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City Slicker Cod • Squid Basics • Which Wire When? •


BREAM – Sydney Harbour • BASS – Lake Glenbawn • GTS – Clarence River • BETS – St Georges Basin •


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May 2014, Vol. 19 No. 9

Contents 06




From the Editor’s Desk... It was great to get to the Sydney Trailerboat Show at Homebush and catch up with plenty of NSWFM readers – thanks to all of those who signed up for the 24-month deal and took home a free Wilson Blue Steel Rod valued at $130. It was a busy weekend for the Fishing Monthly team. Fishing Monthly’s sister company ABT was running a BREAM event on the Harbour at the same time, with over 100 anglers fishing for a pile of cash and prizes. That meant I was always on the go, spending my mornings at the show and afternoons helping the Tournament Director to weigh in bream. Both of these exercises reinforced to me just what a good fishery exists along all of the NSW coast, including the state’s capital. Within sight of the Sydney Harbour Bridge,

local angler Ross Canizzarro plucked big bream after big bream to take the tournament title, weighing fish averaging nearly a kilogram each on the last day. That’s quality fishing anywhere in Australia. At the same time, Sydney anglers were cashing in on the striped marlin bonanza and plagues of mackerel were marauding down the coast, chopping everything in half that was small enough to fit in their mouths. Nobody would argue that late summer is a great time to be on the water, but now the water’s cooling and we’re in a transition period – and NSWFM’s job is to help you make the most of it. Out west, they reckon that the big cod bite best after the first frosts of the year. That’s not too far away and our new Tamworth writer, Adam Mears, helps point all of us city slickers in the right

direction when it comes to catching your first Murray cod. These iconic fish are more accessible than you think – just follow Adam’s directions, including his advice regarding etiquette on private land, and you’ll be welcome on plenty of cod waters west of the Divide.

Entries for the Front Cover Comp are getting better and better, and you now don’t have that much time left to have your shot at fame! See the ad inside this issue and get snapping. Until next month, tight lines!

BYRON COAST The Tweed 8 Ballina 10 The Clarence 13 COFFS COAST Coffs Harbour Coffs Game South West Rocks

14 16 17

MACQUARIE COAST Port Macquarie 18 Harrington 20 Forster 22 HUNTER COAST Port Stephens 24 Hunter Coast 26 Swansea 27 Central Coast 28 SYDNEY The Hawkesbury 30 Sydney North 32 Pittwater 34 Sydney Harbour 36 Sydney South 40 Sydney Rocks 38 ILLAWARRA COAST Illawarra 42 Nowra 44 BATEMANS COAST Batemans Bay 53 Narooma 54 Bermagui 55 Merimbula 55 EDEN COAST Eden 56 Tathra 57 Mallacoota 57


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SPECIAL FEATURES City Slicker Cod Electric Motors What Wire When Squid Basics

6 46 49 51 MAY 2014


City slicker’s guide to cod TAMWORTH

Adam Mears

For many anglers, catching Australia’s legendary Murray cod is passion second to none. They live, breathe and dream about cod. Some of us west of the Great Dividing Range are lucky enough to encounter these iconic fish on a regular basis, but it’s those in the big cities or those new to the country who have the dream to catch

few places around NSW that you can gain access to for a reasonable fee. Monster Murray cod out of Emmaville is one such place where comfort and sportfishing go hand in hand. TV personalities like Paul Worsteling and Andrew Ettingshausen have already had great success there, and it could be a wonderful opportunity to provide the family with a picturesque holiday with the chance of catching that fish of a lifetime. The 1900 hectare private property

Exploring what nature has to offer can often find you in beautiful places like this.

at some point have a bridge or a river crossing, and it’s these areas that can help you find some accessible water. The Peel and Namoi rivers in northwest NSW are two such rivers and can be accessed at many spots. A quick look at a map will reveal bridges in the area. There are also many travelling stock routes and public reserves made available for the general public located between Chaffey Dam and the Peel and Namoi rivers. Google can aid you in finding these stock routes and access points, and walking the banks up and down stream of these areas can see you connected some beautiful Murray cod or the local golden perch population. Inverell Located approximately 30km southwest of Inverell is Copeton Dam, a picturesque dam that is a renowned for being home to some truly giant Murray cod. Above the dam itself is some beautiful gorge country. Its sheer cliffs and boulder-lined banks are more suited to goats than humans, but if you’re feeling fit and are willing to go the extra mile, the effort can be well worth it. The river has a

rock bars and boulders being a known local favourite. Trolling deep diving lures is the main technique, and lures such as the Balista Dyno 90 (which gets down to 8m) are a great starting point. Other NSW rivers that have good populations of cod include (but are not limited to) the Macquarie, Murrumbidgee, Murray, Gwydir and Seven Rivers. Many of these have public access points but often a kayak is necessary to explore more remote locations. ETIQUETTE TIPS Much of the land around the rivers is private property so you’ll need to ask the land owners for permission to fish there. If you are well mannered and courteous you may be in luck, while at other times they may not grant you access but might steer you in the right direction. If you are fortunate enough to be invited onto private land, be respectful and remember that they are trusting you to do the right thing by them. After an owner has granted you access, be sure to call before each trip. Property owners like to know if you are on their property, and failing to do so might not see you get a return invite. If you open any gates on the way through the property, be sure to close them. If there are cattle on the property, give them a wide berth if possible. Be aware of your surroundings, too, as you may be liable for any accidents that could occur, and check to make sure there’s no rubbish left around your camp or down by the river. Your access to a private property is a privilege, not a right, and should be treated as such. Also keep an eye out for boundary lines and fences. Don’t cross them onto neighbouring properties

Adrian Newton came with me on a recent trip and landed his first cod on a Bassman spinnerbait. unless you have permission to do so, or you could end up facing an angry landholder or even legal proceedings. But most of all have fun, and enjoy the sights, sounds and ambience of being out in

trees, boulders and undercut banks are likely hangouts, as are overhanging willows and eddies at the end of a set of rapids (but even then your casts must be accurate and within a few inches of

James Dainton caught this native on a Balista lure. the bush. Fishing this kind of country is as good as it gets. TECHNIQUES Techniques in relation to Murray cod fishing vary greatly but they all share similar characteristics. Murray cod are structureorientated, opportunistic predators so structure is the key to success. Fallen

the target as the fish won’t often move far from their underwater lair). One of the most popular ways to target our native green fish is with the humble spinnerbait. The flashing blades and pulsating skirts have been the undoing of many Murray cod across Australia. They’re easy to

Cod can be caught using a variety of techniques. these awe-inspiring natives, and why wouldn’t they? Murray cod feed from the top to the bottom, and can be caught using a variety of techniques. And that savage first strike makes even the most seasoned angler’s hands tremble. WHERE TO START If you are unfamiliar with areas that hold populations of Murray cod, Google can be a blessing. A quick search under ‘Murray cod fishing’ will bring up a 6

MAY 2014

provides clients with five impoundments to choose from that are exclusive to you for the duration of your stay. If you’d like to try your luck in the rivers, here are some places to try. RIVERS: PUBLIC ACCESS Tamworth For those with that little extra sense of adventure or willingness to find a spot along a river, it is essential to do some research before you go. Most big rivers will

good population of Murray cod, with an average size of around 40-60cm or so, and there’s a good sporting chance of hooking the odd larger fish. Shallow diving lures and surface lures are the most exciting options for targeting these feisty natives; that initial ‘boof’ of an angry cod smashing a surface lure it is something you will never forget. If it’s a trophy fish you’re after though, the dam itself is a mecca, with the deep

Legohead Lures owner Dean Capello shows the rewards of kayak fishing.

use and can be fished high or low in the water column and deep into snags, covering more water than a traditional hardbody lure. Blade choice is one of the main factors with spinnerbaits; double Colorado blades are a personal favourite due to their strong action at slow speeds. This makes them well suited to the territorial nature of our native fish, giving the cod ample time to launch an attack. There are

many brands on the market but I have found LureStrike do a great range well suited to this type of fishing. Spinnerbaits come in many sizes but the most commonly used ones are 1/8-5/8oz, depending on water depth. Having a few in different sizes can pay dividends. Skirt colour is a personal choice. However, I have found in dirty or muddy water darker colours such as purple, black and blue work

well, and in clearer waters white, chartreuse and olive are productive. Don’t be afraid to mix it up though, as any colour combination can work on its day. Hardbody lures are another great option for Murray cod. It can be as easy as casting the lure close to a likely looking location and slowly winding it back, as the lure’s bib makes it wobble like an injured fish. These diving lures are also great for trolling if you want

to cover more ground in search of new water. Don’t be afraid to use big lures, because often Murray cod will strike as a territorial response. Lures of 100mm or more are often used, and once you catch your first cod you will understand why. Surface lures including poppers, paddlers and fizzers are also great lures for targeting cod. Dawn, dusk and even well into the early hours of the morning are the prime time to use these lures. There is nothing like watching or hearing your lure make its way across the water, hoping there’s a silent predator following in close pursuit. All is peaceful and quiet until that initial explosion – that heartstopping moment when the water parts and your lure disappears in a spray of white water as the cod tries to take his quarry back to his lair.

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Michael Poulos with a very healthy cod taken with surface luring techniques.

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• The NSW size limit for Murray cod is 60cm in length and an angler is permitted to keep 2 fish a day (only one over 100cm). • Murray cod have a closed season each year (rivers and dams) from September 1 until December 1, and must not be targeted at this time. • Only two rigged lines are permitted in NSW. Spare lines should not be capable of taking fish, i.e. should not be rigged with hooks or lures attached, and should be properly stowed. Any attended lines must be within 50m of the angler and within his/her line of sight.

structure and the raspy teeth of the cod. A good camera is a great asset. Not only will you want to capture the fishy memories of your trip, you’ll also enjoy shooting the spectacular surroundings and wildlife. A small medical kit is also essential, as is a snake bite kit. At the end of the day it’s all about preparation, pacing yourself sensibly, enjoying the great outdoors and having a great time targeting Australia’s premier freshwater sportfish.

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Doing things by halves THE TWEED

David Solano

May is the month when you start to notice a few subtle changes on the river. The sun doesn’t rise so early, there is a slight nip in the air, and if you’re an early starter you’ll often find you have the river all to yourself. The summer species are still around, it’s just getting a little harder to find them. Mangrove jack and mulloway are being caught at the usual haunts such as under and

around the Tumbulgum Bridge, and around the Condong Bridge has been fishing great as well. One mate of mine caught a bull shark, a mulloway and on his last cast a GT there. He was out during the week so I didn’t get an invite! Behind Condong sugar mill during the night will keep you on your toes as a lot of action goes down at that spot, particularly when the mill is working as it pumps cold water from the river to cool the plant down. The water goes right through the factory then comes

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out boiling hot at what looks like a big spa complete with mist and steam. I’ve got a story about this place – it was around 4am, just before sun up. I was on my yak alone and I paddled up to the spa, stood up on the yak and started casting straight into the bubbles. It was too dark for the workers above me to see my yak or me as I’d turned my headlight off to be more stealthy. Using a 3” Gulp Shrimp in the banana prawn colour, I dropped it into the soup then started jigging. On my third cast I got nailed. I pulled the fish away from the snag, got it right near the yak, then bang! There was a big splash and a whack on the yak and I ended up with half a schoolie as a big bull shark smashed it. I was scratching my head wondering what just happened but it didn’t take long to find out; as it got lighter the boys working up in the mill noticed me. Two of them were waving and yelling, telling me to sit down as I was in the middle of a school of feeding sharks! Oops. I sat down, held up my half fish and said, “Yeah, tell me about it!” They had a good laugh and I quickly paddled back to my car with my half fish. Funny old place the Tweed… that stretch of the river is most famous for its sharks and water skiing, two things you wouldn’t think would go together in the same area. Still, I haven’t heard of anyone being attacked by a bully as I reckon the roar of the motors would scare them away. I don’t fish there in a yak anymore though, only from a boat. Whenever I try to bring this story up my girl throws a tea-towel over her head and mimics the old RACQ ad: “Charter boat, what charter boat?” I think she’s pointing out that it would be a dumb thing to do again. BREAM As I’ve mentioned before I hunt bream with lures and with the cooler weather will

MAY 2014

come the bigger bream. In the summer I chase them on the surface but as it gets cooler I find shallow divers and deep divers work well. I also bring the plastics out, and my go-to softies are Z-Man Curly Tail GrubZ and Berkley Gulp Shrimps in the 2.5cm size. A great place to try for a

horse bream is all the walls around the Blue Hole (it’s right where you either go to Mur-bah or out to sea). I align myself next to the wall and cast, letting the lure run down the rock face to the sand. You can catch fish in all kinds of ways at this spot. Sometimes they will take it on the drop,

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A nice legal bream caught in the Tweed River not far from home.


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while at other times you may need to just let the lure sit on the sand, moving it a little, and they’ll take it just like you’re bait fishing with a real prawn. THE MONTH AHEAD Now for a quick overview of the fishing in our area. Bream, tailor, mulloway and yellowtail kingfish have all been caught in the Seaway. The tailor have been coming off Fingal Beach and the causeway along with the odd Australian salmon. Flathead are everywhere but finding the bigger fish amongst the smaller ones isn’t always easy. Your best bet is to try the shallows near the Golf Club opposite Fingal. Bream? Never heard of ‘em! Remember in NSW you need a fishing licence, which you can get online. If you don’t have computer access, the only other place I know of on the Tweed where you can get a licence is right next door to Scales Seafood at Drift Bait and Tackle. There you’ll meet a lovely couple called Neil and Susan Ridings and while you are there check out their range of ‘Berko Soft Plastics’. I hadn’t seen them before but after grabbing a packet I found them to be a deadly lure. The store also sells live bait.

May mulloway a must BALLINA

Tristan Sloan

In stark contrast to the early months of the year, with autumn now well and truly upon us, the pelagics off Ballina have become a lot more specific in their feeding habits and very wary when it comes to clumsy angling attempts. A prime example of this is the ever present mahi mahi found on the local FAD at the 32 Fathom Reef. At the start of January these fish would eat anything you threw in their direction, I reckon some days you could have even caught them on a bare hook they were that voracious! However as the months flew by these fish have become more and more wary and harder to hook, on the plus side they have been growing in size too with the average fish now around the 80cm mark with only the occasional 50cm midget. For our boat this success has involved scaling down our tackle and predominantly using smaller hooks and lighter trace. Our standard rig

now consists of two metres of 20lb fluorocarbon down to a 3/0 circle hook on a 6-8kg snapper outfit. Nothing beats a fresh struggling live bait and if we can’t get live slimy mackerel, which have been few and far between this year, then a small yellowtail does the job nicely. While some people may be worried about how light our trace is we haven’t lost a fish yet and often we seem to be getting hook-ups when other boaties are staring at us with puzzled looks on their face. I even saw one checking us out with binoculars the other day! In saying that I’m sure that one of the big kingfish that often call these FADs home will teach us a lesson sooner or later. As well as the mahi mahi, the mackerel have simply stopped taking trolled lures, even without wire. Our normal tactic of trolling various sized Laser Pros, skirts and bibless minnows has been totally replaced with slow trolling or drifting live baits around structure and reef edges. And by live baits I am not talking about yellowtail, which are so




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There are still plenty of these bruisers around. This one was pulled on a Manns 10+. mackerel rig and commonly a good fish is hooked within 15-20 minutes. The hardest part about this technique is catching the live baits. Don’t be afraid to use big live baits as a mackerel will happily eat a 5kg tuna if it can get its jaws around it. For this reason we always have several live bait rigs in a variety of sizes rigged and ready to go. As the season progresses the mackerel only get bigger and with a bit of luck they will stay around until about June. If you’re getting frustrated with the mackerel there are plenty of longtail tuna around at the moment as well. A live yellowtail or garfish floated






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MAY 2014

out behind the boat on the inshore reefs will almost guarantee a screaming run and with the average size around




Jack Van Delft with a better than average Richmond River mulloway.

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prevalent on the inshore reefs off Black Head and Flat Rock, rather I am referring to bonito, tailor and small mackerel tuna that you need if you want to get a big Spanish mackerel. Pike are also an option if you are prepared to put in the time to anchor up and fish on the bottom with small long shanked hooks and pilchard strips. This can be quite time consuming and our favourite method simply involves trolling small minnows or casting metal slugs around the schools of yellowtail until a bonito is hooked. This bonito is then quickly attached to a live bait rig consisting of a 5/0 through the nose and a 3/0 stinger treble with about 20cm of wire between the hooks, no wire in front of the 5/0. This is the ultimate stealth

12-15kg they provide a lot of sashimi and barbeque quite nicely as well. Similarly to the mackerel, these speedsters hang around to late June and only get bigger as the season progresses. In between chasing mackerel I managed to spend a lovely Sunday in Mobbs Bay with my partner catching some tasty whiting on pink nippers. Now strangely enough not a single one of those whiting went home with me and into a frying pan, the reason for this is that we were competing in the 2014 Pirtek Fishing Challenge, which is a strictly catch and release event. While we didn’t win any prizes we did manage to account for about a dozen whiting around legal length with several of these fish being submitted in the hope of winning the mystery prize. I don’t ever need an excuse to go fishing but the fact that all the money raised goes towards prostate cancer research was an extra incentive for me. I since have spotted several other anglers wearing their Pirtek Fishing Challenge cap that everyone received upon entry and from all accounts the competition was a huge success with more than 8500 anglers participating Australia-wide. I would have loved to see mangrove jack as a target species as I have been catching some thumpers around the rock walls lately,

I guess there is always next year! This coming month should start to see the westerly winds blow, which for me signals the start of the mulloway season. Traditionally, Anzac Day is seen as the start of the mullet run and it’s these tasty little mulloway lollies that bring the big fish off the inshore reefs and towards the rocks, beaches and estuaries. While I plan on writing a comprehensive piece on catching big mulloway next month, for now I’d just like to highlight several important points that will improve your odds. Firstly, if you find bait you will find mulloway. Ideally you want either mullet or tailor; plenty of mullet schools can be seen moving along the beaches and through the estuaries in the coming months during the day. If you can find a seaward running gutter or a deep estuary hole with a high tide after dark you will increase your odds substantially. Secondly, one live bait is worth 10 dead baits. Take the time to catch live baits before you start fishing. This can be mullet caught on bread in the estuary or tailor from the beach prior to the sun setting. Mullet can be kept alive for a long time in a 60L drum with an aerator and, while not as hardy, taking a blow up baby pool down to the beach allows you to keep half a dozen tailor alive with water changes.

Lastly, keep your rig and gear simple. For live baiting I prefer a 10kg Alvey outfit off the beach and a heavier 15kg outfit when fishing the less forgiving rocks and breakwalls. A running sinker down to a decent rolling swivel and 50cm of 60lb trace to a 8/0 Octopus style hook completes the outfit. My advice to anyone starting fishing for mulloway is to catch at least a dozen fish on live baits before you start using lures because it’s a much more effective technique. While it may seem the case, I’m not totally fixated on catching mulloway over the coming months. This time of year known as the ‘travelling season’ is also a great time of year to target other species that move down to the estuaries and along the coast beaches to spawn. This includes tailor from the rocks and beaches (did I mention they are great mulloway bait?), big thumping bream and the often under-valued luderick. Those westerly winds often inspire me to forage up some red rock crabs and go hunting the many groper that live around the rocks off Skennars Head. These beautiful fish pull like freight trains and they are more common than most anglers think. I don’t mind keeping the odd smaller red female for a feed either. Until next time, tight lines!

Patrick Sloan with an average mackerel from Black Head Reef.

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GTS Clarence River The Gamakatsu Team Series North Round, sponsored by Mako, was great event for all. We had never seen the Clarence River system in such good

secure first place with a 3.78kg bag. They also took home the Big Bream prize with a cracking 1.24kg specimen. Jake Stewart and Stephen

and sitting still, they managed to win over the tough bite. With a bag of good fish they knew if they could get just one good fish they would be in with a chance.

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condition, with the mid and upper parts of the system filled with bait and fish. The top five bags were all over the 3kg mark, with varying techniques and locations. Team Ballina Marineland managed to

Angler Scott Sandilands Stephen Maas Justin Thompson Mat Cameron Wade Mobbs

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Big bream 0 0 0 0 0

Total weight 1.58 1.09 1.03 0.85 0.81

Team Ballina Marineland stuck with the Middle Wall and they finally did it – not just a good fish but a cracker of 1.24kg. It kicked them to the top and got them over the line with over $1500 worth of cash and prizes for a simple day out with a mate on the water!

Team Ballina Marineland took out first place with a 3.78kg bag, and they also scored the Big Bream prize with a 1.24kg fish.

BOATER RESULTS Place Team name 1 BALLINA MARINELAND 2 NITRO JIGHEADS 3 CASINO OUTDOOR & DISPOSAL 4 BUSH N BEACH/BERKLEY/YAMAHA 5 SCIZZ 6 MAJORCRAFT/13 FISHING 7 VERY ORDINARY FISHERMAN 8 DISCO MARINE 9 ATOMIC HARDZ 10 THE ZMAN GRUBZ In second place was Team Nitro Jigheads. Using Berkley Gulps and Nitro jigheads they stuck it out at Browns Rocks to get their bag of five. Knowing that there weren’t big fish there, they decided to go back to the mouth and try their luck for a decent fish. Not too long later Matt Fraser and Ian Baker managed to land a 1.08kg specimen, and having this kicker got their bag to a solid 3.18kg and got them over $1000 in cash and prizes. A huge thanks goes out to the series sponsor Gamakatsu and the naming round sponsor Mako. For a full list of sponsors and any upcoming tournaments go to www.fishingcomps. and remember to “Support the sponsors that support your passion!” – Gamakatsu Teams Series

Angler 1 Jake Stewart Matt Fraser Michael Corbett Ben Collins Paul Gillespie Grayson Fong Warwick Lyndon Anthony Duff Aaron Sharpe Will Lee

Bag 5 5 5 0 5 5 5 5 5 5

Big bream Total weight 1.24 3.78 1.08 3.19 0 3.03 0 3.02 0 3.01 0 2.99 0 2.76 0 2.74 0 2.73 1.25 2.64

Scott Sandilands (Team Sunstate Hobie) was the winner of the Kayak division with a 1.58kg bag.

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Angler 2 Stephen Walsh Ian Baker Joseph Urquhart Anthony Wishey Scott Lane Tom Slater Simon Vaughan Aaron Swanson Steve Eldred Mick Lee


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Focussing on snapper ILUKA

Ben Pilch

As we start to see the weather cooling off the inshore boat fishing should start to fire up, with a chance at anything from snapper to tuna being possible. However, this is generally when we start to focus on snapper on the Clarence coast.

that we have at our disposal these days, so make sure you take full advantage of them. Good electronics can make your day so much more productive on the water. Instead of just guessing, you can be sure there are fish on the reef before even dropping a line in the water. It certainly saves time wasted on pieces of reef that aren’t holding fish. A couple of good places to start your search for a

ground to the south as well – anywhere from Angourie to Red Cliff should hold a lot of good shallow water snapper country. When I say shallow water I am talking about 15-30m, which is a good range to be hunting around in. Good baits to use are a bit of squid or a pillie. The best gear to use depends on a few variables, i.e. the size of fish around or being targeted, terrain being fished, the size of baits being used and, last

The quality of snapper around in the shallows at this time of year can be very good.

Local lure maker Steve Patti with a stud Clarence River mulloway off the top on a custom surface lure. Early starts see you in with a better than average chance of picking up a good feed of snapper. We are truly spoiled with the electronics

few snapper are up at Black Rock and Woody Head to the north of the mouth of the mighty Clarence River. There is also a lot of productive

but not least, the bite you are fishing. Hook-wise, a 2/0 up to a 6/0 will do the job, and on the leader front anything from 15-40lb is the go. A mix

and match of these should have you covered, depending on where you are fishing. On the land-based game side of things, this is the last of the real hot months to catch a longtail tuna or a Spanish mackerel. Going by past seasons, this month will also give you the best chance of tangling with sizeable fish. This year has been the best start for tailor in a long time, with fish from 2-3kg all the way up to trophy-

sized 8kg greenback models. Lures off the rocks have been accounting for more than their fair share of these stud tailor, with poppers and spinners both being good producers. Big greenback tailor are on the hunt for big meals, and will easily swallow a 6-8” lure in one mouthful, no trouble at all. For that reason you may want to use a small amount of plastic-coated wire about 6-8” long. It can be the difference between getting a

trophy greenback or losing another lure (along with some rod rage). I have left the best for last. Of late I have had the chance to fish with local lure maker Steve Patti of Croaker Lures and watched him combine two of my favourite kinds of fishing: mulloway fishing and surface fishing. That’s right – surface fishing for jew! And I have to say the takes are insane! The size isn’t lacking either.

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Last of the warmth COFFS HARBOUR

Stephen Worley

Yes, May is the last month before winter, but we’ve still got time before the fishing cools down. The mackerel are still around, but it’s been an unusual season with the presence of ciguatera in bigger fish causing a few bouts of poisoning. This is not unusual north of the border but it’s certainly a rare occurrence this far south. To reduce the risk of poisoning, many anglers have stopped targeting large Spanish in favour of targeting larger spotties and smaller Spanish. For the most part the fish have obliged, and there have

been plenty of mixed bags where the spotty mackerel have outweighed their Spanish counterparts. This has meant good, safe eating all round. The only slow part of mackerel fishing this year has been the time taken to catch bait. Almost every slimy mackerel will spontaneously turn itself into a spotty or Spanish, but the slimies have been very hard to find. There have been stories of bait collecting from sunrise until 9:30am to get livies in the well, and then bagging out on mackerel by 10:30am. It does make sense though that one of the most prolific mackerel seasons would result in a shortage of the macks’ favourite bait. This month if you can get out

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there and find a slimy you will be more than halfway to landing some quality fish. As we come into the cooler months there should better numbers of larger kingfish as well as the warmer predators that haven’t left us yet. To go with the mackerel and longtail, there have also been numbers of mahi mahi and even yellowfin tuna venturing in around the inshore reefs, especially up around the northern launch spots on the Coffs Coast such as Arrawarra and Wooli. A hardbody lure will be worth a shot if you haven’t got live bait, but offshore the motto has certainly been “1 livebait = 1 fish”. The snapper are already congregating closer to the coast in preparation for the winter. As long as the rain events we’ve been having don’t become too intense, you should be able to catch decent snapper from the headland washes, inshore reefs and islands all the way out to the deeper reefs and rubble beds this month. The rock fishing has produced quality results in recent weeks. Heaps of bonito, striped tuna and


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Jett Rowe (aged 4) used pipis off the beach to catch this cracking 40cm bream with his dad. tailor have been caught and there have also been longtail captures and many more hook-ups. The rain events over the last month or so have produced some fantastic mulloway fishing around the creek and river mouths and also the lower estuaries. There haven’t been too many exceptionally large captures but good size schoolies up to 15kg have been fairly regular. The estuary fishing has been stop and start this last month, with flushes of rain turning everything brown for a few days and then the tidal flow kicking everything into gear again. There are still plenty of whiting willing to hit poppers retrieved over yabby banks, even in the coloured water. The bream are also in good numbers throughout the estuaries, with particularly large specimens in the lower sections around rocky outcrops. Although on the Coffs Coast we don’t get a very harsh winter, I do think of May as one of the last real family-friendly months for fishing. When I take my son (aged 4) fishing, a big part of it is playing around in the sand and the water, so when winter comes the fishing is more subdued. Even if your family doesn’t literally sit in the water like mine, it does get a little harder getting the family out for a fish when it’s cool and windy. May is a great month to get out and take the kids fishing. The water is still warm, the sun is less harsh so there’s a lower risk of sunburn and the fishing has been great in the estuaries. There are some great spots to take the kids like Mylestom on the Bellinger

River where there’s plenty of waterfront and sand to hang around and cast a line. Other great family fishing locations are in the Urunga Lagoon, Boambee Bay on Boambee Creek and Coffs Creek near the Orlando Road bridge. All these spots have easy car access right near the water and sandy beach sections to fish on. The humble frozen prawn is the typical bait of choice for many but for us the choice is usually bread fishing. A small hook under

a simple bubble float and plenty of mushed bread and sand berley is a recipe for plenty of fish, heaps of action and a multitude of species. Although most of the fish are undersize, I find this technique to be the best for kids, especially the real youngsters, as the action is fast and constant. Whether you’re getting out there with the family or just fishing with mates, make sure you get out there this month and enjoy the last of the warmth.

Cypress Marshall (aged 7) was using the good old cooked prawn in Darkum Creek to catch this great flathead.




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Ripper mackerel season COFFS GAME

Glen Booth

What has been a patchy blue marlin season thus far on the Coffs coast developed into a good bite in mid March, with Sawtell Canyons and south to Nambucca Canyons the place to be. Not much in the way of birds or surface bait, just the occasional flying fish, dolphins and pilot whales to interrupt the deep blue, 27-28ºC carpet — and a rampaging blue or two tearing it to shreds. Although doomsayers have declared it a write-off, this season has all the feeling of being a month late. Marlin don’t read calendars. Although it’s a little late compared to what we’re used to, a late season is certainly better than none. The local charter boat Black and Blue continues to blitz it, finding blues and blacks seemingly at will, while

the rest of us are just picking fish up here and there (or not at all). Mind you, they put in some hard yards earlier in the season under trying conditions without much success, so it’s just reward for effort. Some Solitary Islands Game Fishing Club newcomers have certainly been making waves lately. Juniors Wade and Shania Hoogenboom had a great day aboard Matador, tagging a blue each on their first attempt at game fishing, and the skipper’s wife Astrid Linjawi caught her first blue a few days later. Ian Fergusson also joined the ‘first marlin/first day out’ club aboard Foreign Exchange the next week — that’s pretty hard to beat! Speaking of the SIGFC, the club will have hosted its fourth Heavy Tackle Challenge by the time you read this, so there’ll be a full report on all the fish and fun next issue. It’s unlikely that the blacks are going to kick into gear at this late stage, but some

continue to bob up behind the transoms of mackerel boats, and a few cocky specimens are still lurking well offshore. A pre-teen black, full of bravado and self-confidence, brought to the boat on 37kg blue marlin tackle is usually pretty green and ready to have a swipe at anyone that gets too close. There have been a few near misses, with angry fish catapulting across transoms and outboards, much to the horror of the wide-eyed crew, happily with no injuries and nothing more than injured pride on the fish’s part.

The spotties have been absolute rippers this season, often weighing more than the Spanish.

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Adam Allaway releases a perfect size blue for 24kg tackle, caught aboard the charter boat Better Than Vegas. That’s the drawback with trolling the big guns though — sometimes the lure spread isn’t even in before the little fish are boatside waiting for a tag! After a bit of an absence over the last couple of months, some jumbo mahi mahi are eating marlin lures, and the odd wahoo is figuring in lure catches as well. Nice yellowfin to 40kg are being seen out wide, although frustratingly not caught. The mackerel season though — wowee! It’s still going on! Lots of big spotties, lots of Spaniards, mostly


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6-12kg, but a few larger ones just to keep the game interesting. Finding enough live slimies can be problematic on some days, and it may be necessary to scour all the known bait reefs to collect a tankful, but carrying a couple of dead baits is a very worthwhile last resort. Crowds can be bad first up if the word gets around, but they often thin out by mid morning, leaving the better reefs largely vacant and that makes it easier to work pinnacles and/or bait schools. A downrigged bait is a decided asset, and the set-up doesn’t have to be anything too elaborate either. A 5kg

bomb tied off to a 10m length of Venetian blind cord is sufficient to get into the game. As live baiting is done at a walking pace, the cord diameter isn’t really an issue. Just remember to pull it up during all the excitement of the hook-up though. As an example of a downrigger’s value, I watched two gents score their bag limit of mackerel on downrigged slimies one morning, while I never had so much as a touch towing surface baits. A snapper sinker rubber-banded to the leader produced one spotty and a couple of misses, but I felt the weight of the sinker was inhibiting a clean hookup. There’ll be a downrigger hanging off my transom next season though!

Mmm, mackerel!



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Find motivation SOUTH WEST ROCKS

Brent Kirk

May is here already and you can feel the change in the air. Cooler starts and finishes to the ever-shortening days bring with them a whole new range of species to target. Although it can sometimes be hard to find the motivation in the cooler weather, if you put in the effort you will be rewarded. A lot of the focus in the Macleay valley will shift towards beach fishing over the next few months. Large schools of mullet are already on the move in the river system, ready for their spawning run. With the commencement of this run it is time to start targeting the larger predatory species such as mulloway, tailor and big flathead. Good numbers of mulloway and flathead are congregating in the first few kilometres of the river, already anticipating the arrival of the mullet. These fish will be found all along our beaches over the next few months. Live baits will be very effective and easy to gather, although soft plastics and large hard body lures can account for just as many fish on any given day. Just look for something which imitates the baitfish that are in the area and you’re in the game.

crackers taken from the surf. Longtail tuna are everywhere, taking everything from live baits to metal lures and stickbaits. Rock hoppers, boaties and beach fishers have all been in on the action, with plenty of fish in the 15-20kg range. Bream numbers are good in the estuaries and are increasing every day around the rocks and along the beaches. Unweighted live herring and cut baits are still proving to be the most successful options when fished along the river’s rock walls around a tide change. Light line is the key in this instance, so be ready as the big bream will be heading straight back for the rocks and the oyster shells lying in wait to shred your leader. School jewfish are another common by-catch when fishing in this manner. These fish will also be a good test for your light tackle. Mackerel numbers are starting to decrease as things cool down. The better numbers are being taken more to the south from Hat Head through to Port Macquarie. Spanish numbers are fading fast but the spotties seem to be sticking around a little longer. Reasonable numbers of pearl perch and teraglin have been coming in from the deeper reefs, with most of the action from outside of 60m.

An unusual beach by-catch. This stargazer was caught by Ashleigh Grima. Early season tailor numbers are good with some solid fish amongst them. Most have been taken from the rocks but there have still been some

Snapper have also been on the bite a bit closer, though there’s no real size to them as yet. Yellowfin and mac tuna are mixed in with the longtails

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BOOK A GREAT GETAWAY TODAY! Mick Roberts finds a late season spotted mackerel. all along our coastline. These smaller tuna are awesome sport on light gear so it’s well worth having a lure set-up, as they can pop up anywhere at any time. Cobia numbers have not been huge but they are still regularly being caught from the inshore washes and headlands. Moving upstream, the cooler weather has kickstarted the bass migration downstream. Decent rainfall has lifted the river levels, allowing the fish to have a relatively uninterrupted run. The fish are still hitting surface lures hard during the lowlight hours. Throughout the day spinnerbaits and divers are more successful. Catches upstream are thinning out but are ever increasing in the tidal zones around Kempsey. There are still a few months left to target this species before they are closed down for winter.



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Hot bite in the Hastings PORT MACQUARIE

David Poulton

It’s been the warmest autumn we’ve experienced in a long time, with warmer water temps to match. This month


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we should see some excellent fishing opportunities in the Hastings region. It has been baitfish central in the estuaries and beaches recently. Schools of baitfish have been spotted on a regular basis in the lower reaches of our rivers, providing a consistent food source for our piscatorial friends. As a result, mulloway have been prolific, particularly in any location with a defined change in water depth. The best spots to target them this month will be along the rock walls in the lower reaches, with the best lures being large soft plastics and vibes. Two techniques work really well. The first is a diagonal cast from or towards the bank (depending on whether you’re land based or fishing from a boat). Big hops and long pauses will get the enquiries you’re after. If you’ve got a boat, fishing parallel is also good. This is a great way of targeting fish sitting in a certain depth away

This bream couldn’t resist a Bassday stick minnow twitched over the flats to imitate a small bait fish. and Dunbogan Bridge on the Camden Haven River. The bonus of this is that flathead will be at times a welcome bycatch. Please take only what you need, rather than setting out to catch your limit. REEF AND OFFSHORE With cooler weather just


Port Macquarie Fishing Charters Mandy Saxon with a lovely 70cm mulloway caught in the Hastings River.

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from the bank. Casting parallel enables you to leave your lure or bait in the strike zone for a longer period, thereby increasing your chances of a hook up. Bait fishing for mulloway will also be highly productive, with live poddy mullet being the optimum bait. These same techniques will work on fish in other areas of the estuaries, such as Dennis Bridge and Rawdon Island Bridge on the Hastings

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around the corner, offshore angling will turn to the closer inshore reefs and it will be time to target big reds. There have been good catches of snapper for those targeting them. If bait fishing is your thing, squid is the best choice. If you like to throw lures, good options are the Bay Rubber, Octa and Lucanus jigs. Personally, I like to throw 5-7” jerkbait style soft plastics rigged on a 3/8oz 5/0 jighead or a 1/4oz 5/0 jighead depending on the current. The warm weather and bait schools have resulted in the Spanish and spotted mackerel being in plague proportions, and giving those snapper schools a welcome break. If the water temps continue to hold, this month should prove to be a productive month of late mackerel. The best of the locations have been north of the Hastings River around Barries Bay and Point Plomer. ROCK AND BEACH If you’re into rock and beach fishing, this month is a prime time to chase tailor off the stones and mulloway off the beaches, with bream also thrown into the mix for both locations. Tailor numbers to date have been hit and miss;

hopefully this month the fish will move in and readily take well-presented lures, ganged pilchards and metal slugs. As always, dawn and dusk will be the prime times, with spots north and south of Port Macquarie being the best places to score bigger fish. Point Plomer and Point Perpendicular are good places to target larger models. Off the beaches this month we should see plenty of bream, and garfish are an exceptional bait. However, if you can’t collect any garfish and want to keep your bases covered and land school mulloway as well, you can’t go past live beach worms. North Beach should have some nice, long gutters to target fish. Picking the tides will be the best option, not necessarily the hour of the day. The last of the run-out is always a good place to start. Mulloway and bream feed hard before they lose access to the gutters, or whenever their target food is trying to escape to deeper water. Bream in the Hastings and Camden Haven rivers this time of year are in excellent condition, and now is possibly the best time to target quality bream. The best thing is that a variety of techniques and locations can earn you some quality bream. Bait fishing this month will be best left for

cut, slab or whole baits for big bream. If you like to throw lures, surface fishing is still a possibility although cicada patterns (which have been the favourite over the past few months) will not necessarily be the best option, due to the end of the cicada season. Poppers and pencil style lures which imitate fleeing baitfish and prawns will be much more effective. Structure is always the key, with the oyster leases a top spot to tangle with some big bream. Just be prepared to lose some gear. You will need to beef up the tackle and go hard or lose that favourite lure. If fishing the leases isn’t your cup of tea, quality bream will also be found on the flats this month and will readily chase down a surface lure. Key locations this month will be the flats on Big Bay and the mouth of the Maria River. Also on the Camden Haven the flats in Watson Taylors Lake on the northern shore are great. And if throwing surface lures doesn’t yield the results you want, make a quick change to some sinking stickbaits or soft plastics to imitate prawns. Alternatively you can try slow working crankbaits or twitching soft plastic jerkbaits to entice feeding bream. All up, this month will

Flathead this time of year are always a welcome catch and will put a smile on your face. the darker hours, with the coal walls, canal entrances and the mouth of Limeburners Creek top spots to anchor up and fish

be a great time to plan some fishing trips, wet a line and explore the beautiful waters of our coastline and estuaries.


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It’s Manning mulloway time HARRINGTON-TAREE

Ian Pereira

This is the time of the year when the serious mulloway fishing is done. The mullet have started to leave the river and head north on their annual migration, and other schools of mullet from farther south are making their way past the mouth of the Manning. When the river ran out to sea along the north wall of the estuary, most schools of mullet travelling north would come up against the wall and follow it upriver to the end of the rocks and then turn and make their way back out to sea and continue on to the north. Now, with the river flowing

out to sea on the Manning Point side and a big sand spit resting up against the wall, it is highly likely that the schools of mullet coming north from rivers farther south will miss the entrance to the Manning and continue up the coast. This means that anglers will miss quite a lot of the action that occurs when the schools move into and out of the river. There will be plenty of action while the various schools of fish are leaving the river but after the last of the mullet have gone it will be necessary to fish the headlands when the mullet are passing by. Usually, the mullet stay on the southern side of a headland if they arrive near dark or if the sharks and jew are attacking them when they try to go around

the headland. Sometimes this can delay them for a day or so but eventually the urge to migrate overcomes all fears of predators, and the mullet will head

run after the bulk of the mullet have left. At the present time fish to 1kg are being caught on mullet strips from the wall. The best catches are being

John Brewer with a nice Crowdy blue groper.





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Alven Cook with a 3kg Harrington Beach tailor. around the headland despite losing many fish to hungry mouths. ESTUARY At the time of writing the Manning is packed with mullet. The fish are schooling up at Taree, and further up the river where the saltwater ends at Abbots Falls there are great schools of fish. It appears that this year could be the best run of mullet for years. Bream are moving down towards the entrance of the river and they will





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made at night either side of high tide. Luderick are biting well upstream from the entrance around Chinamans Point on green weed and live yabbies. Flathead catches are down but there are masses of undersized fish in the system. It certainly looks good for next year. There are quite a few reports coming in about sharks in the river. Sharks are not stupid. They know

that there are big schools of mullet coming down the river and they are waiting to get their share. BEACH AND ROCK The southeasterly seas have flattened out the beaches but there are still heaps of tailor chasing the whitebait in the gutters and out behind the break. Most of the fish caught during the day are only up to 1kg in weight but at night time fish to a bit better than 2.5kg can be caught. It is best to fish a good gutter around the high tide, and the later the tide the better. The occasional salmon and bream are being taken at night. OFFSHORE Teraglin and snapper have been caught from the northern grounds near reefs and underwater rocky

areas while mahi mahi (dolphinfish) are plentiful around the FAD. Bonito can be taken by trolling lures over the rocky parts of the sea bed and along the tide lines. Mulloway have been scarce but they should show up as the moon rises to full. May is a great time to fish the Manning, with something for all types of anglers, whether it be fishing for luderick, bream and mulloway in the river or chasing tailor and mulloway from the beaches and rocks. Outside anglers can hunt big snapper around the inshore reefs and live bait for mulloway on the gravelly bottoms. Best of all, the weather conditions are usually fairly favourable at this time of the year.


Spotlight on illegal fishers Four men who illegally went spearfishing at night in an area closed to spearfishing on the mid north coast have been fined by Department of Primary Industries (DPI) fisheries officers. DPI Supervising Fisheries Officer, Lee Burdett, said the men were apprehended by fisheries officers last month. “It is alleged that the men were observed spearfishing at 11.30pm with the aid of lights, in Korogo Creek, Hat Head, on February 13,” Ms Burdett said. “Fisheries officers approached the men as they exited the water, and when questioned, the men admitted to spearfishing a quantity of fish and an undersize mud crab in

the creek, with the aid of lights. “Korogo Creek is closed to spearfishing. It is also an offence to spear with the aid of light and to take prohibited size fish.” The men were issued a range of sanctions including $1200 in Penalty Notices for spearing in waters closed to spearfishing and use a spear gun aided by lights in any waters for the purpose of taking fish. “A quantity of speared fish was seized, including a prohibited size mud crab. Officers also seized the offenders’ three spear guns and one hand spear,” Ms Burdett said. “Our S t a t e ’s aquatic environment is a community owned resource and we all have

a responsibility to protect and safeguard this natural asset for present and future generations. Fishing regulations are in place to protect and conserve our fish stocks and aquatic habitats to ensure that fishing activities remain sustainable. “Fisheries regulations apply to spearfishing activity and many coastal creeks and river mouths are closed to spearfishing to protect nursery areas for juvenile fish and larger breeding fish. “Fishers are reminded that if they wish to spearfish, they must ensure that they are doing so in an area open to spearfishing, pay the recreational fishing fee unless exempt and stick to strict bag and size limits. - DPI

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No need to be crabby this May FORSTER

David Seaman

What I love about autumn is the transition from summer to winter and the crossover of species. This crossover sees the last of the warm currents trickling down the coast, bringing with it the mahi mahi (dolphinfish), marlin, cobia and numerous tunas. The weather, too, is more settled and boating access to these fish is far easier at this time of year, and plenty of anglers are taking advantage. The rafts of sea garfish and other baitfish have encouraged many of the predators inshore, and the land-based game anglers are reaping the rewards. There have been plenty of reports of mac tuna, bonito and a few cobia from the stones, and reports of longtails are also filtering through. Charlottes, Flat Rock and even Bennetts Head are obvious choices for spinning or live baiting large pelagic fish. However, headlands are also the spots to be looking at to catch the first of the winter run fish such as bream and blackfish from the estuaries. Pigs or rock blackfish are gearing up and willing to take

offerings of cunjevoi, cooked and green prawns as well as bread. The coastal rocks have a good feel about them at this stage and I’d encourage those who haven’t hit the stones for a while to get out and reconnect with the pleasure of rock fishing. The last few months I’ve been crabbing in the lake and rivers of the Wallis Lake system and I have almost got to the stage where I’m sick of eating blue swimmer and mud crabs. It’s a big call, but the season has been that good. This month is probably the last of the run for the crabs before they slow down and make it too much trouble to set witches’ hats or rebait the pot. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll still find the crabs but

nothing like the numbers they were since Christmas. So if you want an easy feed of sweet crab I recommend you do it now. The usual gathering of bream for the winter run has commenced and I would suggest some have already gone. For those remaining around the leases in the lower lake there is a sure-fire way of catching them, and that is bread. Moulded around a single, unweighted hook and drifted down between the leases, you are on a winner (you will also lose gear to fish you will not stop). If the fishing goes quiet you simply need to introduce a few crusts as berley and have them sink slowly into your fishing zone. Ideally the slackening tides are

Surface breaming is slow but achievable. This fish took a Berkley 3B Scumdog and has a look of regret on its face.

best and I have found lower tide is better as it concentrates the fish and gives them less to bust you off on. As an example of how quickly fish recover after being hooked and lost, I lost a 900g fish late one afternoon, along with the leader and a metre of braid. The next morning I caught the same fish in the same spot just 12 hours after it was lost. The Nitro jighead 1/24oz was still firmly wedged in the top of the bream’s mouth. The second time I hooked the fish he zigged when he should have zagged! Along with the bream there are plenty of garfish, sand mullet and even leatherjackets willing to eat the white carbs. If nothing else, incorporate some bread berley in your bait fishing, it will increase your bream catch and the activity it creates will draw fish like flathead to the area. There are still some good flathead in and around the Paddocks and Breckenridge Channel, and DOA Shrimp and Zerek or Ecooda shrimp are smashing them. I was lucky enough to see a flathead of 1.4m last week move out of 60cm of water and glide directly under me. As she passed she was three and a

Get in while you can. The blue swimmer season as we knew it is slowing down. bit lease pole long. The lease poles were 1.4m apart and even though she breached the third pole I’m happy to call her 1.4m without fear of exaggeration. One of my two boys thought it was a shark, and the other said “that’s a (f-bomb) big flathead!” Oops. I’ve found that a 3” Gulp Shrimp or Grub tail on a 1/8oz jighead is sufficient to cover the shallow depth of the flats and drop-offs of the lower lake. Pink Squidgy Fish too are popular, not just with anglers but the fish as well.

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The blackfish are also gathering in the lower lake with schools of hundreds milling in and around the leases. There is no better time to take advantage of the competition in the numbers than now. A good anchorage close to the lease wash boards and well weighted weed baits drifted back, and you are in business I reckon. There is more than enough to distract anglers from their lives this month so make the most of the settled weather and seas and get out and do it.

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Cooler water, bigger fish PORT STEPHENS

Billy Gillon

BAY It’s still worth throwing the pots out for blue swimmers but they are thinning out a bit so you may pull up a few empty pots before your efforts are rewarded. There are a few bream around the oyster leases but you’ve got to be quick to

Spots worth hitting for mulloway are the wreck, Karuah River Bridge and the mouth of the Karuah. Live or fresh squid will out-fish all other baits. For the land based angler the co-op break wall is worth fishing for bream and kingfish, and a few luderick should be beginning to turn up. It is usually a pretty reliable bream spot and some very big bream are caught here

Peter Baskerville with an impressive cobia caught on snapper gear. pull them out. Very lightly weighted or unweighted soft plastics around 2-3” long should work.

on unweighted prawn baits. OFFSHORE It’s still worth floating a live bait out for a

longtail tuna, and Tomaree Head and the Gibber are worth trying. There are some nice drummer coming from the washes, and a peeled prawn unweighted should pick you up some good bream as well. Use a berley of bread mixed in with water to bring them on the bite. Always keep the motor running when attempting this style of fishing because things can go wrong very quickly. There are plenty of bonito around with Cod Rock and The Sisters being the pick of the spots. The vee and 21 reefs are worth a look if you’re after teraglin. As the water starts to cool off most of our tropical species will leave, but the tail end of the season usually produces the bigger fish. Larger mahi mahi have more of a tolerance to cooler water so it can still pay to fish the FAD and fish trap buoys at this time of year. Boondelbah (Big) Island is holding some nice bream on the northern side and some kingfish, tailor and bonito on the eastern side. Some good snapper are also taken on the reefy patches around the island after dark. A steady berley trail and unweighted slimy strips work really well. Peter Baskerville caught a big 1.6m cobia with an estimated weight of 30kg on exceptionally light 20lb snapper gear and a 5” soft plastic. Out off Fingal in close there are still plenty of kings, from tiny rats to big unstoppables. Live slimies and small live yakkas are producing the bigger fish. Slow trolling or just fishing them on the drift are both good options. BEACHES The whiting are starting to thin out on the beaches now but you should still pick up a few bream, flathead and the odd

mulloway. Jimmys Beach is worth fishing for flathead and bream. Off Hawks Nest Beach there are a few mulloway being caught in the deeper holes. Quite a few are being caught on beach worms and tiny whiting hooks, but the size is down a bit. Boxed squid from the bay of California is available from most tackle shops and can produce some nice mulloway at times. Off Stockton Beach there are plenty of sharks around stealing fish and rigs off the mulloway anglers, and tailor are around in good numbers. I look forward to seeing you on the water, and if you have any questions or reports please send me an email at

Joel Abercrombie with a nice size mahi mahi from the Carpark.

Braydon Jamieson caught this 47.5cm mullet on bread in the Hawkesbury River.


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Don’t skimp on bait HUNTER COAST

Gary Earl

We are into that stage of the year when fishing is either red hot or as cold as ice. May can be one of the hardest times to pick what to target when you get the chance to get out and wet a line, as we all

fish like drummer can be just fine on the plate. Even trevally, leatherjackets and school kingfish can be spiced up on the barbecue for a hellava great feed, and almost any fish can be turned into a fish curry. When I talk to fishermen who have a bit of dislike for some of these winter fish, I usually tell them a recipe or two, and later

Kids love to catch any fish, no matter what the species is. These trevally took some bread floating on the surface from a local break wall. know water temperatures and current strengths really determine the factor on what is around. Since we are going into the cooler months from here on in, most fishing will be had right on the coast, beaches, rock shelfs and local close reefs. Drummer, luderick, g r o p e r, t r e v a l l y, leatherjackets, nannygai, morwong, school kingfish and all the winter species are taking up residence on most local Hunter reefs. All can be caught from the rocks and very close inshore also. Some anglers look at some of these species as second rate or not the best eating or sport, but

they come back to me with feedback on how good the fish tasted. ROCK AND BEACH Bream, tailor, salmon and the odd mulloway should be lingering around at the moment. Look for the deep gutters and holes close in. It’s also important to try to keep your bait natural and fresh. This is one of the most important factors in getting bites and hook-ups. Pipis are one of the easiest baits to fish with for bream and they are right under your feet. Pilchards can be put in an icebox for the tailor, salmon and mulloway, but they have to be in good condition. I see a lot of

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anglers who buy a block of pilchards then refreeze it over and over again wondering why it’s flying off the hook or they’re not getting bites. A good idea is to separate the block into smaller bags, just enough to cover the day’s fishing. Then if you have any left, salt them down in a salt brine and you can use them once more. This toughens them up and they stay on the hook a lot better. As they days get cooler, groper and luderick feed in very close, as do drummer. These weed and crustacean feeding fish can be great sport. Fishing for them can involve a bit of messing around getting fresh weed and crabs, but it’s usually worth the effort through the next few months. Crabs around Newcastle aren’t as thick as they used to be and you usually have to spend some time collecting them. Take the kids along the platforms around Merewether and you can spend a few hours of looking in the aquarium-like rock pools and collect bait at the same time. Nobbys break wall

Fresh bait is the key to better fishing, and a plastic mullet trap with a few bits of bread can soon pay for itself. Wilsons Tackle have a folding model that can be carried easily in a small bag. Use them as the tide is rising and the mullet are feeding across the sandy shallows. off like a tap. However, if you do happen to pick the day the fishing can still be great. The boat ramps are quiet, you have most areas of good reefs to yourself

and the water is usually calm. Fishing lighter without a lot of lead can help through winter if the current is in your favour. If it’s running a bit stronger

Live rock crabs are the best bait for big bream at night. Cut the crabs into segments on a 2/0 hook, or use them whole on a extra strength 4/0 to 6/0 hook for groper and mulloway. These predators will nab them with gusto over kelp and washy areas. Snapper like them as well. and Stockton break wall on the seaside give up huge drummer and groper at times. A long handled net and the right strength gear is essential, and if you haven’t tried and taken a big groper it is a real buzz locked up to something that feels like it’s going to pull you into the water. Unfortunately the roughest days can be the best fishing days for these species, so care has to be taken. I am not going to say this month will have great fishing, because traditionally it turns on and

it can disperse a berley trail a long way and have fish move into you from a longer distance. Adapting to what is happening on any given day can show who can really fish and who is just there hoping! Sit back, take in the water clarity, where waves are working a corner, where washes are hard hitting, knocking off pieces of cunje, crabs and weed. Keep an eye out for bait schools – whitebait and yellowtail are around all winter, as are schooling small mullet. They make great bait if you want to sit back and spend a bit of time trapping them or catching them on light gear with small hooks and bread. Herring schools can turn up in cool weather and in my diary May is a month they can show up in huge schools. I have seen mack tuna crash into these like they were the last feed they were ever going to get. So don’t pack the gear away, because there are still lots of places and different species you can start chasing from now until next summer season.

A mass of mac tuna churning through a panicked ball of whitebait. As soon as we matched the hatch the action was amazing.

Quality flatties on offer in May After a great summer’s fishing on Lake Macquarie it’s now time to turn our attention to the next few months of cooler weather and cold water species. This is the start of the prime fishing period as far as I am concerned. I love the period each year from May through until Father’s Day. The water temperatures drop right off and the fishing heats right up! The lake really comes alive with a great deep water bite, and offshore also turns it on for everything from snapper on the reefs to tuna out wide on the Canyons and beyond. THE LAKE There are some great options here for most anglers during this time of year. The warm water species have now well and truly moved on and we have plenty of other great options on offer for the next few months. There are some great salmon already being caught throughout the lake, with our clients scoring some great fish on the Sea Iron marine-grade stainless metal lures. These are proving very effective among the schooling fish throughout Salts Bay, with the early morning and late afternoon periods proving to be the most productive. There are some very solid fish in these schools and remember they are a great light tackle sportfish so don’t go overboard with your tackle and this will ensure you get the most fun out of them. As always, it’s a great fish to get new anglers into the sport so the kids love to get into a few salmon. For those who prefer bait fishing,

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mahi season this year was fantastic to say the least. Most boats on most

which are slightly heavier than your usual marlin lures are the go. Be sure to mix the spread up a little and include a weighted metal jet head lure in the pattern. ROCK AND BEACH Anglers who brave the colder weather are also being rewarded with some solid bream being caught in the ocean washes. Prawns are proving very effective and are doing most of the damage, but pilchard cubes are also accounting for their fair share of the action. Anglers flicking lures are getting into some hot salmon fishing, and metals and stickbaits are proving to be go-to lures for these fish. Just a reminder that our new shop is now open so if you get the chance, pop in and say g’day at Jayro Tackle 396 Pacific Hwy Belmont NSW. We have a big selection of tackle and fantastic bait on offer.



lightly weighted pilchards are certainly getting plenty of solid hook-ups as well.

occasions were returning from a day’s fishing at the Fisheries FADs with a nice feed of fresh fish, and it was good to see so many legal size fish coming from the FADs this year (they have been a little disappointing in the past couple of seasons). With water temps now cooling right off, the mahi mahi bite has cooled off as well. The marlin die-hards will now turn their attention to wider grounds and larger tackle, as there should be some good blue marlin out and about on the wide canyons and beyond. Generally a lot less marlin than you will see on your summertime inshore runs, but the fish are usually much larger and mostly stubborn blue marlin out wide. Time to spool up the 37kg outfits and hold on! Yellowfin tuna numbers should also start to increase now and we can expect a much better showing from them out around the same grounds as the blue marlin. You will generally be fishing wider grounds during these cooler months for your gamefish, so ensure you keep an eye on the weather and stay in touch with a few other boats as well. If you’re targeting yellowfin for the day, ensure you have a good supply of pilchards on board. The best plan of attack is to troll a spread of lures until the fish are located, and then you are ready to lay a pilchard berley trail and float out a rigged-up pilchard amongst the berley pieces. As for lures, you will find greens, pinks and purples are good colours and 6-8” skirted lures

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Mick Griffith with this solid, end-ofseason kingfish from Lake Macquarie. This 86cm specimen took a live squid.

Glenn Scruton managed this hefty 80cm flathead, which was then released.


Some good bream are being landed throughout the lake at the moment and we have found them in slightly deeper water now. We have had good success with hardbody lures in the 2-3m areas of various bays in the lake. Chain valley Bay has also started to produce some good bream, with fish to 40cm being taken on small blades and soft plastics slowly worked along the bottom. The increase in tailor schools also means the increase in some very good flathead and mulloway catches. You will find good mulloway hanging on the edges of these tailor schools, and flathead also lay under these same schools, cleaning up the scraps left behind by the tailor feeding on smaller baitfish. For the best results on flathead you must ensure your lure is on the bottom. Even if the weather picks up a little, just increase your jighead weights. Jigging large soft plastics is very effective, with good numbers of flathead on offer and fish to over 80cm on the cards. For the mulloway your best option for luring is to throw 3-5” soft plastics and try to work the mid water column. Several colours have been stand-outs, with clear/whites working well, black/gold, black/silver and the new 5” Madeye prawns doing very well. Bait fishers are having great success with whitebaits rigged on 1/0-2/0 hooks on a short 45cm trace and just enough lead to get the bait on the bottom. Stick to this and you will have more than enough flathead coming on board. OFFSHORE The action has slowed for those anglers chasing pelagic fish such as marlin and mahi mahi. The mahi


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After a very long, hot and reasonably dry summer that extended well into autumn, things have finally cooled down and suddenly we’re staring down the barrel of winter. Even though we’re not quite there yet, we should still make some adjustments to fishing techniques and target species. Ocean temperatures can remain quite warm at this time of year, so right now there is still a very good chance of fish like bonito being active close to shore, near headlands like Wybung or Terrigal. The bonnies have normally thinned out a lot by the time May rolls around, but on the other hand their smaller cousins the frigate mackerel can actually be peaking this month. Not that frigates are an exciting species by any means, but they do give younger anglers an opportunity to enjoy some great light tackle fun. As always, Terrigal Haven will be worth exploring by casting tiny metal lures, more so early or late in the day. If the frigates move in here the word quickly gets around and there will be plenty of younger and some not-so-young anglers scattered around the sheltered rocks, hoping to get in on the action. Offshore anglers can still enjoy catching frigates on lighter gear, but they’ll most likely be looking to round up a few of these little pelagics to use as live bait for bigger predators, or to stock up on snapper bait for winter. Speaking of predators, May is a top month to target inshore kingfish. If you’re going to try a big bait like a live frigate or small bonito, you’ll also need to send that bait out on

heavy-duty tackle and have some patience to wait for a big kingfish. On the other hand, more conservative baits like a live yakka, garfish or squid will attract both big and small kings. Realistically, most inshore kingfish you’ll hook this month should be around 65-80cm. Not huge fish, but still challenging and great to eat as well. The other large inshore predator that’s around during late autumn is the mulloway. Again, good quality live baits are the way to go, but one problem with using livies when fishing near headlands or reef is that calamari squid also love attacking them, especially around dawn or dusk. What to do? Catch a squid and use that for bait. You can’t go wrong! Along our beaches too, mulloway are common through the month of May. Places like North Entrance Beach are very reliable for jewies, but you’ll have to expect some crowds over the weekends or if the weather is really good. Some very big jewfish have been caught from our southern beaches, like Pearl Beach in recent months, but most of the beaches from Wamberal right up to Catho are also good places to try your luck. Tailor, bream and salmon are other fish that you’ll definitely run into when beach fishing at this time of year. The bream

Bream and whiting should remain quite active this month, although they may not be so keen to hit the surface lures. an old fashioned way to go, but using good, fresh bait with light line can result in some very big bream being hooked from the beaches, as well as rocks, now and over the next few months. In the lakes and Brisbane Waters it’s still a great time to be chasing bream with lures. This is probably the last month that you’ll find bream relatively easy to catch around our waterways, so if you enjoy lure casting you should try to spend

it’s probably better to start thinking about using deeper offerings like softies and vibes. Although I’m not really into it myself, I did spy some awesome numbers of blackfish moving through The Entrance channel under the bridge recently. This is a known blackfish area and even though not many people are fishing for them now, as the weather gets colder The Entrance can certainly get packed with anglers when

The Entrance is already full of blackfish so let’s hope it turns out to be a good season for them. in particular should be out in good numbers as they move along our coastal strip to spawn. It may be 28

MAY 2014

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Catching cracker crocs THE HAWKSBURY

Dan Selby

The month of May can turn on some fantastic fishing in the Hawkesbury. Big bluenosed bream, XOS dusky flathead and monster mulloway are all viable targets. This is also the last month to target the bass and estuary perch (EPs) before the closed season takes effect on June 1. The latter two species are now schooling up in the tidal water from Windsor to Wisemans ferry, and can provide hours of entertainment on light spinning tackle. This is the one time of year we commonly encounter trophy-sized bass and EPs (over the 50cm mark!), especially if there has been

some rain leading into this month. It tends to bring the bigger fish out, as they seem to know there will be plenty of nutrientrich water in which their offspring can grow and thrive. I prefer to cast lures but trolling deep divers and bait fishing with prawns and worms are also effective methods. Casting small soft plastic grubs and minnows along the rock walls and weed beds allows you to cover ground to find the fish, then you can stay with them using an electric motor and repeat casts across the active schools of fish. EPs and bass at this time of year can be turned on by the activity of their mates, and cricket score catches can be achieved on some days. Remember that the current bag limit is a combined total of bass

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and EPs, which allows you to keep only two fish with only one over 35cm. They’re definitely not the best species to target if you want a decent feed of fish, but if you’re just after some fun you’ll get that in spades. Locating decent back eddies is the key to finding good concentrations of fish. I prefer the run-out tide but I have also had some great sessions on the run-in tide. I’ve found 2” and 3” curl tail grubs to be the most successful plastics, as they have an inbuilt action on the drop. However, small paddle tails like the 3” Slider Grubs and PowerBait Bass Minnows also account for fish. I always carry a range of jigheads from 1/12oz to 1/4oz to suit the depth and tidal strength, but I nearly always opt for a 1/8oz jighead as it casts well, gets down easily to around 6m and has a slow sink rate when matched to a curl tail grub. The lower reaches from Laughtondale to Brooklyn are fishing well for the big blue-nose bream, with the rock walls and reefs producing the better fish. Pumpkin Point, The Vines and Bar Point are all well-known producers

Big mulloway will be active throughout the lower half of the Hawkesbury this month. Fish the tide changes with big live and cut baits to encounter prized fish like this. and live baits are the best option, with the frozen Hawkesbury prawn a close second. Keep your leaders light and preferably use fluorocarbon in the 6-10lb range. School jewfish and some monster mulloway will be busy feeding this month as the blackfish, mullet and bream all school up and prepare for their mad dash north along the coast to spawn. Live baits and large dead baits fished

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Estuary perch are great sport on light line and can turn on some hot fishing in the upper tidal reaches.


MAY 2014

Lure fishing for dusky flathead can produce good numbers and sizes as the water cools. Dean recently caught and released this 71cm fish on a 5” minnow and light spin tackle. of these big bruisers when you fish the tide changes and add small amounts of berley regularly. Fresh

on the tide changes around Juno, Flint and Steel, Gunya, Bar Point, the rail bridge and Spencer will see

a few lucky anglers land that fish of a lifetime. Those who prefer to cast lures for the mulloway will do well with minnows and paddle tails in the 4-6” range. I like natural colours but I’ve seen plenty of fish caught on nuclear by-products too! The basic rule of thumb is this: if it’s dirty, fish a darker lure (like a black/gold), and when it’s clear translucent colours with purple hues seem to get a few runs. Flathead have been quite abundant this season and I can only hope it’s a reflection of the well supported catch and release ethos of most anglers

when they encounter a big breeding female. This month should turn up a few quality crocs too as they prepare for the chilly winter water temps, and with all the other fishy activity happening they won’t be too far away waiting for that next opportunity. I have found over the years the bigger 70cm+ duskies prefer larger than normal lures. It’s a bit of a trade-off as you won’t encounter much bycatch, but if you want that big croc I’d be throwing big paddle tail shads from 6” and upwards on the major drop-offs and reefs around Broken Bay.

Industry Profile

Windybanks Bait and Tackle When was your business established and what is the core message your business is built on? Windybank’s Bait & Tackle began as just a bait supplier way back in 1950 at Mount Colah. Originally started by John’s father, it is now run by Annette and John Windybank and is a fully established tackle, bait and seafood store. John’s father was a pioneer of Cowan Creek in the Hawkesbury. He came from a long line of dedicated boaters and anglers, and had a boat shed in Sydney Harbour before his boat shed at Waratah Bay in Cowan Creek, which was given back to National Parks after the 100 year lease was up. So why would he suddenly open a bait store in 1950? Because that’s when the first chest freezers came on the market. Before then all bait sold in Australia was cured in sugar and salt, because that was the only way to preserve it. John’s father knew all that was about to change. As soon as he got his first chest freezer he put together 20 packets of prawns, froze them and then sold them. Many thousands of packets later the freezers are a lot bigger but our core message is the same: to supply good quality bait that will catch more fish. Our goal is to continue to

when John’s father was selling frozen prawns from the back of his house. What do you like most about living and fishing there? The friendships that are formed with people of all

different backgrounds and nationalities enjoying one another’s company. What is your most memorable mishap while on the water or in the great outdoors? Falling in the water while trying to retrieve a fish! Who in the tackle or outdoors industry do you most admire or relate to? Our customers and their families. What services and products do you offer? We supply wholesale

the first people to freeze them for bait. What keeps your business ahead? When it comes to retail, we believe a bit part of our success is due to our local

Fishing is one of the only sports where men, women and children can all compete on a level playing field. Fishing really is a great family-oriented sport, especially if you’re

frozen bait and fishing tackle in the Wollongong, Sydney and Newcastle areas, plus we also have a popular retail shop that sells seafood, fishing tackle and bait at the premises at Mount Colah. Open six days a week, we have a big range of bait (as you’d expect!) and a full selection of fishing tackle, including all the popular brands. We specialise in Hawkesbury prawns, and we’re proud to say we were

away any bait that goes off, just mix it with pellets and keep it for berley! When you’re shopping for bait, you should also take a good look at it before you buy it. It should look nice and clean; pilchards and the like should be shiny, and prawns shouldn’t have red or black heads. What are your opening hours? Customers can call in to our Mount Colah store from 8:30am to 5:30pm Monday to Friday, or

quickly you don’t give it time to deteriorate. We insist that all our commercial suppliers ice their catch well and quickly, to ensure that our product is in pristine condition.

6:30am to 4pm on Saturday. Everybody here loves their fishing, loves talking about it and is happy to provide information on what’s biting where. You can also give us a call on 02 9477

Once you have bought your bait you should make an effort to keep it in your icebox rather than leave it lying in the sun. It might be a bit more of a hassle to open your icebox every time you want a fresh bait, but it will be in better condition. And don’t throw

1501 or email retail@ Alternatively, be on the lookout for our Windybank’s Bait signs identifying outlets where you can purchase Windybank’s Bait, which are throughout Sydney, Wollongong and Newcastle areas.

knowledge. People always come in with questions on how, where and when, and we’re able to help them with that. It’s very satisfying to give people information on how to catch the species they’re after, and then have them come back later with happy snaps and stories. When it comes to wholesale, the key is providing quality products and good customer service. What’s one of the best things about the sport of fishing?

out in the boat; the boat is one place where the kids can’t get away! What is one of the biggest difficulties facing anglers in NSW? Keeping up with regulations is tricky for a lot of anglers, especially those travelling from interstate. It’s vital to be aware of the latest regulations for rec fishing, and we can certainly help with that. If you could change one thing with the fishing and boating industry, what would that be? supply good fishing tackle and bait to all our clientele, both wholesale and retail. Current location? Our store is located at 523 Pacific Highway, Mount Colah. You’d be amazed to know that we’ve been operating out of that very same address since 1950, although the premises have certainly changed a lot in that time! The size of our business, with its combined tackle and bait ranges, is certainly a lot bigger than

I would make it easier for anglers and their representative bodies to converse with government policy makers. That way we could get fairer outcomes for anglers and ensure future access for our children. Any other important information readers would like/need to know? Don’t put up with poor quality bait – we certainly don’t! Our bait is snapfrozen immediately because when you freeze something

MAY 2014


Revamp the ramp! SYDNEY NORTH

Darren Thomas

Autumn’s arrival is normally our first sign that winter is on its way, with the cruel cold moving in to freeze our butts off and shutdown the warm water bite. However, it’s not quite like this in Sydney at the moment as we are still fishing southbound

tropical currents with species aplenty inhabiting them. Local FADs off Sydney have held mahi mahi all summer and continue to do so, with good numbers of fish still holding fast. Anglers have been using a variety of methods to hook these fish, including using live baits, soft plastics and strip baits (even short, fat beach worm pieces worked a treat when one fisho

Dylan Hannah with a brace of kingfish.

ran out of bait). Some fish have been up to 98cm so don’t be shy to get out there and get the last bite before this mild water shoots through. As we know the cold waters are pushing up the coast and that means ‘tuna time’ to most to most offshore boats. Already some reports are filtering in with some yellowfin up to 40kg being captured. Most reports are from the colder currents out wider, with plenty of success from anglers using smaller skirts and pushers up to 9”. Anglers have been running them fast, up to 12 knots when conditions have suited, allowing a larger trolling area to be covered while in search of these barrels. While the offshore waters are still quite warm our coastal waters are following a similar trend, and some decent kingfish are still being landed close to shore. Dylan Hannah fished with large live squid, landing a great pair of hoodlums to 90cm in 10-15m of water. Dylan mentioned there were some bait schools in the vicinity that were holding the schooling kings’ attention. With plenty of late season kings still being caught, my attention turns to squid. For the last month now some bumper

The Long Reef boat ramp claims another victim. size squid have been on the chew in regular spots like Sydney Harbour and Pittwater. Using a 2.5-4.0 size jig with 15-20lb breaking strain line is the norm for the bigger winter squid. Don’t expect them to stay hooked on the tiny barbs of a small jig as the lengths of the hooks are often too short to penetrate far enough. Popular venues like The Spit Bridge, Middle Head, South Curly Rocks and North Whaley platform have all been successful areas. This is the season where we start chasing soapy jews (small mulloway) on light plastics kit in our estuaries, with our bite hopefully staying around until June. The most productive plastics for these fish are Squidgies and Gulps up to 7” by late season. Night fishing on the

beaches is quite popular with this warm weather lingering, and there are plenty of dusky whaler sharks roaming the shoreline after dark. If you’re out chasing the elusive silver ghost expect a couple of baitstealing, line-stretching sharks to be present. As the big squid have rocked in early and they are fairly mysterious creatures, we will be holding a squid talk here in store this May showing the hows and whys of these critters. We will send an email to all our subscribers letting you know the time and date (if you’re not already subscribed, go to and sign up for the newsletter). These nights are always popular so make sure you book early. There will be giveaways and prizes as well as 30% off squid jigs on the night.

NOTORIOUS RAMP I was returning to the Long Reef boat ramp from a session lately when we discovered that a Subaru had slid off the end of the ramp and into the drink. This ramp has had many improvements but lengthening it wasn’t one of them. At best it’s a nightmare for new anglers looking to launch offshore. Even in a 2ft northerly swell it’s hard work. If you are not aware of how this ramp works, take the time to watch a few other boats and see how their skippers handle it. Around 95% of boats heading back in run their boats up the beach for retrieval, and most launches happen on the side of the ramp. I’ve seen four cars go in the drink here and I doubt this one will be the last.

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Kingfish are still active PITTWATER

Peter Le Blang

I love fishing at this time of the year. We are starting to get to the changeover period when the summer species seem to fade off into a distant memory and the winter species start to show up. At this very moment we are still seeing warm water along Pittwater but with cooler water along the coast it won’t take too long before things start to change – so get out there and start fishing if you haven’t ticked off all the fish on your summer species list. The kingfish are still active along Pittwater but the bite isn’t lasting that long. The better bite has been on the outgoing tide and the kingfish have been working with that tide towards the mouth of the river. There are some big kingfish starting show up along Broken Bay so it won’t be long before they attack Pittwater for a few weeks. The bigger kingfish are blowing away the odd angler near


MAY 2014

Barrenjoey Head and the common theme has been live squid. The ocean side of the headland is a great area to catch squid and the bigger kingfish are willing to eat one that is pinned down about 5m off the bottom. For those with smaller boats, don’t worry as there are some big kingfish in Pittwater as well. The Sand Point area is seeing the traveling schools cruising through, and Soldiers Point is also seeing a few being tangled with. Other areas to try are at West Head, The Kingfish Highway, The Motor and The Super Market. All of these areas are best fished with a downrigger but if you don’t own one use a “poor man’s” downrigger. It is as simple as attaching a heavy snapper sinker to your swivel by a rubber band or clip and troll slowly. This method will get your bait down but you won’t know what depth you are fishing. The other method to use in these areas is to simply drift over the structure or drop-offs, lowering or raising your baits with the help of your trusted

sounder. Kingfish prefer moving baits or, better still, a panicking moving bait. There are flathead along the usual haunts along Pittwater and Broken Bay. The Hill, the Palm Beach drop-off and Mackerel Beach are great places to try. The points such as Rocky Point, Longnose Point and Sand Point are other places worth trying. These areas are better fished on the run-out tide, and you should fish not only the slack water behind the current but along the weed fringes. These weed areas are better fished using soft plastics due to the small pickers that will strip your bait pretty quickly. Squid, as mentioned, are easy to catch along Barrenjoey Headland. If you are fishing the deeper water and finding it difficult to catch any, try looking for bait schools on your sounder first. I have also found that sometimes the squid will avoid the jigs on a paternoster rig and prefer a big jig sent down on its own weight. The best jigs for this are the bigger sizes of 3.0-3.5 sizes, and if you can go for the natural colours.

Birthday boy Ken with a lovely kingfish caught on the ‘last run’ call. Along Pittwater squid can be found at The Basin, Palm Beach, Portuguese Beach and Towlers Bay just to name a few. The best colour at the moment is still anything that has orange on it or a natural colour. For those wanting to head along the coast there are some problems with leatherjackets again, but the good news is that at the moment there are a few reefs still free of them. The Mona Vale area is one area that is still free of them but the snapper aren’t there either. The water depth that we have been fishing in this

area is 30-50m and there are morwong, teraglin, nannygai and some flathead. You do have to work for these fish on most days as well. Off Long Reef at 60m of water along the gravel beds is seeing flathead and the odd school of plate-sized reds. The 70m mark has some flathead to be caught but unfortunately there are a few smaller fish to wade through before some decent ones are found. For those willing to travel out further, the deeper water of 80-100m is seeing the odd decent snapper

being landed. However, the distance that needs to be travelled only to find that the currents are too strong, sea too rough or leatherjackets stripping lines can be a gamble. I hope this report sees you out fishing soon to take advantage of our wonderful coast and Pittwater. To keep up to date with reports and our activities you can find us on Facebook. • Peter Le Blang operates Harbour and Estuary Fishing Charters, phone 02 9999 2574 or 0410 633 351, visit www.

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Frantic May feeding SYDNEY HARBOUR

Craig McGill

May is one of the most diverse months of the year. All the summer fish are feeding up frantically to put on some fat for winter, and some of the winter fish are starting to make an appearance. You will generally pick up the bigger specimens of most species at this time of year. To top it all off, weather patterns are very stable. This makes fishing on the lower harbour a pleasure, and because air temps

are starting to cool down general boat traffic is tapering off, giving anglers a bit more space to work. It’s a time for mixed bags, which means working a variety of baits, lures and techniques. Flatties are firing, as are bream, tailor, and kings, so don’t put the lures away yet. In fact, when it comes to bream and flatty luring, there is no better time of year. Trolling minnow style lures up around Rushcutters Bay will also produce whopping tailor. Kingfish will also be sitting deeper so it’s time to add a bit of weight to your



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stickbaits. The best method is to put a barrel sinker above a swivel ahead of about 1m of mono trace. The marker buoys are still the spots to try, but let your lures sink right to the bottom before ripping them back in. TAILOR Tailor are renowned as a winter fish but I personally believe they are a year round proposition. Still, the winter months do produce the bigger fish. The main difference in winter is that the tailor rarely feed on the surface. You can still take them on deep diving lures early in the morning or on live baits fished in the deep holes, but if you want some whoppers try night fishing around Sow and Pigs reef and the shipping channels. Trolling lures is also a great way of finding tailor. The headlands, particularly north, south and middle

There have been good catches of big blue groper this season. common along middle head and the run between Grotto and Dobroyd points. Further upstream at Garden Island the tailor fishing is very good at the moment. Trolling one deep and one shallow diver out each side

it’s worth having at least one out with the chance of picking up big flatties, mulloway, dory, kings or big tailor. You will find a few gar starting to move in, and really big kings go nuts for them.

With warmer than average water temps, kings like this should still be around through May. heads are the preferred locations when the fish or the baitfish cannot be visually or electronically located in open water. They are also

and one chrome metal slug down the centre will soon sort them out. I rarely use live fish baits but at this time of year

Big bream move down into the channels and holes in the lower harbour and a few trevally will start to come in, so it’s worth having a bit of berley going and a cut bait of pilchard or salted mackerel fished near the bottom.

either from a boat or shorebased. The great advantage of fishing the washes from a boat is that you can fish spots that are inaccessible from the shore. A word of warning though: you need to approach wash fishing from a boat as carefully as you would if you were fishing from the rocks. You are in the danger zone where waves are breaking on the shore, and I recommend approaching with great caution. The best thing you can do if you are unfamiliar with a new location is to just sit back and observe for half an hour until you get familiar with the dynamics. A safer method is to fish the deeper reef edges scattered throughout the harbour. I’ve seen groper in very tranquil, safe waters of middle harbour. It’s surprising how far upstream they will go. Wherever you decide to target groper, crabs will be the best bait. If you are fishing the washes close to shore, flick them unweighted and let them drift slowly down. If you are fishing the deeper reef edges, suspend the crab by letting your sinker hit the bottom and then retrieving

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Whopping tailor respond well to live baits and metal jigs. BLUE GROPER Blue groper have been very prominent this year as an incidental by-catch of our king fishing techniques. They really fire up in the cooler months and you could have a shot at them

a bit so that it’s suspended about 2m off the bottom. • If you are interested in doing a guided fishing trip on Sydney harbour with Craig McGill please call 0412 918 127 or email • Gold Prawn • Bloodworm • Abalone • Wasabi


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We’re at the peak time of the year and that will last for the next couple of months at least. Off the rocks virtually all species are on the bite. Kingfish are being caught to 82cm with some anglers catching them to 120cm. However, kings being kings, there are your good days and OK days. The mediocre days are still producing fish, but most are only just over legal with a few undersized fish. The very next day could be completely different, with a run of 70 to 80cm fish and larger. The bonito are still sparse with the occasional day producing a few fish. A few frigate mackerel and mac tuna are being spun up as well. The kings are being spun up on salted and fresh sea gars and live baits like yellowtail. Alternatively, live slimy mackerel (if you’re fortunate enough to be able to catch them) account for reliable catches of kings. When fishing live baits off the ocean rocks I generally fish them under a float with a stopper set at about 3m with a leader of 60-80lb Suffix fluorocarbon with a 6/0 to 8/0 Mustad Big Gun hook. Recently I have had

and you won’t get that water displacement on the surface. Pilchard cubes in a berley trail and a wellpresented pilchard on a 5/0

TD Sensor braid is robust, affordable and will last. Snapper are being caught in the washes and distance casting. They are in the smaller size

The Alvey reel can be great for spinning. This 82cm king fell to a popper. to 6/0 double strength hook could get you hooked on to a good king. Putting in the effort to catch a live squid, then throwing it back out suspended under a float with the hook just through the top of the hood is very successful on kings. The tailor are smashing the gars, but that’s an

around that 30-35cm range with a few real tiddlers. If you are fishing a wash with numbers of really small snapper, you would be better off moving to another wash in search of larger fish. In the washes you can cube just pilchards, or add bread to the mix. 75% bread with

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clients doing well on poppers. The Williamson 2oz Jet Popper, especially in the mackerel pattern, has been a consistent lure. The Kokoda Rodger in the 85g size is also working really well. Remember that the Rodger has to be consistently worked otherwise it will sink,

some fun on the snapper, small kings, bonito, some bream and more. For all of the above mentioned fish, try the Hat at the main ledge, Bluefish

expensive exercise. It’s better to target them on a set of three 4/0s and a whole pilchard. For the tuna species, 15-45g Knights and Snipers have been doing the damage. When it comes to the outfit, a 6-8kg 10’ Live Fibre and a Daiwa Exceler 4000 with 20lb

just 25% pilchard cubes mashed in with water to make a thick mix is a good option. Consistently berley with a little at a time rather than liberally. Fish light sinkers and preferably a 2/0 to 3/0 92447 or 92554 Mustad with a 6-8kg outfit in a large wash and you should be in for

northeast and eastern front, North Curl Curl ledge about 70m north of the swimming pool and South Whale rocks at the Ovens about 1km walk past the southern side of the beach. The wash spots include Bluefish, South Curl Curl near the ramp, Turrametta near the pipe, and Bangalley at the main ledge. All these spots should be fished with extreme caution. Always have your spike boots and face the direction of where the ocean swell is coming from. Just a quick mention that the rock blackfish are on as well as the luderick. Pigs up to 51cm and luderick to 950g are on at Little Bluey at Manly, Long Reef, and Barrenjoey at the south face. Peeled prawns and white sliced bread are the go for the drummer, and cabbage weed for the luderick. BEACHES Catches at the Northern Beaches have been varied. Manly Beach has some great whiting but in smaller numbers. Curl Curl Beach, Dee Why has reasonable numbers; half a dozen fish with some bream thrown in. Warriewood (a beach not so frequently fished by the masses) has been producing good bags of whiting, as well as Mona Vale about 100m south of the pool. You can also try Bungan Beach and Whale beaches. Tailor are in reasonable numbers at Manly, Freshwater and Curl beaches. Further north at

Brendan Spinney with an 80cm king which smashed a 2oz Jet Popper. Poppers are awesome for the visual experience!

North Narrabeen in front of and near the surf club, North Palm Beach is producing a few tailor also. The occasional good bream is being caught on whole ganged pilchards. In recent weeks I have been using Flashing Gangs. They have tinsel on all three hook shanks, which acts as an attractor. They work well and have accounted for fish even when we’ve been baited, and you can check them out at your local tackle shop. A few smaller mulloway to about 9.2kg are being caught and this will continue in the next month. The bronze whaler sharks are normally part of the by-catch and will be for another month or so. Salmon numbers are on the increase but will not dominate the beaches until the water temps drop at least a few degrees. There have been salmon catches at Manly, Dee Why, Narrabeen, the North Narrabeen end, and the rarely fished Mona Vale and Palm Beach. With the migration of the mullet, whiting and bream, the bigger predators will be close by following the food trail up the coast. Go to your local wharf and use a light outfit, around that 2-3kg line class a split shot and a size 10

to 12 long-shank hook. Use small pilchard pieces, peeled prawns or just white bread. Have a good quality aerator and a bucket with a secure clip seal top. When you go on your mulloway missions, use a live bait for a change of pace. It could make all the difference. Add it to your other baits that you may be using on the night – whole squid, squid strips, large

squid heads and fish fillet like mullet or tailor. Go out of your way to using the freshest of baits. And if you purchase bait from a shop, use common sense when selecting what to buy. Is the skin of the fish shiny or dull? Are the eyes clear or sunken? It helps if you also know what colour the skin should be when that species is freshly caught. If you don’t know, hop on the ‘net

and look at some photos. Until next time, enjoy your fishing and take advantage of the diversity of species available. • For rock and beach guided fishing or tuition in the northern Sydney region, visit www. bellissimocharters. com, email alex@ or call Alex Bellissimo on 0408 283 616.

Shane’s 18kg Spanish mackerel caught on a trip with South West Rocks Fishing Adventures.


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Get down to grass tacks SYDNEY SOUTH

Gary Brown

May is a changeover month for our region. It’s a time when the beach angler can catch summer whiting, flathead, mulloway and dart one day and then salmon, tailor, bream or trevally the next. And as for the estuary anglers, they could be getting amongst dusky flathead, yellowfin whiting, flounder and bream on surface lures and then a few days later be pulling in luderick, garfish, mullet and trevally. May is a great month to fish – you just have to make sure that you are on top of what is going on in your local area. And if you are going to venture further afield you will need to carry out a fair bit of research. This could involve reading monthly reports from previous years, talking to your local tackle shop owner or, if you are heading to an area you haven’t visited before, send an email to one of the writers in this magazine. I am sure they would be happy to help you out. What I have done to

prepare myself for the fishing in May is to arrange a number of outfits at the ready. In my garage I have a luderick outfit all rigged up for chasing them off the rocks and in the estuary. Plus for the flathead, bream and trevally I have a couple of rods ready to go with soft plastics and blades, plus one or two ready to take when I go live baiting for them with poddy mullet. WEED AND SEAGRASS Different kinds of weed and or seagrass beds are found in every one of the estuary systems that I have fished in throughout Australia. They are the vital link in the life of an estuary, and if you have never fished in and around weed and seagrass beds you will be amazed at how much goes on there. Not only are they havens for small baitfish, they also hold larger feeding fish like bream, flathead, whiting, leatherjackets, trevally and luderick. You can find these weed and seagrass beds on the top or at the edges of sand flats, drop-offs, holes and at the edges of some mangrove systems. Bream, flathead, whiting, luderick and trevally will forage for food over and

around the edges of these weed and seagrass beds. On the southern side of Sydney you will find the Port Hacking. At low tide it has an area where the top of the seagrass beds are floating on the surface of the water, and as the tide rises these seagrass beds become covered with water once again. It is during this time that the bream move out of the deeper water on the fringes of this mass of seagrass beds and start to forage for food. This is the time when you start to work your soft plastics either across the top of the water or just above the tops of the weed bed. Soft stickbaits like the Berkley Bass Minnow (Power Minnow) or Gulp 2” Shrimps that have been fitted onto a 1/40 or 1/28 HWS jighead really come into their own in this situation. When it comes to Botany Bay, you will find these weed and seagrass beds at places like Towra Point, Yarra Bay, and off Silver and Brighton beaches. There are also plenty up the Cooks River near the ski club, Woronora River from Bonnet Bay to Prince Edward Park and in the Georges Rivers and places like Picnic Point and the Georges River State Park.

I still have that problem of whether to eat the squid or use it as bait. I usually eat the body and use the head for bait. Try anchoring up near one of these beds and lay out a berley trail so that it goes back over the beds. You can either drift an unweighted bait or suspend a bait under a float back over the weed bed – just remember to keep a steady stream of berley going. Due to the fact that May seems to be that crossover month from autumn to winter fish species, you will also find leatherjackets, mullet, squid and snapper start to school up in the estuaries and off the rocks.

Once again the weed beds over the flats would be a great place to start chasing mullet, but for the leatherjackets and squid I would start looking for where there is structure like mooring chains, wharves, pontoons, rocky reefs and kelp beds. The snapper in the estuaries of the Port Hacking, Botany and Bate bays seem to hole up in the deep water and I usually find that the larger soft plastics and blades will do the job.

In last month’s NSWFM Steve Morgan put in a small piece on keeping our wharves and jetties clean. Time and time again I have gone down to a number of wharves in my area only to find that other anglers have left a mess of fishing line, plastic bags, drink bottles and even fish frames. Both anglers and non-anglers use these places, and we have to keep them clean or our right to fish there could be taken away from us. It doesn’t take much effort to put the rubbish in the bin.





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Catch ‘em before it’s cold ILLAWARRA

Greg Clarke

It’s not struggle time yet but the parking at the local boat ramps seems to be much less congested than even a few weeks ago. That means more places to fish and much less traffic at a time when the fishing is still quite good for most species and not too cold. Offshore there should be some action on the

yellowfin tuna front around the shelf as the water cools. Last season the place went crazy for a while as the wide offshore ‘fin were pushed close enough to the coast for many anglers to have a crack at these incredible fish. If this season is anything like that we should have some fun. Yellowfin tuna are almost the ultimate sportfish, with blistering speed and staying power that can bring you to your knees. They also taste great and look sensational in

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the water. Not much looks better than the big golden flank of a solid yellowfin chugging on its side just below the surface, with its big yellow sickles flowing back to its tail. If the water cools a bit quicker then we could see a few early albacore mix it with the ‘fin, making for some extra entertainment on light gear. Don’t disregard marlin this month either, as it is big blue time. Many of the bigger fish of the season are hooked during May, with the often calm days allowing more time on the water chasing them. Striped marlin are quite common this month too and you still have the chance of a black if the water temp stays up and there is plenty of bait to hold them. The current should have backed off by now. If so, it will be worth a drop to the bottom for those deep water ooglies that won’t have had too much pressure over the warmer months, with the strong currents making getting a bait down to them very difficult. INSHORE Closer to shore there are the usual hordes of salmon in close to the headlands, bommies and islands. Casting ganged pilchards into the washes can be fun and very rewarding on the salmon. Tailor, a few kingfish and some nice snapper are on offer as well. Smaller unweighted baits of prawns or pieces of pilchard will pull trevally, bream and some nice drummer. If you want to concentrate on the snapper, pick your reef and berley. The Easter full moon was late this year so there should be a few reds still hanging about the shallows before they move to the slightly deeper reefs and start hunting the bait schools. Try larger soft

plastics around the schools of baitfish you find on the sounder. If you choose to use berley, beware – the small whaler sharks that are notorious for schooling at this time of year will be a pain. If they show up it’s time to move to another spot. Still, they are good tucker when they are in the 5-10kg range so you can always keep one for the BBQ before you move on. A few kingfish are hanging around the recognised spots and some of them are a good size for this season, with fish over 10kg about. Live squid will be the key to success this month but a live slimy will be hard to pass up too. Bonito can be a problem, with some larger fish hanging around where the kings like to be, making a mess of hard-won live baits. The bottom bouncers will score well this month. There are good numbers of sand flathead about and quite a few duskies in close after all the creeks and streams in the area were cleaned out by the big rains at the end of March, and they are still waiting for a big tide to try to get back in. Trevally, morwong, snapper, pigfish and samsonfish along with the usual sweep and leatherjackets and even the

Throwing bait into the washes does work, but throwing metals into the washes can produce some solid tailor like this. in May, and with bigger tides in the evenings it is a good time to target mulloway. Bombo in the south, Windang, Coniston,

gutters next to the rocks. Beach worms are great bait but fresh mackerel fillets will score plenty as well. The bonus of the beach


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A late arvo session on high tide should provide plenty of action on large sambos like this solid critter. odd teraglin over the reefs are making some of the boxes look pretty good. ROCK AND BEACH The beaches fish well

Corrimal and Thirroul will all be worth a look with fresh bait or big plastics. Bream are on the move as well so target the deeper

worms is you will pick up some of the whiting that hang about this late in the season. They are not great in numbers but

seasons as the drummer and trevally take hold, but not just yet as the bigger game species are very much a prime option off the deeper ledges. Northern bluefin tuna are often taken in May and because they travel so close to shore they are always a chance encounter in some of the less fashionable live bait spots.

Places like the Blowhole Point and Marsdens are prime locations. Cathedral Rocks, Windang Island and the south side of Bass Point are also worth a shot, as is the southern break wall at Port and Coalcliff rocks. Even in these places you will still get a few runs from kings and even more from bonito and salmon – you just have to put in the

There are still a fair few pan-sized reds over the reefs this month.


they do make up for that in size, with some real elbow-slappers about at the moment. The other usual culprits in the form of heaps of salmon are on almost every beach with a gutter, and some nice tailor are on the northern beaches during the evenings. For the rock hoppers we are right between

time. Top of the tide early morning sounds good. Drummer will be the main target for many as the water cools. Whether you’re fishing with weed under a float or royal reds or cunjevoi cast unweighted into the wash, there is one thing for certain: you will get smashed if there are any big ones about. I generally use 6kg tackle for drummer. Any heavier and the bites get less frequent, and anyway I go fishing not killing (if you’re that desperate for fish go to the fish market!). You will get dusted up a few times but if you’re skilled you will come out on top more often than not. Blackfish are in the washes too so the weed is always a good choice, and bream and trevally don’t mind the royal reds. Salmon and bonito will be cruising the deeper ledges as well, so a few casts with metals while waiting for the livey to get eaten will pass the time effectively. LAKE In the lake there are still some nice flatties about after the March fresh pushed everything down to the entrance, and the same can be said for Minnamurra. It was very

good fishing in the first few hundred metres of both these systems for a week or two but now there are mostly stragglers left behind, but stragglers are better than no fish at all.

Bream will be more active over the next few weeks before they move onto the weed beds around Primbee in the lake during June and get hammered by the pros. Good luck.

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Big knobbies make their move NOWRA

Wes Murphy

With the influx of rain into our local waterways in recent weeks we have seen the rivers get a really good flush out, and the water turned over after a very dry summer. This has given the aquatic life a fresh start as we head into the cooler months, which should see the bass and estuary perch making their move downstream a little early to start their

spawning run. Just a reminder that bass and EPs have a closed season from the start of June through to the end of August, so these guys are catch and release only. Most anglers have a selfimposed ban on fishing for them at this time anyway. This is the last month you can actively target them, and you can find out more at fisheries/recreational/ regulations. At this time of year I like to sneak up to the top end of Broughton Creek

towards Berry and target big black bream on soft plastics and minnow style divers. I do like to go a little old school and tie on an Attack lure, which was a big bream lure back in the day and still manages to slay its fair share of big bream. While up in Broughton, don’t forget to try some blades and plastics in some of the deeper holes, as it is well known for producing bag limits of flathead in single sessions (not that you have to keep your limit, of course). Meanwhile, back in the main river we have been hearing of captures of good mulloway from the usual haunts up and down the river. There’s no big secret to it, just fish an hour either side of the change of tides and eventually you should come up tight on a silver ghost. Out at the banks on the back of a bumper marlin

season, which was cut short by heavy rain, we are now seeing the return of some nice kings which are mainly being taken on metal jigs retrieved erratically. Also out wide we have started to gear up for the impending yellowfin and bluefin tuna run. If you’re looking to upgrade to some heavier gear to chase these hardfighting, barrel-sized silver beasts I recommend the new Shimano Saragosa 20000 as a great starting point. The cuttlefish bones are starting to wash up on the beaches, so this is a good indication that the big knobby snapper are starting to enter Jervis Bay. Both bait and plastics should see some good results, with fresh caught squid strips and 7” Jerkshads being the best choices. The fresh flush of water into the Basin has slowed things down on the eastern side, with the

Kerri Lee McGrath with a quality snapper caught on a plastic. majority of fish coming from around the islands. The Cranka Crab, which is finally in tackle stores, has been doing the damage. The cooler weather has seen the fish schooling up and moving deeper, so make sure you keep an eye on your sounder to find the feeding fish.

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Tim with a brace of bream from Broughton Creek.

A little further south at Burrill Lake the heavy rains caused the local council to open up the mouth of the lake. This has allowed for a good flush, and plenty of fish are using this time to transition from outside in and inside out. This has caused the flathead to stir up, and where the lake widens should see you finding the fish. Some good fun can be had from the river mouth or out at Gerroa with the salmon running at the moment. They’re great for the kids or the young at heart, and the preferred method is to use lighter gear and throw 5” white Jerkshads on 1/4oz jigheads and work the top quarter of the water column. Alternatively you can head to the beaches, find a gutter and lob out a metal jig and start a quick retrieve. If you want to keep some for the smoker or fish cakes, remember to bleed these fish quickly for a better tasting meal. That’s it for another month. Good times and tight lines!


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Electric Motors

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range due to the weight and size of the batteries. Lead-acid batteries have high weight (38 watt hours/ kilogram) and limited capacity when quickly discharged (60% at 1 hour). Newer battery technologies like lithium systems (e.g. LiFePO4 or Lithium polymer) offer up to seven times the performance of a lead-acid battery but they are expensive. These days electric outboards offer anglers a plethora of options to enhance their fishing. Sounders that attach to the

112lb Minn Kota ST i-Pilot

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MAY 2014

electric, sounders that link in to the electric, brackets that mount all sorts of accessories and more are all available these days. If you’ve never used an electric outboard, then you just have to try it out as soon as you possibly can. If you’re a convert, then you’ll understand just how brilliant these outboards are and how many more fish they allow you to catch on any given day. WHY YOU MUST HAVE ONE Electric outboards have quickly become the

norm on fishing boats. Any angler who fishes with lures would be lost without their electric outboard and it was exactly for these anglers that electric outboards were first designed. From a lure fisher’s point of view the advantages an electric outboard offers include such things as silent, or near silent running that allows you to get close to fish and structure without spooking them with outboard noise. The ability to minutely control your position on a target is perhaps the

corrosive effects, thanks to premium-grade marine alloys and aluminium upper arms. With a push to test battery meter, the battery-extending power of Digital Maximizer (on selected models) and unmatched corrosion protection, Riptide Transom means fish are out of places to hide.

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New Watersnake Venom Transom

The Watersnake Venom SXW electric motors provide saltwater anglers with a range of tillersteer, transom-mount motors. The range comprises five motors. The 34lb and 54lb in the 26” design are perfect for canoes, tenders, inflatable boats and small tinnies. The 34lb/30”, 44lb/36” and 54lb/42” are suited to boats ranging from small tenders and tinnies up to dedicated estuary and inshore sportfishing boats. The 34lb motors have a two-blade propeller. The 44lb and 54lb motors run a three-blade propeller. All the motors run on 12V power and operate with five forward and three reverse speeds. The head design incorporates a thicker, ergonomic grip for the tiller handle. The design also includes a digital voltage meter display. The grips on the alloy transom mount have also been upgraded, making it even easier to attach and secure the motor. The shafts on all Venom SXW motors are an extra-tough composite constructed for use in saltwater marine environments. The tiller handles are telescopic for versatility, comfort and control. Price: from $279

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Electric Motors

112 POUNDS OF GRUNT Minn Kota® i-Pilot™ motors are already known for dominating the fishing scene. So why build a new i-Pilot™ with 112 pounds of thrust? So that bigger boats can take advantage of the i-Pilot’s GPS Spot-Lock function. Forget anchoring offshore, let Minn Kota® hold your boat in position or steer your favourite troll run while you catch fish. The new 112lb 36V ST i-Pilot™ is the only 112lb motor on the market and with a huge 60” shaft it changes the way larger trailer boats fish offshore. It’s the standard that the other guys keep chasing. Meanwhile, we’ll keep taking you Anywhere. Anytime.

and use a shallow setting for your electric motor and slip over incredibly shallow water. The most modern of electric outboards these days can hold you in the one position, much like an anchor. This feature is sensational when you really want to hone in on an area of fishy activity. If you’re fishing for flathead, bream or mulloway in an esturay down south, chasing barra, jacks and fingermark up north, or plying your trade on bass, barra, cod and goldens in a lake, holding position while you work a school of fish or structure is invaluable. These same modern electrics can return you to a productive location after you hook a fish and drift

away from the location. Bream tournament anglers first cottoned onto this feature when chasing their quarry over rock bars in Tasmania. Tournament anglers were hooking good fish, drifting away with the current to fight and land the fish, then, by a simple button press, returned to the productive location and continued to catch more bream. To say an electric outboard is amongst the most important tools for a tournament angler is certainly not an understatement. With these few examples, hopefully you too have seen the light and have a better understanding of the role electric outboards play in modern fishing scenarios.

From the smallest unit for a single person canoe, all the way up to 36V megaunits that strap on to the back of boats and provide up to 15hp of equivalent power, there is an electric outboard to suit your needs and a range of accessories to make any day on the water a better day. Get into your local boat dealership, spend some time on the net and discover just what is available out there in electric land. Oh yeah, once you commit to the electric outboard of your dreams, make sure it is coupled with suitable cabling and the best batteries you can afford as both of these accessories will allow your electric outboard to perform to its optimum in the harsh Australian fishing environment. - FMG



MAY 2014


most appreciated feature of modern day electric outboards. If you want to approach a snag quietly and get into exactly the right position before you cast, then you must have an electric outboard. Other features that make electric outboards a fantastic accessory to your boat include the ability to retrieve snagged terminal tackle quickly and efficiently - again quietly and with minimal disturbance to the fish. Electric outboards are also fantastic when you need to traverse really shallow water. Instead of running your main motor on a high trim setting and pumping sand, mud and grit through your water cooling system, you can trim the main motor out of the way



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SUBSCRIBER PRIZE The subscriber prize winner for March was C Parsons of Yellow Rock, who won a High Definition Blue Mirror Lens from Tonic Eyewear. All subscribers are entered in the monthly subscriber prize draws. Prize delivery takes up to 8 weeks. – NSWFM


BITE ME by Trisha Mason

The Find the Black Magic C-Point Hook prize winners for March were J Neilson of Rochester, D Fryer of Castle Hill, D Miller of Cobar, C Ramage of Davistown, K Burgess of North Haven, L Jeffs of Gateshead, J Cross of Mondrook, D Harvey of Burringbar, A Roestoef of Narraweena, B Rutledge of Orange, W Forbes of Nambucca Heads, G Minett of Taree, P Sodermans of Silverdale, J Stranner of Rose Bay, L Bedingfield of Merimbula, M Joyce of Queanbeyan, K Chubb of Caringbah, G Ashcroft of Dubbo, C Snowden of North St Mary’s, L Lawson of Kingswood, B Hall of Balgownie, R Cooper of Forster, V Dimento of Punchbowl, A Hepper of Iluka, J Blevins of Harrington, D Ryall of Singleton, L Slick of Taree, S Mulcahy of Taree, P Kennedy of Raymond Terrace, B Offley of Wollongbar, J Wicks of Cootamundra, A Grcic of Raymond Terrace, M McLeay of South Lismore, R Webster of Booral, A Bird of Wattle Flat, D Johnston of Bulahdelah, G Trinder of Emerald Beach, N Webster of Kurrajong Heights, B Bailey of Ulladulla, J Wall of Narooma, N Bryant of North Albury, G Wise of Greenwell Point, T Kennedy of Summerland Point, A Brayshaw of Tumut, B Newham of Penrith, G Stanfield of Dural, M Kelly of Waratah West, B Cooper of Boorowa, P Allen of Beacon Hill, P Ashbury of Liberty Grove, who each won a packet of Black Magic C-Point Hooks valued at $5.95! Prize delivery takes up to 8 weeks. – NSWFM


The answers to Find the Black Magic C-Point Hook for March were: 8, 12, 18, 22, 24, 33, 42, 52, 54, 63, 67, 72, 80, 81, 86. – NSWFM

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


Tech Tricks

Which wire to use and when BRISBANE

Gordon Macdonald

For anglers specifically targeting species with razor sharp dentures, wire is necessary to avoid high tackle losses. There are several types of wire that can be used for various fishing applications and each can require differing ways to affix or secure them to your tackle. Additionally, there is a lot of confusion as to which type of wire is best suited for what application. To address

this, let’s have a look at some of the different wires and the best way to use them in our rigging applications. WHY WIRE? Many anglers overuse wire in their rigging, even in situations where they don’t actually need wire. If you are simply bait fishing in the estuaries targeting the usual suspects such as bream, flathead, whiting, mulloway and the like, you do not need wire leaders. Sure, you may get bitten off on occasion by a small whaler shark or big toadfish, but you don’t really want to land them anyway.

Lighter nylon coated wire can be snelled onto a hook if necessary. SINGLE STRAND SOFT WIRE This is probably the least used wire in the fishing arena but it does have its applications, mainly for bait rigging. This shiny stainless steel wire is very pliable and is pretty much like a thinner version of fencing or tie wire. It is often used when you are rigging baits for securing hook rigs or head weights to the baitfish. Additionally, for the home lure maker it can

be used for forming towing eyelets in minnow lures or for the wire that runs through chromed slugs cast from molten lead. It can easily be twisted but has a relatively low breaking strain for its diameter so it’s generally not used for leaders. This singlestrand wire is available in quite high breaking strains and diameters yet most fishers wouldn’t have use for anything over 80lb.

By using wire you’ll greatly decrease your chances of enticing and hooking the desirable species you came to target in the first place. The same can be said when fishing in more open bay waters and further offshore, especially when fishing for demersal species such as snapper, sweetlip, pearl perch, red emperor, teraglin and the like. You do not need wire leaders; monofilament or fluorocarbon is a much better option. All up, it is doubtful that you need wire in your rigs unless you are targeting toothy HI-TENSILE SINGLE STRAND Often called piano wire, this single-strand, hi-tensile wire is generally a dark brown colour, which reduces its visibility in the water. It is commonly used as a leader for rigged trolling baits and some lures. Due to its hi-tensile nature it is generally not used in long lengths as it can kink easily and will snap if kinked and straightened a couple of times. Those anglers who do persist in using piano wire in longer lengths, such as for leaders on rigged trolling baits for targeting Spanish mackerel and the like, will generally use it only once or twice and then replace it, to avoid the risk of it snapping. Piano wire is relatively cheap and has a fairly thin diameter for its breaking strain. Due to its hi-tensile nature it is a little harder to work with than soft wire. The best way to secure it to a swivel or hook is to use a haywire twist. This

critters such as mackerel, sharks, wahoo, large tailor, dogtooth tuna and the like. In some circumstances, such as when you are aiming to catch tailor, school mackerel and spotted mackerel, wire is desirable however it is likely to decrease your strike rate. Therefore many anglers will not use wire and will sacrifice the occasional lost fish in lieu of an increased initial strike rate. For situations where you do need serious bite protection, there are numerous varieties of wire to choose from. Let’s look at each wire and how it is best used in your rig.

There is a broad array of wires used for fishing applications and each has its own attributes, uses and method of affixing.

There are haywire twist tools available to make the task of securing hitensile wire a lot easier. can be achieved by hand, with many brands of wire displaying instructions on the back of the packaging on how to complete the haywire twist. Additionally, there are tools to help complete this task. Du Bro and American Fishing Wire companies both make tools to easily do the haywire twist. To complete a haywire twist you fold the wire back around itself and then make 3 or 4 loosely spaced wraps before doing 8 to 10 tight wraps with each wrap hard against the last. Ensure to

The haywire twist is the best way to secure hi-tensile piano wire. NYLON-COATED WIRE Generally used for short term situations, such as shark fishing leaders, nylon-coated wire lacks the durability of many of the other wires. It is basically a multi-strand wire with a nylon coating. Once the nylon coating is torn or broken, saltwater can penetrate onto the low grade stainless wire underneath, which will rust fairly quickly. The nylon coating makes it nearly impossible to wash the wire effectively. As a result, it is best to only use this wire once or twice. It is not recommended for lure leaders or applications where the rig is used repeatedly. This wire is ideal for making bait fishing leaders and snelled-hook rigs for shark fishing because the nylon coating decreases the amount of electrolysis

that is created in the water when saltwater meets metal. Sharks have sensitive gel-filled glands around their snout area called ampullae of Lorenzini, which are exceptionally sensitive to electrolysis. Therefore, nylon-coated wires are better than any other wire for shark fishing applications. Nylon-coated wire can be crimped to secure with brass, copper or aluminium crimps. It is fairly pliable in lighter breaking strains (up to 135lb) and can be snelled onto hooks with a basic snell. For heavy tackle shark fishing it is often used in breaking strains up to 600lb. When crimping this heavier wire (which has a thick coating), you are best to remove the coating so the crimp is hard against the wire, otherwise the connection may slip.

Crimps are metal tubes, which are constricted around the wire using a swaging tool. 49-STRAND WIRE As its name suggests, 49-nine strand wire is made up of 49-nine individual strands of wire. The individual strands are much smaller in diameter than those found in 7-strand wire. It is made up of 7 lots of 7 strands twisted together to make up a single length of wire, which is why it is often referred to as 7x7. The stainless content is generally higher than 1x7 wire and it is a lot

more flexible and pliable. As such, it is used for a variety of applications including leaders on larger trolling lures (especially metal headed skirted lures) and for attaching a second hook in a shackle rig used in resin-head skirts. Crimps are used to secure 7x7 wire, which is used in breaking strains up to 875lb for various fishing applications, especially when rigging heavy tackle marlin lures.

initially leave a long enough tag end to make it easier to complete this task. When all your wraps are done, you remove the remaining tag end of wire. If you cut it off with a pair of side-cutters you’ll find there is a sharp end remaining, which can be dangerous. A better way to remove it is by rocking it backwards and forwards a few times. It will snap off clean without leaving a rough or sharp finish. Some good uses for

7-STRAND WIRE This multi-strand wire is often referred to as 1x7 as it is made from 7 individual strands of wire which are twisted together to form a single, reasonably pliable wire. Some brands of these wires are heated to darken them and make them a copper brown colour, which is believed to be less visible in the water than silver wire. They are a lower grade of stainless than some other wires on the market but will still last a decent time if washed in fresh water after use. The main uses for 7-strand wires are leaders for lures and large trolling baits and some hook rigs. To secure multi-strand wire properly you should use a crimp. This is basically a tubular metal sleeve (generally copper or brass) that is reduced in CONCLUSION As you now aware, there are many types of wire that can be used in various fishing situations. However, if you don’t specifically need wire in your rig then don’t use it, because it can deter some fish from biting your bait or striking your lure. A monofilament or fluorocarbon leader is a better option in most

piano wire are for short traces on chromed slugs and trolling lures or rigged trolling baits. It is also ideal for adding a stinger hook to a bait, especially for live bait rigs for tailor or mackerel. Singlestrand wire is the stiffest and hardest wire and is much less likely to be bitten through than multistrand wires, yet it lacks flexibility. Breaking strains up to 120lb are commonly available.

Multi-strand wires are crimped to secure them. It is best to remove the coating from heavy nylon-coated wire when crimping to ensure the strongest connection. diameter with a swaging tool. The benefit of multistrand wire is that it is fairly flexible, therefore it will not snap as easily as singlestrand wire when repeatedly flexed. Commonly available breaking strains for 7-strand wire go up to 135lb. situations than wire. However, if you definitely do need wire, choosing the correct one should now be fairly easy if you can actually remember the contents of this article! You can save this article for future reference or, if it becomes fish and chip wrapper, head down to your specialist tackle store for advice on which wire when. MAY 2014


It’s time to hook in! NSW STH COAST

Steve Starling

Fish hooks are arguably the most important items of tackle we use, yet their selection is often overlooked or placed well down the list when gearing up. A little common hook sense goes a long way toward improving your catch rates. In its purest form, fishing is a simple business. All you really need is a length of line with a hook at the end. Sure, a bit of bait helps, as does having a reel to store your line on, and a rod to cast and control the rig, but none of these fancier items is truly essential. Ancient fishers had no choice but to keep their rigs simple. Centuries ago, lines were fashioned by plaiting vines, plant fibres or animal hairs. At the end of these lines, ancient anglers lashed a piece of bone, a splinter of fire-hardened wood or a shard of stone. This device, called a gorge, was intended to jam inside the mouth of any fish silly enough to bite and hold on. In many cases, bait was unnecessary, especially if the gorge was jiggled about to imitate a kicking critter (obviously, fish were pretty dumb in those days!). Anglers of old worked out that pieces of shell made the most successful gorges and also acted as rudimentary lures, thanks to their shiny colours. Eventually, your smarterthan-average primitive fisher realised that a curved or bent piece of broken shell was more likely to catch in the mouth of a fish. Thus the fish hook was born! Interestingly, the Olde English name for this fancy bent or curved gorge was angle, hence the name of our sport today: angling. A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since our Neanderthal whiz kid fashioned his first crude, curved lure from a shiny sliver of shell and out-fished everyone else in

the village. With the coming of the various metal ages, making strong, sharp angles or hooks became easier and, for centuries now, metal has been the accepted material for making fish hooks. Modern hooks range from tiny bits of metal intended to catch tiddlers up to giant contraptions that appear capable of stopping an ocean liner. Every size of hooks has a corresponding number that refers to the width of the gap or gape of the hook (the

The seemingly backwards sizing system, with the hook gape increasing as the number describing it decreases, continues until we hit the No. 1 hook, which is a useful, all-purpose size for catching flathead, drummer and trevally in saltwater, or bass and yellowbelly in freshwater. Hooks larger than No. 1 are described by an ascending series of numbers followed by a slash and a zero. For example, the next

The author with a black drummer taken from the ocean rocks on a heavy gauge No. 1 hook. covered by hooks in the range of sizes from 12 to 10/0. Hooks smaller than No. 12 are mainly used by trout fly fishers making imitations of tiny insects, whereas sizes larger than 10/0 are the sole province of heavy tackle game fishers. As the variation in size between each hook number is small, you can easily skip sizes when putting together a basic collection of hooks. The following sizes cover the vast majority of popular Australian angling situations: 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 1, 2/0, 4/0, 6/0 and 8/0. If you only intend to fish in freshwater or estuaries, bays and harbours, you can also probably skip those 6/0s and 8/0s.

Ouch! A broken fly hook cost the author a good fish. Evidence of rust explains why the hook failed under pressure.

This little snapper was taken on a longshanked hook. Different hook shapes suit various baits and target species. distance across the bend from point to shank) rather than the overall dimensions of the hook. The most confusing part of the sizing system is the fact that the smallest hooks have the biggest numbers. For example, a No. 24 hook is a little bigger than the head of a pin, whereas a No. 12 hook is larger, and is just about perfect for catching yellowtail, mullet and garfish, while a No. 2 hook is significantly larger again and is excellent for targeting bream or various freshwater perch.

size up from a No. 1 is a 1/0, then comes the 2/0, next the 3/0 and so on. The biggest hooks — used for catching sharks, marlin and giant tuna — are in the 18/0 to 20/0 range. As a matter of interest, Australians pronounce the larger hook sizes as one-oh, two-oh, three-oh and so on, whereas in America, the same sizes are called one-ought, two-ought and three-ought. The vast majority of fishing situations encountered by Australian anglers are adequately

This silver trevally fell for a pilchard rigged on a pair of snelled or ‘snooded’ suicide or octopus pattern hooks.




MAY 2014

Tech Tricks

Setting up for cephalopods BRISBANE

Gordon Macdonald

A species that has been hotly targeted in recent years, especially by landbased anglers, squid are a tasty treat that can be dead easy to catch one day and nearly impossible the next. There is no denying that squid and other cephalopod species can be hard to catch at times, especially in hard fished waters. With the cooler months upon us you’ll notice a healthy increase in squid numbers, so let’s explore the tackle required and the techniques that will give you the best chance of a calamari feast. There are a few different ways to catch squid from landbased or boating perspectives.

While many anglers try to catch the largest squid they can (although perhaps not ship-grabbing size), I find the smaller ones to be much better eating, although you do need to catch a few more for a decent feed. EGI EXCELLENCE Once only called ‘squid jigs’ in Australia, the Japanese term ‘egi’ (meaning wooden lure) has quickly caught on. These prawn-profiled jigs have small feather pectoral additions and several rows of razor sharp barbs at the rear. They can have various coatings and each egi angler has different theories as to their usage. Slick plastic outers are designed so the squid’s grabbing tentacles (often called candles) easily slide along the jig and onto the jags on the initial strike. Various cloth coatings, on

Spiral snaps and similar clips make rapid jig changes easy. This is important when the squid are refusing your egi and you need to change it. Squid are commonly tempted with an egi (a slowly sinking prawn-profiled lure with rows of barbs at the rear) or a squid skewer (a metal rod with a series of barbs at the rear which is pushed through a bait). Both of these can be very successful when used correctly in a host of locations. Speaking of locations, where would you look to catch a few squid? Basically, cephalopods (a class of molluscs that includes squid and cuttlefish) love clean, clear water, especially around areas with structure such as weed beds, reefs, rubble grounds, rock walls and other manmade structures that provide cover and ambush spots. In open water areas, check out the weed banks, shallows around the islands and foreshores and also within any canal developments or at the mouths of major river systems. Squid can be taken from exceptionally shallow or very deep water. There are roughly 300 species of cephalopods worldwide, however in my neck of the woods (Southern Queensland), we mainly catch tigers, bottles, arrows and a few others. Some species in other parts of the world can reach gargantuan proportions, with many mariner tales over the years of gigantic squid grabbing ships and trying to pull them beneath the water.

the other hand, are theorised to make the jig feel more like a real prawn or fish. It is believed that the squid will hold onto the jig longer with

light it becomes 1-1.5ºC warmer than the surrounding water, and this slight heat difference is similar to that of a prawn or baitfish. Egi are generally worked with a series of abrupt hops (depending on water depth) or even a slow wind with the occasional pause. When you get a squid strike, pause momentarily, allowing the squid to pull the jig back to the main body, which will provide the most secure hook-up. Then lift the rod positively to set the barbs. From here you just need to wind slowly to secure your prize. Do not pump the rod as this will produce momentary slack line and give the squid the opportunity to eject the jig from its tentacles, as the egi’s spikes don’t have barbs. Egi can vary greatly in size from 1.2 to 10.0, but the average angler would rarely use one larger than 4.0. Each of these sizes can come in various sink rates and a plethora of colours and base effects. Quality egi (generally Japanese brands) have sharper and finer barbs, better coatings, more realistic eyes, controlled sink rates and much better actions in the water compared to the cheaper offerings. You should expect to pay at least $15 for a quality egi, with some costing in excess of $30. It is much better to have a few quality egi than a whole box of cheap ones. Remember that squid of all species can be very shy, and several egi changes may be required before you get a take, or another flat refusal, so having a few different ones will be a bonus. In the

Egi come in numerous sizes, coatings, base finishes, sink rates and colours. A good selection can sometime make the difference between enticing a strike or receiving constant refusals. the grabbing tentacles and will quickly pull the jig in to obtain a more secure purchase with its shorter holding tentacles as it readies to eat the prey. This is the best time to strike, setting the barbs securely into the cluster of tentacles. This will usually guarantee you landing the squid, because the barbs rarely ever come out when the squid is hooked like this. Yamashita, a major manufacturer of quality egi, have come up with a coating called Tactywarm. When exposed to UVA and UVB

hard worked areas such as Manly foreshore, Wellington Point, Victoria Point and Scarborough the squid seem to get harder to tempt as the winter months roll on, due to the pressure and huge number of squid jigs that they see. In shallow coastal foreshore zones, harbours, canals and numerous other areas, many anglers use high powered spotlights and head torches to locate the squid before they even cast a jig. I must admit to doing this regularly myself and while it

can be extremely effective, you will also spook a lot of squid before you have a chance to cast at them. Blind casting, i.e. working over areas that you think may hold squid without actually seeing them first, is becoming a less used technique in these zones. I think that’s a mistake. With a spotlight you only see those squid close to the water’s surface, not those deeper down lurking around the rock walls and weed beds in ambush mode. Blind casting can be extremely effective in a host of areas, especially those spots with suitable cover, baitfish congregations or a prominent current that is likely to bring food sources (and squid) into the area. Like many other species, I find squid easier to tempt in areas with current as they will usually pounce aggressively on a well presented egi in their vicinity. Out into the more open bay areas, the squidding can also be very good with some key spots regularly holding squid. The shallow reef and rubble areas around the bay islands (Peel, Mud, Bird, Goat, Green, King and so on) and the weed beds along Moreton and Stradbroke are well worth investigating. In these very shallow zones you are best to use a slow sinking egi with either a slow wind or a series of small hops. SKEWERED SQUID Skewers (sometimes called ‘jags’) are a metal rod with a several rows of upward facing barbs on one end. This rod is generally pierced lengthways through a whole fish (pilchard, slimy mackerel and suchlike) and then suspended a metre or more beneath a float. They can even be cast out and slowly retrieved. In fast flowing water and when cast and retrieve fishing I like to put the tail closest to the barbs and in calmer waters the other way around. Using a near neutral buoyancy float guarantees the squid can pull the it under the water easily when it grabs the bait. When you see the float disappear, lift the rod firmly to set the barbs and then slowly wind to retrieve your prize. In the deeper zones, or when drift fishing in the channels and around the bay islands, baited skewers can be used to tempt cephalopods of all kinds. It is an easy and very relaxed way of securing a few squid from either a boating or land-based perspective. SPECIALIST SQUIDDING As previously mentioned, squid can be dead easy to tempt at times, yet extremely fussy on other occasions. It is when the going is tough that the little things, especially in terms of tackle, technique and rigging, can make a big difference.

The prize for a few hours’ effort – some tasty squid. Braided line is commonly used for squidding but light fluorocarbon, direct to the jig, can be used also. Many of the braids designed specifically for squidding are colours that have low visibility to squid or in camouflaged colours. Light fluorocarbon leaders are low visibility and are highly recommended, especially in the shallows. For rapid jig changes, especially when you are getting refusals and need to present a new offering quickly, spiral snaps and similar fastenings make the task a breeze. Specialised egi rods are generally7’6” to 9’6” long and have tips designed for efficient casting of a designated range of jig weights. Their tapers are designed to absorb the lunges of a hooked cephalopod to avoid tearing out the barbs. This is aided by the use of reels with precision drag settings (similar to the finesse reels used for tournament bream fishing) which allow fine and accurate drag settings.

However, you can still throw a few jigs around on your average bream or light plastics rod and achieve good results. CONCLUSION Squidding is a challenging and exciting way to secure a tasty feed of squid and cuttlefish or just have a bit of fun. It can be done at a host of locations from either a boat or the shore which makes it accessible to most anglers. I regularly squid fish from the shore at night during the cooler months and you would be surprised at some of the places where you can catch a few squid in the canals, harbours and along rocks wall. As the inshore waters cool with the onset of winter and clear up due to the effects of westerly winds, the squid fishing will improve dramatically. Get yourself a few quality egi or a skewer and get in on the action. You might find that you enjoy it so much that you will be buying some more specialised tackle before long.

Skewers can be baited and suspended below a near neutral buoyancy float when fishing from the shore or drifting in a boat. MAY 2014


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Grab a snapper off the rocks BATEMANS BAY

Anthony Stokman

The following report was compiled by Rodney Stokman while Anthony was on holidays. Anthony will be resuming his reports later in the year. This season’s marlin fishing was a bit hit-and-

miss up until a few weeks ago, where it took off with good reports of marlin out on the shelf and inside. With mu ltip le hook-ups being the norm, congratulations have to go to Dave Hammond fishing on the boat Tug-O-War after breaking his drought and scoring his first marlin. It was a 99kg striped marlin

Stewart Ward caught this 4kg snapper off the rocks north of Batemans Bay.

Dave Hammond’s first marlin, a 99kg stripe.

caught in 60 fathoms of water near the Batemans Bay FAD. There have also been good numbers of mahi mahi (dolphinfish) out there this season. It has been one of the best years on mahi mahi around this area I can remember for a long time. People have been catching them on skirts trolling for marlin, and most of the bigger fish have been caught this way. However, the lion’s share of dollies have been caught around the FAD. They are not massive fish around the FAD but there have been plenty of them. OFFSHORE Kingfish have been hot and cold lately, and when you do manage to get among them there have been a lot of rats. Still, I have seen a few photos of some big fish of late. Most people have been heading south to Narooma as the king fishing has seemed to kick off in recent weeks. Snapper fishing has been reasonable with most of the better fish being caught in close. I know of some guys having a good session last week in only 5m of water. ROCK AND BEACH Salmon fishing is a little on the slow side at the moment, but the real treat on the northern rocks of Batemans Bay is the tailor, with most fish around 2kg. Snapper fishing off the rocks has been excellent as well. There have been a lot of good size pan fish of 1-2kg, and fish of 4kg or more are not uncommon either, so it’s worth setting out a snapper bait as you spin a metal lure for the tailor. A small squid or octopus tentacle set on a paternoster rig cast over the rock drop-off is all you need to catch one of these nice snapper. Alternatively you can float an unweighted pilchard, which often does the trick for me. However, that is hands-on fishing and you can’t cast a lure at the tailor like you can with the paternoster rig. Beaches around the river

mouth have been fishing better since the rain, as the fresh pushed a lot of prawns and bait fish out the front. RIVERS AND ESTUARY With the big push of fresh water after the rain we have had, there is a real mixed bag of fish around the entrance of the Clyde River. I have even heard of estuary perch being caught at the first lot of racks near Bud Island. There have been plenty of trevally from Mogo Creek to the entrance, flathead in deeper water due to the fresh and bream around the oyster racks as well. However, my choice would be to fish the rock bars at the entrance of the river, as that is where most of the bream are held up. 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).

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Fishing after the fresh NAROOMA

Stuart Hindson

Finally the Narooma region has received some much-needed rain. With so much fresh about a lot of anglers will give the fishing a miss, especially in the estuaries. Do this at your own peril! Some of my best days have been when the water looked more like chocolate than clear saltwater. Sure, it depends on where you fish but what’s more important is how you target them. I’d be concentrating in estuaries that don’t have rivers or larger creeks feeding them in the upper reaches. The fresh that flows from here will certainly put them off

just to the south of Narooma. All these estuaries will fish well for snapper, bream and flathead, with soft plastics, blades and fresh baits all working at various times. The lower sections towards the estuary mouths will be best for the bait anglers, especially in Corunna Lake. Every time we have a downpour like this, this great little system certainly fires up, with bream usually in great numbers. At Wallaga Lake the snapper should really fire up; it was excellent before the rain so it will only be better now I reckon. If Wagonga is your choice I would leave it for a bit until it clears somewhat. If you can’t, the channels on the Eastern side of the Highway bridge on a flooding tide would be the go. Again bait anglers

get better as the weeks pass. I for one will be flogging it hard, with mulloway the fish of choice to target. This rain won’t do any harm to our chances with this majestic species. As long as there’s bait there the jewies shouldn’t be too far away. OFFSHORE The kings have really picked up over the last few weeks which is awesome to see for all offshore boaties. The kings are averaging 75-85cm, solid fish and a welcome change to the undersized models that have plagued the Island over previous months. The kings are responding to jigs, live bait and squid. Every day is a little different but live bait seems to be getting the bigger fish on a more consistent basis. This red-hot action should

Andy Kolber and the boys with Andy’s 13kg mulloway taken on a softie. The fish was released in great condition to fight another day. the chew for a week or so until it clears a bit. Look at estuaries like Mummaga, Corunna and Wallaga Lake

should do OK, with striped tuna cubes and fresh prawns the better baits to use. The main basin will only


continue over the coming weeks. As long as the current keeps pushing south, the kings should bite.


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Out wider, game anglers have had good results when the weather has allowed. The water temperature is hovering between 22-23ºC, very warm and perfect for marlin. All three marlin species have been caught, though stripes from 70-100kg are the most common. Trolling skirted lures and switch baiting with live slimy mackerel have again been the best methods for the beakies. The fish have been widespread along the shelf, though the Tuross canyons and Kink grounds have had some memorable days of late. There have been reports of yellowfin tuna but the fish are on the smaller side. Big tuna don’t really like hot water so wait another month or so if that’s what you want to target. When the temperature drops to 19ºC I expect the jumbos to turn up. Going by all reports we’re in for a cracking southern bluefin year as well, if the tuna down south make our coastline home

over coming months. I can’t wait! ROCK AND BEACH The beaches will continue to fish well for salmon and tailor, with enough bream, whiting and mullet to keep things interesting. Live beach worms and pipis have been the stand-out baits, with a lot of salmon being caught on both lures and blue surf poppers fished on a paternoster rig. A few mulloway are still being caught up at Tuross off the beach, but a lot of time has to be put in to consistently get results. The guys who put in the hard yards chasing these majestic fish deserve every one they catch; they put in the time and get the rewards. There have also been quite a few gummy sharks around. I’ve heard of a few fish around 10kg caught by anglers fishing for mulloway so an evening session targeting them might just be worthwhile. Off the stones the pelagic action will be in full swing.

It can be like a lottery off the rocks at the minute with kingfish, northern bluefin tuna, mackerel tuna, bonito, striped tuna and even the outside chance of a yellowfin tuna all possible opponents. A lot will depend on prevailing currents, water temperature, and bait activity as to how close the tuna will travel inshore, but fingers crossed those ideal conditions will prevail and the rock hoppers get their just rewards. Ideal places to fish are the golf course rocks in town and the front ledge at Mystery Bay to the south of Narooma. Using live yellowtail or slimy mackerel underneath a bobby cork or balloon would be the best method to tangle with a tuna or kingfish, but throwing chromed slices up to 50g could also work. If the tuna don’t play the game there will be endless salmon to catch. Whole pilchards on ganged hooks or chromed slices up to 40g should do the trick.

Hail the deluge Kevin Gleed

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We can expect more good bream like these over coming weeks with all the rain we have had.

After months without any rain it has finally happened! The rain moved its way down the coast and so far the Eden area is coping a heap. It’s definitely needed as the rivers and creeks were looking very low and barely flowing. The past month there has been some good fishing offshore with striped marlin and yellowfin tuna. The tuna have been only small, around 10kg, but the coming months should see the fishing improve as the bigger fish put in an appearance. As the water cools off, the southern bluefin tuna

will pass by the Eden Coast giving anglers a last chance at a big fish before things quieten down over the winter months. Closer to shore there has been the odd day when the kingfish have been on the chew, but all in all this has been the worst season for the kingies in the past few years. The inshore reef fishing has been good with plenty of snapper and morwong catches. Reports of sand flathead and tiger flathead are coming in from down in Disaster Bay; it’s a long way to travel but if you pick your day it’s well worth it. The salmon are about along the beaches. As the temps cool, their numbers will only increase and the winter months will see these fish enter the estuary systems eating everything in sight.

Paul Henry with a great estuary perch caught on a surface lure. Considering they have no commercial value, there is nothing to keep their numbers in check, which is not a good situation for any fish smaller than a salmon such as baby whiting, estuary perch, etc. The estuaries have been fishing well with sand whiting taking nippers and worms. The entrance area is the go

with the last of the run-out tide. The best flathead have still been taking lures with yellowfin bream and black bream around the oyster leases and rocky edges. The bass will enjoy the good rains; with the river levels up, the fish are able to move freely from pool to pool.

Merimbula May madness MERIMBULA

Stuart Hindson

The local beaches around the Merimbula region are fishing extremely well at present, with some thumping big salmon being caught. Most fish are falling to pillies rigged on ganged 4/0 hooks on an Ezy Rig combination. Paternoster rigs with a bait/surf popper combination are also producing some outstanding results. Fish to 3kg are plentiful, with the odd salmon to 4.5kg being captured. All beaches are holding fish, but the two hotspots at present are the main beach at Tura and North Bournda just south of Wallagoot Lake. Look for the deeper gutters which are plentiful after the big seas and rain of late, and concentrate your efforts on the flooding tide and you should be in business. Tailor are also around but the average size is quite small at the moment. Over the next few months we can expect bigger tailor to show up. I’ve heard some good reports of bream and decent flathead coming from the Pambula River mouth entrance also. Live beach worms are the pick of the baits, with pilchard, bluebait, and larger soft plastics accounting for some of the flatties. The rock hoppers have been doing well with quality blackfish, drummer, bream and groper succumbing to fresh baits. The drummers are up to 2kg – solid fish

and formidable opponents at this size. Cunjevoi, red crabs and cabbage weed are the best baits, and a little berley in the washes here will also increase catch rates. Expect these bread and butter species to only get better as the water cools and we head into the cooler months. Short Point is again the gun spot to wet a line! May’s a super time for the rock spin die-hards to throw metal around. Mac

any metal chromed slice up to 50g working. It pays to have a selection of lures on hand; what works one day doesn’t always work the next. It may pay to soak a live bait too, especially for a decent kingfish. There have been a few around and every May some solid models get caught off the rocks here. Offshore, yellowfin tuna will be around as the water temperature hovers around 20ºC. May is the

skirted pushers is ideal as you cover a lot of water. Once you locate the fish, try reverting to berley, cubes and live bait, as it can pay massive dividends at times. There have been a few tuna to 30kg captured recently by sportfishers targeting marlin but now is the time to target that jumbo. Snapper will continue to chew on the inshore reefs, with all the usual haunts producing fish. Use fresh tuna, pilchards

Moods with a solid bream taken on a plastic, one of 16 caught for the morning session. leatherjackets also. Both Merimbula and Pambula Lakes are still producing the goods, with bream, flathead, blackfish and still the occasional school jew being caught. Bait and lures have both been working well, but fresh bait has certainly out-fished the lure fishos of late. Pambula is holding

good numbers of trevally. A lot of these fish are 1kg plus, so they’re great fun on the light stuff and not a bad feed if prepared the right way. This action will last for a while yet as every year this system fires in late autumn. Fishing the first kilometre of the system is best; tide does not matter much as long as it’s flowing.

Expect salmon numbers to increase in the estuaries over coming weeks, good fun on light gelspun. tuna, bonito, northern bluefin tuna, big salmon and the odd kingie can be expected, with Tura Head the pick of the platforms to fish. Inside Merimbula bay is also worth a look, with the rocks north of the wharf being the place to fish. I like using quite large lures at this time of the year, with

premium month to target yellowfin, especially big fish. The seas are usually quite calm during autumn, letting the smaller boats venture further offshore where the tuna are. Albacore can also be expected in the coolish waters, along with the odd mako. Trolling smaller


and soft plastics for best results, and concentrate on early mornings with a tide change. The flatties have gone a little quiet, but the fish that are being caught are quality specimens. The flattie grounds off Pambula in 30-35m have been the hot spot for a feed of flatties. Expect a few morwong and

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Finding the famous tuna BERMAGUI

Darren Redman

The last month of autumn usually heralds the start of the yellowfin tuna season and Bermagui is famous for it, although after several poor seasons will they turn up? May is prime time for the tuna with calm conditions allowing anglers to target these species in various ways. Cubing in berley trails is the most popular method and hanging a live bait out under a balloon also proves successful. A suggestion when using a live bait is to rig it on 250lb mono with a substantial hook as marlin will still be encountered in May, in fact in the past some of the best runs of

marlin for the season have occurred in May. Striped marlin were mainly encountered and it was common to witness schools of up to 20 fish working the bait over. Other species encountered while berleying were albacore tuna, which are great fun on light gear and will readily come right up to the boat allowing anglers to choose which line class to target these fish on. Mako and other species of sharks will also appear in trails. Have a good wire trace handy or put a shark bait out under a balloon. If you wish to target a shark use plenty of striped tuna in the berley, cube with the flesh and pump the frame through the berley bucket. With the introduction of deep water jigging anglers

now have another option while drifting in berley trails. Dropping jigs down deep will produce a wide variety of fish species and will sometimes bring tuna holding deep to the surface allowing the other methods to come into play. Snapper are now in good numbers on most reef systems that surround Bermagui with the southern ones being more productive. Drifting over the reefs is the most popular method, however anchoring in berley trails is a very effective way of targeting large ones. Setting baits at various depths will cover where the snapper are holding, with

if small fish are a problem, use half a mackerel and float it back in the trail, fish of 6-7kg will often be taken with this method. Other popular species of reef fish are around in good numbers and anglers will end up with some fine bags of mixed fish. Morwong, nannygai, pigfish, ocean perch, large tiger flathead and many more are all on the short list, plus it is also the time of year to target Tassie trumpeter out on the Twelve Mile Reef. Closer to shore, becoming ever more popular is the use of soft plastics bounced around bommies



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and shallow reef complexes. This method is encountering a variety of species from reef dwellers such as snapper to mid and top water fish in the form of kingfish to small tuna. Bermagui has good structure around its shoreline which is providing plenty of options for anglers wishing to use this technique. Most of the estuaries that are open to the ocean are fishing extremely well towards the entrances. This is due to offshore water temperatures being warmer than those in the upper reaches of the systems. As the tide rises the warm water stimulates fish into feeding. The use of berley will encourage fish like flathead, yellowfin bream, trevally and more to feed more frequently. Striped tuna is the best bait in berley trails cut into cubes, and the frame can be used in the berley bucket. Start fishing in the channels until the tide rises sufficiently onto the flats, then berley to the oysters and other obstructions. While doing this, anglers can explore other areas such as weed beds with baits like

nippers. The last of the outgoing tide and first of the incoming will produce good luderick around the bridge and break wall on cabbage and green weed. Bream are in good numbers on most beaches and again the use of berley and tuna will secure good bags. Lots of salmon, a few tailor, the odd flathead and gummy sharks have all been encountered recently. Look for beaches with deep gutters, especially for the sharks, and for bream look anywhere there is good water adjacent to the rocks. Drummer fishing off the rocks is now at its best. Late

evening or first light is the prime time. Bermagui has some great areas around the main headland and Blue Pool to chase these fish. Baits like cunjevoi and prawns used in conjunction with bread as berley will do the job nicely. Sadly Brogo is starting to cool down with water temps dropping. Searching with deep diving and bibless rattling lures is still producing some fish with spinnerbaits probably being the best. Bass in the river systems are starting to congregate in pools prior to moving down stream to spawn and are producing some reasonable fishing.

Rodger loves catching bream in the shallows towards the entrance of Wallaga Lake.

Diversify as the seasons change TATHRA

Darren Redman

It’s that time of year where land temps start to cool but water temps offshore stay relatively warm, and with this comes the fish. Out from Tathra schools of tuna like yellowfin, albacore and stripies are starting to congregate out towards and over the continental shelf through to the Tathra Canyons. These fish can be targeted in a few different ways, with the best options being trolling lures and cubing in berley trails. The continental shelf is quite a long run out from shore here, so trolling lures is a good option for targeting the tuna. It allows anglers to cover the ground and find out where the fish may be congregating. With this comes the added bonus of encountering a late season marlin, spearfish or mahi mahi (dolphinfish). Once you have located some tuna, stop and berley. This can have the fish coming up to the boat, making them easier to catch. Sharks will also respond to the berley so have a rig handy or out under a balloon. It’s also a good policy to have a live mackerel out under a balloon rigged on heavier trace for tuna and also any marlin which may be attracted by the activity. Closer to shore, small species such as bonito, kingfish, salmon and the occasional striped and

yellowfin tuna are patrolling the many rocky headlands surrounding Tathra. Feeding on small mackerel, yellowtail and pilchards, these fish can be taken simply by running a variety of bibless and deep diving lures close to shore. If you encounter some good schools, have some spin sticks handy to cast to the feeding fish, and if they’re up on the surface try casting surface poppers for some spectacular action. This style of fishing works particularly well on some of the large salmon schools. Leaving from Kianinny boat ramp gives anglers access to some of the finest reef and bottom fishing grounds along the coast and it’s now at its best. Large tiger flathead are a regular catch

out wide of Bournda, while good sand flathead are being taken closer to shore in close to the beaches. These areas may range from Wapengo north to Wallagoot south. As mentioned, berleying can also work on the snapper as well as the tuna, and the White Rock area south of Kianinny is a prime spot for this. Anchor up in various depths until you see what depth is producing better, and fish as light as possible and vary how deep you fish your baits. Fresh mackerel, pilchards and striped tuna are the preferred baits, but don’t be scared to throw some soft plastics around. Many other species will also visit your berley trail, with some of them being a bit of a surprise package.

Right in the heart of Tathra the rock platforms are fishing well, with plenty of action for those casting lures to fish like salmon, bonito, tailor and kingfish, while those who wish to chase drummer are having some of the best fishing in quite a while. Around on the wharf, everyone is having fun. Large schools of mackerel are here at present, as are trevally and garfish. Blackfish and drummer are being caught closer to the rocks with some nice tailor at night. Frigate mackerel, bonito, salmon and kingfish all take their turns harassing the resident baitfish along with the odd shark and yellowfin tuna venturing in to check the scene out. Expect to find quality flathead towards the entrances of the estuaries at this time of year. There are some good beaches here, which at present are producing nice salmon, tailor, bream and gummy sharks at night. The best areas are Main Beach next to Mogareeka Inlet, Bournda Beach south and Gillards Beach north. Try walking these beaches with a handful of metal lures that you can make long casts with and fast retrieves. This works very well on both tailor and salmon. Water temps in the estuaries are starting to chill, however there is still plenty of activity to keep people enthused. In the Bega River bream are around in good numbers, and anglers are

Kingies are just one of the many species patrolling close to the rocky shorelines.

doing well on both lures and bait. Mixed in are estuary perch that are now moving down the systems towards the entrance in order to breed. They have been taken along the rock wall adjacent to the boat ramp and around the bridge pylons. Flathead are in the lower part of the system in anticipation of migrating to sea with the onset of the cooler months and are feeding regularly. Tailor are hanging around the bridge area and are a good option on lures, while over the flats blackfish and whiting are regular catches for bait anglers using nippers and worms.

Busy times ahead at Mallacoota bait fishers doing well on the yellowfin bream along with a few black bream to make up the bag. Watching the amount of fish processed at the cleaning table you wonder how long this can go on before the fishing is noticeably worse, I suggest the damage has been done. You need to remember these black bream are slow growing and a 1kg fish could be 15 years old. Those fishing with lures have had to fish hard for results. IN

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




10 o’clock. Fish have been caught on both bait and lures, with fresh or live tailor the choice of bait and a variety of soft plastics all catching fish.

The key has been working out the best stage of the tide for the best results. Goodwin Sands has been fishing well with


The break wall is well on its way and is expected to be finished by November.


With great weather over the past month, the visitors to the area have been out on the lake enjoying the fishing. There has been no shortage of tourists this season, this has been the busiest I have seen Mallacoota and it’s not looking like slowing down. Offshore there has been little to report as the boat ramp is out of bounds with the construction of the breakwall. The few boats that are getting out there have been coming back with a feed of sand flathead. There are plenty of salmon along all the local beaches with good gutters at Tip Beach. Anglers tossing lures on the rising tide are having a ball with these hard fighting fish. The lake has been fishing well with the best mulloway

Around the entrance area, bait fishers have been catching sand whiting, yellowfin bream and the odd flathead. Fresh bait or live bait has been the go with nippers, squirt worms and beach worms catching bag limits for many anglers.


season in many years. There have been a number of fish caught over 60lb with plenty of fish around 15kg with the smaller models around the 10kg mark. You don’t need to spend all night out there as plenty of fish have been caught between first light and around


Kevin Gleed



Matching the baitfish has been the way to get a few flathead. The flathead have been good one day, tough the next. Some good fishing has been had on whitebait imitation lures. The key to success is to find the fish as there are many

spots where there are no fish. Heading up to Gypsy Point, flathead and black bream are being caught, along with plenty of smaller fish in the rivers.








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Rosco Duo Scamper FMG

Stephen Booth

In an earlier issue we had the pleasure to showcase the Rosco Solo Scamper and in this issue we’ll take a closer look at the Rosco Duo Scamper, a two-person version of the Solo. So what’s different about the two-person Duo Scamper when compared to the Solo Scamper? Honestly, not a whole lot apart from the fact it’s designed for two people. With that in mind, let’s take a quick refresher on what the Scamper models offer anglers. Designed for angling, the Scampers are built from fibreglass and are extremely light, weighing around 20kg. With two people carrying the Duo you can literally load it with all your gear and easily

carry it down to the water’s edge. We loaded the Duo up with two people’s fishing gear, paddles, seats and some drinks and food for our test and transporting this lightweight canoe was a breeze. The Scampers are stable and make great use of a design

feature not found in many canoes, the Tumblehome design. This design gives a slight belly to the sides of the craft that aids in stability and buoyancy. It works really well and with two aboard the Duo it’s good to have a little extra security.

A double header in the Duo. Seriously though, what is a canoe test without actually testing its fishing ability?

The Duo Scamper, much like the Solo, is set up as a basic unit that you can just jump in and paddle around. This one has the front sail mount attached already.


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The Duo has a payload of 180kg. On our test day we probably overloaded it but the craft still performed really well and there was an easy 6” of freeboard while being used. One of the slight differences between the Solo and the reviewed Duo was the stern buoyancy cavity. In the Duo this is a little larger. Specifically designed this way, the Duo’s floatation allows a single user to use the Duo without having that Shallow Hal feel to the canoe – you know the picture where the nose of the canoe is out of the water! The extra floatation also allows an electric outboard and battery to be used just as comfortably. I find it’s these little design alterations that make you understand that someone who knows their stuff has designed this craft. Like all the Scampers, the Duo is a minimalist rig. The base rig comes with a hull and two seats – that’s it. The rest is literally up to your imagination and I can imagine plenty. The Scamper’s build is a straight composite lay up, which is all fibreglass. Other options include Kevlar or carbon at an increased cost. Using this material provides the ability to form very fine lines, literally down to a knifesharp entry if desired and the

Scamper makes good use of this material. Some of the advantages of fibreglass include that it is extremely lightweight (the Solo Scamper comes in at 20kg), it has a high strength-toweight ratio, it can be formed to very fine design lines and it has a moderate cost. All these factors are displayed very well in the Scamper.

And being that the Scamper is fibreglass, what about damage and repair? Damage, of course, is a problem and these craft are not designed for going down classed rapids. If you want to do that, grab a proper whitewater kayak or a Rosco Chief, a 15’ canoe manufactured of Royalex, a material designed for whitewater use. Damage

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MAY 2014

Top: The fish-eye lens taking a pic of a very fishy character. The Duo easily took Greg and I with its payload of 180kg. Bottom: The sail set up n the front of the Duo Scamper can provide easy distance coverage in lakes and slow flowing rivers.

will occur from sharp rocks hit with force so avoid these situations. But the good news is that they can be repaired fairly easily and cheaply. Just remember that this is a canoe, not a rock hopper. ON THE WATER The big test is how this

With two paddling we could keep up easily with the electric powered Solo with the bow paddler providing power and the stern paddler providing some power but responsible for direction. As much as I’d like to say Greg had us going in circles and crashing through

Just as simple to load onto a roof rack as the Solo, the Duo comes in at 20kg also. Now that’s portable. craft performs on the water and after a big trip catching bass and catties on lures I really found myself enjoying my time in the Duo Scamper. Fishing (sorry, I meant testing) the craft with Greg Livingstone meant that the 180kg payload was tested. Neither of us are mere saplings however the Duo handled the load easily. On first stepping into the Duo you could feel the inherent stability of the canoe and even with Greg fussing around in the back trying to look pretty for the camera,

snags and trees, he didn’t and said it was a really easy unit to direct. We did have one incident though and this involved both of us fishing and not concentrating. As we drifted toward the bank, Greg grabbed the paddle to push us off the tree that was looming and as he turned around an interesting little snake was right on our hip pockets, just looking at us as if to say “What the hell are you doing here?” With some quick reorganisation of the canoe’s weight distribution,

releasing fish so much easier as the non-catching angler did all the work. And dry! I can’t remember being so dry in a canoe/kayak for some time. The canoe paddle is a much drier way to paddle these craft around and at day’s end that is a blessing. The change of clothes and towel I bought with me were untouched and that’s great. LOVE IT The Duo Scamper is built just like its Solo Scamper brother – simple and easy to use. I love the thought of grabbing a mate, a couple of paddles, some lures and a rod each and just getting on with fishing. Like the Solo you can have an electric set up if you want and there is also a great sail option if you want to minimise your paddle workload. You can also add on some neat little rod holders that are so simple you’ll kick yourself for not thinking about it, and you can add on drop anchors, paddle holders and more. The open plan allows for unrivalled customisation and I really like that. The only thing I would advise is to choose your partner carefully. Overloading any boat, let alone a canoe is not the smartest thing to do so just take into account the 180kg payload. Other than that, a brilliant canoe that allows you to spend some quality time with a mate or one of the kids in a safe, stable and simple way. To find out more about the Duo Scamper log onto www. or drop into the Rosco Canoes and Kayaks display rooms at 295 Gympie Rd in Kedron. You could also give them a call on (07) 3359 9330 for more information.

All the kit needed for setting up the sail accessory. Simple to operate and easy to install, this accessory is something well worth looking into if you’re planning on some long distance travel over open water in the Duo Scamper.

Get Fishing in a Rosco Chief Royalex f Chyiealex Ro

tough, light and stable

Greg Livingstone found time to land a bass or two from the back of the Duo while we were testing the craft. never did I feel in imminent danger of going for a swim. We had a paddle of about 2km to our fishing (sorry, testing) location and this gave us a chance to paddle this craft from the bow seat, from the stern seat and from both ends at the same time. The best directional paddling (we were using traditional canoe paddles) came from the stern seat and the bow seat provided good power or pace.

a few frenzied paddle strokes and a bit of luck we slipped past the snake without tipping ourselves out, which seemed a minor miracle. Fishing wise the Duo Scamper was brilliant. The front angler needed to be a little aware of the rear angler when casting forwards (sorry Greg, I know you loved that hat!), but apart from that two anglers fishing in this craft was great fun. It made landing and

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MAY 2014


Dismal trout scene CANBERRA

Bryan Pratt

As we move from summer to autumn there is still a great deal of gloom amongst CanberraMonaro trout fishers. As we reported earlier, something is terribly wrong in our lake and stream fisheries.

Other age classes are missing, too. Normally if you sat on the banks of Eucumbene or Jindabyne for a couple of hours, drowning a scrub worm or soaking PowerBait or a bardi grub you could expect to land a few 1-2 year old fish for the table. At present you would be lucky to land one or two fish of any age in a 24-hour session.

Theories abound as to the reasons for the poor fishing. I’ve looked at them all (cormorants, pathogens, lack of stocking, drought, water temperatures, deoxygenation, lack of food and so on) but none of them are tenable. I would, however, like someone to take a detailed look at the condition of the water – pH, oxygen-nitrogen-carbon

Golden perch have been good fun on bait and lure amongst the trees in the Murrumbidgee Arm of Burrinjuck Reservoir.

Live Target mice and frogs fished on the surface at night have accounted for some good Murray cod in Canberra’s urban lakes. Rainbows have been virtually non-existent since the great flood wiped out the spawning run in late 2013, and the few browns we are catching and keeping for the table look to be the mostly larger and older stock – the fish we would normally depend on for restocking the fisheries in future years. We are selling the farm, in effect. Equally worrying, too, is the lack of small fish. Normally at this time of the year streams and lakes are bubbling with small browns and rainbows. They frolic in the shallows, snatching vainly at flies, nibbling at scrub worms and PowerBait and generally providing a sense of life and movement to the waterway. This year though, they are simply not there.

Indeed, many anglers have returned home this season with stories of getting zero or one fish for a two or three-day trip. And these are good anglers fishing in our premier mainland trout fisheries. Some people have managed a few more fish than others; fly fishers have found an occasional brown in the coolest part of the night, around 2am, but you have to be keen to be fishing then. Trollers, too, have learned to get down deep with lead core line or a downrigger and fish in the deeper sections of the lakes at the dam wall ends. It’s hard going though when the fish are down 15-20m and are only vaguely interested in the lures offered.

are teaching kids to fish. Occasional ones are big enough to eat and they make superb tablefish – the best eating of any freshwater fish around here. The best lures have been Celtas and similar spinning blade patterns, Imp spoon, blades, small minnows, small

dioxide-methane levels and gas pressure effects on small fish. Given also that most rainbows only live for about three years we should take a hard look at the abnormally high numbers of fish caught and killed in the halcyon days of 2010-2013. Maybe we have just taken too many. BOUNTEOUS LOCAL LAKES While the trout fisheries have let us down the local lakes in Canberra and Googong Reservoir just over the border have provided a reasonable fishing alternative. Redfin have been active on lures and bait, and although most of them are small they are great fun when you are catching them in cricket scores, and particularly when you

spinnerbaits and especially small soft plastics. Golden perch also have been active on bait and lures, with many anglers regularly catching two to six in a session. The best baits have been scrub worms and yabbies, and the best lures have been spinnerbaits,

deep divers, Burrinjuck Specials, Wonder spoons and soft plastics. Murray cod have varied from 39cm tiddlers to 98cm thumpers and have been caught in all five of the local lakes, with larger fish to 1.3m in Googong. The best

Big Murray cod have provided a lot of fun day and night fishing with surface lures, including this Taylor Made Cod Walloper.


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MAY 2014

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Focus on the running stuff BATLOW

Wayne Dubois

I love fishing at this time of the year. The tree-lined creeks and rivers with the stunningly coloured autumn leaves on poplars and willows make for some amazing backdrops whilst fishing. These picturesque surroundings

are also handy when it comes to photographing your catch, as they make most fish look even more stunning then they already do at this time of year. If you’re targeting trout, they will be in full spawn colour; add to that the stunning backdrop and even the worst photographer will get some good shots. The official trout

season closes in early June so there is not long left in the season. Once the season is closed anglers will be forced to fish the lakes for their trout fix, so it makes sense to concentrate your efforts on the running stuff while you still can. The best fishing to be had in the running water is almost always this late in the season, as many a big brown trout attempts to

Redfin of this size have been a tough proposition at Blowering over the last few months, that should change this month as these fish form larger schools and become much more active. These two fish were part of a large haul caught slow rolling Ecogear Grass Minnows in deep water. From page 60

baits have been yabbies, scrub worms and bardi grubs. The most successful lures have been large spinnerbaits, deep divers, soft plastics and lately the wonderful new surface lures, especially Halco Nightwalkers, Taylor Made Cod Wallopers, Mantas, Koolabung Cod Walkers and Live Target Mouse and Frog. The latter are the new darlings of the lure trade. They are easy to use, you simply chuck them out and retrieve them with a few pauses and twitches and wait for the almighty explosion of air, water and fish when a big one latches onto the lure. They’re great for day and especially night fishing over a weedy lake bed where other lures can’t be used, and with no worries about little redfin constantly hanging on to the lure and spoiling its action. It’s the best fun I have had for years. BURRINJUCK FIRING Burrinjuck Reservoir has been really something this season. The lake is around 45% full and visibility has been a delightful 3m, which means good bait and lure fishing. A lot of Murray cod, with some over the magic metre mark, have been

caught, mostly in the Main Basin. The best areas have been around Wade Island then from The Bluff to McPhersons Inlet. The most productive lures have been large spinnerbaits, large deep divers and especially the rare but effective Burrinjuck Specials. Shrimps, bardi grubs and scrub worms also have accounted for some good fish. Golden perch have been relatively easy to find amongst the flooded trees in the Murrumbidgee Arm, especially in Macys Bay, Scrubby and Little Scrubby. Catches of three to 10 fish per session have been relatively easy to achieve, with scrub worms, yabbies, shrimps, spinnerbaits, Atomic Fat Grubs and Jackalls all working well. Schools of redfin come on the bite on most afternoons and, as elsewhere, it is relatively easy to catch enough for fun and a feed on worms, blades, spinners and soft plastics. All up, although the trout fishing scene is pretty miserable, natives and redfin continue to provide back-up fishing opportunities and that will keep us going until the cruel weather of winter arrives.

spawn – and if the rainbows aren’t thinking about it themselves they will more than likely be gorging on the eggs being deposited by the big browns. The fish being this active makes for some spectacular fishing and at this time of the year there is always the added possibility of the next trout you hook being one of trophy size. While targeting trout at this time of the year it is hard to beat anything that is egg coloured. If you’re bait fishing then it will be hard to beat the good old brightly coloured dough baits like Powerbait and the like. Lure anglers will do well on any flashy lure, especially ones with any red or orange on the lure. Alternatively, brown or rainbow trout coloured hardbodies will also work really well, as most fish are very aggressive and competitive at the moment so they will strike any lure that resembles some sort of competition for them. Fly anglers will definitely do best with weighted and even un weighted glo bugs at this time of year, and even though the purists frown upon this there is no mistaking its effectiveness. To cover both bases I like to use two flies under an

indicator, one a glo-bug and the other a weighted black or red copper john nymph. That way, if the fish aren’t eating eggs they will still take the nymph. Trout lake fishing can also be great at this time of the year. A lot of the browns will have started to head up the feeder rivers and streams but there will still be a few around in the lakes. There will also be a few rainbows around gorging themselves before their annual spawning migration up the feeder rivers and streams. No matter what lake you fish or technique you choose to use, a lot of the resident fish will be holding around the creek and river mouths so it would pay to concentrate your efforts there. BLOWERING REDFIN This month most anglers will switch from targeting the natives to targeting the redfin, and with good reason: redfin are often easy to catch at this time of the year, they taste sensational and the natives have become very hard to catch. Around this time of the year the redfin form much larger schools than they do during the warmer months. This means that once you find one you are normally in the vicinity of at least another hundred. Trolling is a popular way of targeting and locating them, and any small hardbodied lure less than 60mm in length that dives to around the 40ft mark should see you stumble across some redfin action. Add a small 1” soft plastic around a metre above your chosen lure and you will increase your chances of a double hook-up (although a DH can occur even when just using one lure). BURRINJUCK YELLAS The hot place to be for a yella fix at the moment is the ever-reliable Burrinjuck Dam. Bait anglers and lure chuckers have certainly fared the best, with trolling being very hit and miss. The key to success over the last few months has been fishing the trees, either with small yabbies or with soft plastics. Finding fish can be done in one of two ways: by trial and error, or by using a good quality fishfinder to help you save time. If you opt to go the hit-and-miss technique, simply jump from tree to tree until you find a tree that is holding fish. If you’re using a sounder to find fish, go from tree to tree until you find a tree showing fish, then fish it! Bait anglers simply need

Now is the time to get out and fish the running water in hope of a big trout. They are actively feeding and/ or spawning, making them easy to catch at times. a paternoster rig, and it doesn’t hurt to have two baits down to increase your chances in the trees (just remember that you will lose more tackle this way). With the plastics it is hard to beat the everreliable Berkley Gulp Minnow grubs, Ecogear Grass Minnows and Bozo

then slowly retrieve the plastic back up through the trees. Hits will come at any time during the retrieve, so stay on the ball throughout the entire retrieve. Most of the redfin you catch using this technique are schooled fish, which means they are generally smaller fish. However,

Vertically working the trees with bait or plastics has been the gun technique for landing golden perch at Burrinjuck Dam lately. Most fish are small but what they lack in size they make up for in numbers. Smelts. All of these plastics will catch yellas but to increase your chances try to stick to natural coloured plastics, as these work far better then any other colours. The retrieve is simple, just drop your plastic down through the tree’s limbs until you hit the bottom,

what they lack in size they well and truly make up for in numbers; catching 10 or more fish off the one tree is not uncommon. The smaller fish are far better eating then the large fish anyway, so if you would like to catch a few for the frying pan it certainly pays to give these techniques a go. MAY 2014


Trout predictions JINDABYNE

Steve Williamson

The talk of late, reported in all different types of press, has of course been about the mystery disappearance of rainbow trout in the Snowy Mountains lakes. I blame a few idiots who don’t know either how to trout fish or are incapable of being able to change methods to suit the conditions. Or else they are just purists who refuse to change their ways – to their own disadvantage of course.

The fact was that we’d had the hottest summer that I can remember with very high water temperatures, and the trout went to deeper, colder water. Meanwhile, some anglers persisted in standing in lukewarm water expecting the trout to cruise by right in front of them! These people seem to think they’re fishing for coral trout in the tropics, rather than brown trout and rainbow trout that prefer water temperatures up to 18ºC. Anyway, if you have some thoughts send me an e-mail as we have a meeting of the Snowy

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MAY 2014

Lakes Management Committee later this month and it would be your chance to send me your views on any matters that are of concern to you. Meanwhile, Lake Jindabyne’s water level has been pretty much stable all summer and autumn so far, maybe only about a metre difference for the whole season. There are no plans for any major environmental releases until spring so I would expect only a minor drop of water levels throughout winter, and even that would depend on how much rain we get over coming months. Thredbo River rules change this month, reducing the bag limit to only one fish, and that fish must be over 50cm. All other fish must be released, no matter what species. The close of the rivers and streams to fishing occurs at midnight on the Monday of the NSW June long weekend. The rivers open to fishing once

Jason Pointu with a rainbow caught on a Willy’s Special Tassie Devil. the river on their spawning run they get very territorial. For this reason, if you are a lure angler you’ll find that minnow lures like the Rapalas (especially the jointed ones) and the small 3” StumpJumpers and a variety of others are all

are in spawning mode. Other colours that are consistent are holographic and also number 48, the red-nosed brown bomber. My Steve Williamson Orange and Black Tasmanian Devil has also been working a treat lately,

MAY ROUNDUP – THE BEST OF THE BEST Best method........Surface trolling early and then using lead core lines at 30m out. Best depth...........Trolling at 10ft deep in the deeper middle of the day. Best lake lure......Look out for the new Rapala Pinkie and pink number 55. Best lake area.....Hatchery and Hayshed bays. Best fly method . Glow Bugs and nymphs on the Thredbo River. Best River............Thredbo River. again on the Saturday of the October long weekend. Let’s look at what we should expect with the fishing over the coming month. FISHING IN MAY This month is one of the best months for the bait angler fishing the edges of the lake. Big brown trout are cruising the edges looking for a feed before they head into the rivers on their spawning run. Worms teamed with an artificial bait fished off the bottom is a method that’s working well at the moment on Lake Jindabyne. The best areas to try over the next couple of months will be Waste Point at Creel Bay, as this is where a lot of the trout will congregate in readiness to move into the mouth of the Thredbo River on their spawning run. Hatchery and Hayshed Bays are also both worth a try. When trout move into

worth a throw. You still have to nut out the right colour though, and get to the right depth. Use sinking or deeper diving minnows when the river is high and stick to smaller lures when the water is low and clear. Don’t worry about the size of lures if the river is in flood because you might find that bigger is better. Metal blades cut through fast flowing water and get down easily, so when you can’t get depth out of a minnow I recommend trying a blade. A new lure we have been trying out is from Australian-owned Bullet Lures. It’s a very small 3cm minnow but with about 4g of weight that actually does make the lure cast like a bullet. It also gets down quite deep. A rattle version might also be good when the water is dirty but only time will tell, as testing is in the early stages at the moment. The Thredbo River is my river of choice from now until rivers close on the June long weekend. On the lake as the water cools the lake spinning will improve, but lure colours have been a little different than in previous years. Tasmanian Devil lures in colours that have a bit of orange and pink are always regarded as aggression colours for when the trout

especially off the lead core line and downriggers. Last year we saw the re-introduction of the Rapala Pinkie and that was a fabulous lure over the previous winter. You

should also try some bigger jointed Rapalas here, and 11cm and 13cm are not too big for aggressive brown trout. Good spinning areas to try are Creel Bay, Waste Point, The Snowy Arm and (for fish still actively feeding) Curiosity Rocks, Wollondibby Inlet, Hatchery Bay and The Claypits area. Lake trolling is interesting in autumn as some days the fish will strike out of aggression and some days they will be feeding. Knowing what the weather is about to do will help. If there is a cold front approaching the fish will often get territorial and this is ‘big lure’ time. Big jointed lures are well worth a try for big browns.

On the Thredbo River, one method that works well when you have fast flowing water is the drift rigging technique. Team up a fly like a weighted black nymph with a glowbug (artificial egg) and let the rig bounce along the bottom with the aid of some split shot. It’s one way to catch trout on artificial flies using a normal spinning outfit.

Another way to use a glowbug on a spin rod is to use a float.

The weed beds are close to the edge and so if trolling early in close you don’t need any lures that dive too deep. The Rapala Pinkie is a good aggression lure. Tasmanian Devil lures are still well worth a try and this month is the time I quite often change to pink or orange coloured lures. These colours seem to work best on the aggressive spawning fish. Tasmanian Devils in colours 55 pink

or 56 orange are good lures to try for non-feeding fish. Even at this time of year the day will often warm up and the fish will still go deeper. Lead core lines and downriggers will still be very useful over the coming month. Remember all the photos in the magazines of big fish caught off downriggers with big minnow lures trolled slowly? Duel Depth Tasmanian

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devil lures rigged through the side hole to troll deeper to 4m will also help during the middle of the day, but make sure you don’t troll too fast when this lure is rigged in the deep dive hole. Lion and Cub Islands always fish well in autumn for rainbow trout, and as the brown trout move to the end of the lake ready to spawn, Creel Bay and the Snowy River Arm are well


9:52 AM

Mike Penfold with a healthy rainbow that took a Willy’s Special Tassie Devil.

worth trying. The fly fishing on streams and rivers will still have good days even this late in the season. You will possibly even find that fish will still take a wellpresented dry fly. However, over recent weeks most fish have been taken on brown or black nymphs out of the running water. As the rain comes, and more trout move into the Thredbo, anglers’ minds will change to chase big trophy fish and fly anglers will have the best success using glowbugs and nymphs. Black and brown nymphs in about a size 10 or 12 are good, and make sure you have some weighted flies for when the river is flowing hard, as you need to get the fly down to the fish before you will catch them. Lake Jindabyne will fish better this month as the edge water cools down. Water temperatures have a big effect on how close to shore the fish come, but it’s cooler now and the fishing is much better and will continue to improve as the water cools even further. Flies to try over the coming months will be the purple/black Woolly Bugger and Mrs Simpson. Don’t forget the Williamson’s Gold Fish

around the creek inlets during the late evening. MAY ROUNDUP – THE BEST OF THE BEST Best method - Surface trolling early and then using

Discovery Holiday Parks Jindabyne (next to the Shell Servo) or for tour bookings call us on 02 64 561551 or send details to Steve Williamson P.M.B.

Jim Penfold was happy to score this healthy rainbow. lead core lines at 30m out. Best depth - Trolling at 10ft deep in the deeper middle of the day. Best lake lure - Look out for the new Rapala Pinkie and pink number 55. Best lake area - Hatchery and Hayshed bays. Best fly method - Glow Bugs and nymphs on the Thredbo River. Best River - Thredbo River. For the very latest day-to-day fishing reports, call into my shop at

5 Jindabyne 2627 for more info or e-mail me at The website for prices is www.swtroutfishing. Join me also on Facebook at www. Steve-WilliamsonsLake-Jindabyne-TroutFishing-Adventures for daily updates. Good luck with your fishing over the coming months and I hope to see you in Jindabyne soon.

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Hunter valley bass on the move In the Williams, Paterson and Hunter rivers the water can be a little discoloured so crankbaits, spinnerbaits and blades work the best. If the water clears up then beetle spins will be productive rigged with a 2.5 or 3” plastic. If you’re using crankbaits, they need to be about 50mm and contain a rattle if possible, and should get down to around 2-3m. Black or purple are usually very good colours. Spinnerbaits should be about 1/4oz and have a plastic trailer with a single Colorado blade. Blades also need to be in the 1/4oz size and contain some copper in their colour. Areas to target are holes around bends in the rivers and also feeder creek drains. LOSTOCK Lostock can be a very good spot for a fish this month as there are usually good bass


Dave McLean

As we move into the end of autumn the weather patterns have been fairly consistent, with several days of constant high pressure and luckily not too much wind. The fishing has been a bit fickle, with some good days and some very ordinary. Throughout this month and right through until winter, the river bass will be migrating down to the tidal zones in the rivers. Here the salinity and temperature levels are ideal for spawning, so the bass can begin to prepare for their breeding cycle. This can be a good time to go fishing as the bass can be quite aggressive and will take on any wellpresented lure.

to come from the Paterson below the dam, while the dam can produce some of those nice, healthy bass. Hardbodies are the better option for the river, whilst small crankbaits and spinnerbaits are best for the dam. Trolling along the edges and steep banks is a good option, as is dropping a live cricket or worm down around the timber. GLENBAWN AND ST CLAIR

Bait fishers have been catching some good catfish and silver perch on worms. This is a good sign as it was only two years ago when that fish kill wiped a lot of them out. In May as the water temperatures continue to fall, there is usually a thermocline at around the 5-6m mark, and this is the depth that the fish will be holding at. Just remember that this could be in 12m-20m of water.

Pete from Kiosk at Glenbawn with a brace of bass caught deep jigging in around 50ft of water with a plastic.

Sonar shot from Glenbawn showing bass holding above a small rise in the bottom up near One Tree.


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Lake Glenbawn and St Clair have been holding at this level for the past month, and both are devoid of any good weed around the banks. This won’t change until Spring, but with the water temperature in both falling to the high teens the fish will still be around the banks, especially where there is some cover. It is absolutely magnificent to get out on the dams after a foggy morning as it is usually a sign that there is not going to be any wind, making for a perfect day. St Clair was very popular over Easter but now the fishers have it to themselves. It has been producing some reasonable numbers of bass over the past month but the bass have been a bit on the small side, and are not in top condition. Most of these fish have been coming from up the back of the dam, up either arm with most caught using blades or Betts Spins.


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MAY 2014

With the dam at its current level there are plenty of areas for the bass to hole up, and it can depend on which

and my favourite lures for this are the Jackall Chubby and Squirrel. Out in the deeper water off the banks in depths of 5-7m, I like to use blades and blades/Betts Spins combos, as these can be worked right on the bottom. Trolling can be very productive at this time of year as the fish can be a bit slow on the bite and this puts the

before the water temps fall further and their metabolism slows. This usually means you will need to cover a lot of water sounding and looking for the schools, especially bait balls of gudgeons. This season seems a little behind last year’s, and so areas that fired last year are not doing so just yet. Remember that bass in particular like to be near various types of structure or cover, and this will mean

Pete and Tubby at Glenbawn with some bass caught deep jigging grubs amongst the submerged timber. direction the wind blew the previous week. If there had been a westerly, which can be very common in May, I like to head up the Fallbrook to the long bays that feed into the main river channel. I find the bass move from the shallow warmer water into the deeper areas as the day progresses. If the wind has come from the south I like to target the eastern banks and bays in the Broadwater, such as Connell inlet, Swannys and around St Clair island. Further up the dam, around Reedy Cove and Brooks Bay can also be very good areas to try. I like to rip compact spinnerbaits, blades and crankbaits off the banks through the patches of weed,

lure in their face for a longer period. Do not limit your trolling to bibbed minnows – also try lipless crankbaits and spinnerbaits. Using something different can work when all else fails. Lake Glenbawn is looking good this autumn, and at its present level there are plenty of good fishing areas to target, especially up the back. There were some good fish caught over Easter, both on bait and lures, with the better catches coming from the back of the dam. Trolling and deep jigging were the most productive methods. During late autumn the bass and goldens move around this dam in search of warmer water and good food sources

you might lose some tackle. Up the back of the dam trolling deep lures near the Panhandle up to the Eagles Nest is usually very productive, along with down around the Yellowbuoy Bay and Golden Point. The deeper bass can usually be found up around One Tree and also Dogleg where they can be targeted with deep plastics or ice jigs. Another area down around the bottom of the dam is off Cemetery Point and the Little Wall. This area is also very good for trolling deep lures. Bait fishers can also try dropping a yabby around the timber off Golden Point and North Run for some nice goldens.

Get your game on LITHGOW/OBERON

Glen Stewart

If you want to step up your fishing results, the key is preparation, homework, and the

good,” you might say, “but how is following a guy in the USA catching foreign fish relevant to me?” I’ll tell you: it all boils down to attitude. This guy just exudes confidence (“whatever it takes” is his motto), and

plummeting water temperatures, trout in the district’s dams are going gang busters. Thompsons Creek Dam (TCD) has been the standout and this will continue. Spoons and Tassie Devils are great lures to throw up there at this

Put the itsy bitsy stuff away boys and girls, it’s time to step it up!

This fish broke me off bankside, swam away then came to the top. I went in jeans and all, but missed. I thought it was gone but it came to the top again further out. Muz stripped off and got it. What a team! ability to adapt to suit the prevailing conditions. Carl Jocumsen is a young guy from Toowoomba fishing in comps in the USA, and he takes all those steps to the next level. If you get a chance, jump on the ‘net and follow his progress. “That’s all well and

a big part of his success is due to preparation and adaptability. It’s interesting to read how he tackles each different scenario, and you never know – some of his talent may just rub off! TROUT ON THE MUNCH With colder air temperatures and

time of year. The fish are hungry and moving quite a bit, and these heavier lures allow you to cover a lot of water at different depths. Due to the clear water, low light periods are still a must for the best fishing. I like those really cold, windy days. If it’s sunny, warm and still you may


Setline fishers caught out Two men have been apprehended in southern inland NSW after allegedly being found in possession of illegal fishing gear and illegally taking native fish using setlines. “Fisheries officers conducted patrols across the Riverina area during the Victorian Labour Day long weekend over the 8th and 9th of March,” Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Manager, Special Operations, Tony Andrews said. “During the patrol, two men, both aged 62, from Yenda, were apprehended on the Wakool River, near Wakool. It is alleged the men were found illegally using 25 setlines in the waters of the river over a distance of 2km. “The men had illegally taken two Murray Cod, 97cm and 60cm in length on the setlines. A non-target long-necked turtle was also caught on the setlines but was

successfully removed and released alive by fisheries officers. “The two dead Murray Cod, 25 setlines and two gaffs, which are not permitted in inland waters of NSW, were seized.” Up to two attended lines, either handlines or rod and line, are permitted in general inland waters and they must be within 50m and in your line of sight. Hand lines are not permitted in trout waters or closed waters. Any spare lines must not be rigged or capable of taking fish. The two men will each be issued a number of penalty infringement notices for offences including possession of illegal fishing gear and fish illegally taken related to the use of setlines and will receive total fines of $1500 each. “Setlines which are baited hooks on lines that are attached to trees or snags along the waters

edge, can have devastating consequences for native fish populations, where many native fish seek refuge,” Mr Andrews said. “Fisheries officers are calling on people who are considering fishing using illegal methods, to think twice. “As well as stealing native fish, the use of illegal fishing methods endanger non-target species like turtles, native water rats, platypus and waterbirds. “Those who choose to flaunt NSW fishing rules and regulations will be targeted by fisheries officers, with our staff apprehending a number of individuals using illegal methods in separate incidents over recent months.” Anyone with any information about illegal fishing should contact Fishers Watch on 1800 043 536 or online at www. compliance. - DPI

have to get there extra early, switch to ultra-light line and finesse plastics for the best results. Flyfishing will come into its own as the weather gets colder and the forage gets smaller. Polaroiding this dam can be a really good option for those who like to keep moving. Working in pairs is better; four eyes are better than two, and you can have one person spotting while the other is fishing. It’s great fun. Lake Lyell is a great place to target brown trout in May, and some of the biggest fish come in at this time of year. Trolling medium to deep diving lures 50-60mm in length will account for some good quality fish, and running two lures at different depths is a good way to go. Low light periods are again the best. I am sure that this May bite period coincides with the yabby numbers taking a dive. It’s like a bunch of teenagers turning up at McDonald’s with only a quarter of the menu being available. They’re all like, “Well, where to now?” BIG COD TIME Looking back 10 years

ago, most of us would have put the cod rods away in May. Not anymore! I guess we have Rod Mackenzie and the boys from south of the border to thank for that. However, it is time to put the little stuff away. In most waterways the action won’t be red hot but chances are if you get a cod it will be a good one. No matter what the weather, a rising barometer is a must. Target the best looking structure you can find, as that’s where the big ones will be. Big cod sharing quality structure with other big cod has been a hot topic the last few years. It does happen, but I think a lot depends

on the availability of food. If food is scarce, I reckon that’s a deal-breaker. Nature has a pecking order and most of the time it revolves around food or breeding. Make sure your gear is up to scratch. That big, empty feeling when a good fish gets off, busts you off, or does you in a snag is not too bad when you are on your own, but when a couple of mates are involved it’s a different story. They will not forget (and nor should they!) so get your game on and step it up. Hope to see you on the water soon. Until then, tight lines.

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MAY 2014

Aaron Rawiri of Tamworth showing the spoils of trolling a deep diving lure at Lake Keepit. fishing in the afternoons after the sun has added a little warmth to the water. From all reports the local catfish population is booming which is a great sign for the future. Just remember that they cannot be kept from the rivers and must be released immediately. The ever-reliable carp will have left their summer shallow water hangouts and moved into deeper pockets and schooled up. While it may take a while longer to find them they can often salvage a otherwise quiet trip. Trout anglers will rejoice over the coming months with cooler temperatures hopefully bringing a triumphant return from the hard summer slog. Creeks like the Mulla Creek and the smaller rivers around the Nowendoc region will be well worth a try for average size fish, or you could head out towards the Walcha area in search of those 3-4lb giants that show up from time to time. Baits of worms, wood grubs and crickets are tried and true performers. Alternatively, if you can’t get onto fresh bait, the factory-made Berkley PowerBaits and similar products can be very handy substitutes, especially in the dams like Malpas, Dumaresq and Sheeba. The holy grail for those anglers who are not hiding away during winter is the piscatorial bulldozer, the mighty Murray cod. Many anglers believe the first frost of winter brings on a much better class of fish in this region and I would have to agree. While the cold water slows down the metabolic rate of our hardy native fish, you will generally find that your hook-up rate is much higher. The strikes are generally hard

and calculated as the cod recklessly leave their home to secure a meal, not just a territorial thump of the tail or bump that will happen many times during a warm summer afternoon. Beef up your gear and throw around lures of 80mm and more to try to find those larger fish. Lures that spring to mind are the Legohead lures made by Dean Cappello, a truly unique design with many quality fish falling to their tantalising action. Just be prepared to rug up as the temperature can change very quickly around the dawn and dusk periods,

a transition time in our local dams with many of the fish choosing to school up in the deep water around points and drop-offs. A good map of the dam is handy in finding likely looking points, and if you can combine these with a rocky bank or two then you should be able to strike gold. A good sounder can come in handy during these times, exposing underwater hills, valleys, drop-offs and submerged structure that might hold healthy populations of these deep dwelling adversaries. You will still pick up the odd fish trolling around the

Golden perch have been a blessing in the Peel River over recent trips. This one fell to a hardbody worked around a willow tree after sun up. and with long hours that may be needed to draw a strike you want to make sure you’re comfortable. DAMS The last few months of fishing Lake Keepit have been spectacular on the golden perch with many people getting amongst the action on baits and lures of all shapes and sizes. However, May is generally

edges of these schools, but your best bet is to fish close to the bottom with metal vibes or soft plastics and work the area over thoroughly before moving on. The fish won’t feed all day, and sometimes it can be a fish a cast or really shut down. Still, patience is a virtue and persistence pays off, so good luck out there and give it a go.

Big cod prime time! YARRAWONGA

Tony Bennett

Numerous reports of cod measuring in excess of the magical metre mark point towards Lake Mulwala. It’s the place to be this time of year for those looking to tangle with the mythical Maccullochella peelii (Murray cod). Along with the odd monster, you will encounter cod in the 45-75cm bracket as they are the norm with up to 8 being the average for a day’s return. The lake can be fished various ways, namely trolling, bait fishing, surface fishing or casting lures (spinnerbaits, hardbodies, crank baits, chatterbaits and plastics soft). Trolling produces the most constant results and sees many anglers become attached to their fist cod. With the lake varying in depth from 2-10m on average, lure selection depends on trolling location. However, a lure that will dive to 7m

will see most situations covered. For those casting (any style of lure) your optimum depth range will be from 2-5m. A lure that puts out good vibration, has reasonable size/profile, can reach and maintain depth you are fishing should be your choice. Surface fishing will see you target the shallower areas with 2-4m being prime. A good surface action that emits plenty of noise and water displacement is what to look for when it comes to choosing surface lures. Bait fishos should be looking to fish the edges of the deeper channels that exist within the lake. These can be easily defined by looking for the bigger stands of dead trees. Water that has more of a current flow around it will also be beneficial. Bardi grubs, yabbies, scrub worms and cheese prove to be the most popular offerings when it comes to tempting cod. Looking back, as mentioned, there have been some great reports of some mighty cod and none better than what was produced

during in the popular His & Hers Partners Classic. Justin Adair weighed in a beauty that measured in at 102cm – a great effort for Justin landing his first metre cod, especially in a competition. His fell victim to a cast purple Bassman spinnerbait caught opposite the Yacht Club. Thinking Justin had won for the day, you could imagine everyone’s surprise when Craig Barber submitted his catch card and photos of a truly amazing specimen that measured in at a whopping 117cm! Craig’s trophy catch was caught on a cast Jackall Muscle Deep around the Kyffin’s area. A special mention must go to Lori Hall who won the female section for biggest cod with her PB of 85cm taken on a trolled Codger Lure. Jamie Stewart was another to come up trumps with a 104cm being his prize. After an unsuccessful evening surface fishing Jamie opted to troll home. On the way this creature took a liking to his trolled 120mm Koolabung Lure.

Justin Adair with his 102cm cod caught during the His & Hers Partners Classic. Kyle Dalrymple also produced the goods again when he become connected to a quality 103cm cod. Kyle’s lure of choice was a cast Breakaway spinnerbait. This cod was taken around the Taramia area. Perennial big cod specialists Trent and Kristy Freer had a warm up for their traditional winter assault with Kristy landing a healthy 85cm fish for her efforts. We are sure to hear

more from them in the next few months. Elsewhere within the lake, the backwaters and lagoons in and around the Bundalong area are still producing some nice yellows. Graeme Jarvis celebrated the launch of his new boat (5.4m Bass Tracker) over the Pirtek comp weekend with a brace of quality golden perch mixed in with a few cod from this area.

• If you are visiting town, I urge you to call into Lake Mulwala Fish Camp & Ski, the shop with the big green cod out the front (Opposite the Post Office) in Mulwala and say G’day. We are your largest Murray Cod specific shop in Yarrawonga/ Mulwala and specialise in all things ‘green’! For any information on the upcoming events or fishing reports give us a hoy on 0357 443 133.

Time to evaluate techniques in cooler weather MOAMA

boat. If trolling just watch water levels as there are some sand bars when water levels are low. Downstream of Echuca are some of my favourite spots. Now that speed boats have hibernated, the water below the Five Mile boat ramp and to Wills Bend is excellent for trolling, flicking lures or angling with plenty of scope for all anglers. Below Deep Creek, the waterway is wider all the

Ian Page

With the cooler weather starting to set in, it is a good time to evaluate our techniques to get the best results for the time we spend fishing. A lot of our keen anglers like to try up in the narrows, the area around Picnic Point. This area is known as a breeding ground for cod with its abundance of timber and fast running water. It is suited to casting lures and bait fishing; best baits are scrubbies, yabbies and grubs. You will lose some gear but this is where the fish are! Moving downstream, the area near Barmah and the steep banks near circular bend provide good water for yellowbelly, either trolling or angling. The area between Cape Horn and the Goulburn mouth can be good with many fallen trees giving habitat to cod. The Goulburn, up to Stewarts Bridge, can give up some great fish provided they are not regulating water levels, which can turn fish on and off like a light switch. I particularly like to flick lures in this area as it can be rather shallow at times with lots of structure and often flows slower, which

way to Torrumbury and provides plenty of scope for all types of angling. In the deeper water, using big lures produces some big cod at this time of year. The Gunbower Creek has been a little quiet of late with the odd yellowbelly and cod taken mainly by the bait fishers on scrubbies and grubs. The Campaspe continues to be good this season with its gentle flow into larger holes. It is ideal

to angle or flick lures and don’t forget your surface hoppers as they provide great sport. Still getting reports of redfin in the channels on yabbies and worms so there is plenty of scope for all anglers. • For the latest fishing and boating information in the Echuca/Moama region, drop into Boats and More’s Echuca store at 76 Northern Hwy or give them a call on (03) 5482 1992.



Adam Crawford caught this great cod near the Headworks on a bardigrub. are ideal conditions. Between the Goulburn and Echuca are some great

bank fishing spots with plenty of road access for those without a

% Full


% Full

Blowering............................. 49

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

Brogo................................ 100

Hume.................................. 37

Burrendong........................... 16

Jindabyne............................. 68

Burrinjuck............................. 45

Keepit.................................. 18

Carcoar................................ 27

Lostock................................ 84

Chaffey................................ 42

Oberon................................. 67

Clarrie Hall........................... 91

Pindari................................. 17

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

Split Rock............................. 21

Dartmouth............................. 89

Tantangara............................ 25

Eucumbene........................... 35

Toonumbar.......................... 100

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

Windamere........................... 50

Glenlyon............................... 38

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

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


Lure fishing shines WAGGA WAGGA

Scott McAuliffe

The Murray cod fishing in the region continues to deliver outstanding results to those anglers who put in the work. There have been a number of big fish caught and released over the past month,

and most of these have fallen victim to larger profiled lures. Lure fishing really shines as the water temperature starts to drop. Bait fishing has still been effective, with larger yabbies working well. However, in the cooler water Murray cod will be reluctant to venture too far in search of food and I suspect this is why casting and trolling

lures is a much better option, as these techniques allow you to present your offering right in the faces of the fish. Use big lures and spinnerbaits that represent a worthwhile meal to the targeted fish. EUCUMBENE Longer, cooler nights have really started to kick the spawn run process into action over the past few weeks, with

Be prepared for cold weather if you’re heading up to Eucumbene. This photo was taken down behind Sawyers Hut in 2012, we spent most of the day trekking through 1ft-deep snow.

The spawn run has come around again and there will be plenty of these big browns for anglers to target. Please respect everyone’s space on the river.

some top quality browns being picked up from Anglers Reach right down to the Providence flats. Expect this to really heat up down around the river mouth over the next few weeks. Be ready to get up to the river as soon as some good rain events hit the catchment, as this should send those big spawning browns upstream on their annual run upriver. Flyfishing and spin drifting the river will dominate from now up until the close of the river next month, with nymphs and glo-bugs being the flies of choice. Spin drifting always causes quite a bit of controversy during this

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period. Realistically it’s only 5% of anglers that create this bad reputation; they fish right on top of other anglers and take far more fish than the regulations allow (one fish over 50cm). My suggestion would be to report any illegal fishing you see throughout this time to the relevant authorities, be tolerant of the idiots and be conscious of fishing too close to those who were there first. Don’t be afraid of avoiding the crowds and giving the dam itself a nudge while you’re there. Anywhere from Anglers Reach down to the river mouth will offer good options for trophy browns

on their way up to spawn. The good thing about these fish is that they are generally feeding quite heavily to put on condition before heading upstream. Think big, bright lures that will elicit an aggressive response from these fish. Up around Buckenderra and Frying Pan there have been some good catches of rainbow trout since the cooler weather has come along. Both bait fishers and those out trolling lures have been reporting good catches. Yellow winged lures and 5cm Rapalas have been the standout lures, while PowerBait has really stood out for those drowning baits.

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The disappearing rainbow trout conspiracy AUTHOR’S OPINION

Steve Williamson

While I do not believe that there has been a serious decline in rainbow trout numbers in Lake Jindabyne over recent years, there is actually another theory that might just bite the bum of the same people that are complaining now. The same people that have pushed to have certain changes to rules and regulations in the past. Let’s look at a couple of facts first: 1. Last year’s brown trout spawning run on the Eucumbene River in particular was massive. Anglers fishing during May before the June closure reported record catches of brown trout, some in excess of 10lb. 2. The shore-based angling for brown trout both on Lake Eucumbene and Lake Jindabyne over the last two winter seasons was the best reported for many years. So we can agree on that? Here are a few more facts to consider: Unless they are ‘tagged’ research fish, no brown trout are stocked into either system. No brown trout are stocked into either lakes Jindabyne or Eucumbene,

nor the tributary rivers, the Thredbo River and Eucumb ene Riv er! Therefore, the brown trout are self-sustaining in those systems and have been as far as I can remember. When the NSW Government had a lot more money to employ researchers and scientists, there were many studies done into the trout in the Snowy Mountains lakes. Richard Tilzey and Bob Faragher are two Fisheries researchers’ names legendary to the region. Many years ago when I started trout fishing the Eucumbene River, spawning closure occurred at the end of June each year. Those days you were allowed to keep 5 fish per day per angler from rivers. Why? Because research had found that although there was no stocking of brown trout into the system, brown trout were ‘dominating’ the waterway, preying on the less territorial and aggressive rainbow trout, thus there was seen to be a decline in rainbow trout numbers and it was ‘necessary’ to leave the river open longer to see if fishing would have an effect on reduction of the numbers of brown trout. Wow! (Tilzey. R 1970) Sometime in the 1980s the rule on fishing to the end of June was changed

a compromise to John Turnbull’s request. It was mostly agreed that this change was based on an emotional/moral vote only. For whatever reason, John had an issue with the closure, I am not sure but it was certainly not based on science or research. There was also no evidence of the brown trout being threatened in any way and research had shown that the lakes as a brown trout fishery were still in very good shape. In an article written by Canberra Tackle Store owner and fishing journalist, Dr Bryan Pratt, for NSW Fishing Monthly in June 2001, A win for the critics (talking about the 1 fish over 50cm rule change for May each year), Dr Bryan Pratt stated, “If you have ever worked in government bureaucracy, you will be well aware that there are times when you make a decision that isn’t based on logic, scientific evidence or even public good.” Bryan went on to say, “While you admire the sentiment of some people, scientific support for their approach is sadly lacking. These rule changes are more about satisfying a vocal few rather than correct fisheries management. “Unfortunately these last minute changes to the rules implemented by NSW

Fisheries, are following pressure from some vociferous but probably not well-informed anglers.” So the truth of the matter is that changing closure times to protect the trout does not have anything to do with the success of a trout’s spawning run and the rumoured decline in numbers of rainbow trout, is more about the possible increase in brown trout numbers rather than about a decrease in rainbow trout numbers. The only way that we can possibly increase the catch rate of rainbow trout is either to again cull the numbers of brown trout or, better still, increase the numbers of rainbow trout that are stocked annually. So let me repeat what I said earlier: NO brown trout are stocked into either lakes or their spawning tributaries! Brown trout fishing is the best it has been for many years, since before the drought years. The brown trout are in spectacular condition and after this summer will be even bigger. If the research of the late 1970s and 1980s is correct as suggested, then if you do believe that rainbow trout numbers are declining, it could be either due to predication by brown trout, or maybe a little damage by cormorants. So, if you believe there

is a decline in rainbow trout numbers, it may be prudent to open the season up longer and ‘cull’ the browns (now won’t that start a bit of controversy amongst the activists). Or the simple answers might just be that the rainbows are now feeding deeper in the lakes on such things like daphnia. Maybe we just solve the problem by stocking more rainbow trout? But whatever the reason, it is my belief that decisions made by ‘committees’ that change rules just because of personal and emotional reasons – reasons that have no research or scientific studies done, these decisions must be halted now! No science behind changes – no decisions should be made. With that in mind, while I think that we are wasting money, if NSW Fisheries has to bring over Dr Michel Dedual from New Zealand’s Department of Conservation, who has been studying similar issues at Lake Taupo, for advice, then so be it. If it shuts up the critics at present that have so far only managed to seriously damage an already suffering, $70 million tourism industry in the Snowy Mountains, then great



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to come in line with other waterways so as to stop confusion. In about 2000, the Snowy Mountains Lakes Management committee was set up by Fisheries to look at the system and give advice on management issues for the future. I have been on that committee since its inception. In 2001 when the then Fisheries Minister, Eddie Obied, announced the Snowy Lakes Management Strategy there were a few changes that did not go down well with anglers. One of those changes was the new rule being that only 1 fish over 50cm to be taken from the Thredbo and Eucumbene rivers from 1 May until the annual closure in June each year. This rule that was vigorously argued against by myself and both Fisheries researcher Bob Faragher and Gaden Trout Hatchery Manager Sam Crocker. This rule change was tabled by well know fly angler, activist and Canberra Times journalist John Turnbull, to have the fishing season closed totally from May each year. This was a personal pursuit by John for at least 10 years prior to close the rivers earlier. The outcome of the 1 fish over 50cm rule from the first of May was

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Crabber pinched in the dead of night Crab fishers on the NSW mid-north coast are being encouraged to do the right thing after a man was apprehended and found in possession of hundreds of blue swimmer crabs, mud crabs and a number of fin fish. “Fisheries officers conducted a night patrol of Wallis Lake, near Forster, targeting illegal crab fishing in March,” Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Supervising Fisheries Officer, Lee Burdett said. “During the patrol, officers apprehended a 36 year-old man from Cessnock at 2.00am in the morning. “It is alleged the man was found in possession of 212 blue swimmer crabs, 20 mud crabs and a quantity of fin fish. Thirty-six crabs and nine fish were found to be of prohibited size. “Fisheries officers seized the crabs and fin fish, as well as the boat, motor, trailer and various other items connected with the offence. It will be alleged the man used these items

to engage in commercial fishing activities for the purposes of committing a boat forfeiture offence.” The man is facing charges of exceeding the possession limit of fish, possess fish illegally taken, unlawful use of fishing gear and possess prohibited size fish, each carrying penalties of $22,000 in fines and/or six months imprisonment. The possession limit for blue swimmer crabs in NSW is 20 per person, and five per person for mud crabs. The minimum prescribed legal carapace length of a blue swimmer crab is 6 cm, and 8.5 cm minimum carapace length for mud crabs. “Fisheries officers patrol the State’s waterways at all hours, including on weekends and public holidays,” Ms Burdett said. “It is imperative that all fishers utilising Wallis Lake and other aquatic systems across the state follow the rules to ensure resources are sustainably shared, now and in

DPI fisheries officers seized blue swimmer and mud crabs, a number of fish, and a boat, motor and trailer. the future.” An overview of the rules regarding the use of recreational crab traps in NSW can be viewed on YouTube at watch?v=PllUgdTDpBI. The video was filmed at Wallis Lake to help educate

users about crab fishing rules and has already had over 3000 views. Anyone with information about illegal fishing should contact Fishers Watch on 1800 043 536 or online at www. compliance. - DPI MAY 2014


530 million reasons ROBINVALE

Rod Mackenzie

Have you ever wondered on the many things that influence cod fishing? A billion and one variables that can be traced and blamed on specific things, some as far removed as one could imagine. Take for instance wine. Other than to blur one’s vision, making it hard to thread a hook or tie a lure, you might wonder what impact wine could have on catching a Murray cod. Here’s how: there’s an average consumption of 530 million litres a year, and it takes a lot of squashed grapes

to concoct this awful brew. These grapes need water, and irrigation demands generally determined river flow and this in turn affects water clarity. Once the harvest season is over and things start to cool, the demand for irrigation drops away and the river falls to a more regular level where it has time to settle and clear. Once this happens, anglers can once again confidently target cod on lures. So there you have it, you can add wine to the long list of reasons of why cod are so damned hard to catch during the warmer months of the irrigation season. With harvest done and the stench of fermenting grapes thick in the air, the Murray is clearing fast.

The water temperature has dropped away and a few good fish are starting to show on lures. Shrimp numbers are beginning to thin out, making it harder for our native fish to forage an easy meal. The early morning fog and flickering bony bream are other signs that the green machine that is Murray cod is about to hit overdrive. April is always a great month of fishing where multiple big cod captures stir the imagination and draw anglers from far afield. Trolling big lures in the pool water is the most popular method and is often productive. Don’t be in a hurry though as it’s not an easy game. On some days a single strike might be all the reward for the effort you put in, and if it sticks you could be holding that

John Erikson with a healthy golden perch trolled in the Murray River near Wemen on a 120 Codzilla.

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Spinnerbaits will catch their share of cod and perch over the coming month. This Murray cod bit off more than it could chew when it scoffed a 5/8oz Bassman spinnerbait on the cast.

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catch of a lifetime. On other days several strikes and as many fish blur these quieter times and see you eager to

leave the swag in the early morning chill. Good numbers of golden perch have been caught on

bait in the clearing waters, with shrimp and small yabbies working best. Wemen on the Murray has been fishing

well, as has the pool water at Robinvale. Good numbers of small cod have been caught at both locations on bait, which is a good sign for the future. Below the weir at Euston anglers are catching a few cod on bait and lures. No monsters yet; the best of these have been a little over 80cm. Good numbers of perch are also biting below the weir and further downstream on shrimp and small hardbodied lures and spinnerbaits. As the river continues to clear, the fishing should only get better over the coming month. With the bardies still hatching, anglers fishing surface lures are still snagging a few cod. Surface fishing is possibly the most exhilarating way to target these fish. With good clarity, some cool weather and less bait in the water anglers can expect some excellent fishing action at most locations along the Murray River over the next few months. Let the show begin.












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MAY 2014

The cod fishing will only get better as the water continues to cool down and clear up. John Erikson with an average sized cod for the Wemen area landed on a King Mong lure.

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Fishwreck has launched some awesome new fishing apparel and much more. Fishwreck creator, owner and fishing tragic Paul Shaw, along with artist Nick Laferriere, are now able to bring you fishing shirts and clothing, boat decals and boat and kayak wraps. All of the boat decals and fishing shirts are Australian species and depicted in Nick’s own style in exceptionally detailed pencil art. The species are barramundi, snapper, Australian bass, Murray cod and mangrove jack. The long-sleeve polo shirts are 100% Australian, and have a UPF 50 sun protection rating. The very cool, lightweight Sports Mesh polyester fabric is moisture wicking. The fabric also has a soft feel for maximum comfort. To view the full range of apparel and decals check out the new Fishwreck website. Price: varies



Australian company Gorilla has been making quality metals for years now, with models from 15g all the way up to 120g. These lures are specially weighted for long casting, and swim well at a variety of speeds and retrieves. Gorillas have a unique design, making them perfect as a dual-purpose metal slug. Not only can they be cast and retrieved, they have also proven deadly as a ‘bay jigging’ lure when retrofitted with Gamakatsu G Stinger assist hooks and vertically jigged. Their unique flutter action makes them irresistible to all popular table species. Up until now they have been available in a variety of chrome variations but now Gorilla has added a glow in the dark colour to the range. They’re perfect for kings, tuna, mackerel, tailor and more. Price: from RRP $7.95



Samurai has launched the all new Kestrel range. These bluewater rods are built to the high standards anglers have come to expect from Samurai. High quality Fuji components were at the core of the build, but it was the carefully crafted and balanced blanks which set the market alight with their strength and light weight. The Kestrel range features responsive graphite blanks suitable for everything from snapper to mackerel. Advanced material and cutting-edge building techniques have delivered light, super strong bluewater-specific rod designs. Features include Fuji reel seats with Honeysoft finish giving that soft feel, and Titanium SiC (silicon carbide) K Series guides, so every guide in this series contains the latest Fuji Anti-Tangle technology. Combine this with the titanium frame and the SiC ring, and you have rods that are impressively light and responsive. Using Mitsubishi Pyrofil cloth and new material technology in resins, the cloth modulus has been selected specifically for each blank. It is machine rolled under enormous pressure to produce an even blank diameter throughout the rod’s length. There are six models, ranging from the KE302-70 6-12lb up to the KE602-70 25-40lb 7’ spin stick. Price: from RRP $449



The Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Knife should be one of the first items you throw in your kit bag before embarking on your next adventure. The Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Knife has a razor sharp, high carbon stainless steel 12cm blade capable of cutting wood for kindling, aiding the construction of a shelter, and almost any other outdoor task you can think of. It measures 25cm and weighs 300g, but don’t let its featherweight status fool you, Bear’s Ultimate Survival Knife will never let you down. Available with either a serrated or fine edge, the Bear Grylls Ultimate Knife’s drop point blade is housed in a nylon and hard rubber military-grade sheath. It includes a fire starter, a diamond knife sharpener and a survival guide. Price: RRP $99.95



Daiichi hooks are made in Japan from the finest quality carbon steel, and two of Daiichi’s latest releases are the Nemesis Circle HD and the Matsu Circle. The Nemesis is 4X strong heavy-duty gauge hook and has a straight eye and offset bend to increase hook-up rates. It’s ideal for all pelagics and large reefies, and comes in 12/0 and 10/0 sizes. Matsu Circle hooks are fantastic for presenting baits down a berley trail. They are extremely strong but lightweight to allow natural presentations. The Matsu Circle comes in a black nickel finish, is ultra sharp and has a straight eye with an offset beak. It is available in 6/0, 5/0, 4/0, 3/0, 2/0 and 1/0 sizes and comes in pre-packs and value packs. These hooks feature Daiichi’s chemically sharpened finish so they’re razor sharp from the pack. And like all good circle hooks, they increase hook-up rates of mouth hooked fish rather than gut hooked fish. Price: from $4.99 for Matsu and from $8.99 for the Nemesis







The Van Staal VM275 is completely overbuilt for incredible strength. The body, rotor, spool, arm lever, handle knob and dust cap, plus the drag knob, are all aluminium, fully machined then bead blasted and anodised. The body is sealed and the machined spool has the Van Staal patented sealed water-tight drag. The spool lip features a special coating to reduce friction, increasing casting distance. The stainless steel shaft diameter is massive, as is the size of the hardened stainless steel main gear and pinion gear. The VM275 has five stainless steel ball bearings plus one infinite anti-reverse bearing. The gear ratio is 4.4:1 and the line capacity is 400yd of 80lb braid. The drag system runs five carbon fibre washers that produce up to 45lb of pulling power. The Van Staal VM series is ideal for fighting kingfish, GTs, samsonfish, amberjack and dogtooth tuna. Price: RRP $599

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


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The high-performance WFT Electra range of 12V electric reels offer a Japanese-made motor and loads of functions. There are two models: the Electra 1200PRHP (1440m of 80lb braid); and the Electra Speed Jig 700PR (360m of 80lb braid). The star drag system produces up to 30kg in the 1200PRHP and 13kg in the 700PR. The 1200PRHP weighs 1680g and retrieves up to 160m per minute; the 700PR weighs 680g and retrieves up to 180m per minute. Features include two premium-quality Japanese NSK SS ball bearings; high quality brass and stainless steel gearing; one-piece alloy frame; machined alloy spool and aluminium handle. The display is easy to see at night and in full daylight, and functions include line winding speed control; precision drag settings; pre-set gunwale stop position; max setting for high-speed retrieve; water surface pre-set; quick motor release; swimming range settings; position memory function; bottom mode; and correction mode for line length data changes. You can run your WFT on 12V DC power, batteries or a WFT Electra personal power pack. Go to the Jarvis Walker website to view videos on how to fish with electric reels, including spooling, functions of the WFT reels, how to set up your deepwater rig, and rod choice. Price: from approx. $550



The new Stainless Steel Cap Aquatic Work Boot (#672380586-93) from Home Grown Brands Australia is the only steel cap aquatic work boot on the market. This quality footwear is designed to keep you comfortable and safe in any conditions. They’re ideal for cold, wet and slippery conditions, making them the perfect work boots. Designed with a 5mm neoprene upper, steel capped toe, hardened rubber sole and salt waterproof YKK zipper, these boots will protect you and your feet while remaining comfortable and durable. They’re also easy to get on and off, and will give you years of comfort and reliability. Price: RRP $79.95





The Okuma Signature is an extremely versatile reel that has been designed specifically for Australian anglers and the species they love to target. A lightweight graphite frame and rotor, along with the carbon fibre handle arm (size 30 and 40 only) with a Soft Touch EVA knob maximises the angler’s comfort and control whilst fishing for extended periods of time. This is complemented further by eye-catching black and gold graphics. Internally, the Signature Reel series features 7+1 stainless steel ball bearings, multi-disc Japanese oiled felt drag washers and precision cut machine brass pinion gears. This combination of high quality components enables the reel to perform effortlessly in both saltwater and freshwater environments. As with all Okuma reels, the Signature comes complete with a Lifetime Guarantee for peace of mind. Price: from RRP $129.95







For two years barramundi across Australia have been getting hooked on the Thunder Barra, yet unfortunately some deeper snag-dwellers have been missing out. The team at Storm strongly believe that all barra, shallow or deep, should have access to this tasty lure, so they have developed the Storm Thunder Barra Deep. Designed by a Northern Territory inspired Japanese angler, the new Barra Deep has been constructed with all the necessary attributes that make a grand barra lure. These include great casting, high buoyancy (with reverse on pause), extreme rattle, strong VMC hooks, tough construction and 14 Australia-exclusive colour schemes. Additionally this new 11cm Thunder Barra Deep makes an impressive trolling lure, reaching depths of up to 15ft (4.5m) and tracking true at speeds greater than 10 knots. Price: RRP $14.95

We’ve all seen that crazy Kiwi Matt Watson leaping out of the helicopter onto the marlin, but what’s not as well known is that he’s has a very good TV series as well. Some of you may have seen Series One of his Ultimate Fishing show on the community broadcasters but Ten, Seven and Nine have been slow on the uptake. So that his fans can continue to enjoy his show, Watson is putting a hand-picked selection of full episodes up on his YouTube channel in high definition. He has already uploaded 14 episodes and there’ll be one a week going up for the foreseeable future. If you like your fishing to cover everything from grass roots angling with the kids through to high octane sportfishing, check it out by searching ‘Ultimate Fishing’ in YouTube. Price: Free

The Stella FI series reels are perfect for light line applications in both fresh and salt water. Micromodule Gear Technology delivers a new level of smoothness and reduced vibration for easier winding and better contact with the lure. This is brought about by superior gear design and alignment, yet with the same strength and durability we’ve come to expect from Stellas. S-Direct Gear means more precise gear component alignment, and Coreprotect involves a sealed bail arm line roller, rotor and roller clutch, so the Stella FIs can be fished in a variety of environments without being affected by sand, dirt or water. G Free Body means the reel’s centre of gravity has been moved closer to the rod for less winding fatigue. Each Stella has 13 SA-RB bearings and an all-new design anti-reverse bearing, which generates less friction and lighter handle rotation. There’s also a titanium bail arm, a larger, ergonomically shaped drag knob for adjusting the new Coil Wave Spring Drag, a longer spool shape for greater casting distance, and a re-designed line clip. Price: too new

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

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The TT Lures Vortex is a small-framed spinnerbait that is extremely popular with anglers chasing Australian bass, golden perch, saratoga and sooty grunter. Previously available in 1/4, 3/8, 1/2 and 3/4oz, Tackle Tactics has now added a 1/8oz model to the range. The 1/8oz Vortex is ideal for prospecting the small water, fishing the edge bite and working weed beds, along with searching fallen timber due to the Vortex’s snag resistance. Vortex spinnerbaits are constructed from quality materials, including a Mustad Ultrapoint chemically sharpened hook, ball bearing swivel, silicone skirt and 24K plated blades. They come fitted with a stinger hook which is locked in place with Bait Buttons to minimise short striking. The Vortex is available in 12 colours, including favourites red nightmare, white bony, purple glimmer, gold olive scale and baby bass. Price: SRP $15.95



Exclusive to Wilson Fishing, the Precision Pak range of outdoor gear has been created for those who like to live rough and rugged. The new range of dry bags and backpacks are perfect for anglers, with watertight features that make them dunk proof to keep your valuables safe and dry. The new Dry Slingback is fully watertight, has a large capacity for ample storage and an adjustable padded shoulder strap. It is made from 420D TPU material, which is waterproof, abrasion resistant and flexible. All seams are welded to provide a waterproof seal, and the zipper is waterproof as well. The Dry Slingback is perfect for keeping your belongings dry in unpredictable weather and adventure situations. It features all the pockets and compartments you’d expect from a backpack, with the reliability of watertight dry bag. There are two compartments with interior pocket for ample storage; a removable heatsealed mobile phone holder and a velcro attachment inside. The dimensions are 40.6 x 26.6 x 15.25cm. Price: RRP $85



In March of this year, Pure Fishing acquired Cutting Edge Lures by Rob Gaden. These hardbodied lures are designed for all predator species, catering to both tropical and freshwater needs. Now Cutting Edge has released six new colours across several different models: grey ghost, purple ghost, blue ghost, rodeo clown, black and gold, and red gold. Cutting Edge is headquartered in Coffs Harbour, Australia, and prides itself on innovation and new product development. Pure Fishing is a leading global provider of fishing tackle, lures, rods and reels with a portfolio of brands that includes Abu Garcia, Berkley, Fenwick, Penn, Pflueger, SevenStrand, Shakespeare, SpiderWire and Stren. Price: Varies




Fishpond USA expanded its product line to include a range of high-quality landing nets. The Nomad Nets are made from a composite of carbon fibre and fibreglass making them extremely strong, lightweight and durable; in addition to being waterproof, weatherproof and buoyant. The Nomad Hand Net is 26” long with a 13”W x 18”L head dimension. This shorthandled style with a cord and clip will suit attachment to the back of a fly vest. The Nomad Mid-Length Net has the same head dimension as the Hand Net but is 37” long for greater reach. The clear, soft rubber mesh bag has proven to be far less damaging to fish through not absorbing their protective slime. Replacement bags will also be available. The nets are finished in rubberized paint which provides excellent wet grip. Price: Hand Net - $219, Mid Net - $269





The Daiwa Caldia is now lighter, stronger, and more feature-packed than ever before. Its Zaion frame, made form a high-density resin and carbon material, resists corrosion and exceeds the strength of traditional reel body materials such as magnesium and alloy. Daiwa’s Digigear II technology achieves perfect gear meshing and ultra smooth performance, and Silent Oscillation enhances the reel’s whisper quiet and silky smooth operation. Real Stopper technology eliminates rearward backplay handle movement. Ultimate protection is provided via Daiwa’s Mag Seal, which contains a magnetized oil that seals out dust, water and salt for increased performance and lifespan. Other features include CRBB (shielded for extra protection), a reshaped and lightened Air Rotor, Ultimate Tournament Drag, ABS II, Air Ball and Twist Buster II technologies. The line roller bearing has also been upgraded with improved bearings and greater structural strength. Smoother line roller rotation, increased strength and reduced line twist all feature in the new Caldia. Price: Too new



Replacing the incredibly popular Monster Mesh range, the new Saltist Hyper range incorporates 16 models ranging from 5’3” power spin sticks to longer and lighter overhead options, and 9’6”spin and overhead mega rods. Using Daiwa’s HVF carbon, the blanks are stripped of unwanted weight yet loaded with power. Glatech construction features in many of the models and incorporates uni-directional fibreglass sandwiched between 90º inner and outer layers of graphite. The result is an incredibly resilient blank, with backbone and lifting power. Daiwa’s Bias Wrap construction eliminates unwanted rod twist and distortion when under heavy load. Other features include rock solid Fuji reel seats for an immovable fusion between rod and reel; Fuji O Concept guides; and ultra tough and comfortable EVA grips. The Hyper range will be be rolled out over the coming months. Price: Too new




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

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The release of Shimano’s Orca stickbaits last year created quite a splash, and the line-up has now been expanded further with the release of smaller 140mm and 145mm models. The 140 is a sinker with an interesting free-fall shimmy, while the 145 is a floater. Both cast extremely well and have that deadly, up-and-under sideways ducking motion through the water that drives pelagics wild — from greenback tailor in the washes, giant trevally over coral bommies, to yellowfin tuna hammering flighty baitfish well offshore. The 140 and 145 are equipped with through-wire construction, custom pelagicstrength rings and trebles, and six highly reflective and hard-wearing colour schemes. Some patterns replicate popular baitfish species, while others are quite radical in style. The important thing is though, that they all get bit. Price: RRP from $29.95 for the 140 and 145.



The all-new Vibelicious from Samaki perfectly mimics the tight shimmy of a baitfish, luring in a wide range of finned predators. Samaki Vibelicious is constructed of 10X strong super stretch material, new VMC 4X strong Spark Point hooks and


premium Japanese wire – not to mention it’s available in 12 fish-catching colours and two unique sizes (a 100mm/20g model and a 125mm/30g model). This new lure is designed for speed, action and ultimate attraction. Whether you’re fishing inshore reefs for the likes of snapper and trout, coastal estuaries for trevally and mulloway, freshwater impoundments for barra and sooties or the northern run-off for barra and jacks, the Vibelicious will be the stealthiest lure in your tackle box. For more detailed information, including stockist locations, visit the Samaki website or Like them on Facebook. Price: SRP is $19.95



TravelMate, the reliable fridge/freezer for the outback has had an upgrade. A great companion for your boating, 4WD and camping adventures, the TravelMate range of fridge/freezers are built around fully insulated cabinets that ensure the coldest drinks even on the hottest of days. TravelMate is the perfect fridge freezer to match any budget and the list of features make it well worth considering. Designed to be tough and robust, the unique full surround static evaporator coil works in the harshest conditions. The superior quality insulated cabinet also allows for extremely low power consumption (as little as 1.65A/h) and the TravelMate range has 3 sizes. A 2 year national warranty provides peace of mind to go along with the sharp, new cosmetics. Price: 60L $699

TESTED: The Anything Bin Baedal2u is the importer of a new and exciting product, the Anything Bin. The name says it all. These bins are made from food safe, high impact plastic. The lid has a seal installed which makes this product water tight and air tight. When I first looked at this new product straight away I could see the numerous uses this would have for

anglers and travelling campers. The Anything Bins will initially be available in 4 sizes and 3 colours (red, yellow and orange) but Baedal2u are working on larger sizes and these will be available in the not too distant future. These bins are tough. We had one of

our staff members stand on the top of the small model. He weighs 140kg and under such stress there was no risk of cracking or warping in the bin. The uses for these impressive bins are endless. Some that come to mind include safety gear storage, keeping lunch fresh and away from ice and fish and also for salting bait and general bait storage. You can also use

them for dry storage of clothes be it for the boatie right through to the kayak die hards. You can also keep your first aid kits neat and organised as well as dry. Again being air tight and waterproof this makes them perfect for the onboard tool kit, so rusty and seized tools could be a

thing of the past. Most keen anglers use soft plastics that require a liquid to keep them fresh and in good order. These tubs, especially the smaller size, are ideal for this application. When I take home a feed of fish I like to clean them down with saltwater rather than fresh water so these bins will be a perfect container to transport sea water home without spilling in your car. But I am sure there are 1,000s more ideas and uses for them. The bins all come standard with a heavy duty handle on the lid for easy of transport. They stack well and will fit better than any round container will in most applications. The Anything Bins are available from most good tackle and camping stores, so grab a hand full of these bins and keep your gear dry and fresh. They start in price at $9.95

and move up to $18.95 for the larger models. Trade enquires are welcome to Baedal2u Pty Ltd by phoning (07) 3287 3385 or emailing baedal2u@ – Greg Livingstone

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

BETS R3 St Georges Basin In near ideal conditions, the beautiful St Georges Basin provided yet another fish fest for competitors fishing the TT Lures BETS Round 3. It all came down to who could secure the better quality fish, and sounding out fish in the deep was the key! Greg Silva and Nick Jabber of Team Lowrance/ Berkley Powerbait not only sounded out decent groups of fish, but their highresolution Lowrance Point One GPS antenna enabled the pair to keep the boat right on top of the holding fish. This allowed them to slowly accumulate the kind of quality bag needed to be in the running in an arena like St Georges Basin. Using Berkley Gulp

Shrimps in camo on 1/12oz jigheads, the key was to keep things slow and tight

during the early glassy conditions. By being patient and methodical the team

Michael Borg of Bream Attack. Geoff, a long time participant in bream events,

Greg Silva and Nick Jabber of Team Lowrance/Berkley Powerbait show off their winners’ checque. made to fit your fugly head From $39.95 + p&h

...and they float! PO Box 235 Yorkeys Knob Qld 4878 Ph: 07 4055 8472 Fax: 07 4055 8471

weighed in a quality bag of 4.15kg. St Georges Basin is known for giving up a cracker bag or two, so it was a tense wait for the team until the last bag was weighed in. Despite a few spirited challenges, the bag was not to be surpassed and earned the team their first win and $3600 cash. One of the spirited challenges came from father and son team Geoff and

had to sheepishly admit that it was son Michael who caught all the fish. And what fish they were! Topped by a 1.23kg specimen, the quality collection brought the scales down at 4.02kg – more than enough to take out second place, $2600 and an Engel Spectator Pack. Pete and Phil Cook of Stealth Blades secured third place with 3.75kg for $1600. It was yet another BETS event where 3kg would barely get you into the top 20! Of course, a

Anthony Thorpe with his 1.42kg Austackle Big Bream. cracker would have helped and it was Anthony Thorpe of Gladiator Tackle who found the biggest cracker – a 1.42kg beauty to secure the Austackle Big Bream award. A paid entry, first cab off the rank and an Austackle Lure Pack valued at $250 were the reward for a great fish. The close of the event saw all anglers placed 11 to 20 securing a product

giveaway bag courtesy of round sponsor TT Lures, and Ross Canizarro won the Duffrods random draw for one of Steve’s custom rods valued at over $500. Thanks go to Sam and Brian at the Sussex Inlet Marine Centre for providing breakfast and lunch to the anglers. They really do help make the St Georges Basin event one of our favourites.


$30,000 Where is it? In front of Cabarita Beach SLSC & The Cabarita Beach Hotel at Cabarita Beach 20kms South of NSW/QLD Border. EFTPOS Available at the Beach Hotel



Entry Ticket Sales

9am - 6pm

Fishing licences sold at competition only. Note: Current fishing licence is compulsory.

12noon - 6pm Sign on. (fishing is not to be commenced until signed on).


SUNDAY 8TH JUNE 7.30am - 10amWeigh-in. (fish not accepted after 10am sharp).

6am - 4pm

Free competitors breakfast. Food & drinks available all day. • Seafood/meat raffles. • Lucky Entry Draws. • Competition prize presentations. • Charity fish auction. • Lions Community Market run by Caba Creative

J FOWLER Building Services

To Register go to: Contact Vicky 0400 159 370 POST GREENBACK TAILOR FISHING COMPETITION PO BOX 18 BOGANGAR NSW 2488


MAY 2014

The first Atomic B.A.S.S. Nation event attracted 58 skilled bass anglers and resulted in some quality fish being caught. With over $23,000 in cash and prizes on offer, 58 of Australia’s premium tournament bass anglers took on the challenge to become the inaugural winner of the Atomic B.A.S.S. Australia Nation Series at the Damiki Lake St Clair Classic in NSW. Compiling a 4/4 limit over two days, Tom Slater from Queensland was the only angler to weigh in more than 2kg each day to claim his maiden Pro B.A.S.S. Victory. Slater worked out a solid pattern on Saturday morning where he caught his limit very early, and then searched for the rest of the day to find similar locations to cement his technique and

claim the $3610 cheque. Tom’s jerkbait gear consisted of a 13 ENVY Black 71LM rod matched with a Daiwa 2500 Caldia spooled with 10lb braid and 6lb Toray leader. The jerkbait he used was a Imakatsu Riprizer 60 in the lemon dazzler colour. The Co-Angler champion for the event went to Ben Scotman from NSW, who not only took out the inaugural Co-Angler Division of the Atomic B.A.S.S. Australia Nation Series, but also claimed the Fish Arrow Big Bass prize with a 1.62kg specimen on day two. Ben slow rolled 3” Gulp Minnows in black and watermelon colours

in 40-55ft of water. His gear consisted of a Daiwa Certate 2004 matched to a Daiwa Tournament Master Zero/1-4kg rod and Daiwa Hyper 10lb PE braid. Ben said that using a 3m 10lb Sunline V-Hard leader and dropping the rod quickly to the water once he felt a bite was the key to the success. Queensland bass pro Greg Mitchell weighed in a 2.29kg bag on Sunday to claim the Austackle Big Bass Bag worth $500. The next event will be held on Lake Boondooma on 24-25 May. Visit au for more information. – Drew McGrath

Southern Bream Series R3 at Batemans Bay Sunday 6 April saw the Basin Lure and Fly Anglers Inc. run Round 3 of the popular Southern Bream Series, proudly sponsored by Tonic Eyewear, on the Clyde River at Batemans Bay. A total of 49 boating teams and 14 kayak anglers

fished the comp in what could be described as very tough conditions due to the previous week’s weather. The final winner in the Boating section was Team FG Blades with Fred Green and Lindon Thompson with a 5/5 bag totalling 2.970kg. Second went to Team Tonic

Eyewear/FG Blades with Matt Star and Damien Skeen scoring a 5/5 bag totalling 2.745kg. Third went to Team Bream Laden with Steven Babic and Michael Tallis with a 5/5 bag weighing 2.245kg, Fourth went to Team Bream Attack with Geoff Borg and Michael Borg with a 4/5 bag

totalling 2.050kg and fifth went to Team Fishing World/ Shimano with Wal Balzan and Tony Rutkowski with a 5/5 bag weighing 2.040kg. In the Boating section the 98 competing anglers amassed a total of 92 fish for a combined weight of 39.160kg. The Hobie Big Bream prize was taken out by Neil Kelly with a solid 0.985kg fish. The Kayak section was won by Team Custom Lure Art - Craig Coughlan with a

bag of 3/3 totalling 1.550kg, and second went to Team - Scott Marcinkowski with a bag of 3/3 weighing 1.370kg. Third went to Rob Chambers with a bag of 2/3 totalling 1.070kg. In the Kayak section the 14 competitors caught a total of 10 fish for a combined weight of 4.890kg. The BCF Big Bream prize was taken out by Craig Coughlan with a 0.655kg fish. The Basin Lure and Fly Anglers Inc. would like to

thank all the competitors and sponsors: Tonic Eyewear, Fishing World, Lowrance, Searing Tackle/Damiki, Shimano, Custom Lure Art, Skeeter Boats / Power Pole, Hobie Fishing, Compleat Angler Nowra, BCF, Totally Immersed Watersports, Lox Rods and STG Graphics. Round 4 will be held on Sunday 11th May on Sydney Harbour, and more information is available at au. - BLFA

for sale on 05 Stratos 200/225 Evinrude Tournament ready. Happy to take genuine buyers out on water. Bring helmet and a change of undies. VIC / $38,750

2011 Ranger 177TR 115hp ProXS Mercury motor. 80 hours on motor.80lb Minn Kota Fortrex................................ NSW / $33,000

ZX200 Skeeter with a 2011 225hp ETEC with only 130hours. ........................................................................ NSW / $42,000

Hewes 21 Redfisher 2009 Hewes 21 Redfisher, 2010 250hp Yamaha SHO + many more goodies............................QLD/ $62,000

Skeeter FX21 2010 Top of the line Skeeter FX21 in awesome condition..................................................................QLD / $79,000

A total of 49 boating teams and 14 kayakers competed in Round 3 of the Southern Bream Series.







2014 PIRTEK Fishing Challenge breaks all records Wednesday 2 April 2014, thousands of Australians travelled to some of the country’s best fishing spots to participate in the 2014 PIRTEK Fishing Challenge – Australia’s biggest one-day fishing competition. More than 8,500 participated in the 2014 catchand-release fishing event that was held on Sunday 23 March. It was the largest competition that PIRTEK has hosted since the competition began in 2009. All registered anglers were on the hunt for 21 target species which were spread across the country for a chance to win a total of 126 prizes. This year’s Challenge offered a total of $155,000 in cash and prizes. Registered participants had to measure their catches across the competition brag mat and send in photographs to be in the running to win in the different categories, including longest fish, the ‘mystery length’ and special prizes for junior anglers. Michael Guest, Event Director of the PIRTEK Fishing Challenge, said there were impressive catches in this year’s competition. “Our staff and troop of volunteers were overwhelmed with the number of people who participated in this year’s competition, especially considering some states and territories had to battle some challenging weather conditions. We are thrilled that more and more people are getting behind the competition to have some fun with family and friends, plus helping to raise money for Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia,” said Mr Guest. “We want to send our sincere thanks to PIRTEK and all our corporate partners for supporting such a successful event – Evinrude, Berkely, Lowrance, Stacer, BCF and Companion Leisure. Without

a doubt, we will get started to make the competition bigger and better in 2015.” Stephen Dutton, Pirtek Fluid Systems Chief Executive Officer, also got into the spirit of the challenge

Colin Bate from Sussex Inlet won 1st prize for his NSW/ACT 81.4cm tailor. encouraging men, women and entire communities to talk about prostate cancer,” said Associate Professor Lowe. The winners from the 2014 PIRTEK Fishing Challenge

MAY 2014

were announced on Saturday 29 March. Visit www. to check out photos from the competition weekend and to view the full winner’s list.

All proceeds from the 2014 PIRTEK Fishing Challenge will go directly to Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia to further support research and awareness programs.


Top: Mystery Length for NSW/ACT whiting was taken out by Sefton Sinnamon of Woolamia with a 37.7cm specimen. Bottom: The Murray-Darling Basin golden perch second place getter was Craig Chapman.

SPECIFICATIO ABOUT PROSTATE CANCER FOUNDATION OF AUSTRALIA NS Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia is a broadbased community organisation and the peak national body for prostate cancer in Australia. PCFA are dedicated to reducing the impact of prostate cancer on Australian men, their partners, families and the wider community. PCFA does this by: • Promoting and funding world leading, innovative research into prostate cancer • Implementing awareness campaigns and education programs for the Australian Community, health professionals and Government • Supporting men and their families affected by prostate cancer through evidence-based information and resources, support groups and Prostate Cancer Specialist Nurses PCFA receives limited government funding for specific projects and relies on the generosity of individuals, the community and important partnerships with corporate Australia, to carry out its essential work. For further information about prostate cancer or PCFA, visit or free call 1800 22 00 99 78

and joined anglers over the competition weekend. “I was overwhelmed with the support the Challenge received this year. I spent the day with friends fishing and celebrating what is now a

calendar event in the Australian fishing scene. It’s amazing to see so many anglers getting behind the challenge and doing their part to support Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia,” said Mr Dutton. Associate Professor Anthony Lowe, Chief Executive Officer of Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, said the Fishing Challenge has once again successfully managed to bring the organisation’s prostate cancer message to thousands of Australians. “PCFA is very pleased that the 2014 PIRTEK Fishing Challenge was a huge success and attracted so many anglers of all ages. Prostate cancer may be a men’s disease but its disastrous effect is far reaching. We are truly grateful to the PIRTEK team for their continued support and

NSW/ACT Bass Place 1st 2nd 3rd Jr 1st Jr 2nd Mystery Length

Length Angler 57.0cm Ray Reitsma 50.1cm Lloyd Rowley 50.0cm Josh Bull 47.3cm Chris Power 42.5cm Jacob Ellicott 38.4cm Cameron Huggins

Area Silverdale Nambucca Heads Lismore Macksville Oakhampton Muswellbrook


Flathead 1st 2nd 3rd Jr 1st Jr 2nd Mystery Length

94.0cm 93.0cm 91.8cm 79.9cm 77.5cm 59.0cm

Andrew Stephen Richele Gregory Jason Collier Corey Perkins Brody Gooch Chad Baker

Kambah Warilla Taree Cessnock Higgins Glendale


Tailor 1st 2nd 3rd Jr 1st Jr 2nd Mystery Length

81.4cm 69.0cm 68.1cm 51.7cm 48.8cm 49.8cm

Colin Bate Dean Laing David Bond Jack Nolan Owen Freebody Duane Vorster

Sussex Inlet Pitt Town Merimbula Bellingen Berridale Mount St Thomas


Whiting 1st 2nd 3rd Jr 1st Jr 2nd Mystery Length

45.5cm 44.3cm 43.9cm 43.0cm 40.1cm 37.7cm

Tony Mallis Paul Salafia Paul Debien Tasman De Groot Rhys Riches Sefton Sinnamon

Hurstville Grove Ulladulla Collaroy East Ballina Lennox Head Woolamia


MURRAY-DARLING BASIN European Carp 1st 82.3cm 2nd 79.2cm 3rd 77.9cm Jr 1st 69.1cm Jr 2nd 68.3cm Mystery Length 58.5cm

John Browning Nathan Power Steven Mitchell Julian Milkovits Max Bourke Mark Hyde

Barooga Cumborah Narromine Hughes Dubbo Mudgee


Golden Perch 1st 2nd 3rd Jr 1st Jr 2nd Mystery Length

63.6cm 63.2cm 62.3cm 60.5cm 58.5cm 49.1cm

Darrell Hughes Craig Chapman Kathleen Ellis Ashton Jones Brook Jones Barry Fletcher

Inverell Narrabri Glen Innes Uralla Uralla Girgarre


Redfin 1st 2nd 3rd Jr 1st Jr 2nd Mystery Length

47.2cm 46.7cm 46.0cm 40.4cm 40.2cm 31.2cm

Brandan Doust Ricky Wetherall Jordan Naylor Matthew Oates Ryley Davison Corey Schulz

Glen Innes Glen Innes Orange Clifton Grove The Lagoon Shepparton


Canberra’s Native Cup The Canberra Native Cup 2014 was held over seven legs from the 6 February to the 13 March on every Thursday afternoon, with the top 20 anglers advancing to the finals in week eight. This unique catch-andrelease freshwater competition was started by Adam Samios of ‘My Two Hooks’ fame in an attempt to connect the angling community of Canberra, and also to encourage fishos to utilise one of Canberra’s most

year’s comp attracted over 50 semi-professional and amateur anglers. The tournament is going from strength to strength and has some excellent sponsors including The Compleat Angler, Shimano, BCF and Noxious Spinnerbaits to name but a few. With an overall cash prize of one thousand dollars, competition proved strong from the outset. The first week of competition was fierce with every angler on the water

Brendan Hawes on his way to another stage win and second place overall. well stocked impoundments: Lake Ginnindera. With thousands of dollars in prizes up for grabs, this

searching for big points and taking advantage of the warmer weather. Points were awarded for longest Murray

Cod and Golden Perch with points also awarded for the longest chosen pest of the week (either redfin or carp). Each angler was provided with a numbered brag mat to be used during each afternoon and returned at the end of the session. The first week did not prove fruitful for most anglers, with many leaving empty handed. Some anglers were too disheartened and did not return but those who braved the rain over the following weeks were richly rewarded. Lake Ginnindera turned it on from week two and in spite of some nasty weather many excellent captures were recorded, including a 45cm redfin and a 55cm yellowbelly. The larger cod remained elusive though until the final week of regular competition, when anglers started turning up with many specimens above 80cm. Brendan Hawes proved that you don’t need a kayak or boat to compete with the big guns, winning several stages of the competition just by walking the bank and flicking lures and small worms and yabbies. Brendan was the first angler in the history of the competition to win both Largest Cod and Largest Perch

The author copping a bit of stick from a passing competitor. in the same session, and took home two great prize packs from Compleat and Shimano. He finished second overall in the regular competition and did well in the finals. The atmosphere of the competition was one of friendly rivalry, with many boats stopping to comment on shore-based captures and the odd shout from the shore to passing boats as they trolled the deeper sections of the lake. The festival-like nature of the competition created a sense of community over the eight weeks. Adam Samios should

be commended for creating a fishing competition which promotes the amazing native fishing in the ACT, and which lets local and interstate anglers

discuss their experiences and build their knowledge of how to catch two of Australia’s most iconic freshwater sportfish. – Toby Grundy

RESULTS Place 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Angler Gavin Fletcher Brendan Hawes Troy Wilson Daniel Orwin Toby Grundy Phillip Henderson Brent Hampton Antonius Poulos Craig Smith Emmett Howard

Length 85 74 61 49 42 39 36 35 32 29




May 4

BETS Bream R4 Chris Gates - 0413 795 382


May 4

Gamakatsu TS R2 South GTS - 0459 401 612

Georges River

May 17-18

ABT BREAM Series ABT - (07) 3387 0888


May 31-1 Jun

Daiwa-Hobie Kayak BREAM R7 ABT - (07) 3387 0888

Lake Macquarie

June 7-8

Greenback Tailor Competition Vicky Hansen - 0400 159 370


Jun 8

BETS Bream R5 Chris Gates - 0413 795 382

Lake Macquarie

Jun 14-15

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

Georges River

Jun 15

Gamakatsu TS R3 Mid GTS - 0459 401 612


Jul 4-11

Evans Head Fishing Classic EHFCC - 0448 881 414

Evans Head

Jul 6

BETS Bream R6 Chris Gates - 0413 795 382

Sydney Harbour

Jul 13

Gamakatsu TS R3 South GTS - 0459 401 612

St Georges Basin

Jul 14-15

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

Georges River

Jul 26-27

ABT BREAM Series ABT - (07) 3387 0888

Clarence River

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. MAY 2014


SERIES BREAM y Hobie db Presente

Rosco rules

with quality and quantity hitting the scales in the opening round of the 2014 Sydney Harbour once again 13 Fishing BREAM Series. proved its worth as one of Presented by Hobie, the standout tournament the first of the four event venues on the BREAM tour qualifying series saw over

a 100 of Australia’s best breamers hit the water of Australia’s iconic Sydney Habour. Drawing first blood to claim victory in the event was Sydney Harbour bream gun Ross Cannizzaro, who used his extensive knowledge to dominate the talented tournament field. Using a power fishing style that Cannizzaro loves so much he started each morning fishing west of the Harbour Bridge before heading east when the wind started to blow. “The wind would pick up about 9/10 each morning so once it did I headed east of the bridge and fished my favourite big fish spots in the clear water,” said Cannizzaro. Fishing man-made structure including jetties, pontoons, boat hulls and wharfs at Mosman and Double Bay, Cannizzaro would fish a Berkley Gulp Crabby rigged on Nitro jighead. “I’d cast the Crabby tight to structure then let it sink. It was on the sink that most of the bites would come,” said Cannizzaro. If no bites were forthcoming he’d give the lure a shake, but never for a long period of time.

Drawing first blood to claim victory in the event was Sydney Harbour bream gun Ross Cannizzaro, who used his extensive knowledge to dominate the talented tournament field. Image courtesy of “If I didn’t get a bite on the sink or after a short shake I’d crank the lure back in and make another cast to another good looking spot. I didn’t waste time trying to convince a fish if he was there that he should eat it. I was more looking for the active fish that would nail the lure as soon as it was in the area,” said Ross. The run and gun approach by Cannizzaro delivered him 20 legal fish on day one and 30 legal fish on day two.

One of the keys to the success with the technique was his choice of jighead, or more to the point the jighead weight. “When the wind was light I’d use a 1/32oz jighead then as the wind got stronger I’d progressively go up to a 1/24oz, then a 1/16oz. This was important to get the right sink rate and get the crabby in the fish’s face,” said Ross. Weighing in the heaviest bag, and the only 4kg+ bag

for the tournament, on the final day, Cannizzaro in the end secured a comprehensive victory, winning by nearly 1.5kg. “It’s awesome to finally claim a BREAM Qualifier win, especially on Sydney Harbour in March. The fishing here in March is tailor-made for my preferred fish style, so to win here doing what I love and against the field that we had fishing the event is very rewarding,” said Cannizzaro.

Gulp Crabby

1/32 to 1/16oz jighead

Colotourous claims 2nd CE 2ND PLA

ABT, PO Box 7196, LOGANHOLME, QLD 4129 Alternatively you can download an entry form from At any time you can call ABT on (07) 3387 0888 for help with your entry during business hours. 80

MAY 2014

For event runner up Michael Colotourous it was a near perfect start to his boater career in the 13 Fishing BREAM Series with the 23-year-old Sydney sider fishing a combination of pontoons, boat hulls and marinas to catch his fish. Focusing on clean, clear water between the Harbour Bridge and Birkenhead, Colotourous fished locations including, Balmain and North Sydney and used a combination of TT HWS rigged Squidgy Wriggler and Berkley Gulp Crabby to impressive effect. “The water had to be clean, because I was largely using a visual technique, if

It was a near perfect start to Michael Colotourous’ boater career in the 13 Fishing BREAM with a great second place badge. Image courtesy of

the fish couldn’t see the lure clearly and I couldn’t see the fish eat the lure then it didn’t work,” said Colotourous. His technique involved throwing his plastic tight to structure, then letting it sink for 5-10 seconds, if there was no bite he’d then aggressively work the plastic out from the structure with a series of hard and sharp twitches. “The twitches would fire the fish up and they’d follow the lure out. Once they were worked up and ready to eat the lure I’d pause the retrieve and let them eat it,” said Colotourous. With multiple fish charging out from cover to take his lure, Colotourous in many instances was able to choose which fish Continued OVER

get discoloured I’d move to somewhere else where the water was clear. The other thing was feeding fish, if I could see fish feeding on the structure then the chances of catching fish greatly increased,” said Colotourous. Alternating between two lures (Wriggler and Crabby) Colotourous had a ‘horses for courses’ approach and picked his colour based on one important fact. “I threw the Squidgy Wriggler on 1/24oz jighead primarily when I was fishing pontoons (they work best there for some reason),

Canizzarro’s Crabby Casts

BREAM S Presented ERIES by Hobie while the Crabby I threw everywhere and used camo colour because it perfectly matched the growth that was on the pontoons, boats, and marinas.” The tackle he used included four outfits, all exactly the same, made up of a 6’6” Daiwa Interline rod, Daiwa 2004 Certate Finesse reel, 6lb Super PE mainline, and 4lb Sunline FC Rock fluorocarbon leader.


Winning Tackle Watch Sydney BREAM Winner’s Interviews with Ross and Mick he hooked. “If one of the small fish was about to eat the lure

I’d pull it away from it so a bigger fish would the have the opportunity to eat it,”

said Michael. There were a few keys to getting the technique to work.

“The water needed to be clear, if I was fishing and the water was starting to

Young gun fires for win

Winning Edge “I found the bigger fish in the clear water east of the bridge, the key to catching them was to wait until the wind started to blow then match the weight of the jighead to the strength of the wind”.

Austackle Big Bream Ross Cannizzaro claimed the Austackle Big Bream prize at Sydney, securing the coveted title with his first fish on day two, a 1.28kg bream that fell to an emerald shiner coloured Gulp Crabby on a moored super cruiser.

-BOATER 1ST NON Claiming the non-boater title at Sydney was 16 year old Forster angler Todd Riches. Fishing with Scott Butler on day one and Geoff Borg on day two, Riches fished a combination of pontoons, boat hulls and flats to catch his fish. “On day one with Scott we focused on the pontoons and boat hulls in Iron Cove and I threw a Berkley Gulp Crabby rigged on a 1/40oz hidden weight jighead,” said Riches. His technique involved casting tight to structure then letting it sit so the fish had a chance to size up the lure before they ate it. The approach delivered Riches 5 fish for the session and a

Rod: Pflueger Patriarch XTR, 1-3kg, 6’10” Reel: Pflueger Patriarch XT 9530 Line: 5lb Berkley Exceed (orange) Leader: 3-6lb Berkley Sensei fluorocarbon Lure: Berkley Gulp Crabby (camo and emerald shiner), 1/32, 1/24, 1/16 Nitro, size 2 jighead

Claiming the non-boater title was 16-year-old Forster angler Todd Riches. Image courtesy of 3.7kg bag, in the process out fishing his boater. Day two saw him

start the day on the flats throwing a Cultiva CT55 hardbody, a small minnow

shaped crankbait that soon had Riches with his first fish for the day. Measuring


26cm to the fork, it was a positive start but would prove Riches’ only fish from the flats. “There wasn’t much happening on the flats so we headed to the boat hulls,” said Riches. Picking up where he left off on day one Riches threw a combination of hardbodies and soft plastics, working them with a twitch and pause retrieve. While Riches had four fish in the well by 9am on day one, day two proved a lot tougher and it wasn’t until 12.30pm that he had fish number four.

“It was a grind, and unfortunately I couldn’t get my fifth fish,” said Riches. While only weighing in four fish for the session it was enough when combined with his healthy day one lead to claim the win, and prove himself as an angler to watch for the future. Attention now turns to the second qualifier of the 13 Fishing BREAM Series with the tour set to head to Victoria for the Spotters Mallacoota BREAM Qualifier, 17/18th May.





Weight (kg)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10


10/10 10/10 10/10 10/10 10/10 10/10 10/10 10/10 10/10 9/10

7.87 6.55 6.08 6.02 5.84 5.77 5.73 5.61 5.54 5.50

For full result listings, see

Payout $4600

$2150 $1450 $1200 $1150 $750 $700 $700 $400 $400




Weight (kg)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 9


9/10 9/10 5/10 6/10 5/10 7/10 5/10 4/10 4/10 5/10

5.81 4.65 3.25 3.22 3.13 3.13 2.78 2.65 2.52 2.52

Payout Prize pack Prize pack Prize pack Prize pack Prize pack Prize pack Prize pack Prize pack Prize pack Prize pack

For full result listings, see MAY 2014


O SERIES BASS PR Adrian Melchior has begun his 2014 Toray BASS Pro season with a bang, taking out the season opening Toray

Melchior tops field at season opener BASS Pro Qualifier at Lake Glenbawn, NSW. Melchior (6/6, 7.38kg) was a picture of consistency on day one producing two identical limits of 2.25kg. Come day two Melchior would not be

denied, as he produced the tournament’s largest limit of 2.88kg to secure victory by 330g from his nearest competitor. Melchior started each session in the main basin area, “I knew the basin held a lot of small fish and I wanted to ensure I would catch my bag early; we all need a confidence boost to encourage us to go hunting for the bigger fish”. During the prefish Melchior had identified a key location at the back of the dam below the 8 knot zone. The location was a drop-off next to a tree in 48ft of water. Mechior explains the location. “The area was flats adjacent to the small bay in the old creek bed. In the pre fish I had found good size fish located on a drop-off. On the sounder I could see that there Fat Grub in avocado

were a lot of active fish in the mid water column pushing bait to the surface. At times I even saw the bait on the surface beside the boat.” The majority of bass caught fell to the Atomic 2” Fat Grub in avocado glitter and avocado colour. Melchior

altered the lure by cutting the tail wrist down so that on the retrieve the tail would wriggle at any speed. He also used liberal amounts of MegaStrike garlic scent on all lures. The lures were rigged on 1/8oz or 1/4oz Atomic Seeker jigheads with a 1/0 HW hook. Melchior explains the technique and tackle used, “Each session required the retrieve speed of the lure to be adjusted and changed depending on what they seemed to be biting at or appeared to be chasing on the sounder. The technique was a vertical retrieve with the occasional small cast out and 45º retrieve back to the boat. The key to feeling the subtle bites/strikes was the rod I used, the Majorcraft Crostage 1-5lb with a very light tip. This was my preferred rod

Cut down tail

over the weekend. This rod slowly loads up without the fish feeling the weight of the rod behind the hooks.” Initially Melchior employed 6lb Unitika braid with a 4lb leader, but after losing a number of fish upgraded to an 8lb leader.

Adrian Melchior won the BASS Pro Qualifier at Lake Glenbawn with a total bag of 6/6, 7.38kg. Fat Grub in avocado glitter Atomic Seeker head, 1/0 hook

From that point on no fish were lost. Melchior acknowledges the role his sounders played in his victory, “I run a Lowrance HDS 9 and HDS 12 and know that this amazing technology is one of the keys to my consistent results.”

Cut down tail

Finally, “I would like to thank my loyal sponsors Ballina Marineland, Frogleys Offshore, Lowrance, Bassman Spinnerbaits and Honda Marine who have supported me for a number of years. I couldn’t pursue my passion without their support.”

Fontaine all the way CE 2ND PLA

ABT, PO Box 7196, LOGANHOLME, QLD 4129 Alternatively you can download an entry form from At any time you can call ABT on (07) 3387 0888 for help with your entry during business hours. 82

MAY 2014

Karen Fontaine (6/6, 7.05kg) stepped up from the non-boating category, and promptly showed her class, finishing in second place. This event was Fontaine’s second attempt at boating in an ABT event and, with an impressive pedigree as a non-boater, she impeccably made the transition to the next level. Fontaine had the opportunity to prefish and with a few helpful pointers worked out a plan of attack for the tournament. “With a few good pointers from Dave Lane I headed off for my first prefish of the year. I dialled into the fish pretty quickly. It was a reasonably tough bite but the fish were consistent and solid. It was windy during the prefish, but the bite improved as the weather deteriorated. It was the perfect prefish for my first full year as a boater. “My strategy for the tournament was to use my

Karen Fontaine has made the transition from non-boater to boater with impressive results. She gained second place.

Lowrance Sounders to target groups of 2-6 fish. If my sounder filled up with bass I would electric away from them. The bigger schools could mesmerise you, following you up and down for very long periods of time without striking. The preferred depth was 43-55ft where the bite was more aggressive and patience, as always, was the key.” In session one, Fontaine made her way to a bay in front of the 8 knots sign called the Shallows. This location held a lot of small school fish punctuated with good size bass. Luckily no other boats were in the area and Fontaine took advantage of the solitude. “The fish were a bit slow to get going due to a blanket of fog holding over the area. I was fishing with Travis Dowling and it was his first ABT. I told him of my plan for the day and gave him a quick rundown on the type of bite it was. He was a quick learner, within 15 minutes he put the first bass in the boat. It was a super way to start the day. Then the Continued OVER

fog started to lift and the bass were ready to play. The bite was the same as practice and I soon had my bag and couple of upgrades. “It was a traditional deep bite. Drop the lure all the way to the bottom and super slow roll, no striking, and the fish would load up the rod at mid water or 15ft from the top.” Fontaine fished strongly to finish session one in a competitive 11th place. Heading out for session two a change of tact was employed. “I decided to try another bay around the trees behind Pelican Point. We got action and a bass out of there very early in the session. In reality I had no intention of going back to the Shallows. I was going to save this location for Sunday morning but the wind really started to blow, similar to the prefish, and the temptation was too great. It was the best decision I would make over the weekend. The windier it got the better

it fished! “After 15 minutes I caught the biggest bass of my afternoon followed by a couple more upgrades. I wanted to rest the area for Sunday so I moved down near the Narrows to chill out and throw a Bassman Spinnerbait around. In the end I weighed 2.56kg, and had achieved a big goal of catching a full limit each session.” Fontaine made the following point regarding the bite in session two. “The fish were peeling off and going back to the bottom at about 10-15ft so I would just roll up to 20ft and drop down again. If you were lucky enough to get action and miss on 1 or 2 drops in a row you had to make a decision and on the third roll you had to pull it away from him, burn it, flick your wrist or just pause. Just basically do something to make him react. If that

didn’t work, electric motor well away and find fresh fish. When the wind got right up in the last couple of hours of the session it went back to a more traditional bite.” Full of excitement and weary from little rest, Fontaine led out the field on Sunday in first position. The bite was super aggressive with most fish loading in the first or second turn of the handle. And Fontaine took immediate advantage, boating her first bass within 10 minutes and filling her limit by 7.15am. Taking a minute to enjoy the moment Fontaine reflected on what she had done and still needed to do, “I sat down for 10 minutes and just enjoyed the moment…I had a full limit. Managing 4 upgrades and needing a fish better than 40cm I left the bay and spent 2 hours hunting, but unfortunately couldn’t find that elusive bass. Once

back at the foreshore it was the most suspenseful, exciting weigh in I had ever experienced. I was delighted to be standing at the bump tubs amongst so many good anglers. “It was great fun being on the stage with Adrian waiting for Simon to hit the magic button on the scales. I was thrilled for Adrian after watching him just miss out the year before and I was more than happy with my result.” Fontaine’s key lure was a Gulp Grub rigged on a 1/4oz Bassman jighead in watermelon colour. “This presentation complemented the Grub perfectly. These Bassman jigheads have the eyes and a touch of orange under the chin that the Glenbawn bass love. I used a stinger the whole time for those tail grabbers and a bit of extra security on the bigger bass,” said Fontaine. Fontaine’s outfit

Macey breaks the pattern -BOATER 1ST NON

Duane Macey (6/6, 5.92kg) took out the non-boater title at Lake Glenbawn. Macey had the opportunity to prefish, but found the going tough heading into the event. “I pre-fished on Friday with Dean Silvester, we went to a lot of spots throughout the dam. We were looking at spots that Dean had marked on the GPS over the last 12 months. We were looking in about 50ft of water and didn’t seem to be a lot of fish there. We moved to 80ft and found more active fish. I didn’t land a fish on the Friday at all, so my confidence was down”. As things would happen, Macey drew Silvester as his day one boater at the briefing so knew what was ahead of him. “We started the morning at Pelican Point in 80ft of water. I got one fish there on a Gulp Grub

Duane Macey (6/6, 5.92kg) took out the non-boater title at Lake Glenbawn.

with a 1/4oz Impact Tackle jighead in smoked yellow core colour. The second fish followed on a Gulp Grub rigged on a black 1/4oz Impact Tackle jig head.” Macey then moved across the dam to a line of trees, where fish were located in 50ft of water. Initially the fish were aggressive with many being lost and no bass being boated. A change of plan ensued, “We got smoked a lot and couldn’t land a fish. We moved away from the trees about 10ft and sat the Gulps on the bottom. With a few taps on the back of the rod and a very slow wind up I found the fish reacted better. I also removed any stinger hooks, which seemed to also help.” When session two began Macey returned to the line of trees, and was rewarded with four fish in the first 30 minutes of the session. Black coloured Gulps proved to be the key lure for the session. In the final session Macey was paired with Dave Young. Macey explains how the session unfolded. “Dave and me went straight to the back of the dam where we were fishing

TOP 10 BOATERS Place Angler 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10



6/6 6/6 6/6 6/6 6/6 6/6 6/6 5/6 5/6 6/6

Weight (kg) 7.38 7.05 6.67 6.34 6.33 6.24 5.99 5.83 5.63 5.57

For full result listings, see

consisted of a 6ft UltraLight Spin Stick built by David Williamson on a BarraBass blank teamed with a Shimano Stradic 1000 spin reel spooled with 8lb Varivas braid and 6lb Yamatoyo Rock Fish leader. On her equipment. “The rod is shorter so you can have your rod tip closer to the waterline and finesse the bite, but they have plenty of backbone to muscle the biggest of bass. BarraBass now produce this rod and it’s aptly named the Glenbawn Special. “A big thanks to all the other anglers for giving me plenty of room to fish. Thanks also to Bassman Spinnerbaits,


Manning River Marine and Gregg Flett, who for many years has been generous enough to let me join him on pre fish and share his knowledge. My result is a culmination of what I have learnt from all the boaters I have been fortunate enough to fish with over my years fishing ABT events. Special thanks to the ABT organisers and all the ABT Sponsors that make these events possible.”


Winning Tackle Rod: Majorcraft Crostage 1-5lb Line: 6lb Unitika braid Leader: 4lb/8lb leader

Winning Edge Melchior highlights the functionality of his Lowrance HDS 9 and HDS 12 sounders as his winning edge. “I have come to believe that the real difference in a deep water bite is the quality of the electronics you’re using up front and trusting that what you see is going to produce results in the net.”

Big Bass Simon Marchant caught the Big Bass for the event, securing the 1.45kg bass in session two. The $500 bass fell to a black 3” Gulp and came from 60ft of water at the back of the dam in the 8 knot zone.

OSP Photo Prize James Reid secured the inaugural OSP photo prize by catching and photographing a 37.5cm bass. The bass came in the final session, falling to an OSP high pitcher spinnerbait. Reid secured a prize pack of lures courtesy of OSP and Imakatsu.

in 50-60ft of water. I was using the same technique as Saturday. I never got a bite until two hours after we got there, but then managed to land three fish in the next hour. Black coloured Gulps were my key lure all weekend.” M a c e y ’s outfit consisted of a 4-8lb Hurricane Bass Rod by Black Hole NS with a 1000 size Pflueger Patriarch reel

spooled with 8lb Berkley Nanofil line and 6lb Black Magic leader. Macey dissects his tackle choices, “The Impact Tackle jighead colours I used were black, smoke yellow core, eel green and baby bass. To these I added Gulp Grubs in black, camo and pumpkinseed colour. I also used 2.5” Z-Man GrubZ in watermelon red colour.”

TOP 10 NON-BOATERS Payout $3,650 $1,750 $1,150 $1,000 $800 $800 $700 $700 $400 $400




Weight (kg)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10


6/6 6/6 5/6 6/6 6/6 4/6 5/6 4/6 4/6 4/6

5.92 5.78 5.42 4.91 4.90 4.53 4.50 4.23 4.04 3.83

Payout Prize pack Prize pack Prize pack Prize pack Prize pack Prize pack Prize pack Prize pack Prize pack Prize pack

For full result listings, see MAY 2014



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n o e b o t t n Wa f o r e v o C the ? y l h t n o M Fishing


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

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

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

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

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

THAT will be going straight to the Pool Room, we bet.

For full terms and conditions, please refer to 84

MAY 2014

Yamaha releases new 115 and 175 4-strokes BRISBANE

Wayne Kampe

Yamaha has released two new versions of the 115 and the 175 4-strokes engines. The 115 is the new F115B and the 175 the new F175A. F115B IS BETTER Looking at the F115B, it’s interesting to see that Yamaha have not simply upgraded their existing 115, which has naturally undergone a few modifications since its initial release in 1999. The truth of

are also featured, as are four valves per cylinder and multi point Electronic Fuel Injection. Along with a knock sensor (unusual in an engine of such modest horse power), the new engine systems are designed to provide smoother operation and greater efficiency throughout the entire rev range. There’s also a new cowling design with an air intake drain within the induction system to prevent water from contaminating intake air. The new F115B also boasts best in-class

Another breakthrough is the optional Yamaha Command Link that gives provision for the F115B to be linked, via Yamaha’s own digital network system, to a wide range of instruments via a multi function tachometer. There’s also a valuable security system that is available within Command Link. ON THE WATER Time on the water also proved the power and efficiency of the new F115B. I was fortunate enough to take the helm of a Cruise

The entirely new F175A proved very quiet and yet highly responsive. Note the slim line profile allowing dual engine fitment an easy matter.

The F115B in action on the 530 Cruise Craft Explorer’s transom. the matter is that the F115B is an entirely new engine. Lighter, stronger, more powerful; let’s look at some of the features. The new F115B is 15kg lighter than the

charging power increasing from 24A (F115A) to 35 amps at wide open throttle. Yet even at 1,000rpm there’s sufficient output to keep the engine battery charged. One feature sure to

Craft 530 Explorer powered by the new Yamaha. For the record this is not a lightweight hull chosen by Yamaha to be an impressive test bed. No sir. The 530 Explorer’s hull weighs 1094kg and has a

and smooth cruising speed with 38.9km/h recorded. Fuel consumption at those revs was a very creditable 37.2L per hour that saw 2.26km travelled per litre. 5,000rpm saw a speed of 52.5km/h. I saw the F115B as an impressively quiet and high performing engine with a pleasing degree of throttle response through the entire rev range. THE F175A The ‘A’ classification by Yamaha denotes the 175 as a totally new engine, designed to fill a niche in Yamaha’s product range between 150 and 200hp outboards. The new F175A is based on Yamaha’s award winning and recently released 2.8L F200 platform that sees the F175A sharing the same displacement as the powerful F200. The F175A is a DOHC EFI 16 valve engine (four per cylinder) weighing only

219kg. It features a wet sump lubrication system same as the F115B and has a class leading 50 Amp high output alternator and multi point Electronic Fuel Injection for ultimate engine response and smoothness of running. There’s also Yamaha’s patented Shift Dampening System for smoothest gear changes, a tilt limiting switch on the engine trim, plus latest generation slim line styling for ease of fitting dual engines. A variable trolling switch is standard when Command Link gauges are fitted. Engine oil coolers are standard for optimum engine performance and longevity. It’s pleasing to note that the fuel system is protected by an early warning system to prevent water or other contaminants from entering the fuel system. An audible warning sounds if fuel contamination is detected. Options for the F175A

include 6Y8 LAN/Command Link gauges, a Digital Network System for engine management, and Yamaha’s YCOP immobiliser system that prevents theft. ON THE WATER Test runs for the F175A were undertaken in a Cruisecraft Explorer 625, a solid Deep Vee hull with a weight of 1370kg. With three aboard the craft cruised creditably at 4,000rpm at 42.8km/h. Engine noise was pleasingly quiet with normal speech par for the course. The power of the F175A was impressive. The craft jumped onto the plane in less than four or five boat lengths and from plane to WOT the 175 provided rapid acceleration when the throttle lever was pushed forward. Both new engines run on regular unleaded fuel and come with 4 years recreational use warranty and have a 3 star Ultra Low Emission rating.

The totally new F115B, on a Sea Jay 5.1 Striker. Slim, strong and ready to perform. original. It remains a fourcylinder engine but now has 1832cc against the F115A’s 1741cc. In line with latest technological advances there’s increased compression and an increased full throttle operating range. Dual overhead camshafts

be welcomed is a water separating fuel filter. Should water be present in fuel a ‘Water in Fuel ‘ warning will be activated. Another useful addition is a single ram power trim and tilt system with tilt angle adjustment to prevent over tilt damage.

maximum engine rating of 140hp. Was it underpowered? Certainly not. With two aboard the craft fairly jumped onto the plane in around three boat’s lengths at 3000rpm, then settled back to travel at 15.8km/h. 4000rpm proved a very quiet

Some happy customers from South West Rocks Fishing Adventures with a nice catch of spotties and Spaniards. MAY 2014



Neil Grose

The quest for the perfect all round boat may never be achieved. Sounds brutal, but it is a fact of life. There are plenty of boats that have tried to be all things to all anglers, but more often than not, the level of compromise is too great and they pass by on the great ebb tide of good ideas

boat ever will, and the Bar Crusher 535 XS is as good as any I’ve been in. The 535 XS has the full benefit of Bar Crusher’s high tech Waveslicer deep V hull and the extremely strong Rigideck sub floor system in an open deck boat. Many other boats with centre console (or side console) type have constructed their boats on fishing space and stability rather than rough water performance. With the Bar Crusher 535 XS it

The Bar Crusher 535 XS slips off the trailer with ease – the Bar Catch makes launching and retrieving very easy indeed. The trailer is also perfect for the boat. gone wrong. Once every now and again a boat comes along that gets as close as any


has both – simply awesome rough water performance combined with great stability and open deck fishability.

ABOUT THE BOAT For the technically minded, here are a few facts, figures and clever innovations. The boat is built with Bar Crushers renowned Rigideck. The origins of this lay in the design and construction of an aeroplane’s wing. Rigideck uses full-length longitudinal frames, making everything boxed and triangulated. Cross frames are then used to tie the whole sub floor together. This is a system that uses greater skill in welding, greater cost to achieve and when all is said and done, bloody hard to do. But it won’t break or crack. And for Bar Crusher, that is the most important thing. The boat is 5.35m overall length, and is quite beamy at 2.15m wide. No doubt many will say it could be beamier, but a wider beam, especially at the stern, could compromise rough water performance, especially in a following sea. This boat is rated to 100hp, and the test boat was fitted with the superb 70hp Suzuki 4-stroke. Under the floor there is 90L of fuel capacity, so with any of the three engine alternatives you are going


COMPETITION Fishing Monthly Magazines in partnership with Power-Pole and Hobie Cat® Australasia have created a competition where you can win one of these fantastic Micro Anchors for your kayak or tinnie. It’s easy to win, just collect the three “code words” from the Power-Pole Micro Anchor ads in the May, June and July Issues of the magazine. Enter the code words on this entry form and send it in for your chance to be in the draw. First correct entry drawn wins the prize. Entries close July 31, 2014. Winners published September issue. May code word: June code word: July code word: Name: Address: Phone [Day]: Email:



Send your entries to Micro Anchor Competition P O Box 3172 Loganholme, Qld, 4129

If you miss an issue of the magazine you can find previous issues archived digitally for free at 86

MAY 2014

Chasing fish off the bow – what all open centre console boats should be good at. The 535 XS was at home in the mangroves as it was in the rough stuff. A big tick here for adaptability in the uses of this boat. to cover a lot of water between refills. As to be expected in a boat like this, the interior is extremely workman-like. Everything is open to the elements in a centre console boat, so there is no need for fancy plush and flush carpet and so on. The top of the dash has plenty of room for light tackle bits and pieces, and under the console is enough room for the tackle boxes or a small cooler. If it was my boat, I’d substitute the seat at the console for a 70L cooler, and put all my lunch, drinks and things to keep dry in there with a cushion on top. TRAILER Bar Crusher don’t cut corners anywhere, and the trailer is a perfect example of this. The trailer is perfectly fitted to the boat – the boat will spend more time on the trailer than off it (unless you are really lucky), and it is critical to get this right. There is a full set of keel rollers for stability and the side rollers are perfectly spaced to assist a trouble-free launch and retrieve every time. At the front of the trailer is the Bar Catch – a great innovation that makes launching and retrieving far easier than without it. You just won’t know just how good this thing is until you use it. FISHABILITY As far as fishing goes – this boat is all action. The front deck area is higher than the lower deck, due in part to the deep V structure but also to give a bit more storage. There is provision for a seat up here, but most keen fishos will leave that at home, or fit a hip-style lean seat if the going is expected to be a bit choppy. For flyfishing you might want to drape some shade cloth over the anchor well to prevent the fly line snagging, but 99% of anglers will be very happy to tap out some great casts and bagging a few fish. Down the back is the same, with the added comfort of high gunnels for those of us who like something above our knees. The test boat was fitted with an electric bow mount

engine, and the 54lb thrust Minn Kota easily moved the boat in and amongst the mangroves at Anderson Inlet. No fish caught while testing, but when you leave the lures at home you are always at a disadvantage I suppose. The strong point for this boat is the stability at rest while sports fishing (which is the principal domain of a centre console boat). We snuck along the edges of the mangroves at Anderson Inlet looking for an estuary perch, and while it was no show on the fish side, it did exemplify just how nimble this boat is given its 5.35m length. As to be expected, there is little sideways movement when fishing from the bow, and even abrupt sideways manoeuvres using the electric didn’t upset the apple cart at all. This is important when fishing with someone else controlling the electric engine, as sudden dips or wobbles can mean a big splash and a very wet angler in an unstable boat. The sloppy water fishing performance is terrific as well. On the day of the test there was a fairly decent swell pushing into the inlet. Combined with an outgoing tide the waves were standing up pretty well. We stopped while photographing the 535 XS in the midst of all this (where there are often

plenty of decent Australian salmon congregating) to see what the boat felt like in the ‘rock and roll’, and to see if we could belt a salmon or three. No salmon, but the boat performed very well in all aspects of sports fishingtype situations. As I said before, those that look to fish from open sports fishing boats generally aren’t the ‘anchor up and drop bait’ kind of anglers, and drifting amongst some big waves saw this remarkable boat handle the conditions very well indeed. One of the great features of the Bar Crusher brand is the Quickflow water ballast system. Many will be familiar with the concept of water gurgling into the water ballast chamber, via the opening in the transom, when the Bar Crusher pulls up, dropping the boat down onto its chines for extra stability. The 535 XS has this feature and while it lowers into the water, you wouldn’t call it a deep draft boat. The 535 can drift over fairly shallow water, which is fantastic when you are hitting the shallow flats for any number of light line sports fish. IN THE ROUGH STUFF I could probably just stop here and let the photos tell the story, but I won’t. This boat has all the

More Bar Crusher attention to detail – even though most open boat users don’t anchor often, when you do it is all electric and easy to use.

The agility of this boat between the waves was excellent – it is important to find the right gap in the waves when negotiating a barway and the nimble performance of the 535 was excellent.

The rough water performance of the 535 XS is exemplary, cleanly negotiating any sort of wave that the day threw at us, and there were a few big waves! trademark features of the Bar Crusher rough water performance. That day in Anderson Inlet was (up to that point) one of the roughest days I’d spent on the water in a boat smaller than the Spirit of Tasmania ship! These boats are superagile in bar crossing situations. This boat was able

to ride the crest of the swell without slamming down, zip across the face of a wave to find the ‘gap’ in the wave set and true to Bar Crusher’s claim, there is no suspicion of broaching when travelling with the sea. Now while the 535 XS probably isn’t for the dedicated offshore punter,

There is no hint of any broaching at all in a following sea – this is a prefect indicator of a well designed and built boat. SPECIFICATIONS Overall length:............................................... 5.35m Beam:............................................................2.15m Hull thickness:................................................ 4mm Outboard shaft length:...................................... 25” Fuel capacity:................................................... 90L Dry tow weight:............................................1000kg HP range:................................................ 60-100hp

the capabilities of this boat means that opportunities for offshore trips aren’t limited to those days of calm winds and no swell. The standout feature for me on test day was how comparatively dry this boat is in the rough stuff. Anyone who thinks any open boat is going to be completely dry in rough conditions is seriously kidding themselves. However, the 535 XS does an incredible job at minimising the hurt. The way this boat softly lands after tackling a big wave is outstanding, as is the way the spray is deflected out. Of course traversing across a wave in a wind is going to throw some spray, but hey, it’s an open boat! The test boat was fitted with a 70hp 4-stroke Suzuki, which was perfect for the task at hand. While this boat is rated to 100hp, I’m not sure why you’d need to go that big, unless you were doing a lot of diving and carrying plenty of heavy things. At altitude I’d punt for the 90hp, especially if you were considering a lot of work in the Snowy Mountains or on the Central Plateau in Tasmania, for which this boat is very well-suited. I’m not big on quoting speeds at XYZ rpm and all the associated figures. Suffice to say this boat has

the agility to more than cope with rough water, and the flat water speed is fast enough to get you back to the ramp in time for dinner. CONCLUSION In conclusion, this is a workman-like boat designed to give anglers the best shot at good sports fishing in pretty much any condition. Any manufacturer can pop out a boat that goes well in flat water and light winds, but when the going gets serious, then the serious boat builders get going – and Bar Crusher is a very serious boat builder. Bar Crusher with the 535 XS demonstrates their commitment to excellence in fishing vessels, and this boat comes highly recommended. Prospective buyers should book an on water test with their local dealer – there is one in every state and territory. The package price is around $45,000 depending on the options you choose. Check out for the contact details. 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.

1 Railway Road North Mulgrave NSW 2756 MAY 2014


535 Bluefin Stormcat BRISBANE

Wayne Kampe

The 535 Bluefin Stormcat is another of the ‘Cat’ series of tournament-orientated punts from the Bluefin stable. These are powerful, well appointed boats combining a neat blend of luxury and fishing features with raft-like stability in a well finished alloy hull. And with a 150 Mercury four-stroke on the back, let me tell you that this cat can really storm!

come true: all floors are (hookless) carpeted and there’s a full-length softlined rod locker, plenty of storage under the floor, a 90L catch well, very comfortable seating and a neat sound system. And it’s all pushed along nicely at around 80km/h by that 3L Mercury 150 four stroke on the transom. You want to get there first? This rig sure will give it a good go! Up front on the craft’s 400mm high casting deck there were six hatches, all with storage under them. There was ample anchor

SPECIFICATIONS Length.............................................................. 5.35m Length on trailer............................................... 6.60m Beam................................................................ 2.24m Construction................................. Bottom 4mm alloy, . sides 3mm alloy Weight hull........................................................ 680kg Deadrise................................................... 15 degrees Fuel......................................................................110L Persons..................................................................... 5 Towing................................ family six wagon or 4 x 4 LAYOUT At 5.35m long and 2.34m wide this big punt is a dedicated tournament craft. The entire layout and presentation is virtually an angler’s wish list

room in the front one, in the next set of hatches there was provision for a battery (or two) for the Minn Kota electric motor up front, then came paired hatches for general storage, tackle

trays and the like. Paired hatches also accessed the divider-equipped 90L Flowrite Tournament live well designed to keep the catch in the best shape for the weigh in. A bicycle-style seat up front was removable while the Stormcat’s clear and uncluttered front deck would allow up to three anglers to fish at a given time. The cockpit work area featured another seat spigot up front, the Stormcat’s side console being set to starboard next to a side pocket. As the console was fixed to the side of the craft rather than onto the floor,

Under power the Blue Fin’s hull shows its ability to shed water well away from the hull and its occupants.

The Stormcat’s clean, uncluttered cockpit work area allows a few more anglers to work in comfort.

The Stormcat’s dash layout, dominated by the HDS9, looks pretty impressive.


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With its flat internal floor and hidden conduits, all cabling for steering etc. is right out of the way allowing for an excellent safe and clean layout. This means the boat is ideal for the serious fishing guru or the whole family - kids and all. 88

MAY 2014

Hunts Marine 434 Princes Highway, Corrimal NSW Phone: 4284 0444 Email: Web:

the arrangement provided ample leg room for the skipper while driving from the plush wrap around bucket style helm seat. The console came set up with a grab rail plus a tinted windscreen, the latter of which is great when travelling at 80 clicks on a winter’s morning. The Bluefin’s dash layout centred around a Lowrance HDS9 sounder uppermost, with a timer for the catch well and an array of eight rocker switches lower. To the side of the sports style wheel (linked to hydraulic steering) were the ignition key and marine radio. Engine controls were side mounted in the usual manner. A Fusion sound system was featured with speakers at the rear of the 400mm

storage, were located aft of the helm and seating area. An angler could also work here of course. Rod holder equipped grab rails were mounted near the transom area with a ski pole central; handy for some bare footing from the Bluefin team on weekends I’m told. Completing aft details were a full width, non-skid equipped pod, and a boarding ladder to port. STABILITY One thing I did notice while aboard the Stormcat was the immense stability. This is, of course, important for the style of fishing usually undertaken in these tournament or sports orientated boats where anglers usually stand to fish. The degree of inherent stability was not confined

The Stormcat running hard displays a very clean and flat wash. bumping, and I feel sure that the ride and handling aspects of this craft are going to be strong selling points for the Bluefin dealers. Spray was also pushed well away from the hull but one must expect some water about the place if heading across waves or chop with the breeze on the quarter, same as in any other open boat.

150 MECURY TOP POWER Engine ratings for the 535 Bluefin Stormcat are from 115 to 150hp. No surprise, then, that the 150 Mercury four-stroke did such a remarkably easy job of powering the craft. Mind you, this style of tournament rig usually sports near maximum horsepower. It’s a tradition among

tournament anglers to get to a hot spot without delay so there was nothing unusual in the choice of a maximum horsepower engine. The 150 Mercury purred into life at first turn of the key and lifted the craft gently onto the plane at 2000rpm at 19.7km/h. 3000rpm saw 31.2km/h, 4000rpm saw 41.8km/h, 5000rpm a smooth 54.8km/h and 6000rpm a speed of 81.3km/h. Good speeds, undoubtedly, but what impressed me was the sheer urge of the 3L four cylinder Mercury. Even at 5000 rpm a push of the throttle lever saw instant response and a quick surge forward. Speeds were checked with two persons aboard the craft. SUMMING UP After testing this powerful and very useful tournament style rig I was impressed with many aspects, not the least being that it is an Australianmade craft. The layout, the features, ride and handling plus the performance of the Mercury 150 all were big pluses. The craft would also perform well with a smaller motor if your focus was on pleasure rather than

The Mercury 150 was top power for the rig. high forward deck and a big fat sub woofer between skipper’s and mate’s high backed seats. I’d see two, maybe three, anglers working within the cockpit with it’s 460mm depth. The passenger had easy access to the Stormcat’s 2.25m long rod locker set into the cockpit’s port side. Featuring soft lining, the locker would swallow up quite a few ready-to-use rods. Further hatches, the central available for

to the craft at rest either. When I was seated very comfortably in the skipper’s seat and driving the Stormcat, she had a running-on-rails like ability to turn, go-kart style, and then recover to a level attitude just as smartly. Hull configuration consists of a fairly shallow vee at 15 degrees, some pronounced strakes under the hull, a quite large keel, plus a hull weight of 680kg which

With its level surface and extra seat option, the high casting deck up front of the Stormcat makes a great place for a team of anglers to work.

all combine to enhance stability. Construction is 4mm alloy on the bottom, 3mm topsides and with a solid layout of under floor stringers and a dedicated cross bracing system the Stormcat’s hull was very rigid and vibration free at all times. I was quite impressed with the ride of the Stormcat. Even powering very hard into chop produced very little in the way of noise or hard

Drive on and off launching is easy with the Dunbier trailer set-up.

The Bluefin’s Flowrite-equipped live well is a big plus for anglers wanting to keep the catch alive for a weigh-in.

Expensive tournament tackle is safe in this fully lined rod locker.

tournament fishing. With an external side height of 500mm the rig would be suited to work in impoundments, rivers, bays or most other sheltered water situations. The rig as reviewed with its many extras (including sound system, Minn Kota and Lowrance sounder) carried on a Dunbier trailer and with registrations would come home for $57,178 as supplied by Nitro Marine of the Gold Coast. A 115hp motor in lieu would entail a cost of $53,878. You can contact Nitro on (07) 5532 5812 or view the range online at MAY 2014


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

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Boat Hire Boab Boat Hire (NSW) 1300 002 622

EDEN COAST Fishermans Rest (Eden) (02) 6496 1999

Ulladulla Headland Tourist Park


BOOKINGS: 1300 733 021 14 Did-Dell St, Ulladulla, NSW 2539

Pelican Park Nambucca Heads (02) 6568 6505

• close to boat ramp and Harbour • boat parking for park guests • accommodation for fishing groups • large outdoor areas and BBQs • 27 cabins and 140 powered/ • short walk from Ulladulla town unpowered sites centre


• Great Fishing • Boat launching facilities available • Family friendly atmosphere Book the perfect holiday today:

1800 626 438


FRESHWATER Burrinjuck Waters State Park (02) 6227 8114 Providence Lodge (Eucumbene) (02) 6454 2200

Wangi Point Lakeside holiday Park (02) 4975 1889

Winter Keep (Snowy Mountains)

Macleay Valley Coastal Holiday Parks 1300 COASTAL

Grabine Lakeside State Park (02) 4835 2345

Blacksmiths Holiday Park (02) 4971 2858

Lake Glenbawn State Park (02) 6543 7193


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

Central Coast Holiday Parks 1800 241 342


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

nutesney! i m 0 9 Only from Syd


Manning River Marine Taree (02) 6552 2333

Kendalls on the Beach (02) 4232 1790

Jetty Boating (02) 6651 4002 Graham Barcley Marine (02) 6554 5866

Surf Beach Holiday Park (02) 4232 1791

Werri Beach Holiday Park (02) 4234 1285

Email :


Holiday With Us, Sussex Inlet (02) 4441 2135


Great Locations


Great Parks

Kiama Harbour Cabins

FREECALL 1800 823 824

Surf Beach Holiday Park

FREECALL 1800 222 334

Kendalls on the Beach

FREECALL 1800 111 224

Werri Beach Holiday Park

FREECALL 1800 655 819

Seven Mile Beach Holiday Park FREECALL 1800 666 665

Book Now For Relaxing Break FOR MORE INFO VISIT:

COFFS COAST Oceanic Sea Urchin II Charters, 02 6566 6623 or 0428 650 321 South West Rocks Fishing Charters, 02 6566 5298 or 0429 995 390 The Rocks Fishing Charters, 0412 074 147 Wooli Deep Sea Tours, 02 6649 7100 Trial Bay Fishing Charters, 0427 256 556

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

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


Kiama Harbour Cabins (02) 4232 2707

Harbour and Estuary Fishing Charters, 02 9999 2574 or 0410 633 351

Currarong Beachside Tourist Park 1300 555 515

Sydney Sportfishing Adventures, 0405 196 253


Trades, services, charter boats & guided fishing tours directory Charter Boats Continued

Charter Boats Continued ILLAWARRA COAST

Sea Lady Charters





• Fast Modern Boat • Specializing in Reef, Game & Bottom Fishing

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


• FISH – The Banks


• Small groups catered for! • Operating 16 years

Ph: (02)

6496 1209 or 0415 602 446 W:

Freedom Charters (02) 6496 1209



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


Sea Lady Charters 0411 024 402 BOOK YOUR


Jervis Bay Fishing Charters (02) 4447 8177 0412 506 422


Silver Star Fishing Charters, (02) 4421 7462 or 0412 977 000

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

Shell Harbour Fishing Charters, 0425 216 370

Greenwell Point only 10 mins from



Game and Deep Sea, Charters ing Reef Fish

Choice of




Series 2 through 8


CALL ROY: 0411 024 402



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


1800 228 244 TRADES AND SERVICES ADVERTISING Line listing from $15 + gst per mth* 2cm x 2 from $35 + gst per mth* 5cm x 2 from $50 + gst per mth* 7cm x 2 from $74 + gst per mth* 9cm x 2 from $89 + gst per mth* 10cm x 2 from $99 + gst per mth* 11cm x 2 from $105 + gst per mth* 12cm x 2 from $110 + gst per mth* * Conditions apply Call (07) 3387 0800 or email

Swains & Coral Sea Fishing Charters

Mowong Flathead Kingfish Tuna Plus more! SILVER STAR FISHING CHARTERS

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

Phone John 0412

977 000


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

Michael Ph: 0427 125 727

Fax: (07) 4972 1759

Mikat Cruises 0427 125 727

Fishing Guides

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

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

ILLAWARRA COAST Bay & Basin Sportsfishing 0413 610 832

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

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

Richard’s first mackerel, caught aboard South West Rocks Fishing Adventures.

What’s new boating


50 years of Honda 4-strokes

Honda is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the very first Honda 4-stroke outboard engine, the GB30. This modest 4hp engine represented the noble ambitions of Honda’s founder, Soichiro Honda, to manufacture only 4-stroke engines for the benefit of the environment and generations to come. Now, with a range that stretches from the BF2.3 to the mighty BF250 – including the new BF80 and BF100 – Honda Marine continues to be a leader in 4-stroke outboard engine technology. “Honda has to make environmentallyfriendly products; therefore we must build fourstroke outboards,” Mr Honda said in 1964. “I don’t care if everyone is making 2-stroke outboards, Honda must make 4-stroke outboards.” Honda’s exclusive technologies include BLAST (Boosted Low Speed Torque, delivering rapid acceleration) and VTEC (more top end power). To keep up-to-date on the 50th Anniversary celebrations, including a competition later in the year, visit, search #HondaMarine50Years on Twitter, or look them up on Facebook. - Honda


Mercury FourStroke event

Mercury Marine is holding a massive FourStroke event to help mark the company’s 75th Anniversary. From March 14, 2014, you can save up to $1,075 on Mercury FourStrokes from 2.5-115hp. The bigger the engine, the more you can save. You can also take advantage of exclusive Mercury Finance and Mercury Insurance packages available at very competitive rates. Mercury FourStrokes are known for their instant starts, reliability, durability and smooth, quiet performance in virtually any conditions. These engines deliver superior performance because they have been designed and built to do just that. For example, the marine electronic fuel injection (EFI) which Mercury pioneered and patented has now been integrated into their FourStroke range to provide a previously unheard of level of reliability. Mercury FourStrokes also have more stainless steel, hard anodizing and an exclusive multi-step paint process, and have the industry’s one-and-only 3-Year Corrosion Warranty for outboards. To find your nearest participating dealer visit - MM


Quintrex 420 Hornet Trophy

The 420 HornetTrophy is new to Quintrex’s Hornet range and it’s set to be a favourite among anglers. With new smooth look, 3mm bottom and side sheets sides the 420 is 300mm deeper than the original 400 Hornet Trophy. Built with the Eclipse V-Flared Hull, it cuts through chop and offers a stable fishing platform no matter where you are. Features include rod holders, anchor well, casting platform with a rear live bait tank, tackle storage and a fishfinder. Optional extras include a bimini and envelope, bow mount thruster plate, stereo and speakers and a rod storage pocket. The 420 Hornet Trophy is available as an Instant Boating Package including a boat, BRP Evinrude outboard and Quintrex trailer complete with a three-year limited factory warranty. For more info visit www.quintrex. - Telwater


New Sarca Excel

The Super Sarca anchor (Sand and Reef Combination Anchor), is the most popular anchor design in the trailerboat industry, and is classified as having Super High Holding Power (SHHP). The Sarca Excel, which is hugely versatile in wind and tide changes, can hook into many types of sea beds, and holds fast in storms. Unlike concave designs that compress and then clog, the Excel’s convex shape displaces the substrate, allowing deeper setting in many substrate types. Then, when retrieved, it leaves the mud behind. Released in stainless and aluminium alloy designs, the Excel has been refined yet again. The body and pulling shank are constructed from steel but the anchor toe is now constructed from 316 stainless steel. This cutting toe won’t rust because the galvanizing has worn off, and it gives the Excel an advanced, durable cutting edge over all competitors. The toe can be further sharpened to cut through heavy weed. For more info visit www.anchorright. - AR




Tohatsu MFS40A and MFS50A

Australian Tohatsu distributor Lakeside Marine has taken delivery of the much anticipated MFS40A EFI and MFS50A EFI Lightweight ECO Sporty 40hp and 50hp 4-strokes. Featuring a completely new engine design, they weigh just 97kg. EFI with tuned intake manifold delivers optimum fuel economy and smooth, responsive performance. A variable idling system allows the trolling speed to be adjusted in four levels from 650rpm to 950rpm via touch key control. There’s also a high output alternator 21A and a built-in freshwater flush system. The MSFS40A and MFS50A are available with either the Tohatsu multifunction tiller handle or standard forward control which comes with polished bezel tachometer and trim gauge. Both versions come standard with a prop and 25L fuel tank. Visit to find out more. - LM




Yamaha Introduces New Four Stroke

Yamaha has released two new 4-strokes, the F175A and F115B. The F115B will replace the existing F115A, a motor already considered to be class leading. The F115B is not only powerful and compact, but is also the lightest outboard in the four-stroke class. It provides increased cubic capacity, which now measures 1.8L. The DOHC 4-cylinder design now has larger intake and exhaust valves. The compression ratio has been increased, and so has the full-throttle RPM range. A knock sensor allows the engine to operate reliably at peak output. The F175A fills the gap between the powerful F150A and the hugely popular four-cylinder F200. The F175A has the same displacement and 4-cylinder, 16-valve DOHC design as the F200. It offers the utmost in weight saving innovation and packs in plenty of performance. It’s highly responsive, with a sophisticated valve train, and is mechanically controlled. For more info visit www.yamaha-motor. - YMA















1 1

0343 0.38




2 2

0427 0.42 1.38 1604 0.59 2230 0.42 1.76 0427 1028 1.38 1604 0.59 2230 1.76



86 8

0236 1.44 0921 0.62 12 1543181.320 2131 0236 0.80 1.44 0921 0.62 1543 1.32 2131 0.80

96 9

12 18 0 0339 1.44 1011 0.59 12 1636181.400 2235 1.44 0.74 0339 1011 0.59 1636 1.40 2235 0.74


12 18 0 0230 0.35 0827 1.52 12 1415180.430 2044 0230 1.93 0.35 0827 1.52 1415 0.43 2044 1.93


1526 2151 0343 0944 1526 2151

0.53 1.82 0.38 1.45 0.53 1.82


3 3

0510 0.48

1111 1.33 SATURDAY 1643 2310 0510 1111 1643 2310

0.66 1.69 0.48 1.33 0.66 1.69

1.0m 1.5m 0.5m 1.0m

4 4

0555 1156 1725 2352 0555 1156 1725 2352

0.5m 0




116 11


5 5

0642 1245 1814 0642 1245 1814



0525 1.47 1136 0.52 12 1802181.590

126 12

12 18 0 0016 0.58 0611 1.50 12 1215180.480 1841 0.58 1.69 0016 0611 1.50 1215 0.48 1841 1.69

0.54 1.28 0.72 1.61 0.54 1.28 0.72 1.61

0.59 1.25 0.77 0.59 1.25 0.77

6 6

0039 0732 1340 1912 0039 0732 1340 1912

7 7

1.54 0.62 1.25 0.81 1.54 0.62 1.25 0.81

0.5m 0 0134 1.48 0827 0.63 1442 1.270 2021 1.48 0.82 0134 0827 0.63 1442 1.27 2021 0.82



106 10

12 18 0 0435 1.45 1056 0.56 12 1721181.490 2330 0435 0.67 1.45 1056 0.56 1721 1.49 2330 0.67

1.0m 1.5m 0.5m 1.0m



0525 1.47 1136 0.52 1802 1.59

NSW tides 6

136 13

12 18 0 0100 0.49 0655 1.51 12 1253180.450 1919 0.49 1.79 0100 0655 1.51 1253 0.45 1919 1.79


146 14

12 18 0 0145 0.41 0740 1.52 12 1332180.440 2000 0.41 1.87 0145 0740 1.52 1332 0.44 2000 1.87

156 15

166 16

12 18 0 0316 0.31 0915 1.51 12 1500180.450 2129 0.31 1.95 0316 0915 1.51 1500 0.45 2129 1.95


176 17

12 18 0 0406 0.30 1007 1.48 12 1548180.480 2217 0406 1.94 0.30 1007 1.48 1548 0.48 2217 1.94

1.0m 1.5m 0.5m 1.0m 0.5m 0



186 18

0.5m 0



256 25





0459 0.31 1101 1.45 12 1641180.530 2309 0.31 1.89 0459 1101 1.45 1641 0.53 2309 1.89


196 19

12 18 0 0555 0.34 1200 1.42 12 1737180.580 0555 0.34 1200 1.42 1737 0.58


206 20

12 18 0 0004 1.82 0654 0.38 12 1300181.410 1840 1.82 0.63 0004 0654 0.38 1300 1.41 1840 0.63


216 21

12 18 0 0104 1.73 0753 0.41 12 1405181.430 1950 1.73 0.66 0104 0753 0.41 1405 1.43 1950 0.66


226 22

12 18 0 0210 1.65 0852 0.43 12 1509181.480 2104 0210 0.65 1.65 0852 0.43 1509 1.48 2104 0.65


236 23

12 18 0 0318 1.59 0947 0.44 12 1610181.560 2216 1.59 0.62 0318 0947 0.44 1610 1.56 2216 0.62


246 24

12 18 0 0423 1.55 1040 0.44 12 1705181.650 2322 0423 0.56 1.55 1040 0.44 1705 1.65 2322 0.56

1.0m 1.5m 0.5m 1.0m





0522 1.52 1129 0.45 12 1756181.730


266 26

0522 1.52 1129 0.45 1756 1.73

12 18 0 0021 0.50 0616 1.50 12 1214180.460 1843 0.50 1.80 0021 0616 1.50 1214 0.46 1843 1.80


276 27

12 18 0 0113 0.45 0706 1.47 12 1257180.480 1926 0.45 1.84 0113 0706 1.47 1257 0.48 1926 1.84


286 28

12 18 0 0159 0.42 0754 1.44 12 1337180.510 2007 0.42 1.86 0159 0754 1.44 1337 0.51 2007 1.86


296 29

12 18 0 0242 0.41 0838 1.42 12 1416180.540 2046 0242 1.85 0.41 0838 1.42 1416 0.54 2046 1.85


306 30

12 18 0 0323 0.42 0921 1.39 12 1455180.570 2124 0.42 1.82 0323 0921 1.39 1455 0.57 2124 1.82


316 31

12 18 0 0402 0.44 1002 1.36 12 1533180.610 2201 0402 1.78 0.44 1002 1.36 1533 0.61 2201 1.78

1.0m 1.5m 0.5m 1.0m 0.5m 0





















 Copyright: Commonwealth of Australia 2012, Bureau of Meteorology (ABN 92 637 533 532) 0 Disclaimer: 6 12 18These 0 tide 6 predictions 12 18 are 0 supplied 6 12 in18 18 to 0 be 6correct. 12 18 0 good0faith6and12 believed No warranty is given in respect to errors, omissions, or suitability for any purpose.  Copyright: Commonwealth of Australia 2012, Bureau of Meteorology (ABN 92 637 533 532) Disclaimer: These tide predictions are supplied in good faith and believed to be correct. No warranty is given in respect to errors, omissions, or suitability for any purpose.

















Tidal information is provided courtesy of the Sydney Ports Corporation. Copyright in the Tidal Predictions is owned by the Bureau of Meteorology. Users of these tables should be aware that the heights shown in this publication are predictions only and that the actual water level height may vary due to meteorological conditions (including barometric pressure, wind effect and storm surges) and seasonal variations. Sydney Ports Corporation is not responsible for the average time differences for other locations.

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

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

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




OFFER ENDS 31 MAY 2014 visit for details

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

New South Wales Fishing Monthly - May 2014