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Red-hot redfin • City slicker mulloway • Fathers’ Day gift ideas • The Lure Show wrap up •


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BYRON COAST The Tweed 28 Tweed Inshore 29 Ballina 30 Yamba 32 Iluka 31 Wooli 34

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MACQUARIE COAST Port Macquarie 38 Forster 40 Harrington-Taree 42

HUNTER COAST Port Stephens 45 Hunter Coast 43 Swansea 44 Central Coast 46

SYDNEY The Hawkesbury 12 Sydney North 14 Pittwater 16 Sydney Harbour 18 Sydney Rock and Beach 19 Botany Bay 20 Sydney South 22 Western Sydney 24

ILLAWARRA COAST Illawarra 50 Nowra 51




From the Editor’s Desk... BALLINA, NSW. It’s probably the closest I’ve written this to the FM offices for months – Ballina, NSW. We’re here for another round of the ABT Costa BREAM Tour, and this time we’ll have four boats live-streaming from their competition rigs. As I’ve said before, fishing is becoming a real spectator sport much quicker than you’d think. A lot has happened in the last month! LURE SHOW Fishing Monthly was an integral part of the organising team of The Lure Show in Ipswich in July. Over 65 booths filled with Australia’s most talented lure makers, all selling their creations, was a vibe you have to experience to believe. There were locals, interstate and international visitors there to check out the local lure making talent, which seems to be growing at an

exponential rate in this country. We’ve put together a page of all the award-winning lures from the show, and they’re just a small fraction of what was on display. CHINA I did spend half of the last month in China. Not fishing, although like most anglers I checked out each waterway we encountered for signs of life. Apart from plenty of baitfishsized fish, it was hard to see anything that wasn’t a carp that was worth fishing for. In one place, the local angler used a

shanghai-powered bolt that looked like a spear tip to shoot turtles. It was attached to a closed-face reel on his wrist. Combine the lack of apparent fishing with smog-laden skies, and I returned to Australia being solidly reminded of how lucky we are to be able to see the sky, and to have such great opportunities to experience fishing and the outdoors in such a sparsely populated part of the world. iDOCK There was an embargo in place so we couldn’t run it in the

last magazine, but this month features the Evinrude iDock the product launch I travelled to Florida for last month. It’s always amazes me to see these jumps in technology. Of course, driving a boat by a joystick has been available for years, but with Evinrude’s engine architecture, it’s becoming more compact, cheaper and easier to do. The product will be available Down Under in 2018 and expect to see it on twin rigged boats soon after. SEE YOU IN SYDNEY! Headed to the Sydney Boat Show? It’s all back at Darling Harbour now after being split between Cockle Bay and Glebe Island for the last few years. The new convention centre is finished and we hope that you can find us there! Remember that it’s a two-level show, as well as the on-water component, so make sure you find us to subscribe. We’ll make it worthwhile for you.

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Looking forward to some red-hot reddy action BATLOW

Wayne Dubois

If you’re into redfin fishing you should be excited – we are currently experiencing some of

disappeared from most places for several years and then suddenly came back in massive numbers all over these two states will do your head in. Like most things in fishing, the reasons why redfin almost disappear

look at how to make the most of a good thing while it lasts, as just like last time, no one knows when these redfin are going to virtually disappear from our waterways again. I am yet to have an experience while redfin

What’s better than a double hook-up of redfin? A double double hookup, of course. Rubber mini vibes like these are excellent for redfin. the best redfin action in NSW and Victoria for many years. Thinking about how they almost

and then reappear in the thousands will continue to keep us guessing. Let’s not dwell on that and let’s

Small soft plastics are super cheap and are all you need for a day of redfin action during the warmer months of the year. 8


fishing where bait has out-fished lures. The reason for this is that redfin are a schooling fish and an aggressive schooling fish at that. Schooling predatory fish don’t muck around when there is an easy meal trying to swim by. Due to their competitive nature they fight for the first bite at the cherry and then fight over that cherry no matter who gets the first bite. Anglers can exploit this characteristic by using lures and sometimes flies. COOL MONTH STRATEGIES In the cooler months of the year in large impoundments redfin will form in massive pre-spawn schools and move into deep water, mostly well away from the banks. This is probably bad news for land-based anglers, but it’s great news for anglers with some sort of vessel – rather than being spread out all over the lake in all water depths like they are in the warmer months, they are now concentrated in much bigger schools and are all sitting at approximately the same depth. This makes them far easier to locate. In the large lakes we

find the schools tend to hover between 30ft and as deep as 80ft, but we find the most consistent holding depth is around 40ft. Start at this depth and work your way deeper or shallower until you find where they are holding on any given day. Ice jigs, rubber vibes, heavily weighted plastics and blades are all you need for consistent redfin action in the cooler months. If you don’t see the fish on your sounder, you can find the fish with rubber vibes, blades or heavily weighted plastics. Cast these lures away from the boat and hop them back to the boat, making sure to stay in touch with your lure on the drop in between lifts. This is when almost all of the hits occur (refer to my article on bottom bouncing for golden perch in the March 2017 issue of NSWFM or online for a more detailed description of this technique). Once you find a school with your lures, hold off from them and continue to cast to them from a distance so that you don’t scare them. If they aren’t easily spooked, get directly over the top of them and vertically jig with ice jigs. Once you’re directly over the fish, free spool the ice-jig all the way to the bottom and then wind up the slack in your line until your rod is horizontal with the water. Sharply lift your tip anywhere between 10-100cm – the amount that you lift the rod is not as important as making sure that the lift is very sharp and quick. A short sharp lift will put far more action on the ice-jig than a slow, gentle lift, which will do

Bucktail spinners like this Bling Spin are great lures for redfin around lake margins and in the creeks and rivers. very little to impart action on the lure. After each lift I like to wait until my jig has free fallen back to its original position then I repeat the procedure over and over again. When the redfin are tough to entice making sure your jig lightly touches the bottom in between lifts can sometimes be the difference between fish and no fish. The most important factor to understand when using this technique and any hopping technique is that almost all of the hits

(90%+) will be while the jig or lure is free falling back down after a short sharp lift. It’s critical that you stay in contact with your lure while it’s free falling so that as soon as you feel a hit you can strike and hook the fish. Put simply, if you don’t strike, you won’t hook many fish. To take the ice jigging technique a step further; attach a marabou jig and an unweighted or lightly weighted soft plastic or flashy fly around a metre above your ice-jig, as this

In the warmer months of the year redfin are a great target on fly. Using a double fly setup increases your chances of double hook-ups like this.

Redfin will increase your catch rates and give you the added bonus of the odd double and even triple hook-up.

The main reason I employ the extra plastic, jig or fly is that quite often redfin schools will hold over and

Smiles on faces due to regular captures are what redfin fishing is all about. If like most people you enjoy eating them, it doesn’t normally take long to fill your eskies either.

in thick weed beds. I found if the ice jig ends up fouled with weed, it’s not the end of the world as you still have the weed-free plastic, jig or fly to tempt fish into striking. WARM MONTH STRATEGIES By late spring the redfin have spawned and are looking at getting some tucker back into them. The redfin disperse and start to spread out all over the lake. They push into the foodrich shallows and become much better targets for landbased anglers and trollers alike. The warmer water and extra food mean the fish become super active and about as easy to catch as they are going to get. When these fish are stacked along the edges by mid-summer, it’s very hard to beat casting small 1-2” soft plastics. Any will do, but over the last couple of seasons we have had the most success on curltails. The best method is to cast and allow your lure to sink to the bottom then retrieve your plastic with slow methodical hops. If this isn’t working, a burn and kill retrieve will often stir them into a frenzy. Simply use a slow, steady retrieve and every now and then wind twice as fast for a couple of cranks

Redfin have made a sudden resurgence all over NSW and Victoria and are even popping up in places they haven’t been seen before. of the handle then slow down again. Even when the fish are shut down this retrieve can fire them up. Spinners with a soft hackle at the back like Bling Spins,

Rooster Tails, Feather Tails and Cock Tails are also great lures to use in these areas, especially if the water is dirty. Small rubber vibes and

lipless crankbaits are useful off the bank when the redfin are holding in deeper water like steep points and gullies or when long casts To page 10

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Redfin From page 9

are required for searching large areas. Trolling with small hardbodies and lipless

crankbaits in the warmer months is another great way of covering water and seeking out active fish. One extra little tip to help you

Big redfin like this are a great sporting fish on light gear.

catch more fish on the troll is to add a small flashy fly or plastic around a metre above your trolling lure. Just like the ice jigging, adding this extra hook will take advantage of the redfin’s competitive nature and result in many double and even triple hook-ups. If you’d like a new challenge, try flyfishing for them this summer or when they are around the margins of lakes, rivers and creeks. All you need is about 5-6wt fly rod with floating fly line. Use a 2m length of fluorocarbon leader with either a single bass vampire or a tandem bass fly setup with a second fly attached 1-3ft behind or off the back of the first fly. The weighted flies and fluorocarbon leader will keep your flies down a metre or two on the retrieve and during the warmer months this is the main strike zone. Simply cast out and allow your flies to sink into the strike zone then strip your flies back with the shortest, sharpest strips possible. The competitive nature of redfin should see you hooking fish two at a time all summer long with this method. CONCLUSION As I mentioned, redfin are back in huge numbers in most waterways across

A light 1-3kg spin rod with matching 1000 or 2000 spin reel is all you need for targeting redfin. Your favourite trout or bream setup is perfect for the job. southern Australia and are even popping up in places they haven’t ever been seen before, due to sheer numbers and the overflowing of dams – recreational and private. Even if you hate them

as a pest species, there is no denying how great they taste and how much fun they are to catch, especially when other species are off the bite. When targeting them on light gear (under 8lb) they make for a great

sporting fish and often punch well above their weight when it comes to fighting characteristics. Grab a handful of lures or flies and go get amongst them while the going is good.

The Superb range of XP Bait Butterfly Ice Jigs are going to be a must have lure in 2017! These Baits feature many unique attributes and have many various Patents. The XP Bait Butterfly Ice Jigs feature butterfly wings that open up on the drop to slow the glide down and makes the Jig flutter through the water column. This keeps the Jig in the strike zone for longer so it allows for more strikes. It also features a holographic foil on the body under the wings to emit light and attract the fish to the bait. Another key feature is the ‘TFLF’ Line System that allows you to drop your jig to a desired depth without fluttering to save time and get your lure to the strike zone quicker. The new XP Bait Butterfly Jigs are going to be a huge hit with Bass & Redfin anglers across Australia.

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to open its wings. The construction is designed in a way that while lowering into the water, the wings are unfolded up to a certain angle, allowing the bait to glide, keeping it in the strike zone longer. While lifting up, the wings are folded and that leads to a decrease in water resistance and the ice jig moving aside. It also features a Holographic foil on the body that emits a flash when the wings open up to attract fish and trigger a response.

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Winter quality makes up for little quantity THE HAWKESBURY

Dan Selby

Water temperatures will be at their lowest for the year this month. The fishing can still be great for those willing to brave the icey cold mornings. Alternatively, roll out of bed late and do an afternoon session until the light fades and the cold air and the long afternoon shadows send you back to the ramp! Generally, there are less fish to be caught in winter. The quality makes up for the lack of numbers. The population seems

to concentrate towards the lower reaches of the estuaries as the annual urges of spawning and migrating take place. Most important is the warmer water which exchanges with the ebb and flow of the tides from the far warmer ocean water. There is a key tip to pick up from this; try coinciding your outing with a run-in tide when the warmer water (often only half a degree warmer, but 2-3°C warmer at times) stirs activity up amongst the many species to be found in Broken Bay, Pittwater, Cowan and the lower main river at this time of year. I have found soft plastics, cast and retrieved



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on light spinning tackle, are the best for targeting active predators in the cold water. There are many distinct advantages for choosing an artificial presentation – the best is you don’t need to source bait, whether it be from a tackle store or catching it yourself. Having a selection of small soft plastics and matching light jigheads allows you to have a ‘live bait’ from the word ‘go’ to the end of your session. It also allows you to move around freely to find active concentrations of fish each time you hit the water. Over the years I have seen a pattern develop where even quite large fish like mulloway are susceptible to a very small offering. I attribute this to a slower metabolism in the cold water; they don’t want a large meal that can take more energy to digest than it took to catch. You only need to study the stomach contents of a retained school mulloway at this time of year to see the random small prey items they eat. Alternatively, try switching target species to one that is far more abundant and active through winter, like the luderick or ‘blackfish.’ It’s likely the last fish you think of targeting when

planning a trip to the mighty Hawkesbury, but rest assured you won’t be disappointed with the quality and numbers of these little hard-fighting, great-tasting fish. Fresh cabbage weed or a weed flyfished the old fashioned way under a float or on modern spin tackle with some 6-10lb braid is all that’s required. Most keen anglers these days would have an outfit to do the job without having to go buy specific rods and reels. I use my mulloway/ flathead/squid combos consisting of a 3-5kg Shimano Flathead Raider rod paired to a 2500 Shimano Stradic reel with 10lb braid. Tie on an 8-10lb fluorocarbon leader and you’re set. I employ a running float rig with the help of those fantastic rubber stoppers you can find at most tackle retailers, so you don’t need a long rod to manage the rig either. Back to the more desirable species, bream are starting to filter back up the system showing their postspawn orange dots on their flanks. Fishing deep on the rock walls in the lower river, Berowra and Cowan with small scented soft plastic curl-tail grubs and blades with get you in the action. Flathead will be found

This month always seems to produce outstanding mulloway on lures. in similar areas. I would concentrate my efforts in Broken Bay along the many rock walls, bays and over the cockle beds around the tide changes. There has been plentiful whitebait this season, so I’d recommend baits and lures for the best results. August has always been a great producer of mulloway on my guided fishing trips and this one is set to be great too. There’s plenty of fresh in the system leading into winter boosted the nutrient

content. This means great bait stocks and predators hot on their heels fattening themselves up. Estuary perch have had a great spawn this year with plenty of fish being caught around Broken Bay and further back upstream towards Spencer. Although in a closed season they make great sport when other fish aren’t being cooperative and have quite a good tolerance of the cold conditions, remaining active and ready to hit a lure most days.

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Flathead will be found close to the rock walls using small scented soft plastics on light fluorocarbon leaders.

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Awesome inshore winter snapper catches SYDNEY NORTH

Darren Thomas

It’s all about the local inshore snapper bite this month with some good captures recently. In the cooler months the cold water species come out to bite and this includes the mighty snapper. Dee Why, Manly and Long Reef

are all popular locations to target these fish in 6-12m of water. Craig Butcher landed some great fish recently using slices of fish fillet for bait on a lightly-weighted rig. His biggest fish was in the 3-4kg range. Kirk Branch has been another successful angler who headed out in search of the big reds and certainly wasn’t disappointed

when he pulled a good fish over the side using a light braid outfit. Soft plastics, vibes and unweighted baits all seem to work well on this species in the shallow water, strips of large arrow squid and fillet baits have been popular and it’s always worth a drift through your intended fishing zone with the motor off before you anchor up.

The winter generally sees plenty of jigging going on, even in the shallow water. This active style of fishing is good for keeping warm in the early mornings and evenings and might just be what is needed to fire up a quiet bite. The harbour is fishing quite well for kingfish and some big winter squid are taking prawn style jigs around the weed beds at Middle Head and right through to Roseville. It normally begins to quieten down a little, but at the moment this doesn’t appear to be the case, particularly after the recent rains. Plenty of flathead are also available from the Spit to North Harbour. Flatties generally hibernate during the winter, but the bite has been very solid since April. Soft plastic vibes, strip baits and even salted pillies have been good baits for targeting these bottom feeders. Solid numbers of soapy mulloway are also being

Kirk Branch with a fantastic Sydney red. in the upper reaches of Middle Harbour both while kayaking and boating.

the surf. This technique is popular for keeping warm on those colder days.

Craig Butcher with a great inshore snapper.

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The element of surprise is a helpful ingredient in not spooking these shallow water fish, as is a solid berley trail. The kings have been prevalent offshore this winter and look like they are going to hang around through the rest of the cool season. Will Hennessy landed some solid fish over a metre. This bite has been ongoing for a few months now, so it’s a good time to get amongst them. The preferred baits are live slimys, squid and yakkas as well as strip baits of squid.

Will Hennessy with an inshore reef kingfish. caught regularly. Rob Haslam and Mitch Taylor have been two anglers landing kings and mulloway


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Alex Bellissimo caught this soapy mulloway night fishing.

Winter squid reports are coming in from the estuaries with the new DTD prawn style trolling squid jigs making their mark. The ability to fish a bit deeper for squid is working well and providing households with good feeds of calamari. Squid fishing is a lot of fun with the family and is generally quite easy to learn. If you’re interested in learning a few techniques, drop into the store and have a word to the staff – we’re only happy to share methods, equipment and locations. Our winter whiting run is underway with the beaches producing some real elbow-slappers, and king beachworms cast out into the breakers have been successful for Peter Williams who landed 11 fish to 48cm during a late afternoon outing at Dee Why Beach. Tailor of 50-60cm have been caught on metal lures cast well out over the back of

Our winter trevally have now also arrived and are keeping the bream fishos busy. These fish are roaming the gutters on most of our southern peninsular beaches with Collaroy and Queenscliff providing good numbers of fish for early morning anglers. Alex Bellissimo reports tailor and salmon captures for his clients at Dee Why and a soapy mulloway for himself recently. All fish were caught on live yellowtail scad. Dave Palmer picked up some fresh squid and king worms from the shop and landed whiting, bream, flathead, trevally and tailor from Curl Curl Beach during an early evening session where he left the fish biting on his departure. The odd whaler shark is still on the prowl after dark and is providing some hot angling for those interested in mixing it with these awesome stringpulling machines.

Don’t miss out on winter action PITTWATER

Peter Le Blang

It’s that time of the year when fishing starts to slow down and most people would prefer to stay indoors in front of a fire or be active around the house. It’s a shame, because a lot of anglers miss out on great opportunities during the colder months when they don’t get out on the water.

At the moment the water temperature along our part of the coast are still quite warm, especially for this time of the year. These warmer water temperatures have kept a lot of fish active and recently there have still been mulloway caught on the Hawkesbury River. Kingfish are being encountered at Pittwater and Broken Bay and flathead are still showing up. With all of the different species available, you really

Eddy with a very fat 75cm flathead caught on Broken Bay.




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need to go out with a couple of different plans in case your first targeted species refuses to play fair. At the moment when fishing in Pittwater we are first catching squid and small cuttlefish and then trying to find hungry kingfish. We are finding many kingfish, but until a cuttlefish is put in front of them, they aren’t too active. Instead of trying to force-feed kingfish something they don’t want to eat, which rarely works, use the squid to target mulloway, bream and flathead. If you are hell-bent on catching kingfish, I suggest you target those little cuttlefish from around the rocky areas of Pittwater. Cuttlefish are caught with the same technique and jigs that you catch squid with, but the big difference is that you will use small jigs and they need to be fished within a metre of the bottom. These small cuttlefish seem to pair up, so if you find one you will generally find another nearby. I will warn you though, hooking one of these cuttlefish is the easy part. Getting them to your boat and in your boat without a spray of ink is quite an achievement. When they are hooked they will spin in the water like a helicopter blade and when brought to the surface they are ready to let loose. While getting these little critters out of the live bait tank I have another suggestion for you: let your mate do it and make sure you have a camera ready to take a photo. These little terrors seem to have an almost endless supply of ink. Be warned. Catching squid at the moment involves some travelling along Pittwater. The better areas seem to be at Careel Bay and the weed beds north of Palm Beach Ferry wharf. Both of these areas have a lot of weed, so slow sinking squid jigs are needed. Natural colours are working very well and the better size to use in these areas is the 2g jigs. The areas to target kingfish at the moment are around Scotland Island and the western side of Pittwater first thing in the morning and they seem to move towards the moorings on the eastern side later in the day. It’s one of those times where you will find them on the sounder, but they are very hard to tempt unless you have what they want. Even then they may still refuse to eat it. If you find a hungry one in the school, it’s happy days. Make sure you try to tempt the following fish with more of the same bait or lures while the first fish is still hooked up.

Drifting along Pittwater has been a great way to locate and catch a good feed of fish. Pittwater doesn’t have a lot of current and unless the wind is blowing, you can enjoy a slow drift and drag bait along or cast the lure as you go. This method of fishing Pittwater seems to be the most successful. If you need to throw out the anchor, put out a few lines and throw some berley around. The areas to try are Sinclair Point, Soldiers Point and West Head. West Head is seeing a fair bit of activity from bream on the Pittwater side of the headland. The run-in tide seems to be the better time to try for bream, especially if you have a run-in tide as the sun is rising. Floating down fish strips, squid strips or even using bread will see a few fish being caught out of your berley trail. Be prepared, as once yellowtail are starting the show up in your berley trail, a few rat kingfish have been showing up as well to make things interesting. Flounder and flathead are being caught in the deep hole in front of Palm Beach Ferry Wharf. Once again, drifting has been the better way to find and catch some fish. If you’re lucky enough to have a plotter on your sounder, please make sure you use this function when going for your second drift. Drifting the same area where you picked up some fish will normally see more of the same in the area. Tailor have been showing up on the odd day around the Basin and Currawong Beach area with some large tailor of 50cm providing great fun

This Pittwater flathead couldn’t resist a squid strip while drifting. on lighter tackle. Metal jigs of between 5-20g seem to be working pretty well. If you’re lucky enough to get close to a surface feeding school of fish, make sure you turn your motors off and drift towards all the activity. Please show consideration to others that are already fishing around the boiling masses of fish and be patient, as most of the time everyone has a chance at the moving school. Out on Broken Bay there has been a fair amount of activity during the change of tide, especially if there is a change of tide first thing in the morning. There are flathead to be caught on the drift between Patonga and Lion Island. A lot of the flathead aren’t that

Big squid like this one can be caught near Palm Beach weed beds.

big but they are of keeper size for those wanting to catch a feed of fish. There are some larger flathead about, but they seem to be hanging in the shallow water around the points of Broken Bay. These fish can be tempted and you can stay warm casting soft plastics around the points as you drift. Drifting Broken Bay itself using pilchards on a Paternoster rig is proving very successful and squid strips are catching quite a few flounder. While on the drift there are also tailor and bream being caught and smart anglers are taking a fillet off a large tailor and sending it to the bottom in case of a lurking mulloway. Hairtail have shown up in the Cowan Creek system. For those willing to brave the cold nights there seem to be a few different species to be caught as well. Instead of braving the chilly nights on a small tinny, grab some mates and hire a houseboat, as it will open up a lot of opportunities and can be used as a mothership, if you have your own boats. While it’s tempting to stay at home, there is a lot more fun that can be had on the water. Just make sure you grab a couple of warm jumpers and a beanie so you’re comfortable with the nippy breeze first thing in the morning. I hope this report sees you grabbing your fishing mate and heading off to enjoy our wonderful part of the coast. Remember that a day fishing by yourself is a day fishing, but if you fish with a mate, it becomes an adventure. • Peter Le Blang operates Harbour and Estuary Fishing Charters, phone 02 9999 2574 or 0410 633 351, visit www.

Pugnacious pigs on the prowl SYD ROCK & BEACH

Alex Bellissimo

This month we can expect the coldest water temps for the year. As I write this, the water temperature is still fluctuating between 17-19°C. Black drummer are on the chew, and are destroying those anglers who are not prepared when they hook this pugnacious species. Before

and other molluscs, and on the really low lying rocks during the large low tide periods there will be kelp as well. In these sorts of areas you can’t easily retreat during a rising tide and swell, so you should only fish them in calm conditions, preferably in less than 0.75m of swell. If you don’t have a lot of rock fishing expertise, I highly recommend sticking to the higher ledges while you get acquainted with this

Vincent Waddy with a tailor pushing 60cm. Some years you will continue to catch them well into August off our ocean rocks and beaches. you start fishing for them, you’ll want to be acquainted with rock fishing and have some knowledge regarding wave energy, wave impact areas, and can comprehend a subtle swell increase. When you decide “OK, I’m going to have a crack at a drummer”, your first concern should be safety. Some pig locations are up pretty high, several metres off the water’s edge, but many are low lying with a lot of growth on them. These low lying ledges and boulders close to the water’s edge can have a variety of growth, depending on the area. They can have several types of weed, pink moss, barnacles, cunjevoi, chitons

species. After you have some experience under your belt, you can then go down to lower locations. And remember that the kind of wave that causes rock fishing accidents can show up in relatively calm conditions. Most of the public think accidents happen only in rough conditions, but that’s just not true. Any subtle increase in wave height can be detrimental. A 10-20% increase is all it takes! Now to some basics on gear. You’ll want a robust rod that can handle 8-12kg line classes, and a spinning reel like the Daiwa Saltist Nero 4000 or BG4000. When it comes to line, I use 20-30lb J Braid or Platypus

20-30lb, and Suffix Invisible fluorocarbon leader. The Alvey 625 and 650 are great too. Use mono on your Alvey; 8-12kg will normally be fine. Two awesome pig rods from Wilson Fishing are the 12’, 2-piece Live Fibre 6-8kg, and the 2-piece Snyderglas FSU 4120. When it comes to the terminal side of things, I recommend a 1/0 to 2/0 in a preferably 2x to 3x strong hook, ball sinkers from 00-4, swivels from 40-60lb, and a range of small foam floats. Peeled prawns, white bread, cabbage weed and cunjevoi are the more common baits used. It’s great that you can prep up fairly quickly and head out for a pig fish with just several loaves of white bread for bait and berley, and catch a serious bag of pigs with some by-catch of luderick, bream, and trevally thrown in. And if you’re using the other baits you can add even more species. The luderick action is still on, with some locations producing more than others. From the estuaries to the ocean rocks there are many locations where you can get a bag of this great species. The convenient thing about luderick, unlike the rock blackfish, is that you can fish during a middle of the day run-in or high tide and get great results. The middle of a sunny day is usually not great for pig fishing, except in rougher conditions or discoloured water. For the rock blackfish and luderick off the ocean rocks, try Barrenjoey Head near the southeast point. It is a long walk in and I recommend that you fish it in less than a 1m swell from the south. Warriewood Head on the northeast face is fishing quite well, as are the Long Reef ledges on the high tide island or during the low tide period, and also the southeast boulders during the low tide period. Again, you should focus your efforts in a 1m or less size swell. North Curl Curl boulders below the stairs area to the southeast point is also good, and if you want to fish more towards the point you should only do it in a flat sea for your own safety. In Middle Harbour, Dobroyd

Head off the front, Middle Head ledges and The Spit are the picks for reasonable to good luderick fishing. Trevally, leatherjackets, groper and some big silver drummer are at some of these locations as well. BEACHES There are still some whiting but, as usual at this time of the year, hardly any whiting anglers. People tend to stop fishing for them by mid-May for some reason. I suggest having a go at south Palm Beach, Dee Why near the surf club, Curl Curl Beach and South Stein areas for a handful of these tasty morsels. The live worm supply is pretty slim at local tackle shops so don’t get your hopes up too high trying to purchase these baits. If you have time, go and pump some pink nippers or use some peeled very small school prawns as an alternative. The nippers are the best, the prawns are the next best option, and as a third choice you can use salted or metho worms. Otherwise, you can catch your own beach worms or pump squirt worms out of Narrabeen or Pittwater. Salmon are the most dominant species off the

Lube Mitrevski and Kieran Maple with some quality pigs. They’re hard fighting, great tucker and a lot of fun to catch without having the need for too much gear. ocean beaches at this time of the year. This month we can expect big, fat fish to 4kg – and sometimes there are reports of even bigger fish caught. However, these big fish appear only on selected beaches, and they can be there one day and gone the next. Smaller fish averaging 1.5-2.5kg are far more common. One of the most common

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ways to catch a beach salmon is to use a pilly, preferably IQF, around 130-150mm in length ganged up on a set of three 3/0 hooks. I have been using ganged hooks with swivels in between the hooks for decades, and when you use them it will be like chalk and cheese compared to ganged hooks without swivels. It’s also much quicker to bait up when compared to the gangs without the swivels. Virtually all the beaches from Palm Beach to Manly are producing salmon. For a better chance at a larger fish, Bilgola and Curl Curl have been producing bigger specimens. They are awesome fun on 6kg gear or lighter. Remember at this time of the year the fish can become lethargic when the water temperatures drop below 17°C. This makes it important to fish during the low light periods on the correct tides, using the correct gear and the correct baits that are well presented. You’ll also want to be at a good location and use a good technique to maximise your catch rates. • For rock and beach guided fishing or tuition in the northern Sydney region, visit www.bellissimocharters., email alex@ or call Alex Bellissimo on 0408 283 616.


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Mulloway, luderick and bream BOTANY BAY

Gary Brown

If you only had the chance to pick three of your favourite fish species to target during the month of August, what would be your choice? I have so many favourites, so I’ll narrow it down to three.

In no particular order, they are mulloway, luderick and bream. How do you decide which one to target and when? For me it will depend on the tide, time of the day, when I can get out, whether I am going to use bait or lures, whether I am fishing from the shore or out of a boat and what the weather is like at the time.

When the water temperature drops during the cooler months of the year, bream will prefer a slower moving soft plastic.

Many years ago, I use to think that mulloway preferred warmer water and deep holes. Over the years I have learnt that this is not necessarily correct. During the cooler months of the year I have caught plenty of mulloway in shallow and deep water where the temperature was down to 13°C a metre from the surface, making it even colder down deeper. What I have also found is that when using either soft plastics or blades, the slower you work them, the better the results. Just recently I was out on the Georges River targeting mulloway with my son-in-law Andrew and we bumped into a mate of mine, Stewie. Now Stewie is an angler who could catch fish in a puddle and he too was out targeting mulloway out of his kayak with soft plastics, sinking lures and blades. In the short time he was on the water he had managed a couple and lost one. He also managed to fight a sugar bag for a while, but that’s another story. He was mainly targeting them on points where the current was running slow and there was a drop-off. Andrew and I on the other hand were concentrating working the bases of a number of bridges in the Georges River. We had started up at Alfords Point Bridge and worked our way back down to the Captain Cooks Bridge as the tide started to fall. Andrew managed a 62cm mulloway and I got four flathead to 51cm. All were caught on TT Switchblades. The reason that I choose to work the bridges is that earlier in the week I took the time to take a walk at the base of the Captain Cooks, Tom Uglys and Como Bridges and found that there were plenty of

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Bryce Calvert has worked out that luderick numbers increase during the cooler months of the year. put it on the plastics and blades when working those deep-water areas. Hopping them off the bottom I will slow my retrieve down to almost nothing. Sometimes I will cast it out and let it just sit there, much like when bait fishing. As many of you who know me have seen, I will

Andrew with his second mulloway ever caught on a TT Switchblade while working a deep-water structure.


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very large scales from anglers who had been landbased fishing for mulloway during the night. So, next time you are out and about keep your eyes peeled for large mulloway scales. Last month I reported about the increase in the luderick numbers in the Georges River. This month is no different. There are plenty of them around and all you need to do is find yourself some good green weed and give it a go. Places that are worth a shot are Bare Island, Sutherland Point, the groynes along Silver Beach, Toms Uglys bridge, Lugarno, Picnic Point, Cattle Duffers and just downstream of Kelso Beach. A little trick that I found that works well when targeting luderick is to add a few slices of white bread to your sand and green weed berley. If you have any green weed left over and you aren’t going for a fish for a while, you can freeze the weed and the next time you go out you can chop it up and put it in the berley. Don’t forget to add a few slices of white bread. As for bream, during the cooler months of the year they tend to get a bit of lockjaw and are very reluctant to take a lure. This is when I will bring out the Pro Scent and

Two fishing charters with local guide Pete Le Blang with early morning pickups from your houseboat. The beauty of this arrangement is the fishing continues even after your fishing guide heads home for the day. The illusive hairtail are more active in the Hawkesbury during the cooler months, and there is no more comfortable way to target them from a houseboat. Other options also available for larger groups on different types of houseboats or extended fishing charters. *This is only available for a limited time

always berley when bait fishing. During the cooler months of the year I will add a few smashed up pilchards and watered down scent to my berley. These added flavours seem to get the fish on the chew a bit more. As for baits, I use chicken done in Parmesan cheese, mullet and tuna strips, pilly tails and fillets, and who could forget the peeled prawns? Maybe your three favourite fish species to target are leatherjackets, snapper and squid. If so, I will be reporting in next month’s column of how to go about getting a few in your bag. • If you have been out lately and you would like to see yourself in the magazine, drop me an email to g b ro w n 1 @ i p r i m u s . c o m . au with a picture and short explanation of how and where and I will endeavour to get it into my column.






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How and where to find the squid SYDNEY SOUTH

Gary Brown

Squid are still around in the southern areas, both inshore and offshore close to the coast. You will also start to see plenty of cuttlefish back bones about as the snapper and

other fish species start to feed on them. The places that are worth a look are Jibbon Bommie (when it’s calm), Shark Island, Salmon Haul Bay and the Balconies. Scotty Lyons sent me a few photos this month of some of the squid that they have been catching lately out from the entrance of

the Port Hacking. Some of them have been massive and they have been in good numbers. Places that have been producing arrow squid and calamari lately are Merries Reef, Osbourne Shoals, Jibbon Bommie, the Balconies, Marley Point, Coalcliff Point and Stanwell Park. Inside the

What could be better than a great snapper catch when fishing in August?

Port Hacking you could try Gunnamatta and Gymea Baths, Yowie Bay Boat Ramp, Deer Park, the South West Arm, Warumbul and Jibbon Point. You could also try drifting the channel from the old fisheries right up to the entrance to South West Arm. Over the years I have caught squid over kelp beds, ribbon weed beds, off the rocks, around rocky headlands, offshore reefs, in clear and dirty water, cockle beds, deep and shallow water, sandy bottoms and even where the beach meets the rocks. The trick to finding out where the squid are hanging out is to make sure that you don’t spend too much time at one location trying to catch them. I find that after about twenty minutes, if you haven’t got any, move on to the next spot. The cooler months of the year also herald the run of cuttlefish off the coast of southern Sydney and with them come the snapper. Sure, snapper are a year-round option, but you will find them in increased numbers. The rigs that I use are quite basic. Try a paternoster or large ball



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of water and even by casting whole garfish and pilchards in the washes off the coast.

Snapper to a couple of kilos can also be caught in the Port Hacking River. It’s

just a matter of locating them. My best suggestion is to find the deep areas, anchor up and lay out a berley trail of small chopped up pilchards or striped tuna and fish as light as possible. You are allowed to use four outfits in saltwater. So, get out there and give it a go. Gabe’s Boating and Fishing at Narellan reports there are still plenty of luderick on the chew in the Port Hacking. Salmon and tailor are at the northern end of Garie Beach, drummer are off Jibbon Point, tailor and salmon at the Balconies, bream and

trevally off Coalcliff Point and the odd whiting, tailor, salmon and mulloway have been caught off Stanwell Park Beach. The Port Hacking is alive at the moment with small Chinaman leatherjackets. If you find that you are losing your baits and soft plastics, I suggest you move to get away from them. On the other side of the coin, there are also heaps of six-spined, fan belly and yellowfin leatherjackets on the chew in the Port Hacking. Work the shoreline on any of the bays that have a combination of kelp and

rock and you will find the jackets. There are also a number of reefs in the Port Hacking that also produce leatherjackets at this time of the year. Remember to berley with small chopped up pieces of prawn shells and heads. On the run-in tide try anchoring upstream of the flats at Lilly Pilly for tailor, salmon, pan-sized snapper and the odd mulloway.

Whole or half pilchards are the go. Whiting have been taking bloodworms and nippers on the sand flats. • If you have been out lately and you would like to see yourself in the magazine, just drop me an email to with a picture and short explanation of how and where you caught your fish and I will endeavour to get it into the magazine.

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Plenty of species on the cards this month WESTERN SYDNEY

Peter Jacovides

Spring is almost here and our minds tend to shift to warmer days and more active fish, but August doesn’t mean there aren’t any fishing options – it means the opposite actually! The cold weather has stuck around and numerous

mulloway are still being caught during the day, although the night time anglers have had their fair share of sizable fish caught. Fishing areas during the night where lights from marinas, houses and roads are shining brightly is the best place to start. This light illuminating on the water keeps bait in the vicinity. Prawns, squid and mullet are particularly fond

Travis with a beautiful Lake Lyell brown trout.

of these bright areas, so it’s here where mulloway, bream, flathead and tailor like to hunt. Pick your tides right and throw around a fresh/ live bait or a soft vibe like the Samaki Vibelicious and you’re bound to pick up one of these nocturnal predators. Bream fishing at this time of year should be focused further downriver in the Hawkesbury. Rock walls hold the most and best fish as they make their spawn run. Anglers fishing these areas with lures should concentrate on fishing the base of the rockwalls with blades. The Ecogear VX40 with a single short sharp hop has resulted in some very good fish up to the 40cm mark being reported. Anglers who prefer to use bait are finding bloodworms and freshly pumped nippers on the sand surrounding these rock walls to be quite successful. For both the bait and lure anglers, light line is the consistent theme – 6lb fluorocarbon and less has been getting most of the bites. Being in close proximity to the rocks means you need to be on the ball and get the fish away from their hidey-holes as quickly as possible! The often-forgotten luderick is also on the cards

over the rest of this month. Floating some fresh weed around rocky points and weed beds will result in bites. They are often thought to be the most prolific fish species in NSW estuaries, so the chance of catching one is high, although not always easy. Create a berley trail with a mix of bread and weed to bring the fish into the area. Then, with little to no tension on the line, float a bread or weed bait on a size 8-12 hook where you have been throwing the berley. The last piece of the puzzle is patience; wait for the float to stand up or bob up and down indicating a bite, then hold on as these little scrappers put up an u nreal fight (and aren’t too bad on the plate either). If you’re itching to get out and try for some fresh water species, the lakes around the area have been producing some cracking fish. Thompson Creek Dam has been a tease with many big trout moving up and around the shallow water, testing anglers’ patience. Those who stick it out with quiet and subtle movements are the ones managing the fish. While those who choose to throw a fly around are finding bigger Woolly Buggers to be producing the most fish, with

Justin Hoffman caught this fantastic mulloway. a few larger specimens thrown in. Redfin, although a pest, have been a consistent species to catch around the lakes with Lake Lyell paying dividends on the larger fish. Anglers who are fishing from boats have been able to sit on schools and drop down soft plastics or ice jigs to bag themselves plenty of fish. The best thing about Lyell is the variety with trout, bass and redfin all coming from the same schools of fish throughout the day. The ponds around Penrith have also been fantastic for carp fishing. Use a simple float rig with a little piece of corn or bread as bait, add some

berley and you’ll be on your way! There have been some fantastic sized carp caught and lost and it’s a perfect way to get out of a morning or afternoon with a few mates or the kids. • Peter Jacovides has been the owner/operator of the Australian Bass Angler tackle store in Penrith for more than 20 years and is available to offer advice or have a chat most days. If you want to know about the latest tackle or technique, kayak fishing, or tournament bass boats, drop into the store at 105 Batt Street, Penrith or phone (02) 4721 0455.

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Metro mulloway in the shallows BRISBANE

Bob Thornton

When most anglers think of mulloway, what usually comes to mind is a deep schooling fish, often relating to structure and using the slack tide to feed. What I’m about

bait being swept down in the murky surge. Indeed, anglers have known for years that this is a great time to pick a spot along breakwalls at river mouths and throw shallow-diving or even surface presentations to these fired-up silver slabs. The same can occur in a stiff swell around oceanic rocks.

In some areas, mulloway feed high in the water column and up shallow without the aid of infrequent weather events, but there are a few things to understand before taking on this caper. Let me tell you what I’ve learned in my local waters in South East Queensland.

When mulloway feed up close to the surface, they make themselves available for fly anglers. Lachlan Hickey loves a slab of silver on the wand and who can blame him? to tell you goes against most traditional mulloway luring techniques. It’s no secret that mulloway will feed up high in the water column during a good run of fresh down a river, capitalising on the copious amounts of

As fantastic as this fishing can be, it’s often short-lived, and the weather events that spur this kind of action can be few and far between. Furthermore, this kind of fishing isn’t known to happen in every system that harbours mulloway.

mulloway have come at night time, or in the very wee hours of the morning. The second is something that aggregates bait, which may take the form of mullet, herring, prawns, garfish and so on. Small fish and crustaceans are often attracted to light pools on the water at night, and these can be found around pontoons, bridges, walkways, restaurants, moored boats, and so on. Other things that aggregate bait might be a hot water outlet, creek mouth or culvert. The third is current. I’ve noticed that bait will hang around light pools when there is no current, but quite often they’re not being eaten. I have a theory that without current, there is no sense of urgency in the mulloway’s mind. Add some current to that however, and that mindset quickly changes. Now the bait is moving past – often quite quickly – and the mulloway has to make a decision, and this is when you can witness some fantastic boofing action. Bait will try to hold themselves under the light, but most of the time the current gradually pushes them through the beam of light and out of sight. It seems that no current is

The Westin Swim makes for a great imitation of the bait in the author’s local area. It also allows for some exciting visual takes! LITTLE HINTS There are a few extra ingredients, which aren’t always necessary, but they can accelerate your search. Certainly, if you find any of the following things in

wavelength than orange or white, and will penetrate further into water. Does more light mean more bait? Absolutely! Another handy extra is structure. When the current

THE INGREDIENTS There are certain ingredients you need if you’re going to look for mulloway feeding near the surface. The first and foremost for me is that it has to be dark, and I find all my shallow and topwater

In SEQ, king threadfin make for an exciting by-catch in shallow water, especially when they approach the metre mark, like this model that Hayden Ross caught.

Mulloway often sport a magnificent purple streak down their nose, and a bright yellow inside their mouth, making them a very photogenic species. 26


too strong, and most of the time, I won’t even make a cast until I can see some movement in the water. Most urbanised systems in NSW and South East Queensland will have lighted areas along their course, whether the light comes from a bridge, a pontoon or a moored boat, and it’s here that you want to begin your search.

your local water, focus your attention toward them! When looking for light, the most common we see is orange or white – the sort you see lighting our streets at night. Fishing around orange and white light has put me onto plenty of fish, but I will always favour blue light if I can find it. Blue light has a shorter

is ripping past, it can be tiring work for a mulloway if it has to hold itself in the current for the whole tidal phase. Anything that obstructs the current, be it a bridge pylon, moored boat or pontoon, will act as a resting station for the mulloway between mouthfuls of bait. Both behind and in front of anything blocking


One look at the head on these things and you can see why they are such good night hunters – look at those eyes! the current there is often slack water, and I’ve found dominant predators like mulloway like to sit in

front of structure so they can get at the bait moving through first. Something that aids

mulloway when hunting around lighted areas is shadows. In most light pools, and particularly

around bridges, there will often be shadows, where the light is blocked out by something overhead. In this scenario, mulloway will often sit in these shadows, using them as an ambush, and dash out when something enters the light pool. Bridges almost always have shadows, where the bridge structure itself prevents part of the light from reaching the water, creating one of these light lines. PRESENTATIONS When you’ve found an area where you know mulloway are feeding, quite often it doesn’t matter too much what you throw at them. So long as it gets in the zone, it should get eaten. When the bait is very specific, it can pay to match the hatch, and my preferred baits range from small flies around 3cm long to big, hard swimbaits around 180mm! It pays to look in the water to see what’s swimming around. When I go out chasing mulloway at night I carry a range of jerkbaits, crankbaits, topwater presentations, swimbaits and soft plastics in varying sizes. If the action is a bit slow, vibes and plastics fished deep will also work in these same areas if the fish are down deeper. Perhaps the best thing about this style of fishing is it allows fly anglers a decent shot at mulloway, a fish that is seldom targeted in this way. And believe me, they love flies! Anything resembling the bait in the area will work. I started off by using flies tied for barramundi, but these days I catch most of my flyfish on home-tied herring patterns, around 5-10cm long, tied

Bream are just another regular by-catch when chasing mulloway at night, and will happily scoff the bigger lures and flies associated with this caper. on Gamakatsu SL12s hooks in size 2/0 or 3/0. BY-CATCH When fishing for mulloway at night, which are there to capitalise on the abundant bait attracted to one area, it’s no surprise that other predators often get in on the action as well. The by-catch can be as impressive as the mulloway themselves, and can be different up and down the coast! Where I fish in South East Queensland, our usual by-catch consists of king threadfin, flathead, rogue bream, tailor, estuary cod, and even the odd barramundi and bull shark. Further down the coast, you can expect some of

the above species, along with trevally, estuary perch and snapper. Anything that comes and grabs a lure intended for mulloway is good fun in my books, and the by-catch is just another reason I enjoy this style of fishing. CREEPIN’ WHILE YOU’RE SLEEPIN’ The only way to know if there are places like this in your local area is to get out of a night and start looking! You never know if you never go! While this is a bit of a cliché, it’s how I got started in this caper and I know I’m not alone. A few hints here and there got me thinking about some urban waters close to home, and within weeks I was hooked.

Could there be anything cooler for estuary anglers than a mulloway on fly?

The last thing so many small fish and prawns will see is yellow.

Ryan Limpus doesn’t mind a bit of night time mulloway action either, and took this specimen along a fairly dim light line. AUGUST 2017


Near perfect conditions offshore THE TWEED

Anthony Coughran

Well after a few months of average conditions on the Tweed, the weather has turned around for Tweed anglers with near perfect conditions. Late sunrises have given anglers the chance to bag a few quality reef and estuary species before the sun rises, and beach fishing has improved considerably with the good weather. What a great time of the year to be fishing the Tweed. Whatever style of fishing you’re into, the Tweed is fishing really well. The cool crisp mornings, light winds and slow currents have opened up more options for anglers, such as deep dropping, slow pitch jigging, bottom bashing, finesse deepwater plastics, drift baiting and live baiting. There’s been good numbers of mixed species taken over the last month. There are still a lot of whales moving around and anglers are reminded to comply with rules and regulations, like keeping to the 100m no approach zone. So what if a whale

approaches you? Everyone has their own way of dealing with inquisitive whales. When I’m under drift I keep my course and make my presence noticed to the whale, by making noise. Banging on the sides of the boat and stamping your feet on the deck will notify them of your presence and they should vary there course. Larger boat shouldn’t really have this problem. OFFSHORE This is such a great time of year to be fishing offshore, as anglers really are spoilt for choice. Deeper reefs are more available and

easier to fish. There’s a wider variety of species to target, and different techniques you can employ make fishing at this time of year really fun. Good snapper, tuskfish, pearl perch, spangled emperor, Moses perch, mulloway and cobia have all been taken this month on most reefs off the Tweed. The better fish have been caught around sun up on Fidos Reef, the Mud Hole, 5 Mile, 9 Mile, Kingscliff Reef, the 24s, 36s, 40s and 50 fathoms. Slow pitch jigging and micro jigging have been working best in deeper

The author with a cracker parrot caught on a 5” pearl jerk shad at the Mud Hole.


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water, and 5-7” plastics in bright colours like pearl are working best before and during sunrise, with natural colours such as pumpkin seed and blood worm working better once the sun is up. Kings will quite often smash these plastics when not expected, and normally make short work of your light gear. It’s always a good option to have a heavier live bait rod set up or a stickbait set up with you for when these brutes show up. Unweighted live baits and high speed stickbaits are proving too irresistible for most kingfish. 9 Mile, 5 Mile, South Reef, the Mud Hole, Fidos and Kingscliff reefs have been all producing kingfish this month. A few packs of tuna are starting to get around the close reefs, and pegging high-speed metals into the boiling balls of tuna will catch these speedsters, so it’s also a good option to have one set up on your boat for this caper. Tailor are hanging around at the back of the breaking waves at Fingal, Kingy, Caba, Tugun and Kirra beaches and are also sitting on Kirra Reef, Desal, Snapper Reef and Kingy Reef. Metal around 10-60g seem to be working best. If they are being fussy, try floating out an unweighted half pilchard back to them, it normally does the trick. There’s still lots of bait on Snapper Reef, Point Reef, Kirra Reef and at the bait grounds, if you’re needing fresh or live baits. ESTUARY It’s all about the mulloway and bream this month. Larger mulloway are being caught around the rock walls around the bar and smaller soapies are being caught in the various holes and bridges throughout the system. Plastics around 7” and 150-200mm deep diving hardbodied lures are catching the better fish around the rock walls. The 3-5” plastics and live pike have been catching more fish in the holes. Try the Blue Hole, Nussics Hole, the Piggery, Terranora tide marker, tide marker at Cobaki, Barneys Point bridge, Boyds Bay bridge and Tumbulgum bridge. Good size bream are schooling up on most rock walls and bridges. Small lightly-weighted wriggler plastics in natural colours such as bloodworm are working well, as are unweighted drift baits. If they are being finicky, try berleying to send them into a frenzy, then slowly feed out an unweighted drift bait through the berley. Tailor, GT and big-eye trevally are sitting in current lines in the river. Small

A cracker snapper caught on a micro jig on the 40 fathoms for Guy Huthings. lightly-weighted plastics, bladed lures, micro jigs and high speed metals are working best of a night around bridges on the run-in tide. Live herring are also catching the bigger GTs. Some big flathead are being caught up in the skinny water this month. This time of year they love sunbaking in the shallows and ambushing unsuspecting baitfish. Lightly-weighted 3-5” plastics are catching the better fish. Try around the edges of weed beds, sand bar drop offs and mangrove lines for the big girls. Remember, most flathead over 58cm are females and are our breeders and should be released to reproduce. Try Cobaki Lakes, Terranora Lakes, hastings Point, Ukerebagh Island and the Piggery on the last of the run-out for best results. BEACH The beach has been fishing really well lately, with good catches of mulloway, tailor, bream and flathead being taken from most of the beaches from Currumbin to Byron Bay with deeper gutters offering the bigger fish. Large plastics, 150-200mm hardbodied lures, whole beach worms, ganged pilchards and strips of pike are all producing quality fish this month. The last hour of the run-in tide and the first 2 hours of the run-out are producing the better fish. Pipis and beach worms on Fingal Beach, Kingscliff Beach and around South Beach, Cabarita and Hastings Point should put you onto some bread and butter species. If the gutter really smells of fish, chances are there are big mulloway sitting in it. When mulloway sit in these gutters at the beaches, headlands and rock walls they will often emit a fishy smell for an unknown reason. So if it smells fishy,

chances are, it is fishy! Black Rock, Hastings Point, Cabarita Headland, Fingal Headland Kingy rock wall, Snapper Rocks and Kirra groyne are all producing tailor on metals, with first and last light producing more and better size fish. FRESHWATER With all the rain over the last few months it has seen dam levels full or over capacity, and this means plenty of water for us to fish in. Waterfalls, drains and run-offs are fishing really well with spinnerbaits and beetle spins, whereas ice jigs, lightly-weighed worms and grubs are fishing better in and around the timber. It’s always handy to have a deep diving lure set up to troll between spots. NEXT MONTH Over the next month snapper and other reef species will thicken up as they start to spawn and will venture closer to the land. Close reefs will hold good numbers of these species and will make it easier for anglers to find and catch them. More mulloway will make their presence felt around the rock walls, holes and headlands over the next month. Tailor will thicken up on the beaches, rock walls and headlands. More bream will move in around river mouths, rock walls and bridges to get ready to spawn. The weather will clean up even more and we should see a few perfect days next month. If you would like any additional information or if you are chasing weekly weather and fishing reports for the Tweed and Gold Coasts, head over to my Facebook page ‘Fishing Fun Gold Coast’ and give us a like or send us a PM and we will be happy to steer you in the right direction.

It’s prime time for school mulloway at Tweed THE TWEED INSHORE

Tim Latter

With the days getting considerably longer again, I reckon it’s a great time to chase school mulloway in the Tweed system. You can pretty much catch them all throughout the year, but as August is the last of the cooler months, I find it a

productive way to round out winter. Hitting the bridges around the tide changes at night is probably the number one option. It can sometimes mean setting the alarm for a 2am session or having a quiet Friday night flick and missing out on the footy. A light to medium spin outfit with some 12-20lb leader will have you sorted

for most situations. A range of plastics like the 2 and 3” Berkely Gulp Shrimps, Atomic Prongs and ZMan 3” MinnowZ, soft vibes like those from Samaki or Zerek and 1/4-1/2oz blades, depending on the current, should see you wellequipped for a quality bridge session. It’s best to fish with a mate, as landing good fish from bridges can be tricky on

A mulloway that was holding up around structure when it was caught.

A great fish taken from a deep hole mid-river.

your own. They can also take the photo for you. There are some deep holes in the Tweed, especially around the middle reaches. During the daylight hours you’ll find schoolies ambushing prey in the eddies that these drop-offs create. Grub-tail soft plastics and lipless cranks are a good choice in these situations. Try sounding the bait and the predators shouldn’t be too far away. Working your way upstream on a productive bite and leap frogging the tide change can be an effective method of increasing your results.

The rock walls and groynes around the mouth of the river, especially the first few deep holes, are hotspots for the better class of fish. Ramping up your tackle will be required, especially if you’re land-based. Bigger paddle-tail soft plastics that imitate a mullet would be the first lure to tie on and try keeping it in the lower third of the water column. If there is any dirty water around then try throwing some hardbodies in the 150mm range off the ends of the breakwalls. Target the foam and eddies on the run-out tide. Remember, it can be dangerous on the

stones, especially when the swell is up. Always go with a mate and take all the necessary safety precautions. With spring around the corner, we can look forward to some more temperate conditions. Arguably the best time of the year for fishing in the Tweed is next month. Big flathead captures will become more common, kingfish will mix with other pelagics in the mouth and the bass will fire up with the opening of the season. Bring on spring! Be kind and courteous on the water this month and remember, it’s just lovely being out there.



Offshore conditions continue to be consistent signs pointing towards a bumper snapper season. Areas around Riordans Reef, Black Head, Lennox Point and the close reefs around the Ballina beaches are all holding quality numbers and sizes of snapper up to 90cm. There are some big girls


Joe Allan

While the Richmond River has been a little dirty, the offshore fishing around Ballina has been consistent over the last month. This should continue with all




the wider reefs, along the 42 fathom line, there are pearl pearch, amberjack and kingfish. There have been a lot of great fish caught on Lucanis Jigs and knife jigs. This is a really physical way to fish, so don’t worry about going to the gym that day. Try to get in early before the wind gets up and it becomes too hard to hold onto the fish. The beaches of South Ballina have seen plenty of tailor being taken on blue pilchards. When the westerly winds flatten the winter Paul Starkey with a cracking mulloway caught on an Atomic Jerk Minnow.








out there at the moment. The best baits are horse mackerel, fresh squid and bonito floating or very lightly-weighted, depending on the current. Soft plastics are accounting for the bigger fish though. Try big plastics around the 6” size. At this time of year, the big girls are here to breed, that’s why there are so many in such good numbers. Only keep what you are going to eat and let those trophy ones go to breed. Further offshore on















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Michael Starkey with a snapper caught on a jig.

swell, it’s worth walking the gutters with 1/4-1/2oz blades targeting flathead. You’ll get the odd bit of big snowy bream as by-catch. These things pull hard on light spin tackle. There’s plenty of bait if you’re out for some fun with the kids catching pipis. These then turn into some great fun baitfishing as the winter bream and whiting will take a liking to them. The river mouth has been producing some great sizes and numbers of bream and luderick. Try getting there on the top of the tide as it starts to run out for good

numbers of luderick. As always, green weed or weed flies are always best. For great numbers of bream, try cut baits along the south wall on light weights. The bream hole in behind the police station is also worth a shot. Surface fishing for bream in Emigrant and North creeks will be worth a shot. It may not produce huge numbers, but you’ll most likely come across some thumper winter whiting. Try chartreuse for this technique. It ain’t no use if it ain’t chartreuse! Until next issue, tight lines.




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Awesome, clear winter days ILUKA

Ross Deakin

We have finally slipped into awesome, clear weather and hopefully we won’t see too much rain for a while. The river is slowly clearing up and the fishing is steadily improving with some very nice fish in the river and outside off the headlands and reefs. We have weighed in some excellent snapper up to

9kg just recently off Woody Heads headland. The areas from Black Rock and south to Angourie have all been producing some very nice fish with light winds and seas. Tailor have started to come on in better numbers off the beaches, headlands and off the Iluka Wall. The largest weighed in recently was 1.9kg. The sea bream have been slow to show, but there are good numbers of fair size fish around.

Dan Pianta and Chris Pianta caught these

STA16055great 509FM_Layout 13/07/2017 10:34 AM Page 1 tailor that 1weighed up to 1.9kg.

We have also had some nice, fair sized mulloway being caught up off the Iluka wall and off the headlands. These have weighed up to 12kg. There are some very nice luderick being taken off the wall, the bluff and the old ferry return. These have mostly been taken on the black weed and cabbage. Conditions look set to continue for an

awesome end to the winter fishing season. • For all your fishing needs and up-to-date information and tips for spots and fish, drop into the shop for a chat. Iluka Bait and Tackle is located at 3 Owen Street, Iluka NSW 2466. Give us a call on (02) 6646 5217 or 0402 997 572. We are available online at www., or you can visit our Facebook page.

Heath Palmer with an awesome 910g luderick.

Gordon Barton caught this mulloway weighing 5.8kg.

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It’s the best time of year to get out for a fish YAMBA

Dave Gaden

As a charter operator the most frequently asked question is, ‘what’s the best time of the year to go out?’ Well this is it! August is by far my favourite month of the year to fish and not just because of the numbers of

between 16-18°C and they run in from the deep water. Like year 12 kids at the end of the year, they just go crazy. Fishing shallow around the kelp beds at first light is a really good way to start. There is no such thing as fishing too shallow at this time of the year. You can literally catch 8kg snapper in 8m or less

plastics then throw them ahead of the boat (in the direction you are drifting) and let them sink to about half the water depth working them back to the boat with good, hard and sharp jerks. Most better fish will be in this area of the water. For those who are more traditional, anchoring with a good berley trail and floating out virtually unweighted baits of pillies, or my favourite, long thin strips of mullet flesh, with reels out of gear and wait for the rush. As a rule, I only fish the shallows until the sun is high enough to penetrate the water around 8-8:30am then move out to deeper water, as I believe the fish do. In saying that, I have a heap of mates who stay in the shallows all day continually changing the way they present the bait and literally catch fish all day. Now you have a boatload of snapper and it’s only 8am, you have a choice: go home early, even though you have waited three weeks for a chance to get out fishing, or chase another species. Lucky

for you this is August on the North Coast. Point the boat east to find reef 50m or deeper (the deeper, the better and sometimes they are not even on reef) and I reckon my old mates the Chinaman leatherjackets will be there waiting for you. I know people who hate these things. I’m certainly not one of them. Leatherjackets at the size we can catch them here (my best is 95cm) are great sport and good tucker. I make up a very simple paternoster rig with 90lb nylon coated wire trace. It’s identical to the one you would use to reef fish, but you need to be a bit sneaky with these critters. See, leatherjackets will bite anything that smells like food, so if you have the smell of bait on the line or braid above the rig, they will just bite the whole thing off. Try not to touch the line above for a start. More importantly, try and take the fish’s attention away from anywhere but the hook. I do this by putting luminous beads and tube on the loop

Corbin Dolan from Brissy with his first snapper. fish that you can catch in a session. These fish are bunched up nice and tight for a change and this is the best chance for anglers to get that trophy fish. August is the month in my part of the world when the snapper come in close to spawn. The water temperature drops to

of water and sometimes bag out in 10 drops. For those who have always dreamt of catching a snapper on plastics or vibes or even micro jigs, go fishing this month. This is your best chance even if you don’t have your technique down pat yet. Drift over the grounds. If you’re throwing

Garry with his PB snapper.

Alex Beetson from Dalby with a Venus tuskfish. holding the hook. I’ve been doing this now for four years and I hardly ever loose a rig. It won’t stop them trying to

eat your sinkers though. This sounds like a joke until you have a session on them and see how much of your sinker has been chewed by these crazy fish. That being said, you will still find the staples like pearl perch, Venus tuskfish and trag in the mid reef area around 40m from Shelly Headland to Broom Head. Once again, fish bunch up this time of the year. They’re easy to see on the sounder and anchoring over them with a good berley trail will keep them on the bite. This is the area where we get our big snapper lately, usually between midday and 1pm. Deep sea is pretty much sorted for August, but that doesn’t mean the estuary won’t have fish. Luderick have already made a good early start, but should be red hot this month. It won’t be

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hard to see where they are, just spot the fishers. The good spots will be busy. Busy can be better than quiet, and part of the reason for this is that good fishers

berley. If everyone berleys, it will keep a shoal of fish there way longer than if you were just relying on the right tide. Middle Wall around the old tide gauge on Iluka side,

aggressively feeding. Bream are bread and butter fish. Every angler has or can catch one, but if you want consistent bigger and better fish then night fishing is by far the best. Yamba’s Middle Wall on the Iluka side is my favourite spot. As a rule people won’t fish with a light on in the boat of a night and that’s great if there is a fair bit of moonlight, but often there is no moon or cloud cover. I fish with a light on in these conditions, you just have to do it right. If you just turn up when it’s dark and turn the you’ll wnlight Blaon, b a P ra des” I fish no question. “Yam startle get to my spot before dark, turn the light on and like

under a bridge there has been no sudden change for the fish to be startled. Also I have a saying that you don’t put a bait on until you need a light on, meaning ‘don’t fish while it’s still light.’ I find this brings the rubbish fish around and they won’t leave. Half an hour after sundown I put the first bait down. Waiting will drive you insane, but it’s well worth it to catch better fish. Remember, if you need any advice when you hit town or would like to jump on one of my charters, call into the shop at Yamba Marina and we will do all we can to help you fill the creel.

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and are showing no sign of slowing up, even though they may have spawned. Sometimes this is an actual benefit as the larger females lose a fair bit of condition during spawning and will spend the next few weeks



Mark Dolan with a great pearl perch.

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Softies killing it on snapper WOOLI

Michael Fox

I believe August is the best time of the year to head to Wooli if you are chasing a good feed of snapper, pearlies or kingfish. OFFSHORE There are plenty of slimies and yakkas around on the bait grounds at Bennetts on the way out to

North Solitary Island, so make sure you have a couple of bait jigs onboard. Plenty of pan size snapper are coming over the side of the boats from anglers bottom bashing with paternoster rigs baited with pilchards and squid. However, a more productive and exciting way to catch quality snapper and pearlies is by using plastics. Some of the plastic-caught snapper

have been weighing in around the 5-7kg mark, and on lighter gear at this size they are fantastic fun. By fishing your plastics around the island you will have a good chance of hooking up with a kingy or two, and again, on light gear it may take some time and effort to get them into the boat. The best way to fish plastics is drifting and casting

out the front of the boat and letting the plastic drift down through the water column until you get a hit or once it reaches the back of the boat. If your plastics makes it this far, retrieve and repeat the process. I find plastics like the 4” ZMan Curl TailZ and the Zerek Fish Traps work well, as you do not have to work them, the tail does all the work for you. Even when the rod is placed in the rod holder, they still catch fish. The whale numbers are larger than ever this year, so keep an eye out for them, as it’s common to see 20-30 in a days outing. They will put on a great show for you if you keep out of their way. There has been a few leatherjackets around out wider and they will make short work of your tackle by biting through any part of it. After retrieving a soft vibe back to the boat on a recent

Curl-tail style grubs work a treat for snapper around Wooli. BEACHES AND ESTUARIES After all the rain a couple of months ago, the river has now cleaned up nicely and the luderick have been on the bite big time, with large numbers being caught up and down the rock walls leading out to the bar. There has been plenty of bream throughout the river and the beaches have been firing as well. Using fresh

the rock walls, around the headlands and along the beaches between Wooli and the mouth of Sandon River. Sandon River has been fishing well for flathead on the run-out tide. Throwing soft plastics along draining sandbanks and the edges of weed beds works well, or by trolling small hardbody lures in 4-6ft of water, you can locate schooling fish. Once you pick up a couple

Kingies have been all too happy to snaffle a plastic intended for snapper.


Double ups on tasty snapper are one of the joys of fishing during August.


trip, it looked like it had been attacked by a school of hungry piranhas. If the current starts to run down hill (north to south), take a some spanner crab traps out and drop them a couple of kilometres north of the island and you should get a great feed of crabs to help fill the esky.

or live bait is the best way to catch plenty of fish in the river. Pump some yabbies or grab a handful of fresh prawns from the local co-op and you’ll be well on your way to catching a great feed of bream, whiting or flathead. Mulloway and tailor will be hunting up and down

of fish in the same area, stop and throw plastics and you should come up trumps. If you come to Wooli without a boat, drop in and see Bruce at Wooli Boat Hire, he’ll get you on the water and give you some great spots to catch a fish or two.

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Leatherjackets will destroy soft plastics if they get the chance, so watch out when fishing offshore.

Winter action coming in hot COFFS HARBOUR

Stephen Worley

After a ‘middle of the road’ start to winter, the fishing has certainly kicked in. All the winter species have really come on strong over the last month or so.

packing up early to make the mad dash back to Coffs? For smaller boats and kayaks the decision is easy; stay close and rack up points while the other guys are still travelling. For the larger, more capable boats it’s never an easy call. Going on the recent snapper fishing, inshore

Jessica Cahill had a solid start to her account, taking this amberjack as her first-ever line-caught fish. As much as all the talk from offshore anglers often turns toward the summer and mackerel, along with the other warm water species, winter is really where it’s at when it comes to offshore fishing on the Coffs Coast. While there’s no denying the excitement of chasing the summer speedsters, the winter fishing offers a lot of variety and more mixed bags than summer fishing does. Right now there is excellent fishing for snapper, kingfish, samsonfish, amberjack, pearl perch, tailor, mulloway and the odd salmon. Snapper are most prevalent on the shallow inshore reefs and gravel beds all along the coast, but there are still big reds further offshore. For those competing in the Dave Irvine Memorial Snapper Challenge this month, it’s always a decision that needs to be made. Do you stay close inshore and get more fishing time and hopefully more fish, or head further afield and try to find that patch of monsters before

fishing is going to bring higher numbers of fish, but there are many smaller fish among the knobby head giants that occasionally come along. Out on the deeper reefs and around the islands the snapper are there, hanging out around the schools of kingies and samsonfish. Here the average size seems to be larger, but you need to get your lure past everything else that’s keen to be involved. Those not involved in a species-specific tournament can take a lot more pleasure in the variety of species on offer on these outer reefs. Soft plastics and topwater stickbaits have been very effective on the kingies and samsonfish. There have been good-size schools, comprised of quality fish, so they can be seen easily on your sounder and targeted at the depth they’re holding. Keep an eye on the sounder for arches hanging below these schools, as the snapper and pearl perch have been snaffling the soft plastics and jigs that make it down

through the school without a hook-up. The kingies have also been very active in the washes and drop-offs around the islands, with the odd jumbo tailor also jumping on a lure that’s retrieved around the aerated water in these areas. Although there have been schools of salmon coming through recently, this winter has again been dominated by tailor on the beaches and headlands. Spinning around the headlands and beach gutters with almost any lure has resulted in good numbers of decently sized tailor. Metals, stickbaits and soft plastics have been the most popular. The stickbaits and metals cover ground faster, and soft plastics offer more of an opportunity to tempt a mulloway while you’re spinning. Mulloway of 5kg+ have been quite common on the beaches and headlands, but there have been much

be quite aggressive while competing with the tailor, salmon and mulloway populating the same gutters, so expect them to hit hard and make a run for it. Bream have also been on the chew in the estuaries. They’re not quite as aggressive when they’re the dominant species. Oyster leases, oyster-covered rock and pretty much anything covered in oysters in the lower estuaries have been harbouring some very big bream. These bream need to be targeted with finesse. Light leader, small sinking lures or plastics and slow retrieves with plenty of static time are needed to tempt these fish into a take. Unfortunately, due to the habitat, these things also conspire to make it harder to get them out once they’ve bitten. If you don’t get the bite though, you can’t win the fight either. It’s certainly the offshore fishing that offers the most

Kingfish have offered a lot of fun for anglers over the last month. Don Cummings enjoyed this one on a day that offered a few won and lost fish.

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Underneath the schools of kings, samsonfish and amberjack, the reds are still there to snap up anything that makes it past, like this one caught by Sam Gilchrist. larger fish caught by a dedicated few. Lures and baits have been producing results. Squid strips are the pick for the bait anglers and fresh worms are hard to go past if you can get them. On the beaches, don’t be surprised if you’re not-sosmall mulloway bait is set upon by a not-so-small bream. There have been quality bream in the beach gutters that have been willing to take large or small offerings. The bream can

options for local anglers this month. There’s still plenty of action to be had on the beaches, headlands and in the estuaries. No matter where you fish this month, I hope you’re able to get onto some solid winter fish.


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The mulloway are hungry SOUTH WEST ROCKS

Mitch Maric

In the river we’re getting a lot of big mulloway, with fish around 10-15kg being common for those who put in the hours. The mullet run has finished so they are hungry and more willing to eat our offerings. Both the North and South walls are producing fish, with the first two hours of the run-in tide being the most productive. Live mullet are worth the effort to catch. My last trip resulted in a 16kg fish, and the night before I pulled the hooks on a much larger fish. If you can’t get livies, fresh squid has been doing really well and large minnows have been working too.

Flathead have still been fishing pretty well. but they’re starting to quieten down a bit with the slightly cooler water. To be in with the best chance of catching them, concentrate on the top of the tide when there’s not much current, and fish really light. The standout lure for me lately has been the Ecooda Live Shrimp fished tight to the rock walls where most fish are congregating. This technique has been so effective it is a fish a cast at times, and I have gotten a good bag of fish in under half an hour. The luderick were a bit slow for a while, but after a month of some rough seas they pushed into the river in better numbers. I am getting great results on the run-up, and have been going to the

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effort to get make berley. You know the berley works when every time you throw some near your float you instantly get a bite. Weed, although great to have, is certainly not necessary; I catch all my fish on cabbage or synthetic flies. ROCKS The bream guys have been getting plenty of goodsize fish lately, both in the river and out. The rocks either side of Gap Beach have been fishing very well for bream. Drummer are in big numbers along the whole coast. I have struggled to keep away from them while fishing the rocks for luderick, and although I have stopped the occasional pig up to 1.5kg, most of the time it has resulted in more lost gear. There are still good reports for some anglers on tailor, although it has been hit and miss for myself. OFFSHORE In June we had a bad run of weather that meant most weekends were too rough to get offshore. Thankfully things have improved since then, and many anglers who got out have been rewarded. The snapper fishing has been great in 35-40m, with most

fish around that ideal 1-2kg size, with some bigger fish in the mix. Some fish are now showing up in closer, where soft plastics can be easily utilised. Most of the fish are getting caught off Grassy Head, with some pearl perch and good numbers of tuskfish mixed in. Closer to home, bottom bouncing for flathead has been a reliable way to get a feed and there are still plenty of spanner crabs around. There are lots of kingies out on the wreck and other deeper marks, and many bigger fish are moving in close now. The guys fishing deeper water are getting them on both bait and jigs. In close on the right day when there is some current, fish up to 15kg are giving some guys a serious workout. Over the last week and coming up to the full moon there has been a serious amount of mulloway getting boated offshore. It’s very easy to bag out once you hit a school, as they are eating just about anything that gets put down. Any of the deeper marks off the gaol, north or south, can hold mulloway. Just remember the two-fish bag limit. They don’t release

Rory Maric with his first luderick, a 1.2kg specimen from the river. well in this deeper water so it’s best to change tactics or move after getting a few fish. Most are ranging from 80cm to just over 1m. Out a little deeper past 80m and up to 200m we’ve been getting good catches of bar cod, but the leatherjackets are almost everywhere at the moment. You’ll sometimes find a patch where there’s none, but anywhere over 60m and even up to 200m they are hard to get away from. If you have the right gear, now would be a good time to go out further and target deeper species like blue-eye.

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Outdoor Adventure staff member Kym Ho with a mulloway from wide of the gaol.

THE MONTH AHEAD All our winter species should be filled in and the fishing very consistent. The bream and blackfish will be in big numbers in the river. As I write this we still haven’t had a big drop in water temperature, but when it does happen the flathead fishing will slow. We will no doubt see more big mulloway caught in the mouth of the river, and it will be a good time to target them on the beaches. The rocks will continue to fish well for tailor, drummer, bream and luderick. Kingfish will be in close enough to become a target if you have the gear and skills to stop them. Offshore will continue to fish well. I expect to see a focus on the shallower reefs as the bigger snapper move in, so now is the time to get the soft plastic gear out. It’s also a good time to target big kings on topwater, so we should see some big fish getting caught around Fish Rock and along the coast. For all the latest information on what’s biting, drop into Outdoor Adventure South West Rocks at 100 Gregory St or call them on (02) 6566 5555. As well as tackle and bait, they stock ice, camping gear, kayaking, surfing, spearfishing, boating and more. You can find them on Facebook by searching for ‘Outdoor Adventure South West Rocks’.


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Lovely longer days with cool, crisp mornings SOUTH WEST ROCKS

Brent Kirk

With the longer days now, it’s becoming easier to get motivated. Even though the days are starting off cool and foggy, they’ve been quite pleasant and the fishing has been reasonable. Any effort should be rewarded with some decent table fish. Offshore fishing has been responsible for most of the action from right out wide through to the inshore reefs. Bar cod, gemfish, blue-eye trevalla and Bass groper have all been in very good numbers. This may be due to the limited days that these waters have been accessible so far

this season. If the day is right and you have the gear, it’s well worth travelling the extra miles to tangle with these beasts of the depths. The reefs in the 80-110m zones have been producing quality pearl perch as well as pigfish and some longfin perch. The leatherjackets don’t seem to be too ruthless this year and touch wood it stays that way. Snapper have been about in closer with the reefs from 60m right in to the shallow stuff holding good fish. Micro-jigs, soft plastics and octo jigs are a great way to tangle with these fish, however, a lot still has to be said for good old bait fishing, especially in adverse conditions. From now through until

about November is usually the best time for kingfish. So far this winter they have been in good numbers with Fish Rock, Black Rock and Green Island being fairly consistent. If you’re in these areas, it’s always worth having a bit of a look around as you could be in for some serious fishing if it’s on when you are there. This winter has seen an awesome run of tailor along the Mid North Coast of New South Wales. The average size is around the 1kg mark and there are some absolute crackers too. Most gutters along the beaches are fishing well along with the headlands, especially late afternoon through to last light. Mulloway catches have been as consistent as

ever for this time of year. There have not been a lot of huge fish caught this year with the majority of fish around the metre mark, which is well above the legal limit in NSW. Bream, flathead and whiting are throughout our river system and along our. Fresh baits fished as light as possible will account for some of the wary fish that remain after a winter of netting along the beaches. August marks the last month of the closed season for bass. As with most winters, the majority of fish have been down around Smithtown and are just starting to move back upstream into the fresh. In a month or so bass will be found right throughout the system.

Fish rock has had plenty of kingfish around it. Jamie Maher jigged this one up on a Yakamito Slither jig.


Letter to the editor – ‘Fines don’t go far enough’ In June of this year, a group of three fishers was apprehended and issued with fines in the state’s north-west after they were found using 39 set lines – some baited with live carp – during a targeted patrol on the Macintyre River near Boomi. DPI District Fisheries Officer Joe Wright said the anglers’ offences included

the use of unattended fishing lines, using live finfish as bait, and being in possession of mutilated fish. “Not only were [they] using 39 set lines, which were set on both the NSW and QLD sides of the river, but 13 of them had been baited with live carp,” Mr Wright said. “The use of live finfish as bait is prohibited in NSW and QLD inland waters, as is

the use of set lines. “In addition, the use of carp as bait is prohibited in Queensland waters and constitutes a serious offence.” Fisheries officers seized the set lines, baits and nearly 12kg of fillets that are alleged to have come from 18 golden perch and four Murray cod. The alleged offenders were issued with penalty notices totalling $3500.


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is there, despite the best efforts of the hard-working compliance officers (who are vastly outnumbered by these scum), an apparent increase in offences? “Assuming the offenders had a motor vehicle and/ or a boat, why weren’t they also seized, as provided for in the Regulations applicable to the Fisheries Management Act? “Small fines won’t cause

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these people to cease doing what they are to our fishery, so why not some massive and immediate hike in the penalties which might be applied, as well as naming and shaming them? “If you care about the fishery, join your fellow anglers to complain to NSW Fisheries, your local politicians and our representatives on the various bodies.” - FM


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NSW Fishing Monthly reader and inland fishing advocate Karl Schaerf says this punishment is not nearly enough. “Their names will not be published, assuming they pay the puny penalties imposed, unless they decide to defend the charges and appear in court – after which, the local media just might decide to publish their names if they’re found guilty,” Mr Schaerf said. “Just imagine how many others are out there, doing as they’ve always done in the past, knowing their chances of being lumbered are very remote. “After 55 years battling for the inland fishery in NSW, what is really going on? Why not hit them with more severe penalties from the start, regardless? Why can’t/won’t NSW Fisheries budge on their feeble refusal to name and shame? Why

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Night sessions on mulloway THE HASTINGS

Mark Saxon

The Hastings has seen excellent night time fishing for the highly-prized ghost of the river, the mulloway. This should continue this month if conditions allow. This after-dark fishing lately has become a definite favourite with local anglers and some great fish have been caught on lures and bait. Both the north and south walls at Port Macquarie have been producing and the same can be said for Camden Haven River. For the lure anglers, Croaker Lures have been very popular as well as larger plastics. Bait fishers are using live mullet and tailor, but don’t despair if you haven’t got live bait, as fresh mullet slabs have accounted for quite a few as well. Recently I did two nights with my young fella Gavin, one from the wall and then the other from the boat. Unfortunately we lost one reasonable fish off the wall; hence the boat came out the next night.


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On both these nights we managed a nice bag of bream on the lighter gear while waiting for the big rods to go off. This is a very relaxing and easy way to fish and all you need for

The float brigade has been scratching up some luderick around the south wall and town jetty. Hopefully this month it gets into full swing, as the season seems to be running

Tailor have been consistent off the rocks and beaches and some great bags have been caught. I prefer to spin with metals for them, but a pilchard on gangs or a garfish (for some of the

Eathan Watts and Gavin Saxon with a midnight metre mulloway. the bream fishing is a lighter setup of 6-10lb line, a small pea sinker tied to a 1/0 hook and a small strip of mullet, whitebait or nipper. Bream in August can be found along the local rock walls, so land-based fishing is quite effective. Night fishing hasn’t just been good down the front of our systems, there have been great bags of school mulloway and bream caught from Settlement Point all the way up to the two highway bridges. There are plenty of options. Just remember, August is still chilly, so appropriate clothes and a thermos of coffee don’t go astray on these night missions.

a little later this year. Lure fishos in the river are still getting bream as well as a few nice flatties. The action has been anywhere from the mouth of the Hastings up to Denis Bridge. Soft plastics, especially the grubs, have been a favourite. Drummer, bream and tailor have been giving the rock fishers some good times with quality pigs being taken from the local rocks. Coll from Ned Kelly’s Bait ‘N’ Tackle has been getting his share on prawns and cunjevoi, so call in to have a chat with him if you’re visiting Port Macquarie and he will steer you in the right direction.

bigger models) is a good way of getting a feed. There are still a few mulloway being landed from the beaches if you can get the sea conditions right. Big swells have been a pain, but when it settles you are in with a chance on Lighthouse Beach, Dunbogan or North Beach. It’s also worth giving the mouth of Lake Cathie a try; quality mulloway are caught from the sand here as well and bream, whiting and tailor are always on the cards. This month will finish off our colder season and it will be time to check out the bass gear and get ready for the new season. Bring it on!

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Martin and Tim with some vibe-caught bream. Vibes are a top lure at this time of year.





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Plenty of fish are on the chew FORSTER

David Seaman

August is arguably the coldest month of the winter cycle, but for those that have the motivation to brave the chill there are plenty of fish to catch.

Bouncing around the rocks at night during the new moon is ideal and the use of an auto-inflate life jacket is mandatory. With a lack of moonlight, it’s not hard to slip and fall, so make safety a priority. If you prefer to target conventional daylight species, like black drummer,

the key to success. Check out the beaches in daylight for gutters, or fish places like Blueys Beach and Janies Corner at the north end of Seven Mile Beach. THE LAKE The entrance to the lake around the Paddocks has been up and down. There are still a few flathead and bream

Fish the shallow flats and you’ll find the flathead. This is the best way to find a feed of fish in the lake this time of the year. Snapper have been regular cleaning table decorations along with flathead, pearl perch and an increasing number of leatherjackets. Settled weather should allow access to the coastal reefs and shoreline for tailor, bait and the odd rat kingfish. For many anglers the rocks and beach will be the focus for a variety of species that coincide with the seasonal spawning runs. Big bream and luderick are wash regulars at this time of the year and early mornings and evenings are the best times to target them. Potholing with yabbies or cooked prawns is a perfect combination with a rising tide and low light periods.

a rising tide and a good backwash or gutter will give you the best chance. Fishing with a lightly weighted cooked prawn on a 1/0 suicide style hook is the go. Of course, a mixed bag of tailor, bream and even a school mulloway is on the cards if you read the conditions and watch for the schools of bait that hang in the washes. Bream and school mulloway are available from the beaches, and the rocky ends of the sandy stretches are the best bet to make the most of your time and efforts. Big baits of squid or butterflied baitfish will give you a good chance of a mulloway from the sand. Finding a decent gutter is

in the area. An increase of luderick is encouraging and they extend down along the breakwalls, to the delight of those targeting them. The numbers of luderick and bream along the walls suggests there is an early run of fish returning from their coastal run. This is good news for anglers that want to tangle with the bream on the lower leases. The leases at the mouth of the Wallamba River have been fishing well with heaps of small fish, and enough big fish and bust-offs to make it a lottery. While fishing shallow bays for flathead I struck an unusual number of flounder in different areas. Catching one or two is cool, but five in a day is peculiar and



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unexpected. Add to that half a dozen flathead between 40-75cm and it’s a good session on the water. Using soft plastics like Squidgy Fish or Gulp 5” Jerk Shads on a 1/8oz jig over patchy weed beds in half a metre of water did the trick. A lot of legal size and undersized fish came along the western side of Wallis Island. Try targeting the shallow water for flathead, especially muddy flats like Ohmas Bay and mouth of the Wallamba River at the back of Tuncurry. It is a favourite winter spot for pan-size flathead and the occasional monster flathead. ODDS AND ENDS It seems the kingfish love the lower end of the lake. Some small kings have been stirring up a few anglers in the channel in front of Godwin Island and the silver trevally are still hanging around, though not in the numbers they were last month.

A welcome flathead by-catch of flounder is always a surprise and a tasty addition to the plate.

Decent sized pigs are loving the cold water and are great on the plate.


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A wet end to the winter HARRINGTON-TAREE

Ian Pereira

The weather here has been cold enough, but it could still be much colder and wetter. We have experienced a bit of a drought in the Manning since January, and the freshwater part of the Manning is barely flowing. However, the local old timers predicted that we were

in for a wet winter. Some of them are in their nineties and have been correct with their predictions in years gone past. With a La Nina weather pattern predicted for the Australian side of the Pacific Ocean there could easily be heaps of rain for the end of winter. This would certainly help the fishing with a bit of a fresh coming down the river to flush it out a bit. If we get some solid rain in the upper reaches of the river then we could have a

decent winter flood. A winter flood disrupts the fishing and is no good for the farmers, especially if the water stays up for a few days. ESTUARY The big seas, large swell and the west to southerly winds have not helped fishing in the Manning area. Bream have been scarce for a couple of weeks and it looks as if they will not school up to spawn for two or three weeks. Flathead are on the bite from the wall at Harrington.

An awesome 4.78kg snapper caught offshore during round two.

Andrew Nee with a tailor at the NSWFCA Convention Rock and Beach Championships 2017. Anglers using live herrings as bait for mulloway have been landing quite a few fish over 75cm on the slack water. There have been great luderick taken on green weed fished on a float from both the inside and outside of the wall. There are still a few mullet in the system, but not much is happening with them. It has been a pretty poor mullet season so far and catches will need to pick up for it to be classed as good. BEACH AND ROCK Prior to the bad weather there were good schools of tailor on Crowdy Beach with a few salmon as well. The southern end of the beach was producing decent bream and the occasional whiting.

At the present time the sea is too rough for safe fishing on the beach or on the rocks. The tailor should be back when the seas calm down. OFFSHORE The rough weather has had the same effect on fishing as it did on the beaches and rocks. However, prior to the bad weather the fishing was great. Spotted mackerel, Spanish mackerel, longtail tuna and bonito were all the go and most boats got amongst them. The mackerel stayed late this year and provided great fun. Usually they leave by the end of February. The water was extremely warm for this time of the year and this probably kept the fish down here.

The tailor usually depart for more northern climes at the end of July. However, some years the chopper tailor arrive after the departure of the larger winter fish. If the choppers do arrive then there will be plenty of action on the beaches and around the headlands. If they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t then it will be bream in the estuary, luderick on green weed during the day and on yabbies at night. The flathead will be buried in the mud and will only take a bait if it is dragged past their noses. Assuming no flood comes along then there should be great breaming to be had in the lower part of the estuary.

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Big fish on the beaches HUNTER COAST

Gary Earl

Get the lures out; tailor and salmon have hit town. They’re big and on the beaches, over the close reefs and hanging around Kooragang Island. Bream have also been on the chew, especially under Stockton Bridge. Bream have been under the rail bridge at Sandgate and also at Hexham. Take mozzie repellent with you, as the mozzies are still in attack mode. Bait and lures have been getting onto the fish, so if you’re boat fishing, try the area from the sailing club at Stockton up to the rock wall just up from the Hexham Bridge. If you’re land-based, toss lures and lightly weighted baits around the bridge pylons. Incoming tides are the best. Prawns have been the best bait. Don’t forget a slab of fresh mullet or a nice big squid on heavy gear. These baits see a lot of anglers capture big mulloway around the pylons, so take something heavy – a good rod set out can snag one here at times. The beaches have been pretty rough and at times you can’t keep a bait from running with the tide going north. You need heavy lead to get the bait to stay in the gutters and holes. Salmon, tailor and bream and the odd flathead have been around if you pick your days right. The top of the tides and the bottom of the tides are the best times, as the current slows a little. Worms have been the best option fresh from the sandy beaches. Mid tides are the best time to get worms. Offshore a few reefs must be holding juvenile snapper about 2kg in size, as the boat


A couple of nice big greenback tailor that took a lure. These fish are around and pretty decent in size. Look for them in rivers, lakes, beaches and close reefs. ramp cleaning table recently had some lovely pan-size fish on it ready to be cleaned. Unfortunately, the bloke wouldn’t give up the location he got them from. Nannygai and teraglin are around as well. Further out, bigeye tuna have been around. The farm reef, a long way from shore, is fishing very well. Some anglers bottom bouncing have seen the tuna breaching the surface and said they were around the 15kg mark with a lot of small ones. They started casting heavy lures, but the tuna weren’t interested in them. If they had live baits on board, the fish would have been fighting over them. On the way home they circled around the area with skirts and deep diving lures, but didn’t get any. Off the rocks drummer have been a hit and miss

adventure; some days in the washes they have been biting like crazy then the next day or week there’s nothing. Fish when the water is a little rough and be careful – it only takes one rogue wave to knock you over. If you can feed out a live bait, you may be able to get a kingfish or two. The ledges along the back of Newcastle have been the place for them. A squid on a float and the bait sitting down about 12ft down is the best way to get onto them. As I said, the drummer have had their days, as have the groper. Hopefully by now things will come good. This month I would be targeting bream in the river and beaches, juvenile snapper on the reefs, squid and medium kingfish off the rocks, and tailor and salmon offshore.

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Bream this size are great on the plate. They are around in all the estuaries and on the beaches. Worms and prawns are the best baits for them. AUGUST 2017


Big efforts for little rewards SWANSEA

Jason Scerri

Here it is: my least favourite month for fishing Lake Macquarie. It’s not that there are no fish to catch, it’s just that you generally have to put in a big effort and the reward often doesn’t match that effort. In saying that, if you’re like me, regardless of what the odds are you will still be putting the boat in and soaking a bait or flicking a lure in hope, just as we do every other month of the year.


I guess the other thing that makes it a little difficult during August is the weather. It’s often not too crash hot and the water temperatures are down. If I can offer one single piece of advice for anglers trying their luck this month it would be to slow it down. If you’re a bait fisher, use a drift anchor and slow your drift. Lure anglers need to really slow their retrieve down. This is the best piece of advice I can give for this month. The action in the channel around Salts Bay continues to improve with plenty of salmon about to keep anglers

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entertained. It provides ample fun for the kids and partners, that’s for sure. There are also sizable tailor in with the salmon schools. I know I’ve said it before, but keeping the odd fresh tailor to eat the same day is a good option, and they come up a treat when smoked. Regardless of how you plan to cook them, make sure you bleed them immediately. That will certainly help keep them right for the table. Flathead aren’t firing like they generally do at this time of year. They are about, but I’m not finding them in the sizes or numbers that I usually do during these cooler months, so I hope you’re having better luck on them than I am. I did find a few last trip out, but not in my usual locations. I opted for slightly shallower water and worked a bay I often fish when it’s warmer. I found reasonable 50cm+ fish in 3m of water. Again, the key was slightly smaller lures around the 3” mark and a nice slow retrieve. On the plus side I have managed to find a few good bream over the past month, which have made

up for the lack of flathead. Slow worked soft plastics on lightly weighted jigheads, matched to a no. 1 hook have been producing the goods for me. The bream seem to be in nice condition and most fish are around that 35-38cm range, which is great to see. A few mulloway are still about, but the evenings are very fresh now for those anglers that target them after dark. Squid continue to be the pick of the baits and soft plastics are also producing a few. I really like a good paddle-tail lure for mulloway, as I really believe this is one of the keys to successfully scoring mulloway regularly on lures. The fish in the lake aren’t huge at the moment with most fish in the 70-80cm range. They are great fun nonetheless. Offshore fishing has been producing quite a few good bags of snapper, with 45-60cm fish making up the bulk of catches. The fish are coming from a variety of offshore reefs and a mix of methods is doing the trick. Micro-jigs are proving particularly effective on these snapper. It’s worth noting that

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This 36cm bream took a liking to a Pro Lure Grub Tail soft plastic in crystal pink. shark boat Redemption skipper by Steve Dial has been mixing with quality tiger sharks. While it’s not for the faint hearted, Steve and his crew are very experienced at this style of fishing and the results speak for themselves. Offshore should hopefully also see a few tuna about. As is often the case

in our part of the world, there is plenty of water between tuna hits, so be sure to prepare for a long day with plenty of food, water and ample fuel. Yellowfin tuna and bluefin tuna are possibilities this month, but it really is a matter of being in the right place at the right time. Hopefully a few of you readers will do just that.


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A great 60cm flathead that the author pulled from 3m of water on a 3” soft plastic. it pays to have a live bait out as well if possible, as there are larger snapper on offer that can’t resist a nice live bait. The odd passing kingfish has also been caught. There are good numbers of trevally and tailor on offer for those crews working the offshore reefs out from Swansea. Bait anglers are generally getting the better catches, but some crews are also doing well working a variety of soft plastics. Again, if the drift is too quick to work the reefs effectively then drop over a drift chute or sea anchor as they really do help in this situation. Game fishing is quiet as is to be expected at this time of year. Local clubs have wrapped up their summer point score comps and generally the only offshore anglers seeing much action at present are those chasing sharks. As always, local



Rodd, Murray and Richard managed this fantastic mixed bag on a recent outing.

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Get into some monster snapper this month PORT STEPHENS

Paul Lennon

While August is perhaps the slowest month of the year for fishing out of Port Stephens, there are still some good fish to be

INSIDE THE BAY Luderick remain thick along the Nelson Bay and Anchorage rockwalls as well as the Torpedo Tubes and rockwalls around Winda Woppa. Weed has been a bit tough to get lately, but cabbage is

weed flies have also become a real hit this year with some anglers claiming they’re catching more with them than the real stuff. Schools of tailor have been working baitfish out the front of the Salamander Shores and Shoal Bay jetties on first and last light, with small 10-20g metal

Salmon and tailor are another option at the moment, with tailor fishing best during low light periods, particularly around Box and Fingal Bay. The best way to target the salmon is to sight cast using light gear and small metal lures, which you can often do along Fingal, Samurai

and One Mile beaches. A good pair of polarised sunglasses makes all the difference when looking for fish like salmon in the surf. Winter mulloway aren’t out of the question with the southern end of Stockton Beach often fishing well at this time of year. OFF THE ROCKS Luderick are still going strong off the ocean rocks with Barry Park, Boulder Bay, Cemetery Point and Burubi all good areas to hit. You shouldn’t have much trouble spinning up tailor on the first or last light from most of the headlands and points on either metals, sinking stickbaits or whole ganged pilchards. The protected bays and coves with kelpy bottoms meeting white rock boulders are holding

calamari squid, with some absolute crackers getting around like the one caught by young champ Jack Hodges. Size 3.0 jigs will work best off the rocks with greens, pinks and whites being the flavour of the month for colours. OFFSHORE If you want to catch a monster Port Stephens snapper then August is the month to do it. While the quantity might not be there, the quality certainly is with fish over the magic 20lb mark not uncommon. These fish will be hunting the shallows at this time of year with most of them coming from less than 20m of water. Unweighted baits fished at anchor down a berley trail or drifting while casting soft plastics are the two best methods to get connected to a big red.

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caught. This is especially the case on the snapper scene, as it’s your best chance of the year to land a proper 20lb donkey red.


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spinners provingF3deadly. Wangi Wangi Squid have been lurking through the weed beds in Shoal Bay from Sydney the hospital all the way through to where the boat moorings finish. You could also try for squid over the other side of the bay along F3 Jimmys Beach. The beaches have been fairly quiet. There have been a few bream on the Spit at Fingal Bay as well as Samurai, with live tube worms by far the number one bait for them. You will also greatly increase your chances of getting stuck into them if you fish the high tides, especially when they coincide with early morning or late afternoon.





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There’s still action out there for keen fishos ERINA

Aaron Donaldson

As we move into August, fishing on the Central Coast has been slow to say the least. Recent heavy rains seem to have affected the fishing, but there has still been some action for those keen enough to brave the conditions. Lake Macquarie has been fishing well and has been alive with bait as per usual. Both small tailor and schools of whitebait have been attracting the attention of local predators. Keen anglers have been having great sessions catching multiple species such as

bream, whiting, snapper and silver trevally. Some lucky anglers have pinned nice mulloway in the 60-100cm size on vibration lures and blades in the 40mm size. Just look for the birds or surface activity or find a ball of bait down deep and you won’t be disappointed. Salmon should also show up in huge numbers in the lake, and provide great sport on fly gear and light tackle. Brisbane Waters has been slow in its winter mode. Bait fishers have been doing well on the big bream around the rip bridge and half tide rocks area. Most anglers are using a sparse berley trail then floating pilchards back down using little or no weight, and

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fish to 1.5kg are common. Deeper water fishing should also start to fire in the Broadwater in the next few weeks. I really like fishing both soft plastics and blades in the 3-4m zone; it’s very similar fishing to Lake Macquarie. Estuary luderick have been sporadic so far. They become a prime target at this time of year and when they come on there can be some red-hot action. Anglers are already catching decent bags. The areas to try would be The Entrance, Wagstaff, and Budgewoi Channel. The Pittwater area is a favourite for anglers at this time of year, as the bait seems to hold there as the water cools. Salmon and kingfish can often be spotted surface feeding. It can be frustrating, as the fish can key in on small bait and reject everything you throw at them. Your best bet is usually a small, clear coloured soft plastic or casting small squid and baitfish patterned flies. Down rigged live squid can be super effective on the larger kingfish. Be aware, these fish can pull like freight trains and will wrap




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Clint Dimmock with an awesome Lake Mac mulloway that took a soft vibe. you around a mooring in about two seconds. The beaches have been fishing well. Anglers have caught smaller mulloway and plenty of sharks. Large strip baits, live baits and even lures can be effective. Large tailor and salmon will also be encountered. I still remember the size of the spawning salmon schools that turned up last year; it was just amazing watching sharks and seals ripping holes through them, so hopefully it will happen again. Offshore has been quite productive and some of the better anglers have had a great time catching mulloway, trag, pearl perch and snapper in the 60-100m area. Jigging for kingfish will be worth a go too. It can be red hot at times. Be sure to use your sounder to locate some fish and bait, then drop your offering straight on the fish’s head and hang on. Some of the bust-offs can leave you wondering what just happened! You’ll need 30-80lb braid and jigs from 80-300g depending on the

A lovely luderick on fly. The luderick should fire this month. current. Scotty Thorrington has been using a slower jigging technique and octa style jigs for some amazing results on great mulloway. It

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pays to experiment and mix it up out there. Game fishing has been very quiet. A lot of local boats have been trying to crack the swordfish code in our area with mixed results. I’ve heard of a few bites, but surely it’s only a matter of time before someone connects with one. The fish are definitely there to be caught. The bluefin and yellowfin tuna are yet to show, but it won’t be too long. Some of the best fish last year were caught at the start of the season, so don’t sit at home waiting for reports. Get out there and you might be surprised. The fish can be anywhere from just inside the shelf to well beyond, so it pays to keep any eye out for bird activity, and also keep an ear on the radio in case any other boats have found an area or patch of water that is holding fish. Both trolling and cubing can be effective. Don’t forget you must be well prepared with all the safety gear and more than enough fuel for the proposed voyage. Hopefully, my next report will be more positive!










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The Z-Man 3” MinnowZ is a versatile and deadly 3” paddle tail that has accounted for many Aussie species. Anglers told the Z-Man team they wanted a paddle tail with a shorter, slimmer profile, with the benefits of ElaZtech (10X Tough, super-soft and flexible with built-in buoyancy for maximum action at slow speeds and a lifelike tail-up action when at rest on the bottom). The Slim SwimZ packs a lively, lifelike action in its little paddle tail; an action that attracts species not commonly associated with a 2.5” soft plastic. Both bass and bream tournament anglers are excited with this release, but it will also appeal to anglers chasing yellowbelly, trout, redfin, saratoga, sooties and jungle perch in the fresh, and flathead, grunter, tarpon, giant herring, tuna and a myriad other species in the salt. It will also be a winner on species that often frustrate anglers with their preference for tiny baitfish. It comes in 12 colours with eight per pack. Price: SRP $8.95




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Global eyewear powerhouse Costa Del Mar has launched their much anticipated new range of 2017 frames and an extension of new colours in existing frame designs. There’s now an additional six new frame styles available in Australia from Costa dealers, as well as three new colours across the existing Costa range! The six new frame styles are aptly named, with the first new addition ‘Bloke’ perfectly reflecting the humorous Australian lifestyle. The five other new frames include other locally inspired designs, Tasman Sea, Reefton, Kiwa, Cook and White Tip. One of Costa’s biggest qualities is their inherent ability to continue to push the boundaries in frame colour. Their Bio Resin frames now come available in four new colour ways, including two new brilliant Matte Teak finishes. Costa has these new frames and colours in their glorious 580 lens technology, effectively blocking the harshest light waves in the visible spectrum, and enhancing the portions that help you see more clearly into the water. Price: From $349





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TiCA Gymir reels are crammed packed with many superb features and offer the angler an impressive reel at exceptional pricing. The Gymir reels are available in five sizes from a 1500 for estuary and freshwater applications through to a 6000 size so they have most fishing scenarios covered. They feature a high tensile strength body, aluminium alloy spool, solid aluminium bail wire, worm shaft drive system, one way clutch impact absorbent ball bearing, computer balanced rotor and six RRB rust resistant ball bearings. The Gymir reels also feature a drag system with carbon drag washers and have drag ratings of 4kg for the 1500 size through to 10kg for the 6000 size, and offer an easy access oil inlet for easy maintenance. These reels feel very smooth straight out of the box and are certainly worth a look. Price: SRP from $99.95


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The snapper are still chomping on cuttlefish ILLAWARRA

Greg Clarke

Don’t put the snapper gear away yet – there are still a few good weeks left in the cuttlefish run. Lots of quality fish were taken last month on both bait and plastics. For the first few weeks of August at least, nothing should change before they start to taper off as the cuttlies become less numerous towards the end of the month. Putting down a good berley trail over one of the shallow northern reefs is always a good way to start the day, before heading a little deeper and working plastics or chasing down a few floating cuttlefish and casting baits around them later in the day. Either way, you’d be unlucky if you didn’t get a few fish, but it does happen. For the rest of the offshore scene things are a bit on the slow side as winter keeps its grip on the coast. Trevally are over most reefs if you use a bit of berley, and there are a few schools of salmon starting to pop up around Bass Point and the islands. The salmon will become more abundant and obvious later in the month as they start to feed on the tiny baitfish that come through during spring. The dead giveaway will be the flocks of seagulls hovering over the feeding schools. Very small

There are still a few nice snapper about chewing on the cuttlies. plastics or metals cast into the schools may get results, as they are very particular about size and colour when feeding like this and regularly reject everything on offer except the bait they are feeding on. For better results try letting your lures drop below the feeding schools where the trevally and small snapper are usually less particular about what they eat and will take your offerings. Fishing the washes and bommies with prawns and pilchards is producing a mixed bag of tailor, drummer, bream, salmon and trevally, so it can be a bit of a lottery as to what will grab your bait next. There aren’t many flathead to report for the bottom bouncers. The diehards are still scraping up a feed with a few reef fish mixed in to fill the bags

like small snapper, the odd mowie, pigfish, trevally and plenty of sweep. The toothy barracouta have been around in great numbers this winter from early June, and are still being a pest. They taste alright, though a bit bony, and I know a few people who swear by them in the smoker. It’s something to think about. If you need any bait, this month is renowned for the extra large striped tuna that come through every year, often right into the back of the beaches. There aren’t many as there used to be but still enough to make a chase worthwhile. Keep an eye out for the terns and gulls moving quickly and diving into the water among the splashes the tuna make when feeding. Casting small lures will usually get better results than trolling, although some days they will stay up and grab a trolled lure, particularly if you are in deeper water. If you’re in close, they will be

put in some time close to the edge after dark though, you’ll get a few. Just remember, it is ten times more dangerous on the rocks at night. Be aware of the tides and wave heights in your chosen spot. Alternately, don the wetsuit during the day in the calm conditions and go in for a swim to get a few crabs, if you’re willing to take on the cold water. This is only for the dedicated. The same deeper ledges are great for groper and other species. The beaches are very quiet at the moment with a few tailor getting about. They are good fish up to 3kg and the odd bream and the usual salmon are about too, but are very

of one of the streams that’s worth a look. About the only thing that will put the fish off the bite is heavy rain, which discolours the water and lowers the salinity levels, forcing the fish downstream. This can be a blessing as it concentrates all the fish in the mouths of the estuaries. If you can find the concentration point then you are in for some good fishing when this particular situation arises. Of course the best fishing is during the hours of darkness when it can get very cold, so put on the winter woollies and grab the thermos, or invite a few mates along like Johnnie

who loves to tangle with big sharks, the action will only get better over the coming months. If you’re a snapper fisho, you just have to put up with the little snapperstealing makos on the close reefs or stay at home. Out wide the current is usually slower during winter so deep dropping the canyons is a great option. Blue-eye, hapuka, gemfish and other assorted ooglies are always keen to grab anything that comes their way in the deep water. In close the rocks are worth a look, with drummer and groper heading up the list. Most rock spots have been producing good-sized drummer on royal red prawns, crab and bread. The odd bream is mixing it with the drummer as a bonus, and a few trevally have been showing up as well if a bit of berley is used, especially around the deep water spots like Kiama, Bombo, Bass Point and Port Kembla. It’s not always snapper that take a liking to soft plastics. These guys are the number one destroyer of plastics, but sometimes they get it wrong.

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With calm seas around during August and not a lot of action, groper can be a good standby. spooked down very easily. Further offshore there have been a few yellowfin tuna around the shelf and Kiama Canyons. Albacore have been mixed in with the fin, taken on trolled small skirts and pillies. The cooler water sharks are starting to show in numbers now, with makos and blues in all sizes popping up in berley trails all along the coast. If you’re a game fisho

While the westerlies are blowing and the water is calm it’s a good opportunity to have a crack at a few groper from the stones. Whole red crabs are the top bait, but it can be harder catching the bait than the fish these days. Gone are the days when the rocks were covered in abundant cunji, the rock pools were full of sea urchins and there was a crab under every rock and ledge. If you

hit and miss. A few diehard mulloway anglers have been persisting with a few schoolies getting about. You will really have to put in the long, cold hours for your reward. Fishing the estuaries at this time of the year can be tough, with very few options. The main attraction which many anglers in search of bream turn their attentions to is the feeder streams and tributaries of Lake Illawarra. There seems to be a ready supply on tap for those with their act together. With a little thought and preparation anyone can get a few. At this time of the year the bream tend to congregate around sunken trees and bridge pylons in the upper reaches of the streams, and it doesn’t matter how crook the weather turns offshore, there is always a sheltered spot somewhere along the banks

Walker or Jack Daniels, then the fishing and the company can be quite pleasant. During the day the fish tend to be smaller with a lot of undersized pickers stealing your baits. Small lures are working well, taking some bigger fish. It could be a territory thing and any small fish straying into the bream’s space gets the hurry up while baits are ignored. Peeled prawns cast unweighted into the snags or pylons are still the best way to nail a few. The odd flathead is about in the estuaries as well, but they are at the other end of the stream down around the entrances. A couple of larger than average fish have been taken lately in both the lake and Minnamurra. Live baits have been hard to find, so lures have been scoring most of the action. They will be hard work to get a hit though.

Changing cold conditions tactics NOWRA

Johnny Nolan

It looks as though the tuna are still playing hide and seek for most anglers in our waters. There have been a couple of lucky anglers boating the odd decent fish, but they are far and few between. A few albacore, jumbo stripies and some nice bottom dwelling species such as ling and ocean perch seem to be featured in most anglers’ reports from out wide. In closer there have been a few kingfish around the cliffs and a few reds around the washes and inshore reefs. You have to work hard for them, due to leatherjacket bite-offs. The leatherjackets are becoming a real problem. Squid fishers, the bottom bashing brigade and even the game fishos are being terrorised at the moment, with these guys biting off gear left, right and centre. This makes for an expensive day on the water. All things considered, if you can escape them there have been some nice catches of flatties from the grounds both out the front of the Jervis Bay and

the Crookhaven River. I saw some video footage recently of the artificial reef Fisheries put in a couple of years back out from the Shoalhaven Heads Surf Club. It looks as though fish species are starting to frequent this reef in good numbers. Species such as salmon, tailor, snapper, mulloway, kingfish, squid and a myriad of baitfish are all visiting this reef system. As time goes on this should

only get better as more and more growth on the reef will create a little ecosystem. You can get the GPS coordinates for the reef off the DPI website and check out the video of the reef on YouTube. This spot is definitely worth a look. In our rivers and estuaries the water has cooled right down now. There are still fish to be caught, but they may require a change of tactics. If you’re a soft plastics or

Wal Balzin with a very impressive basin bream. These should be prevalent in both the river and the basin right through the winter months.

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blade fisho targeting bream and flathead, heavily scented smaller lures worked super slowly along the bottom are the order of the day for winter lure fishing. Lift, wind and let the lure sit for several seconds for a productive way of getting a strike, especially with the bream. If you’re a hardbody lure fisho, slow rolling suspending lures is hard to beat in our creek and river systems for the bream at this time of year. A tight cast, two twitches and a 1-2m slow roll, then a pause letting the lure suspend for up to ten seconds can trigger those big bluenose winter bream into striking your lure, hopefully! Broughten Creek on the Shoalhaven is a classic spot for this form of fishing and is producing some nice fish in the 1kg+ class at present. Two of my favourite lures are the pink/purple Attack and the Atomic Bream Shad Deep in the muddy prawn colour. I have donated so many of these lures to the trophy rooms of big bream in this creek over the years. You’d think they would learn to pass them up, but they don’t. There are still plenty of perch and mulloway right

Matt Russell with an awesome 63.8kg yellowfin he caught aboard Reel Dev-Ocean recently. throughout the Shoalhaven/ Crookhaven system with those crisp early winter mornings being prime time to target both species. That is, prime time for the fish, not too sure about the fisher – it’s a bit cold! There are plenty of good-size drummer and luderick around the rock

ledges both north and south of the bay and some mega squid are also being caught off the rocks, which isn’t a bad ploy for getting away from the leatherjackets. They seem to hang out from the rocks a bit. Enjoy more of winter everyone. Be good and stay safe!








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Getting into exceptional winter bream fishing MERIMBULA

Stuart Hindson

The last few weeks have seen some incredible weather around the Merimbula region with flat calm seas making the journey of 40-50 miles to the tuna grounds that much more comfortable! Most crews heading wide have had success with southern bluefin tuna to 50-60kg. There have been bigger fish smashing bait on the surface. I haven’t heard of a 100kg fish caught yet. It shouldn’t be long before it happens as the long-liners

a little further south are having a field day. Trolling is the go-to method recently with mid-sized pushers and bigger bibbed minnows getting the desired results. You get to cover a lot of ground trolling. If you find a patch, pull up and start cubing. You may just hold the school at the boat. If this happens, you’re in for some serious fun. It’s not just bluefin being caught either. A few yellowfin tuna to 55kg+ and albacore to 18kg have been caught, with one local boat getting all three species on a recent trip, which can be hard to do. It’s certainly not impossible if the fish are there.

Winter bream fishing in our southern estuaries is nothing short of exceptional.

Closer inshore the snapper are in full swing with Long Point, White Cliffs and Horseshoe reefs all holding fish at times. The average size is a kilo – a good eating size – and there are plenty of them. There is the odd model to 4kg being caught too. Anglers drifting have done well with fresh squid, cuttlefish and tuna strips all working. Mixed in with the reds are morwong with the odd kingfish. Those trolling close to the rocks are catching plenty of bonito and big salmon. This is good fun on lighter outfits and with the flat seas a few locals in small boats are having a ball – it’s well worth the effort. There have been a few reports of bigger kingfish and, in some cases, big schools of them. They can be hard to entice to bite though. Anglers catching a few seem to be getting them on larger poppers. This is a great way to target them as the visual aspects come into their own. It was this time last year that some very big kings made Merimbula Bay their home for quite a few weeks. There were plenty of monster kings hooked, but few landed as a lot of anglers were under gunned. These bigger fish

Even with the cold water a good feed of dusky flathead is always on the cards. might be in trouble this year, with those same anglers all geared up and ready to fire. In the estuaries August is definitely the quietest month with the water a cold 10°C. Still, anglers are getting good trevally and salmon in the top lake and the channels below the main wharf in town. Smaller soft plastics are faring best, and the flooding tide is good. There should be a few luderick and bream available for those targeting them with fresh weed and tuna cubes. Use a little berley for both these species and you shouldn’t have too many worries getting a feed. The channels are the place to fish. On the beaches salmon are everywhere. Any

beach with a half decent gutter is producing. All methods are working: paternoster rigs with bait/ popper combination, casting chromed slices and even soft plastics on larger jigheads. If you’re after a bit more sport, try using a bream outfit with 4 or 6lb gelspun and a 20g Shiner. You can cast these things a mile. You’ll lose a lot of fish with the trebles, so try changing them to a single hook for a better hook-up to landed ratio. Mixed in with the sambos are some reasonable tailor to a kilo. Smoke these up and they are great on the plate. The better beaches include Tura Main and North Tura, as both these beaches have great, deep gutters.

Winter off the rocks fishes very well with luderick, drummer, groper and bream all possible targets. There’s the chance of a good snapper, especially after a blow. They will come in close after a feed. Tura Head is the ideal place to fish. This platform is deep and many a good snapper has come from here. If you’re after the pelagic species, salmon, tailor and bonito are all available. Whole pilchards on ganged hooks are a great way to target them. With the bread and butter species, cunjevoi, cut crab, cabbage and fresh prawns should suffice. Short Point and the rocks on the northern side of Merimbula Bay are well worth a look.


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Stable and calm weather NAROOMA

Stuart Hindson




A couple of cracking black bream that Nean ‘Cookie’ Cook caught recently. Both fish were released. You don’t often hear of this generally deeper water quarry in berley trails. It just goes to show anything is possible. The lads got three bigeye with the best around 55kg – great eating and awesome fun. Closer to shore, Montague Island is a bit up and down. Some days the bigger kingfish are on top, but other days it’s like a desert. The only thing to do is have a look and hopefully they decide to play the game. The kings that have been caught are big. I know of several 20kg models and a few bigger ones lost over the last few weeks. Trolled larger slimy mackerel are the weapon of choice. The inside edge of the Fowl House Reef has been the pick. To be honest they can show up anywhere. Those after a feed of bottom dwellers are licking their lips with snapper, morwong, John Dory and pigfish chewing on most reefs. The better areas are north of Narooma and Potato Point. You may have to move around to locate concentrated schools, but you’ll be rewarded for your effort. In the estuaries it has been slow, particularly in Wagonga Inlet. The water is cold and clear – not ideal conditions in this pristine system. It will get better as the water warms, but at the moment it’s tough going. Anglers doing well are

Bream just love hardbodies when fished in the right conditions.

fishing the lower sections in the channels from the bridge to the charter boat wharf. You can expect trevally, bream and the odd flathead if you’re casting plastics around. For the bait fishos, luderick and mullet are in good numbers and the flooding tide is best. If you’re after some consistency, concentrate on the smaller estuaries like Corunna, Mummaga and Brou Lake. All these systems fish well for flathead during winter. You will catch plenty to 40cm, with smaller soft plastics and blades both working well. I’d be fishing the margins in 2-4m of water. Once you locate a patch, concentrate your efforts around it. It’s common once you find them to get your bag quite easily, if you need that many. You will catch the odd bream and trevally as well with small chopper tailor wreaking havoc on your tackle. Sometimes they are that thick that you just have to move to get away from them. Up at Tuross there have been solid lizards to 65cm caught, mainly on softies fished in the deeper water. The fish are concentrated in the deeper holes. Once you find them expect some solid action. This month should see a few mulloway enter the system too; they can be targeted in the deeper sections of the river and lake. Salmon and tailor have been caught off the beaches. The better beaches include Narooma Main and Brou Beach to the north of Dalmeny. Both beaches have decent gutters with the southern end of Narooma Main exceptional at present. Off the stones the usual cold water culprits like luderick, drummer, bream and groper are keeping anglers happy. You have to work for them, with the white water almost non-existent and the flat seas. Using a little more berley should turn things around. The northern ledge on the third hole at the golf course rocks has been excellent.


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The last three weeks have seen the most stable weather that I can recall in the last 30 years, with almost no wind and extremely flat seas. This has been great for those offshore boaties targeting the larger pelagic species like yellowfin and bluefin tuna. While both species have been caught, the tuna are a long way out with some crews venturing 70-80 miles to the tuna grounds. That’s a massive distance to travel considering you have to get back too. Having the right crew and boat is essential. Safety is paramount. If everything is in order, expect some exceptional fishing. Most of the bluefin captured have been school fish in the 40-60kg bracket – not huge fish, but still a lot of fun on the right tackle. There has been the odd 80-90kg model caught. The long-liners further south off Green Cape are getting monster bluefin, so it’s only a matter of time before they swim past our doorstep. Let’s hope anyway. Trolling has certainly been the method of choice. You can cover more ground and find the fish. Some crews are switching to a cube trail when the tuna are located and having great success. This can be extremely visual fishing, with the tuna at times almost touchable, they are that close to the boat. It’s here when casting bigger soft plastics or poppers on good quality spin gear becomes a stack of fun. Multiple hook-ups are the norm and it’s not uncommon to bag 10-15 fish in a session if your arms allow it. Local gun charter boat Playstation had a cracking day recently catching bluefin, albacore and bigeye tuna. Nick and the boys had the fish at the back of the boat for a few hours, boating and letting go numerous fish with the bigeye a very welcome surprise.



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Record bluefin tuna caught off Batemans Bay BATEMANS BAY

Anthony Stokman

Andrew ‘Hooch’ Turner and Richie Rich caught one of the biggest bluefin tuna on a rod and reel in Australia! Coming in at a massive 168kg, you can say it was a true jumbo. The bluefin bite has been a bit patchy, but has still been worth the effort, especially if you catch and land a monster like this 168kg fish. There was a hot bite on 29 June not far out on the 150°30’ line wide of Bermi with thick schools of fish around the 30-40kg mark. We were hit with a bit of weather which kept the boats in until 2 July – a date that will be etched inside two boys’ heads for life. The Batemans Bay lads woke up early that morning in hope of some bluefin action and uncertain if the fish would be there, as these fish are known to move quickly from place to place with the currents, finding food and oxygenating their gills. These fish have a high oxygen demand and that’s why they swim with their mouth open, forcing water past their gills in a process called ram ventilation. Other fish have a separate pump that streams water over the gills, but bluefin have to keep swimming to allow water to pass over the gills, which have 30 times more surface area than other fish. The water temperature can be important also as the oxygen concentration in the water changes with the temperature, being lower at higher temperatures. The bluefin are comfortable in 17-20°C and are known to endure as low as 3°C and as high as 30°C when spawning. Bluefin also require water to be relatively high in salinity in order to keep equilibrium of the ions within their body. Due to the bluefin’s high metabolic need, ions must be taken up relativity quickly to ensure sufficient concentrations for cellular function, and they do this by drinking the water that is high in salinity. This regulation of internal ion concentration classifies southern bluefin tuna as osmoregulators. And the boys that morning as they were fuelling up kept this in mind. They knew those pesky osmoregulators could be anywhere by now. It always helps during bluefin season that there are lots of boats on the water with radios. After a couple of days of bad weather, the boys were out there and the search was on. It wasn’t too long before they were found just east of the northern sea mount. Hooch and Richie were

close by and so were quite a number of boats, which meant it wasn’t too long before a heap of pillies were dumped into the water. This is the absolute most important thing to do immediately – start cubing pillies straight away. The bluefin can be a bit flighty at times and may come to a couple of cubes and then go down and disappear. Once they get food and see there’s more food to grab in front of them though, the rest of the school keeps feeding. They can settle into a feeding mode, which can keep them up for hours.

they have breakfast, lunch and dinner. They don’t feed all day long. They feed at particular times and the tides can play a major role in this, so fish around the tides. Once the bite died down Hooch and Richie decided to pull up and start trolling again. As they trolled away Richie decided to grab the biggest, ugliest black and purple lure he could find rigged with double hooks. He looked at Hooch. Hooch was sceptical and said, “I don’t know man, looks pretty bloody big. If anything hits it then we are in trouble.”

The boys were elated and weren’t quite sure of the enormity of the fish. First they guessed 90kg, then over 100kg and finally they estimated around 150kg. It had a head on it the size of a 44 gallon drum, it was a big puppy. Once it got to the weigh station it pulled 167.8kg. The world record for heaviest southern bluefin is 178kg and after that it’s 167.5kg. If Hooch was affiliated, he would have taken second heaviest southern bluefin tuna caught in the world. Fish of a lifetime, boys. One of the commercial boats caught one weighing 158kg after cleaning so we definitely are experiencing some larger models this year. In saying that, the main size being caught is 30-40kg and the average fish coming off the commercial fleet has been 40kg, so as the season continues this month, hopefully we’ll see some of those 60-80kg schools cruising wide of the tollgates – fingers crossed. Other than a great bluefin encounter, those who are in boats inshore can expect the snapper to continue to have a good, average bite. Off the stones drummer have been good. The beaches have had good runs of salmon and the

The tuna are making a splash offshore and are getting a lot of anglers excited. tailor have still been in decent numbers and in very good size. Some big greenbacks are cruising around this winter. Fishing the beaches at night has seen plenty of big sharks and the odd mulloway. Estuaries are still fishing reasonably well considering the time of the year, with bream and flathead still wanting to play. Come into the shop if you are in the area

for more reports of what’s going on on the south coast. Stay warm! • 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).

The boys with their massive bluefin beast. Our boys Hooch and Richie were amongst the action having the time of their lives. After a while the bite turned off. Some say Pino on Freedom scared them off, some say the divers scared them off and some say Jem Abbott’s loud heavy metal music scared them off. I’m not here to start rumours, but I reckon it was Justin Westbury. He wasn’t there, but the thought of him heading out would have scared the bluefin away. I don’t know why he isn’t called ‘banana’ by now. Anyway, the bluefin bite seemed to have switched off and then the wind started to pick up a bit. The fish seemed to have bit on the tide change and I never seem to catch bluefin when it’s rough. Yellowfin, yes – they love the rough, but I only seem to catch bluefin on calmer days. I have also noticed the tides are important with these fish. Fish are like humans –

Richie likes trouble and tossed it in the spread. As all the other boats were burning towards where the action was in hopes of there still being a fish wanting to play, the boys were trolling away in the opposite direction. The bigger fish tend to swim around the outside of the smaller school fish, so it makes sense that once they got some distance away from the main school the reel started to scream and they saw it was the massive lure that was hit. An hour later it was boat side and found to be hooked in the side. When this big bluefin came up to take a swipe at the lure, it must have missed and copped it in the side. The fish was big with thick skin, so the lure stayed in. The boys were over the moon once the gaff was in, but next was the task of getting it in the boat. With help from another boat and Pino jumping on board, they eventually got it on deck. AUGUST 2017


Offshore westerlies winding up the action TATHRA

Darren Redman

Offshore westerly winds are common for August, and with this the best of the fishing is likely to be out at sea. There are snapper around in good numbers. Anglers who anchor up and berley will have the best results on larger fish. North out from Goalen Head, Aragunnu or Nelsons Headland will produce. Anchor in as deep as possible with the current. Down south out from White Rock you will have similar success. With offshore winds you’ll be able to get close to shore and work those soft plastic lures on the inshore reefs for snapper. The fish may not be as big as those that come up a berley trail, but they are great fun and there are always other species willing to get in on the act. Drift fishing is still the preferred method on the reefs or sand. When around rock or gravelly areas you are likely to obtain a variety of reef fish like morwong, perches, jackets and wrasse or fish like Tassie trumpeter on the wider reefs. Anglers working the sandy areas

out from the beaches will encounter reasonable numbers of sand flatties with the odd gummy shark thrown in. Water depths at around 30m are a common place to start, and the grounds both north and south of Kianinny Bay are producing. On shore there is plenty of fun to be had on and around the wharf. Arrow squid are attracted to this area. These may move in of an evening. Sometimes they are so thick you can’t miss and other times you can work for very little results.

Winter species you may expect to encounter are yellowtail, slimy mackerel or garfish on the smaller scale while trevally, salmon and tailor will make up the bulk of the larger species. Close to the rocks there are some nice luderick to be taken on green weed. Luderick are not just hanging around the wharf, there are plenty to be found around on the rocks. Mixed in with them are plenty of excellent drummer of a large size. Cabbage weed or cunjevoi will account for

Morwong are a popular winter offshore catch.

most, while anglers berleying with bread will bring the fish to the surface. Beach fishing is fair with reasonable schools of salmon around to keep anglers entertained. One of the best ways to do so is casting lures to passing schools with offshore breeze. You are also likely to find the odd tailor with this method. Bait fishos will also encounter these species and great bream and trevally. The most productive beaches have been Bournda to the south, Gillards or Cowdroys to the north while the main beach at Tathra near the entrance of the Bega River is well worth a look. Wallagoot Lake south of Tathra is still landlocked even after the rain and is hosting some very large snapper and tailor. These fish can be taken on lures with soft plastics working on the snapper. Hard metal slugs or minnow diving lures either trolled or cast will work on the tailor. There has been a little action in the Bega River in the form of bream and estuary perch holding tight in on structure. A fair amount of effort is needed to extract them. The rock wall adjacent to the boat ramp and around the bridge pylons you can catch good luderick on

Mullet are a winter option, providing plenty of fun for all ages. weed. Anglers who wish to target flathead have been pleasantly surprised with the odd thumper. The floods earlier in the year have opened the

mouth of the Bega River to a record level for maybe the last two decades. This will only be good news for anglers leading into the spring months.

Wallaga Lake has closed to the ocean again BERMAGUI

Darren Redman

After several seasons Wallaga Lake has finally closed to the ocean again. What will this mean for the fishing? From my experience, it will create very hard fishing for anglers. Fish now have no tidal movement to bring the food to them so they need to fossick.

Anglers should concentrate their efforts in the shallows over the flats east of the bridge or up on the western side of the lake around the rocky areas. The clear water will create very good sight casting with lures, especially for the large bream that call Wallaga home. The estuaries are extremely quiet, however the Bermagui Bridge offers a good vantage point from which to polaroid schools of bream, whiting, trevally

and plenty of luderick. These fish move in with the first of the rising tide. They will regularly take nippers or squirt worms early on when the tide flows. The bite may only last a short time and can vary from day to day. Luderick will respond to weed fishing near the boat ramp at the bridge, rock walls or bridge pylons towards the latter end of the falling tide. If those tuna are still around, any offal thrown in the harbour around the main boat

The shallow flats east of Wallaga Lake Bridge hold many bream like this. 56


ramp will attract fish looking for an easy meal. Fish with tuna on short mono traces to keep your bait on the bottom away from the small fish. Bream, trevally, luderick, tailor and the occasional flathead will be the more common species, while those big black bull rays may often suck up an angler’s bait, which can result in spectacular bust-offs. There are some good gutters along our beaches, which are attracting plenty of salmon. These fish can be taken with baits or – more interesting – on lures. There are decent tailor mixed in, bream and mullet closer to shore that are responding well to berley. For those who are really keen, gummy sharks have been caught at night around the new or full moon. For those who like the open ocean and prefer catching their table fare, tiger flathead are starting to show. While they’re not in large numbers yet, there is enough to make it worth going to sea. The usual areas like the edge of the Four and Six-Mile reefs are probably the best with the Step out from Tilba also having its share. You are also likely to encounter plenty of sand flathead closer to shore out from the beaches where conditions are likely to be much calmer.

Shallow water will produce results. With these calm conditions boaties can go relatively close to shore and try all different styles of angling. Anglers can troll for pelagics. Salmon are the most likely candidates, or an odd kingfish. When a school of salmon is encountered, casting will take over increasing the fun. Bait fishing or using soft plastics in only a few metres of water around structure is a lot of fun with only light spin tackle. The species found here

are too numerous to mention although the favourites are snapper, flathead, trevally, morwong and there are likely to be many odd balls as well. One practice here that is becoming popular is to fish with red crabs for groper with some fish being exceptionally large. Out on the wider reefs, snapper and morwong are the mainstay with a few perch thrown in. Don’t expect heaps, but it will improve from here on in.

Nearing the end of winter and cold water fishing EDEN

Kevin Gleed

With less than 2” of rain recently all the rivers and lakes in the area have been clear with little fresh water flow in the upper reaches. Fishing out wide at this time of year in the past spelled yellowfin tuna, but this year they have been notably absent. In the good

old days, which don’t seem that long ago, if you were fishing anywhere from 40 fathoms and beyond, you could expect to catch yellowfin tuna. You just have to be patient, lay down a berley trail and they would show up. Those days are long gone. As of yet there is little to report on southern bluefin tuna with only reports of albacore tuna and sharks being caught. Further inshore

there has been some good fishing for snapper to report. Winter sees the fish caught in numbers with better-thanaverage fish about. Early morning will see fish caught closer to shore with the fish moving to deeper water as the sun rises. Sand flathead are being caught and thankfully the area isn’t plagued with those pesky leatherjackets that chew off all your tackle before anything gets to the

Black bream can be found in the deeper water with blades still catching fish. bottom. Once they are about you may as well give up fishing. A few kingfish have been caught, but they are not about in big numbers. Along the beaches salmon are being caught along with some goodsize tailor. There has been plenty of surf stirring up the beaches, making some good gutters for fishing. Fishing the beach into the night has

Silver trevally are plentiful over the winter months.

seen a few gummy sharks caught and a fillet of salmon is a great bait. Fish where the salmon are and you should be in the right spot. The flathead in the rivers are hard to catch with the cold days and cold water slowing the fishing right down. The entrance to the rivers has seen some trevally, tailor and yellowfin bream caught with fresh

bait. Nippers and beach worms are catching fish. B i g g e r- t h a n - a v e r a g e tailor are also in the rivers at this time of year, but landing them is another thing. They bite through all but the thickest of traces. The black bream are being caught further upstream. With little fresh about, they will keep heading upstream to spawn.


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425 The Entrance Rd, Long Jetty Ph (02) 4333 3444

36 Bourke Street, Dubbo Ph (02) 6882 2853

160 North St, Grafton Ph (02) 6643 1199

537 Ocean Dr, North Haven Ph (02) 6559 9344







1 Railway Rd North, Mulgrave Ph (02) 4577 6699

1131 Pacific Hwy, Cowan Ph (02) 9456 1444

474 Wagga Road, Lavington Ph (02) 6040 9999







Winding up winter MALLACOOTA

Kevin Gleed


BALLINA MARINELAND 67 Endeavour Close, BALLINA Ph: 02 6686 2669



2 Sharon Road, BATEMANS BAY Ph: 02 4472 2612 •



36 Burke Street, DUBBO Ph: 02 6882 2853 •



129 The Lakesway, FORSTER Ph: 02 6554 5866 • www.



2A McCarrs Creek Road, CHURCH POINT Ph: 02 9997 2411 •

Winter has settled in and the town is very quiet with only a handful of visitors. We’ve had cold overnight temperatures and cold days. With one more month to go, it’s only going to get colder. The past month has seen a couple of inches of rain with many cloudy days. Out wide there are still swordfish being caught. With more and more boats chasing these fish it’s not surprising boats are heading out from Mallacoota, Marlo and Lakes Entrance. A good day sees over 20 boats spread out trying to get amongst the action. Schools of albacore tuna are out there with little to report in the way of southern bluefin tuna. Out around the Star Banks, kingfish are being caught. Boats trolling lures and jigging are getting amongst the fish. Fishing for flathead has quietened right down and no tiger flathead have been caught. Only a few sand flathead have been reported. These fish have been caught from around Tullaberga Island. This time of year sees only a few boats out there as the fishing is slow, due to the cold water temperatures. A few sharks have been caught, both school sharks and gummy sharks. Fishing the beach has seen the salmon caught along the gutters from Bastion Point down to the Betka River. Once again, the key to get amongst the fish is to keep moving until fish can be found, and flicking

Everyone is dreaming about the return of the warmer weather. a lure is the best way to cover ground. The harbour at Bastion Point has seen a few yellowfin bream caught along with salmon and some good-size tailor. The front of the lake has been fishing well for trevally. This species loves the colder water with numbers of fish increasing over the cold winter months. Yellowfin bream are also being caught in Harrisons Channel. Luderick (blackfish) are also more abundant over the winter months. A few flathead have been caught, but you need to really work for a feed. The bottom lake and top lake have seen some black bream catches recently.

This species has formed a distinct pattern over the past 15 years with the bulk of the fish moving out into deeper water. It comes as no surprise with all the whitebait schools leaving the edges. Maybe it’s something to do with their spawning requirements. Find the whitebait and the bream won’t be far behind. These fish can be caught in the shallows, but it’s nowhere near the action that the deep water can provide. Trevally and tailor will be found in the same area. The tailor can be a pest sometimes, stealing your lures. By the same token, they provide the scraps that liven up the other fish.



1-13 Mangrove Lane, TAREN POINT Ph: 02 9524 0044 •



59 Holbeche Road, ARNDELL PARK Ph: 02 9672 1922 •



3871 Sturt Highway, WAGGA WAGGA Ph: 02 6922 8444 • Flathead are still about, but they are not easy to catch. AUGUST 2017


2017 2017


LAT 33° LONG 151° LAT 33° 52’ LONG 151° 13’ LAT 33° 52’52’ LONG 151° 13’13’ Times and Heights of High and Low Waters Times and Heights of High and Low Waters Times and Heights of High and Low Waters FEBRUARY MARCH FEBRUARY MARCH JUNE JULY

Time m m Time m Time m Time m m Time Time 0540 0.47 0432 0.50 05400.57 0.47 04320.37 0.50 0556 0627 1159 1.76 1101 1.78 11591.30 1.76 11011.41 1.78 1156 1232 1831 0.33 1738 0.34 MO SU 1831 0.33 1738 0.34 1724 0.75 1811 0.62 TUMO MOSU 2339 2339 1.37 1.37 2352 1.63 0041 1.42 0516 0.52 00410.60 1.42 05161.80 0.52 0645 0038 0628 0.55 1142 1.74 06281.28 0.55 11420.43 1.74 0732 1247 1241 1.63 1819 0.35 TU MO 12410.79 1.63 18191.36 0.35WETU 1340 1815 TUMO 1912 1912 0.42 0.42 1916 0.70 0127 1.39 0025 1.37 01271.58 1.39 00251.71 1.37 0043 0143 0717 0.62 0603 0.55 07170.61 0.62 06030.48 0.55 0740 0839 1323 1.49 1225 1.69 WE TU 13231.29 1.49 12251.36 1.69 THWE 1345 1451 WETU 1952 0.50 1902 0.37 19520.81 0.50 19020.73 0.37 2030 1915 0215 1.37 0114 1.38 02151.55 1.37 01141.64 1.38 0252 0141 0811 0.69 0656 0.58 08110.59 0.69 06560.50 0.58 0940 0836 1409 1.37 1312 1.62 TH WE 14091.33 1.37 13121.40 1.62 FRTH 1558 1448 THWE 2035 0.56 1950 0.39 20350.80 0.56 19500.73 0.39 2143 2026 0207 1.41 0307 1.37 02071.60 1.41 03071.54 1.37 0359 0245 0755 0.61 0913 0.73 07550.51 0.61 09130.55 0.73 1035 0930 1406 1.53 1503 1.27 TH FR 14061.46 1.53 SAFR 15031.42 1.27 1655 1548 FRTH 2123 0.60 2042 0.42 21230.75 0.60 20420.69 0.42 2249 2136 0306 1.45 0402 1.39 03061.57 1.45 04021.56 1.39 0457 0348 0902 0.62 1022 0.73 09020.50 0.62 10220.49 0.73 1123 1020 1509 1.46 1608 1.21 FR SA 15091.54 1.46 SUSA 16081.53 1.21 1744 1642 SAFR 2138 0.43 2217 0.62 21380.63 0.43 22170.66 0.62 2347 2241 0407 1.52 0500 1.43 04071.56 1.52 05001.60 1.43 0548 0447 1017 0.59 1133 0.70 10170.50 0.59 11330.43 0.70 1204 1108 1620 1.40 1716 1.19 SA SU 16201.61 1.40MOSU 17161.66 1.19 1826 1730 SUSA 2237 2313 0.62 2237 0.43 0.43 23130.54 0.62 2340 0509 1.62 0555 1.49 05090.58 1.62 05551.64 1.49 0036 0543 1134 0.52 1235 0.63 11341.54 0.52 12350.38 0.63 1155 0632 1732 1.39 1820 1.21 SU MO 17320.50 1.39 TUMO 18201.80 1.21 1819 1242 MOSU 2336 0.41 23361.67 0.41 1904 0609 1.73 0005 0.60 06090.54 1.73 00050.42 0.60 0119 0036 1244 0.41 0644 1.56 12441.52 0.41 06441.66 1.56 0637 0714 1841 1.40 1326 0.55 MO TU 18410.51 1.40WETU 13260.35 0.55 1242 1315 TUMO 1913 1.25 19131.93 1.25 1907 1939 1.71 0033 0.39 0052 0.57 00330.51 0.39 00520.32 0.57 0159 0130 0705 1.84 0728 1.63 07051.50 1.84 07281.66 1.63 0753 0731 1345 0.30 1409 0.47 TU WE 13450.52 0.30 THWE 14090.34 0.47 1347 1330 WETU 1942 1.43 1958 1.29 19421.75 1.43 19582.02 1.29 2013 1956 0129 0.36 0135 0.53 01290.49 0.36 01350.24 0.53 0235 0225 0800 1.93 0808 1.69 08001.47 1.93 08081.63 1.69 0830 0828 1441 0.22 1446 0.40 WE TH 14410.55 0.22 FRTH 14460.36 0.40 1418 1418 THWE 2038 1.46 2038 1.34 20381.76 1.46 20382.08 1.34 2045 2045 0215 0.49 0221 0.35 02150.21 0.49 02210.48 0.35 0313 0320 0846 1.75 0852 1.98 08461.59 1.75 08521.44 1.98 0909 0924 1523 0.35 1531 0.16 FR TH 15230.41 0.35 15310.58 0.16 SAFR 1450 1510 FRTH 2116 1.38 2130 1.47 21162.08 1.38 21301.77 1.47 2118 2137 0313 0.34 0255 0.45 03130.49 0.34 02550.22 0.45 0350 0415 0942 1.99 0925 1.80 09421.41 1.99 09251.54 1.80 0947 1021 1620 0.16 1559 0.30 FR SA 16200.61 0.16 SUSA 15590.47 0.30 1524 1602 SAFR 2220 1.48 2155 1.42 22201.76 1.48 21552.04 1.42 2153 2230 0402 0.36 0335 0.43 04020.51 0.36 03350.27 0.43 0430 0514 1030 1.96 1003 1.82 10301.37 1.96 10031.48 1.82 1027 1119 1706 0.19 1635 0.28 SA SU 17060.65 0.19MOSU 16350.55 0.28 1600 1658 SUSA 2309 1.47 2234 1.45 23091.73 1.47 22341.95 1.45 2230 2323 0452 0.41 0417 0.42 04520.54 0.41 04170.33 0.42 0511 0612 1115 1.87 1043 1.82 11151.33 1.87 10431.43 1.82 1110 1219 1749 0.25 1714 0.27 SU MO 17490.70 0.25 TUMO 17140.62 0.27 1640 1756 MOSU 2355 1.44 2316 23551.68 1.44 2316 1.48 1.48 2309 0502 0.42 05021.83 0.42 0019 1125 1.78 11250.41 1.78 0712 1753 0.28 TU 17531.41 0.28 1321 WETU 1859 0.69




















Time m m Time m Time m Time m m Time Time 0042 1.47 0000 1.50 00421.63 1.47 00001.71 1.50 0013 0118 0644 0.57 0551 0.45 06440.53 0.57 05510.47 0.45 0702 0810 1246 1.45 1208 1.71 WE TH 1246 1.45 1208 1.71 1313 1.35 1424 1.41 FRTH THWE 1859 0.52 1834 0.32 18590.75 0.52 18340.74 0.32 1846 2006 0123 1.44 0047 1.51 01231.58 1.44 00471.60 1.51 0105 0221 0731 0.64 0643 0.49 07310.52 0.64 06430.52 0.49 0904 0753 1328 1.34 1256 1.61 FR TH 13281.40 1.34 12561.44 1.61 SAFR 1525 1410 FRTH 1937 0.58 1919 0.37 19370.75 0.58 19190.75 0.37 2116 1952 0209 1.42 0140 1.52 02091.54 1.42 01401.52 1.52 0205 0323 0828 0.69 0741 0.53 08280.50 0.69 07410.55 0.53 0845 0954 1417 1.25 1349 1.50 SA FR 14171.48 1.25 13491.49 1.50 SUSA 1508 1620 SAFR 2023 0.64 2009 0.43 20230.71 0.64 20090.73 0.43 2103 2224 0237 1.53 0303 1.40 02371.46 1.53 03031.52 1.40 0422 0310 0848 0.56 0933 0.71 08480.56 0.56 09330.47 0.71 1040 0938 1451 1.39 1520 1.18 SA SU 14511.55 1.39MOSU 15201.58 1.18 1710 1605 SUSA 2107 0.48 2120 0.68 21070.69 0.48 21200.63 0.68 2324 2215 0340 1.56 0405 1.41 03401.43 1.56 04051.52 1.41 0415 0515 1006 0.56 1048 0.70 10060.56 0.56 10480.43 0.70 1030 1121 1606 1.32 1636 1.16 SU MO 16061.62 1.32 TUMO 16361.71 1.16 1700 1753 MOSU 2212 2227 0.70 2212 0.51 0.51 22270.52 0.70 2320 0447 1.62 0509 1.44 04470.64 1.62 05091.53 1.44 0518 0015 1126 0.51 1157 0.65 11261.42 0.51 11570.40 0.65 1122 0601 1725 1.30 1749 1.18 MO TU 17250.56 1.30WETU 17491.84 1.18 1753 1200 TUMO 2318 0.50 2330 23181.67 0.50 2330 0.67 0.67 1832 0553 1.70 0607 1.51 05530.58 1.70 06070.40 1.51 0100 0022 1237 0.42 1252 0.57 12371.41 0.42 12521.54 0.57 0645 0618 1836 1.33 1846 1.24 TU WE 18360.56 1.33 THWE 18460.38 1.24 1236 1214 WETU 1845 1.96 1909 1.72 0021 0.47 0025 0.62 00210.54 0.47 00250.29 0.62 0139 0119 0654 1.78 0656 1.58 06541.40 1.78 06561.55 1.58 0727 0716 1338 0.33 1337 0.49 WE TH 13380.57 0.33 FRTH 13370.37 0.49 1311 1306 THWE 1936 1.38 1932 1.31 19361.76 1.38 19322.05 1.31 1937 1944 0119 0.42 0112 0.56 01190.50 0.42 01120.22 0.56 0216 0215 0748 1.86 0740 1.66 07481.40 1.86 07401.54 1.66 0806 0814 1430 0.26 1416 0.41 TH FR 14300.57 0.26 SAFR 14160.37 0.41 1345 1359 FRTH 2029 1.44 2013 1.38 20291.79 1.44 20132.09 1.38 2018 2030 0212 0.38 0155 0.49 02120.47 0.38 01550.18 0.49 0253 0309 0839 1.90 0820 1.74 08391.39 1.90 08201.53 1.74 0845 0910 1516 0.22 1453 0.33 FR SA 15160.59 0.22 SUSA 14530.40 0.33 1420 1452 SAFR 2115 1.49 2051 1.46 21151.80 1.49 20512.09 1.46 2053 2121 0236 0.42 0301 0.36 02360.19 0.42 03010.47 0.36 0330 0402 0900 1.80 0926 1.90 09001.51 1.80 09261.38 1.90 0925 1005 1530 0.28 1559 0.22 SU SA 15300.44 0.28 15590.61 0.22MOSU 1458 1545 SUSA 2130 1.53 2200 1.51 21302.03 1.53 22001.80 1.51 2129 2213 0348 0.36 0319 0.37 03480.47 0.36 03190.24 0.37 0408 0455 1010 1.86 0941 1.83 10101.36 1.86 09411.48 1.83 1004 1100 1639 0.25 1606 0.24 SU MO 16390.63 0.25 TUMO 16060.50 0.24 1535 1640 MOSU 2243 1.52 2210 1.59 22431.77 1.52 22101.93 1.59 2206 2303 0432 0.39 0403 0.34 04320.49 0.39 04030.31 0.34 0447 0547 1052 1.78 1024 1.82 10521.35 1.78 10241.45 1.82 1046 1155 1715 0.30 1645 0.24 MO TU 17150.66 0.30WETU 16450.58 0.24 1616 1735 TUMO 2323 1.51 2252 1.64 23231.74 1.51 22521.79 1.64 2245 2355 0516 0.44 05160.51 0.44 0530 0639 0.39 1131 1.68 11311.33 1.68 1131 1250 1.43 1751 0.37 17510.70 0.37 TH 1833 0.65 1700 TU WETU 2327 1.69 0002 1.49 00020.52 1.49 0615 0047 1.65 0600 0.51 06001.33 0.51 1220 0729 0.47 1209 1.57 12090.73 1.57 FR 1345 1.42 1750 WE THWE 1825 1825 0.45 0.45 1935 0.71
























Time m m Time m Time m Time m m Time Time 0533 0.49 0451 0.33 05331.56 0.49 04511.51 0.33 0038 0142 1139 1.50 1108 1.77 11390.45 1.50 11080.53 1.77 0714 0817 1739 0.50 1725 0.26 WE TH 1739 0.50 1725 0.26 1335 1.46 1442 1.44 SUTH SAWE 2359 1.57 2337 1.66 23590.66 1.57 23370.75 1.66 1929 2042 0615 0.54 0541 0.35 06151.48 0.54 05411.40 0.35 0136 0239 1216 1.41 1154 1.68 12160.46 1.41 11540.57 1.68 0905 0805 1812 0.56 1807 0.32 FR TH 18121.52 0.56 18071.47 0.32MOFR 1537 1433 SUTH 2150 0.75 2041 0.64 0036 1.54 0024 1.67 00361.42 1.54 00241.33 1.67 0243 0339 0700 0.59 0635 0.40 07000.47 0.59 06350.59 0.40 0901 0952 1257 1.33 1245 1.57 SA FR 12571.60 1.33 12451.52 1.57 TUSA 1534 1630 MOFR 1847 0.63 1853 0.40 18470.58 0.63 18530.71 0.40 2157 2255 0118 1.50 0115 1.65 01181.39 1.50 01151.30 1.65 0437 0354 0751 0.64 0735 0.46 07510.45 0.64 07350.60 0.46 1037 1000 1345 1.25 1340 1.44 SU SA 13451.71 1.25 13401.57 1.44WESU 1717 1635 TUSA 1931 0.69 1944 0.49 19310.48 0.69 19440.65 0.49 2350 2308 0208 1.46 0213 1.62 02081.40 1.46 02131.30 1.62 0503 0531 0845 0.51 0852 0.68 08450.59 0.51 08520.43 0.68 1059 1121 1445 1.33 1445 1.19 MO SU 14451.63 1.33 THMO 14451.82 1.19 1733 1800 WESU 2044 2029 2044 0.56 0.56 2029 0.75 0.75 0319 1.61 0309 1.43 03190.58 1.61 03090.36 1.43 0013 0037 1002 0.52 1001 0.68 10021.31 0.52 10011.42 0.68 0608 0619 1604 1.27 1558 1.17 MO TU 16040.58 1.27 FRTU 15580.39 1.17 1156 1202 THMO 2155 0.60 2139 0.77 21551.69 0.60 21391.93 0.77 1830 1841 0430 1.62 0417 1.44 04300.52 1.62 04170.26 1.44 0110 0118 1119 0.50 1111 0.65 11191.33 0.50 11111.46 0.65 0707 0703 1725 1.28 1713 1.20 TU WE 17250.57 1.28 SAWE 17130.36 1.20 1251 1242 FRTU 2309 0.60 2251 0.75 23091.73 0.60 22512.00 0.75 1923 1918 0541 1.66 0522 1.49 05410.47 1.66 05220.18 1.49 0156 0203 1227 0.44 1208 0.58 12271.34 0.44 12081.49 0.58 0744 0801 1832 1.34 1813 1.27 WE TH 18320.55 1.34 SUTH 18130.35 1.27 1320 1345 SAWE 2353 0.69 23532.04 0.69 2015 1955 1.77 0015 0.55 0617 1.56 06170.15 1.56 00150.43 0.55 0254 0232 0642 1.72 1256 0.50 12561.50 0.50 06421.36 1.72 0855 0823 1324 0.37 1900 1.36 TH FR 19000.35 1.36 13240.55 0.37MOFR 1437 1358 SUTH 1928 1.41 19281.79 1.41 2104 2.02 2030 0113 0.48 0045 0.60 01130.41 0.48 00450.17 0.60 0342 0308 0735 1.77 0704 1.65 07351.36 1.77 07041.50 1.65 0902 0945 1411 0.32 1337 0.41 FR SA 14110.54 0.32 TUSA 13370.38 0.41 1436 1529 MOFR 2015 1.49 1942 1.47 20151.80 1.49 19421.95 1.47 2107 2153 0203 0.43 0131 0.50 02030.40 0.43 01310.22 0.50 0429 0345 0823 1.79 0748 1.72 08231.37 1.79 07481.49 1.72 1034 0941 1453 0.30 1415 0.34 SA SU 14530.55 0.30WESU 14150.43 0.34 1620 1515 TUSA 2057 1.54 2021 1.57 20571.79 1.54 20211.84 1.57 2240 2145 0250 0.40 0216 0.41 02500.40 0.40 02160.29 0.41 0514 0422 0907 1.78 0832 1.78 09071.38 1.78 08321.47 1.78 1123 1022 1530 0.31 1454 0.28 SU MO 15300.57 0.31 THMO 14540.51 0.28 1711 1557 WESU 2136 1.58 2102 1.67 21361.76 1.58 21021.70 1.67 2326 2223 0333 0.39 0302 0.33 03330.41 0.39 03020.38 0.33 0558 0501 0947 1.73 0916 1.80 09471.38 1.73 09161.45 1.80 1212 1105 1605 0.33 1533 0.25 MO TU 16050.59 0.33 FRTU 15330.59 0.25 1803 1642 THMO 2214 1.60 2144 22141.70 1.60 2144 1.76 1.76 2303 0414 0.41 0350 0.28 04140.42 0.41 03501.55 0.28 0012 0543 1026 1.67 1003 1.78 10261.40 1.67 10030.46 1.78 0640 1151 1638 0.38 1615 0.26 TU WE 16380.62 0.38 SAWE 16151.43 0.26 1300 1730 FRTU 2249 1.60 2228 1.82 22491.64 1.60 22280.66 1.82 1859 2347 0454 0.44 0440 0.27 04540.44 0.44 04401.41 0.27 0059 0626 1102 1.59 1052 1.73 11021.42 1.59 10520.54 1.73 0723 1241 1709 0.44 1657 0.30 WE TH 17090.65 0.44 SUTH 16571.42 0.30 1352 1826 SAWE 2324 2315 1.84 2324 1.59 1.59 23150.71 1.84 2001 0533 0.29 05331.29 0.29 0152 1143 1.63 11430.59 1.63 0809 1742 0.37 FR 17421.43 0.37 1446 MOFR 2110 0.72



























1414 1515

Local Time Local Time Local Time APRIL APRIL AUGUST

Time m Time m Time m m Time m m Time Time 0533 0.57 0003 1.83 05331.31 0.57 00031.22 1.83 0228 0254 1132 1.33 0630 0.34 11320.49 1.33 06300.62 0.34 0834 0900 1709 0.68 1237 1.52 SA SU 1709 0.68 1237 1.52 1511 1.59 1543 1.46 WESU TUSA 2338 1.60 1830 0.47 23380.51 1.60 18300.69 0.47 2149 2219 0622 0.61 0056 1.79 00561.19 1.79 06221.28 0.61 0400 0345 1219 1.27 0632 0.40 06320.62 0.40 12190.49 1.27 0954 0941 1752 0.74 1237 1.41 MO SU 12371.50 1.41 THMO 17521.67 0.74 1638 1617 WESU 1825 0.57 18250.63 0.57 2320 2301 0.42 0025 1.55 0055 1.72 00251.30 1.55 00551.20 1.72 0502 0500 0717 0.65 0742 0.46 07170.46 0.65 07420.61 0.46 1046 1045 1315 1.23 1345 1.32 TU MO 13151.76 1.23 13451.56 1.32 FRTU 1728 1720 THMO 1846 1930 1846 0.79 0.79 1930 0.65 0.65 0201 1.66 0120 1.50 02010.56 1.66 01200.32 1.50 0011 0004 0855 0.49 0819 0.66 08551.24 0.49 08191.36 0.66 0556 0602 1503 1.29 1421 1.22 TU WE 15030.58 1.29 SAWE 14210.41 1.22 1134 1145 FRTU 2045 0.69 1953 0.82 20451.62 0.69 19531.85 0.82 1813 1817 0315 1.63 0225 1.49 03150.49 1.63 02250.23 1.49 0054 0059 1005 0.49 0922 0.63 10051.28 0.49 09221.42 0.63 0642 0658 1618 1.33 1531 1.26 WE TH 16180.55 1.33 SUTH 15310.35 1.26 1218 1242 SAWE 2200 0.67 2107 0.80 22001.68 0.67 21071.91 0.80 1853 1910 0424 1.64 0332 1.51 04240.42 1.64 03320.17 1.51 0131 0147 1107 0.46 1018 0.58 11071.32 0.46 10181.48 0.58 0722 0748 1719 1.40 1631 1.34 TH FR 17190.51 1.40MOFR 16310.32 1.34 1259 1334 SUTH 2306 0.62 2215 0.74 23061.73 0.62 22151.93 0.74 1930 2000 0524 1.66 0432 1.56 05240.37 1.66 04320.15 1.56 0207 0233 1159 0.43 1107 0.50 11591.35 0.43 11071.52 0.50 0835 0800 1810 1.48 1722 1.45 FR SA 18100.48 1.48 TUSA 17220.30 1.45 1424 1338 MOFR 2313 0.64 23131.89 0.64 2008 1.77 2046 0003 0.55 0526 1.63 00030.33 0.55 05260.18 1.63 0315 0242 1152 0.42 0615 1.67 11521.53 0.42 06151.39 1.67 0920 0838 1806 1.57 1242 0.41 SA SU 18060.33 1.57 12420.45 0.41WESU 1512 1417 TUSA 1853 1.56 18531.78 1.56 2130 1.82 2045 0052 0.50 0005 0.53 00520.31 0.50 00050.23 0.53 0316 0356 0700 1.67 0615 1.70 07001.42 1.67 06151.53 1.70 0915 1004 1321 0.40 1234 0.36 SU MO 13210.44 0.40 THMO 12340.37 0.36 1458 1559 WESU 1932 1.62 1850 1.70 19321.78 1.62 18501.70 1.70 2214 2122 0136 0.46 0055 0.42 01360.30 0.46 00550.31 0.42 0434 0353 0742 1.65 0703 1.74 07421.45 1.65 07031.51 1.74 1046 0956 1355 0.41 1316 0.31 MO TU 13550.44 0.41 FRTU 13160.44 0.31 1645 1541 THMO 2009 1.66 1933 1.82 20091.74 1.66 19331.57 1.82 2255 2201 0216 0.45 0145 0.32 02160.31 0.45 01450.39 0.32 0430 0511 0821 1.61 0753 1.75 08211.47 1.61 07531.49 1.75 1038 1129 1427 0.44 1400 0.29 TU WE 14270.46 0.44 SAWE 14000.52 0.29 1626 1732 FRTU 2043 1.68 2018 1.92 20431.68 1.68 20181.44 1.92 2243 2336 0255 0.45 0237 0.26 02550.33 0.45 02370.47 0.26 0547 0510 0858 1.56 0844 1.72 08581.49 1.56 08441.45 1.72 1212 1123 1458 0.47 1445 0.31 WE TH 14580.49 0.47 SUTH 14450.59 0.31 1823 1715 SAWE 2116 1.70 2105 21161.59 1.70 2105 1.98 1.98 2328 0332 0.46 0330 0.24 03320.37 0.46 03301.32 0.24 0019 0552 0934 1.51 0937 1.66 09341.50 1.51 09370.55 1.66 0626 1212 1528 0.51 1531 0.36 TH FR 15280.53 0.51MOFR 15311.42 0.36 1258 1811 SUTH 2148 2154 2.00 2148 1.69 1.69 21540.65 2.00 1919 0411 0.49 0426 0.25 04111.49 0.49 04261.22 0.25 0019 0109 1012 1.45 1032 1.58 10120.42 1.45 10320.61 1.58 0640 0711 1559 0.56 1621 0.44 FR SA 15591.52 0.56 TUSA 16211.40 0.44 1305 1350 MOFR 2222 1.68 2245 1.96 22220.56 1.68 22450.67 1.96 1915 2026 0451 0.52 0524 0.30 04511.39 0.52 05241.15 0.30 0118 0211 1050 1.39 1130 1.49 10500.46 1.39 11300.65 1.49 0733 0806 1631 0.62 1714 0.53 SA SU 16311.55 0.62WESU 17141.40 0.53 1405 1450 TUSA 2259 1.64 2340 1.89 22590.56 1.64 23400.66 1.89 2030 2138





















































31 0324 0911

1.13 0.66 TH 1554 1.43 2244 0.61

Copyright Commonwealth Australia 2015, Bureau Meteorology  Copyright Commonwealth of Australia 2015, Bureau of Meteorology  Copyright Commonwealth of of Australia 2015, Bureau of of Meteorology Datum of Predictions is Lowest Astronomical Tide Datum Predictions Lowest Astronomical Tide Datum of of Predictions is is Lowest Astronomical Tide Times are local standard time (UTC +10:00) daylight savings time (UTC +11:00) when effect Times are in local standard time (UTC +10:00) or daylight savings time (UTC +11:00) when in effect Times are in in local standard time (UTC +10:00) or or daylight savings time (UTC +11:00) when in in effect New Moon First Quarter Last Quarter Moon Phase Symbols Full Moon New Moon First Quarter Last Quarter Moon Phase Symbols Full Moon New Moon First Quarter Last Quarter Moon Phase Symbols Full Moon Tide predictions for Sydney (Fort Denison) have been formatted by the National Tidal Centre, Australian Bureau of Meteorology, Copyright reserved. All material is supplied in good faith and is believed to be correct. It is supplied on the condition that no warranty is given in relation thereto, that no responsibility or liability for errors or omissions is, or will be, accepted and that the recipient will hold MHL and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology Australia free from all such responsibility or liability and from all loss or damage incurred as a consequence of any error or omission. Predictions should not be used for navigational purposes. Use of these tide predictions will be deemed to include acceptance of the above conditions. 60


Offshore trolling for dummies NSW STH COAST

Steve Starling

Trolling lures in offshore waters doesn’t have to be a matter of ‘drag it and hope.’ A few simple tricks can dramatically improve your strike rate, wherever you fish and whatever species you hunt. Whether you’re chasing Spanish mackerel along the Great Barrier Reef, marlin off Sydney or southern bluefin tuna in Victorian and

a desert. There are vast, barren areas punctuated by little oases of life. Often, these concentration points occur along current breaks, at temperature fronts, over upwellings and near major bottom features such as reefs, pinnacles and sea mounts. Believe it or not, a 10 or 20m high lump on the seabed can actually influence the behaviour of fish swimming near the surface 100 or even 200m above! Luckily you won’t be out there in the marine

desert hunting all on your own. As well as other anglers in their boats, you’ll have eyes in the sky in the form of seabirds such as terns, gannets, shearwaters, frigates and albatross. These birds are all seeking the same baitfish as the pelagic predators you’re chasing and they are much better at finding them than you are! If all the birds are flying in one direction,

Try to run a mix of different lure styles, sizes and colours. It’s always a good idea to have at least one deep diver in the mix, as well as surfacerunning skirted heads, rubber squid and the like. Deploy as many lines as you can comfortably handle without constantly getting tangled, but remember that all those lines will need to be cranked in when a

Using brightly coloured lines can be a big help in avoiding crossovers and tangles when trolling. run your lures behind the boat, too. Don’t be afraid to set at least one lure really short, right in the prop wash. Don’t forget that your boat and motor are working like a giant teaser, creating white water and noise that will actually attract many fish. Finally, set your drags tight enough to drive hooks home without snapping lines. About a quarter of the line’s breaking strain or slightly more is a good starting point. So, if you’re using 15kg line, set the drag on the reel at about 4kg. Once a fish has been hooked and finished its first run, the boat has stopped and the other lines have

Success! The gaff goes into a keeper.

Winners are grinners! Rob Pullen, Adam Hill and Starlo with a school-sized Tasmanian bluefin tuna taken on the troll. Tasmanian waters, there’s a lot more to successful offshore trolling than throwing a couple of lures out the back of the boat and blindly driving around the ocean until something finally climbs on! As with any form of fishing, finding the best locations is a big part of any successful strategy. In offshore trolling, this means narrowing down the best water. That might involve seeking a certain temperature range or optimum water colour/clarity, and this will vary with the target species. Find out as much as you can about the fish you’re chasing and seek advice from more experienced anglers on where to start looking. Just finding the right patch of water mightn’t be enough in itself. The open ocean is very much like

follow them. And when you find wheeling masses of dipping, diving, feeding birds, feed the lures astern and start fishing.

fish is hooked. If there are only two or three anglers on board, four lines out is probably plenty. As a rule of thumb, troll

Once the boat has slowed or stopped and the other lines have been cleared, you can ease that drag up a little and really get to work.

Wayne Turale with a plump southern bluefin tuna taken virtually in the shadow of Tasman Island, in southeastern Tasmania. Skirted pusher style lures like this one are highly effective on most pelagic species, but need to be pulled fairly quickly – usually between 5 and 9 knots.

as fast as the slowest lure in the spread will allow you to go. In other words, keep increasing speed until one lure blows out of the water and begins to tumble, then back off slightly. Quicker trolling speeds cover more water and tend to attract more strikes. Mix the distances you

been cleared, you can ease that drag up slightly to around a third of the breaking strain of the line. Trolling doesn’t have to be a matter of blind luck and putting in the hours. By concentrating on the details, you can dramatically increase your chances of success.

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Chris Anderson from Thug Lures dominated the awards and scored plenty of sales with their limited edition baits. The Best Ornamental Lure was won by their ‘Harro Bug’, a tribute to the legendary Rod Harrison. The monster topwater

paddler featured an image of a young Rod Harrison on the body and a sunset fishing scene on the bib. “I grew up with Harro in the magazines, on TV programs and I thought it was a good idea to combine the younger Harro

with a cod scene on one side and barra scales on the back,” said Thug’s Chris Anderson. It’s a wonderful show of respect to one of the legends of Australian sportsfishing. As well as the Best Presented Stand Award, Thug took out the Best Bladed Bait award for their ‘Swagga’. “It was an idea that Kimmo had, and basically an hour later we knocked up the moulds. It’s like a tailspinner, but not a tailspinner,” Chris continued.

Sam Cunsolo from Solo Lures made the winning bait in the Best Bibbed Lure section. The Solo ‘Swagger’ is not to be confused with Thug’s ‘Swagga’ and retails for around the $60 mark. “It was designed to work the

shallows in Mulwala. It’s buoyant so you can work it around the shallow snags and it’s designed to not have

much drag on the lure so that you can fish it all day and not be fatigued,” Sam said in the winner’s interview.



Paul Kneller and Rex Hunt were inducted into the Lure Show Hall of Fame. FLY TYING CHAMPION Allfly Outfitters’ Shaun Ash knocked up the winning fly on-site at the Show – as are the rules of that section. His ‘Pack Rat’ is an innovative use of multiple materials, including a reversed and offset foam head to create a lot of wake as the rat struggles through the water. We’re sure that there are plenty of cod that will be suckered into this imitation.

Thug Lures ‘Swagga’.


Thug Lures ‘Harro Bug’.





Each year, the talent on display at the Australian Lure and Fly Expo – affectionately called The Lure Show – seems to multiply. Lure makers and fly tyers submit their creations, which are voted on by their peers and awards are given at a presentation dinner on the Saturday night. Fishing Monthly caught up with the winners to show you the prize-winning lures. You can also scan the QR code hereby to see the interviews with the winners. THUG LURES Kimmo Baldwin and


Lure Expo Award winners impress in 2017





- SC

Lure Fly & Outdoors



The Australian

Shaun Ash ‘Pack Rat’. BEST TOP WATER / SURFACE / WAKE BAIT Barambah’s Matt Fraser has been kicking goals with his lizard-themed jointed cod wake baits, with his premium blue tongue pieces of art fetching over $300. You’ll need to double-check your knots while fishing that one. His Baby Barambah

Dragon, however (at around $130) was the entry into the Best Topwater/Surface/Wake Bait and it won the most votes. At 38g and around 19cm long, it’s the baby of the series, but will attract the attention of cod far and wide.

BEST BIBBED DIVING LURE Barambah Lures ‘Baby Dragon’.

Solo Lures ‘Swagger’. BEST BLUE WATER LURE

Lively Lures ‘Slick Stick’. Recognising the need for a well priced, castable saltwater stickbait, Al Dolan entered the ‘Slick Stick’ into the Best Bluewater Lure category. “This is my first foray into a stickbait making and it’s designed for GT, mackerel and trout around 62


the reef edges,” said Al. There’s a lot that goes into getting a product like this through to the public and it was great to see Al win the award. You can get one online for around $30 from the Lively Lures online store.

Blair Chilton is another maker who blurs the lines between lure maker and artist. His wooden swimsuits not only look that part, but suspend and swim like they were made by a meticulous craftsman – which they are.

BEST SWIM BAIT His ‘Norman’ multijointed swimsuit won the Best Swimbait category and will cost you around $150 to add to the collection. They all sold out at the show.

Chilton Tackle Co ‘Neville’.














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Winter behaviours for different species CANBERRA

Bryan Pratt

Fishing recently has been a mixed bag in our part of the world, as winter maintains its grip on the waterways. MURRAY COD Murray cod are still active in the Murrumbidgee River and reservoirs such as Burrinjuck, Wyangala and Googong and Canberra’s urban lakes, despite the cold weather, but special techniques may be required to catch them. Bait is certainly the most effective. It’s pretty hard for a prowling cod to resist a live yabby crawling along the bottom or a live shrimp swimming by or clinging to the trunk of a flooded tree. The problem is in obtaining an adequate supply of the creatures. At this time of the

year all of our local yabbies have burrowed deep into the mud bottoms of the streams and ponds where they live and are unattainable. One alternative is to import some from the warmer waters in Queensland, where yabbies are grown in commercial farms to provide a year-round supply. Another is to harvest stock from Lake Eucumbene or Lake Jindabyne, where the yabbies (we suspect) are a strain of Cherax destructor different to the ones we have in Canberra and are still walking around even in the middle of winter. These can be caught readily in drop nets. While this may result in a supply of look-alike yabbies, we are not sure just how attractive they are to cod in local waters. While all yabbies look generally similar we are aware of preferences shown




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by fish for some of differing origin. In Eucumbene and Jindabyne, for example, trout that readily take local yabbies often will refuse to eat those from Lake Burley Griffin or other regional waterways. We don’t know how they tell the difference, but we have been aware of the different dietary preference for some time and it is well documented. It’s interesting, therefore, to observe trout caught on, say, scrub worms or PowerBait bulging with fresh yabbies, but disdaining similar ones that we offer. With cod, all we can do is offer the yabbies available and hope for the best, because that’s all there is. Shrimps are a different matter. At Burrinjuck and other lakes they can be caught in baited traps. Sometimes they are readily available and catching enough for bait presents no special problem. More recently, however, they have been increasingly hard to find and there is speculation that they are being overly preyed upon by the increasing numbers of redfin in the waterways. There seems little solution to this problem other than to put out more and more traps in the hope of getting enough for a day’s fishing. Lure fishing still remains a viable option in winter, even though the fish are not as strongly attracted to lures as they are in summer. Lure fishing enables a lot of water to be checked out in a short time and different styles and many sizes of lures are available for use. Two clear patterns of lure fishing have emerged in this part of the world. The first is the use of surface lures. This is an incredibly exciting way to fish because of the great crashing strikes that occur and it’s increasingly popular in the early morning, late afternoon and evening or on overcast days. The second is to use larger and larger lures. The old adage ‘the larger the lure, the larger the fish’ certainly holds true with Murray cod. Spinnerbaits




Rainbows often form pods or small schools of similar-sized fish in winter, and travel from bay to bay in reservoirs seeking food. If you catch one fish you’ll often get more. than fish caught in summer. Browns tend to be solitary fish or at best in small groups whereas rainbows often form pods of large numbers of fish of generally similar size. The big drawback to winter fishing for trout is the intense cold at the big mountain lakes where fishing is otherwise at its best. It’s hard to concentrate on serious fishing when it’s so cold your runners keep freezing over, your reel freezes solid and ice is steadily building up along the edge of the waterway. Nevertheless, that’s often the price you have to pay in order to get fish. Varying techniques are used to get fish in cold weather. Trollers, for example, search for the thermocline – the level at which fish gather because of the ease of obtaining oxygen at the prevailing temperature – and once they’re found you can yield a lot of fish. To get





and wakebaits have become larger and larger and some soft plastics weighing up to 750g are now being used by experimenting anglers. Correspondingly heavyweight rods are required for casting and trolling. Results lately suggest going larger and larger is the way of the future for cod fishing. The manner in which the lures are used can also be significant. One group of anglers fishing in Googong, for example, have developed a vertical jigging technique with large spinnerbaits for Murray cod, which has resulted in the capture of seven large fish in recent weeks. GOLDEN PERCH Similar comments apply to golden perch. They are quieter in winter than in summer, but can still be taken on lures and baits. They tend to be isolated rather than travelling in schools and are found more often in deep rather than shallow water. The larger fish seem easier to catch than the smaller fish, and can be quite predictable, for example taking baits and lures more commonly in the late afternoon than at other times of the day. Anglers who are aware of these characteristics are likely to be the most successful. REDFIN PERCH Redfin also show differing behaviour during summer and winter. In winter the fish tend to be larger, prefer deeper rather than shallow water and are less likely to form the vast schools so common in summer. They still readily take lures and baits and are a serious option when the fishing for other species is quiet. TROUT REVELLING IN CONDITIONS Trout are different. They love the winter conditions – the low temperatures, the appropriate oxygen levels and the bursts of winter insects and schools of Daphnia. They take lures, baits and flies with gusto and commonly are larger

Murray cod regularly eat large waterway inhabitants such as this water dragon. Big lures are becoming more popular for large cod, especially in reservoirs.

to the required depth, use lead core line or a downrigger. Lead core line is easier to use and the technique I use is to start with 10m of 8kg line in one colour, then progressively three or five colours until fish are found. Flyfishers also work at differing depths. I get a lot of success with a weight forward floating line and occasionally benefit greatly from getting the fly deeper down, with a sink tip line or a full sinking model. Bait fishers can choose different depths to work in. In general try for deeper water during the day and shallower water at night. Baits with specific odours often mean no fish or a good catch and it’s interesting to note the differing attractiveness of baits such as scrub worms, bardi grubs and PowerBait. All have their uses, but on a particular day fish may show a strong preference for one or more particular items, so it pays to have a range to test out on the day. SUMMARY In summary there is no need to put your rods away when winter comes. Certainly native fish and redfin become harder to catch, but can still be caught by adopting appropriate techniques. Trout, of course, are in their element in winter. They are a cold water fish and have evolved to suit these conditions. Winter fishing can be productive, and fun, but only if you dress appropriately. Wear the right gear and you’ll feel comfortable and safe and your fishing results will reflect your comfort and confidence. Go out ill-equipped and your fishing ceases to be fun and is unlikely to be productive.

Warming up for end of winter trout season JINDABYNE

Steve Williamson

It’s the last month of winter already. With spring not far away we are looking forward to lengthening daylight and warmer conditions, which will be great for fishing. At the moment we are still restricted to fishing the lakes, as the river fishing season is still closed until the long weekend in October. Over recent weeks the shore-based trout fishing on Lake Jindabyne has still been fantastic. There have been some excellent brown trout caught over recent weeks and even some of those huge ex brood stock Atlantic salmon over 10lb have been caught. August and September are possibly your last two months to also catch a brook trout. Brookies will go into hiding once the water starts

be necessary, but the rewards will be there. Worms and artificial baits have always been a favourite way of winter fishing and always bring results. When worm fishing use plenty of tiger worms or a single scrub worm and fish them off the bottom using a running sinker. As the spawning trout return for the rivers and streams this month, the trout will move about the lake, cruising the shoreline looking for a bite to eat. While the trout are in the rivers spawning over winter months, there is very little food for them so they are pretty hungry when they return to the lake, which is good for anglers. As the trout cruise the lake edges over winter, there is no particular hotspot. A hint is to try shallow water early and late and slightly deeper water in the bright sunny parts of the days, but not too deep! Wollondibby

worked into these products. It’s best if they are also natural or cold colours for the inlets and orange or pink for open water.

about the bays and some areas to try are Creel Bay, Hayshed and Hatchery Bay, Mill Creek Inlet, the Claypits, and the Snowy Arm.

to warm up in October. Try the sheltered bays at creek mouths for the brookies. Over the past couple of months, the bait fishing has been very good. August is a fantastic month to have a fish from the shore and you will see quite a few people fish before and after a day in the snow, some catching fresh trout for dinner. On the cold, windy and even snowy days, times when it might not be very comfortable for snow play in the mountains, you often see people sitting by the campfire or even sitting in their cars waiting for a trout to bite. The bite can happen at any time of the day, so a little patience may

Come see the new displays at our visitors centre!

Jye Murphy at Jindabyne with an awesome brook trout.

Ellis Murphy caught this fantastic 10lb Atlantic salmon.

Winter boat trolling can be a little slower at this time of year, but winter is when we catch all the big trout, even if we have to put in the hours to get them. Remember there are still plenty of big Atlantic salmon to be caught in Lake Jindabyne and while they are not that fussy about what lure they take, bigger minnows will catch the bigger fish! For the fly anglers that have been struggling to catch a trout over the last couple of months, August is the start to the polaroiding season where cruising trout can been seen in the shallows as they work around the edges of the lake looking for something to eat. You sometimes have to look for shadows as the trout can be often hard to spot and, of course, you have to be a reasonably accurate caster. The fly has to land on the water without spooking the trout, so all of that adds up to a good challenge and that is what is so exciting, especially when you see the trout move towards the fly. If the trout takes the fly then that is the ultimate adrenalin rush and playing out the fish is just so exciting, even if it does end up busting you off. Some days the trout will take big flies like my Goldfish fly, Hamills Killers, and Woolley Buggers. Other days the tiniest black nymph will work best. You just have to experiment a bit. With the higher lake levels the fish are hanging

about the Snowy’s most important trout hatchery. • Learn • See how four species of trout and salmon are bred. • Find out where and how Gaden’s juvenile fish are released. Learn how trout stocking benefits recreational fishing and • local economies. • Find out about kids fishing workshops. • Enjoy the beautiful picnic-BBQ area.

Guided tours at 10 am and 2 pm. Feed the large fish. Open 10–4 daily. Gaden Rd (off Kosciuszko Rd) Jindabyne P 02 6451 3400 CLOSED DAYS: ANZAC, CHRISTMAS, BOXING. SMALL ENTRY FEE.

Bait fishing with worms and artificial bait and lure spinning Tasmanian Devil in pink 55 or holographic, spotted dog StumpJumper The Claypits and Creel Bay Williamson’s Gold Fish, Wooley Buggers and maybe a black nymph *The rivers are closed to fishing until October. Inlet and Rushes Bay are both worth a try. Lure spinning from the shore at any time of the day can be productive for all species of fish in Lake Jindabyne. I like to use mainly minnow lures in natural patterns. It is always best to cast into the wind rather than have the wind at your back. You catch more trout on the windward shore and the best colours are aggression colours like pink or yellow to represent goldfish and brown number or holographic as these colours look like yabbies to brown trout. A variety of soft plastics are worth trying, possibly due to the smell that is

Kosciuszko Road (next to the Shell Servo). My shop is also open seven days a week during winter with extended hours over August. If you want the very latest reports almost on a daily basis, please check out my Facebook page at

Gaden Trout Hatchery

AUGUST ROUND UP – THE BEST OF THE BEST! Best method Best lake lure Best lake area Best fly method

Best of luck with your winter fishing. • If you’re coming down to Jindabyne over the next few months, why not call in and get the latest fishing information at Steve Williamson’s Trout Fishing, shop 1 at the Snowline Centre, 6532 fisheries/info/ gaden

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Opportunities for the anglers who are game LITHGOW/OBERON

Glen Stewart

We anglers are no different from anyone else. Preparation before the main game in winter is nearly always met with grunts and groans, it doesn’t matter if it’s football, soccer or hockey. You don’t even have to be playing, you can just be watching the kids, a mate or the grandkids. Once you prepare yourself and get out there though, it’s all good. All of a sudden you’re calling out, smiling and having a grand old time. Fishing in winter is no different. With the quality clothing and equipment around these days, there really is no excuse. Gosh, they even have heated jackets these days. Like nearly everything in life, when it comes to quality

outdoor clothing you get what you pay for. Do your research, layering is the key, and adjust your clothes according to your activity levels. My boat sometimes resembles a clothing store, but when everyone else has headed home, those of us who have geared up in the right matter are still out there fishing. TCD TROUT Thompsons Creek Dam has a well-worn track around it at this time of year, but don’t let that put you off. Nature doesn’t put all its eggs in one basket, so neither should you. False spawning rainbow trout will still be present with the added bonus of hungry post-spawn fish chewing on just about anything they can find that is presented well in the clear water. This gives the fishery another element; it’s not easy. You’ll need fine tippet, long leaders, and some wave

action to blur things a little can help when it comes to flyfishing. Lure anglers need to take advantage of low light scenarios whenever possible. Bigger lures need to be moved a little quicker, smaller soft plastics can be worked a little slower, line and leader sizes need to be downsized – 3lb/4lb at the most. Set your drag light and hang on. Wave action and wind-blown shores can actually tip the balance in your favour, so keep this in mind and cast parallel with the bank. Little spots that jut out into the water are gold. BIG COD You would have to have been hiding under the covers of a warm bed for most of the winter not to realise or see the developing picture that is swimbait/wakebait fishing for big cod. Anglers everywhere are making the adjustments needed for local fisheries in

different areas. The clock is ticking for some waters with the closed season looming fast (September 1). I suggest you get out there and get amongst it. Copeton is not alone, I am a little bit biased, but I reckon what’s happening is the coolest thing in freshwater fishing. The best thing is we are still only scratching the surface, there is still so much to learn. Hope to see you on the water soon. Until then, tight lines.

Hardbodied lures such as this little Viking Crank Minnow need to be moved a little quicker in the clear waters of Thomsons Creek Dam to get the best results. It’s all about blurred motion and a reaction strike.

Gearing up for winter fishing is no different from watching or playing any winter sport. You may not wear a buff and goggles to the soccer, but you get the picture.

You would have to have been hiding under some warm blankets not to see or hear about the swimbait/wakebait revolution that has been taking place in cod waters across the country these last few years. With just a month to go until the season closes for most waters, I suggest you get amongst it.

DAM LEVELS brought to you by w w w. b a r g a i n b o a t b i t s. c o m . a u

Dam............................... % Full

Dam............................... % Full

Dam May June July Blowering 65 71 80 Brogo 101 100 100 Burrendong 87 87 87 Burrinjuck 64 62 63 Carcoar 91 90 90 Chaffey 98 99 94 Clarrie Hall n/a n/a n/a Copeton 47 47 52 Dartmouth 78 78 78 Eucumbene 41 36 30 Glenbawn 90 88 88 Glenlyon 77 75 75

Dam May June July Glennies Creek 83 87 83 Hume 60 65 71 Jindabyne 60 55 50 Keepit 62 64 66 Lostock 100 100 100 Oberon 90 89 88 Pindari 100 100 100 Split Rock 29 30 30 Tantangara 17 19 20 Toonumbar 100 101 102 Windamere 50 49 49 Wyangala 88 88 88

(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.) 66


Hanging out for hot fishing at the end of August WAGGA WAGGA

Rhys Creed

We are now coming to the end of winter, when we say goodbye to cod for another three months, but we still another month left and August is a great time of year! BLOWERING DAM We have now moved past the extremely cold temperatures of mid-winter and the days are beginning to get longer and warmer! This means trips to Blowering will become more bearable, as last month was one of the coldest we have seen in many years. Sessions on the lake at around 7am saw your guides and line freezing

up – that’s how cold it was targeting Murray cod. August will be slightly warmer and towards the end of the month the fishing will improve. The larger fish will begin to move and feed more than in the previous few weeks as they prepare for breeding. The smaller fish less than 80cm will also start to move again as they have been almost non-existent to anglers during winter. The last weekend of August will fish better than the first as the water beings to warm. The same techniques as usual will work; try casting large plastics in shallow water between 2-4m in low light periods and in the dark. During high sun periods the fish will push

deeper, so you’ll want to fish from 4-7m. When casting during the day, if you want to fish your lure between 4-7m, hold the boat in 8m, because you can’t target the fish directly below the boat. If you hold the boat in 7m you will only be fishing as deep as 6m. If you’re after a monster cod, throw large plastics, spinnerbaits, surface lures and swimbaits over 150mm in length. If you’re just out there to catch a fish, use smaller lures around the 80-100mm range and you’ll be more likely to catch small cod and golden perch. MURRUMBIDGEE RIVER Barring heavy rainfall, the Murrumbidgee River should

Gone! The FX Fury was inhaled by this Blowering beast.

The author with an armful of monster cod taken from Blowering Dam casting a large soft plastic in the freezing cold.

have had an environmental water flow during mid-July (just after I wrote this report). This would have caused high flows running throughout the Murrumbidgee River system due to water released from Burrinjuck Dam. This flow was expected to reach 3.7m (or 20,000 ML/day) at Wagga Wagga. This is slightly below the summer irrigation height and well below the flood high of 7.3m. This flush puts a huge standstill on the fishing conditions in the river and almost makes it impossible to fish. The river height will be on the way down by now and should be worth fishing over the second half of August, depending on rainfall. These environmental flows have a number of beneficial purposes for the ecosystem and they are released not only to help the fish population but the entire river system. Back before irrigation the rivers used to run high in winter (due to rainfall) and low in summer. This has since been reversed due to irrigation and we now see the total opposite. The purpose of the e-flow is to bring back these flushes of water associated with large winter rainfall events. This provides food for fish and more importantly allows them to travel to repopulate areas of rivers and creeks. This re-joins the wetlands where the juvenile fish have been living since the spring floods last year. There would be huge numbers of small golden perch, silver perch and Murray cod in the wetlands and billabong. These e-flows re-join the waterways to the river and allow the fish to move back into the river. Initially it will make for poor fishing conditions, but it’s vital for the survival of the fishery. This means fishing the river at the end of August for Murray cod is definitely worth a crack. Casting a range of lures including spinnerbaits, hardbodies and even surface lures is a great option. Spring is going to be brilliant for golden perch in the Murrumbidgee River, so check out next month’s report for some great tips on spring time golden perch!

Large Murray cod release extremely well in the cooler temperatures. This month is the last chance to catch a beaut like this before we say goodbye to them for another three months.

Camping out with a few mates under the stars in winter can be a great way to get motivated for fishing in the cold.

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Get excited about fish stockings BATLOW

Wayne Dubois

With the Murray cod season coming to an official end at midnight 31 August, this month is your last chance to get out there and target those big Murray cod. If the Murrumbidgee River is in

give it a miss and head to one of the lakes like Blowering Dam, as this lake almost never gets dirty and has plenty of massive Murray cod to go around. BLOWERING DAM In winter Blowering Dam’s resident Murray cod mainly feed on the increasingly plentiful redfin, especially during daylight hours.

Redfin are the main food source of Blowering Dam’s Murray cod during the cooler months. Follow these schools during daylight hours and on top of hooking the odd monster redfin, you’ll often find Murray cod popping up as well. low flow, it will definitely be worth a flick with some very good sized fish coming out of here including trout cod to 80cm and countless metre plus Murray cod. The biggest landed so far this season was 119cm. If the ‘Bidgee happens to be high and dirty, I’d

In low light conditions, these big green fish will move into the shallows and feed on pretty much anything that will fit into their mouths, including each other. Hybrid carp and golden perch are at the top of the menu for these giants during the night time shallow water raids, so any

large lure that resembles these will put you in with a good chance of hooking one of those fish of a lifetime. If night fishing isn’t your thing, but you still want to catch a big Murray cod, follow the redfin schools around. We personally target the redfin with ice jigs, rubber vibes, plastics or blades. Then once we get the school fired up the cod just start showing up. Once you notice them, either on your sounder or on the end of your line as a by-catch, switch over to larger lures more suited for Murray cod. As soon as the cod bite dies off, get back into the redfin, hook a few, get them into a frenzy and draw the cod back in again. FORECAST FISH STOCKINGS NSW Fisheries have some natives to stock into our local dams again and some of the places being stocked may just get you very excited. Blowering Dam is to receive 40,000 Murray cod and 50,000 golden perch. This sounds like a lot, but Blowering is a massive lake and the majority of the fingerlings end up being fish food for the bigger fish in the lake. A 10% return or survival rate is normally a great result. Although it used to be stocked in much bigger numbers, the lake now

Catching trout cod like this Murrumbidgee model could soon be a possibility at Talbingo Dam, with Fisheries stocking trout cod into this lake over the last couple of years.




Every Saturday 4.30pm on 68


receives around about this many fingerlings each year. While at times the native fishing can be good, I believe much bigger numbers need to be stocked again, especially if the plan is to make this a year-round native fishery like Eildon and Copeton dams. The lake receives a lot more angling pressure these days. Although the numbers stocked will help, far bigger numbers need to be stocked into this lake, especially for the golden perch which don’t seem to be in anywhere near the numbers they were ten years ago when they were being stocked at 200,000 a year. Jounama Dam, on the other hand, is a perfectly managed trophy fishery and is to receive another 5000 Murray cod and 10,000 golden perch. These are great numbers for this mixed fishery and anglers can now go there and choose to target natives, trout or redfin with confidence. Mannus Lake is to receive 3000 more Murray cod and 5000 more golden perch. Good numbers of natives and trout have been stocked back into this waterway since it refilled, and it shouldn’t be long until anglers are reaping the rewards.

Mannus Lake was a trophy golden perch fishery before the wall broke. Since being restored, Fisheries have dumped a heap of natives back in there and it shouldn’t be too long before they are of those massive sizes again. This next stocking really excites me; Khancoban Dam is to get a stocking of 5000 Murray cod to go with another Murray cod stocking of similar numbers last year. The potential of this as a mixed trout and Murray cod fishery has got a lot of people excited, including me. Bethungra Dam is to receive 2000 Murray cod and 2000 golden perch. The redfin fishing at this lake has been sensational this season and fingers crossed enough of the natives survive the stocking to

spice this lake up a bit. Another exciting stocking is of 5000 trout cod to go into Talbingo Dam on top of the same amount that was stocked last year. On top of the new stocked trout cod there was a stocking of them way back, which went really well and those initial trout cod are now of enormous sizes. They are still very rare to catch. These new stockings are super exciting and in just a few years a bit of a troll along the wall could result in trout cod captures.

It’s the last chance to tango with some big Murray cod this month as the season closes on the 31st. Casting large lures like this Mega Cod Angel Bait will be the standout producer.


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Working the weed patches with plastics HUNTER VALLEY

Peter Phelps

Winter is slowly finishing up. It has been a little tame this year; we haven’t had any long periods of very cold weather and only a couple of frosts. The water temperature didn’t get down as low as usual, but I don’t really see this mild winter so far changing the fishes’ patterns this August. The bass bag limit in the river systems is still zero until the end of this month, so the lakes are where you want to be. Generally, the fishing in both lakes is excellent this month with masses of fish still feeding up on their winter gorge.

to a golden bronze – perfectly camouflaged in their shallow water environment. Even though they have this enormous area of cover to hide in and get out of the sun, they can be very temperamental on when they bite. Low light is always the best for getting these fish to eat a lure. Early mornings, late evenings and overcast or even windy conditions get these fish comfortable enough to move around freely in the weed feeding. Picking a spot can sometimes be confusing when almost the entire lake edge is covered by weed. Look for points and bays, even rocks and timber – something that will give the weed an uneven edge

The author with a little bass taken in shallow water on a jerkbait. Lake St Clair weed is slowly bouncing back from the hot summer and autumn dropping water levels. These weed beds should be nice and thick by now and towering near to the surface. The larger fish seem to hold in the weed beds as they provide perfect cover for ambushing prey. Compared to their deeper siblings these fish range from almost black

– and holes. In these areas, the fish will congregate and even school in the weed. Multiple casts to the same area can catch several fish as they move around looking for food. A jerkbait in the 50-80mm range is an excellent choice to start out with. These look like an injured baitfish darting around, and the bass and golden perch can’t seem to

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resist a jerkbait aggressively worked along the weed and paused in their face. If a jerkbait doesn’t get eaten, your next reliable choice is a jighead-rigged plastic. I like to try a lightly weighted minnow, stickbait or fluke style first. Simular to a jerkbait’s action of darting around, these can be fished deeper. I start with a 1/16oz jighead for over the top of the weed beds and into holes then go to a 1/12oz or an 1/8oz to fish down the face of the weed. There’s nothing fancy with the retrieve, just the standard 2-3 little twitches up with the rod tip and let the plastic fall on a semi slack line. These styles of plastics and retrieves will always get eaten on the drop. If the stickbait isn’t getting eaten, a paddle-tail or grub is your next best option. These styles will work on a straight slow wind retrieve and 1/8, 1/6 and 1/4oz jigheads are the best. Use the lighter 1/8 and 1/6 for over the weed beds and the 1/4 for fishing down the face and along the weed edge. I’ve seen just about every 2-3” paddle-tail or grub work on any given day. Try giving your plastic little twitches in your slow roll to make it look like a baitfish trying to escape. This can turn lookers into biters. There are no hard and fast rules. Stick with which one you feel most confident with. If the bites aren’t coming, focus on where you are putting your lure and what retrieve you use rather than a specific brand or colours. Moving out wider from the weed there should be some schools hanging around. Anywhere from 20ft out into 60ft you can find them stacked up off points or humps. A paddle-tail or grub plastic, ice jig or even a small blade should catch you some fish.

Traditionally the school fish are smaller than the weed dwellers. These can provide a lot of fun with their willingness to eat a lure. A fish a cast can happen this month on these schooled fish; I even recall catching them on plastics after the tail was bitten off as they were eating anything that moved near them. Lake Glenbawn’s weed is slowly growing back as well. The constant water flowing into the lake stirs up the water clarity up the back of the lake. This causes less weed to grow up there compared to the front half that is clearer with better light penetration. Similar to Lake St Clair, these weed beds will fish well in the low light periods. A jerkbait and plastic worked shallow around main points and edges will catch you some seriously chunky bass this month. Glenbawn banks are a lot deeper than St Clair. Once the sun gets up a 1/4-3/8oz jighead is better suited for fishing a plastic. Slow roll your plastic out off the edges down to around 20ft of water or where you can see them sitting on the sounder. Twitching plastics up like a flathead retrieve and letting them fall back to the bottom under a tight line works as well. Commonly the plastic will get eaten on the drop. Out wider some fish should be schooling as well. Fish off points or near sunken timber lines in 30-60ft of water. Fishing up the back of the lake in the 8 knot zone can also get some really big schools of fish this month. Anywhere off the rock walls or next to the old riverbed can see the sounder near blacked out with fish. Plastics, ice jigs and small blades will be the best option to get these fish to bite and hopefully see some memorable sessions.

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Kahlee Noble with another awesome bass.


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Sweet fishing for anglers prepared to travel TAMWORTH

Adam Mears

Cold – if you’re talking about the weather, then you’re not wrong. The mornings getting the boat out of the shed have been bitterly cold, but the fishing is surprisingly sweet if you’re prepared

trolling hardbody lures in around 20” of water around the weed beds. Copeton Dam has also been a mecca for anglers chasing XXL Murray cod. It’s a 2.5 hour drive from Tamworth, and winter is the best time to chase trophy fish at Copeton, so if trophy fish are on your bucket list then this is the place to do it. Although fishing for

on everything from spinners, plastics, blades, hardbodies – you name it they’ll eat it, so what are you waiting for, get out there. SHEBA DAM The Sheba Dams up near Hanging Rock north of Nundle is a beautiful place to take the family for a fishing or camping experience they will thoroughly enjoy. They have nice sheltered areas,

If you’re having fun, catching fish like this is a bonus.

A little stealth goes a long way when the sun gets up. to travel. The local dams, Lake Keepit, Split Rock and Chaffey have been inconsistent, to say the least. If you have some live shrimp at your disposal then this may change your fortune and bring some lovely natives boat side. If you are willing to travel then Glenbawn down near Scone has been on fire for anglers

trout in the rivers is now closed until October, not all is gloom and doom. If you’re a diehard trouty, there are a few stocked up dams within an hour’s drive that can keep you content until the season reopens. Sheba, Malpas and Dumaresq Dam are all viable options and in the latter two you also have the by-catch of redfin perch to pull some string. They can be targeted

barbeques, and plenty of walking tracks to take a stroll on. It’s also home to a huge abundance of wildlife including ducks, lizards, kangaroos and the occasional wombat and it’s also stocked with rainbow trout a few times a year. Being a dam, the closed season does not apply here, so if you need your trout fix before

October, this is one place you can scratch that itch and get a bent rod or two. Worms and small yabbies work well here, as do spinners and small flies like egg patterns and nymphs. SPLIT ROCK DAM Split Rock Dam has been hit and miss this year. Generally the winter months will see the big cod come out from hiding, but so far the goodoo have been few and far between. Split Rock was once renowned for its abundance of big cod, but has been a sleeping giant

for a few seasons now. If you’re going to find cod, hit the edges on early mornings from predawn to mid-morning and from late afternoon into the night with big spinnerbaits and diving lures, or try the new range of swimbaits that have flooded the market. Just make sure you upgrade the hooks and split rings or you might have to tell the story of the one that got away, rather than showing your mates pictures of your prize catch. Also make sure you return these big breeders

to the water as soon as possible so that they can breed, producing more cod for future generations of fish and anglers alike. Purple and black or blue and black have always been proven colour combos in the dam, so don’t leave home without a few variations of these. On your way drop in and see the team at Tamworth Fishing Tackle and they will have more than enough knowledge to get you set up and geared up before your next outing. Until then, good luck and tight lines.

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With the dirty water around it is persistence that gets the bites. 70


Remember your water etiquette at Copeton COPETON DAM

David Allen

It has been a great year so far at Copeton Waters Holiday Park. Rising water levels through 2017 have led to some of the best and most consistent fishing you could ask for. Yellowbelly, although quiet now, provided anglers with top-notch fishing through summer and autumn. At this time of year there is only one topic of conversation and that is big Murray cod. This season has seen more anglers than ever before fishing the waters of Copeton Dam and this has

led to a couple of issues that need to be considered. Safety on the water is something that every angler should be aware of, particularly when boating in low light and at night. There are an increasing number of incidents involving anglers either moving around the dam, or sitting on the electric motor on banks without lights. This will lead to a major incident if people don’t wake up to just how dangerous this can be. Every day I am getting reports of boats driving around with no lights. This is dangerous and stupid and will end up costing you money or will cause an accident. Be aware that Maritime Services and

Danny’s second cod ever at 115cm.

the police regularly patrol Copeton and the fines for non-compliance can make for a very expensive night’s fishing. Also, do not rely only on your electronics, just because you have a track to follow. You also need to be aware that other boats are using the dam, so keep a lookout and use your lights. The second area of concern that is raising its ugly head is the lack of etiquette that at times is being shown out on the water. It is a very big dam and there is plenty of space for everyone if you follow a few simple rules. • Treat other anglers as you would want to be treated. • Don’t drop in on top of somebody that’s obviously working an area. Give them at least 100m of space. • If you want to fish a location that has someone on it already, do the right thing: approach slowly and ask if they mind if you fish near them. • If there are fishers working an area from the bank, give them some extra space. It is much easier to move to another location if you are in a boat. • At the boat ramp have everything ready to go before you back down the ramp, so you don’t hold up other people. Remove straps, put bungs in and load gear away from ramp. • Do not operate a boat if under the influence of alcohol, as the police will be checking when they are on the water.

Local angler Jared Walker had a morning made in heaven with two whopper cod. His first was 126cm and this one was 127cm. Only at Copeton… If everybody plays by the rules and shows some common courtesy, we will all be able to enjoy the best cod fishing in Australia. Speaking of fishing there have been some fantastic fish caught over the last month, with confirmed captures of a number of fish over 130cm and many over 120cm. I think Copeton is the only place in Australia that I would hear the comment ‘I only caught a 96cm fish.’ Anywhere else that would be a trophy fish that you would boast about to your mates. Danny who works at Copeton caught his second-ever cod the other day at 115cm. Don’t forget the King and Queen of Copeton Competition is running again this year. The biggest cod between 1 May and 30

November wins. Wilson Tackle are again a major sponsor, with two Venom rods up for grabs along with a host of lures from our suppliers. • Copeton Dam is one of the best lakes in NSW to catch

a trophy Murray cod. Dave runs the Copeton Waters Holiday Park and is a great source of up to date, local information on what’s biting. Contact the park on (02) 6723 6269 for information and accommodation bookings.

Jared with his 126cm beast.

Healthy cod are clobbering lures NEW ENGLAND RIVERS

Adam Townsend

Heavy rains in early July have flooded the local rivers and filled the impoundments in only a matter of days. This usually makes for some pretty tough fishing. In saying that, there have still been great winter fish being caught all around the area. The Copeton Dam and Gwydir River catchment seemed to cop the brunt of all the rain receiving over 35,000ML from upstream overnight. This saw the dam rise from around the 47% mark up to 52% in less than a week. I had managed to take some annual leave from work around the same time and got to witness and be part of some pretty exciting fishing with a group of mates. In just a few days fishing, there were over 20 cod caught and nine were over the metre mark. A few golden perch were caught as by-catch.

The most successful technique was casting swimbaits into the wattle brushes with a dead slow retrieve. Surface fishing has also been very productive and has claimed a few very healthy fish as well. Fishers have found early mornings and the evenings to be the most productive times when active fish are looking for a easy meal, although the rewards have been there for the keen anglers opting to try their luck during the day. Yellowbelly (golden perch) are another good option

for fishing during the daylight hours, as they are starting to become more active and are being caught regularly. Slow rolling soft plastics around the grassy banks and wattle has produced quality fish of late. The Pindari Dam and Severn River catchment also received some floodwaters from upstream recently but this hasn’t affected the area too much. The Severn has been fishing just as good as in previous weeks with quality fish being caught day and night on most types of lures. Casting into quiet water (back-eddies)

Another Copeton Dam behemoth cod.

above and below rapid areas is very productive. Pindari has gone back up over the 100% mark and is flowing over the spillway again. Strong numbers of healthy, average cod have been caught all around the dam. Throwing surface paddlers and small swimbaits tight up against the bank is producing more of the bites. If you’re fishing the top end of the dam where water is flowing in then lures that create more of a reaction bite like spinnerbaits and chatterbaits have been a better option. The Beardy River is closed, no reports of late. Tight lines to all braving the cold in the next few weeks. With the cod season drawing to a close at the end of the month, it’s officially one of the best times of the season to be chasing our big iconic Aussie friends as they feed up for the breeding cycle. It only takes one cast to be made in the right area for things to change in an instant, so get out and get amongst them.

A healthy Copeton cod caught on a swimbait.


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Camera-shy cod stars on iFish ROBINVALE

Rod Mackenzie

There is no doubt the mighty Murray cod can be an elusive catch and often hard to find. Their astute lack of cooperation when it comes to biting the line is only compounded when you roll out the television cameras in order to catch them on film.

so desperately sought had managed to elude our best efforts. On our last outing a monster fish engulfed Worsteling’s surface lure in a lip-clad explosion of water, only to fall from the line a few minutes later. So close and yet so far, another chance was lost to the camera. As luck would have it, I revisited this same snag later in the season and tempted the cod on a lure. This time the hooks

cameras on board it wasn’t long before we were out on the water casting large surface lures. Cast after cast combed the timberrich water, each returning unscathed. I can remember thinking on how much I hate these stubborn fish as the minutes rolled into hours and the sun slowly slipped towards the horizon. In the previous weeks hardly a session would pass without an explosive

The author and Paul Worsteling holding 123cm of camerashy Murray cod caught off the surface on film. And so it was, with three days to spare, the host of the popular IFISH television show Paul Worsteling was looking to catch a Murray cod. I had already done a couple of shows with Paul and while we caught decently sized fish on both occasions, the giant cod we

held and it was led to the net measuring in at an impressive 115cm. While I was happy with the catch, there were no cameras to record the action. The crew arrived on the banks of the Murray River eager to wet a line. With microphones fitted and

take from a giant cod. Catch it or not, the opportunity was still presented. Roll out the cameras and the fish remain tight-lipped and the pressure is on. On day two, the early morning fog rolled across the river as we made our way downstream. Morning

Gareth Lynch with a solid Murray cod caught on a StumpJumper. The good news is a few cod of this size have started to show around and above Loch Seven. 72


is a great time to fish the surface, but once again a hundred casts came and went without a single touch. As the sun climbed into the sky we switched to deeper diving lures and cast our way upstream for several hours without a bite. The pressure was really starting to mount as the evening session rolled around all too fast and it was back to the surface with not a touch all day. We were quickly running out of light and our chosen stretch had but one big snag left to cast to before the day was done. The large surface lure was sent to the back of the tree landing in a pocket of branches before the slow retrieve kicked the paddling bib into gear. No sooner had it moved than an explosion of water ripped it from the surface as a giant cod inhaled the lure and beat a path towards the snags. It was a nail biting fight that ended with a 123cm cod held aloft for the cameras. This would be a first for television, as a giant Murray cod off the surface had never been filmed. It seems the curse of the camera has been lifted and with it the pressures

Redfin have been a popular catch in the lakes near Swan Hill with blades working well. associated with catching these giant fish on film. Locally the fishing has been a bit hit and miss, but you can expect that as the weather dips down to freezing. The best catches lately have come from the Swan Hill area. Lake Boga has good numbers of small to decently sized cod mixed in with of some large golden perch and redfin. The artificial structure placed in the lake has been fishing well on both bait and lures. In the Murray River some good cod up to a metre have been landed upstream of the Swan Hill road bridge on trolled lures. Robinvale on the Murray is still producing

perch on lures but the cod still remain a no-show. The Murray at Wemen has perch and a few small cod on bait and lures. It’s a similar story right through to Mildura. The great news is a few cod are starting to get caught in the lower locks, from Loch Seven and upstream. While there are no monsters yet, there have been a couple in the 90s landed on lures. Perch have been a regular catch on lures down that way. As we roll through the dead of winter towards the promising spring there is still the chance of landing a few good cod, if you don’t mind braving the morning chill.

Cold tricks still work MILDURA

Darcy Sherger

With the frosty mornings and cold days, getting your body out of the warmth and comfort of the house is still hard. On the other hand, your heart wants to race from that hit of a green steam train known as the mighty Murray cod this winter. That rush you get when they nearly pull the rod out of your hands, though you manage to just hold on to it and fight the beast, is the rush that gets you up and onto the water. That rush at the moment has been quite hard to find, though. It has been done on several occasions when the hard work was put in. The cod have generally been much quieter this winter, making it hard for anglers. Persistence and trying different things are the keys. Deep structure usually produces at this time of year. Trying something different would be worth a try, too. Instead of working your lures hard on structure, crank them up and hold on. Murray cod will be on the move chasing a feed at the moment with little food on the menu, due to the coldwater temperatures. Bony bream will be the main food source right now. Try

a natural coloured lure, such as a white or silver that represents a bony bream. This will put you in the game. During winter, standard diving lures are the go. Work the water column instead of

right on the structure. The Mildura region has been very productive for golden perch. They have been keeping anglers on their toes providing much enjoyment for local angers and lure fishers around the region.

The Mildura region has been very productive for golden perch.

Even more monster cod captures at Mulwala YARRAWONGA

Tony Bennett

First of all I have to apologise for not having any reports for the last couple of months, apart from this: barra and mulloway were plentiful in the NT! Vanessa and I along with good friends ‘Thommo’ and ‘Hoges’ spent six enjoyable weeks in the Territory fishing almost every day with great success. The four week trip home fishing throughout QLD and NSW was another story! All we can say is that we made it home with a couple of major hiccups on the way. Thank goodness for hire cars and transport carriers! The one thing we didn’t miss while away were the constant reports via phone and social media of the amazing cod fishing that Lake Mulwala was producing. Never before have the quantity and quality of big cod continued this far into the season. Driven by social media and switched-on anglers with a massive range of new trendy lures, Mulwala was the place to be. Top water fishing was the most productive, but

anglers fishing swimbaits were also getting great results. The standout lures were the Koolabung Cod Crackers and Wakesnakes, Gidgee Wakebaits, Jackall Gigantarel, Gantarel and Chibitarels and the large range of Westin swimbaits. I can’t see any reason this action won’t continue for the rest of the season in both the lake and downstream in the river. Without wanting to offend anybody who has supplied us with their monster tales, I will only give two absolute standouts a mention. First up, Warren G and his crew from the Shep area spent countless all-nighters here. ‘Reward for effort’ is an understatement, as close to a dozen 1m+ beasts fell victim to their persistence. With cod measuring close to and over the 120cm mark, it’s a credit to them for their passion. As this report was being put together I got word of an amazing capture. Digging deeper I made contact with Craig Leehane from Ballarat to verify the story. Sure enough, it was Craig who had boated a cod of a lifetime that measured 129cm and

was estimated to weigh around the legendary 100lb mark. This was taken off the surface in the morning on a Koolabung Cod Cracker. In my 24 years fishing Lake Mulwala I have only heard of two fish bigger (132cm and 135cm) and they both came from the river up around Bundalong. It’s certainly a meritorious capture and a fish of a lifetime. Cray season has been steady with most getting their bag limits. Unfortunately, reports from Fisheries suggest they issued over 100 infringement notices over the Queen’s Birthday weekend for non-compliance. Not good enough, fishos. Learn your bag and size limits. Ignorance is no excuse. Organisation for the 2017-18 fishing competition season is ramping up. If you are keen to get your name added to mailing lists for the Golden Dollars (21 October), Cod Classic (1-3 December), Dash 4 Cash (17-18 February), His and Hers Partners Classic (3 March) or Cod Nationals (15-18 March), shoot me an email at • If you are visiting town, I urge you to call into Lake Mulwala Fish, Camp & Ski (opposite

the post office) in Mulwala and say G’day. We are your largest Murray cod-specific

shop in Yarrawonga/Mulwala and specialise in all things ‘green’! For any information

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Craig Leehane with his massive 129cm monster.



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Experience for the best and the rest SUNTAG

Stefan Sawynok

Almost every article I write for Fishing Monthly I am trying to work something out. While I know the writing adage is “write what you know,” I find it a lot more challenging to write about things I don’t know. I hope in the process, somebody finds something useful. Fortunately for me, fishers provide an endless list of topics to look at.

Over the past three years I have looked at the achievements, fishing records and habits of over 20,000 fishers. I have spent way too many hours watching videos, spreadsheeted until I can’t do math and had countless conversations that highlight that there is so much more to fishing than can ever be captured in numbers. Some days I ask myself, ‘who even does that?’ On those days I avoid mirrors. Out of all that research, I have started to redefine fishers with a more useful set of categories: • Recreational Fishers – make up about 80% of fishers and are characterised by lower catch rates (<1 fish/ trip) and fish for leisure, social or family reasons. • Expert Fishers – make up about 19% of the fishing population, have higher catch rates (1-10 fish/trip) and focus on fishing skills. • Master Fishers – make up about 1% either very high catch rates on average (>10 fish/trip) and/or dedication to tackling fishing challenges (>5 techniques, regions or species). My challenge for this month is to use the ABT data to try and provide context for the fishing experiences of these three groups for bream. It’s not easy but I am going to give it my best shot. But first, I want to go back to the other part of my article series of recent months. HOW TO BE A BETTER FISHER – PART 3 To make it easier I will include the ‘how to be a better fisher’ and the 74


historical figures at the beginning of my articles. By the time we’re done, you will have a toolkit compiled from observations of the best fishers, explained through the work of some of the planet’s geniuses. To recap though from the last two articles, the toolkit currently includes: • Manage your effort – work more areas for better probability of success. • Keep a fishing diary of fishing habits, conditions and successes. • Stay on the water longer and fish as regularly as you can manage.

This month I am looking at a non-mathematician – Immanuel Kant, a German philosopher who was to philosophy what guys like Steve Wozniak are to fishing. He was an insanely prolific, profound guy you probably haven’t heard of. Kant is kind of the father of reason and our understanding of how we process sensory information. Boy, did he know how to write about it… Here’s why being a better fisher is about connecting with our ancient past. As a quick intro to this series, (three articles in) it’s easy to forget in this era of plenty that once upon a time hunting was the difference between life and death. In fact, while scavenging got our brain growth kicked into gear, hunting turbo charged it. We would not be the people we are today were it not down to the efficiency gain in obtaining animal protein through hunting. Our earliest tools fit into two main classes: food gathering/hunting and food preparation. That should tell you something about our priorities.

Every fisher knows that amazing feeling that comes with catching their first fish. That feeling is very ancient, programmed into us, because feeling good about catching something equated to ‘we are not dying tonight.’ Modern life diverts us away from the parts of our brain that fishing needs. Don’t get me wrong, I love modern technology, but the more you use modern technology, the more you switch off the fishing part of the brain. That is something that is confronting to me, because the answer young anglers have come up with is to develop technology to make up the gap. That seems to be working, but philosophically I have to ask at what point does that stop being fishing and just become a nature-enhanced video game? I am getting old apparently. Many of my role models for fishing are old school fishers. Say what you want, but the best of them were tapped into all the best skills our hunting brains developed millions of years ago. Consider this my homage to the ancient fishing traditions and the men who have taken me fishing, but also a plea to fishers to consider switching off the sounder and connecting with that ancient hunter every once in a while. A BRIEF HISTORY OF KANT All our knowledge begins with the senses, proceeds then to the understanding, and ends with reason. There is nothing higher than reason. Why don’t historians focus on important details like the fishing habits of philosophers? Immanuel Kant was born on 22 April, 1724 in Königsberg, Prussia. Kant was educated in religious studies and in his younger days was a prolific author of philosophy and by his mid 40s was very influential. Time to cash in, right? Not Kant. At the peak of his powers (age 46) he stopped publishing and isolated himself for 11 years. He came out of his selfimposed exile with the 800 odd page Critique of Pure Reason. Cue adulation and rockstar status. Well, not exactly. I am working my

way through it and let’s just say it’s pretty dense. Several of his students used his teachings to justify their own idealism and, while he was well regarded, it wasn’t until after his death that scholars came to appreciate how Kant provided the foundation for much of our modern understanding of how our minds work. HOW KANT HELPS BEGINNER FISHERS Immanuel Kant helped us understand how the brain models the world, that is functionally not objectively. Kant was the guy who pretty much screwed all the early AI developments that focused on object recognition. Here is why. If you go into your cupboard, you’ll see a lot of cups right? But if all the cups are broken, you can use a bowl to drink out of and if that’s broken, you can use your hand. What if the cup is shaped like a fish? How do you know it’s a cup? Hint, computers have a really hard time with that one. In other words, we don’t see a cup at all, what we see is a functional tool and we are adaptable enough to be able to discern and reapply context. Which is why we didn’t die of thirst, one imagines. That makes sense; the world is far too complex for our brains to take in all the details. We have to filter and contextualise to prevent ourselves from going mad. Don’t believe me? Try taking in everything that is happening in the room you are sitting in all at once. I bet if you ask your mate to do the same, you’ll both be looking at a very different room. That is to say, map the world by its usefulness to us functionally. Let’s start to break down a river/estuary a bit more functionally. A rock bar is a fish aggregator. A sand bar is an aggregator for bottom-based ambush predators and smaller fish. Deeper holes are an aggregator for larger fish. There are more maps and it’s a bit more complex than that but you get the idea. Now there are many ways to break down a river functionally. Bird watchers for example will see a similar map but see places for things like cormorants and pelicans to hang out. Social people will see beaches and shady trees and places for people to park and hang out. Sailors will break down the river in terms of currents and wind patterns. We break down the world functionally based on our core focus and interest. Good fishers break down the river in the way fish use the river, and go one better by fishing in different

conditions to understand how fish use that particular location. When you see things in that way you reduce the number of things you need to know the next time you see a similar spot. In other words, having a good map of how fish uses the river makes you more successful next time you see that type of space. That is why good fishers tend to not share details as much. It takes time to build that function map. Can you take shortcuts and use the experience of others? Yes, most leaning starts that way but good learning requires useful questions. If you meet an expert fisher, ask them about fish habits rather than tackle or where to fish. For example, if you are interested in flathead ask a good fisher what part of the tide and where fish tend to sit on sand banks. Save your tackle questions for the tackle store but find a bait or soft plastic that works and get some advice on how to use it best. Then go out and test it. When you start to succeed your brain will naturally lock that in, and each sand bank you visit will reinforce that modelling. The next step is to experiment with different tackle and see what else you can work out about that environment. Before long you will be a pro and ready to step it up to the next level. HOW KANT HELPS EXPERT FISHERS The challenge with building the map of the river and how it works is how quickly the brain swaps from exploratory mode to expert mode. That is, fishing the map and not the environment. Knowing how this works really helps depending on what you want to achieve. If you find yourself fishing the places you know work using the methods you know work, then you are in ‘expert’ mode. That’s fine if it’s giving you good results and you are happy with that. However, your fishing will be limited by the map. If you want to break out of that to get into exploring mode, it’s very simple – solve the biggest mapping problem you don’t know how to solve. Pick a fishing challenge you have no idea how to solve; that can be a different

environment or species (you can try new tackle, but only if it uses a different part of the water column). That act of going into problem solving mode will immediately kick in the Kant part of your brain, because you are building new functional maps along the road to solving the problem. KANT FOR MASTER FISHERS Here is a novel part of mastery: you can turn your brain into a fishing supercomputer. Once you gather experience in a wide range of environments and conditions, your brain becomes a modelling tool, so rather than seeing a map, the brain sees a conceptual fishery. I have had conversations with fishers that can visualise what is happening under the water. Others have reported going to the other side of the planet and catching fish with ease in environments they haven’t seen, because they magically ‘know’ where the fish are. Those anglers have kicked their Kant into overdrive. If you plan to travel the world, fishing as many environments as possible in advance is the best preparation you can have. HOW KANT HELPS COMPETITION FISHERS Under stress our brain goes into safe mode. We fall back on the behaviour that we ‘believe’ is going to give us the best results, which is usually what we are good at. The problem with that is that it will only work if the thing you need to do to get better results is the thing you are good at. If what you are good at is not the right tool, it can backfire spectacularly. If you are a competition fisher, it helps to have built up different maps based on conditions – sunny days, rainy days, different tides etc. During the day, assess the conditions and if the technique you are using doesn’t suit the conditions, go through the list of techniques you have and find one that better suits. I don’t recommend testing that out in competition. Instead, focus your practice on different conditions where playing with different approaches doesn’t come with a penalty. Confidence is a key part of good

decision making. Most of the time, what you do well will work. The difference between the best and the rest is adaptability. Having a flexible mind on the day that is not driven by stress, but rather uses stress as a signal to make better decisions, will make you a much more potent weapon on the water. Fishbrain, Anglr, apps, Insight Genesis and modern echosounders – there are a lot of technologies I will cover later. From a skills perspective they reduce fishing skills by shifting activities fishers normally use their senses for, and interaction with the world, to data analysis. There is no doubt that these technologies can enhance good fishers, though there is no evidence they make any difference for ordinary fishers, or at least not yet. By evidence, I mean hard data. I have looked at the hard data on the performance of fishers and if technology is making a difference for ordinary fishers, it’s so small that it hasn’t made a material difference to outcomes yet. My advice if you want to be a better fisher is to focus on fishing skills first. I will discuss how to get the most from technology, but that discussion will only be valuable to those who can catch fish already. THE ABT BREAM EXPERIENCE In the last article I discussed the Pareto Distribution which follows the principle that 20% of fishers catch 80% of the fish, but with much better maths. This month I want to come at the same question from the other angle – what are the result and experience differences between these groups of fishers. In this analysis I have generated the distribution of fishers based on their ability to catch fish. We end up with the following distribution. • T80 Fishers – bottom 80% of performers (1450 fishers) • T20 Fishers – top 20% excluding the top 1% (340 fishers) • T1 Fishers – top 1% of fishers (27 fishers) ABT has pretty much got the balance right between excellence and inclusion. There is no such thing as a fair competition – we want our best and brightest to win – however every good sport adds an element

of random chance that an underdog could win and it’s in this element that the ABT BREAM series excels over every other competition series I have looked at. • The ABT bag system has prevented the T1 fishers from dominating the results, despite the fact that on average they perform better. • ABT has been highly effective in sharing skills, technologies and techniques among its fishers. • ABT has managed to lift up its worst fishers the most in terms of skill development. • All three groups of fishers in the ABT have achieved better results over time in terms of bag weights. • ABT is very efficient at spreading the rewards,with T20 fishers gaining the most placings in the past decade (63%), while T80 fishers have shared in 16% of the top 10 placings and T1 fishers 21%. • T80 fishers have won 16 times in the past decade. This demonstrates that there is a chance that on the day the underdog or ring-in might just win. • ABT is bookie’s dream. Somebody get on that. I personally would rate the ABT BREAM Series a gold star event in achieving its core objectives. If you want to be a better bream fisher, the price of entry is worth every penny. COMPARING THE NUMBER OF MAX BAGS As you would expect, the T1 fishers outperform the other groups when it comes to how often they achieve the mark of five fish. If it looks like the T1 and T20 fishers came back to the field in 2014, there was larger churn in the T1 and T20 fishers than ordinary fishers. There is a clear separation between T1, T20 and T80 fishers when it comes to catching a maximum bag. The important thing is that the five-bag affects the top fishers the most, because

they achieve five more often. If the five-fish limit didn’t exist, the gap between T1 fishers and the rest would be much larger and T1 fishers would win pretty much all the time. COMPARING THE NUMBER OF ZERO BAGS As you would expect, T80 fishers zero bag more often than other groups. However, the figures made my jaw drop, because they were the exact opposite to what I expected. While the rate of zero bags was high in the late 2000s, it has dropped a crazy amount among all three groups of fishers with T80 fishers being the biggest beneficiaries. In fact, today’s T80 fishers are more than three times less likely to zero bag than the same T80 fishers a decade ago. This is due almost exclusively to improvement in soft plastic lures and the sharing of knowledge via the Boater/Non-Boater system. Bottom line is, unlike most competitions, the bottom fishers have not been left behind, even if they aren’t achieving the heights of T20/ T1 fishers. AVERAGE BAG SIZE PER EVENT T1 fishers are the ones most likely to get an upgrade (replacing a smaller fish with a larger fish caught post five fish). This means you would expect they would have the biggest average bag weight, and they do. All the same, it’s the T80 fishers that have been the biggest winners in terms of improving results with today’s T80 fishers gaining bags nearly three times better than a decade ago. Nonetheless, T20 and T1 fishers have also improved their results, which further demonstrates bream techniques have been constantly improving. COMPARING MAX BAGS AND ZERO BAGS The most clear demonstration of the improvement in performance comes in examining the differences between max bags and zero bags. In fact, the T80 fishers managed to get into the positive (more max bags than zero bags per person) for the first time ever in 2016. Whatever they are putting in the water at the ABT events, I would be demanding some. The T20 fishers have also improved overall, but I believe

they are implementing better techniques rather than becoming better fishers overall. What this demonstrates though is a T20 fisher in the ABT BREAM Series using pre-2008 techniques would be smashed even by the current T80 fishers. Nothing more needs to be said about how effective ABT events have been at sharing the knowledge around. TOP 10 PLACINGS Has all this improvement impacted the placings? Not quite. In this I don’t fault the ABT tournaments so much as one of the consequences of the Pareto Distribution. While the T80 fishers have improved the most, as you can see from the average bag weights and the difference between zero bags, the T20 and T1 fishers don’t have to improve as much to maintain a lead. Having said that, T80 fishers had their best year in many years last year. Chances are there are some current T80 fishers that are going to jump into the T20 group. When it comes down to it, you need to be in the top 20 performers to make the top 10 consistently and that’s how it should be. The fact that they don’t get their own way all the time is what makes the ABT events true sportfishing. COMPARING WITH THE ROCKY BARRA BOUNTY I think it’s important to have a point of comparison to contextualise why I have made the judgements I have about the ABT BREAM Series. I know, for example, that hardcore fishers don’t always value sharing the knowledge or the glory. Barramundi fishers are definitely in this class, with most barramundi competitions having point scoring systems that reward catching the biggest fish. The Rocky Barra Bounty, a tag and release event in Rockhampton, is a good example of a barramundi competition that has been running for a similar period to the ABT BREAM Series. Unfortunately, the rules were amended a number of times in the 2000s in a way that makes comparing that decade’s data pretty much impossible (the technical term – it’s a mess). Post-2010 however, the rules settle down and as such we have a much better comparison. Some observations: • The RBB points system favours T1 fishers such that since the current point system was put into place T1 fishers have always won and dominated the top 10. • T80 fishers have not improved at all. The good news is they probably haven’t gotten any worse. • T80 fishers have managed only a single top 10 placing in five years. No dark horses

are expected in the current year either. • The result is mathematically very predictable based on the availability of legal fish in the river. Since 2012 100% of mathematical predictions of the winner have come true. I have already run the prediction for this year and would be shocked if that changed in 2017. • If you want to make it to the top, the only way there is to find a way of beating the best. • The bookies should probably stay home for this one. COMPARING THE NUMBER OF MAX BAGS The max bags for the ABT events tend to reflect the development of technology much more than changes in conditions, because events are held at different locations. The Barra Bounty since 2010 is the complete opposite, with technology improving only slightly while the fishing conditions have declined over that time. Expect the results to be much better in 2017. In contrast to the ABT BREAM Series, no T80 fishers have achieved a max bag (five fish) in the past six events. The gap between the T1 fishers and T20 fishers was largest in 2013, which was the best year for legal fish. With the Net Free Zone active in Rockhampton for over a year, expect the T1 fishers to dominate in 2017. One thing to note is the Barra Bounty does not cap the event at five fish, but

of declining catch rates, though the 2016 event is an aberration due to weather conditions. Expect the T20s to return below one zero bag per day in 2017 and T1 fishers to return back to around 0.25. THE POINT SYSTEM HELPS T1 FISHERS The point system favours big fish such that a 500mm fish is worth 600 points but a 1m fish is worth 2200. Clearly that point system favours those that can catch big fish. This chart (Fig. 1) measures the average advantage that each of the fishing classes enjoys compared with the original 1 point/1mm system. As you can see, the top competitors enjoy a boost of between 1000-6000 points per event. If you plot the ability of each of those groups to catch legal fish, you get exactly the same chart. Therefore, catch the most big fish to win. COMPARING MAX BAGS AND ZERO BAGS Unlike the ABT events, the difference between max bags and zero bags does not show improvement, but expect that to turn around between now and 2020 as catch rates improve in the Fitzroy River. Barramundi fishers are naturally very, very secretive, so knowledge transfer has been at a minimum. T80 and T20 fishers are at the mercy of the river and really have one option – get better at catching fish and, more importantly, get much better at catching legal fish

catching five is really hard to achieve. This is part of the reason the event is dominated by T1 fishers, as they are not restricted in the number of fish they can report. COMPARING THE NUMBER OF ZERO BAGS Once again, the number of zero bags for the Barra Bounty is reflective of the conditions on the river. That said, during 2011 when the river was at its peak fishingwise after 30 years, T80 fishers managed to avoid zero bags more often than not. The event is run over three days, so T80 fishers manage zero bags two days out of three. Given those are long days in the heat, I have to say the T80 fishers are the most dedicated. The results for T20 and T1 fishers are reflective

to join the ranks of the T1 fishers. Otherwise, sit back and enjoy the time off work. TOP 10 PLACINGS As you would expect with the advantage that T1 fishers enjoy based on the points system, they dominate the top 10 placings having achieved 100% of first place wins and 65% of all top 10 placings. Last year was the first time this decade where T1 fishers did not dominate, but that is probably a random result with fishing conditions so poor that for once there was a much greater randomisation of the outcomes. Last year was definitely a case where being in the right place at the right time could take you to the top. If conditions settle down this year, as anticipated, then expect normal service to return. AUGUST 2017




German company DAM has released the Monster Big Fish rod, which was developed, tested and approved by fishing celebrity and DAM team member Jakub Vagner. Built to catch extreme fish and withstand extreme conditions, this rod comes with two different tips. This effectively giving you two rods in one – either a 3m rod or a 2.4m version. The casting weight for each is 100-200g, and can be used from the boat, rocks, jetties or from the beach using heavy lures or live baits. No compromises have been made in the construction of the Monster Big Fish rod. It’s virtually unbreakable while also being extremely lightweight, thanks to Japanese Toray TC30/TC36 carbon and a reinforced nano carbon blank. The rod is fitted with original Fuji PSC-H reel seat and heavyduty Fuji rings, and has a contoured, antislip original EVA handle. And rest assured: no fish will break this rod!



CFS (Custom Fishing Solutions) Fish Floss Braid is made from 100% pure PE fibre material from the USA to produce one of the world’s finest and thinnest lines. This high performance, 8-carrier braid features a rounded body construction that helps reduce wind knots, backlashes and rod tip wrapping. Fish Floss braid also features an advanced Teflon coating that produces a super slick finish that reduces rod guide friction, increases casting distance out of sight, offers superior abrasion resistance and helps to resist saltwater penetrating the fibres and helps retain colour. It also features an extremely low stretch core for superior hooking power, sensitivity and control. CFS Fish Floss braid is available in 150m and 300m length spools starting at 10lb (PE 0.6) which is just 0.12mm in diameter, and runs up to 50lb (PE 4.0) that’s only 0.32mm in diameter. Fish Floss is available in both hi-vis yellow and mist green.


The Fisher Folk is a relatively new Australian fishing apparel company with a very important point of difference: they give back to the sport that we all love. The guys behind the brand have a lifelong affinity with fishing and the places it can take us all, which is why they decided to funnel a portion of the proceeds from each sale directly back to fish stocking and habitat restoration and regeneration projects. Their initial release of quality, affordable apparel consists of a T-shirt and hoodie, with more items in the pipeline. To order your T-shirt or hoodie, make contact through their social channels – either www. or Instagram: @thefisherfolk. Price: SRP $69.95 (hoodie) 76




Storm Fishing has launched three new spinnerbaits developed for Aussie species. First off the rank is the new TI-1 spinnerbait featuring an indestructible titanium wire construction. This delivers a stronger and tougher spinnerbait, while still having the flexibility and vibration of its less durable competitors. You can twist, bend and flex the TI-1 any way you want and it will spring back. The ST-1 spinnerbait utilises stainless steel wire but achieves more vibration than a standard stainless wired spinnerbait. Both the TI-1 and ST-1 come fitted with Storm’s quick change skirting system in six colours, and come equipped with the finest quality blades and ball bearing swivels. The final new spinnerbait is from Storm’s sub-brand, Gomoku. The diminutive Gomoku spinnerbait has a single Colorado blade on a unique pivoting wire system. Because the wire can pivot to obtain the perfect running angle, you can fish this spinnerbait super slow or burn it incredibly fast. When a fish bites, the wire pivots straight, resulting in a straight line pull through the tow point and hook, resulting in better hook-sets.




Plano has released two new Worm StowAway utility boxes, both of which feature a dual-sided design and transparent lids for quick and easy identification of contents without opening. The 361610 model comfortably holds eight bags of soft plastic baits, and has one angled compartment per side (each comfortably holds four bags). There are four shallow, fixeddivider compartments for terminal tackle, and one deep compartment for scents, pliers or bulk items. It’s as deep as 1.5 standard 3600 StowAways, fits neatly in most 3600-size bags, and measures 28cm x 19cm x 6.4cm. The 371610 model comfortably holds 16 bags of soft plastic baits, with two angled compartments per side (each comfortably holds four bags). There are two sets of clips per compartment to secure bags of soft plastics in place. It’s as deep as 1.5 standard 3700 StowAways, fits neatly in most 3700-size bags, and measures 35.5cm x 22.9cm x 7.2cm.




For over 67 years Balzer Germany has gone from strength to strength, and this year they have released a high-end spinning reel range at an affordable price point. The name of the range is Metallica ACE, and these reels are all about quality, being made entirely of duraluminum, and are saltwater resistant. Metallica ACE reels are ideal for targeting bream, flathead, salmon and tailor using small minnows, shads and other lures, and they won’t let you down, even when going after mangrove jacks or even barra. Some of the features include nine stainless steel ball bearings plus one needle bearing, stainless steel axle, QSS (Quick Stop System), body and rotor made of Duraluminum, S-stroke system, and more. The reels come in two sizes: 2500 (Metallica ACE 1025) and 3000 (Metallica ACE 1030). Both have a gear ratio of 5.1:1, and are supplied with two aluminium spools.



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Combining cutting-edge blank design with unmatched value, the new Daiwa TD Sol series is built to perform. This spinning and baitcaster series is light, powerful and designed for ultimate strength and performance. Daiwa’s HVF Nanoplus graphite combines precise resin control with unidirectional graphite fibre to produce a blank with maximum graphite density. Light, responsive, and crisp in action, the blank performance is further enhanced courtesy of X45 blank technologies. X45 works seamlessly to eliminate blank twist and distortion to increase rod strength, function, and sensitivity. Lightweight Fuji KL, KR and KT Alconite ring guides provide superior casting, unlimited line flow and line protection. By combining Fuji’s guide technology with Daiwa’s RR (reduced resistance) guide design system, the guide placement and sizing allows for the superior casting qualities available from these blanks.

The Ecooda Hornet 180S stickbait has been built from the ground up with one goal in mind: to create two unique swimming actions within the one bait. The Hornet 180S has a sensational walkthe-dog action which is constant in both smooth and rough conditions. It also has a second action which Ecooda calls “snake ‘n’ roll”, which is achieved by pulling the rod tip slow and long along the water’s surface, giving it a very unique action that fish can’t resist. It’s idea for everything from chasing GTs and coral trout, or spinning off the rocks for mackerel or tuna. The Hornet is 180mm long, weighs 80g, and has a one-piece stainless welded wire for strength. It also sports a reflective prism tape insert for maximum attraction, along with four life-like colour concepts and the exclusive Ecooda eye. And because every angler has different hook preferences, Ecooda has left this choice up to the individual. Price: from SRP $29.95




The impressive new Spearhead and Cuttlefish Jigs from Zest mimic squid and cuttlefish perfectly for deep water jigging. The Spearhead is a 200g, 180mm long jig that comes factory rigged ‘centre balanced’, which makes the jig flutter through the water. You can reverse this by swapping the hook to the other end; then the jig becomes rigged weight on tail, which helps the jig get down quicker to greater depths and when the current is running stronger. The Spearhead also features an oversized eye for added attraction. The Cuttlefish Jig is 150g and 178mm long. It comes factory rigged weight on tail to help it get down quickly, but like the Spearhead you can reverse this. The Cuttlefish features a holographic finish on one side and a mirror finish on the opposite side. Both jigs are available in four proven colours, have quality terminal fittings and have Mustad Assist Hooks with 200lb Kevlar that is heat shrunk.





Veritas rods are Abu Garcia’s most renowned rod series, and they now feature increased comfort and improved weight and balance. Veritas rods combine a 30 ton construction with SubLayer Armor for uncompromising strength and sensitivity. The SubLayer Armor Process reinforces carbon fibre for exceptional durability and hoop strength while maintaining a lightweight and balanced feel. Fuji KR guides with Alconite inserts combine with lightweight graphite Fuji reel seats for the ultimate in balance and quality. Fuji KL guides with Alconite inserts feature on light jigging models. The Veritas 3.0 balanced design is completed with a hyper tactile Ultralon EVA grip system for improved ergonomics and overall sensitivity. There are five baitcast models (from 6’2” 3-6kg finesse through to a 7’9” 10-25kg swimbait rod), and 17 spin models (from ultra light 1-3kg rods through to 10-15kg inshore sport fishing rods). Rounding out the Veritas 3.0 range are six light jigging models, two overhead and four spin, from PE1-3 to PE3-5. Price: from SRP $149

The Rhino-Rack Shovel Mounting Bracket is the perfect accessory to keep your shovel at the ready for when you get bogged. The Pioneer Shovel Mounting Bracket mounts directly onto the Rhino-Rack Vortex crossbars or Rhino-Rack Pioneer systems. Rhino-Rack’s Pioneer systems were designed to maximise your load capability while freeing up space inside your vehicle for ultimate comfort on the road. With easy installation and removal, you will be able to mount a shovel onto your vehicle with multiple configuration options. The brackets can be inverted to position the shovel above or below the tray and the hinged design allows mounting of a wide variety of handles as well. The safe and secure roof system holds your tools to prevent any cabin damage from occurring. Constructed from steel with a high quality powder coated finish, this mount bracket is built to last, and is backed by a 3-year warranty. Price: SRP $79



The famous Sol name re-enters the baitcaster realm with the release of the new version – TD Sol SV TW. While the Sol’s looks will grab your eye, it’s the technology that makes it stand out. With a combination of TWS, Air Rotation, Digigear, Magforce Z, SV Spool, CRBB and UTD, the new Sol is one of Daiwa’s highest performing reels ever. The superior casting performance and ultimate casting ease of the Sol all stem from Daiwa’s revolutionary TWS and SV spool. A great 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. Featuring a T-shaped line guide that pivots forward and back between the cast and retrieve position, TWS delivers simplicity and ease and now allows for efficient, easy casting every time, and with unrivaled distance and ease. To check out a complete list of the extensive features of the TD Sol SV TW, head to the Daiwa website.

Please email contributions to: AUGUST 2017




Based on high quality components and a lightweight design, the Abu Revo ALX incorporates new technology including the Salt Shield Concept bearing and AMGearing systems within the compact Revo design. SSC (Salt Shield Concept) is applied to key HPCR (high performance corrosion resistant) bearings to maximise durability, smoothness, and corrosion resistance. The AMGearing System combines a precision machined aluminium gear with Abu’s COG (Computer Optimized Gear) gear design, creating incredible smoothness and durability. The C6 carbon body and rotor provides significant weight reduction without sacrificing strength and durability. Revo ALX is equipped with the Rocket Line Management System, which lets you cast further and manage line more effectively. These rods are dedicated to light to medium lure fishing from bream on hardbodies through to snapper on plastics. There are six sizes ranging from 2000 to 5000, and all feature 7+1 bearings with super smooth carbon drag systems with drag force from 3kg to 10kg. Price: SRP $299



The Fish Inc. Lures Right Wing is based on the popular 120mm, 50g Wing sinking stickbait, configured with heavy-duty Owner singles rather than the trebles found on the original Wing. Inline singles are preferred by some anglers who believe they are stronger, more difficult for the fish to dislodge and a better option for catch and release. The Right Wing resembles a pilchard in both size and profile, making it dynamite on everything from tailor and salmon to kingfish, tuna, mahimahi, mackerel and aggressive reefdwellers. The colour range and finishes are first class, from natural baitfish colours to more reaction colours. Ready to fish straight out of the packet, it comes to life with a sweep or punch of the rod tip and will be a go-to in the arsenal of beach, rock and boat anglers, with its generous casting weight and the versatility of being able to fish it fast and high in the water column or sunk to the desired depth. Price: SRP $25.95

MUSTAD 10” AND 12” FILLETING KNIVES 15 Mustad has released two new quality knives for anglers who have a need for a larger filleting knife. The two knives (MT41 and MT42) are teflon coated to ensure durability and reliability and the edge is super sharp to allow performance straight out of the packet.. Coming with a belt scabbard, both knives will be ideal for fish such as kingies, tuna, barra, mackerel, wahoo and they’ll even be handy around the home carving up roasts and steaks! Super sharp, easy to maintain an edge and quality that is Mustad, these Mustad knives will become a staple for many years to come. 78



The Venom Barra Spin from Wilson Fishing is a brilliant 6kg spin stick designed for those fishing tight structure with spin gear. With a light tip to allow for easy casting, the Barra Spin is a 5’9” spin stick with plenty of backbone to deal back the punishment that fish like barramundi, king threadfin salmon, mangrove jack and golden snapper (fingermark) like to dish out. Rated for 6kg line, the Venom Barra Spin features a full Fuji fit-out from winch to guides, and is built with A-Grade cork grips for extra sensitivity. Ideal for use when throwing lures into tight corners where big fish are found, the Venom Barra Spin complements the range of existing Venom baitcast rods perfectly. For more information on the Barra Spin, or on other rods in the Venom range, visit the Wilson Fishing website.





Rapala is extending its successful line of RCD Custom Design Series tools and accessories with the addition of new 4” and 8” variants of its Patented Mag Spring pliers, and brand new RCD Precision Line Scissors at this year’s AFTA Trade Show on the Gold Coast. The size extension to the unique RCD Mag Spring pliers means there is now a size suitable for every angler from trout to tuna. The unique opposing magnets do away with the need for springs to keep the jaws open and ready for use. The new RCD Precision Line Scissors are by far the best line scissors the company has ever developed. Tested up to 10,000 perfect cuts by the team at Rapala, the Precision Line Scissors are crafted specifically to offer superior control and finesse for the most demanding anglers. New micro serrations on both jaws capture line and trap it so the edges can cut cleanly and effectively without burring. The unique shape and size fits perfectly in the hand to offer unrivalled control and accuracy over any task.




16 17


In the new book Fly Fishing – Places to Catch Trout in Australia and New Zealand, author David Anderson takes equal delight in hooking trout and taking photographs. Both of his passions are evident in Fly Fishing, and his dramatic shots deliver readers right to the action. Visits to favourite backwaters and country streams in both Australia and New Zealand appear in stories and pictures taken on trips with fellow fly fishers. With characteristic wit and charm, Anderson makes it all seem easy and he’s happy to share the benefit of his skill and expertise handling the ‘twig’, the rod he employs for smallstream fishing. Along with plenty of tackle tips and rod reviews, he presents a witty, informative and well-illustrated volume, certain to appeal to armchair enthusiasts and ardent anglers on both sides of the Tasman. Price: SRP $35


visit for the latest tackle news - AS IT HAPPENS!




Black Magic DX Point Hooks – big changes for baitos Late last year I received an email from Fishing Monthly asking me if I would like to try out a new range of bait hooks – Black Magic DX Point hooks. Bait fishing is something that I really enjoy, yet I never seem to make a lot of time these days to actually do it. Every year during the cold months I say that I will do a lot more bait fishing when the weather warms up, and then I usually only do it a couple of times.


similar. With the PTFE coating on the hooks, this old bait just slides straight off, leaving the hook looking like new, and ready to bait up again. The other thing that jumped out at me was the sharpness of the hook. This is usually immediately evident when the hook penetrates the skin of a fingertip, which is exactly what happened. The Black Magic DX Point hooks have a razor sharp tip on them. This is achieved

The author and Jed Nagel with a Murray cod caught in the Ovens River using a DX Point hook. Unfortunately, the DX line-up of hooks do not come in really small sizes suitable for trout, however they do still cover quite a wide size range from 1/0 to 6/0, making them more than suitable for most freshwater species, including carp, golden perch, redfin, and Murray cod. I used them extensively while bait fishing for Murray cod last summer with great results. My friends and I managed to catch quite a few Murray

fishing in the Ovens River in Wangaratta where we managed to catch 11 cod in one afternoon over the period of around three hours, all using the Black Magic DX Point Hooks. While most of the fish were very small, the fact that the hooks were able to penetrate their small mouths on a regular basis and lead to a high hook-up rate speaks a lot about the performance of these hooks.

A nice Murray cod caught using mozzarella cheese as bait on a 2/0 Black Magic DX Point hook. So I accepted the offer to try these new hooks, more as a motivator to force me to do more bait fishing than anything else! The first thing that jumped out at me was the feel of the hook; they feel different from other hooks. They also sound different when they rattled around in the packet. The high pitched sound that you usually hear when hooks rattle was somewhat of a deeper sound than usual, and they felt super smooth.


Black Magic DX Point hooks are manufactured in Japan, a country known for its high quality standards, and they are made using high carbon steel to ensure they are super strong. In lure fishing we constantly see changes in lure designs as the world of lure fishing evolves more and more into a high profile sport. With hooks, however, we see few changes, most likely due to the fact that they are much smaller and changes are less visible and obvious.










A small trout cod caught on bait. We caught fish right down to 7cm long with these larger hooks. Despite being small and light, the ultra-sharp hooks were able to penetrate the fish’s mouths with ease.

Little did I realise at the time that the DX range of hooks are actually coated in a super non-stick coating called PTFE, which is commonly used in non-stick frying pans. This coating serves a dual purpose. It is designed to help increase hook penetration into the fish’s mouth, and also provides excellent rust resistance, extending the life of the hook. And I discovered a third benefit the second time I went back out bait fishing. Most bait anglers know what it is like when you finish untangling your rods and lines, unhook the hook from one of the guides on the rod, and then have to break off the remnants of the last bait you were using. Usually it is some crusty dried out piece of worm, bardi grub or something

by creating four very sharp edges which taper in until they all meet, creating a very sharp point. This enhances the hook-up rate when you lift your rod tip and set the hook into the fish’s mouth.

cod, and also trout cod, on the DX Point hooks using either cheese (mozzarella works best), bardi grubs or worms for bait. In one sitting, my friend Andrew Wolstenholme, his son Liam and I went bait The CEO of the product testing team, Liam Wolstenholme, has given the hooks a big thumbs up.

The Ovens River in Wangaratta was where we put the Black Magic DX Point hooks through their paces.

Don’t be fooled though – changes do happen in the world of fishing, as is evident by the Black Magic DX Point hooks. A lot of research and development has gone into the DX Point hooks to ensure that it is a true game changer in the world of bait fishing. I would like to thank Fishing Monthly magazine and Black Magic tackle for coming together, sending me a couple of packets of hooks and reigniting my passion for bait fishing.








13 Aug

Round 10 Hobie Kayak Bream Series 9


13 Aug

BASS Electric Major #2


19-20 Aug

Gold Coast BREAM Qualifier #7

Gold Coast

25-27 Aug

Grabine Classic

Grabine Lakeside State Park

26-27 Aug

Round 11 Hobie Kayak Bream Series 9

Swan River

2-3 Sep

Clarence River BASS Pro Qualifier #6

Clarence River

16-17 Sep

BASS Electric Convention


16-17 Sep

Round 12 Hobie Kayak Bream Series 9


29 Sep-1 Oct

South Coast Might Bonanza Fishing competition

Adam Martin 0418 570 131

Tomakin Fishing Club, Tomakin

30 Sep-1 Oct

St Georges Basin BREAM Qualifier #8

St Georges Basin

14-15 Oct

BASS Pro Grand Final

Richmond River

14-15 Oct

Leigh Martin Marine Mercury Classic

Lake Hume

30 Oct

BARRA Tour Round #1 (Evening Event)


31 Oct

BARRA Tour Round #2 (Evening Event)

Kinchant Dam

3-4 Nov

BARRA Tour Round #3 (Evening Event)

Peter Faust

6-7 Nov

BARRA Tour Round #4 (Night Championship)

Peter Faust

16-19 Nov

Hobie Kayak Bream Series 9 Championship

Western Australia

1-3 Dec

Lake Macquarie BREAM Grand Final

Lake Macquarie

Add your tournament or competition to this list by emailing or calling 07 3387 0800 in office hours. Just supply a date, venue, tournament name and a telephone number and contact name. 80


Leigh Martin Marine Mercury Classic on again The Leigh Martin Marine Mercury Classic at Lake Hume has gone totally catch, photo and release for 2017. This year’s Leigh Martin Marine Mercury Classic at Lake Hume is on 14-15 October. This year’s major prize is again a Quintrex boat with a Mercury outboard all on a trailer, along with over $50,000 in prizes and the competition is still growing. All competitors who enter the Leigh Martin Marine Mercury Classic at Lake Hume will go into the draw for the boat. With 439 contestants entered last year and 74 golden perch, 11 redfin and 23 trout presented for weigh-in, in what could only be described as trying conditions, the event is growing rapidly and is fast becoming a premier event for golden perch. Fish over 60cm are regularly being landed in the lake. Held on the picturesque Lake Hume, the event is open to all ages. Both lures and baits are allowed to be used in this event. The centre for all non-fishing activities is the Lake Hume Tourist Park. The boundaries for the event are the confines of Lake Hume from the Wymah Ferry on the Murray Arm and Tallangatta on the Mitta Arm. The 2017 Leigh Martin Marine, Mercury Classic is totally a catch, photo and release event; there will be no weigh marshals stationed around or on the lake. All photos are to be presented

the event website or the event Facebook page. Details are at the bottom of this article. There are four categories for fish, which include golden perch (catch and release only), trout, redfin and carp. There are four categories for anglers, which are adults and juniors, both male and female. Champion team will go to the greatest combined length of golden perch only, caught by up to four members of a team over the two days. The Austackle Champion Angler is open to all anglers and based on the combined length of golden perch only, caught over the two days by an individual angler. Anglers may only present five golden perch per day for this year’s event. Pre-entry for the 2017 Classic is $65 for adults and $25 for juniors. Entry on the day is $70 for seniors and $30 for juniors. To be a junior you must be under 15 on 14 October 2017. Entry includes a meal on Saturday night and a sausage sizzle on the Sunday at presentation. All junior and female entrants will receive a lure as part of their entry. All competitors also receive a Leigh Martin Marine Mercury Classic stubby holder and an information pack. Early bird entries close on 6 October 2017. The prize for this year’s early bird entry is $500 of fishing and camping goods. Registration at the event is from 4pm until 8.30pm on Friday 13 October and from 5-10am on Saturday 14 October sharp. This

to the marshals at the tourist park during the designated hours only. All golden perch must be photographed and released where they are caught as soon as possible. The other three species are to be photographed and then they may be kept or released at the competitor’s discretion. Carp and redfin should be dealt with in accordance with current Victorian guidelines. All fish must be photographed on the supplied measure mat and must show the competitor’s registration card and time/ date of capture. For more details of the catch, photo and release rules, please visit

will take place at the Lake Hume Tourist Park under the marquee. A lure wall will be running again this year. Simply place a lure on the wall for a chance to win the entire wall. Lures can be new or used, but only entire packs of soft plastics please. Various raffles will be available over the weekend. Competitors are reminded that golden perch must be 30cm or over, the legal length in Victoria. Redfin and trout must be 30cm or over to be eligible for measuring. There is no size limit on carp. The sponsor draws will be held on Saturday evening commencing at

approximately 8pm with plenty of great prizes to be won. Competitors simply need to present their registration card in order to collect their prize. The main presentation will be held on the Sunday after all results are compiled, usually around 1pm. For more information, visit the website at www. and the Facebook page, Leigh Martin Marine Mercury Classic Lake Hume. – Leigh Martin Marine Mercury Classic



Round 8 of the Hobie Kayak Bream Series 9 The Berkley round 8 of Hobie Kayak Bream Series 9 took place at Port Macquarie, on the New South Wales Mid North Coast on 10-11 June. A total of 47 anglers from Queensland, the ACT, Victoria and New South Wales headed to one of the series’ favourite locations to compete on the Hastings River system. On both days anglers headed off from the Power Pole starting line in Kooloonbung Creek, which is situated close to the mouth of the Hastings. The forecast was for the heavy showers that had rained down consistently through pre-fish to continue into the two days of competition. However, the rain eased on both mornings of the tournament and anglers started under very heavy, low cloud and fortunately no rain. As the morning progressed on day one, it became very wet, with an icy

TOURNAMENT STATS Day One Fish Caught...........................128 Day One Anglers with Fish...................41/47 Day Two Fish Caught............................114 Total Fish Caught..................................242 Total Weight...........................................115.03kg Total Cash Payout.................................$3410 stronger flow of the incoming tide to assist them in the 20-30 minute pedal upstream to Limeburners Creek and the back lake, with their oyster racks, poles and paddocks. Just a few competitors headed into the small canal system lined with rock walls, wharves, floating pontoons and boat hulls. In the end this proved to be a wise choice. The pre-fish reports of plentiful fish and a good bite were confirmed with an early bite on both days that saw many anglers bagging out with four fish before 9am. Sunday was a little tougher than day

The water temperature sat around 20°C and while it was uncomfortable for anglers, the conditions were ideal for a good bite. breeze and the air temperature well below predictions. The water temperature sat around 20°C and while it was uncomfortable for anglers, the conditions were ideal for a good bite. Sunday looked ominous with heavy rain falling as anglers prepared for the day, but midway through the 6:30am briefing the rain eased. After a few scattered, morning showers, the weather broke and patches of blue began to appear in the sky around 11:15am. There remained a reasonably widespread cloud cover, but the wind fell away, and the bite became slightly tougher to entice than it had been on day one. Both days had fantastic starts with all anglers getting off the line cleanly. Up to twenty kayaks headed up the left channel towards the moorings, marina and an alternative course to the punt that crosses the main channel. The rest of the field headed out into the main channel of the Hastings, some stopped to hit the rock wall that lines the northeastern side of the river mouth. The majority who headed in that direction used the 82


one, but a high percentage of anglers brought home full or near-full bags on both days. After the day one weigh-in, Queenslander Luke Rogan was heading the field. Sitting very close to Rogan in second place was another Queenslander, Tyson Hayes, and in third place and well within striking distance of the top two was Glenn Allen from NSW. ROGAN THE CANAL CRUNCHER Luke Rogan made his long trip travelling down from Queensland worthwhile with a convincing win. Rogan finished with a day one bag of 2.89kg that took him to the head of the field. He followed that up with 2.87kg on day two, giving him a two day bag total of eight fish for 5.76kg. He took home an excellent sponsor prize pack and a cash payout of $1440 for his efforts. He also gained a place in the Australian Championship in Western Australia and accumulated 100 Angler of the Year (AOY) points. Rogan gave us a brief rundown of his weekend in Port Macquarie. “On Saturday, I headed up to the canals. I would fish

and then move really quickly, hitting pontoons along the way through the first canal system. I got some good fish and I saw a lot of other good fish as I moved about. So, with the bag that I had, which I thought was pretty good, I decided to leave the fish there alone, so I could come back to them on day two.” “On Sunday, I headed straight back up to the canals (with my fingers crossed all the way) hoping the fish were still where I left them. When I got into the canals, the fish were there and they were biting. I was crankbaiting the pontoons with ZipBaits and I was throwing crabs around the poles.” “The wind was a little stronger on day one and that seemed to make the fish a little less scared to come out from under the structure. On day two they were a little more timid, so I just had to slow everything down, and that seemed to be all I needed to make things work.” The rod Rogan used was a Major Craft Volkey VKS-63UL 6’3” matched with a Daiwa Steez reel. He used 6lb Unitika straight through line with a Khamsin Zip Bait lure and a Cranka Crab in olive. TYSON SEES THROUGH THE HAZE Tyson Hayes also travelled down from Queensland and finished in second place, 340 grams behind the winner. Hayes finished with a day one bag of 2.88kg. He held onto that place at the end of the tournament with 2.54kg on day two, giving him a two, day bag total of 8 fish for 5.42kg. Hayes won a major sponsor prize pack, a cash payout of $860 and gained himself a place in the Australian Championship in

Western Australia as well as accumulating 99 AOY points. Hayes briefed us on how he attacked the Hastings River bream. “This was my first round for the season and it turned out to be a good two days, it was well worth coming down for.” “On day one I started up river in the canals, from there I went further up fishing floating racks, I was fishing them with unweighted plastics, Zman Slim Swimz in multiple

giving him a tournament total of eight fish for 4.80kg. He bagged a valuable sponsor pack worth $510 and 98 AOY points, which has taken him up to fourth place on the AOY leader board for the series so far this year. ATOMIC BIG BREAM Paul Hardiman from the ACT won the Atomic Big Bream prize for the biggest fish of the round. He pulled his 960g bream by delicately crawling a black

Lex Court from Davistown in New South Wales was the best performing Master with a day one bag of four fish for 2.14kg and a day two bag of two for 0.77kg, giving him a tournament total of 2.91kg. Court finished in 9th position overall. For the PA 17T Tandem Division the sponsor prize pack winners were Cullen and Francis DiMattina from NSW with a day one bag of four fish for 1.73kg. On day two

The pre-fish reports of plentiful fish and a good bite were confirmed with an early bite on both days that saw many anglers bagging out with four fish before 9am. colours, the bloodworm and the pumpkin seed. I had 2.88kg on Saturday and I was pretty, happy with that. “On the second day, I knew there would still be fish out there. I went up an extra 1k (kilometre) and that paid off for me, I got 2.5kg into my livewell. I was fishing with the same stuff as I used on day one, the same unweighted plastics under floating racks, but just further up the system. I also got some of them on ZipBaits and throwing Cranka Crabs at the poles.” Hayes used a 13 Fish Omen Black J-30T, med fast rod with a Daiwa Luvias 2004 reel. The line was 6lb braid on the soft plastics and 4lb FC straight through on the hardbodies. Hayes used ZMan Slim SwimZ in bloodworm and pumpkin seed. Third place went to Glenn Allen from the central coast in New South Wales who, like the top two, held onto his day one position. Allen pulled in 2.77kg on day one and 2.03kg on day two,

Pro Lure crank, over the top of oyster-covered rocks and “Hoping like heck” he could pull it out. Hardiman used a CF CustomZ NorthFork Composites 7” fast rod with a Shimano Stradic Ci 4 reel. His line was 3lb FC straight through and his lure of choice was a Pro Lure S36 Crank in matt black DIVISIONS The Youth Division was taken by Jack Gammie. Jack Gammie from NSW was the top performing youth with a day one bag of four fish for 1.56kg, on day two he brought back a four fish bag weighing 1.60kg giving him a two, day total of 3.16kg. Gammie finished in 14th place overall. The winner of the Women’s Division was Michelle Carmody from New South Wales, with a day one bag of two fish for 0.65kg and a day two bag of two for 0.70kg, giving her a two, day total of 1.35kg. Carmody finished in 35th position in the Open Division.

Between 47 anglers, 242 fish were caught over the course of the event.

they brought back four fish for 1.64kg, giving them a two day total of 3.37kg. Steve Currey from Queensland won the First Timers Division, as he caught fish on both days to total 2.05kg. MORTGAGE CORP MONSTER MOVER Paul Dunlop won the Mortgage Corp Power Pack, jumping from zero fish on day one to bag 1.45kg on day two and finish in 34th position on the Rhino-Rack leader board. BERKLEY BONUS ROUND At Port Macquarie, a new prize was introduced for the ‘Berkley Bonus Round.’ A name was drawn from the list of competing anglers who did not feature in the top ten. If that angler was present at the weigh-in, they received a Free Entry Coupon allowing them to fish any one of the remaining rounds, free of charge. The first to receive the Berkley Bonus Round was Trent Rogers from NSW. Well done to Berkley and congratulations, Trent! NEXT ROUND See you all at Strike Pro round 9 on the Gold Coast in Queensland on July 22-23. THANKS Thank you to Hunter Water Sports, located in the Newcastle suburb of Belmont, for their dealer support and for the pizzas, garlic bread and drinks on both Saturday and Sunday. Thanks also to our sponsors Daiwa, Berkley, Atomic, Lowrance, Rhino-Rack, Strike Pro, TT Lures, Pro Lure, JML Anglers Alliance, Mortgage Corp, Power-Pole, Hobie Polarized for their much-appreciated support. – Hobie Cat

The Reel It In Flathead Challenge results The Reel It In Flathead Challenge Series (or RFC Series) is the exciting new online challenge from team at Reel It In. The Reel It In brand is well known throughout Victoria and Southern NSW for their Mallacoota and Lake Tyers flathead challenges. These events draw some 400 of the most die-hard flathead anglers together for a fun weekend of fishing, not to mention great prizes.

cash and prizes from some of the biggest names in the industry including Compleat Angler, Shimano, ZMan, TT Lures, Prolure, BCF, Tonic Eyewear, Formasign, Pirtek, Nitro Marine and Deluxe Plumbing. HOW IT WORKS Each participating angler was supplied with a measure mat and their own unique Angler ID code. At the beginning of each round they would simply jump on the Reel

Andrew Trappel could only fish three rounds, but with fish like this it didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t matter. Andrew took out Round 2 and won $1000 cold hard cash from Deluxe Plumbing and also won a Shimano Stella and a Sustain for coming second overall and being the NSW champ. In its first season, the RFC Series was a huge success right along the East Coast of Australia. Anglers from as far south as Geelong, Victoria, all the way up to the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, battled it out over four rounds to become the Reel It In Flathead Angler Of The Year. Competition was hot to share in over $10,000 in

It In Flathead Challenge website to retrieve the Unique Round Code. They would then write this code on their measure mat in the appropriate spot. Each angler would then photograph and submit their five best flathead over the round and submit the photos by email. Photos were judged and each centimetre would equal two points (e.g. 42.5cm = 85 Points).

The angler that recorded the best five fish for the round was announced the winner of that round and received some great prizes to the value of $1000. There were plenty of prizes for second and third places too. The best angler from each state over the season picked up a Shimano Sustain, while the angler that entered the best five flathead over all four rounds was declared the Reel It In Flathead Angler Of The Year and walked away with a Brand New MotorGuide Xi5 Saltwater Pinpoint GPS Wireless Trolling Motor from Nitro Marine. The event had great feedback from up and down the coast with many anglers commenting that the concept added a bit more spice to their fishing sessions and that they loved the fact they could fish the Series in their own favourite waterway. Congratulations to all the Round and State winners and a huge congratulations to Flathead Angler Of The Year, Chris Metcalfe of QLD for taking out the 2016/2017 RFC Series. RFC Series II promises to be even bigger and better. For further details of this coming event or to

Chris Metcalfe got off to a flyer in Round 1 with fish like this. Chris took home a $1000 Compleat Angler voucher for his Round 1 win, a Shimano Sustain for being the QLD champion and a MotorGuide Xi5 for the overall win. see the complete results for the 2016/2017 season, visit www.reelitinflathead

RESULTS Round #1 (18-20 Nov 2016) Place Angler 1 Chris Metcalfe 2 Andrew Clothier Wal Balzan 3

Points 811 674 645

Round #2 (6-8 Jan 2017) Place Angler 1 Andrew Trappel 2 Tim Sparkle 3 Wal Balzan

Points 753 700 694

Round #3 (24-26 Mar 2017) Place Angler 1 Ty McGreggor 2 Col Couchman 3 Andrew Trappel

Points 629 626 622

Round #4 (14-16 Apr 2017) Place Angler 1 Franco Martinese 2 Ian Cowie 3 Luke Bishop



STATE CHAMPIONS QLD Chris Metcalfe NSW Andrew Trappel VIC Andrew Clothier



Franco Martinese looks pretty chuffed with this cracker that helped him take out Round 4.

Place Angler 1 Chris Metcalfe 2 Andrew Trappel 3 Franco Martinese 4 Tim Sparkle 5 Andrew Clothier 6 Luke Bishop 7 Wal Balzan 8 Ian Cowie 9 Col Couchman 10 Phillip Dickson


Points 895 811 808 805 779 750 745 726 723 703




0425 230 964 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; SHOP 18, 29 KIORA RD MIRANDA NSW 2228

Johnson blades to Boondooma glory Matt Johnson has won his second BASS Pro event on the bass-filled waters of the South Burnett’s Lake Boondooma. Storming home with the big bag of the DEPS Boondooma BASS Pro on Sunday’s final session, Johnson was the best on the lake by a margin of 2.5kg over second place Steve ‘Killer’ Kanowski and Peter Phelps in third. Johnson led the tournament wire-to-wire, never faltering after his Saturday morning session weight of 4.2kg sat him atop the leader board. His worst session, coming on

THE FUTURE IS HERE Self-contained Electric Outboards

Lowe scored the event’s Big Bass prize with a 1.57kg kicker. That set the tone for Johnson and Lowe’s day, as the pair worked through the area to put together a solid limit with time to spare. With time in the bank, Johnson decided to head to the area of Boondooma known as ‘the Junction’ and scored a nice upgrade. “I was pretty happy after that upgrade and knew we would be competitive with what we had, so I decided to weigh-in as soon as the scales opened,” explained Johnson. Saturday’s afternoon session is always the toughest, and this proved Matt Johnson dominated at Boondooma, catching the Duffrods Big Bag on the final day to secure the win by 2.5kg.

DUFFRODS BIG BAG Matt Johnson saved his best for last delivering a 5.2kg limit to the scales on the final day to claim the event win and the Duffrods Big Bag for the tournament.



Saturday afternoon, was still second best of the session and miles apart from the rest of the field. Johnson relied primarily on one spot, which consisted of a deep rock wall with standing timber located up the Boyne River Arm of Boondooma. Session one saw Johnson head straight for the productive area where on Friday’s pre-fish day he had caught two fish in two casts making it a likely hotspot for the tournament. On the second cast of the day, Johnson’s co-angler Troy

true again with the majority of the field failing to score a keeper bass throughout the minimum four hours fishing time. For Johnson, he returned to the Junction where the Boyne and Stuart River arms of Boondooma meet, where he targeted fish holding tight to the bottom. “I caught one solid fish off the Junction before the fish went quiet. From there I headed back to my honey hole up the Boyne Arm.” His hotspot failed to produce, only landing one barely legal keeper off the

deep rockwall for two hours of fishing. It was time now for Johnson to spot hop, targeting isolated rock piles he could see with his sounder. “I think the bass were keying in on shrimp and crayfish this weekend, and I believe that the shrimps and crays like to live around the rocks when a cold front hits, because they hold heat.” Johnson used this technique to put another keeper in the well and decided to save his go-to bank for Sunday morning’s final session. Heading back to the rock wall inside the Boyne River Arm, Johnson and his Sunday co-angler Jason

Matt Johnson and Troy Lowe grabbed the lead in session one and were never bettered.

TOP 10 BOATERS Place Angler

Visit for entry forms. For general enquiries phone ABT on (07) 3387 0888. 84


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10


Matt Johnson 11/12 Stephen Kanowski 12/12 Peter Phelps 7/12 Simon Marchant 5/12 Grant Clements 6/12 Mark Lennox 5/12 Michael Thompson 7/12 Mark Lawson 4/12 Corey Goldie 7/12 Terry Allwood 4/12

Weight (kg)


11.86 9.30 6.52 5.50 4.79 4.29 3.86 3.74 3.62 3.53

$2100 + Duffrods Big Bag $1,300 $950 $550

For full result listings, see

Martin decided they would live and die by the one spot, choosing to go back and forth along the one productive bank until their time ran out. The choice turned out to be the right one, as the pair put together the Duffrods Big Bag of the event, weighing an impressive 5.28kg bag to lift Jason to fifth overall in the co-angler section and raise Johnson’s winning margin to an impressive 2.5kg. His go-to technique for the whole weekend revolved around one lure, a 1/4oz NextGen metal blade in two different colours retro-fitted with assist style stinger hooks to get the best hook-up on the timid bites. “Those two baits were key, just hopping them around the rocks and trees. The fish were holding super tight to the bottom all weekend, so a blade buzzing up and down in front of them is eventually going to get one to react. “The stinger hooks were key this weekend. I did try a treble hook, but I didn’t feel confident in sticking those bites. I didn’t really feel a typical bass bite all weekend; A lot of the hook-ups would come as I went to hop my blade again and I’d have lost contact, meaning a fish had picked it up and swum off.” Johnson delivered his winning baits on Barrabass custom rods, in-particular an XP902 and North Fork 402 fitted with 2000 sized spinning reels, 10lb braid and 10lb fluorocarbon leader. “I’ve helped Bradley from Barrabass make what I believe to be the best rods money can buy for the sort of fishing I do. These two models are what we came up with specifically for the technique of hopping blades and mask vibes. You really can’t beat them!” Johnson took home over $2000 in cash as well as the Duffrods Big Bag award for his stellar Sunday morning sack.


Kanowski comes second again! For the second time on the BassCat BASS Pro Series for 2017, Steve Kanowski came second. Following up from his runner-up finish in the Lews Cania Dam BASS Pro, Kanowski again proved why he’s one of the best in the business by backing it up on a tough DEPS Boondooma BASS Pro. He weighed the only complete 12/12 tournament limit of the entire field. Having marked fish deeper than most of his fellow anglers during Friday’s pre-fish round, Kanowski returned to these bass in 30ft of water on Saturday’s first session. Unfortunately, the congregations of fish he’d found just one day before had scattered, leaving him to scramble for only one small keeper off his primary area.

“The bass were moving around so much this weekend, it was hard to stay on top of them,” commented Kanowski. From there, Kanowski moved much shallower to another patch of fish he’d located in 15ft of water. Again, like his primary area, the bass had scattered. “They were still there, just not schooled up tight like the day before. I knew they’d be in the area, so I just expanded a little and knuckled down.” Kanowski persevered and managed three more keepers to fill out his limit. Heading back out for session two on Saturday afternoon Kanowski was in trouble with only one in the well and an hour to go until weigh-in. He pulled up on a small point in the

‘Narrows’ section of the main lake and within fifteen minutes was upgrading his catch. “That goes to prove you’re never out of it in tournament fishing, we were thinking it was all over, then just like that we’ve got a bag and we’re upgrading – that’s the magic of tournament fishing.” Sunday’s final session played out in a very familiar pattern for Kanowski. After running all over the dam and hitting every spot from the day before, Kanowski and his co-angler Aimee Thompson had just one lonely bass in the livewell. Praying for more of the same, they returned to the point that was so good to them on Saturday afternoon. After a slow start, Thompson snagged up behind the boat. When they went back to

get it off, they found the fish and proceeded to catch no less than 14 scoreable bass in the next hour to fill out their limit and upgrade multiple times. Like tournament victor Matt Johnson, Kanowski also relied on a blade to catch the entirety of his weight – an Ecogear ZX40 in the new #440 colour. Kanowski vertically jigged the blade on fish he could see on his sounders, dropping straight down to them once they appeared on the screen. Kanowski returned from the QLD double-header road trip of the BassCat BASS Pro Series nearly $3000 richer thanks to back-toback second place finishes. He now sets his sights on another Costa BASS Pro Angler of the Year award with three rounds to go. Steve Kanowski claimed his second toptwo result for the year at Boondooma.

BIG BASS Troy Lowe claimed the Big Bass Prize catching the $500 fish in session one on a black and purple vibe in the Boyne River Arm of the lake. Rocks on edge

WINNING TACKLE Rod: Barrabass XP902 rod Reel: 2000 spin reel Line: 10lb braid and 10lb fluorocarbon Lure: 1/4oz NextGen metal blade retrofitted with assist-style stinger hooks

NexGen Blade 1/4 Ounce

NexGen Blade 1/4 Ounce

Lowe goes high for maiden win Troy Lowe continued the tradition of success in a first ABT event. The rookie tournament angler blitzed the field by over a kilo to take victory in the DEPs Boondooma BASS Pro. Fishing with Matt Johnson on Saturday and NSW up and comer Luke Draper on Sunday,

Lowe was always going to be around the action, and it couldn’t have started any better. “Saturday with Matt started in perfect fashion. I stuck the event big bass of 1.57kg on literally my second cast – in an ABT event, you couldn’t ask for a better start than that,” said Lowe.

Starting Saturday’s morning session on Johnson’s hotspot up the Boyne River Arm, Lowe wasn’t going to take any chances. “I stuck to the same techniques as what Matt had identified was working, so I tied on a NextGen 1/4oz blade and hopped it from the shallows in 3-6ft out to where the boat was holding

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Weight (kg)



Troy Lowe



2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Dylan Byron Aimee Thompson Bert Lumley Jason Martin Matthew Domjahn Brett Hyde Bronsojn Tilley Keeghan Painter Paul Aldous

7/12 8/12 9/12 5/12 7/12 6/12 6/12 5/12 5/12

6.40 6.31 6.21 5.98 5.90 4.91 4.88 4.86 3.84

Westin Rod and Prize Pack + $500 Big Bass (1.57kg) Bassman Prize Pack Prize Pack Prize Pack Prize Pack Prize Pack Prize Pack Prize Pack Prize Pack Prize Pack

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in 15ft of water. Getting that big one second cast told me I was doing the right thing, so I stuck with that for most of the weekend.” On Sunday with Luke Draper, Lowe and Draper again fished up the Boyne River Arm, targeting the rocky banks just like Johnson had in the previous sessions. The pair worked hard to put two keepers in the boat for a respectable 1.25kg limit. In the end, Lowe didn’t need the two extra bass on Sunday, but they provided plenty of breathing room for Sunday’s staged weigh-in on the foreshores of lake Boondooma Holiday Park. Lowe has now qualified for the season ending BassCat BASS Pro Grand Final to be held on the Richmond River later in the year. Certainly there’s no better feeling than qualifying for the biggest bass tournament of the year on your first try!

Troy Lowe secured the non-boater title in his maiden ABT BASS Pro win and value added his event win with the Big Bass Prize for the tournament. AUGUST 2017


Slater getsgets his revenge Tom Slater his revenge THE FUTURE IS HERE Self-contained Electric Outboards


Tom Slater has joined the elite club of ABT anglers to win both a BASS Pro and BREAM Qualifier after claiming a wire-towire victory at the BassCat Lake Glenbawn BASS Pro, the fifth stop of the 2017 BassCat BASS Pro Series. Coming out of the blocks fast, Slater was in command from the beginning, weighing a solid 4/4 4.53kg bag to take the lead after the first session. He didn’t let up either, with an almost identical 4/4 4.49kg bag coming in Saturday’s afternoon session to see him take a 300g lead into the final day over his good friend and camping mate Mitchell Cone. Slater’s love affair with the winter bite at Glenbawn started a few years ago when he first plied his trade at the freshwater BASS tournament scene after spending many seasons on the Costa BREAM Series. “Both Glenbawn and St Clair lend themselves pretty well to bream guys coming over and experiencing some success. We’ve seen it happen with Warren and now Ross in the last event and I’ve come close many

“It was a funny sort of pre-fish really, I didn’t make that many casts, but I did catch some nice fish with the guys. Unfortunately they weren’t really in any of the usual locations I like to fish, so I didn’t really get a chance to check anything. I just made a call from my experience on the Friday with the guys and applied that to my chosen locations and it all just worked out.” Beginning Saturday morning with a long run into the 8 knot zone, Slater focused his attention on a major rock wall just into the no-take zone. “It’s a good spot for a morning bite, but you only normally get one run at it; about 30-45 minutes is all you get and then the fish just disappear,” said Slater. The morning played out to perfection for Slater and non-boating partner Tim Ray. The pair quickly went to work filling the livewell with quality fish and within an hour had amassed a limit worth approximately 4.2kg. With the weigh-in window opening at 10 o’clock to weigh their first limit, Slater moved down the dam


Rod: 7’1” 2-8lb spin rod Reel: 2000 spin reel Line: 11lb Sufix Nanobraid Leader: 10lb Sufix Super 21 fluorocarbon Lure: 2” soft plastic paddle-tail swimbait rigged on a 1/4oz #2 TT HeadlockZ jighead times at both venues, so to finally get a victory is really nice and gets the monkey off my back for now,” explained Slater. Friday’s pre-fish wasn’t your traditional lead up to an important event for Slater. With his boat out of action due to a trailer refurbishment, he was forced to borrow a boat for the event. That boat wasn’t arriving until late Friday afternoon so he jumped aboard with good friends Peter Phelps and Mitchell Cone to share a boat for a portion of the pre-fish day where he spent most of the time taking photos and videos for his friends.

into the section commonly referred to as ‘The Narrows’ to try to upgrade. “I knew the afternoon session was going to be the toughest; it’s always the hardest in every comp we fish. “I figured the best approach was just to fish hard in an area that wasn’t receiving as much attention. So I focused on the timbered steep banks of the main basin and didn’t start the outboard from just past 10 o’clock until the session was finished at 3pm.” Slater managed to fish almost the whole left hand side of the main basin from the dam wall to almost the

Tom Slater secured victory at Lake Glenbawn fishing deep timber banks in the main basin. clay slip in those five hours, concentrating on presenting his offering in amongst the hundreds of trees that are below the surface. “It’s a plethora of snags in the main basin and that’s probably one reason it doesn’t get fished as much. There are fish to be had there, you just need some patience, a keen sense of what’s going on below the surface and sometimes a heavy hand to extract the fish from the structure below.” Slater and non-boating partner Ray produced the second biggest bag of the afternoon session extending his lead to 300g leading into Sunday’s final. With another hot morning bite expected, Slater returned to the 8 knot zone rockwall that produced the morning before and again he and non-boating partner Troy Lowe experienced a hot morning bite filling the well in quick succession. Although the calibre of fish wasn’t the same as Saturday morning, it was still a respectable bag approaching 4kg, but Slater knew he’d need one more upgrade to bring the trophy home. “I knew one of the guys in the top five would bring 4.5kg to the scales. The morning bite was just so good, and you

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Tom Slater 12/12 Mark Lennox 12/12 Mitchell Cone 12/12 Terry Allwood 12/12 Jonathan Bale 12/12 Ross Cannizzaro 12/12 Justin Evans 9/12 Mark Ferguson 12/12 Adrian Melchior 12/12 Stephen Kanowski 12/12

Weight (kg)


13.36 13.21 13.09 12.52 12.49 12.46 12.42 11.61 11.52 11.1

$3,200 $1,750 $1,300 $950 $675 $550 $500+ Duffrods Big Bag $500

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only had to pull up on the right stretch to put a big bag together really quickly, so I knew I’d need to weigh at least 4.2 or 4.3kg and at that stage I only had probably 3.9-4kg in the well.” With that in mind, Slater and Lowe relocated to the main basin, which had been so kind the day before. Again concentrating in the 15-20ft range, the pair managed a late upgrade that put their session three bag to 4.34kg and held off a fast finishing Mark Lennox by 150g. Slater’s main technique revolved around the use of a small 2” soft plastic paddle-tail swimbait rigged on a 1/4oz #2 TT HeadlockZ jighead, which he painted himself with Tempt Industries Powder Paints. He delivered his winning baits on Sufix Nanobraid in 11lb which he comments is one of the thinnest and best casting braided lines he’s ever used. “With the Nanobraid I can afford to go heavier. I often fish 11lb and sometimes 16lb and still outcast most of the guys I fish with. A light braid and longer casts mean that I have a lure in the water more than the next guy, and I’ll take every advantage I can get at this level.” He topped his braid with a 10lb Sufix Super 21 fluorocarbon leader, which will be released at the end of July to the public. Slater took home $3200 for his efforts against one of the strongest fields assembled for an ABT BASS Pro in some years. Slater’s attention now turns back to the Costa BREAM Series where he will fish two events before returning to the BASS Pro event at the Clarence River in early September.


Lennox Loves the Hunter Mark Lennox is no stranger to ABT success. A previous Costa BASS Pro Angler of the Year and also BassCat BASS Pro Grand Final Champion, Lennox proved again during 2017’s NSW BASS Pro double-header that he’s one of the very best on the tour. Coming off a third place finish at the Haswing Lake St Clair BASS Pro, Lennox rallied in sessions two and three to come from behind to overtake Mitchell Cone on the way to a runner-up finish at the BassCat Lake Glenbawn BASS Pro. Lennox approached the chilly conditions at Glenbawn Dam by maximising the early morning bite and fishing deeper than most of the field. “I found the fish very active early in the mornings in around 30-40ft of water. We would start deep and quickly fill a bag then move shallower as the day warmed

up in search of upgrades,” explained Lennox. His pattern seemed to be working; he weighed in a respectable 4/4 4.07kg bag in the morning session and a session-best 4/4 4.58kg bag in the afternoon to have him sitting in third overnight. Attempting again to capitalize on the hot morning bite, Lennox struggled early after a number of frustrating encounters. “I broke a leader off one of my rods on the second cast of the day, so it wasn’t the start I was hoping for. Then after failing in my first spot, I moved to my second location only to be busted off in a tree straight away.” Lennox rallied in the later stages of the session, slowly upgrading to produce a bag much heavier than his estimations. “I thought I had around 4kg and was going to drop from the top five. The fish must have been in better condition than I thought, though, because I

DUFFRODS BIG BAG Justin Evans claimed the Duffrods Big Bag at Glenbawn with the NSW fisher securing the prize in the final session with his 4.68kg limit. The impressive limit elevated Justin to eighth place overall and saw him walk away $500 richer and with a new Duffrod to his name. – ABT

ended up weighing 4.56kg, which I was very surprised with,” Lennox said. Lennox, a long-time Duffrods angler, used the rod he won at the 2016 Lake St Clair BASS Pro event, remarking that the light spin rod is the most sensitive rod he’s ever used for this finesse plastic bite during the winter months in the Hunter Valley. “I can feel absolutely everything that’s happening under the water with that rod; I have so much sensitivity I actually drop right down to a 1/8oz jighead where I used to use 1/4oz. The slower sink, even in the gusty conditions we had, means I get a lot more bites as the lure is sinking and even with a belly in my line thanks to the wind I have no problem detecting the bites.” Lennox now sits second in the Costa BASS Pro Angler of the Year race after strong showings at the two double-headers in QLD and NSW. With only one event to go, Lennox is in contention for the AOY title. The question now is can Ross Cannizzaro continue his run of good form in the Bassman Spinnerbaits Clarence River BASS Pro in September?

Mark Lennox was in hot form in the Hunter Valley claiming second and a $1750 prize cheque.




Poppy Pete Produces the Goods at Glenbawn At the ripe old age of 72, Peter Morgan seems to be in the form of his life at the back of the boat. With two runner-up

finishes already on the scorecard from 2017, Morgan has hoisted the trophy at the BassCat Lake Glenbawn BASS Pro to

Jason Harlock cashed in at Glenbawn, claiming the $500 Big Bass prize.

take a commanding lead in the Costa BASS Pro Angler of the Year race with one event to go. Fishing with Mark Lennox on day one, and Stephen Kanowski on day two, Morgan was never far from the action. The first day started hard and fast with Lennox, with the pair boating fish quickly and easily in the morning before moving to more timber-lined banks as the day progressed to look for bigger bites. After weighing consecutive 4kg bags, Morgan was sitting in third overnight before he jumped aboard with long-time friend and ABT

stalwart Stephen Kanowski for Sunday’s final session. Concentrating their morning efforts on throwing small 2” paddle-tail soft plastics, the pair were on the fish quickly. Though the size lacked from the day before, the pair’s 4/4 3.82kg limit was just enough to hold off a very fast finishing Keeghan Painter. Morgan kept the technique pretty simple, casting out the soft plastic on a 1/4oz #2 jighead and allowing the bait to come

to rest on the bottom before commencing a slow steady retrieve interspersed with twitches and shakes of the rod tip. “The fish would knock it once or twice before you’d feel weight on the end of your line and that’s when you’d have to strike,” said Morgan. “If you strike too early, you just rip it away from them and spook them. If they bump it and don’t load up and you just keep reeling, most of the time they’ll come back and finish

it off and you can put them in the boat.” Morgan is a true legend of the bass fishing community and that was evident with the applause and cheers from the crowd as he was announced the victor. The next round of the 2017 BassCat BASS Pro Series is on the mighty Clarence River in September. For more information on the BassCat BASS Pro Series, head to

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Weight (kg)


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

12/12 12/12 12/12 11/12 12/12 11/12 12/12 12/12 12/12 10/12

12.47 12.26 11.86 11.71 11.63 11.26 11.21 11.08 10.82 10.78

Westin Rod and Prize Pack Bassman Prize Pack Prize Pack Prize Pack Prize Pack Prize Pack Prize Pack Prize Pack Prize Pack Prize Pack

Peter Morgan Keeghan Painter Paul Aldous Brendan Pieschel Dylan Byron Philip Nix Peter Kelleher Brett Hyde Malcolm Draper Tim Ray

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Peter Morgan continued his stellar year on tour to claim the non-boater title. AUGUST 2017


Three from three for Cannizzaro THE FUTURE IS HERE Self-contained Electric Outboards


Ross Cannizzaro has taken to bass fishing like a duck to water, winning his second event in as many stops, as he rallied in sessions two and three to take victory from Warren Carter by a kilo in the Haswing Marine presented Lake St Clair BASS Pro, the fourth stop of the 2017 Bass Cat BASS Pro Series. Cannizzaro first tasted tournament bass fishing at the Hawkesbury River BASS Pro in late April where he won convincingly on his home waterway using his extensive bream fishing knowledge. St Clair was different though, he was now in the backyard of some of Australia’s best bass anglers, and in the beginning it looked like they were going to get the better of him. “I missed getting on the water early on the Tuesday pre-fish day and missed the important morning bite period. I poked around and caught a few fish, but nothing that was really going to set the world on fire. The first morning I didn’t have a solid plan and although I caught fish, they weren’t

the calibre I needed to place in the top of the field,” explained Cannizzaro. It didn’t take him long to bounce back though, after weighing a 4/4 3.59kg limit to begin with, Cannizzaro started to figure out what made the Lake St Clair bass tick. His afternoon session bag of 4/4 4.68kg was the tournament’s Duffrods Big Bag and rocketed him into the lead heading into Thursday’s final session. “I had two key areas that I found during the first day of competition. There was one area down by the no-go zone near the entrance to the dam wall arm that I could go to early and catch a good limit. Then I also had an area of rocky boulders in the Fallbrook Arm of the dam where I knew big fish resided, and that’s where I’d go to for upgrades.” You could call Cannizzaro a creature of habit, and lately that habit has been winning ABT tournaments. He started his roll on the Hawkesbury, continued it with a win at the Manning River BREAM Qualifier and completed the

Ross Cannizzaro made it three wins from three starts with his victory at the St Clair. three-peat with his victory at St Clair. These are three very different waterways, but there was a lot of similarities with how Cannizzaro approached each event – most notably, his equipment choice. The Berkley Tournament T Tail was the go-to bait again at St Clair, but this


perfection at St Clair, presenting his offering on 4.4lb Berkley Fireline Exceed and 4lb Vanish fluorocarbon leaders. “I know most bass guys would be cringing at the thought of 4lb in amongst the weed and rocks, but I’m so comfortable fishing 4lb

WINNING TACKLE Rod: 1-3kg Abu Garcia Salty Stage light casting spinning rod Reel: Abu Garcia Revo ALX spin reel Line: 4.4lb Berkley Fireline Exceed Leader: 4lb Vanish fluorocarbon Lure: Berkley Tournament T Tail (watermelon seed colour) rigged on 1/8oz Nitro Dam Deep jighead with a #2 hook.

Warren Carter bagged the Big Bass, catching the $500 (1.36kg) fish in session one.

time in a watermelon seed colour for a more naturallooking presentation in the clearer waters of Lake St Clair. He rigged the plastic on a 1/8oz Nitro Dam Deep jighead with a #2 hook. Cannizzaro is a firm believer in the motto, ‘go light to get the bite’ and he played that to

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Weight (kg)


Ross Cannizzaro 12/12 12.65 $2600 + Duffrods Big Bag (4.68kg) Warren Carter 12/12 11.66 $1500 + $500 Big Bass (1.36kg) Mark Lennox 12/12 11.47 $1,100 Luke Draper 12/12 11.07 $700 Terry Allwood 12/12 10.99 $600 Alan McNamara 12/12 10.45 $500 Graham Ford 12/12 10.36 Joseph Urquhart 12/12 10.20 Tom Slater 12/12 10.19 Steve Muldoon 12/12 10.13 For full result listings, see

from all my experience in bream. I know how hard I can pull on it and when you have the level of confidence in your equipment that I do, then anything is possible.” His outfit of choice again didn’t change. He preferred to use the same outfit across the bream and bass competitions. It was the newly released Abu Garcia Revo ALX spinning reel in a 20 size, matched to an Abu Garcia Salty Stage light casting spinning rod rated 1-3kg. Cannizzaro now holds a commanding position entering the fifth and sixth events of the 2017 BassCat BASS Pro Series. With one more river event to go on the Clarence River in September, he’s sure to give the BASS guys a run for their money in the Costa BASS Pro Angler of the Year race.


Runner-Up Warren Warren Carter has again showed the crossover from ABT BREAM to BASS is easier than many may think, with the Victorian-based angler almost winning his second ABT BASS title at New South Wales’ famed Lake St Clair. Carter was in the lead after his session one 4/4 4.47kg limit but was unable to repeat his heroics in the second session and thanks to Cannizzaro’s Duffrods Big Bag, couldn’t catch up come the final session on Thursday. His 12/12, 11.66kg limit was good enough to claim second over Mark Lennox by 200g and also contained the tournaments Big Bass, earning him an extra $500. Carter is no stranger to success at St Clair; he won the ABT BASS Pro at the lake in 2015 and used much the same technique to almost win twice in 2017. “I had a really good pre-fish day catching plenty of fish, I knew

the two morning sessions would be the hardest to separate yourself from the pack because everyone was going to catch them. It really was the afternoon session that was going to make the difference,” explained Carter. With plenty of fish coming over the side in every session, Carter was able to capitalise on the first morning session just as he’d planned, going to session two with a sizeable 400g lead over second place. Unfortunately for Carter, those scores couldn’t be repeated; despite catching over 50 legal bass for the remaining two sessions, he was unable to achieve the gold standard 1kg average weight per fish that it often takes to win on St Clair. Fishing a technique he’s become well accustomed to, Carter threw the everpopular Keitech Easy Shiner in 2” rigged on 1/6oz #2 size jigheads. He would target the shallow weedy

banks that the bass in St Clair absolutely adore, and focused in on banks that had good anomalies in the weed growth. “The weed was very different to the last time I fished St Clair last year; back then there were defined inside and outside edges and it was easier to target the places where the bass would be likely hiding. “This time, the weed growth was very different. There was no defined inside edge and the outside edge was scattered and inconsistent. I tried to find banks that had some sort of anomalies for the bass to use as ambush points, whether that was a standalone clump of taller weed or pockets and depressions – it just had to have something different.” Carter threw his presentation on an Edge Black Widow 702ISR rod matched with a Shimano Stella 2500 reel. He spooled with 11lb Varivas braid and fished a 6lb Varivas Absolute fluorocarbon leader. The

Warren Carter continued his good form at St Clair, finishing second to secure a berth in the Bass Cat BASS Pro Grand Final. technique was simple – a slow roll and shake that’s so common and effective during the cooler months in the Hunter Valley. “That retrieve works everywhere from St Clair to QLD. I think the subtle movement your lure makes

when you shake that rod tip every few winds is just enough to trigger a bite. I guess the closest thing I can relate to it is like fishing a crankbait for bream. One of the best triggers is for your lure to deflect off a rock or piece of structure; the shake

is effectively replicating that deflection.” Carter took home $2000 thanks to his runner-up cheque and Big Bass award, and firmly plants himself as one of the most all-round anglers we’ve ever seen on the ABT circuit.

Martin’s Magic Continues! Jason Martin continued his magic run from the back of the boat in 2017. After two fifth place finishes at the QLD double-header earlier in the year, Martin proved he’s got what it takes, winning the Haswing Lake St Clair BASS Pro in great fashion. Fishing with Peter

Phelps on day one and Ross Cannizzaro on day two, Martin was always near the pointy end of the field. Together with Phelps, the pair put on 8/8 for 7.58kg to be sitting in fourth place overnight. Targeting weed beds in the Carrowbrook Arm of the dam, Phelps and Martin caught fish early and

consistently, targeting shallow water less than 6ft deep with small soft plastics rigged on light 1/6 and 1/8oz jigheads. Departing for Thursday’s final session aboard tournament leader Cannizzaro’s BassCat Sabre FTD, Martin was always going to be hard to stop. Once the pair placed 4.38kg on the

scales at the final weigh-in, it was more than enough to eclipse the overnight lead of Walley Fahey. Similar to Cannizzaro and a majority of the tournament field, Jason relied on small soft plastic paddle-tailed swimbaits to put his fish in the boat over the course of the tournament. These offerings

Berkley T-Tail on Dam Deep Jig Head

Jighead retrieve

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Weight (kg)


Jason Martin 12/12 11.96 Westin Rod and Prize Pack Orton Marchant 12/12 11.47 Bassman Prize Pack Richard Robson 12/12 10.80 Prize Pack Glenn Hayter 12/12 10.79 Prize Pack Wally Fahey 11/12 10.68 Prize Pack Mark Parriott 12/12 10.63 Prize Pack Peter Kelleher 12/12 10.57 Prize Pack Paul Aldous 12/12 10.07 Prize Pack Lochie Rutherford 12/12 9.62 Prize Pack Troy Lowe 10/12 9.22 Prize Pack For full result listings, see

can vary from as small as 1.5” to 3” and perfectly represent the bait that is prevalent in the waters of Lake St Clair. During the cooler months the bass gorge themselves on these baitfish and the bite in the shallows around the weed using this technique can be addictive and very fruitful. Martin now looks ahead to the final two events where he will attempt to run down Peter Morgan for the coveted Costa BASS Angler of the Year award.

Jason Martin claimed his maiden ABT win at the Haswing presented event, securing the non-boater title.

DUFFRODS BIG BAG Ross Cannizzaro claimed the Duffrods Big Bag at Lake St Clair with the champion boater sacking the heaviest limit for the tournament in session two. Weighing 4.68kg, what made the bag even more impressive was the fact that it was caught when the winds that plague the event were at their strongest, and it was caught in session two when the fishing is traditionally toughest. AUGUST 2017


West wins at Borumba

THE FUTURE IS HERE Self-contained Electric Outboards



Charles West has continued his consistent run of finishes taking his second tournament win of the season at the Borumba round of the 2017 ePropulsion BASS Electric Series with 4/4 fish for 4.04kg, which was anchored by the event Big Bass of 1.60kg. In second place was BASS Electric newcomer Michael Rowswell with 3/4 fish for 3.63kg followed in third place by Aaron Kemp with 3/4 fish for 3.33kg. West’s second win of the 2017 BASS Electric Series has again shown that his dedication to pre-fishing and researching tournament venues is paying dividends. With Borumba proving to be a tough fishery, West and tournament fishing partner Michael Rowswell knew a solid pre-fish would be key to a successful tournament. “Michael had headed up the weekend before the event and I had spots marked from Adrian and my good finish last year, so on Friday’s pre-fish we were able to focus in on a plan of attack for both the morning and afternoon sessions,” explained West. In session one West and Rowswell headed to the area known as the ‘Junction.’ They focused their attention on a small flat adjacent to the main creek channel. West would cast and allow his 3” Slider Grub in baby bass rigged on a 3/8oz jighead to sink to the bottom before imparting a slow rolling retrieve back to the boat. The session started with a bang for West with two fish hitting the deck of the boat in as many casts and the second fish was his event big bass. For this work West used a 13 Fishing Envy Black medium light rod match with a Daiwa Steez spooled with 12lb Sunline Castaway and 10lb Gamma Fluorocarbon leader. “It was a great way to start the tournament,” explained West, “we both had our fish in the boat within the first 15 minutes. It was great to see our plan coming into action.” As the session went on the bite began to slow and West started noticing that

the fish were beginning to hold tight to the bottom, West decided to change tack and targeted the shutdown fish with a 3” Gulp Grub in pumpkinseed rigged with a 3/8oz jighead and stinger. West would position himself directly over the fish and then would drop his lure to the bottom through his transducer beam before imparting a slow roll back to the back to the boat. “You could see the fish follow the lure up from the bottom. This allowed me to feel confident I had sparked the fish into biting,” said West. This technique allowed West to stay with the fish and find some key upgrades throughout the session. As the afternoon session drew on, West began to find concentrations of suspended fish holding in the main creek bed. “Towards the end of the session we drifted off the flat and began to notice that there was a good number of fish scattered through the creek bed,” said West. Changing lure again West went to a 3.2” Nories Inlet Shad rigged on a 5/8oz jighead; he would cast this across the scattered fish, allow it to sink to the bottom and again slow roll it back to the boat. “The key was using the heavier jighead. This would ensure the lure got to the bottom quickly and stayed in the strike zone,” said West. With the heavier jighead West opted to use a 13 Fishing Envy Black medium light matched with a 13 Fishing Concept KP reel. Day one was finished – both West and Rowswell had a cracking session. Attention quickly turned to day two. “We went to our day one spot and said we would fish it for an hour, but within 40 minutes we knew we had to move to Michael’s spot up the Yabba Arm,” said West. The pair then moved to their key bank past Dead Tree Bend, they again targeted fish holding in a flat adjacent to the creek bed in 16-18ft of water and West went back to the Slider Grub in baby bass. He would again cast this out across the flat, allow it to sink to the bottom and impart a slow rolling retrieve back to the boat.

RESULTS Place Angler

Visit for entry forms. For general enquiries phone ABT on (07) 3387 0888. 90



Total Weight (kg)

1 Charles West 4/4 2 Michael Rowswell 3/4 3 Aaron Kemp 3/4 4 Tom Reynolds 4/4 5 Tim Nagano 2/4 6 Trent Blake 3/4 7 Brett Kleinschmidt 3/4 8 Dean Thomson 3/4 9 Brady Ellis 2/4 10 Nathan Swanson 2/4

4.05 3.64 3.33 3.26 2.45 2.13 1.99 1.77 1.62 1.25

THE F Self-co U ntaineTURE IS H d Elec tric OuERE tboard s


Charles West with a brace of Borumba winning bass. “I managed to get one fish early, but we didn’t have good showings of active fish,” said West. With the tournament in the balance, the pair began to work a range of shallow banks in the Yabba Arm that had produced on the pre-fish day. “I have to thank Adrian for the loan of his boat for the tournament, my family for all their support plus my great sponsors, 13 Fishing and Dogtooth Distribution. Having their gear makes it so much easier to feel confident on the water.” ROWSWELL ROLLS INTO SECOND BASS Electric Rookie Michael Rowswell has shown he is the one to watch on the 2017 tour. In tough conditions, Rowswell caught 3/4 fish for 3.63kg and took his first-ever podium place at an ABT event. Fishing with Charles West the pair developed a tournament plan based on West’s experience, Rowswell’s pre-fish and their combined Friday pre-fish. Fishing the Junction area Rowswell started targeting fish with a Nories Inlet Shad in white rigged on a 3/8oz jighead with his setup of choice being a 7’ Phantom Custom spin 4-10lb matched with Daiwa Luvius reel spooled with 9lb Yamatoyo Resin Sheller PE and 8lb Yamatoyo Harris Fighter leader. Rowswell would cast across the flat allowing the lure to sink to the bottom before imparting a slow rolling retrieve back to the boat. Knowing that the Nories Inlet Shad was the size the fish wanted, Rowswell decided to change his lure to the wakasagi colour matched to a 1/2oz jighead.

To cast this lure Rowswell used his 7’ Phantom custom spin 6-12lb matched with Daiwa Certate 2508PE. When using this heavier lure he would impart action by drawing his rod across the top of the water, thus allowing the lure to stay in contact with the bottom. “It was key to keep an eye on the sounder. As the fish moved off the bottom I would fish the 3/8oz jighead, and as they moved back tight to the bottom, I would then move back to the 1/2oz jighead,” explained Rowswell. As the session drew to a close the pair moved deeper and targeted fish holding in the deeper water of the creek bed and Rowswell opted to change his presentation, giving the bass something different to the plastic they had seen all afternoon. Using a Nories Wrapping Minnow in S44 colour, Rowswell was able to keep his presentation subtle and realistic. For this work Rowswell used a Legit Design WSC 73ML rod matched with a Daiwa Tatula HD 200H reel. The late change resulted in an upgrade keeping him in the hunt for day two. “Once we got up to our first flat, Westy got one fish early and I wasn’t too far behind with my first fish,” said Rowswell. On day two his fish fell to a 3” Ecogear Grass Minnow (168 colour) rigged on a 3/8oz jighead. “I am really happy with my result. These events are a great way to learn about bass fishing and I had a great time camping with all the guys,” said Rowswell. “I also need to thank Nick from Tide Apparel and Tony from JML Alliance, I really appreciate having their support.” – ABT


Sizzling up some lovely sweet and sour fish BRISBANE

Lynn Bain

Sweet and sour recipes have been a hallmark of delicious takeaways and

restaurant experiences for as long as anyone can remember. While the concept originated in China, many recreations of the sweet-sour combo have made their way onto tables.

Western additions like the tomato sauce in this recipe have really changed the game for sweet-sour chefs, making this one super adaptable recipe. If you want a little more

pineapple and a little less celery, for example, go for it! Vegetables like broccoli, baby corn, cucumber, pak choy and bok choy have all found their way into a sweetsour mix at some point, too.

In this version of sweet and sour fish cubes, I opt for a marinade and corn flour coating rather than a batter. These ingredients are in most pantries or easily accessible from local

supermarkets. Just head on down to the shops, get your catch out of the fridge or freezer and get ready to turn your awesome fishing expertise into fine cuisine with this easy recipe.

Ingredients • 500g fish fillets, cubed • 2 tsp sugar • 3 tbsp soy sauce • 1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine (or dry sherry) • 1 egg yolk • 1 cup cornflour • Canola oil (for deep frying) • 2 onions, cut into quarters and the layers separated • 6 green shallots, sliced diagonally • 1 red capsicum, deseeded and cubed • 2 sticks of celery, finely sliced • 400g tin of pineapple pieces, drained and syrup reserved • 2 tbsp tomato sauce • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar • 1 cup vegetable stock



Heat some cooking oil in a deep fryer or a deep heavy-based frypan. If you are using a deep fryer, heat the oil to 180°C. If you are using a frypan, test the temperature of the oil by dropping in a cube of bread. The bread should turn golden brown in about a minute. Cook the coated fish cubes in the hot oil until the fish is cooked through and the corn flour turns brown. Remember that fish will continue to cook for a few moments after it has been removed from the pan. Remove the cooked fish from the canola oil and drain on some paper towels.

Mix the extra cornflour in a little water to make a slurry. Add the cornflour slurry to the sauce and vegetable mixture in the frypan, stirring as you go, until the vegetable mixture and liquid in the frypan has reached a saucy consistency.




Combine the sugar, 2 tbsp of soy sauce, cooking wine and egg yolk in a large bowl. Stir thoroughly until the mixture is well combined. Place the fish cubes into the mixture and stir gently to ensure that the fish is well coated in the marinade. Marinade the fish for an hour in the refrigerator.

In a frypan, heat 2 tbsp of cooking oil. Sauté the onion, green shallots, capsicum and celery until the vegetables have softened. Add the reserved pineapple syrup and marinade to the frypan containing the vegetables. Stir well to combine and allow to gently simmer for a couple of minutes.

Add the pineapple pieces and cooked fish cubes to the sauce in the frypan and stir through gently. Cook for a minute or so to allow the fish to heat through.




Remove the fish from the marinade and keep the marinade for later. In another bowl, toss the marinaded fish in the 2 cups of cornflour.

Add the white wine vinegar, tomato sauce, and 1 tbsp of soy sauce to the vegetable mixture in the frypan. Continue to simmer then add the vegetable stock.

Serve your sweet and sour fish with some steamed rice. AUGUST 2017


Trades, Services, Charter Discover the land of many waters on the unspoilt South Coast of NSW



CHARTER BOATS CLARENCE COAST Evans Head Deep Sea Fishing Charters, 0428 828 835 Reel Time Fishing Charters Yamba 0428 231 962

Dave Gaden’s Yamba • Deep Sea

REEL TIME For all your accommodation needs, house, units & townhouses for every budget. Contact the friendly team at Crescent Head Real Estate for your free holiday brochure.



Phone: 02 6566 0500

Crescent Head Holiday Rentals (02) 6566 0500 Macleay Valley Coastal Holiday Parks 1300 262 782 Hat Head Holiday Park (02) 6567 7501 Horse Shoe Bay Holiday Park (02) 6566 6370 Stuarts Point Holiday Park (02) 6563 0616 Grassy Head Holiday Park (02) 6569 0742


• 6am to 2pm $150pp • 2 boats – holds up to 18 people • All fishing gear and bait is supplied • No fishing licence req. • Pickup from Yamba Marina or Iluka ferry wharf

Phone Dave today: 0428 231 962 OPEN 7 DAYS


Wangi Point Lakeside Holiday Park (02) 4975 1889 Blacksmiths Holiday Park (02) 4971 2858

CENTRAL COAST Central Coast Holiday Parks 1800 241 342

ILLAWARRA COAST Currarong Beachside Tourist Park 1300 555 515 Sussex Inlet (LJ Hooker) (02) 4441 2135 Riviera Caravan Park, St George’s Basin (02) 4441 2112 Killalea State Park, Shell Cove (02) 4237 8589 Holiday With Us, Sussex Inlet (02) 4441 2135 Surf Beach Holiday Park (02) 4232 1791 Kendalls on the Beach (02) 4232 1790 Werri Beach Holiday Park (02) 4234 1285 Seven Mile Beach Holiday Park (02) 4234 1340 Kiama Harbour Cabins (02) 4232 2707 Ulladulla Headland Tourist Park 1300 733 021


YAMBA’S LARGEST TACKLE STORE • Chandlery • Boat Sales • Ice & Gas • Bait & Tackle • Trailers Sales & Parts • Charter Bookings Ph: 6646 1994 or 0428 231 962 Email: Now Agents For Wooli Deep Sea Tours (02) 6649 7100


Advertise here - $195 + GST for 6 months Email: “EREBUS”




Burrinjuck Waters State Park (02) 6227 8114 Winter Keep (Snowy Mountains) Grabine Lakeside State Park (02) 4835 2345 Alpine Tourist Park (02) 6454 2438 Lake Glenbawn State Park (02) 6543 7193 Milani Trout Cottages (02) 6775 5735


Wyangala Waters State Park (02) 6345 0877

• Top Accommodation • Tweed Bait • Ice • Terminal Tackle • Lures & Soft Plastics • Fishing the North Solitary Islands

Chifley Dam Cabins 1800 68 1000 Copeton Waters (02) 6723 6269

FISH TAXIDERMY Fish Taxidermist 0428 544 841

BOAT IMPORTS Import USA Boat 0435 476 177

BOAT HIRE Boab Boat Hire (NSW) 1300 002 6221


1/2 day or full day charters. All bait & tackle provided. We are only a one hour drive north of Coffs Harbour or one hour drive south of Yamba.

Contact Stan or Claire Young

02 6649 7100


COFFS COAST Coffs Coast Sport Fishing 0434 517 683 Oceanic Sea Urchin II Charters (02) 6566 6623 or 0428 650 321 The Rocks Fishing Charters 0412 074 147

Anchor Right (03) 5968 5014

Trial Bay Fishing Charters, 0427 256 556

Korr Lighting

South West Rocks Fishing Adventures 0411 096 717

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. 92


Boats & Guided Fishing Tours Directory COFFS COAST

MARINE MECHANICS SYDNEY Penrith Marine (02) 4731 6250



Moby Marine (02) 9153 6506 or Cohoe Marine Products (Sydney) (02) 9519 3575 Blakes Marine (02) 4577 6699

u Mid week packages from $420 p/p* u Weekend packages from $320 p/p*

*Minimum 6 people

On board our fully equiped 38ft Randell TRIFECTA Contact: David Hayman (Stumpee) Mobile: 0411 096 717

MACQUARIE COAST Castaway Estuary Charters 0427 239 650 Ocean Star Fishing Charters 0416 240 877

SYDNEY Harbour and Estuary Fishing Charters (02) 9999 2574 or 0410 633 351 Sydney Sportfishing Adventures 0405 196 253 Ocean Hunter Sports Fishing 0414 906 569

ILLAWARRA COAST Sea Lady Charters 0411 024 402 Shell Harbour Fishing Charters 0425 216 370

EDEN COAST Esprit Fishing Charters 0418 634 524

QUEENSLAND MV Capricorn Star 0408 755 201 or Mikat Cruises Fishing Charters Swains & Coral Sea 0427 125 727

FISHING EXPERIENCE OF A LIFETIME! • Reef, Deep Sea and Sport Fishing • Swains, Samurez, Cap Bunker Group • Dories available • LUXURY 20m Cat. New V8 Scanias. Large comfortable and stable. • Air conditioned and fast (cruise up to 16 knots) • Professional crew (over 22 years experience) • Cater for groups up to 12 people from 3 to 10 days • BYO or fully licenced bar • Desalinate unit • Trips designed to suit your requirements


Watersports Marine (02) 9676 1400 Marina Bayside (02) 9524 0044 Shannons Outboards (02) 9482 2638 Hi Tech Marine (02) 4256 6135 TR Marine World (02) 4577 3522





• We are one of Australia’s largest suppliers of after market spare parts & accessories • Trade Enquiries Welcome FISHING GUIDES ILLAWARRA COAST Bay & Basin Sportsfishing 0413 610 832

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

KAYAK DEALERS The Life Aquatic - Mona Vale – (02) 9979 1590 Australian Bass Angler - Penrith – (02) 4721 0455 Hunts Marine - Yallah – (02) 4284 0444 Bunyips Great Outdoors - Lismore – (02) 6622 1137 Maclean Outdoors - MacLean – (02) 6645 1120 Wetspot Watersports -Fyshwick – (02) 6239 1323 Graham Barclay Marine – Forster – (02) 6554 5866 Hunter Water Sports - Belmont – (02) 4947 7899 Totally Immersed Watersports - Nowra (02) 4421 5936 Hunts Marine - Batemans Bay – (02) 4472 2612 Compleat Angler – Merimbula – (02) 6495 3985

•inReach Explorer+ $689


• Huge range of spare parts • Sterndrive & Outboard Specialists • Servicing All Makes & Models


AUSTRALIA’S # For Spare Parts & Accessories

•Satelite subscription required


(02) 9153 6506

Discounts for Fishing and Boating Club Members

44 Barry Ave, Mortdale, NSW

H2O Marine (02) 6280 0555 Aussie Boat Sales ACT & NSW 0433 531 226

TWEED/BYRON COAST Tweed Coast Marine (07) 5524 8877 Ballina Marineland (02) 6686 2669

COFFS COAST North Coast Boating Centre (02) 6655 7700 Jetty Boating (02) 6651 4002


Stainless Steel Fishing Pliers •Braid •Long Nose •Split Ring





Trailer Boat Handling DVD & Fish ID Maxi Ruler Pack


Phone: 0427 125 727 I Fax: (07) 4972 1759

inReach SE+Satellite Communicator with GPS Navigation Enables 2-way text messaging anywhere!




Portable Power-Hub NEW! 10 Power Outlets, 240V AC Socket, USB & Assorted 12V Sockets •Battery not included



MACQUARIE COAST Graham Barclay Marine (02) 6554 5866 Manning River Marine Taree (02) 6552 2333

MODIFICATIONS & REPAIRS // BOAT & TRAILER Bonanza Trailers 0408 299 129







Salt Away 1800 091 172

SYDNEY The Boat Pimpers (Sydney) (02) 9792 7799

Advertisers wanting to be involved in this directory can call (07) 3387 0800 or email AUGUST 2017


Trades, Services, Charter ba Prawn Blade s “Yam BAIT ”& TACKLE




YAMBA BAIT & TACKLE “Yamba’s Leading Tackle Shop” “IN THE MAIN STREET” Shop 3, 8 Yamba St, Yamba

02 6646 1514 • OPEN 7 DAYS

Margay 2017


PHOENIX 920 Location: NSW

“The Home of Leavey Lures”

• • • •

• Stocking all Major Brands • Experienced Local Knowledge • Tournament Bream Gear in Stock • Snorkelling gear in stock


17’7” • Single axle Basscat trailer 115 hp Mercury 4 stroke 24v electric motor (Minn Kota or Motor Guide) 2 x sounders (Humminbird 597cxi HD Di or Lowrance HDS 5)

Drop in to see Mick & Kelly

Marina Boat and Tackle (02) 6646 1994 Yamba Bait & Tackle (02) 6646 1514 Wooli Bait & Tackle (02) 6649 7100

ATTACK 470 Location: NSW


Pantera II 2017


Compleat Angler Kempsey (02) 6562 5307 Fishing Tackle Australia (02) 6652 4611 Rocks Marine Bait & Tackle South West Rocks (02) 6566 6726

MACQUARIE COAST Ned Kelly Bait n Tackle Port Macquarie (02) 6583 8318 Graham Barclay Marine (02) 6554 5866 Manning River Marine Taree (02) 6552 2333


HUNTER COAST Port Stephens Tackle World (02) 4984 2144 • • • •


19’1” • Single axle Basscat trailer 200 hp Mercury Optimax 24v electric motor (Minn Kota or Motor Guide) 2 x sounders (Humminbird 698cxi HD Si or Lowrance HDS 7 GEN2)

SYDNEY Gabes Boating & Fishing Centre Narellan (02) 4647 8755 Australian Bass Angler

520 MAKO ESTUARY Location: NSW

FRESHWATER Aberdeen Fishing & Outdoors (02) 6543 7111 Dubbo Marine and Watersports (02) 6882 2853 Loomzys Fish and Fix (Forbes) (02) 6851 1425

Yar-Craft 1785BT 2017


$35,000 SKEETER ZX190 Location: NSW


• • • •



17’5” • Single axle Basscat trailer 75 hp Mercury 4 stroke 24v electric motor (Minn Kota or Motor Guide) 2 x sounders (Humminbird 597cxi HD Di or Lowrance HDS 5)

Sabre FTD 2017





• • • •


18’1” • Single axle Basscat trailer 115 hp Mercury 4 stroke 24v electric motor (Minn Kota or Motor Guide) 2 x sounders (Humminbird 698cxi HD Si or Lowrance HDS 7 GEN2)

We Build Dreams... It’s a Family Tradition


Phone: 0410 173 060

$30,000 SKEETER SX180 Location: QLD

0425 230 964 – SHOP 18, 29 KIORA RD MIRANDA NSW 2228 0425 230 964 Blue Bottle Fishing 0409 333 380 or Mo Tackle (02) 6652 4611 or Adrenalin Flies Anglers Warehouse Jayro Tackle

$32,500 Like us on facebook for automatic updates

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. 94


boats & kayaks

In the skipper’s seat 97 Slayer 10 Propel Inside story...

After years of research, Quintrex has released the Apex Hull design set to revolutionise the boating industry. From humble beginnings in 1945 Quintrex has remained the leader in aluminium boat research and development for over 70 years.

Made for...

Quintrex’s aluminium boats feature technology-driven hulls that leave competitors in the wake. Their unique ability to stretch form aluminium allows them to create shapes only previously made in fibreglass, delivering the softest, driest riding aluminium boats on the market.

This month...

Editor Steve Morgan takes the coolest new aluminium bass boat, the 530 Stealth Hornet, for a spin. This thing is a beast!

VFM’s Peter Jung climbs into Native Watercraft’s newest innovation on the Murray River.

99 Can’t bear it?

About time you had a look at your trailer bearings? Let Wayne Kampe take you through the process.

102 Clyde River flatties

Toby Grundy throws his kayak into the Clyde River on the NSW South Coast in search of flathead.

104 Haines Hunter 675 Steve Morgan has a ball testing this serious fishing rig.

106 Breezaway 480

Editor Steve Morgan has a run in Stessco’s new Breezaway 480 powered by a Yamaha F70.



Native Watercraft’s Slayer 10 Propel kayak FMG

Peter Jung

It is always an interesting concept when you contact a marine dealership to organise some boat tests and the reply is “We have a boat for you to test, but we do more than just boats.” All sorts of thoughts could go through your head, but in this case the marine dealer was Boats and More and the ‘More’ refers to the large range of fishing tackle and watersports related accessories that they stock. In fact, their two locations in Shepparton and Echuca are also Compleat Angler stores. A component of their range includes the seriously angling orientated Native Watercraft range of kayaks. Being in the middle of the Murray cod heartland of Victoria, the team at Boats and More have set many of these kayaks up to be perfectly suited to target these and many of our other iconic Australian native species. It was the Native Watercraft Slayer 10 propel they wanted me to test.

SET UP FOR SOME SERIOUS FISHING Our location to test the Slayer 10 propel was Bundalong at the top end of Lake Mulwala, only a short drive from the Shepparton store. Damien Bennett was on hand to show over the Slayer and to explain how they had set up the kayak SPECIFICATIONS Length.....10ft – 3.05m Width..................86cm Fitted weight......28kg Depth at beam..33cm Capacity...........227kg from customer feedback and from their experiences using the kayaks themselves. Considering most of my kayak fishing to date has never been from anything remotely close to the Slayer 10, I was fascinated by the extent of the fit out, but also by how practical it was, considering at 10ft this is not a large kayak to offer so many options and features. STANDARD FEATURES Propel Pedal Drive system This propeller-based system drops through

Left: If you are planning to be on the water for a long time, a comfy seat is a must and the Slayer is spot on. Right: The cockpit of the Slayer is spacious and offers you plenty of flexibility in where you place your rod holders, sounder and seat position using the Groove track system. the hull of the kayak and locks in place. This is very simple to do and you then just pedal like you would on a bike. You can go

go left and right to go right, it doesn’t get any easier than that. If you don’t want to use the pedal drive, either lock it in place above the

water or the entire system can be removed. Groove track This is a rail system that skirts the length of the

The Native Watercraft Slayer 10 Propel is definitely targeted towards anglers and their needs.

Top: How’s this for easy access to your battery? The Berley Pro battery system is a great touch. Above: Steering is as simple as it gets – left to go left, right to go right – and just what the author needed. 96


forwards or backwards and it is very comfortable to use. I wouldn’t say that it is ultra quick (limited due to the size of the propeller), however you can really get into a rhythm pedalling and cruise along nicely. To me the advantage of this system is the ability to position yourself to fish and also to get yourself out of trouble if you hook up to a fish near structure. Steering while pedalling is done through an extended rudder system which you adjust using a small hand control near the seat. Left to

Dry storage is not an issue with this large hatch at the front of the kayak.

seating area. This provides complete flexibility to place rod holders, camera systems and more in the place that suits you. Two smaller tracks are also just above the pedal system which are ideally placed to put a sounder and/or a camera. Comfort seat There is no doubt that sitting in this kayak for an extended period of time will be a pleasure not a pain. The seat has plenty of support, sits relatively high above the kayak and uses the same groove track system so you can adjust where you sit so that pedalling is comfortable and ergonomically sound. I was super impressed at how comfortable the seat was in the short period that I used the kayak. Storage There is a large dry storage hatch at the front of the kayak that has plenty of room for any clothing or items you want to keep dry and the rear storage well is large enough for a decently sized esky or tackle storage system. There are also two flush mounted rod holders to place rods in while not in use. There are also a couple of other nice touches; the deck has a non-slip padding for when you stand up while fishing. The super seal scupper plugs also impressed me. They are a multi-ribbed system that I hadn’t seen before. They have easy pull handles so from an angling point of view there is nothing for your line to catch on

the angler involved. For what is a relatively small kayak, there is a distinct feeling of space when you are using the Slayer 10 Propel. It doesn’t feel crowded and the upside of its smaller length is that everything is easily in reach. Most importantly everything has a place and can be stored out of the way when not required. As far as getting the Slayer to and from the water, I would suggest that it is a two-person job or that you purchase kayak trolley to assist getting it to the water edge. At 28kg it is a manageable weight to load and unload from a vehicle and the heavy-duty

carry handles certainly assist with that. Overall the Native Watercraft Slayer 10 Propel is the real deal and has a base price of $3,900 and you can add your own requirements. To get the setup we tested is $5,000. I commend the staff at Boats and More for the fit out they did on it and for giving me the opportunity to get out on the water and test it for them. If you would like to do the same, you can contact the Shepparton Boats and More store on (03) 5822 2108 or the Echuca store on (03) 5482 1992, or check out their website www.

Top: The Native Watercraft Slayer 10 Propel set up and ready to explore all that very fishy looking country in the background. Above: The Slayer 10’s Propel system is easy to engage. You place it through the hull, lock it in place and pedal away. and they certainly didn’t let any water through, keeping the areas dry that you want to keep dry.

Mark Frost from Boats and More shows how easy it is to stand and fish from the Slayer 10.

Boats and More special touches If you are going to go for this style of kayak, then you may as well go all the way. A point of interest was the sounder setup; the transducer was placed neatly in the foot of the pedal system of the Slayer. All cabling was within the hull and the battery to run it had extremely easy access. Small touches like the Berley Pro Sun Visor placed on the Garmin unit that gives you better visibility of the sounder screen (reduces glare) and the Berley Pro waterproof battery storage port (great access to your battery) tells me that they have used the kayak and fitted it out so the end user can enjoy every aspect of their purchase. There is nothing better than buying from people who know and use the products they are selling. On the water The hard part about doing this kayak test was keeping my mind on the task at hand. After a couple of minutes in the kayak all I wanted to do was go and fish all the little nooks and crannies that Lake Mulwala and Bundalong has to offer. You immediately felt comfortable seated on the kayak and the stability of the craft was excellent considering its 10-foot length.

The true test for this aging author was going to be how easily it would be for me to stand up and have a cast, but I needn’t have worried, as even with my elderly knees, standing up and sitting back down wasn’t an issue. I didn’t feel I was going to go in the drink at any time. The steering and pedalling proved to be easy as expected and the ability to reverse and position the kayak to cast to structure is a definite plus. The only thing that could have been better is if a cod had hit my spinnerbait as I was testing it out. I can only blame that on

The transducer for the Garmin sounder that was on the craft was neatly placed on the foot of the pedal system.

Pedalling the Slayer 10 was easy and comfortable. You’re not going to break any speed records, but you should be able to pedal all day. AUGUST 2017


Keep a close eye on those trailer bearings BRISBANE

Wayne Kampe

Boat and camper trailer owners soon understand that few things will willingly repay neglect nor will the wheel bearings, those unseen little heroes

that carry the full load of whatever’s above the axle. And at whatever speed is involved! This understanding is easily reinforced by the all-toofamiliar sight of a boat trailer on the side of the road – sometimes with a big scrape on the road leading to an absent wheel – as the

result of a bearing failure. To complete the scene the axle will usually have a jack under it with some member of the party standing guard while the rest of the team have driven off to see if they can round up some assistance or maybe spare parts if there’s knowledge of what’s required to fix

New grease and nitrile gloves are important items for servicing wheel bearings.

Step 1: Nice and shiny after a clean up: the front bearing, washer and nut. The bearing is now ready for some more grease to be applied to it.


the problem. Camper trailers (and of course caravans) don’t suffer so much as boat trailers do, because they are not subject to immersion in water to any great extent. Boat trailers backed into salt water on a regular basis are well and truly in the firing line. This means that the smart boat owner will see the need to check on things from time to time. The more it’s used in salt water, the more often you need to assess the bearings

and possibly re-grease them as preventative maintenance. I look at my boat trailer bearings every three months when the boat is having regular use and in over two decades I have only experienced one issue when bearings on one wheel were growling, although still functioning. Growling? Yes, a bearing that’s suffering corrosion or pitting will usually emit some noise when the wheel is elevated from ground contact and

spun, so this is the first step in a bearing health check up. With the wheel spinning there should be no grumbles, growls or other noise other than a slight whir. The next step is to take hold of the wheel on each outer side and check it for bearing free play by pulling and pushing it from side to side – gently, that is; don’t dislodge the trailer from the car jack! If there’s play noted the bearings might need to be tightened, but more on

Step 2: With the Bearing Buddy removed and some excess grease cleared away, the split pin and castellated nut are accessible.

Step 3: Out comes the split pin.

Step 4: The castellated nut and washer have been removed and the outer bearing’s being slid out along the spindle by gently drawing the wheel outwards.

Step 5: The residual grease within the hub of the author’s camper wheel shows no signs of contamination, just a little discolouration from use.


this later. For the record there is no great mechanical expertise involved in checking trailer wheel bearings. Even doing a periodic regrease is pretty much a DIY project that is fairly easily mastered. If you don’t feel you are up to the task or don’t want to muck around with grease, it’s wise to ensure bearings are checked – or even replaced – professionally from time to time. I would stress that the steps I am outlining in this article are not necessarily going to ensure total bearing efficiency or longevity, but are certainly worth considering if you like keeping in touch with the boat/camper’s running gear on a preventative maintenance basis. Our trailers have two sets of bearings; an inner set near the rear seal on the axle plus another (smaller) up front which is set just behind the Bearing Buddy or dust cap, depending upon which of these is fitted. Both bearing races with their tapered rollers within them sit within a very close fitting hardened cup or slipper which is pushfitted into the wheel hub and it’s within these cups that the bearings rotate. Note that common bearing components are usually of Ford or Holden origin on

smaller trailers. As the bearing sets are actually several centimetres apart – and the wheel is rotating around the axle courtesy of the bearings – there’s ample room for grease to be applied around the axle to firstly assist in reducing friction within the bearings and to keep out as much water as possible. Providing the rear seal’s in good condition and the front cap or Bearing Buddy is properly fitted, both these items will also deter water entry. It can still sneak in if there’s unforseen prolonged immersion, hence my view that plenty of grease around bearings makes sense. Tools for a bearing check up are a car jack, large shifting spanner, screw driver for prying things, and a pair of multi grips for extracting a split pin. Nitrile gloves, a tub of grease, some old paper, plenty of rags and away we go! CAMPER TRAILER CHECKED Note that the series of images here are taken from one of the wheels of my Trek camper trailer as it’s due for some five-hour Macintyre River visits this month and has not been checked for six months according to my records. The first step was to jack up a handy wheel and give it

a spin. The result was very pleasing: just a slight whir, as expected. A bit of a push/ pull on each side revealed no slack, so things were looking good. I love to be sure rather than sorry, so I kept on with the inspection after placing a few sheets of newspaper down beside the wheel to collect components as they came to hand. The components consisted of Bearing Buddies, a split pin holding a large castellated nut in position to lock the outer bearing in place, plus a big washer that sits between the castellated nut and the bearing race. Naturally, there is going to be a fair bit of grease about the place, but more on this later. First move (with the wheel elevated of course) was to gently knock the Bearing Buddy from side to side to loosen the Buddy and removed it. If you have a rubber hammer there’s a job for it here. There was a fair amount of grease that had been pumped in through the Buddy’s nipple on the outer section of the castellated nut and once this grease was removed it was easy to straighten ends of the split pin holding the all-important castellated nut in place and remove said pin from it’s dedicated hole in the axle with multi grips.

WORKING ON THE OUTER BEARING The outer bearing was now quite accessible and a gentle tug on the wheel saw the bearing slide out along the axle spindle for a clean up and to be assessed. At this point the grease was also assessed. I saw it as merely a bit discoloured from use and with no traces of water (creamy residue) about it. Mere darkening of the grease is no biggy, but if there seems to be water in it, a very hard look at the bearings should take place.

It’s best to assess your bearings after a solvent has removed all grease. Petrol is as good a solvent as anything, but the clean up needs to be carried out within a metal container or other non-plastic container, which said petrol might dissolve. When the bearings have had a good dunking and cleaned up with an old tooth brush all surfaces can then be assessed for any pitting, or distortion of the cage they sit in. After thoroughly allowing them to dry it’s easy to give them a spin to see all the old

grease has been dissolved and the petrol’s evaporated. And so long as the bearings are totally shiny, not pitted, and the cup within the hub is also as clean and unmarked, there’s no reason not to regrease and replace them. In next month’s issue I will tackle greasing and reassembly of the outer bearings and discuss what’s involved in taking a look at rear bearings as well. It’s wise to ensure you can access more parts if required by working on bearings when supply outlets (Repco, Super Cheap, etc.) are open.

Note the machined step at the rear of the axle spindle. It’s this step that the rear bearing seal butts against.

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Fishing with Nitro is a blast! Whether you’re a tournament pro or a weekend warrior, Nitro boats will ignite your passion and pack more fun into your day. Just getting there is half the fun!

The latest offerings from Mako feature the deepest internal freeboard of any boats in their class, while still providing large underfloor fish boxes, and the huge safety benefits of a true self-draining cockpit and foamfilled hull. You’ll enjoy your offshore fishing more knowing that Mako’s 100% composite construction is totally rot-free, enabling Mako to give you the best warranty in the business – the Mako Assurance Life Time Warranty

The world’s #1 aluminium fishing boats! Tracker’s outstanding quality and unique manufacturing process have made them the world’s largest boat builder – producing more than 40,000 aluminium fishing boats per year. Their foam-filled, unsinkable, 3mm plate alloy hulls are robotically welded to deliver superior quality at a lower cost – and are backed by a Limited Lifetime Warranty. Tracker’s Pro Guide series is designed with a deep-vee hull for exceptional performance, even in rough waters. Their Diamond Coat finish is a Tracker exclusive that resists oxidation, providing protection and a shine lasting 70% longer. Standard features include a Minn Kota trolling motor and Lowrance colour sounder, plus tournament-ready live well systems and rod lockers.

Call Tim Stessl now on 0429 680 504 to arrange a test drive or email Hopefully it will be rough, as you’ll be stunned by the performance of these boats when the weather gets challenging!

Fishing and Leisure Boats, 167 Currumburra Road, Ashmore, QLD 4214 AUGUST 2017


Industry Product

Evinrude releases iDock for twin-outboard rigs




lightning and a weather radar that looked like a plate of parma from the local pub. The Evinrude guys were looking a little nervous – plenty of the journalists were flying out that afternoon and timings were tight. The rain needed


power steering units included on each G2, there’s no need for bulky and expensive hydraulic pumps to be installed. But I’m getting ahead of myself here. Let’s step back a little… WHAT’S IDOCK ALL ABOUT? Let’s do Joystick Control 101, or iDock as Evinrude

Apart from the awe you always feel when you drive a boat sideways for the first time was the fact that you needed to think and steer a few seconds ahead. It takes this time for the engines to move to the correct position and the gears and revs to get to where they need to be to get you where you want to go. It’s like driving an electric trolling motor. Spin the head round and hit the thrust and it still takes a few seconds to bring the boat to a standstill. It’s the same with iDock. If you want to change directions, it’ll take a few seconds to get the motors in order and to bleed off the speed you already have. Also, you’ll have to stop trying to grab the helm. Trust me, you’ll do it plenty when you’re transitioning to iDock. iDock will lock the steering while it takes control. When you want to take control again, just press the button and you’ll have your steering and throttles back. See, I told you a kid could do it!

BEHIND THE MAGIC “Our goal with the Evinrude E-TEC G2 engines was to design a platform with unlimited potential for continued technological enhancement and innovation,” said Olivier Pierini, Evinrude Director of Global Marketing and Strategic Planning. “The intuitive nature of the technology will give even a novice boater immediate confidence in their ability to dock any boat equipped with Evinrude E-TEC engines easily. And by using technology that is already built into the engine, it is significantly more affordable than any other joystick system on the market.” And that’s the key to iDock. It adds very little to what already exists within the E-TEC G2 architecture and because of this, it can do it cheaper than any other system on the market. What’s the expected cost of the system in Australia? At the time of printing, it wasn’t yet available, however, the stateside pricing is very aggressive. We’ll be sure to let you know when we do. There are slight differences between the off-the-shelf G2 E-TECs and those used for iDock. Evinrude E-TEC G2 iDock model engines are sold in pairs and will be available in 2018.

- SC

iDock controls are so simple, kids can use them. Push the joystick in the direction you want the boat to go. Twist the joystick in the direction you want it to spin, or use combinations of the two. There’s extra thrust available by pushing past the detent if you need an extra burst of thrust.

with twin 200s. HOW DOES IT WORK? If my kids were to ask how iDock works, I’d probably just tell them ‘magic’, but since Fishing Monthly audiences are usually a little more skeptical than my gullible youngsters, let’s go through the basics. Traditionally, twin-engine rigs are tied together with bars and rods that ensure that the outboards are always pointing in the same direction. The driver can differentially trim these outboards and apply the throttles independently to level the attitude while underway or to skid-steer the boat when manoeuvring the boat in close. Then came digital throttles and shift and power steering. ‘Fly by wire’ allowed the manufacturers to digitally control and maintain throttle, trim attitudes and steering. It’s how features such as iTrim work, substituting a computer and predetermined parameters to trim a boat more precisely and more accurately than a human being can, especially when they have more to think about than just trimming the boat, like fishing. The next extension, of course, was to use the ability to totally and independently control these outboards to allow some complex

awesome. Spin around? No problems. And you can combine the directions when you get a feel for it. Additionally, there’s an extra boost available if you need an extra spurt of thrust to counter a gust of wind or a burst of current. You just push past the detent at the natural edge of control and you get extra rpm to get you out if trouble. Traditional outboard joystick systems tend to have the engines fight against one another with wind and tide, however iDock has an Integrated Aircraft Gyro Sensor, which locks in the heading off the boat. Whether there is wind or current, the boat will maintain its set heading adjusting the position of the engines to keep you on course. We got to test the iDock in a fairly confined space, with added current and wind – real world conditions under the supervision of the Evinrude staff that looked remarkably relieved that the rain had stopped. My initial impressions?


THE BIG REVEAL It wasn’t an ideal day to launch this new piece of kit. With media from all over the world assembled, the rain came down. And I don’t mean a few showers, I mean it bucketed down, complete with thunder and

• Evinrude launches iDock for Evinrude E-TEC. • It works with twin E-TEC rigged boats only (not with single outboards). • Fingertip control in all directions with a joystick. • An extra boost is available with a harder push. • It’s the cheapest system on the market.


Milwaukee last year that affordable joystick control was the next thing that they were going to release to the market. Of course, the G2 E-TECs are eminently suitable for the inclusion of this kind of system. Boasting

You won’t see E-TECs doing this normally, but independent power steering lets iDock control outboards individually to allow 360° control of your twin-engined craft.



This situation used to scare boaties – iDock makes the process of docking simple.

mathematical algorithms to move the boat in whatever direction you want – including sideways and spinning on its axis. And the best way to direct the computer controlling this? A joystick, of course. From a captain’s point of view, it’s ridiculously simple. You push a button to transfer control from the helm to the joystick. The button you push is the only one on the joystick. You then move the joystick in the direction you want the boat to go. It’s that easy. Forwards and backwards? Easy. Sideways? Yep – it’s


Was it one of the worst kept secrets in the marine industry? Maybe. When I received an invite to Florida, USA, from Telwater (TW), Australia’s Evinrude distributor, the discussion went as follows. It may be paraphrased for simplicity and to not get in the way of a good story. SM: Cool – new, smaller G2 E-TECs, huh? TW: Nope. New technology for existing G2s. SM: Oh, so it’s Evinrude’s version of Joystick control? TW: ummmm… maybe. How did you know? SM: They said at

to stop by late morning, and it did. Like kids to a new toy, the media piled in the test boats and proceeded to use the iDock, without reading the instructions. Nowadays, that’t nearly the way I judge the user-friendliness of a new product: can media guys (who think we know everything about everything) jump in and make it work straight away? The answer is a definite yes. Within minutes the assembly of North and South Americans and even the lost Aussie and a Kiwi were docking the test boats like a pro – both the luxurious and seemingly overpowered pontoon boat and the eminently fishable Scout


call it, fitting into Evinrude’s current ecosystem of products like iSteer, iControl, iCommand and iTrim. We all know how to use a joystick, right? Even those of us who are in the second half of our lives enjoyed a game of PacMan or Galaga in our earlier years at the local milk bar. Kids, of course, are experts and use one intuitively. On a related matter, you know when most bigger boat owners are nervous? It’s not driving their pride and joy around the bay. It’s when they’re docking – be it on their own dock, a public berth or in a marina. What iDock does is remove the decades of experience you needed to dock a big boat with precision and make it so easy that a kid could do it, with a joystick.


Steve Morgan



Perhaps the most impressive feature of iDock is the ability to drive a boat sideways.



CruiseCraft has launched a HardTop version of the Outsider 595, styled along similar lines of the existing HardTop models in the CruiseCraft Explorer line-up. The design is flowing, in proportion and expertly tooled. Both the roof and interior lining are smooth and buffed to a mirror finish. This is a purpose designed and manufactured fibreglass moulding, specifically tailored to this model. Supporting the aft end of the structure is a pair of robust yet stylish stainless steel supports. These also double as secure hand holds. The HardTop is formed with a full height toughened glass windscreen at the front, with sliding glass side panels on both port and starboard. An electric wiper on the starboard screen is a standard inclusion. In the HardTop version of the Outsider 595, a re-shaped modular dash panel has been designed to accommodate larger electronic displays (up to 15”), and there is an optional sliding and lockable cabin door.

CLARION CMS4 AND 2 M606 The new Clarion CMS4 and M606 provide the benchmark for multiple zone support. The M606 marine radio delivers four independent audio zones, each with its own volume, equalizer, balance and HPF controls. The M606 features a single source audio selection that can be distributed in up to four zones allowing for discreet audio controls and configuration. For a vessel that requires independent sources in addition to the standard audio controls, you can step up to the CMS4 Marine Black-box which features an industryfirst four independent audio zones with four simultaneously configurable sources. The M606 features a single remote input that can be split multiple times, allowing for all four zones to be controlled from different sections of the boat. The CMS4 has four remote inputs, granting zone control for each of the four available zones.



Navico – parent company to Lowrance, Simrad and B&G – has announced its acquisition of Naviop, a global leader in marine monitoring and control systems. On boats outfitted with Simrad, Lowrance and B&G marine electronics, Naviop provides the integration framework to capture data from all boating systems. The multifunction display serves as the hub for complete system control and information – all designed to enhance boater awareness and enjoyment. “For years, auto manufacturers have provided consumers with a complete integration solution at their fingertips, while the marine industry has fallen behind the curve to provide the same level of convenience and control,” said Leif Ottosson, Navico CEO. “With Naviop, we have taken a step forward to provide a comprehensive system-integration package for the boatbuilding market.” Navico will, through this acquisition, take a further step in shifting the idea of a central multifunction display to an integrated cloudconnected information system. Naviop’s success comes from its origin in industrial automation and its continuous development of new high-tech products and systems. Naviop systems can work as an integration hub as well as a digital switching solution, and can manage everything from air conditioning and engines to diesel generators and stabilization systems.



The stylish new Alloy Jet Ski Trailer is the newest addition to the Dunbier’s Alloy Series of trailers. Its solid alloy welded frame features exclusive Excalibur extrusion and has low riding cross members, including the 4” solid drawbar. Or if you really want to stand out from the crowd you can opt for the new Dunbier Custom powder coated jet ski trailer. With its unique design, the series is made so that you can travel in style with lower riding and many special features. These include wide stepped checker plate side steps; all black wobble rollers to complement the slick black frame; full marine coat over the galvanized frame, guards, roller beds and walk boards. Both of these locally-made trailers have new black alloy mag wheels, chrome caps and light truck radial tyres, and a new, fully-sealed LED light system.





The 2017 Melbourne International Boat Show marked the global debut for the BF75, BF80, BF90 and BF100 and the Australian debut of the new BF40 and BF50 Honda outboards with a fresh new look and some updated features. With an upgraded ECU, the new outboards have the latest in EFI technology, so the exact amount of fuel is delivered at the perfect time, guaranteeing smoother performance and greater fuel savings. The new outboards also incorporate lean burn control technology (ECOmo), which allows combustion to operate on a leaner air/fuel ratio during cruising to achieve greater fuel economy. Honda’s revolutionary Boosted Low Speed Torque (BLAST) technology boosts engine torque at low RPM under rapid acceleration, to get the hull up on the plane quickly. Developed for Honda’s high-performance sportscars and available on the updated BF90 and BF100, VTEC varies the lift and duration of the intake valves to provide optimum performance both at low and high rpm. NMEA2000 connectivity also comes standard. For more info visit the Honda Marine website.






The latest models in the Sea Legend (SL) range are the SL 20 and SL 25 HT. The 6.37m SL 20 has all the big-boat attributes of its larger SL cousins, including a deep-vee hull that’s 23° at the transom. It has a new-look cabin entry sitting in front of the most comfortable seats in the 6m class, and the moulded fibreglass floor has a nonslip diamond tread. The cabin has a full-length double V-berth (identical dimensions to the SL 22) as well as a full headlining as standard. Features include moulded side pockets, two solid esky/kill tanks and four stainless rod holders. The standard package also includes front and side clears, alloy rocket launchers, a vinyl cabin divider, Garmin 4.5” GPS/FF and Bennett SLT trim tabs, Mackay dual axle electric braked trailer and Volvo Penta V6 200 G SX. The SL 25 HT model also features a 23° deadrise. Features include a new lockable cabin door, stylish hardtop, moulded rear fishing platform, removable 150L kill tank, and a 30L plumbed live bait tank moulded into the transom. Price: from $77,490 BMT (SL20)


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Prime flathead country in the scenic Clyde River CANBERRA

Toby Grundy

One of my favourite species to target during the cooler months is flathead, and there is no better place to pick up a nice bag of crocs than the Clyde River. This is because there is a variety of locations on offer within the system which represent prime flathead country and all within a short paddle. It’s also one of the most scenic areas along the

time. However, if you’re venturing a long way, it pays to have some safety equipment packed in case of an emergency, like a beacon. I would also recommend wearing a life jacket as conditions can change quickly and big tidal movements can catch a novice kayak angler unawares. Due to the proximity of the river to several local shops, it’s possible to pack light and restock as you go. Plenty of water is always a must.

and kill retrieve. First I let the lure sink to the bottom then I wind quickly (burn) before abruptly stopping the retrieve (kill). This mimics a fleeing or injured baitfish and usually the flatties hit the lure on the pause. When fishing the flats (by far my favourite), I use soft plastics and Sugapen surface lures. I find a Wriggler in the 65-80mm range will account for a lot of fish, especially when twitched close to the bottom in about 1-2m of water. Likewise, Sugapens

An average sized Clyde River flatty.

A solid flatty polaroided on the flats. South Coast of NSW and almost worth the visit for the backdrop alone. FACILITIES The Clyde River runs right into Batemans Bay, meaning the facilities available to anglers are very good. There are several well stocked tackle shops in the town along with cafes, restaurants and supermarkets where you can stock up on supplies. I fished pretty far up the system and remained in mobile range the entire

SPECIES I target the flathead, but there are also plenty of bream, estuary perch and tailor in the river along with some large mulloway. These fish are hard to catch, especially when there are a lot of boats on the water. TECHNIQUES I use a variety of lures in many different ways depending on where I am fishing on the Clyde. If I’m fishing the edge of the oyster leases, I use small vibes and employ a burn

worked slow in shallow water close to overhanging branches can result in some epic topwater takes. I have found that most of the surface action is during low tide with some really big specimens belting the lure into oblivion. THE KAYAK On a calm day, it’s possible to fish the Clyde in a very basic, inexpensive yak. However, on rough days I would recommend using a kayak of a reasonable size so you have plenty of stability.

Paddle or peddle is fine, provided there is a lot of storage (for lures) and a spot for food and water. I used my Native Slayer 13 and this yak proved perfect. It has the necessary stability for standing and casting at structure. Being able to peddle back also makes all the difference at the end of a long day. Though this kayak isn’t particularly manoeuvrable, this isn’t an issue on the Clyde, as most of the fishing is done in open spaces with plenty of room to turn.

especially if you time your angling around the tides. If you’re travelling a long way, having a GPS on your sounder makes finding your way back a lot easier. LOCATIONS Start at Chinamans Point. There is plenty of structure in this area including oyster leases and submerged timber. It’s a great place to give your sounder a workout as schools of tailor and isolated mulloway often hang a few metres from the structure looking for an easy meal. There are a lot of

time of year means you are always in with a chance of a monster flathead with the 1m fish (holy grail) being the aim of most kayak fishos who hit the river throughout the cooler months. TACKLE I use a Daiwa Harrier 1-3kg ultra-light spin stick matched to a Daiwa Certate 1000 size reel spooled with 4lb fluorocarbon straight through. This is a very light outfit, but I find that finesse is needed when targeting flatties in areas that are fished heavily. I get

Wide open spaces are where larger kayaks excel.

A good sounder means you will find the fish, sometimes in the middle of nowhere. 102


THE SOUNDER It is important to use a good sounder when fishing the Clyde. Sometimes the fish will be holding in an area without any obvious structure above the surface. Without a sounder, it can be pot luck whether you find the fish or miss them completely. Having down and side scan is great for prospecting the oyster racks and being able to mark the areas holding fish really helps,

flathead in this area. If you can’t find them, head to the edge of Waterfall Creek and fish just before the sanctuary zone. I have always caught good numbers of fish here, especially at dawn and dusk. TIMING The Clyde River fishes well all year round. I like fishing it at the end of winter as the crowds are down and the fish seem more ready to strike due to less traffic on the water. Fishing at this

the odd bust-off, but I catch a lot more than I lose and get the added bonus of an amazing fight. CONCLUSION The Clyde River is a great spot to introduce novice kayak fishos to flatty fishing. It also has a lot to offer the more experienced angler. It’s a beautiful system rich in marine life and stunning scenery and all within a short distance from the main hub of Batemans Bay.

Industry Product

Stunning Simrad NSS7 evo3 Chartplotter FMG

Simon Goldsmith

The advances in sounder design, performance, and function have never been greater and a recent upgrade from a 10 year old 7” unit to a new 7” Simrad NSS7 evo3 illustrated to me with blinding clarity just how advanced today’s modern sounders are. The data and information they provide for an angler, and how handicapped you can be as an angler if you’re not running one in your boat are now truly evident. SMALL AND MIGHTY The new Simrad NSS

at times identify what species is below. Telling the difference between catfish and bass at Wivenhoe is must. BRIGHT AS THE SUN Being able to see the sounder screen in bright sunshine, particularly with sunglasses on, has often been a challenge with sounders and the evo3 attacks that challenge head on with its new display. The new SolarMAX HD display provides a bright, easy-to-read screen that is clear and crisp to read in any light, at any time. Sharp and vivid in its colours and details, the evo3 has few, or perhaps no peers when it comes to display clarity. DIALLED IN While we live in an age

Simrad NSS7 evo3 Chartplotter. I found myself using both, and to switch between the two was a fluid process and took little time to become familiar with. Once I got dialled in with how the unit worked I don’t think I ever found myself asking, ‘Now which button do I press again?’ Often I wouldn’t look, I’d just reach when pressing a button. For example, if I was on the front deck of my boat fishing and I wanted to mark a waypoint, I’d just lean down and hit the waypoint

options. Built-in GoFree wifi allows you to download charts direct to the unit via the GoFree online shop, or alternatively you can download the maps to your computer, save them onto a micro SD, then install them in your sounder. I used both methods to test how all the options were to use and found it all easy and logical to do. The Social Maps available from the GoFree online shop are a fantastic resource to have at your fingertips. The ability to upgrade and expand the

or tablet. In large boats this is a great way to keep an eye on the charts, radar and engine data you have displayed on your Simrad. THE TOTAL PACKAGE I ran a TotalScan transducer with the evo3, and it’s a transducer that could be described as the total package providing Broadband, CHIRP, StructureScan and DownScan imaging. The Broadband sonar supports 83/200kHz frequency, medium and high CHIRP frequencies, while the StructureScan supports 455/800kHz frequencies. As I mentioned earlier my preference in most cases was to run high CHIRP on screen, and when I needed further clarity and refinement in what I had on screen, I ran DownScan in conjunction with it. MORE PLEASE The Simrad NSS7 evo3 is a multi-faceted, multi-function unit that offers chart, echo, structure, radar, navigation, instruments, video, autopilot, timer plot, and forward scan all on the homepage. While I only scratched the surface when it came to use these functions, chart, echo, and structure were my three go-tos. The evo3 is a sounder that is equally at home on a small inshore boat, like my 17’ bass boat, as it is on a

The chart options and display, especially with Social Maps, are stunning to say the least. evo3 is the latest evolution in the NSS series, the previous incarnation of course being the NSS evo2 series. While the model I had may have been the smallest in the range, it certainly doesn’t lack in performance, power, and ability. The evo3 delivers many advances over its predecessor the evo2, with new Dual Channel CHIRP providing the ability to display both low and high CHIRP on your screen at the same time. This can be a huge asset when fishing offshore where the need and benefit in having both can be huge, with low CHIRP giving you the depth penetration you’re looking for and high CHIRP the shallow and surface detail you want. I ran my unit on high CHIRP when fishing the dams in South East Queensland and the detail and speed in the information it provided was razor sharp. Most times I ran high CHIRP on a split screen next to my DownScan display. I had the high CHIRP there to provide me with maximum information of what was below, while the DownScan provided me with a breakdown and a separation in the detail of what was below. The DownScan gives me the clarity to see individual fish and also

of touch screens, and they’re preferable in most cases to use over non-touch screens, there are times when they aren’t the best to use. The evo3 provides that alternative with both

touch screen and keypad and dial functionality providing the best of both worlds. Offshore anglers and those fishing in rough conditions will reap the benefits of this dual design.

The author ran the high CHIRP on a split screen next to his DownScan display. The high CHIRP provided maximum information of what was below, while the DownScan provided a breakdown and a separation in the detail of what was below.

The menu button and dial layout is very logical and clean in its setup, making it very easy to use and learn.

button without ever actually looking at the screen. It was easy and it was simple. I used the same blind approach in many cases when powering the unit on and off. The menu button and dial layout is very logical and clean in its setup, making it very easy to use and learn. The customization of the WheelKey on the keypad is another great setup option and you can tailor it for both a short press and long press. Customise it how you want, and in one button you have two different functions tailored to your needs. LOGGING ON Modern sounders are anything but standalone pieces of technology and the evo3 offers multiple connectivity

data in your unit and do so via a social, user contributionbased platform, impressed me the most when I made the leap from a 10 year old unit to the new evo3. I was definitely behind the times. To access the evo3’s online GoFree options, all you need to do is connect your unit to a wifi connection. I connected to both my wifi at home and also did a hotspot with my iPhone, and just like downloading the Social Maps, I found the process simple and logical. If you want to view your evo3 display on the water via your iPad or iPhone, that function is available too, with the GoFree Link app allowing you to view and control your Simrad via your smartphone

larger offshore. The chart options and display, especially with Social Maps, are stunning to say the least. The Social Maps and the underwater topography they make available for anglers, and for a lake angler like me, are priceless in my opinion. The echo and structure options show us what’s beneath the surface with outstanding detail and clarity. The addition of the Simrad NSS7 evo3 to my bass boat has been an evolution for my fishing that’s been long overdue and enlightened me to what is possible and what is available. The only problem I see now is that I want another one and I want a bigger one. I think NSS12 just might be on the cards. AUGUST 2017


Haines Hunter 675 with Twin Yamaha 130hp 4 stroke - SC




Main: It wasn’t blowing where we were boat testing, but it was blowing somewhere. A bit of left over chop rolling across the glassy bay let us feel the soft-riding capability of the Haines Hunter. Above: The twin Yamaha four-stroke 130hp setup delivered speeds up to 78km/h and economy of over 1.5km/L at 3750rpm. see the full video interviews and boat test by scanning the QR code on this page. Let me start by saying this probably won’t be your first boat purchase. It’s more likely to be your last. The demo model – the ‘Enclosed’ version with hard top and side windows – weighs in at $160,000 with all the bells and whistles. It’s a craft that a serious offshore fisho would consider for inshore and offshore. It allows you to get fishing and back home

SPECIFICATIONS Length������������������������������������������������������������ 6.75m Beam���������������������������������������������������������������� 2.4m Height�������������������������������������������������������������� 2.3m Hull Weight���������������������������������������������������1300kg Transom���������������������������������������������������� 20” (twin) Fuel������������������������������������������������������������������ 270L Max hp����������������������������������������������������������� 230hp 104


again in occasionally nasty conditions. And it does it in style. So what do you get for your cash? First you get a premium Mackay twinaxled trailer to get the 2.8t rig back and forth to the ramp – be it Portland or Eden or your local waters. Most 4WDs nowadays will tow it. Phil’s VW Touareg seemed to have no problems and most twin cab utes have the guts to drag it around. Secondly, you get the Haines Hunter hull. Also built in Melbourne, these hulls have a history of looking good, performing well and maintaining excellent resale value. And lastly you get the Yamahas. The twin-rigged 130s are a reasonably new addition to the Yamaha range – they’ve been on the market for a


It took us a while, but we finally talked Phil Pierias and the team from Port Phillip Boating Centre in Melbourne into taking us for a spin on their Yamaha-powered Haines Hunter demo boat – the 675 Enclosed. Powered by twin 130hp Yamaha F130s, it’s a smooth-riding, comfortable, well fitted out fishing machine that Phil and the team seem to spend as much time fishing in as they spend taking customers out for water tests in Port Phillip Bay. In fact, the day after we conducted this test, we heard that Phil was off to Lakes Entrance chasing swords. God bless marine dealers who fish! Phil’s reasonably young for a fifteen-year veteran at owning his dealership. At 44, he’s enthusiastic about his major brands – Yamaha and Haines Hunter, something you’ll also get from the team at Marina Bayside in Sydney. You can


couple of years and both dealers and customers are singing their praises. Fitted with cable controls (the 130 isn’t a fly-by-wire outboard) and no counter-rotating prop options, there’s a little skill required in balancing the throttles and trim to get the attitude right. When the balance is right, there’s little need for the trim tabs fitted. Spinning a pair of Yamaha Talon 18” props, the big rig jumps out of the hole in less than five seconds and then chews up the miles at the high 3000s rpm with a collective economy of just over 1.5km/L. That’s pretty sweet. If you only want 0.9km/L performance, drive it hammers-down. It’ll buy you 78km/h. There’s no doubt that this demo boat is built for


Steve Morgan






PERFORMANCE RPM...... SPEED (km/h) ........... ECONOMY (km/L) Idle...............................5......................................2.2 1000............................7......................................2.0 2000..........................13......................................1.6 3000..........................27......................................1.4 4000..........................48......................................1.5 5000..........................62......................................1.2 6000..........................78......................................0.9 *Time to plane = 4.75 seconds

serious fishing. The lean post, Furuno MFD, abundant rocket-launcher rod storage and twin windowed live bait tanks combined with the massive underfloor wet-storage will pique the interest of the most serious offshore anglers. If you’re serious about checking out this rig further, visit Marina Bayside at the Sydney International Boat Show. You can

also find them by calling (02) 9524 0044 or www. • 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.

To counter the torque from the non-counter rotating props, slightly asynchronous trim would level the ride nicely.

The ‘Enclosed’ interation of this Haines Hunter hull is the most comfortable of the three and allows several anglers to both fish and travel in comfort and style.

Left: It’s like the trailer and hull are made to match. Both are made locally in Melbourne and the combined weight of 2.8t isn’t beyond the reach of a lot of vehicles. Right: Anglers love flush mounted electronics and MFDs. This Haines Hunter can take a flush mounted 16” and 12” screen, as well as the Yamaha LCD display for your outboard data.

Top: You and all of your fishing buddies could sleep in here at once, but the cabin is spacious and long enough to catch some shut-eye while your mates are doing the hard yards. Below left: The transom is clean – inside and out. Twin windowed live bait tanks bookend the rigging station. All batteries are accessible without having to point your legs in the air. That’s rarer than you think. Below right: Spacious side pockets hold all of your hour-to-hour tools and gear.

Increasingly, hard top boats use this space to mount the essential radio gear (and the non-essential stereo gear). Check out the viewing angles.

There are plenty of places to chew up the ocean miles – in the seats, resting against the lean post or in the cabin. All places have plenty of available grab rails.

Although the single-engine transom demands a 25” outboard shaft, the twin-rig transom takes a pair of 20” leg outboards. Left: The helm is clean and well thought-out. We’re seeing more and more fold-up seats to enhance the driving experience. Below Left: The fully moulded side door allows for easy dive access – or it lets you get that barrel SBT on board without breaking the back. There’s plenty of freeboard with it out, too. Below right: It would be a surprise if there wasn’t a deck wash in this boat. The switches are close and convenient.



Stessco Breezaway 480 with Yamaha F70hp - SC






Main: Stessco’s Breezaway 480 is a really easy to use rig, whether you’re downsizing from a bigger boat or opting for a more comfortable option than an open tinny. Above: At cruising speeds and pulling 4000rpm, you can expect nearly 3.5km/L of fuel burned. design. With four cylinders and four valves per cylinder, the F70 gives awesome power-to-weight that’s applicable across a whole range of popular hulls.” And we can’t argue the point. The F70 is a very common and popular motor. With the Stessco carrying a duckboard and fold down aluminium steps, getting into and out of the boat is easy for the whole family. The hull draws so little water that you can just swing the transom

around to the beach and load up that way. The test package had an optional bait board and bimini top, which helped set it up nearly perfectly for whiting fishing. Anchored in the channel and with a couple of rods hanging over the transom with live bloodworms – who can see themselves in this picture? The front seats swivel around to watch the rods, you sit in the shade of the bimini and there’s a mile of cockpit


What do you get when you cross arguably Australia’s most popular mid-range outboard with an aluminium hull configuration that’s favoured by recreational anglers Australia over? You get the Stessco Breezaway 480 powered by Yamaha’s sensational F70 outboard. Cheap to buy, cheap to maintain and cheap to run, runabouts in this size class are a favourite of anyone who likes to drop the anchor, set a couple of fresh baits, relax and wait for the fish to find you. Stessco’s Breezaway does all of this in comfort and style. We took the 480 out on the water on Queensland’s Jumpinpin recently and you can watch the boat test video by scanning the QR code on this page or by jumping on the FishingMonthly YouTube channel. Starting at the transom, we cornered Yamaha’s Will Lee to explain just why the F70 was one of the most popular Yamahas on the market. “The F70 is the lightest 70hp outboard in its class – that’s two-stroke or fourstroke,” Will said, “and the reason that they’re so light is the single overhead camshaft

be on your shopping list when you’re after a craft of this ilk. Packages start at around $30,000 – the test boat weighed in at $31,500. You can get more information from, or like Stessco on Facebook. • Quoted performance


space to work in. You just need to convince your spouse that it really is their job to pull up the anchor when you’re moving spots. And that you need to move, because you had no bites in the last 15 minutes. The bimini top on the test boat is an optional extra, but I’d argue that it’s virtually a mandatory option no matter where you are in Australia. “The Breezaway is a boat that we sell to anglers both downsizing their bigger boats or upsizing from a plain tinnie,” said Russell Tippet, Stessco Sales Manager. Indeed, with its ease of use and user-friendliness for anglers that like to slow the pace down a little, it should


Steve Morgan






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.

SPECIFICATIONS Length....................................................... 5.18m Beam......................................................... 2.18m Depth........................................................ 1.16m Bottom........................................................3mm Sides...........................................................3mm Max hp............................................................80 Capacity........................................ Five persons Hull weight............................................... 480kg Fuel...............................................................70L

The Breezaway is eminently suitable for laying a few baits out the back and fishing at a relaxed pace.

Duckboards either side with handrails and a fold-down aluminium ladder make transom boarding easy.

The helm is simple – here it holds the Yamaha LCD gauge and a small fishfinder. The test boat was fitted with mechanical (rather than hydraulic) steering.

The helm seats swivel 360° to be useful for fishing and driving. The bimini top is an optional extra that can be ordered and fitted at the factory.

The anchoring system is simple and manual. Drop it in the well while travelling and tie it off to the cleat when it’s deployed.

Like all good boats, there’s a place for your phone, keys and wallet. It’ll even stay dry under there.

The Breezaway draws nearly zero water and allows you to get into the tightest fishing spots. It’s also easy to launch and retrieve.

Lean through the windscreen to deploy and retrieve the anchor. Or at least get your mate or partner to do it. They’d pay money at the gym for a workout like that.

Now that’s a lot of workspace for a 4.8m boat. The rear lounge folds over as required and the transom door makes loading from the stern pretty easy.

An underfloor kill tank solves the problem of where to store the catch. It drains into the bilge.

The Breezaway can handle a little chop, but it’s probably not the Stessco I’d choose for long trips offshore.

You don’t know that you need a transom door until you have had one.

All of Stessco’s accessories are factoryfitted, giving the owner peace of mind that they have been installed correctly. AUGUST 2017


Quintrex Stealth Hornet 530 is a smooth ride

- SC




Main: The 530 Stealth Hornet is a pretty radical upgrade. With the Evinrude G2 E-Tec 150, it’s a rocket out of the hole and demonstrated great economy at cruising speeds. Above: With a 630kg hull-only weight, Quintrex has realised that sometimes, heavier hulls give a better rough-water ride. in a future boat test). I stood up in the Stealth and filmed boat-to-boat at 25 knots. Usually, this results in a pile of rough, unusable footage, but as we ran down the waterway, I had no problems standing up and the running shots were great! Combine the weight of this hull with the low and mid-range of torque from the G2 Evinrude and you basically get the best performing Hornet, ever. Evinrude, of course, is one of the few manufacturers developing cutting edge outboard two-stroke

RPM....... Speed (km/h)........ Economy (km/L) 500............................. 5............................... 7.6 1000........................... 6.............................. 2.6 2000..........................10.............................. 1.2 3000......................... 35.............................. 2.4 4000......................... 53.............................. 2.2 5000......................... 71.............................. 1.8 6000......................... 84.............................. 1.7 * Viper 21” three-blade propeller AUGUST 2017

your local Quintrex dealer. Indicative pricing for the rig as tested was $49,790 from Caloundra Marine. To watch the on water test video, scan the QR code on this page or visit the Fishing Monthly YouTube channel. • Quoted performance





Let’s face it, there has been a time in all of our fishing journeys when we wanted a Quintrex. If you were an offshore boater, it might have been a centre console, but if you were an inshore angler, it’d probably be a Hornet. For many years Hornets have been swarming in waterways across Australia. Around a decade or so ago – when exchange rates favoured imported boats – Hornets had a lot of competition from imported bass boats, mainly from the USA. But with this latest iteration of the Aussie hull and layout, the gap between performance and looks has been narrowed dramatically. Spending the day with Quintrex brand manager Nathan Shaw and crash test dummy, Cliff Antees, I had a great opportunity to put the Stealth through its paces. For me, there was a demonstrable point where I thought, ‘this is the best riding Hornet that I’ve ever been in!’ It was when we were running down a choppy Gold Coast Broadwater, filming the second boat on the test day (which was the Frontier 590 – read about it



Steve Morgan





sort of solution to make some of the underfloor storage drier. If we are in an age when a computer can trim an outboard better than a human, then I think it’s fair to demand a place to put my boxes full of expensive tackle that won’t get wet in the first downpour.


technology and it’s hard not to be impressed each time I’m in charge of one. The other aspect that makes this boat a pleasure to drive is the integrated power steering in the E-Tec. It actually takes a little getting used to. I’m used to feedback from hydraulic steering – if I’m trimmed wrong, steering gets harder and vice versa. The Evinrude’s steering is light throughout the trim range. In that respect, maybe it’s a good thing that their automated ‘iTrim’ is able to be activated. Experienced boaties usually turn their nose up at the prospect of a computer trimming the boat for them. In reality – don’t knock it until you try it. It’s like driving an automatic car after learning in a manual. You’ll get to like it! From an angler’s point of view, there’s a thumbs-up for the massive amount of underfloor storage space, the dry glove box storage, the ability to flush-mount a

12” screen and the new keelhugging rod locker design that takes rods up to nearly 9ft. There’s a bit of effort to flip the back deck over between driving and fishing positions, so if you like moving spots 50 times a day, this may be an issue. I’d also love to see some

Length......................................................5.29m Beam.........................................................2.06m Depth........................................................0.95m Bottom........................................................4mm Top..............................................................3mm Hull weight............................................... 630kg Rec hp............................................................75 Max hp.......................................................... 150 Max engine kg..............................................255 Capacity.........................................four persons Make sure you take a Stealth for a test drive if you’re in the market for this kind of boat, especially if you’re a current or previous Quintrex owner. You’ll be pleasantly surprised. Visit au for more information or

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.

Sportsfishers will love the amount of deck space available in the Stealth.

It doesn’t hurt that Quintrex’s parent company, Telwater, is the Australian distributor of Evinrude outboards. The 150hp HO model was a great match for this hull, which has a horsepower range from 75-150hp.

Quintrex has been rotomolding their own dash assemblies in-house for decades. The current console iteration easily holds a 12” screen, flush mounted.

Quintrex also design, print and install their own in-house boat wraps. The Stealth will turn heads both on and off the water. It has been a few years since the F-Series hulls were launched and there’s no doubt that the style is well accepted.

Left: The hidden anchor locker combines with a fold down cleat to make a neat solution to a clear workspace at the bow. Right: The electric motor batteries are mounted underneath the front casting deck. This distributes the weight evenly and lets the hull work to its potential.

There’s an absolute mountain of space underneath the casting decks – both front and rear. Unfortunately it’s ‘splash proof’ and not ‘waterproof’ in a downpour. Still, your stuff needs to be under there. It’ll fly off the deck at full speed otherwise.

When a boat does 80km/h, the passenger console is pretty important. The step between them is the lid for the rod locker.

At rest, the rear deck doubles in size with a flip-over section that covers the seats. The rear underfloor storage is divided by a decent livewell.

For added bling, the test boat had a MinnKota Ulterra up front. Self-deploying, they’re currently the top of the line on servo-driven trolling motors.

There’s a neat, watertight glovebox fitted under both of the consoles.

Half a dozen rods to 8’6” can fit in the rod locker – or a landing net! AUGUST 2017






Loaded For Bass Sudden In-Pact Baits are jig/ spinnerbait trailers that soak up a huge amount of catch scent and continually release it. These supple trailers are very durable, won’t tear off, dry out or become distorted, and their absorbency prevents your catch scent from washing away after a few casts. There are nine models, ranging in size from 2.25” to 5.25”, and colours include red, green, yellow, blue and white. To place an order visit

Name: Address:


The first correct entry at the end of each month will win the prize pack. SEND ENTRIES TO: NSW Find-a-word Competition, PO box 3172, Loganholme Qld 4129

NSW AUG 2017

Phone (day):




GEORGE & NEV by Michael Hardy



Congratulations to R Wicks from Forbes, who was last month’s winner of the Find-a-Word Competition! Monthly winners receive a sponsor prize. Prize delivery can take 8 weeks. – NSWFM


The subscriber prize winner for June is A Camilleri of Engadine, who won a Wilson prize pack worth $300RRP. All subscribers are entered in the monthly subscriber prize draws. Prize delivery takes up to 8 weeks. – NSWFM

D Thompson of Warilla, P Dobson of Glenmore Park, D Appleby of Macquarie Hills, K Yarnold of Surf Beach, S Cook of Seven Hills, E Murta of Nicholls, T Jones of Woonona, M Blake of Walcha, S Matthews of Edgeworth, G Harvey of Speers Point, A Zoneff of Aberdare, J Wilson of Boronia, F Muscat of Bow Bowing, J Butcher of Basin View, L West of Barmedman, D Conroy of Page, D

Miller of Cobar, J Gill of Laurieton, L Cupitt of Goulburn, N Ham of Turramurra, B Gear of Coffs Harbour, P Allen of Beacon Hill, W Cumming of Bass Hill, K Baker of Gloucester, L Martin of Lismore, M Dunford of Young, T Polley of Burrell Creek, G Minett of Taree, T Hainsworth of Warwick. Prize delivery takes up to 8 weeks. – NSWFM



The answers to Find the Coastal Black Logo for June were: 8, 12, 17, 25, 28, 32, 37, 44, 69, 73, 79, 86, 89, 97, 107, 108. – NSWFM



This month’s Guess the Fish Answer: Yellowfin Bream

The Find the Coastal Black prize winners for June were: F Bubas of Albion Park, D Jones of Bathurst, B Bailey of Ulladulla, C Portelli of Colyton, L Robinson of Fishermans Paradise, R Vassalli of Singleton, D Nacinovic of North Narrabeen, G Tasker of Belfield, J Smith of Kelson, S Roweth of Millthorpe, M Fullagar of Liverpool,



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NSW Fishing Monthly August 2017  
NSW Fishing Monthly August 2017