of features that make them technologically advanced, easy to use and efficient. Let’s start at the top and work our way down. The filter/s in these units are constructed with the end result in mind. The fuel filter funnel by Mr Funnel is heavy duty, portable, light-weight, and self cleaning with fast flowing built-in filter technology that requires no replacement parts. When fuel is poured through the fuel filter funnel, water and debris will not pass through

the filter’s fluoropolymer-coated stainless steel mesh that is Teflon coated. Only filtered fuel flows through to your engine, improving its efficiency and durability and ensuring its proper operation. The funnel itself is carbon injected when it’s made so it does not require an earth mechanism when in use. That basically means there will be no sparking when in use and static electricity will not be created and an explosion risked. The sump area in the bottom of each funnel product collects the deflected water and debris to positively reassure you that you are not receiving contaminated fuels causing damage. The fuel filter funnel will filter all kinds of hydrocarbons such as petrol, diesel, heating oil, kerosene and 2-stroke mixed fuels. The Mr Funnel Fuel Filter comes in 4 different fast-flow models. Models differ mainly on flow rate. If your need is to transfer

20L or less of fuel then the F1 and F3 are for you. If you are transferring more then 20L, the F8 and F15 are right for you. The F15 is the fastest flow model at up to 45L per minute! This model can also be used at a fuel pump as it has 2 filters and a large funnel. Of course there are a range of considerations outside of simply flow rate that need thought. Keep in mind if you are using a petrol pump direct that the units work most efficiently when only half filled (there is a marked line to indicate the optimum fill), so keep this in mind. You can also add on a flexible hose or construct a petrol fill nozzle from PVC to make use easier for your car or boat, but this will reduce the effectiveness of the carbon

injection in the plastic and an earthing device of some sort should be considered. Apart from that though, if you’re going on a long drive through outback Australia, if you’re filling up your boat or you just want to make sure your old fuel is still good and not contaminated with water, then these units are for you. I can’t really do justice to how good this product is in words. Check out the video at this link, or use your smart phone or tablet to link through the attached QR Code. Get your Mr Funnel Fuel Filter today, and keep your engine running smooth by logging onto au. Prices start at $30 and move up to $110 for the 45L/minute unit. – Stephen Booth

Please send contributions to: The Editor, Fishing Monthly Group PO BOX 3172 LOGANHOLME, QLD. 4129

Team Simrad takes out BETS Lake Macquarie Last time BETS paid a visit to Lake Macquarie for the final round of the 2013 season it was an absolute fish fest – 5-bags every where. Fast forward 7 months and the Lake put on a show again. Over 60 5-bags were presented for weighing,

was it would take 4kg+ to nudge the top places. It never quite came to that, but even the eventual winners thought that’s what would be needed and before a fish touched the scales they were sure they were a good upgrade short. It’s one thing dragging

haul from the Gold Coast each round. Although they’re getting more familiar with the NSW arenas, Lake Macquarie is not a spot they visit too often. So, rather than try to work the waterway out in short time, the team chose a ‘stick to what you know’ approach.

Team Simrad edged out their mates from Team Lowrance to take out first place.

Khamsin Tinys in bluegill quickly cranked out from the hulls to find scores of active fish jockeying for the lure. By casting both lures at the same time to the same spot, the action just intensified with regular double hook-ups. So successful was the technique that the same effect could be had using ZipBaits Skinny Pop surface lures, and the team mixed styles to great effect. Within the first hour Scott and Guy had a 3kg+ plus bag. They could relax and enjoy the day after that, spending the rest of their time filtering out the better fish. The end result? A 3.94kg bag. While it wasn’t the 4kg the boys thought they needed, it was more than adequate to take out Engel Round 2, the winners’ cheque of $3800 and set the scene for a happy drive home. Sister company of Simrad, Lowrance, were the backers of the next team to make it a 1st/2nd for parent company Navico. Adrian Neoh and

RESULTS Position 1 2 3 4 5

Team Simrad Lowrance Yamaha/Shimano Off Da Hook Bears Concreting

almost three quarters of the field! As the bags rolled in it became apparent that the key to success was to find the larger fish. As the tally of 3kg+ bags moved into double figures, word around the park

Anglers Scott Butler, Guy Struthers Mark Healey, Adrian Neoh Scott Bilton, Ron Ashman Rod Ford, Mark Robertson Kevin Tommerup, Mitch Martin

yourself out for fishing tournament but it’s a whole other game when you travel interstate to have a crack. Team Simrad is a regular name on the BETS score sheet and anglers Scott Butler and Guy Struthers make the long made to fit your fugly head From $39.95 + p&h

...and they float!

Fish 5 5 5 5 5

Weight (kg) 3.94 3.67 3.52 3.49 3.46

Fishing Scott’s favoured target, the humble boat hull, the pair used ZipBaits

A total of 101 boats and 482 anglers enjoyed favourable fishing conditions for the 2014 Cabo Hatteras Billfish Shoutout in Nelsons Bay this year, chasing the very lucrative cash prize pool and a raft of great prizes. Relatively calm conditions across the 2 days of the event allowed for some good fishing, with over 60 fish tagged and three big blue marlin

for sale on 2007 Skeeter ZX190/Yamaha 150HP 200 hrs, 80LB Fortrex, HDS10, Simrad TS8........................................................................... NSW / $34,900

2008 Skeeter 20i/Evinrude 250HO 101lb MinnKota, LMS 520/510 sounders, EasyTow Trailer..................................................... NSW / $53,000

Haines 485SF/100 Yamaha 4S 100 hours, 80lb iPilot, HDS9/7, EasyTow trailer.................................................................... NSW / $37,000

Haines ProStrike 490/Evinrude 150 109 hours, 80lb MinnKota, Humminbird 778/998SI.................................................................VIC / $33,000

2009 Attack 470/Mercury 115 72 hrs, HDS 7/5, 80lb MinnKota, custom trailer.................................................................... NSW / $30,000


Mark Healey, ever consistent on Lake Macquarie, again provided a quality bag that

Custom Rods giveaway and new sponsor Lock ‘n’ Haul giving away the first of a series random draw prizes, the event drew to a close. Next stop: St

Scott Butler and Guy Struthers with some of their winning fish. of Team Yamaha Vmax SHO/ Shimano, one step behind with 3.52kg, also represented a local charge to the top that came close – an upgrade or 2 short perhaps. Surprisingly there was a shortage of true stonkers but the Steve Vumbaca and Matt Lucas of Full to the Bream scored a 1.34kg unit that was the best for the day. Winning the Austackle Big Bream Award saw the team earn a $250 Austackle Lure Pack, a paid entry for the next round courtesy of the sponsor and first away at the next round. With Adrian Neoh picking up the Steve Duff

Georges Basin! Big thanks to the Wangi Lions Club for the BBQ as always and host Jenny and Chris from the Wangi Point Holiday Park for making us welcome. Apologies for the lack of video and pics this round - the multi media resources were stretched a little too thin this weekend. If you have any pictures you’d like posted in the gallery please send them to and we’ll post them up. Entries are now open for TT Lures Round 3 - get in quick and we’ll see you there! - BETS

Billfish Shootout Wrap-up

PO Box 235 Yorkeys Knob Qld 4878 Ph: 07 4055 8472 Fax: 07 4055 8471


Prize $3800 $2800 + prize pack $1800 + prize pack $800 + prize pack $600 + prize pack

fell just short of the mark at 3.67kg. Previous BETS Lake Macquarie winner Scott Bilton and teammate Ron Ashman

weighed. The champion team award and the winners cheque for $12,500 went to the crew aboard Smartbill with a whopping 66,500 points. Billistic was second on 46,000 points and also took out the champion boat under 8m, while 3 teams finished on 35,500 points with Loosecrew taking out third on a countback. The Heaviest Marlin prize went to Danny Frizzel and the team aboard Casey, topping the scales at 174.2kg caught on 37kg line, and taking home the CaboHatteras $12,500 cheque for their efforts. Champion Junior Male winner went to Joshua Dickson with 23,000 points, with Luke Ashman the first junior to tag a marlin during the tournament getting into the action late Saturday. The Billfish Shootout has a reputation for great camaraderie amongst the boats and crew and was evident again this year with plenty of laughs and stories told at the beer and prawn pre-briefing on Friday and the infamous presentation dinner held at the Wests Diggers Club in Nelson Bay on the Sunday night.

“Our tournament wouldn’t be the success it is without the support of our great sponsors and of course our naming rights sponsors Cabo-Hatteras thanks to Game & Leisure Boats,” said President of the Newcastle Port Stephens Game Fish Club Peter Simpson. “The ongoing support of the boats and anglers makes the event stronger and stronger each year. We’re looking forward to an even bigger event next year with the 10th anniversary of the Shootout under our current format. Graham McCloy from Game & Leisure Boats said

that Cabo and Hatteras has a proud reputation of supporting game fishing events around the world. “It’s great that we can continue this tradition in Australia with our support of the Billfish Shootout,” he said. For a full list of results from the 2014 Billfish Shootout visit www.npsgfc. com. – NPSGFC • For the latest fishing and boating information in the Echuca/Moama region, drop into Boats and More’s Echuca store at 76 Northern Hwy or give them a call on (03) 5482 1992.

Casey crew, the winners of the CaboHatteras Heaviest Marlin.

GTS R1 Brisbane Waters The first Gamakatsu Team Series South round, sponsored by Atomic, was run at Brisbane Waters on 2 March. It was a dual event, with both boats and kayaks fishing for the day, and as usual there were heaps of giveaways for all the anglers and the public. With a heap of rain falling in the few days before the tournament,

cast lightly weighted Powerbaits and shrimps on Pflueger and Fireline combos to tempt their bag of XOS fish. On top of winning the comp they also took out the Big Bream for the day with a 1.46kg fish that illustrated the quality of fish that Brisbane Waters and surrounds can produce. Taking home more than $1500 in cash and prizes,

KAYAK RESULTS Position 1 2 3 4 5

Angler Todd Chown Warren Allen Stewart Dunn Jason Meech Glenn Allen

anglers were faced with the threat of freshwater pushing through the system and moving their fish from their usual haunts. Team Berkley Mako Eyewear, consisting of Tim Staunton and Chris Gates, were able to work out where the fish were holding and put together a fantastic bag of five for 4.46kg. The pair fished all session at the Pittwater flats, commonly referred to as the ‘Carpark’. They

Bag 3 3 3 3 3

Weight 2.31 1.71 1.63 1.47 1.45

the pair were more than happy with their day on the water. Finishing in second place and also putting together a 4kg+ bag was team Lost up the River. Simon and Chris also fished the Carpark at Pittwater using 2lb fluorocarbon straight through, casting Gladiator Minnows to put together their bag of 5 fish. Using a mix of Loomis and TCurve rods they fished the flats all day

using long searching casts, putting together a great bag for 4.49kg. Taking out the kayak division was Todd Chown with a spectacular bag of three fish for 2.31kg. Todd fished not far from the start in some oyster racks and caught all of his fish on the surface using Bassday Sugapens, TCurve rods and Sustain reels to make long casts up the racks and monster out these fish. Having his bag by 9:30, Todd was back at the weigh in about an hour and a half early and very confident his bag would be enough to win. Finishing second in the kayakers was Warren Allen who paddled for an hour each way to get his 3 fish for 1.71kg. Warren used Daiwa combos to cast a mix of Atomic Hardz Crank deeps in the famous muddy prawn colour and ZMan

Tim Staunton and Chris Gates from Team Berkley Mako Eyewear. GrubZ to catch his fish. A huge thanks goes out to the series sponsor

BOATER RESULTS Position Team 1 Berkley/Mako Eyewear 2 Lost up a River 3 Upgrade 4 5 Lowrance/Evinrude

upcoming tournaments go to au/gts. - GTS

Gamakatsu and the naming round sponsor Atomic. For a full list of sponsors and

Anglers Tim Staunton, Chris Gates Chris Byrne, Simon Mcalpin Craig Noorbergen, Duncan Eddington Brendon Hughes, Scott Greentree Mark Healey, Adrian Neoh

Bag 5 5 5 5 5

Weight (kg) 4.54 4.49 4.03 3.05 2.95

Big Bream: Berkley/Mako Eyewear, 1.46kg





Apr 4-6

Club Marine Trailer Boat Fishing Tournament Tony Poole – (02) 9029 6554

Nelson Bay

Apr 8-9

Daiwa-Hobie Kayak BREAM Series ABT (07) 3387 0888


Apr 13

Bluefin Boats BASS Electric Series ABT (07) 3387 0888

Lostock Dam

Apr 13

Gamakatsu TS Rd 2 Mid 0459 401 612 or GTS - 0459 401 612


Apr 26-27

Jackall Yellowbelly Championships Series Bruce Anderson - 0419 011 333


May 4

BETS Bream Round 4 Chris Gates - 0413 795 382


May 4

Gamakatsu TS Rd 2 South GTS - 0459 401 612

Georges River

May 17 - 18

ABT BREAM Series ABT - (07) 3387 0888


May 31 - Jun 1

Daiwa-Hobie Kayak BREAM Series ABT - (07) 3387 0888

Lake Macquarie

June 7-8

Greenback Tailor Competition Vicky Hansen - 0400 159 370


Jun 8

BETS Bream Round 5 Chris Gates - 0413 795 382

Lake Macquarie

Jun 15

Gamakatsu TS Rd 3 Mid GTS - 0459 401 612


Jul 4-11

Evans Head Fishing Classic EHFCC - 0448 881 414

Evans Head

Jul 4-10 Sussex Inlet Family Fishing Carnival

Sussex Inlet

Add your tournament or competition to this list by emailing or calling 02 6682 5488 in office hours. Just supply a date, venue, tournament name and a telephone number and contact name. APRIL 2014


SBS R2 Georges River Sunday 9 March saw the Basin Lure and Fly Angler Inc run Round 2 of the Southern Bream Series on the Georges River. The event was proudly sponsored by Shimano, and attracted a total of 57 boating teams along with 27 kayak anglers.


99.55kg for 114 anglers. The Hobie Big Bream prize was taken out by Brad Dolman with a great 1.37kg fish. The Kayak section was won by Team Lox Rods Stewart Dunn with a bag of 3/3 totalling 2.04kg, second went to Team Custom Lure Art - Andrew Death with a

22.33kg for 27 anglers. We would like to thank all the competitors and sponsors, including Shimano, Fishing World, Lowrance, Searing Tackle/Damiki, Tonic Eyewear, Custom Lure Art, Skeeter Boats/Power Pole, Hobie Fishing, Compleat Angler Nowra, BCF, Totally

AVAILABLE IN 90mm x 1m, 3m, 5m 110mm x 1m, 3m, 5m 130mm x 1m, 3m, 5m

The Zerek Ripper Diver is a diving minnow available in 3 sizes and 3 diving depths. All Ripper divers are floating lures making them ideal for clearing snags when casting or trolling. They have a unique weight transfer system to enhance casting. The 1m Ripper Diver has an awesome amount of body roll perfect for casting on shallow banks and flats and into drains and gutters or trolling in open water or big rivers. The 3m and 5m Ripper Divers are ideal for trolling and casting as it is great for snag clearing and retains perfect action into strong currents. ZRD901 90mm 1m 14.5g FLOATING ZRD903 90mm 3m 14.5g FLOATING ZRD905 90mm 5m 14.8g FLOATING




3 DE



FER ZRD1101 110mm 1m 21.5g FLOATING RANS T T ZRD1103 110mm 3m 21.5g FLOATING EIGH W ZRD1105 110mm 5m 22.5g FLOATING ES


ZRD1301 130mm 1m 26.5g FLOATING ZRD1303 130mm 3m 26.5g FLOATING ZRD1305 130mm 5m 27.8g FLOATING






Anthony Kalsow and Nathan Leicht from Team Pro Lure Australia were the runners-up in this round. The final winner in the Boating section was Team Cronulla Slipway (Grant Grounds and Peter Frankland) with a 5/5 bag totalling 3.72kg. Second went to Team Pro Lure Australia (Nathan Leicht and Anthony Kalsow) with a 5/5 bag totalling 3.42kg, and third went to Team Lureandfly. com (Brad Dolman and Bernard Kong) with a 5/5 bag totalling 2.96kg. Fourth place went to Team Busted Off (Scott Chapman and Lindsay Fowler) with a 5/5 bag totalling 2.70kg, and in fifth place was Team BCF/ Up The Creek (Tom Mclean and Mark Taylor) with a 5/5 bag totalling 2.65kg. In the Boating section there was a total of 211 fish for a combined weight of

bag of 3/3 totalling 1.92kg and third went to Team Hobie Fishing/Gladiator Glenn Ross with a bag of 3/3 totalling 1.81kg.

Immersed Watersports, Lox Rods and STG Graphics. Round 3 will be held on Sunday 6 April on the Clyde River, Batemans Bay.

Tony Rutkowski with a brace of Georges River bream. In the Kayak section there were a total of 46 fish for a combined weight of

For more information visit au. - BLFA


Mandy with a nice Wilson River bass caught on a trip with Castaway Estuary Fishing Charters, Port Macquarie.


APRIL 2014

S M SERIE A E R B K a KAYA d by Daiw Presente Chris Burbidge has taken another win on the Glenelg River at the opening round of the 2014 Daiwa-Hobie Kayak BREAM Series. Catching a 6/6, 3.6kg limit to claim the event win, Burbidge dominated once again, in the process relegating young gun Daniel Brady to second place with his 6/6, 3.39kg bag. On both days of the tournament Burbidge took the long run up to Taylors Strait in search of fish actively feeding on the edge. “I stopped to fish on the way up but I failed to find any active fish holding on the edges, so I quickly moved on,” said Burbidge. Once in Taylors Strait, Burbidge was able to locate active schools of fish holding

Burbidge back breamin’ on top tight to the edge and high in the water column. For this Burbidge relied on his Tonic polarised sunglasses to spot fish actively moving in the shallows. Early in the session Burbidge used a top water approach, rotating between a Jackall Chubby Pencil in suji shrimp and an OSP Bent Minnow in p74 colour. Burbidge would cast his lure tight to the edge before starting a rapid rolling and twitching retrieve. Rotating between the two lures allowed Burbidge to present two different options to each school of fish, in turn maximising his returns. Once the fish began to move off the edge Burbidge would then change tact, opting to go deeper and fish a Cranka Vibe in black. He cast his lure tight to the edge before slowly rolling it back


Rocky Bank

Moving Fish

Cast tight to edge


1 2 1. Black Cranka Vibe 2. Jackall Chubby Pencil 3. OSP Bent Minnow 76 to the boat, allowing it to stay in touch with the bottom as it came down the drop-off. “I knew the fish would still be holding in the area it was just a process of


keeping the lure in their face for as long as possible,” said Burbidge. With increased boat traffic and strong winds

on day two Burbidge was unable to repeat his early topwater pattern from day one. “My surface plan was not paying off, I was confident that the fish where still in the area and in the end it was my small black vibe that did the damage,” said Burbidge. Burbidge’s tackle

included a Mossops Ultra Cast 1-3kg rod delivered to him on short notice by Peter Stanley, matched with a 2004 Daiwa Steez reel spooled with 8lb Sunline PE and 3 and 4lb FC Rock. “I have to thank fishin. and Tonic eyewear for all the support they have given me over the past couple of years,” said Burbidge.

Brady catches a flats bunch CE 2ND PLA

Chris Burbidge fished areas he was confident in to take the win at the Glenelg River event.

ABT, PO Box 7196, LOGANHOLME, QLD 4129 Alternatively you can download an entry form from At any time you can call ABT on (07) 3387 0888 for help with your entry during business hours.

Young gun Daniel Brady kicked off his season with a bang, taking out second place. On day one Brady headed to the flats near the mouth of the river, and with light winds and clear skies he targeted fish holding in the deeper holes near adjacent to the flats. Brady would cast his crankbait past the deep holes before cranking it down into the deeper water. Once in the strike zone he would then twitch the lure in the fish’s face for as long as possible. “It was just a process of holding the lure in the fish’s face and waiting for them to react,” said Brady. His lure of choice for this work was a Cranka Shallow Crank in bling prawn colour. With 30 fish hitting the deck on day one Brady knew he was on a good pattern. With the wind howling on day two Brady believed the fish would be more active, but it would take a change of tack to catch fish in the testing conditions. Rather than blindly cast, Brady opted for a less is more approach and only targeted fish that he could see digging in the shallows. Once he spotted

a fish he would then cast up past the fish, crank his lure into the area where the fish were digging, then park the lure in the fish’s face. His lure of choice for this work was again the

Cranka Shallow Crank in bling prawn colour. Brady’s tackle included a Megabass Kirisame rod

matched with a Daiwa Certate 2506 reel spooled with 2lb Yamatoyo spinning fluorocarbon. – ABT

WINNING NOTES Rod: Reel: Line: Leader:

Winning Tackle

Mossops Ultra Cast 1-3kg Daiwa Steez 2004 8lb Sunline PE 3 and 4lb FC Rock

Winning Edge

“I always fish areas that I have confidence in, confident anglers catch fish. For me that is fishing upriver in tight cover,” said Burbidge. TOP 10 NON-BOATERS


The Hogs Breath Boss Hog for the event went to Chesney Fung with the prize winning fish (1.07kg) caught late on day two. HOGS BREATH BOSS HOG PAY TO:

Hogs Breath Boss Hog


The flats near the mouth of the Glenelg River were the hunting grounds of Daniel Brady.

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Fish Weight (kg)


Chris BURBIDGE 6/6 3.60 $900+Lowrance Elite x5 + Prize Pack Daniel BRADY 6/6 3.39 $470 + Prize Pack Joel CROSBIE 6/6 3.35 $350 + Prize Pack Philip KNIGHT 6/6 3.26 $290 + Prize Pack Nick MACE 6/6 3.23 $250 + Prize Pack Ben PHAYER 5/6 3.13 $210 Rick MASSIE 6/6 3.05 $180 Jon CLISBY 6/6 2.92 $140 Justin DINGWALL 6/6 2.91 Clark WILSON 5/6 2.87 For full result listings, see APRIL 2014


Big tick for Mayne’s Marine’s Tournament 1800 CENTRAL HIGHLANDS

Neil Grose

Amongst the ‘hype’ of American and Chinese imported boats, there are still plenty of good quality and great performing boats being built in Australia. Into this mix we have that perennial choice between aluminium and fibreglass – and it is fair to say that this is an argument that will never be resolved, and nor should it. Each material has its strong points, and boats like the Tournament 1800 certainly exemplify the big ticks that glass brings to the water. I’ve spent a reasonable amount of time in a Tournament 1800, as my brother-in-law in Seaford (a suburb of Melbourne for the geographically challenged) has had one for a few years now. So I pretty much knew what to expect when the guys from Maynes Marine in Hobart slipped the latest model into the not-so-pristine waters of the Derwent River in Hobart. The clean lines of the Tournament aren’t just for show, as a quick look under the boat prior to launching confirmed. A deep V at the stern rising smoothly up to a pretty reasonable sort of reverse chine means that rough water performance is good and the reverse chine gives stability

to the vessel that a straight deep V struggles to give. This is a ‘guts’ of the issue – you can flatten out the stern for a stable platform at rest, but this compromises ride. You can make a deep V for great ride in the rough stuff, but it will wobble all over the place at rest. Smart designers do a bit of both – a deep V for ride, and a good-sized reverse chine for stability at rest, which is what we have here. Before the Tournament slipped into the water, I spent some time wandering around taking note of all the ‘human’ aspects of the boat; things such as storage, seats, helm position and fishing room where it counts. It is clear to see that the 1800 isn’t just about fishing, as there are enough creature

comforts and finishing touches to make this as comfortable for a family as it is practical for a serious angler. I’d hazard a guess that most of us in this magazine are serious anglers, so I’ll focus for the most part on that. The room on the ‘dance floor’ is impressive, and for a boat of 5.65m long and 2.3m wide there is commensurate space to keep two anglers comfortably hooked up without annoying each other. When the fishing is hot, the backbench seat can be laid down flat to give more room. Up forward the bunks are workman-like, and while I doubt you’ll stretch out for a full night’s sleep here, there is plenty of room to sit and relax or stretch out for a short kip in

On the water is where this boat really excels – a terrific vessel indeed. between big fish. Underneath the cushions there are removable lids that allow access to good storage for those items that need to

The Tournament 1800 is a very slick looking package on the trailer.

Clean planing lines allows this boat to turn smoothly and cope with pretty much any conditions that bay or inshore waters can throw up.

be taken, but don’t need to be close at hand. The helm is, I have to say, bloody marvellous! I am 6’3” tall, and it is refreshing to prop in the helm of a boat that has two things – heaps of headroom and a seat that can be adjusted backwards and forwards. To be frank I’ve not come across a seat that can be slid backwards and forwards, and swivelled as well, and I was sold on this.

This might seem a small issue, but it is very important to have a comfortable helm when traversing rough seas or dealing with poor conditions. The throttle and shift is at the perfect spot where the hand falls automatically from the wheel to the shift, so a big tick for that too. The steering wheel isn’t positioned at an angle like many other boats I’ve been in – it is basically straight up and down. I was initially uneasy about this, but driving the boat convinced me that this was a good placement – the only change I’d make here would be one of those knobs on the wheel to make steering and manoeuvring a lot easier. ON THE WATER The Derwent is a great place to do a boat test for a craft such as this, as the conditions change so frequently in different areas on the estuary. Launching at Prince of Wales Bay, we shot out past Incat and down the river towards the Tasman Bridge. As many locals would know, the stretch near the zinc works towards the bridge can get very untidy, especially when tide and wind are at cross purposes. As such, sloppy wave and a stiff cross breeze meant I could play around with the

SPECIFICATIONS Length:............. 5.65m Beam:............... 2.34m Fuel capacity:..... 160L HP range:....90-130hp Deadrise:...............21° Max load:...........740kg Transom height:.....25” Tournament and see how some ‘normal’ conditions effected performance at different speeds. Sliding into the chop saw the deep V do exactly what you’d expect. It was interesting to play with trim in these conditions – trimmed out too much brought the reverse chine into play, making the ride a bit ‘rougher’, but dropping the nose a bit made the V work properly and resulted in a perfect ride. Around, across and down the wind was the same – get the trim right and this is one sweet lady. I should say that even if you don’t get it right it is still a perfectly adequate ride, but it does reward adjusting the trim judiciously. I was super-impressed with the ride, especially down the wind – trimmed right and wound out to full throttle it just sang – what a combination! At rest it was what you’d expect from a deep V with a good and well-designed


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APRIL 2014

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reverse chine. It was good and stable and I’d be very happy fishing from this boat in anything under ‘horrible’ conditions at anchor. Snapper fishers in Port Phillip will love it, as will the growing band of offshore anglers in Tasmania on the east coast seeking the regular line up of game and bread and butter species. This boat was powered by the new generation Honda BF115 – a terrific piece of engineering. It was fitted with a four-blade prop, which is an interesting addition. This helps with the hole shot and for those who like to drag the kids in a tube or others on skis, this will give plenty of torque to get them up and away. It was interesting to note that when I drove it off the trailer, the boat listed to starboard, as to be expected when 120kg stands on one side. I gave the throttle a quick

squirt and the boat popped up as level as anything – which is very reassuring and a sign of good hull design. The Honda is as faultless as any four-stroke engine I’ve come across – big power, smooth transitions from neutral to in-gear and quiet operation. The range of power is from 90-130hp, and if budget allows I’d opt for the 115hp. The bigger motor might only be an option if there was plenty of skiing to be done or if there was heavy loads such as diving equipment to be on board. THE TRAILER As with many boat packages produced in Australia, we see trailers now perfectly matched to the hull that provide for easy launching and trouble-free retrieving. Launching is never usually much of a hassle, but many new boat owners struggle with the concept of getting the boat

back on the trailer. This set up is perfect for all comers, as the trailer is set up to centre the boat on the trailer. At the conclusion of the test there was a stiff cross breeze, which was catching the clears and side of the boat. This is usually the most difficult of retrieving conditions, yet it was a simple matter of getting the bow between the two skids and the trailer did the rest as Chris powered it up the trailer – easy peasy! FISHABILITY The key thing with boats such as this, is room to move. That means room to move around the deck on the rear two-thirds of the boat, and this boat is very good in this respect. For many anglers fishing bays and estuaries, the next thing is ease of setting the anchor, and the Tournament is also very good in this respect, with good access to the bow section to deploy the anchor. Electric anchors are always a bonus, and for a 5.65m boat I’d be looking for an aftermarket fit up to make life a bit easier when dropping and retrieving the pick. Storage is as to be expected from a boat such as this, with scope to organise as you’d see fit. The area under the seats is left open for storage of coolers or tackle storage units – I like The Honda 115hp 4-stroke is perfect for this this as it allows prospective STA13434Dealer1-2_STA11838NewCamp 18/07/12 10:37 AMto Page 1 boat and hums along in a brilliant manner. owners put things where

The cockpit is all work and comfort – I was impressed at the head space and positioning of controls and seating. they want them. Options include bait boards and rocket launchers and for good fishing efficiency I’d certainly recommend optioning everything that makes fishing better. Stability at rest is an excellent feature of the Tournament 1800, and one which is extremely important. You’d be very happy to anchor up on a reef off the coast, drifting for striped trumpeter and other yummies or stake your patch in Port Phillip or Western Port, as this boat delivers a very good platform. Those that like the odd trip offshore to chase tuna will also be attracted to this boat, and while I wasn’t out on the swell, I’d confidently predict that this boat will be a good game boat when conditions are suitable. OVERALL This is a great example of Australian manufacturing


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finding the heart of the family boater and serious angler alike. It is well designed and built, it is fantastic on the water and easy to launch and retrieve. It has all the power

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APRIL 2014


Sensational 6400 Yellowfin Synergy BRISBANE

Wayne Kampe

Telwater’s Yellowfin plate boats have a very interesting history. They gained a popular following in the 1980s, were discontinued for a spell, then resurrected in late 2009 as value for money, well finished and strongly constructed plate craft with a ‘modern as tomorrow’ design. Features within the new range of Yellowfin cabin and centre console craft were designed to make fishing as easy and successful as possible. At the initial release of these new Yellowfin boats, I liked the concept of scupper drainage of tread plate floors, live bait wells, kill tanks for the catch, berley buckets, welded rod holders, big transom doors, wide side decks, useful large side pockets and bait stations. Complementing these attributes were vee hull designs that emphasised ride quality and easy handling. Heading far offshore in search of serious fish would never be a chore in these well-designed craft.

Left: The new 6400 Yellowfin Synergy is a very trim looking craft. Above: A dedicated roll-off/drive-on trailer made ramp work with the solid Yellowfin very easy indeed. 6400 SYNERGY CONSOLE EXTENDS THE RANGE Complementing the existing Yellowfin range are newly released 6400 and 6900 Synergy console craft, which offer all of the traditional centre console work room, as well as ready access to the hull’s storage areas. My initial impression on surveying the big 6400 centre console rig, on its

dedicated Quintrex drive-on trailer, was that the design parameters would see the craft ideally set up for keen anglers, yet still quite suited for blue water fishing as well. Damien Duncan of Telwater explained that both the 6400 and 6900 Synergy Consoles were designed with northern anglers in mind: two 150L underfloor fuel tanks, three pedestal seats, six seating positions,


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APRIL 2014

a 65L live bait tank, four welded rod holders, up front storage compartments, and a 130L compartment that could double as an ice box. SOLID CONSTRUCTION A BIG PLUS Putting the solid list of features aside for a moment, the Yellowfin success story starts at the Coomera Telwater factory. Construction is rigid thanks to a robust underfloor frame work of solid longitudinal and cross bearers linking the extruded keel to the craft’s 4mm plate sides and 5mm plate bottom. A solid tread plate floor adds to the overall rigidity, as do full welds. Yet there’s more to the craft than an almost over build construction. Finish is up with the best, welds visible but smoothed, hatches were neatly recessed with strong hinges, the paint job designed to look good while lasting for years. As the craft is well kitted out in standard form there are not many options on the factory’s list. A radio, bimini and envelope, deck wash and berley bucket are listed along with anchor winch plate, winch and two-tone paint. The 6400 Yellowfin Synergy Console is a lot of boat; bare hull weight is 860kg, beam is 2.4m and overall length is 6.44m. A freeboard of 1.3m ensures a high degree of sea keeping ability and matched by deep interior depth inspires great confidence when working in wild conditions. The craft had three seat positions at the console, another two near the cast deck, plus another on the deck. The set up allows for easy weight distribution during those long runs where two hour’s travelling to your favourite bit of rubble or reef is nothing out of the ordinary whatsoever. The 380mm high front deck was set up with two hatched

storage bins suited to either tackle, tucker, or in the case of the larger compartment, a convenient place for the catch. A WELLPLANNED LAYOUT The Yellowfin’s trim centre console was well thought out. Handholds on top and both sides were standard, there was an EPIRB mounting point to port, plus a storage shelf inside for personal items. On the test craft paired Evinrude I-Command gauges and a switch panel were set into the vertical upper section of the console but the gauges could easily

be relocated and a couple of 12” screens installed in lieu. Helm seating consisted of well-padded and very comfortable bucket style seats on pedestals. The 6400 was a sweet craft to helm: hydraulic steering offered fingertip control while the 175hp E-Tec engine controls set into the starboard side of the console were slick, instantly responsive, and without jarring or glitching. Aft of the helm area the cockpit side pockets were long and wide enough to offer good storage space and, moreover, offered toe-holds under them to brace against.

Top: The 175 Evinrude E-tec provided rolled gold assurance that plenty of power was on hand. Above: The elevated cast deck could see three anglers working with ease. Take note of the generous size of the storage compartments.

The cockpit door, to starboard, was quite large and had an accompanying boarding ladder for a swimmer’s use. Solid bow and stern rails complemented the Yellowfin’s design without being intrusive. The craft’s clear lidded live well was set into the port quarter of the wide transom that housed, on its lower area, compartments for a pair of batteries complete with an isolator switch. SUPER RESPONSIVE 175 E-TEC. Power ratings were 115-175hp. The maximum rated 175 Evinrude E-Tec offered instant, almost fierce, response offshore and made the solid Yellowfin hull, with three aboard, perform like a small Stacer or Quinnie. It burst the craft onto the plane and, most importantly for offshore work, offered a rolled gold guarantee of instant

power response when required. And if you don’t think that’s an important power consideration, you’ve never had a big green one breathing down your transom! The fuel injected V6 175 two-stroke could be throttled back to 3000rpm to offer a gentle ocean cruising speed of around 38.2km/h with a fuel consumption of just 18.9L per hour. Ocean cruising saw the Yellowfin in its chosen element. Swells pressing from astern caused not the slightest deviation from a chosen course and incoming rollers were crested in a surprisingly gentle manner without any fuss or nasty impact whatsoever. The other recorded speeds were: planing occurred at 2300rpm at 18.9km/h, 4000rpm saw 52.9km/h, 5000rpm a feisty 61.5km/h and WOT of

TECHNICAL INFORMATION Length hull:......................................................6.44m Length on trailer:.............................................6.80m Height on trailer:..............................................2.75m Beam:..............................................................2.40m Construction: . Plate alloy bottom 5mm, sides 4mm Weight of hull:.................................................. 860kg Deadrise hull:....................................................... 20º Fuel:...................................................................300L Engine ratings:.......................................... 115-175hp Engine fitted:......................... 175 E-Tec Oeda 3 star Persons:...................................................................5 Towing:................................... 6 wagon or larger 4x4

The twin Evinrude I-Command dials offered a wealth of information for the skipper. 5400rpm saw 66.7km/h on the I-Command gauge. Not every owner will require maximum power of course and I’d see a 130 E-Tec still making easy work of powering the solid Yellowfin with larger payloads, a 115 when two up would be the norm. SUMMING UP The ability to travel far in comfort then fish with ease is foremost in these top end orientated rigs, as it should be. Stability of the solid plate rig with its 20º outer spray chine equipped vee hull was impressive with even three on one side hardly causing any leaning whatsoever. Like other centre console craft, virtually all of the interior offers fishing room.

A couple of anglers could work aft with ease, another three up front on the big fore deck would do it just as easy. The flexibility in seating offers just that bit extra comfort when undertaking a long trip while the storage space caters for individual gear requirements, tucker and tackle. In summing up the Yellowfin 6400 Synergy I’ve given it full marks as a well set up, great performing fishing craft. Rated for five people it has a lot to offer in terms of value for money and comfort levels for those aboard. Ramp work was easy going thanks to the rig’s dedicated trailer; also at day’s end that self-draining floor would be very easy to

Flexible seating was a huge bonus in the 6400 Synergy. Here, all three seats are set clean after hard use. The well-finished and impressive looking Yellowfin comes with a 3 year Telwater backed structural warranty. Price of the rig as reviewed with optional bimini and envelope would be $62,990 plus applicable safety gear packages and on road/water costs. Graham Barclay Marine can be contacted

on (02) 6554 5866 or at • Quoted performance figures have been supplied by the writer in good faith. Performance of individual boat/motor/ trailer packages may differ due to variations in engine installations, propellers, hull configurations, options, hull loading and trailer specifications.

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APRIL 2014


This section in NSW Fishing Monthly consolidates the trades and services in your area that are relevant to your fishing and boating. Whether you’re a local looking for more options or a travelling angler fishing around the state, this guide will direct you to reputable businesses in the area you’re searching.

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Boat Hire


Surf Beach Holiday Park

Kiama Harbour Cabins (02) 4232 2707

Dubbo Marine and Watersports (02) 6882 2853

Marine Mechanics

FREECALL 1800 823 824

Sunset Motors & Marine (02) 4297 2888

Dave Hill Marine, Nowra (02) 4423 6137

Boat Assist 24 02 9746 6224

Kiama Harbour Cabins

ILLAWARRA COAST | 02·9746 6224

Great Parks

Book Now For Relaxing Break

Manning River Marine Taree (02) 6552 2333

 Breakdown assistance  Running gear untangled  On water towing  Water pump outs HH JOIN UP NOW! HH


Seven Mile Beach Holiday Park FREECALL 1800 666 665

Graham Barcley Marine (02) 6554 5866

Providing on water marine assistance to boating enthusiasts in the Sydney Harbour region

Great Locations

Wyangala Waters State Park (02) 6345 0877 Bass Lodge Macleay River NSW 0433 482 325

Charter Boats Ben Chifley 1800 681 000

BYRON COAST COFFS COAST Pelican Park Nambucca Heads (02) 6568 6505


Evans Head Deep Sea Fishing Charters,0428 828 835 Sea Master Fishing Charters, 07 5524 8849 or 0415 593 901 Reel Time Fishing Charters 0428 231 962

Wangi Point Lakeside holiday Park (02) 4975 1889

COFFS COAST Oceanic Sea Urchin II Charters, 02 6566 6623 or 0428 650 321

Macleay Valley Coastal Holiday Parks 1300 COASTAL

CENTRAL COAST Blacksmiths Holiday Park (02) 4971 2858 Central Coast Holiday Parks 1800 241 342

South West Rocks Fishing Charters, 02 6566 5298 or 0429 995 390 The Rocks Fishing Charters, 0412 074 147 Wooli Deep Sea Tours, 02 6649 7100 Trial Bay Fishing Charters, 0427 256 556


Trades, services, charter boats & guided fishing tours directory MACQUARIE COAST

Charter Boats Continued

Castaway Estuary Charters 0427239 650 Ocean Star Fishing Charters, 0416 240 877

HUNTER COAST Tailermade Fishing Adventures, (02) 4928 2653 or 0411 096 717


SYDNEY Harbour and Estuary Fishing Charters, 02 9999 2574 or 0410 633 351 Sydney Sportfishing Adventures, 0405 196 253



BEST VALUE FOR MONEY ON THE NSW STH COAST! • Reef, Game and Kingfish • Shared and private charters • Bait and tackle supplied • Homemade morning tea • Packages available • Owner operated


Ph: (02)

6496 1209 or 0415 602 446 W:

Freedom Charters (02) 6496 1209

• Fast Modern Boat

• FISH – The Banks • All fishing gear supplied


• Operating 16 years



$19.95 each GST INC. - with FREE P&H




CALL ROY: 0411 024 402


CHARTERS AVAILABLE 7 DAYS Sea Lady Charters 0411 024 402

Swains Reef • Bunker Group • Coral Sea • Shoal Waters and Beyond

Jervis Bay Fishing Charters (02) 4447 8177 0412 506 422 Silver Star Fishing Charters, (02) 4421 7462 or 0412 977 000 MV Capricorn Star 0408 755 201

Shell Harbour Fishing Charters, 0425 216 370

Greenwell Point only 10 mins from



Game and Deep Sea, Charters ing Reef Fish

Choice of




Series 2 through 8


• Specialising in Reef, Game & Bottom Fishing


Mikat Cruises Fishing Charters Swains & Coral Sea 0427 125 727


1800 228 244 TRADES AND SERVICES ADVERTISING Line listing from $15 + gst per mth* 2cm x 2 from $35 + gst per mth* 5cm x 2 from $50 + gst per mth* 7cm x 2 from $74 + gst per mth* 9cm x 2 from $89 + gst per mth* 10cm x 2 from $99 + gst per mth* 11cm x 2 from $105 + gst per mth* 12cm x 2 from $110 + gst per mth* * Conditions apply Call (07) 3387 0835 or email

Swains & Coral Sea Fishing Charters

Mowong Flathead Kingfish Tuna Plus more! SILVER STAR FISHING CHARTERS

NSW Recreational Fishing Licence. NSW Maritime Surveyed. Jervis Bay Marine Park permit.

Phone John 0412

977 000

BATEMANS COAST Top Cat Charters, (02) 4472 7340 or 0427 727 340 Batemans Bay 1800 636 396

EDEN COAST Esprit Fishing Charters, 1300 556 658 The Sheriff - Montague Is Game (02) 4476 4664 or 0428 277 727 Freedom Charters Eden (02) 6496 1209 or 0415 602 446

• Reef, Deep Sea and Sport Fishing • 20m Cat – Large comfortable & stable • Air-Conditioned & fast (cruise up to 18 knots) • Professional crew (over 22 years experience) • Cater for groups up to 14 for up to 10 days • Fully licensed bar • Dories available • Three large bathrooms • Blue Ray DVD + Plasma Tv’s • Desalinate unit • Trips designed to suit your requirements

Michael Ph: 0427 125 727

Fax: (07) 4972 1759

Mikat Cruises 0427 125 727

Fishing Guides

ILLAWARRA COAST Bay & Basin Sportsfishing 0413 610 832

BATEMANS COAST Aussie Fish Estuary Adventures, 02 6495 9902 or 0400 062 504

EDEN COAST Captain Kev’s Wilderness Fishing Tours 02 4474 3345 or 0424 625 160

Mark Ternen was fishing Dennis Bridge on the Hastings River for mulloway when his 6” Gulp Nemesis was taken by this 113cm cobia. The fish took over an hour to land (tackle: 4-6kg Abu Veritas, Shimano Stradic FJ 3000, 15lb braid, 20lb Sunline FC Rock leader.)

What’s new boating


Honda’s new BF80 and BF100

Honda has unveiled its much-anticipated BF80 and BF100 4-stroke outboard engines. Lightweight and compact, they provide optimum levels of performance and excellent fuel economy. The BF80/BF100’s 1.5L, SOHC, 16-valve, inline 4-cylinder engine is inspired by the hugely popular Honda Jazz. Both models have an advanced ignition timing control system to improve hole-shot performance; ECOmo, which contributes to fuel economy; and VTEC (BF100), which provides more top end power while maintaining optimum fuel economy. An optional Trolling Control function allows precise control of engine speed, with adjustments in 50rpm increments from 650rpm to 1000rpm. These engines are NMEA2000 compliant, allowing engine-to-electronics data communication to deliver management and performance data to compatible displays. The engines can also be networked with Honda’s VeeThree multi-function digital gauges. The gauges include Honda’s Eco light, which indicates when ECOmo mode is on. To locate your nearest dealer, visit http:// or call (03) 9270 1111. For more info visit Honda


New from Humminbird

Humminbird has released the all new 600 series, and the next generation 800, 900 and 1100 series will also arrive soon. With upgraded processors they are faster to use and boast increased functionality, leading to better returns. The 600 series (RRP $619 to $1549) packs a stack of features in a conveniently sized unit. Replacing the current 500 and 700 line-up, the new Humminbird 600 series condenses the range from 15 to just 5 units. Simply choose the style of unit you’d like plus your preferred sonar technology. The 698cxi HD SI is the stand out, combining SideImaging, DownImaging and SwitchFire Sonar with precision internal GPS. Humminbird’s 7, 8 and 10.4” GPS/Sonar units have also been upgraded, delivering faster navigation through the system and better returns. A full complement of accessories to be added to the units and perform at lightning speed. Prices range from $1199 to $4099. See for more info. - BLA


Mercury wins Good Design award

Mercury Marine’s new Digital Throttle and Shift (DTS) control boxes have cemented themselves as one of the industry’s most innovative new products, taking out a 2013 Good Design award. Good Design is the oldest and most prestigious design award program to recognise new consumer products. Mercury Marine’s new DTS control boxes, which were released in Australia late last year, were selected from thousands of entries from 38 countries. Made to suit FourStroke Verado outboards and selected MerCruiser and Mercury Diesel engines, the control boxes are available in single and dual handle versions. The DTS control boxes eliminate the need for mechanical cables used for throttle and shifting, and deliver smooth changing, immediate throttle response and driver control. The control boxes are the final addition to Mercury’s new look Helm Suite, joining the redesigned SmartCraft dash gauges and the new touch screen VesselView information display units. - Mercury


New Quintrex 530 Cruisabout

Quintrex’s new bowrider release, the 530 Cruiseabout, is a boat to be enjoyed by the whole family. Featuring fresh and modern plate look sides, it’s built with tough 4mm bottom sheets and the new Quintrex Blade Hull for a stable and soft ride. It has room for up to 7 people and is rated up to 115hp. Features include a large front lounge and a new rear folding lounge, which can be folded flush against the transom. It also features a new look dash and raised top deck constructed from a UV stable material. The new dash provides room for larger electronics and provides better visibility of the gauges, and the raised top deck is complemented with a new low profile windscreen. The 530 Cruiseabout is available as an Instant Boating Package including boat, BRP motor and Quintrex trailer with a 3-year limited factory warranty. For more info visit - Telwater



Raymarine’s Hydro-Balance

Raymarine has announced the addition of new Hydro-Balance technology to its Evolution autopilot line. Designed for hydraulic steering systems which have no rudder reference fitted, it’s particularly effective on boats with outboard engines. It compensates for hydraulic system elasticity caused by air bubbles trapped in the steering system, flex in hose and piping, and variable valve performance. Until now, conventional marine autopilots without rudder angle sensors were unable to detect this condition. Another common issue with highpowered outboard vessels is asymmetrical torque steer (prop walk). At low autopilot speeds, asymmetry can impact the natural motion of baits and lures while trolling. During rapid acceleration, it can cause the boat to pull to one side even though the helm is straight. Hydro-Balance detects asymmetry and teaches the autopilot to eliminate it. From spring this year you can easily add the technology to any existing Evolution autopilot via a software upgrade. Check out for more info. - Raymarine





Sea Jay hits 25 year milestone

National boat manufacturer Sea Jay Aluminium Boats is set to celebrate their 25th anniversary. Sea Jay is the archetypal family business. Husband and wife, Col and Janelle Glass, continue to work in their business on a daily basis. Their son Troy joined them as an employee in 1999. He has since completed his apprenticeship and taken on the R&D role in 2010, while also becoming a part owner. Sea Jay boats are manufactured in Bundaberg in Central Qld on an expanded site that now occupies 7000m². Here they manufacture a complete line of pressed aluminium boats plus a big range of Xtreme plate alloy boats. To celebrate 25 years of manufacturing, the company has released several new models (Sea Jay 4.25m, 4.85m Avenger and the 6.8 Glass Screen Hardtop Model) and applying a special Sea Jay 25 Year decal to each boat. To view the range visit www.seajayboats. – Sea Jay



APRIL 2014


Central Coast Central Coast Boat World 19 Lake St Budgewoi Phone: (02) 4399 3568 | Fax: (02) 4399 3568 Website: Cowra Cowra Marine Centre 29 Grenfell St Cowra Phone: (02) 6342 2904 | Fax: (02) 6341 1217 Website: Newcastle Tomo’s Marine 96 Marks Point Rd, Marks Point Phone: (02) 4945 3202 Website:

Mercury Portables. Lightweight and built to last. Mercury’s Portables range provide the power that you can carry, run and depend on. With eleven horsepower options ranging from 2.5hp to 30hp, these compact units punch well above their weight.

Port Macquarie Hastings Marine 185 Hastings River Dr Port Macquarie Phone: (02) 6583 5511 | Fax: (02) 6583 5797 Website: Coffs Harbour Jetty Boating 7 Keona Circuit Coffs Harbour Phone: (02) 6651 4002 | Fax: (02) 6652 1320 Website: Hunter Valley Maitland Power and Marine 23 Melbourne St, East Maitland Phone: (02) 4933 3284 | Fax: (02) 4934 1544 Website: Riverina Maverick Boats Hammersley & Theiss Road, Corowa Phone: (02) 6033 3222 | Fax: (02) 6033 4488 Website: Far South Coast Merimbula Outboards 382 Sapphire Coast Dr Tura Merimbula Phone: (02) 6495 9634 | Fax: (02) 6495 9345 Website: Illawarra Nowra Marine Princes Hwy South Nowra Phone: (02) 4423 3440 | Fax: (02) 4423 0486 Website: ACT Queanbeyan Marine 20 Yass Rd Queanbeyan Phone: (02) 6297 5457 | Fax: (02) 6299 6336 Website: Sydney West Penrith Marine 4/133 Coreen Ave Penrith Phone: (02) 4731 6250 | Fax: (02) 4732 3863 Website: Sydney North Shore Shannon Outboards 3/41 Leighton Pl Hornsby Phone: (02) 9482 2638 | Fax: (02) 9476 0009 Email: Website: Sydney North West TR Marine World 44 Curtis Rd McGraths Hill Phone: (02) 4577 3522 | Fax: (02) 4577 3255 Email: Website: Sydney North West Watersports Marine 11 Binney Rd Kingspark Phone: (02) 9676 1400 | Fax: (02) 9676 7588 Website: Central Coast Insinc Marine 278 Manns Road, Gosford West Ph: (02) 4324 4300 Fax: (02) 4324 4400 Website: www. Northern NSW / Gold Coast Tweed Coast Marine 147 Pacific Hwy Tweed Heads South Ph: (07) 5524 8877 Fax: (07) 5524 3324 Website: Dubbo Dubbo Marine & Watersports 36 Bourke St, Dubbo Ph: 02·6882 2853 Website:



Add one hour to the predicted times during periods of Daylight Saving






0312 0920 1522 2139


12 18 0 0226 1.44 0921 0.65 1531 1.20 2109 0.79

0.27 1.65 0.34 1.81


0400 1006 1601 2221




0332 1018 1634 2217


12 18 0 0246 0.37 0848 1.56 1445 0.41 2106 1.80

0.32 1.54 0.42 1.77


0448 1052 1640 2303




0.39 1.44 0.51 1.71


0537 1137 1718 2345



SATURDAY 0.47 1.34 0.60 1.63


0627 0.55 1224 1.25 1801 0.68


12 18 0 0003 0.61 0608 1.54 1228 0.48 1843 1.52

1.5m 1.0m 0.5m 0


0031 0720 1317 1852



1.55 0.61 1.20 0.75


0124 0819 1421 1957


12 18 0 0126 0.47 0728 1.58 1334 0.42 1952 1.69

1.48 0.65 1.18 0.79




1.43 0.62 1.26 0.75



0433 1109 1725 2315


1.46 0.58 1.34 0.68




0524 1.50 1150 0.52 1806 1.43


1.5m 1.0m 0.5m 0



0045 0648 1301 1917


0.54 1.56 0.44 1.61


NSW tides 6


12 18 0 0205 0.41 0807 1.58 1408 0.40 2028 1.75




12 18 0 0330 0.35 0932 1.53 1523 0.43 2147 1.82



12 18 0 0416 0.36 1019 1.48 1605 0.47 2232 1.82



12 18 0 0507 0.38 1110 1.42 1652 0.53 2321 1.78

1.5m 1.0m 0.5m 0






0603 0.41 1205 1.37 1745 0.59



12 18 0 0015 1.73 0705 0.45 1308 1.33 1846 0.64



12 18 0 0118 1.67 0812 0.46 1417 1.33 1959 0.67



12 18 0 0228 1.64 0916 0.45 1529 1.38 2115 0.65



12 18 0 0339 1.64 1016 0.42 1632 1.48 2228 0.58



12 18 0 0444 1.65 1111 0.38 1728 1.59 2331 0.50



12 18 0 0542 1.66 1200 0.36 1818 1.69

1.5m 1.0m 0.5m 0





0030 0635 1245 1904


0.43 1.65 0.35 1.78



12 18 0 0122 0.37 0725 1.62 1328 0.37 1948 1.84



12 18 0 0211 0.34 0813 1.57 1409 0.41 2030 1.86



12 18 0 0258 0.35 0900 1.51 1448 0.46 2112 1.86










1.5m 1.0m 0.5m 0

















 Copyright: Commonwealth of Australia 2012, Bureau of Meteorology (ABN 92 637 533 532) Disclaimer: These tide predictions are supplied in good faith and believed to be correct. No warranty is given in respect to errors, omissions, or suitability for any purpose. Tidal information is provided courtesy of the Sydney Ports Corporation. Copyright in the Tidal Predictions is owned by the Bureau of Meteorology. Users of these tables should be aware that the heights shown in this publication are predictions only and that the actual water level height may vary due to meteorological conditions (including barometric pressure, wind effect and storm surges) and seasonal variations. Sydney Ports Corporation is not responsible for the average time differences for other locations.







OFFER ENDS 31 MAY 2014 visit for details

*Terms & conditions apply.**To approved purchasers. Terms & conditions apply. Participating dealers only.

New South Wales Fishing Monthly - April 2014  
New South Wales Fishing Monthly - April 2014