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Royal tactics: kingfish • Sounding for snapper • Yellowbelly spring break • Perks of polarised sunnies • Flathead Classic results •  First response boat breakdowns •

November, 2016 Fishing Monthly G R O U P

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November 2016, Vol. 22 No. 4

Contents BYRON COAST The Tweed 24 Ballina 25 Yamba 26 Iluka 28 COFFS COAST Coffs Harbour Coffs Game South West Rocks

29 32 33

MACQUARIE COAST The Hastings 34 Forster 36 HUNTER COAST Harrington-Taree 37 Port Stephens 38 Hunter Coast 39 Swansea 40 Central Coast 41 SYDNEY The Hawkesbury 14 Sydney North 16 Pittwater 17 Sydney Harbour 18 Sydney rock and beach 19 Botany Bay 20 Sydney South 22 ILLAWARRA COAST Illawarra 42 Nowra 43 BATEMANS COAST Merimbula 54 Narooma 55 Batemans Bay 56





From the Editor’s Desk... WE WENT FISHING Although this issue goes to press a couple of days before the inaugural Gone Fishing Day, at the time of writing it is shaping up to be a cracker of a day for thousands and thousands of Aussies. Over 100 organised events nationally as well as thousands of personal trips combined to make this possibly the biggest fishing day in Australia. Hats off to the individuals, clubs, stores and governments who got on board to make it as easy as possible to introduce new anglers into the sport. Several states waived the requirement for a licence for the day and Western Australia even shifted the date of a closed season for a couple of days to accommodate. It is estimated that around 5 million Aussies wet a line annually and moving

forward Gone Fishing Day is set to become a permanent part of Australia’s calendar. One of the most important parts of the day was making sure that you signed up at the official website – www. It’s just as important to tell the government that you went fishing as it was to go fishing. Crazy but true. If you’re tech savvy, you’ll be able to see a lot of the activity across the nation by searching #gonefishingday. And keep an eye out for the date for the 2017 Gone

Fishing Day. We’re sure it will be released by the time this magazine hits the shelves. END OF THE CRAZY WEATHER? I’m sure it’ll be a while before we see the country as green as it will be by the end of this spring. Flooding from the seemingly crazy weather patterns causes short-term heartache, but is a long-term bonus for our river systems and impoundments. I can just imagine the thousands of freshwater natives that have happily redistributed themselves throughout the catchments. It’s bound to be a productive summer – both in the salt and the fresh. YOUTUBE GOING GREAT Increasingly there is demand for video to go with the reviews that we publish in Fishing Monthly. For a couple of years now, we have been ramping up the AV content to support the written content in



the magazines. A great way to stay connected with what you are doing is to subscribe to our channel on YouTube. That way, you’re notified immediately when we upload a video. Usually, you’ll get to watch it weeks or sometimes months before we publicise its existence in print. Search for: FishingMonthly on YouTube and sign up. In just the last month, there have been around 20 videos created that have been uploaded for your viewing pleasure! ADD US ON SOCIAL MEDIA The other way you can stay connected with us is on Facebook (Like: Fishing Monthly Magazines) or Instagram (Follow: fishingmonthly) – we usually update content on these two platforms daily and are happy to share your photos if you have an awesome catch.

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Yellowtail Kingfish

Yellowtail kingfish techniques for Sydney SYDNEY SOUTH

Gary Brown

Pound for pound, yellowtail kingfish are one of the hardest fighting fish in the water. At times, they can be led to the boat with so much ease that they’ll completely surprise you and explode right in your face, resulting in a bust-off or sometimes a broken rod. Yellowtail kingfish can

can be found from North Reef in Queensland, around the southern coast and up to Shark Bay in WA. They can also be caught off the East Coast of Tasmania, Norfolk and Lord Howe islands. Yellowtail kingfish love to hang around structure and wait for that unsuspecting feed to come along. They can also show up in the most unexpected places. A couple of years ago, I was fishing in a bream tournament on the Parramatta River, casting

as it screamed off around the mooring rope of a nearby yacht. I was only able to ease the kingfish around the rope and into deeper water, because I threw the bail arm over. Then I could slowly work the fish back to the boat and into the net. As stated, yellowtail kingfish love structure. This structure could be in the form of offshore reefs, sunken wrecks, a headland, a breakwall, rock gutters, wharves, bridge pylons, floating pontoons, current

Working alongside the hulls on boats with soft plastics is worth a shot.

A sweet cobia fell to a 6.5” Gulp Nemesis white glow. be found throughout the world in the cool temperate waters of the Pacific and Indian oceans off South Africa, Japan, the USA and Australia. In Australia, they

lightly weighed 2” Gulp shrimps at the front edge of the stormwater drain – a 75cm kingfish took the plastic as soon as it hit water. All hell broke loose

lines, marker buoys, channel markers, drop-offs, boats on swing moorings, bait balls, but sometimes they hang out in the middle of nowhere. To help you catch yellowtail

Soft plastic x

Electric motor


Marker pole

x x

Current & wind direction


Adam Costa with a nice squid destined to be a live bait for a kingy.

kingfish, here are some tips on where to find them, rigs to try, techniques, and gear to use. RIGS When chasing yellowtail kingfish, the rig can be as simple as a running ball sinker down onto the bait or as complex as trolling a dead swim bait. I believe in keeping it as simple as possible. There are only six rigs I use: running ball sinker onto the bait, whole bait on a set of ganged hooks, live baiting a whole squid, sliding snooded hooks, bait suspended under a bobby cork, or a bait suspended under a balloon. TECHNIQUES Try anchoring about 6-10m up current of a marker buoy or channel marker. Once you’re set up, you need to have a small, but steady berley trail flowing out of your berley bucket. This may consist of old pilchards, tuna and chicken pellets. Once the berley stream has been set

Channel marker or marker buoy

Current Pilchard or tuna cubes


Berley trail

Anchor up current with your berley trail. Drop over some pilchard or tuna cubes, then send down a pilchard cube on ganged hooks. Try a squid under a bobby cork near the back of the boat. Rig an outfit about a metre off the bottom. With soft plastics, position the boat up current or upwind of structure and aim your cast as close as possible. 8

Direction NOVEMBER 2016



Boat on swing mooring

Kingfish just love patrolling the edges of white water off the rocks.

Yellowtail Kingfish up, chop up some whole pilchards or tuna cubes and drop over a couple pieces every few minutes. Now that you’ve enticed the yellowtail kingfish, drop over pilchard on a set of ganged hooks and slowly feed it out through the berley trail. At the same time, you could also set a whole squid, dead or alive, under a bobby cork and have it positioned about halfway between the back of the boat and the structure. Your third outfit would be lowered to about a metre off the bottom. This gives you three options to find out where the fish are holding. You may have all three go off at the same time! Downrigging your live or dead bait covers more ground than at anchor. I have two different ways that I down rig. One is where the bait is attached to a clip just above the downrigging bomb. The bait can be set 3-6m back, then lowered to just off the bottom while trolling at 3-5 knots. The other is what I call a poor man’s downrigger – put a larger sinker above the swivel then have a leader no longer than the length of the rod. This is then lowered to the bottom and the rod placed in the rod holder. It’s simply a matter of putting the motor in gear and then

out of gear to keep the rig just off the bottom. If you are not into baits and prefer soft plastics, position the boat about 6-8m up current or upwind of the channel marker, buoy,

bridge pylon or bait ball. Aim your cast so that the weighted soft plastic lands as close to the structure as possible. You could either start the retrieve straight away or allow the plastic

A nice pair of kingies were caught fishing with Scotty Lyons, just outside of Botany Bay.

A big kingfish that was caught while fishing off All at Sea Charters that puts out from the Port Hacking River. Photo courtesy of Roland Persson.

to sink for a few seconds, then start the retrieve. The retrieve speed can be varied from a slow wind, stop and start jerking motion, to a moderate or quick retrieve where the soft plastics is skipping across like a fleeing garfish would. When targeting kingfish off the rocks you could also suspend your bait under a bobby cork or a party balloon that has only been

blown up to half its size. This will allow the balloon to be blown away from the rocks while stopping the bait from swimming back down. When targeting kingfish off the rocks I prefer to look for a deep water headland or a narrow gutter that’s deep. With this type of structure, I’ll use a whole garfish or pilchard on a set of ganged hooks and my rod will be at least 3.6m long.

My cast will be directed so I can retrieve the bait in a skipping motion along the surface over and through the white water. If you’ve never tried using blades for kingfish, then you’re missing out. They’re very effective lures to target kingfish while chasing them over deep water reefs and wrecks. They’re also effective To page 10

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Current From page 9

jigged beside wharves, marker poles, buoys and trailthe along drop-offs. Berley Lower blade to the bottom and then slowly jig the rod up and down. Much like when you are dunking a tea bag. Boats on swing

moorings and pontoons and Pilchard or tuna great cubes places are not only to throw small plastics for bream. They are also great for casting those 5-7” weighted soft plastics. Kingfish will hold up under some boats, their moorings and also under pontoons.

Direction of current

Yellowtail Kingfish

Many times I’ve cast a soft plastic meant for a bream, only to have itAnchor monstered by a kingfish. You’ll need to set yourself so that the boat is parallel to the side of the boat on the swing mooring. Cast the weighted soft plastics up

Boat on swing mooring

Your boat Angler


Electric motor

Weighted soft plastic


Soft plastic

x x








Electric motor

x Current flow

Allow to sink then tweak

Kingfish will hold under some boats, their moorings and also under pontoons. Many a time I have cast a soft plastic that was meant for a bream, only to have it monstered by a kingfish.

past the boat, as close to the side of the boat as possible and then allow it to slowly sink. Once out of sight, just give it a couple of tweaks and then allow it to sink again. Repeat this process back to your boat. The use of an electric motor will make things easier, but you can still use this technique if you only have your main motor. You just need someone to position you for that all-important cast. GEAR Yellowtail kingfish can be caught on just about every outfit you can find in a tackle shop, from a light spin to a 24kg game outfit. What you use will depend on your preference and budget. Maybe you prefer a fly or game outfit, or maybe you like a hand burning sensation when it comes to fishing with a hand line. I have three outfits I use when targeting kingfish – off the rocks, offshore and in the bays and estuaries. Off the rocks, I use a Shakespeare Ugly Stik Gold, 8-12kg, a 3.6m rod mounted with a 6500 Pflueger Salt threadline spooled with 10 and 15kg Fireline. Offshore, for trolling, down rigging and live baiting I use either a Shakespeare Ugly Stik Gold 10-15kg, 1.8m rod mounted with a Penn Squall 40LD Overhead spooled

Remember to release the under-size kingfish. with 15kg Spiderwire, or a Shakespeare Ugly Stik Gold 6-10kg, 1.95m rod mounted with a Penn 6500 Spinfisher and spooled with 15 kg FireLine. For bays and estuaries, plastics and blades, my outfit is a Pflueger President 3-6kg, 2.1m rod mounted with a Pflueger Salt 40SW threadline reel, spooled with

6kg FireLine Exceed. For more information on how to rig your squid, refer to my article on winter squid options in the June 2016 issue, ‘On the plate or use as bait, that is the question’. Look for it online. Thanks to Scotty Lyons and Roland Persson for their help with a few photos putting this article together.

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Finessing the heavyweights NSW STH COAST

Steve Starling

The concept of finesse fishing doesn’t only apply to the lighter end of the fishing spectrum. It can also pay big dividends when dealing with our true heavyweights! “Finesse fishing” has become my personal mantra over the past few decades – I’m always banging on

balanced with a common sense approach to landing fish. There’s no point in hooking lots if they all get away. Most of us can afford to err a little more on the finesse side when we wet a line. You might think that throwing massive wake and swimbaits intended to tempt mega Murray cod would be about the last area of our sport that could possibly benefit from the application of finesse,

thing to grip the Australian freshwater scene. Oversized sub-surface swimbaits are the next major trend following hot-on-the-heels of the wake bait boom. Much of this development is being spearheaded by savvy anglers targeting lunker cod on Copeton Dam, near Inverell, in the New England region of NSW, but the effectiveness of these lure types isn’t limited to that fishery alone. Similar

could well be regarded as the martial arts of fishing. Like most other anglers serious about catching big cod on these lures, I started out using 50-70lb braid and 60lb (30kg) mono leaders of either nylon or fluorocarbon. Cod might not be the hardest fighters in our waters on a kilofor-kilo basis, but a big one hooked close to cover can brick you as fast as any snag-loving fish. I still use the gear I’ve described in the sticks. However, I’ve come to realise that a great deal of the best wake and swimbaiting for cod, especially at dawn, dusk and through the night, tends to take place in relatively open water adjacent to bare banks and weed beds. You don’t need to load for bear in these scenarios. I’ve taken to running 20lb braid and relatively short 30-50lb (15-25kg) leaders in these open waters, enjoying longer casts and better lure action as a result. That’s practical finesse at work.

Achieving the right action can make a huge difference on the day. Lighter gear helps.

The author with a solid topwater cod taken on a tweaked Jackall Mikey Snr and relatively light gear. Note that a set of hooks was discarded when upgrading this wakebait’s hardware, to maintain balance and buoyancy. about it. In a nutshell, I firmly believe you’ll hook more fish in every scenario by fishing lighter, finer, longer, stealthy and smart. Naturally, this quest for finesse needs to be

but you’d be wrong! The booming fishery for XOS Murray cod using bulky topwater offerings such as surface walkers, chuggers and jointed wake baits is definitely the latest big

Cod don’t generally demand barrastrength lure fittings. There’s a fine balance between power and finesse.

opportunities exist in cod impoundments all the way from Glenlyon to Blowering, Burrinjuck to Wyangala and Mulwala to Eildon, not to mention in the major rivers of the Murray/Darling basin, as well as some of their smaller feeders and anabranches – just about anywhere big cod live. How do you apply the concept of finesse to a fishery that’s based on bruising, metre-something kegs of fish exploding all over 20cm+ lures that typically weigh 70-250g and are most often cast off serious, double-handed baitcasters or saltwater strength spinning gear? It’s easy – finesse doesn’t necessarily mean soft or lightweight. Instead, the term refers to cunning, subterfuge, balance and power. In fact, finesse

It seems counter-intuitive to use the word ‘finesse’ when referring to beasts like this monster Copeton cod that Jo Starling tamed, but the concept still has relevance at this end of the scale. Lure is a JJ’s Plague Mouseful wakebait. The application of finesse in this way can transform a blank session into one that produces a strike, or turn a half-hearted boil and rejection into a fullblooded take. This is just the beginning. I’ve been

playing around with the hardware on my lures, but that’s a story for a future column! Truth is, there are always facets of our fishing we can fine tune and improve, with direct benefits in terms of our

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fish engulfing your wellpresented surface popper, walker or stickbait. Bass will be in full swing with most fish converging on their summer hangouts in the upper reaches of the rivers, creeks and streams. Terrestrial insects form a large part of their diet when they’re found in the upper reaches – a small cicada or beetle imitation lure or


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fly will rarely be refused when cast close to structure or deep into that shaded nook. Be prepared for an instant take, as these fish are highly tuned into their surrounds above and below the surface, looking for an easy meal. Surface fishing for bream with small poppers and stickbaits is an addictive form of pursuing these hard fighting estuary dwellers. Locate suitable flats with sufficient weed growth, gutters and drop offs to create ambush opportunities, as this is paramount to finding good concentrations of hungry bream in the Hawkesbury and its tributaries. Long prospecting casts are vital to get your lure to unaware, active fish. These guys are already on high alert for any predators, so your presence needs to be minimised by making as little noise as possible. If accessible, wading is a great option and gives you a lower profile to your quarry. Whiting can be found on the same flats as the bream, but you’ll need to maintain a constant retrieve to elicit a strike from them, which is slightly different from the stop start retrieve used to tempt the bream most days. The addition of some scent may improve your chances if the fish aren’t committed

on small white bait that will be around 2” long at this time of year. Soft

days. Sometimes, slowing down the retrieve speed or allowing your lure to

soapy mulloway commonly beating larger, more soughtafter fish to lures and baits.

Quality mulloway will be on offer this month with the rising water temperatures and prevalence of baitfish and prawns. Measuring 104cm, the author caught this beauty on a soft plastic lure cast deep into structure around the tide change. plastics, flies and metal slices retrieved as speed across the surface through active feeding schools is very visually exciting, even if the fish aren’t committing to your lure or fly. Much the same as trying to get a visibly feeding trout in a gin-clear stream to take your offering, it can prove frustrating at



“Pimped” Big bream are an impressive sight and a great reward when casting lures into the Hawkesbury’s waters.

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Estuary perch will be feeding in the upper tidal reaches of the tributaries and towards Windsor in the main river. Small soft plastics hopped near the bottom in back eddies will get you into the action. and are just swiping at your offering. Kingfish, salmon and tailor will be feeding hard

times. The right approach coupled withthe right lure and accurate casting will pay dividends most

naturally sink through the school can tempt them, especially if they’ve seen angling pressure from others that day or in previous days. Picking off other species like flathead, snapper, mulloway and bream from underneath these feeding frenzies is not uncommon, and can produce a great mixed bag of species in just one outing. Adapt and change lures regularly until the most productive one is found. This is the key to catching fussy fish at this time of year. Mulloway will be on the hunt through the brackish reaches and will be pushing as far afield as Wisemans, if the rains hold off. Live baiting will start to take over from lure fishing, with the smaller, more aggressive

Persistence is the key to success with mulloway, but don’t forget to have your best baits or lures in the water around the tide changes. Mud crabs and blue swimmer crabs will be in good supply as the month wears on. Set your witches hats out of strong current and traffic lanes in the lower reaches from Spencer back toward the heads. Check them regularly, every halfhour to an hour, for best results. The mud crabs may be slow to start, but they’ll come on as the water warms. Set your pots in the mouths of smaller feeder creeks and if accessible, up in some of the bigger creeks like Mooney, Marra Marra, Berowra, Mangrove, Webbs and the Macdonald River.

MAP IT. OWN IT. SHARE IT. I can’t believe how good this map is I just downloaded free off the Quickdraw™ Community. Look at this structure, those drop offs. Never would have known about this lake without the community. It’s fun fishing new water. I’ve already caught two nice keepers. Of course, I’ve uploaded some pretty nice maps, too. Glad someone decided to share this one.


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Plenty of action to be shore SYDNEY NORTH

Darren Thomas

As the warmer waters make their way back down the coast this month, great reports and captures are coming in from offshore and inshore alike. Marlin and mahimahi are moving in locally and are now becoming regular topics among fishos out here on the peninsula. The inshore reefs are providing action on the kingfish and snapper fronts, while the

It looks as though a great season for our bread and butter species is on the way. More marlin captures are prevalent offshore this month with some solid reports and captures. We still have a bit of our annual algae plaguing out wide, but it’s not wreaking too much havoc with fishos and lines. The odd yellowfin tuna is still being caught, but it was a fairly quiet showing by these fish during the season. Our inshore reefs have been a little on and off

chances of confronting these fish and eliciting a hook-up. Great reds are starting to show, with big baits fished deep proving successful in bombed berley trails. Using a berley bomb that drops deep near the floor keeps a lot of rubbish feeders from knocking off your bait on the surface. Closer to shore, our ocean washes are holding good drummer and some great fish are being caught using bread and prawns fished in a berley trail. Ed Worland landed a ripper

Be aware that they can be boat shy. Cutting the motor and drifting into them is a successful technique to get close enough to get a cast in. Bigger lures like poppers and divers worked around these schools can find the kings in tow. Be prepared to work a heavier outfit as well as a lighter kit for salmon. Oceanhunter’s Vic Levett has had success on the kingfish. Amberjack are also being reported up in the water column. Snapper and flathead to 70cm are working down deep. Schools of salmon are working Sydney Heads and Mosman Bay while further west in Middle Harbour at Bantry Bay, schooling salmon, tailor and more kingfish are taking live yellowtail baits and soft plastic lures.

The flathead are awake this month.

Ed Worland with a solid black drummer. washes are great venues for targeting a feed when the tide slows and the swell is down. Our estuaries have plenty of fish on the chew with schooling salmon and trevally visible on the surface. Good rogue kings are holding beneath them. The flathead are out looking for a feed now. Bream aren’t far behind.

during the spring transition. This is common while the winds swing around to the north. When you head out fishing on the reefs, be sure to move around. Most reports are coming from different spots day to day. Finding the bait will have you in the zone and different techniques like plastics, livies, jigs and poppers will up your

black drummer using this method recently. Silver drummer, luderick and trevally are also taking bait offerings on the ocean’s edge while a longer cast out to the gravel will put you in snapper territory. The harbour has had some good reports of schooling salmon from North Harbour to North Head. These fish are chasing shoals of whitebait and can be hooked by casting small metal lures into the school.

Luke Ashley with a nice offshore kingfish. The kayak brigade have also been into the fish lately; Rob Haslam worked lures from his kayak landing kingfish to 77cm. Mike Kelett confronted a

solid bite, landing his best fish at 90cm using squid heads down deep. Targeting kingies from the yak is very challenging and a great way to get on the fish.


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Mike Kelett with a kingfish taken from his kayak.

Working the flats has been productive of late. Dave Nixon waded the flats at Clontarf and landed four flatties to 58cm using soft plastics and blades while slow rolling the drop-off on the run-in tide. Narrabeen Lake is providing some fun in the shallows with the flatties on the bite taking vibes, blades and soft plastics. These fish are taking lures at night in the dark, so finding a couple of hours to wet a line is worth the time. Scoop up the odd prawn as it swims by for a terrific bait option. The beaches are providing decent whiting and bream in the wash, with worms and whitebait both being popular baits for this style of surf fishing. Dee Why, Curl Curl and Collaroy beaches are holding fish. Our friend the taxman has been ever-present too; whaler sharks are a common hook-up during spring and can provide plenty of action on a cool night.

All starting to fire at Pittwater PITTWATER

Peter Le Blang

Last month the fishing was sporadic again along Pittwater and Broken Bay. With the colder water behind us, it’s time to grab the rods and a handful of lures and hit the water. This month we should start to see some larger kingfish become more active along the length of Pittwater. Normally each year, these fish can be seen first thing in the morning, cruising the edge of the weed beds hunting squid and ultra-small baitfish. We should also see schools of salmon and tailor on the surface first thing in the morning along Pittwater and Broken Bay on the high tide. When chasing kingfish at this time of the year, it can be tricky to find them and get them to bite once found. This means that if you’re going to chase kingfish along Pittwater, you really have to cover your bases and take a variety of baits with you. It’s best to collect live squid and yellowtail before you start chasing the kingies. Downrigging is the most productive way to catch kingfish at this time of the year. Downrigging gives you the ability to cover a lot of ground with your bait

larger predators. It’s worth setting your baits on your downrigger at the depth the school of baitfish have been found. Areas to catch yellowtail and sometimes slimy mackerel are at West Head, Mackerel Beach and Lion Island. Berley is

and flounder encountered on the incoming tides. Better baits to use for these species at the moment are whitebait, fresh yellowtail fillets, prawns and of course, nippers. Offshore fishing at the moment seems to be a

This lovely flathead was caught at the edge of the reef in 60m of water.

Monster squid like this one are still being caught around the Basin. required at the moment to attract yellowtail to your boat, but be careful with the amount of berley you do

Bream of this size are haunting the shallower water. presented mid water until a school of baitfish has been found. If these baitfish are balled up or look like a soccer ball on your sounder, they’re under threat from

Beach, Palm Beach weed beds and on the ocean side of Barrenjoey Head. Squid are tricky at the moment. Some days we’re finding them eager to pounce on jigs, other days they’re mysteriously absent. If you’re having one of those

put in the water, as there’s a lot of mado and sweep when too much berley is in the water. Areas to target squid the moment are the usual bays of Towlers Bay, Mackerel

days when you can’t find a squid there are things you can do to increase your chances. The first is the easiest – simply apply scent to your jig just above the spikes. Another easy way to attract squid from further away is to grab one of your live yellowtail and hook it through the shoulder above lateral line. Place your rod in a rod holder and have the yellowtail swimming just below the surface so it pops up onto the surface every now and then. Keep an eye on this area as squid are generally aggressive and will steal your live yellowtail if you’re not watching. This method works extremely well over areas such as Palm Beach weed beds. The areas to try for kingfish at the moment are changing every day, but the western side of Pittwater seems to be holding more fish than the moorings on the eastern side. This can change overnight as the season progresses. A lot of these fish will use the wrecks and mooring areas of Pittwater to hunt. Fishing on the bottom along Pittwater at the moment is trying to say the least. The shallow areas seem to be where most of the activity is happening with species such as flathead, bream

little bit easier than fishing along the rivers. Along our coast, we’re starting to see some kingfish show up and there are big fish amongst them. Areas to try over the coming month will be West Reef, East Reef, Barrenjoey Head, Newport Reef and just about every reef to Sydney. If there are kingfish in an area, there’s usually some activity on the surface first thing in the morning. The

better baits to use when chasing kingfish along the coast are yellowtail or slimy mackerel on most occasions. When the kingies are on the surface this is prime time to use poppers, soft plastics and other lures. Not only do you catch a lot of fish most the time, it’s visual as well, which adds another element to the excitement of catching kingies. If you’re after a feed offshore, there are a number of species to be found. There are blue-spot flathead moving in over the sand, and they should be encountered over the next month in the 50m water mark. The closer reefs of 30m are seeing some snapper before sunrise along with nannygai, morwong and trevally. Out a little wider at the 60m mark, there are snapper pouncing

on micro-jigs as well as flathead around the edges of the reef. When fishing offshore, try and find signs of life on the bottom before sending your lines over the side of the vessel. When you find a patch of baitfish near the bottom, make sure you plot your path with your sounder so you can drift back over the area again once the bite thins out. As you can see, it’s worth getting out on the water to enjoy wonderful weather and catch a feed of fish for your family. Remember to limit your catch, not catch your limit. I hope this report helps you get onto some fish in the coming months. • Peter Le Blang operates Harbour and Estuary Fishing Charters, phone 02 9999 2574 or 0410 633 351, visit www.



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Be cool, stay in schools SYDNEY HARBOUR

Craig McGill

After a short, mild winter, the warm water is well on its way with the harbour already recording 19°C. This has brought an early run of surface fish including kings, salmon and bonito. Luderick are still on the bite with some big fish hanging around the lower harbour washes. They’re ravenous for big cabbage weed baits and there are a few good surgeon fish among them, so make sure your tackle is up to scratch. Kings were present in the harbour right through winter this year, and with good numbers massing on the close offshore reefs it’s shaping up for a good season. You’ll see lots of smaller kings on the surface this month, but the

opposite to barra in this sense. Barra can be teased into striking whereas kings can be teased out of striking. They’re stubborn bastards and the more you shove it in their face, the more they’ll reject it. Change lure size, let it sink, change the presentation angle or best of all go away, try another spot and come back in half an hour. Big kingies like whole live squid but small ones don’t. Big kingies will just as happily take a squid head. By using a squid head, you’ll get lots of big and small kingies. If you use live squid you’ll get fewer fish, but they’ll be bigger on average. A whole squid gut is not only exceptionally good bait, but it’s also the best berley you can use for kings. It’s all about the guts. Use the guts and especially the ink to entice the fish. You can burst the ink sac before you send

mobile nature, salmon can be expected to turn up anywhere. We’ve even caught them as far upstream as Bantry Bay in Middle Harbour. In fact, strong concentrations of baitfish have been known to lead them well up into the mangrove country, but this is the exception rather than the rule. Trolling is best with minnow style lures. Metal baitfish profiles and skirted type lures like Christmas trees are good when the fish are high up in the water. Those types of lures will ride high at the trolling speeds required for pelagics, 4-8 knots. Minnows offer deep diving capabilities or at least reliable depth control. A trolling pattern must be established in order to locate the concentrations of fish. This usually involves a close run first and then moving a little bit wider on each run after that. Troll both directions on each run because it’s common to find fish biting in one direction and not the other. Keep an eye on your sounder for baitfish concentrations and other boats trolling to see where and what they’re catching (and so you don’t run into them), birds working the surface, current lines, gnarly waves, bommies and more. Salmon regularly work bait on the surface. At these times they can be visually located, often kilometres away, by looking for the accompanying flocks of seabirds cashing in on the leftover baitfish. Not every

Bonito respond well to both trolled and cast lures. in mind. Don’t charge right up to the feeding school, as this will almost certainly put them down. There are exceptions to this, where a rapid approach is essential. At certain times they’ll feed in very short bursts and if you’re not there quick, you’ll miss your shot. You must approach fast but keep your distance. The obvious distance to pull up is at the extremities of your personal casting range. You’ll probably be sharing the school with many other boats, especially on weekends, so keep your wits about you in respect to navigation. Whatever you do, don’t go charging through the middle of the school as it will put the school down and attract plenty of verbal abuse your way from the other boats.

nowhere some clown will go powering right through the middle, putting the fish down immediately. If you power through a gathering of any type of animal, except maybe sheep, they’ll scatter. Why would fish be any different? Get just within casting distance as quickly as possible and let fly. Speed is the essence in this situation. You must consider your boat shadow – this will put fear into your school long before the engine noise does. Shadows are the early warning sign of a large predator where engine noise is unfamiliar and fish have proven to be to be far warier of dangers that they are familiar with. The basic rule is to never get between the sun and the fish. The lower the sun is in the sky, the more this applies. Try to anticipate

A thumping harbour luderick. bigger kingies mostly hold from mid water down – this is a good place to present your bait. High tide and the first two hours of the run-out, early morning and late afternoon is when you will find them really feeding. That’s also a good time to catch squid. Kings are easily turned on and off again if you know what buttons to push. The worst thing you can do is keep presenting something that has been rejected, and in the same manner. A school of following kings can be turned into a school of taking kings by something as simple as changing the presentation angle. This applies to lures and bait. If they follow a lure or show interest in a bait more than three times without taking it, don’t present it again. They’re the exact 18


the bait down or you can let the first king burst it for you. The gut is always the first bait to go, which must mean it’s the best bait. Strips of squid cut from the tube are good baits too, particularly after the guts and heads have got the school in a frenzy. Rub it all in ink. Fish with your reel in gear and with your normal fighting drag. Don’t feed kingies any line when they take your bait. When you feel the take, lower the rod down and move with the fish. Once the rod reaches the water, it’s time to strike. Salmon and bonito have shown up in good numbers. Trolling lures is a great way of finding salmon. Trolling the headlands, particularly north, south and middle heads is the preferred option when the fish or baitfish can’t be visually or electronically located in open water. With their highly

A solid early season kingfish. surface feeding school has birds, but they can be visually located just by looking for the surface disturbance. Obviously good sea conditions make the job a lot easier. There are times when the erupting schools will be heard before they are seen. When the time comes to approach the school, there’s a few things to keep

As frenzied as these feeding sprees often get, fish will not tolerate a boat being driven straight through the school. This is a situation I confront every weekend on the harbour. Three or four boats will approach the outskirts of a school slowly and quietly. In the process of being rewarded for their stealth, from out of

the direction that the fish are moving and be sure not to put your boat in their path. In windy conditions you can use the wind to make a quiet approach. Position your drift to take you alongside the school and not over the top of it. It’s been a solid bonito season with good-sized fish mixed in with the surface

feeding salmon schools. You can visually pick the two apart by the way they hit the surface chasing baitfish. Salmon and kings feed across the surface, leaving subdued boils, whereas bonito and tailor dart up from below with a burst of speed that leaves a ‘rooster tail’ of water showering high into the air. Bonnies are generally less fussy on lure size than salmon, but on rare occasions can be difficult to tempt. They make great salted bait. With a little care and a feisty dipping sauce, fish sauce with a hot chilli chopped through it, they are great tucker. As sashimi, they have a reputation for causing stomach upsets. You’ll rarely find them completely raw in Japanese restaurants. To counter this problem, they’re nearly always served tataki style. All exposed surfaces are cooked very briefly on a searing hot plate and then plunged immediately into iced water. The steak is then thinly sliced into traditional sashimi sized pieces. FISH OUTTA WATER NEW LOCATION Northern Beach’s long standing tackle shop, Fish Outta Water, has moved from its old location at Manly Vale to 533 Pittwater Road, Brookvale. FOW had its origins in the iconic Harbord Tackle store, started in the late 80s and well known for its international mail order catalogue, before being bought by Dan Kennedy and moved to a much larger two-storey ‘lodge’ style shop at Manly Vale, where they remained for the last 17 years. In one form or another, they’ve been providing Northern Beach’s fishos with quality tackle and service for over three decades. Dan and staff have built up a solid, loyal client base that won’t need encouraging to follow them to the new location. • If you are interested in doing a guided fishing trip on Sydney harbour with Craig McGill please call 0412 918 127 or email

A multitude of reasons to fish off the rocks SYD ROCK & BEACH

Alex Bellissimo

Anything can happen in November. There are end of season trevally, which can often be whoppers, and the big pigs can be on as well. A run of sizable to big kings are on the cards, and off the beaches it’s not uncommon to get a large mulloway in November. There are stud whiting, stud bream and quality flathead, not to mention the salmon! With such a smorgasbord of species on offer, I sometimes have trouble deciding what to target. Kings are on, snapper are increasing in numbers, bream, pelagics, luderick, big pigs, groper and trevally are all in. During this transition period, you can target a specific species and end up with a mix. Often, these are some real quality fish! With the cabbage weed beds looking like a beautiful green lawn carpet in some rock locations, it’s worthwhile fishing for a pig or luderick. Medicine ball pigs are

spot. Big pigs are to the right of this ledge, a few on the front and, if you’re fortunate to get there when it’s flatter to the east, about 30m is quite good as well. Other locations that are really worth a shot are Little Bluey in Manly, North Curl Curl boulders, Turrametta, Warriewood, and Barrenjoey. Try cabbage weed and peeled large prawns. Large pink nippers are deadly on the pigs and luderick as well. Use white sliced bread in your bread berley. Snapper fishing is normally on the improve at this time of the year for distance casting or wash fishing. It can be a week-to-week proposition as they’re a current-dependent species, especially at this time of the year. One dependable rig is a 3-5oz snapper sinker on a one-hook paternoster. Alternatively, you can use a sliding sinker rig – just use a swivel to attach your main line to 60cm of leader, and slide a snapper sinker onto it. Then add a swivel to the other end, connected to a shorter length of leader (30-40cm) tied to a 3/0 92254 or 92247 Mustad

Three generations into the pigs – Will, 15 year old Erick and Chris Jacobson with half a dozen nice fish. available, and fat luderick are feasting on the abundant cabbage and hair weed. The Hat at Manly near the wall is a good location. People often ask me how large a swell is too large in this area (and other locations). A 1m swell is the maximum for the Hat and even less during a big high tide. It’s very exposed in a southerly swell. The ledges you can fish are only suitable for a limited amount of anglers – just an example of what you may need to consider when you decide to go to an ocean rock

hook. Good baits include fresh or salted striped tuna, slimy mackerel fillet, squid strips, heads, cuttlefish and tailor fillet. Try Flat Rock at South Curl Curl, Dee Why about 100m past the swimming pool, North Narrabeen point in front of the swimming pool and Mona Vale in front of the swimming pool. They’re all good distance casting spots. They also produce well in the washes for a red. For the king angler, fishing deep ledges along the Northern Suburb rocks is great. As with snapper fishing,

the water temperature and quality will affect your catch rates. King fishing is also affected by angling pressure from shore boat fishing, spearfishers and recreational anglers rock fishing. The eastern sea gar aren’t readily available at this time of the year; you can’t really expect them until at least late November or December. When you can get them, they’re a cracker bait for the kings on either a two-hook snelled rig or a set of 5/0 or 6/0 gangs. An FSU-5120 two-piece from Wilson, Daiwa Surf Basia 25QD and TD Sensor 50lb braid is a great outfit! Lures like the Williamson Popper Pro soft plastics give you a good start to having a crack at this fantastic sportfish. Bluefish, South and North Curl, South and North Whale rocks are some of the deepwater options. Beach whiting have been on the bite for the last couple of months, and they’re now reaching their peak. They are well established on all the beaches in variable quantities. A cheap option for the whiting is using a 200g bag of small prawns. If they’re tiny, that’s fine! Peel them and thread them on your oneor two-hook paternoster. The results can often be surprising, considering that many people think live worms are the only bait for whiting. In the estuaries like Narrabeen Lake or Queenscliff Lagoon, there are prawns. This also applies to Dee Why and Curl Curl lagoons – when they’re open, the whiting feed on prawns anyway. I’m not saying you should abandon the use of live blood, beach or tube worms – just give the small peeled river prawns a go if the blood worms aren’t available, or if you want to save a few dollars. Beaches that are producing these succulent fish are Whale, Newport, Bungan, Narrabeen, Collaroy, Dee Why, and Manly. All the beaches are producing, but these are the more productive ones. This can change depending on a new migration of fish, kelp and sea conditions. Anglers are currently into the salmon, increasing numbers of tailor and decent mulloway up to 15kg. A few locals say they’ve been catching all three species, so you have to be patient before a mulloway is caught. I recommend putting in a few nights in a row. Two is the bare minimum; three is better. You can either fish the same beach on consecutive nights or you can swap around from one beach to another. There could be several reasons to do that – better beach holes, sea or weather conditions changing, wretched kelp, too

Although snapper are scavengers, they’re also predators! This one smacked a spinning sea gar. many salmon, rays, assorted gump. Move to another beach for those reasons. Having the best bait is important, but it’s not the be-all and end-all. If you spend hours trying to catch squid or livies to no avail, and then you don’t fish because of that, you’re missing out on opportunities. A less choosy angler who uses good quality frozen squid, cuttlefish or flesh bait can actually catch more fish in the long term,

simply because they soak baits way more often. Rather than refusing to fish unless you have the very best all the time, just go! Sure, you should put in the effort to catch your own bait, but don’t deny yourself a mulloway outing because you can’t get the best. Spots to try are Manly, Dee Why, North Narrabeen, Newport and Palm Beach. Have several spare rigs premade, put in the homework

and check out several beaches before you go so you have an A, B and even C beach to go to if circumstances change. It’s great to have other locations and options if need be. Good luck and good fishing! • For rock and beach guided fishing or tuition in the northern Sydney region, visit www.bellissimocharters., email alex@ or call Alex Bellissimo on 0408 283 616.

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From rags to riches BOTANY BAY

Gabe Quercigrosse

Reports indicate a vast improvement on the fishing scene during the past month. Schools of big bream have congregated on the sand and weed corridors between Towra and Bonna Point with fish around the 40cm mark not uncommon. This is customary for this time of year and judging by the catches that have filtered through, a good

and patience are a must as the fish take a little time to respond to the enticing chicken or prawn pellets. A simple split shot is needed just behind the hook, as there’s little tidal movement in this area. Leave your bail arm open or use a small bait and 3kg monofilament. If using braid, a similar rig applies, but with at least a 2m trace of similar weight fluorocarbon. The bream do not normally muck around and take the bait readily. Stick to locally pumped pink nippers as your number one bait on a

The author with a couple of specimens from a recent mixed bag. season is expected. The best method I’ve found to catch these is by anchoring on the edge of weed and casting into the sand. Berley

size 2 longshank baitkeeper hook – you’ll be rewarded. Bloodworms work extremely well in this area, with the added bonus

of picking up good size whiting as well. The best times are usually during the first few hours of daylight, especially if there’s a big high tide and the last couple of hours before dark under similar conditions. A few possies that should produce the goods this month are: the ‘Logs’, named after the logs on the shoreline just around the corner from Towra Point, approximately 500m out from the beach during a making tide, and the ‘Patches’ where Towra Beach meets the mangroves, approximately 500m out in the 4-5m of water – patches of sand and weed dot the area. Rising tide is best here with the added bonus of flathead and jackets. The Yellow Tidal Gauge Buoy is anther top spot easily found. Just anchor anywhere near the marker, berley up and the fish will find you. Towra wide – best during the last three hours of the run out tide by day for big tarwhine, bream, whiting, trevally and flathead. This spot is easily found by lining up the red channel markers, 300m wide of Towra Point itself. Kingfish up to 80cm have made an early appearance and have been consistently taken along the Port Botany Reclamation Wall. The best method by far has been by downrigging fresh strips of local squid, whole live squid and live sea-going yellowtail. These fish are not going to jump in the boat and you need a good sounder to locate the schools. It’s all worth it when a few are boated near the Foreshore St Boat Ramp. Other possies which have been firing include the markers around both

Some land-based whiting caught by Bob Dean in the Georges River. runways, the artificial reefs in Congwong Bay and Yarra Bay and along the rocky cliffs between Cape Banks and Long Bay. A word of warning – if you’re going to chase these marauders, make sure you’re using at least 50lb braid as main line and 80lb fluoro leader, otherwise you’re fighting an uphill battle. Flathead have been very consistent with plastics providing the better catches. The 70mm Squidgy grasshopper coupled with a 1/0 hook jighead has been the standout lure, but the usual black and gold or Gary Glitter paddlers in the 50mm class will do the job beautifully. If using bait, stick to a running sinker rig with a sinker heaver than normal, so it creates awareness when bouncing on the bottom – a yellow twin tail Mister Twister placed above a 2/0 longshank hook is ideal, then a nice size Hawkesbury prawn will finish the job. Make sure you take the tail off the prawn and pinch the

head, which will release all the flavour. Areas which have been fruitful include the everpopular drift form the Kurnell Oil Wharf to Towra – this drift is excellent during a northeasterly influence and making tide with the added bonus of picking up a school mulloway. Make sure you set your witches hats for blue swimmer crabs, as they’re plentiful this time of year. Other drifts include the entrance to the Georges River from Dolls Point to Ramsgate approximately

Grand Parade at BrightonLe-Sands, and along the gutters of Kyeemagh Beach. If in a boat, you could do worse than anchoring in front of the boat ramp at Kurnell in 4-5m and you’ll get a few. Trevally are still around in good numbers and provide great sport on light gear. They’re bigger than in previous weeks averaging 35-40cm and can be easily caught in berley around the boat with bread. The artificial reefs have proved a Mecca for these blurters with




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Chris and grandson Luke’s catch from the George River national park. 300m out and the drift between the old runway and the Novotel at Brighton. Whiting have been a little scarce, but when you’re lucky to spot a school, they’re usually of a good size. Unless you’ve got some bloodworms, you’re wasting your time. Landbased, give La Perouse Beach on top of the tide, the weed patches along the

plenty of food available. I’d suggest 50m out from N°157 on Molineaux Point, the red buoys along the shipping channel in front of the Port Botany Retaining Wall, Sutherland Point drop off and the eastern side of the oil wharf near the round drum. This is an excellent spot this time of year and any species can be caught. These wharfs are blessed

with small reefs, gravel patches, shoals and other natural attractants. Tailor and salmon are still available for the small boat brigade with small Raider lures the best option. Simply spot the birds then cast into the schools and hang on. The best areas have been around Bare Island, Henrys Head on the north side and the stretch between Yena and Tabbigai in the south. The offshore scene has had mixed results, and as can be appreciated, the weather dictates plans for the outing. The 12 mile reef has been hot and cold, but I have it on good authority that the big Chinaman jackets are destroying tackle, so make sure you take plenty of wire rigs. If you can get past the jackets,

Pinnacle and berley the fish around. There are also a few small mako showing up and they can be enticed with strips of tuna, whole squid or other baits. The close grounds have not been congenial as expected – the Masons, the Tank of Maroubra, Saxons and Mistral Point have only yielded the odd mowie or red. Blue spot flathead are still about in good numbers and can be taken from the sand contours in 40m between Botany Heads, the 46m mark in front of Cape Bailey and the 38m mark due east of Marley Beach. The boat ramp at Oatley Bay has finally been reopened following a four month closure for refurbishing, and after a close inspection it looks a picture, and will provide

Pedragi with a Port Kembla lizard. then there’s a good chance to pick up a longfin perch, which in my book is one of the most beautiful fish as well as excellent easting. The trick in catching these is to use a heavier sinker and lace leader as close to the sinker as possible. This method will allow you to get past the jackets, as they normally school a few meters from the bottom. Baits like mackerel and tuna are best. Kingfish are a day-to-day proposition, but they’re there in reasonable numbers. The new Shimano Ocea jigs with horizontal bars in yellow, black or burgundy are sensational and they’ve been accounting for the better catches. A few mahi mahi have been taken by trolling skirts, but they’re not being taken around the FADs. The Peaks have trevally and leatherjackets on the chew and the best method is to anchor on the 65m

much needed parking to the lower reaches of the system. While the River Road ramp at Revesby Beach has been a good standby, the jet skiers frequenting this ramp have not made the job easier in launching boats. I’m told by Maritime that on-water cameras will be placed in strategic locations to check personal watercraft speed and make sure they meet the speed requirements. Medium size 32-35cm whiting have been taken at night on the stretch between Milperra Bridge and Rabaul Road Boat Ramp. Bob Dean has been the architect of catches picking up his six fish per outing on locally pumped squirt worms. School Mulloway have also been on the prowl, taking live herrings under the M5 Freeway Bridge with fish around the 4kg mark. Similar catches have been reported from the East Hills Railway Bridge. The top of the tide appears to be the

best time. Trevally around the 40-45cm mark are scattered throughout the system and readily taking live nippers, bloodworms and peeled prawns. Good numbers are available at Kangaroo Point on the making tide, the crack in the wall at Oatley Bay, the Caravan Head channels, the Eagle Nest Post at Crabrook and the Moons. Luderick catches are down slightly, but the regular fishos are still going home with a feed. The feeding pattern has changed slightly and it may pay to alter your location for better catches. I’m told the public pontoon next to the boat ramp is fishing well for fish around the 32-34cm mark. A good idea would be to berley with sand and weed there. The old ferry wharf on the other side of Lugarno Seafood Restaurant, northern side of Tom Uglys Bridge, Black Butt and Mickeys Point are all good. If you need green weed, please contact the writer on 4647 8755, we’ve always got ample quantities of local weed. Bream have been disappointing with many fish around the 25/27cm about. Although they are legal, they’re probably too bony to eat, however when things are tough, they provide a feed to take home. You’ll find them around most channel markers in the system, reefs, structures, cockle beds, under moored boats and sunken walls. Jewfish Point, the boat shed above Como Bridge, Soily Bottom, the entrance to the Woronora River are all likely possies. Flathead have been taken by drifting in the middle of the river. Good sized dusky flathead will take lures dangled in front of them, but make sure you use a yo-yo action for best results. They’re being caught between Lugarno and Griffin Point, Jewfish Point to Como Bridge, between Captain Cook and Tom Uglys bridges. If you fancy a spot of freshwater fishing, look no further than the Nepean River at Mauldeen, near the concrete works. Bass around 40-43cm have been taken on worms, while Cobbity Weir and the footbridge at Eldersue have produced the odd good fish. Near Penrith at Tench Reserve and Glenbrook Gorge, Ecogear vibes have accounted for a few fish. There are trout in Norton Basin, which are unable to get out to the main system. We don’t know how long they’re going to be alive as the water is warming up. All in all, things are starting to hot up, so let’s hope the weather stays on our side with a feed.

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Double check before you take off for a fish SYDNEY SOUTH

Gary Brown

As the weather warms up, many anglers will think about going for a fish. Some anglers will grab their rod and reel outfits, put them into vehicles and grab a bit of bait. They take off to go fishing, and realise once

To avoid this happening, you should clean and service your gear before you put it away. It doesn’t take long to give the outfit a once over to check that everything’s in working order. It may be just a couple of turns of the reel to make sure the reel is working. If not, it would be a good idea to take it to your local tackle shop and get it serviced. I fish all year round, so my outfits are cleaned and washed

the outfit or put the fish off the bite. The next thing you should check out is whether you have enough terminal tackle in your box. If you don’t, get yourself down to your local tackle shop and stock up. You could do without sinkers and swivels, but there’s nothing worse than running out of hooks. The Port Hacking River has been a bit on the dirty side, but the coming and goings of

will bring the Australian salmon, tailor, bonito and kingfish. Make sure that you have a few small metals and

catches of morwong, snapper, pigfish and leatherjackets on the close reefs just off Marley and Wattamolla. If you don’t

up this month with whiting and bream during the day, and Australian salmon and tailor in early and late. The best

This proud angler caught a 50cm+ snapper from the Humps off Stanwell Park.

Kingfish have started to show up in the Port Hacking River. Keep an eye out for feeding birds. that they’re there, the reel doesn’t work properly or the rod is missing a guide or maybe the line is has started to perish.

down after each outing. Before putting them away, I give the outfits a light spray with Inox and wipe them down with a rag. The Inox doesn’t damage

the tides should have cleaned up the water a fair bit. This cleaner water will start to bring in baitfish like pilchards, whitebait and glassies. This


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soft plastics at the ready for when the bust-ups occur. During November, you’ll find that the dusky flathead numbers start to increase as the females move down towards the entrance to spawn. Live poddy mullet, nippers and bloodworms would be my first choice for flathead, closely followed by strips of chicken, mullet, tuna and bonito. You could also try using whole and half pilchards. If you prefer to fish with artificials, don’t forget to use a slightly larger soft plastic like the Gulp 5” and 7” Shads and the 3” and 6.5” Nemesis. Most of all, don’t forget to mix up those colours. Whiting will also increase in numbers throughout the Port Hacking River this month. Best baits have been blood, tube and beach worms, but don’t forget you can pump up to 100 pink nippers. Whiting can’t resist a well presented bait at the edge of a drop-off or over the flats. As the weather gets warmer, try using a few small surface poppers over the weed beds for bream, whiting and dusky flathead. For those of you that can get offshore, sand flathead have been lining up in the 30-50m depth. There have been good

Female flathead start to move downstream from the Georges River and into Botany Bay. This 80cm beauty was released. have a boat to fish offshore, try a charter. Give Scotty Lyons a call or Roland Persson from All at Sea Charters. The beaches from Stanwell Park in the south to Bondi in the north will fire

bait by far is the beach worm. If you have trouble catching them, give Mac’s Bait Bar a call at Blakehurst and see if they have any in. If not, call Alex Bellissimo on 0408 283 616, book a morning with him


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and learn how to catch beach worms. Alex would have to be the best around. The Georges River is producing whiting, bream, flounder and dusky flathead at the Moons. There are still a few luderick on the chew on green weed. Picnic Point is also worth a shot on the rising tide. If you’d like to try for a mulloway or two, get some fresh mullet or squid, head down to the Captain Cook, Tom Uglys, Como, Alfords Point or M5 bridges and get a line in the water. The best time to target them is an hour either side of the top or bottom of the tides. Bass and estuary perch will start to take surface lures over the next few months. Dust off those poppers and surface walkers and get amongst a few. Botany Bay has started to turn up the heat – whiting, dusky flathead, bream and the ever-reliable silver trevally will be at their usual haunts. Try the oil wharf and Bare Island on the run-out tide and the end of the third runway and wide off Towra Point on the run-in tide. Peeled prawns and pillie tails would be the go. You could also try using oily baits like mullet, tuna and bonito. For more information on what’s going on in Southern Sydney, send me an email at

Ultimate Fishing adventure is back on our screens

Matt Watson, the crazy kiwi fisher who famously leaped out of a helicopter to catch a marlin and landed himself on the Late Show with David Letterman is fronting an all-new adventure fishing series that promises to reshape the fishing and outdoors TV genre in Australia. Ultimate Fishing showcases hardcore fishing action from all over the world, pioneering new grounds of remote and wild locations. Switch baiting blue marlin in West Africa, casting stickbaits and poppers at giant trevally in the rugged outer reaches of the Cook Islands, the line screaming runs of giant bluefin tuna in Nova Scotia to the unforgiving and energy sapping battles with swordfish and sharks in New Zealand –­ if you think you’ve seen it all, you haven’t. Whether you’re a seasoned fisher, or just starting out, you get taken on a journey learning the latest techniques, tap into Matt’s encyclopaedic knowledge of fish and fishing that’s stemmed from a very successful professional career.

Each episode establishes the mission to catch a huge fish somewhere. We learn a little about the fish, the location and the oftenridiculous scheme that Matt has come up with to catch the monster – then the drama unfolds! The action is incredible but real, where nothing’s contrived and that’s the big hook. You feel

like you’re right there for every thrilling moment. The Ultimate Fishing crew put it all on the line to deliver the best outdoors fishing adventure show on the planet. Their cameras get into places delivering up close action – like never seen before. The world’s most extreme fisher, Matt Watson leads us on a series of

expeditions around the world to tangle with the ocean’s greatest fish. The locations are remote, the characters

The show features beautiful fishing around the world and gorgeous catches like this beast. are salty and wild, and Matt and his team deliver big fish and unequalled action in every episode. Forget about sitting through another show that builds up a mission and doesn’t deliver. This isn’t your dreary ‘cast a bait and wait’ style show. It’s informative, it’s adventurous, it’s innovative, and it’s hilarious. THE SHOWS TRACK RECORD SPEAKS FOR ITSELF In New Zealand where the show is well-known as ‘The ITM Fishing Show’ it’s the three-time winner of Best

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Summer on the horizon THE TWEED

Josh Gurney

Summer is just around the corner. How fast has this year gone? Already the fishing is heating up and so are the water temperatures. It’s still cool enough to chase a good mulloway and big flathead. I’ll be focusing most of my efforts on jacks and if you’re up for a challenge, so should you. Be warned, it’s slightly addictive. A good place to start would be Boyds Bay Bridge and surrounding areas such as the Ivory Tavern Marina and the Anchorage Canals, if you’re blessed with access to a boat. If not, I would be perched land-based around those locations anyway. LAND-BASED FISHING Land-based fishing with

This trevally wolfed down a soft plastic on a medium pace retrieve. lures is hard and there’s no doubt about that, but it’s not impossible. A good tip, particularly on rock walls is to cast and swim your lure parallel to the wall itself. A good steady medium pace retrieve works

awesome. In fact, my first mangrove jack on a lure was caught doing exactly that. You’ll pick up species like trevally, mulloway, lots of flathead, big bream and obviously jacks. If lures aren’t your thing, try your luck with some live baits – mullet and herring work well. Fish at your feet, nine times out of ten, that’s where they’ll be. Casting as far out as possible is where a lot of people go wrong. These fish are extremely structure oriented. They’ll be sitting in 3-5m of water around rocks, timber and gutters, as opposed to 20m out of the bank in the middle of nowhere. BOAT/KAYAK If you’re up for a challenge, tie on a ZMan 4” SwimmerZ or similar large paddle-tail soft plastic. Lock your drag up and hold on. Focus your time on man-made structure,

This jack was caught off a rockwall. Fish close to the walls and structure.

pontoons, bridges and other structure. Cast parallel to the structure and slowly roll you plastic along. Slow steady retrieves are fine, but mix it up. Adding a few jerks and speedy twitches can turn a slow bite into a good one. There’s no time for day dreaming though. Anyone

A lovely by-catch caught from the bridge.


A giant trevally’s face.


still plenty of good colder climate fish to be caught. While I haven’t been chasing them lately, I’ve been informed Terranora inlet has been on fire for those looking to catch flathead. The low tide and the start of the high has been the best bet, as the















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Lovely jacks like this can be a challenge, but lots of fun.

who’s hooked one of these fish can tell you that. It’ll be done and dusted before you have time to react and leave you thinking about it for days on end. A mate of mine has been targeting flatties and mulloway and has come up with the rewards. There’s

sandbanks are exposed and the baitfish are typically schooled up in the channel, giving predators a chance to grab a few. Match the bait profile with soft plastics around the 3” mark. Have a cast and you’ll be sure to come up trumps.

Colourful fishing trips BALLINA

Joe Allan

The close in reefs have been producing a few tuna, bonito and horse mackerel of late. The best way to target these are trolling big

night with live worms and pipis. The pipi numbers will increase as the water warms up. Watch out though, if a northerly is blowing, blue bottles will be out in numbers and while not deadly, they’ll pack a punch and are very uncomfortable.

A bass caught on a small crankbait while chasing prawns. metal slugs or pint skirted lures. If you find a bait school, get your slugs and start casting, because this action can be crazy. Fish often come cast after cast while you’re on the school. There’s still a fair few snapper around Lennox Point, Riordans Reef and Black Head. The latter can be hit and miss. There are a lot of smaller fish, but these are still great eating and can provide some great fun on light gear. As the water starts to really warm up, mahi mahi will become hungry and be around in solid numbers. Best spots to check are the FADs and the wave buoy. The beaches along South Ballina can produce some amazing whiting fishing at this time of year. Scout the beach a few days before the bigger tides and head out at

the Bassday Sugapen 70s in a variety of different colours, depending on water clarity and sunlight. The most popular are the C95 in orange, MB16 clear with pink stripes and C137 banana prawn. Get these walking as fast as you can over the weed or sand flats, until you find a concentration of fish. Then keep going, as they can be in big numbers together. Be prepared to hook a few things as by-catch like small trevally, bream and very hungry flathead. When there’s water moving over these flats, the fish know it’s time to feed. A good little trick is to change the rear trebles out and replace them with assist hooks in size 10. This will help increase your hook-up rate when the fish are not as committed. Flathead are well and truly on the bite in the middle reaches of the river around Pimlico Island and right through up to Woodburn. If you’re bait fishing, get some white pilchards (salt keeps the

Aidan Kane was happy with this mac tuna caught off Ballina. Whiting in the lower reaches of the Richmond are on and firing on small surface lures. The best lures to try are

Aidan Kane with a good eating-size snapper at Riordans Reef.

flesh harder), fresh prawns and live poddy mullet. If you’re into throwing lures or trolling them behind the boat, this can be the best time of year for this type of fishing. Get as bright a lure as you can – flathead can’t seem to get enough of these fluoro things. The freshwater reaches of the river are well and truly hitting their straps. The Aussie bass are out in numbers and eating surface lures in the early and late parts of the day. The best lures to try are any cicada copies. Mornings and afternoons, these guys are out and singing – you can’t hear yourself think. It’s the best time to get these out and give them a go. The old faithful Bassman Spinnerbaits are always a go to, but try this early in the season: small hardbody crankbaits like the Atomic Crank 38 in ghost gill brown, muddy prawn and black hot tail. These small profile lures imitate prawns and that’s what the fish are hitting this time of year. NOVEMBER 2016


Great fishing around Yamba YAMBA

Dave Gaden

It’s been a super start to spring. Fish throughout the river system and offshore have played the game, with some catches all over. The river has recovered from the constant small freshes that give it that dark colour and make fishing a little hard. Clean saltwater is now pushing up past Maclean on the flood tide. Great flathead have been taken on their run downstream to spawn from Harwood Bridge, the junction near Ashby, and Harwood Sugar Mill upstream to the entrance of Lake Wooloweyah in the north. These fish appear to be chasing the abundance of riverPprawns out with wnpushed ratide. bthea ebb ladesign m ABgood a Y s” is “ bird activity close to the bank, as they pick smaller prawns

off the surface. Good fish won’t be far away and most have been taken on larger dark coloured plastics with light weighted jigheads. Larger than average whiting have shown up early this year. For those prepared to have a fish in the dark

with some live yabbies, results have been impressive. They’re still about during the day, but holding the drop-offs in deeper water and further upstream. Drifting in front of Sleepers Island at the turn of the tide is a great way to get a feed of these tasty little fish.

Snapper on the north ground will like the shallower water, with nice plate-size fish available.

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Lovely bream have been taken from Browns Rocks in the last week, with live herring as the preferred bait. Try rigging them with a very small treble hook near the eyes, as the larger bream will attack the fish head on. Browns Rocks can be a hard area to fish when the tide really starts to run, so plan your trip around either tide change to give you some slack water and make it easier to get your bait to the fish. Mulloway have been a bit scarce around the south break wall lately, mainly due to reconstruction work going on. The workers revamping the wall are dropping large boulders in the water and onto the wall – fish will move away while this is happening.

A lot more work is to be done on the wall, so it’ll be quiet for some time. Smaller fish are still being taken from Oyster Channel Bridge and upstream to Harwood Bridge, but Iluka Wall or the North Breakwall and Moriartys would seem like a better option for larger fish. Offshore has had great fishing lately. Fantastic snapper are coming from the southern grounds from Red Cliff to Sandon. The offshore breeze has been consistent, clouding up the water, but if you can find clear patches of clean water the fish are bunched nice and tight. Woody Head Break is a good place to flick a few plastics at first light in around 7-8m of water, and should stay that way until the end of November. Once the sun gets up around 9am, they move into deeper water. The red tide, what we call Red October, has arrived. This is very obvious for those travelling offshore – big patches of maroon to brown water. I hate this stuff – it sucks oxygen from the water and puts the fish to sleep, making it hard to get a bite. This red tide can stick around until mid-November at times. Avoid fishing near it, and head wider to find clean water. Rarely will it affect water of 40m or deeper, so fish found there will be easier to catch. Northern grounds from Black Rock to Evans Head are still holding big trag, with a lot going over the 70cm mark. They’re a good feed. With them are some nice mulloway just wide of South Evans Reef, in around 42m. We’ve been picking up good cobia too. Snapper on the north ground will like the

Some lovely catches have been made offshore. Find patches of clean water and have a go. shallower water, so between South Evans bommies and Chaos will give you nice plate-size fish with the odd stray beast.

Shark Bay in November. Signs are looking good for a repeat performance. Keep an eye on the warm current forecasts and you should


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Fantastic snapper are about.

The 50 fathom line, for those with the boats to handle it, will have big snapper as they move back out after the spawn. The current has been reasonably light, so they’re easy to fish for all and hold in tight groups. Pearl perch will be in abundance – look for the patches of wire weed, as they will hang that area. There have been a few big yellowtail kingfish around with the odd amberjack and samsonfish, so take some jigs with you. Last year, we had an early show of mackerel in

notice a finger of hot water cutting from Byron to Woody. This will be a giveaway that they’re there. Also, Shark Bay will have 100 boats in it. The mackerel are really patchy on the first arrival with good fish one day and nothing for 2-3 days. Be prepared to go reef fishing if they don’t show up on your day off. If you’d like any extra advice on what’s happening in Yamba, feel free to call into Marina Boat and Tackle and have a chat with myself or my brother Rob Gaden.

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There have been big Iluka catches this spring ILUKA

Ross Deakin

The Iluka area has experienced fantastic fishing conditions with beautiful clear days. The mighty Clarence has continued to deliver good fishing, but maybe not as good as prievious years. Rains further inland have kept the fresh coming. There have been decent fish caught recently, such as local Geoff Head’s 1.3kg luderick caught off the wall on cabbage.

Young Juno Mailey and his grandad Tony caught and released a 1m flathead at Moriartys. Renate Gorton caught a 840g bream in Iluka Bay. Snapper have been on the bite off the headlands and offshore with many good fish coming through for weigh-in, such as a 7kg fish caught by Trevor Breman around the Angourie grounds. Wicked blue groper have been caught off Woody Head with a 2.1kg beast caught by Tim Geide. Mulloway catches have


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been good with two fish caught off the Iluka Wall up to 20kg, both taken on pilchards. Trevally have been around, with Henry Phillips weighing a very nice 5.5kg fish caught at the Bluff early this month.

Tailor have been around, but in pretty thin numbers. Hopefully that situation changes soon. Fishers have been reporting very nice size dart and whiting on the open beaches, taken

on pipis and beach worms. Happy fishing, everyone. Enjoy these awesome spring conditions. • For all your fishing needs and up-to-date information and tips for spots and fish drop into the shop for a

chat. Iluka Bait and Tackle is located at 3 Owen Street, Iluka NSW 2466. Give us a call on (02) 6646 5217 or 0402 997 572. We are available online at or visit our Facebook page.


The new Fish Candy Chasebaits will make the fish chase you! Chasebaits are the latest range of soft lures to be released by Australian fishing experts at Fish Candy. These new lures were designed with the pure intention to reverse the chase and do everything possible to make fish chase the bait. To achieve this, the team at Fish Candy spent countless hours developing the design, materials, scents and colours. The goal was to produce lures that are extremely good quality and value, present well, and secured in packaging that would protect every lure.

This entire development process of the Chasebaits range has spanned over two years. From the initial design process, through development and finally launching the range at the 2016 AFTA Trade Show in July. The Chasebaits colour range have all been selected from the most proven colours that Australian fishing experts demand. Colours that are proven to catch fish! To take this even further, Chasebaits have mixed colours between body shapes and sizes as certain body styles and sizes are used to target different fish.

KEY BENEFITS TO THE CHASEBAITS LURES Salt has been added to the bottom half of every lure to aid stability. By adding the salt, it alters the lure’s belly density compared to its top half. The result is a lure that has balance and maintains a true swimming direction. The customised eye means fish will see more than just a lure profile and another fish characteristic that they can target. This is a major point of difference compared to other baits. Shrimp scent has also been mixed into the lure material at injection and

also coated around the lure when packing. This will ensure the lure’s scent is maximised. The material Fish Candy sourced is soft and supple and is surprisingly strong, relative to its perceived feel. It has an incredible life-like action and seemingly swims on its own. The Chasebaits lure range offers the Australian fisher an incredible lifelike action that can only be compared to a few Japanese brands. If you require further information, contact one of the team at Fish Candy on 07 5449 8233. – Fish Candy


Photographs may show overseas models or illustrate non-standard equipment. *Drive away pricing for 4x4 Dual Cab with factory wellside tub. All Promotional pricing ends 31st December 2016 or while stocks last. See your dealer for details. All Prices include GST. # Fishing Pack Offer: Promotional price of $3,500 only applies if Bull Bar, Tow Bar and Snorkel are fitted to vehicle at time of purchase. ^Mahindra PikUp Test Drive Promotion: Test drive a Mahindra PikUp at your nearest Mahindra Dealer ( between 25th August 2016 and 27th January 2017, enter your name, phone number and email address at the dealership via entry form, and go in the draw to win one of two $1,000 BCF Vouchers, valid for 12 months at Not redeemable for cash, first draw on 31st October 2016, second draw on 30th January 2017. NSW Permit No: LTPS-16-06163. DMM5618.



Summery sea-times COFFS HARBOUR

Stephen Worley

November is always a funny month for us in the Coffs region. It’s starting to feel like summer in the inland waters, but the offshore still feels like winter. This month often has the coldest water temperatures we see off the Coffs Coast, although that’s not so cold considering the winter water temperatures didn’t get much below

22°C. This month we can expect to see similar offshore fishing to the last few months. Snapper will be available on almost any reef, it’s just a matter of choosing how you target them. Soft plastics and slow pitch jigs are the most consistent performers and probably the most popular strategy. For those using bait, cubing with pilchard pieces and floatlining your bait down has been the most successful, especially when it comes to finding big snapper.

Kingfish are a little sporadic, but have still been hanging out around the islands and deeper reefs. Again, berley and floating a bait down the trail has been a consistent way to produce bigger fish. Don’t be afraid to use a big bait, especially with live baits. Legal size tailor are very popular with hungry kingfish and will also attract the interest of any cobia that have been popping their heads up around the place last month. The estuary has been seeing some very consistent mulloway action although

Along with kingfish, samsonfish have been getting around the place in the past few months.

Now is the perfect time to get the kids out for a fish – not too hot yet, plenty of fish about and heaps of light after school for a flick.

Even with all the rain, some of the trout creeks are quite low. The temperature is far cooler than last year.

most have been only small fish. There has been the odd 5-10kg model but most have been closer to 3-5kg. These fish are still a lot of fun, especially using lighter estuary gear. Medium size soft plastics have been popular, in particular the jerk shad style plastics that can be worked vertically as well as horizontally around major structure. You can target mulloway in any of the deeper holes and around major structures of local creeks and rivers. The road and rail bridges have been fantastic, but they can be crowded on the nights that fall on the right tide and weather. Elsewhere in the estuary, bream are very active on the surface. Expect that to increase as prawns begin to run this month. Poppers placed anywhere around the weed beds, oyster racks or edges with a decent amount of still time in between bloops will produce good bream. The trevally and jacks

have been interrupting many bream fishers, particularly in the mid and upper estuaries. Trevally have dominated larger rivers like the Bellinger and Kalang, and there have been a lot more jacks in the smaller creeks like Bonville and Pine creeks. Either of these species turning up during your bream session will certainly heighten the excitement with light line. Poppers and walk-the-dog style surface stickbaits are most likely to attract the trevally and jacks. The odd soft plastic is being picked up by these larger predators as well. Flathead will be coming into their own this month. There have already been several notable captures around that magical metre mark in our local estuaries. If you love your flatty fishing and want to test your skills or just have some fun with other anglers, the Urunga Anglers Club will be running the 2016 Berkley Urunga Estuary Sport Fishing Flathead Tournament in the middle of this month. It’s cheap to enter and fun for the whole family, with loads of prizes up for grabs for anyone entering. Further up in the freshwater, bass are settling into their upstream homes and the cicadas are starting their short venture above ground. Surface crawlers are the go-to lures for most, and have been smashed by many bass this season, day or night. In most of the local systems, even the skinny water high up has been producing plenty of fish. This month sees the opening of the Nymboida and Mann rivers for fishing once again. In November

last year, bass in the upper Nymboida were in incredible condition as many didn’t make the spawning run and chose to stay in the upper reaches. Going on the numbers of fish that have been piling up under the Clarence Gorge over the last few months, I’d guess that a lot of the bass population did take the long round trip to the salt this year and may be in slightly poorer condition, but hopefully a little more hungry. If you’re looking for a classic river bass trip, the sections of the Nymboida

running into the Mann River have excellent fishing and great paddling. Remember, the eastern freshwater cod that also call that river home are totally protected, even from catch and release fishing. If accidentally caught they must be returned to the water immediately without harm, or preferably not removed from the water at all and de-hooked. Whether you’re going for a multi-day trip of a lifetime or just a quick flick down the local waterhole, enjoy the beginning of summer season fishing.

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Fishing Fill-its

Garmin wins NMEA ‘16 For the second year in a row, Garmin has received the honour of being the most recognised company in the marine electronics field from the National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA). In addition to being named Manufacturer of the Year during the annual NMEA Conference in the US last week, Garmin received seven Product of Excellence Awards in the following categories: autopilot, multi-function display, mobile application aid to navigation, mobile application utility, fishfinder, AIS and multimedia entertainment. Garmin vice president of worldwide sales, Dan Bartel said the coveted awards were the result of Garmin’s dedication to the marine industry. “We are incredibly honoured and humbled to yet again be recognised as the Manufacturer of the Year by the NMEA and to have so many of our products and applications receive top honours,” Bartel said. “It’s a true testament to our continued commitment to design, manufacture, sell and support industryleading products.” For the fourth year in a row, Garmin received

an award in the autopilot category for its GHP Reactor Hydraulic Autopilot with SmartPump. The GHP Reactor was Garmin’s first recreational autopilot system to utilise AHRS technology and boasts the usability, installation flexibility, and many other features that prove valuable for any vessel. Garmin also earned accolades in the MFD c a t e g o r y, another consecutive honour. This year’s MFD award went to the GPSMAP 8624, a 24-inch all-in-one chartplotter with the highest screen resolution on the market and lightening-fast processing speeds. The GPSMAP 8624 comes preloaded with both BlueChart g2 coastal and LakeVü HD inland maps, and is fully network compatible for radar, autopilot, instruments, multiple screens, sensors, remote sonar modules, digital switching, thermal cameras, and more. It’s sold as the GPSMAP 8424 in Australia and New Zealand. It’s well known that smartphone applications are essential tools for boaters in today’s connected world. Garmin BlueChart Mobile, a route planning application with streaming weather

capabilities, was named the best mobile application aid to navigation. Garmin Helm, an app allowing boaters to view and control their chartplotter from a smartphone or tablet, won the award for mobile application utility. Other Garmin products recognised include the GSD 26 CHIRP professional sonar module with broadband spread-spectrum signal technology, and the AIS 600, a blackbox transceiver that sends and receives vessel information and AIS target data. Fusion, one of the Garmin brands, also won the new multimedia entertainment category for the AV750 Marine Stereo System that features a marine-ready DVD/CD player, Wi-Fi/Bluetooth connectivity and more. Garmin’s extensive product portfolio includes some of the industry’s best chartplotters and touchscreen multifunction displays, sonar technology, high-definition radar, autopilots, high-resolution mapping and other products and services that are known for innovation, reliability and ease-of-use. For further information, visit en-AU. – Garmin



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Brian Flint from Sydney caught this good size barramundi up in the Northern Territory while visiting his nephew Snow. NOVEMBER 2016


Banging on about blues until they come round COFFS GAME

Glen Booth

Ernest Hemingway’s book The Old Man and the Sea is held in high regard by gamefishers the world over. It tells the tale of an old fisher who was having a run of piscatorial outs, but hooks a massive marlin that proves to be almost as big as his fishing skiff. Unfortunately, there’s no happy ending as sharks ultimately tear it to bits boat side, but the concept of going one on one with a marlin strikes a chord with all who fish the bluewater. Catching a marlin single-handedly is quite an achievement. It can be dangerous, but the risks are manageable if you prepare well, have the requisite safety equipment, and the right sort of boat. A PFD and a deckie’s belt with a release tool, mono cutters, knife and pliers are essential. Inform the relevant marine rescue organisation and fishing mates of your project, and pick a good day. Routine fishing tasks become twice as complicated when you have to do it all yourself.

Don’t have too many baits or lures in the water, and be harnessed up in advance, even if you consider it bad luck to do so. As far as a fishing platform goes, centre consoles or open runabouts are definitely the go. An autopilot is a decided asset, leaving both hands free for pumping and winding. Wind-on leaders make the end game easier, but importantly, ensure you can still reach the fish with the tag pole when the swivel is at the rod tip. There’s nothing to it really. Back at the start of the current game fishing season, Pete Mallia of the Solitary Islands Game Fishing Club was combining a touch of bottom fishing with some casual marlin live baiting out at the wave recorder buoy, about six miles east of Coffs. Slimy mackerel were balled up tight just below the surface, and jigging a tankful took no time at all. Ostensibly a bottom fishing session, the gamefishing element was something of a clutch start, so a couple of essential items got left behind – the rod bucket and harness, wiring gloves, a wind-on leader to make boat side fish handling more

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manageable, and rubber bands to hold the tag to the pole. A slimy was quickly bridled and fed out, while a paternoster rig was sent to the reef 36 fathoms below. As they do, the slimy kept swimming under the boat, so Pete went to wind it up to re-deploy, when a mysterious weight came on the line.

Upon setting the hook, expecting a mahimahi or some such, out pops an 80kg striped marlin instead! With a sea anchor and a bottom rod to recover while holding a loaded 24kg outfit in hand, things were a touch hectic before the marlin could be chased down with the boat.

Three miles from the hook-up point and after much performing, the fish finally acquiesced. After grasping the leader in one gloveless hand, the tag was successfully planted – a bucket list fishing experience for Pete. Otherwise, it’s been a slow month on the Coffs gamefishing scene with

the weather limiting fishing opportunities. There’s been a couple of striped marlin bites recorded and at least one blue lost. Port Macquarie has had some heavyweight yellowfin tuna action, and the Gold Coast enjoyed a brilliant start to their season with blue marlin and plenty of big tuna. Surely it’s our turn soon.


Junior IGFA world record striped marlin A young Greenvale Sports and Game Fishing Club member is the toast of the junior fishing world after hauling in a world record sized marlin at just 10 years of age. Makayla Buttigieg accompanied her father Darren to Bermagui for a long weekend fishing trip. After tagging and releasing nine marlin on the first day, it was Makayla’s turn to take hold of the next fish. She finally caught her first one with the drag backed off on 37kg outfit, with a helping hand from Darren. “It wasn’t until then that he realised I’d underestimated Makayla’s capabilities,” he said. “She was clearly ready to catch a marlin without assistance.” Makayla was determined to do it on her own, so Darren began planning a strategy on how to make her goal a reality. Two weeks later they headed to Eden in search for a record or two in Darrent’s 675 Haines Hunter Happy Hour. This was a good enough reason for Makayla to finish half a day earlier from school and go for the long, 7-hour drive. The first day the weather forecast was a light northeasterly wind and the colour of the water 40km offshore was cobalt blue, which lead to a successful

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day catching three striped marlin. Best of all, Makayla caught her first unassisted striped marlin on 15kg line which weighed 92.5kg, and set a new pending NSW and Australian record. “Makayla was so excited she fell asleep with a smile on her face, not knowing that she had only warmed up for the bigger catch,” Darren said. The weather the following day was even better, and they

exhausted after one hour and was close to giving up,” Darren said. “After a bit of a rest and some refreshing cold water over the head, and drinking 2L of water throughout the battle, she managed to go all the way! It took one hour and 45 minutes to land the fish.” The verification process set by the International Game Fishing Association (IGFA) is very strict and requires having the fish weighed on certified

agonising six months to be completed. The end result for Makayla was a pending world and Australian Small Fry record, with a striped marlin weighing a massive 147kg on 24kg line – the biggest striped marlin ever caught by an angler her age. It was only 4kg shy of the record for senior, female anglers. The previous world record was caught in

Left: This marlin was the biggest ever caught by a 10-year-old. Right: Makayla was determined to land the fish without assistance. set out to try to get Makayla a record on 24kg line. She was soon hooked up to a serious fish, and had to work a lot harder than the last one. “Makayla was completely

scales, sending photos of the rod, reel and fish, sending sample of line used and having all witnesses sign a statutory declaration with their account. The process then takes up to an

New Zealand in 2002 and weighed 132kg. Makayla’s fish was sent to the taxidermist and will take pride of place in her house! – FM

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Time for a transition SOUTH WEST ROCKS

Brent Kirk

South West Rocks and the mid north coast can be a funny place in November. At this time of year, the waters around the mid north coast start the transition from summer to winter species. It’s possible to have an awesome session on numerous summer and winter species, although it’s also possible to do it tough. There can be so many options, but nothing is firing quite yet. As the current starts running hard to the south,

Fish Rock has a lot of kingfish at present. Lately these fish have ranged from just-legal rats right through to absolute howlers. This area can be hit-and-miss at times, but you never know until you give it a try. It’s easy to be tricked into fishing light while catching these just-legal fish, but rest assured the second that you drop down to lighter gear you are likely to get blown away by a monster. Micro and knife jigs are probably the most effective lures in this area, followed closely by bigger octo-style jigs. Black Rock is still holding some fair snapper, along with mulloway and

There have been some good mulloway offshore this year. it’ll bring with it some beautiful warm, blue water out wide, and the pelagic species will start to hit our region more often. All the signs are pointing to an early pelagic season this year. Hopefully mother nature will be kind to us, and the seas will stay calm and the rainfall will stay away.

kingfish. This area fishes well during low light periods of the day and into the night, although sharks can be a problem when fishing at night. This area has been known to produce the odd cobia at this time of year. The deep water fishery is just about to come to an end as the current picks up for

summer. There will still be a handful of days where deep dropping is possible though, and on these occasions the bottom will still be quite productive. Snapper, pearl perch and mulloway are still in reasonable numbers offshore with the reefs out to about 50m still able to be fished quite easily most of the time. There is plenty of slimy mackerel, yellowtail and pilchard schools in the area. While the water is alive with bait for now, things will dramatically change with the arrival of the summer pelagic species of mackerel marlin and wahoo that leave little hope for these baitfish. Spanner crabs have been quite plentiful on the sandy grounds from the gaol down towards Hat head. Tailor have still been found around the headlands feeding on the schools of pilchards. While there haven’t been huge numbers of tailor, they have all been of an awesome class. The rock ledges have also been holding a fair amount of good-sized school mulloway, with fish around the 5-8kg mark being the most common. Big paddle-tail soft plastics and large live and dead baits will help single out the bigger fish in the schools. It pays to keep mobile when fishing with plastics and cover as much terrain as possible until you find the fish, rather than being confined to one area and waiting in hope. If there’s a mulloway in the hole, you’ll generally find out within the first couple of casts. Flathead have been the main feature of the river lately, and boy – there have been plenty of them! The majority of these fish are in the 40-50cm bracket, which is a great size for the table. Soft plastics and vibes worked close to the bottom will help locate these fish fairly quickly, and once you find them you can

Another beautiful Macleay River bass. throw just about anything at them. They’re just starting to become more active for the summer. Whiting are starting to show up on the sand flats now, and some cracking big whiting have already been taken on surface lures from the shallow areas of the river. If you’re looking to just set a light rod in a rod holder and relax and enjoy your surroundings, live unweighted nippers are another good option for targeting whiting in the river. The beaches are generally at their slowest at this time of year, however whiting will start showing up in serious numbers soon. Fishing a tide change just after dark will usually produce a decent mulloway off the beach if there’s any form of bait schooling up outside the break that day. Upriver, bass fishing has been decent. Prime time is just around the corner now. Bass are already hitting

the surface in the daytime, making for some awesome visual strikes. Good fish are

being found from Kempsey right up through the Macleay system and its feeder creeks.

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Surface fishing about to get into full swing! THE HASTINGS

Mark Saxon

The Hastings region’s bass season is off to a great start. This month should be another beauty! With all the bass addicts out and about, it may be time to look at a few scenarios for enjoying a session on the water. First up, we have everybody’s favourite scenario: surface fishing. Who doesn’t like the incredible rush you get when a bass crashes your surface offering? So far this season, we have found the bass hanging very tight to structure in the Maria, Wilson and Macleay rivers. Accurate casting has been essential to getting the bite. This may change and hopefully this month we’ll get them over the weed beds

be on the menu. Cicada imitations are always good, but a stand out so far this season has been the walk the dog style lures, like

surface fishing a little quiet. We had six or so fish. By going to Strike Pro Hummers, a vibration lure similar to the Jackall TN, we

throw a 3” curl-tail grub from your boat or the shore and hop it back, you’ll be hard pressed not to get a feed. If you’re not getting

Colin Trenaman with a great kingfish that weighed in at 15.8kg. pulled another half dozen fish including a 47cm bass, so if you’re out chasing bass this month, try a few techniques. If one technique isn’t working then a change of tactics can make the day a whole lot better. The Hastings River has been fishing very well with flathead, bream, luderick and reasonable numbers of mulloway as well. The flatties have been hanging around the edges and if you

a bite in a 10-15 minute period, keep moving around until you find some active fish. If you can fish the last couple hours of the run out tide your chances are increased again. Bream fishers love this time of the year – it’s time to get the surface lures into action, surface fishing for bream is probably the most exciting way to chase these fish and November is a great time to do it, Sugapens,

Mandy with 47cm of Maria River bass. as well. Provided we have no heavy rain, the water should be a fair bit cleaner and the weed a lot healthier. All your favourite surface offerings will

Lucky Craft Sammys and similar, which have all been exceptional. Recently, while doing a bit of research and development, we found



Mick Ryan with a 42cm bream caught on a Samaki Vibelicious. poppers and cicada imitations all work. Cast into shoreline structure or over prawn-filled weedbeds, and you can have a ball with these popular fish. The luderick legion has been doing well out of their boats in the big bay area, as well as the coal wall. If you’re shore-based, the jetties in town, Settlement Point Road and the bend on south wall have also been throwing up a few fish. November will see another popular target in our river systems start to fire up and that’s the exciting whiting. There isn’t an angler who’s not just a little

whiting hotspot, then the flats in Camden Haven River and Queens Lake and Pelican Island in the Hastings. These spots and more will start to fire. I can’t wait! Offshore recently, the NSW DPI released footage of the artificial reef that was put in place off Port Macquarie. By the footage shown, it looks to be alive and kicking with a few species hanging around. To check out the footage, go to the website. Recent fishing action has seen some cracking reds caught, and Port Macquarie’s Ocean Star have been getting their clients good

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Ryan and Tash with their PB bass from a recent trip on Castaway.

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There have been great flatties around. The author was happy with this big croc.

addicted to chasing these fellas on surface lures. This month will see a marked increase in skittering poppers and Sugapens across the sandflats. There’s quite a few locations worthy of your attention. Number one is Lake Cathie – a great

catches of these reds, as well as trag, pearl perch and nice kingfish. Colin from Ned Kelly’s Bait ‘N’ Tackle recently got a sweet surprise when he landed his PB king at 15.8kg, on a lure intended for snapper. Well done, mate – great fish.

Sand crawls with crabs FORSTER

David Seaman

I’ve never complained about moving to and living on the Mid North Coast. If I was pressed for a negative I’d have to say there are too many options to fish and too few opportunities to do so at this end of the year. Even the holiday crowds are bearable, because there’s always somewhere you can escape the masses and find a few fish. As the water warms up and maximum life is restored to the tributaries and lower lake sand flats, the options for a bit of angling fun or a feed of seafood increase. The warm water promotes growth of the

a dozen or so crabs for an overnight soak. Edges of weed flats where the tidal flow peters out or the junction of two tidal streams are my early season picks, and they’ve paid dividends. Last year, I also found a lot of blue swimmers

nets in their place. The cone of mesh that suspends above the metal hoop and bait of a witches’ hat has the capacity to tangle and drown turtles, birds and large fish. Phasing them out isn’t a bad thing, considering the current two

Blue swimmers will be a tasty target from now until the end of May.

A striped tuna of 2kg taken while spinning for tailor on the Tuncurry breakwall.

It’s time to collect a bit of cut bait for offshore, with bonito active along the coast. winter spawned mullet and other baitfish, while the sand crawls with blue swimmers. The mud crabs are getting more active too, roaming from their winter hideouts and searching for their next meal. Early season crabs have soft shells, but they’re generally plentiful with

up the rivers, especially the junction of the Wallingat and Coolongolook rivers. It’s a spot I often fish for flathead and one I’ll be looking at, again, for a feed of crabs. Witches’ hats (tangle type snares) are still legal in NSW, but there’s a push to use crab pots or dilly (hoop)

crab traps per person in use or possession. Leading up to the holidays and the early arrivals, you must remember to mark and set your traps as per the regulations and restriction. There is a no-set zone from Hell’s Gate on the western end of Godwin Island directly across to Tuncurry



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boat ramp and seaward, also from the eastern end of Godwin Island, opposite Barclays Oysters, seaward along Breckenridge channel. The reason is the power of the tidal flow and the amount of boat traffic the crab pots can disrupt. I’ve seen crab pots illegally tied to the pylons of the bridge. Use common sense, know the local rules, and observe the signs posted. From late October to mid-November, a spawning aggregation of sand whiting gathers in the entrance to the lake, and they become great surface targets on lures. A fast retrieved lure like a LuckyCraft Bevy Prop or Berkley 3B Popdog will have the whiting in a frenzy if they’re about. Drift casting on the run-in tide to the shallow edges of the sand flats around the bridge and channels is my first stop after launching at Forster Harbour. Shallow weed beds too will surrender a whiting or two, along with some scrappy little bream. The clear sand flats should produce the best of the whiting bites. Baits of yabbies and worms fished around the bridge and flats

will produce a mix of flathead, bream and whiting, and the best time is the change of tide. The oyster leases are full of bream as the remaining fish return from the coastal run, so the lure anglers should be happy. All the leases in the lower part of the estuary are worth a fish, and you

tide. It doesn’t suffer from too much tidal flow, but just enough to manoeuvre lures along the edge of the fixed racks. The shallow floating leases behind the island will produce good bream and even better flathead if you make long casts and fish your lures slowly.

A pair of big bream from the lower lake. A 3B Puppy Dog was their undoing. can fish your way up the Wallamba River or the back of Bandicoot Island. Bandicoot generally has some big bream in residence and it’s a great place to throw surface lures at the top of the

NSW CRAB TRAP RULES • Keep and use no more than two traps per person at any time. • Maximum dimensions are 1.2m x 1m x 0.5m, or a diameter not exceeding 1.6m at the top or bottom. • Minimum mesh size is 50mm. • Have no more than 4 entrances and none on the top of the trap. • Attach a float or buoy labelled with CT, initial and surname, year of birth and postcode of the person who sets, uses or lifts the fishing gear. The minimum height of the float must be at least 50mm above the water with all letters to be a minimum of 15mm and in a colour contrasting to the buoy. There must be a 50g weight attached to the float/ buoy line, so that no line is floating on the surface of the water. • The float/buoy must measure more than 100mm in all dimensions. • Must not be made of entanglement material. • Must not be set to impede the free passage of fish. • Any fish caught, other than crabs, must be returned to the water. • Do not set gear in areas of high boat traffic or navigation channels.

If you want to play big bream lotto, the lower lake flats down toward Pacific Palms should be fishing well this month. The odd big whiting, decent legal flathead and pan-sized snapper are also on the cards in this area. Drifting over the expanse of shallow sand and weed patches is easy fishing and doesn’t depend on casting accuracy. It provides the chance to fill the catch bag. The lower lake is a good spot to set a crab pot too, but be mindful not to set too close to commercial pots. It’s understandable that the crabbers don’t like it, so steer clear and find a vacant area to put your gear. The Rocks has started to produce small bonito and chopper tailor, which means larger pelagic fish aren’t far away. Big kings and cobia should start to show up and take advantage of the baitfish that are gathering. Groper have outnumbered the pigs this year and both are still valid targets from the stones, if you prefer. The north end of Elizabeth Beach and the south end of One Mile Beach are go to spots for this time of the year, and allow an early morning spin session for tailor or mulloway.

Good snapper in close HARRINGTON-TAREE

Ian Pereira

The Manning has not experienced any exceptional weather in the past few weeks. What rain we have received has been mainly on the coast and not much at all up in the freshwater. Consequently, there’s very little run in for the fresh water part of the Manning. The saltwater part of the Manning is very clear and blue. The spit at the mouth of the river is pushing further south and providing a great area for beach fishing and also plenty of space to fish back into the river towards the retaining wall that runs upstream. The beaches have formed up well and they are safe to drive on, particularly on low tide. ESTUARY The river has provided some very good fishing over the past month. Luderick have been on the bite on green weed from the wall at Harrington, the spur wall at Manning point and Chinamans Point. Some bags of fish have had two or three fish of a kilo or more. Bream

are still being taken from the wall on bait but upstream, in the Lansdowne, bags of fish have been caught on soft plastics. Most of these fish have been released. Flathead have started to appear in the backwater at Harrington and Chinamans Point. Most fish are only just legal, but upstream in the Lansdowne, at Croki and up around Cundletown the fish

are larger. Most are 50cm in length. While there have been no signs of mulloway in the mouth of the river, nice fish to 10kg have been caught at Chinamans Point and in the Lansdowne. BEACH AND ROCK Chopper tailor and salmon are taking pilchard baits and metal lures on the beaches. The southern end of Crowdy Beach still has a

The Newcastle boys with some great cod.

Sydney Metro’s Rob Penman with two cracker snapper.

few bream feeding on pipis and beachworms. Some reports have come in about good-sized mulloway being caught near Abbeys Creek at night on slabs and squid baits. Drummer are being caught from the rocks at Crowdy Head and Diamond Head on cunjy, prawns and bread. A good berley trail is necessary to score a good catch. OFFSHORE The outside fishing has been good with few days when the boats couldn’t go to

sea. The northern grounds up around Mermaid Reef have fished well for snapper up to a couple of kilos – one fish of 8.5kg was brought in a couple of days ago. Snapper and trag have been taken from the same places. Flathead are still being caught on the drift, and bar cod have been caught in the deep water out wide. There are no surface fish around at present – we’ll have to wait for the schools of baitfish to appear to bring the pelagics on.

November is a great time to fish the Manning area. The flathead are on the bite in the river and tailor can be baitfished or spun with lures, morning and evening from the beaches and headlands. The northeasterly winds don’t blow hard until after midday so there is plenty of time to chase snapper around the close in reefs. There are also bream and luderick to catch from the river wall at Harrington.


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A great time of year to be in Port Stephens the estuary, on the beaches, or offshore. Inside the bay, dusky flathead are really starting to turn it on in the back half of the port, with the shallow flats around Tailors Beach, Lemon Tree, Karuah and North Arm Cove all producing


Paul Lennon

November is a great time of year to be an angler in Port Stephens. There’s warm weather and loads of good fish to be caught in

Ross Nicol with a solid Karuah River mulloway.

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numbers. Young champ Jack Hammond has been getting stuck into them over the past few weeks with fish up to 80cm. Soft plastics are accounting for the majority of these fish, with larger sizes from 4-5’’ in natural colours working best. Mulloway will be another fish that should be prevalent inside the estuary this month. The bridges around Karuah River are well worth putting some time into around the tide changes. Ross Nicol did this earlier in the week, casting a few large paddle-tail plastics around the bridge pylons. He was rewarded with a beautiful 8kg mulloway. Also worth a crack on the mulloway will be the deeper water around Middle Island as well as both the rock walls. Nelson Bay rock wall should also be holding a few kingfish at this time of year. Early morning high tides are the most productive time to catch one. November also marks the time of year when both bream and whiting start to whack surface lures. It’s about the most exciting form of fishing you’re going to get for either one of these species. The best places to find whiting on the surface will be over the flats inside bays and around the entrances to small feeder creeks, especially on first of the run-out tide. Bream will prefer shallow structure like oyster racks, rock bars and points. Solders Point is a great area to do this as it contains all of the above and is home to some of the biggest bream in the system. On the ocean beaches, whiting are in good numbers with Stockton, Samurai, Fingal and Hawks Nest beaches all producing plenty for those anglers using live worms and fishing the high tides. Tailor are still an option on dark from the surf at this time of year. After the sun goes down, mulloway are a possibility, particularly along Stockton and Hawks Nest.

Big kings are cruising the shallows, tormenting bait schools around the offshore islands. Live baiting is the best way to hook-up to one. Charter boats are reporting good numbers of trag coming from the 21 and Gibber reefs as well as a few reds to 5kg. Reds will still be a viable option this month using unweighted baits down a berley trail or soft plastics fished late afternoon or early morning. The best areas to try will be Edith Breakers, Broughton Island as well as out the front of Fingal Island. Sand flathead have been in good numbers straight out the front of the heads on the 40-50m contour lines. Anglers using baited Snapper Snatcher rigs have no trouble getting a feed. Marlin fishing on the shelf will rapidly improve the further into November we get. If the previous two seasons are anything to go by, we should expect an early hot bite of striped marlin towards the end of the month.

Jack Hammond knows where to find the big flathead.

Chris Drake with an average Stockton Beach whiting caught on a live worm.

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Gary Earl

Fishing has been really good around these parts. Hopefully this month will only get better. In the Hunter River, flathead have shown up along with bream and the odd whiting. The best fishing has been up around Fullerton Cove on the shallow banks, on the corners where it meets the river proper. Mulloway are starting to show up too – not huge, but fish around 10kg. I prefer them this size, especially for eating. We’re getting a lot of luderick taking weed up around Horseshoe Beach. They love this area, but don’t be surprised if you hook a bream or two when you change to bait. In the harbour itself, tailor are going in and out on the tides following bait schools of herring. Those casting metal lures are doing the best. Both walls are working well. If you start casting squid jigs on the ocean side on the Stockton wall, a few anglers have been getting squid – only small but in decent numbers.

A nice pan-size flathead taken drifting pilchards straight up the middle of Fullerton Cove.

If you follow the moon and tides, they should be great for the mulloway that run the wall. The rock shelfs around Merewether Baths have been fishing okay for squire and bream of an evening. Cleats on your feet are the call here as it’s a slippery place, but worth the effort. Drummer have been taken when it’s rough around this area also. Be careful, it gets really rough here. Offshore, the close reefs are fishing well for those who have the patience to anchor up and berley. Squire, bream and trevally have been caught, but at this time of year anything can show up. Nannygai and morwong have been in the catches as well. This is where I’d be targeting. The reefs out from the Dumping Ground have had a lot of undersize kingfish on them. Run some live baits down your trails of berley, as you could be lucky to snag a bigger one. They’re there – I’ve been told some fishos have been busted off. They’re either school sharks or kingfish. Stockton Beach at the south end has a lot of gutters forming, so it can be

A couple of nice reds taken from a close reef. These fish should be feeding over gravel beds and reefs this month. hard to choose which ones to fish. See if you can get some beach worms and get amongst the whiting, which are a good size this month. If the beach stays as it is, it’ll be a great time to try for them. Low tide in the holes and gutters have been working better and better by the week.

As this month warms up, the close reefs should be the place to be. Try a few different baits, or jig an array of different size lures. This can make a big difference at times. If you’re lucky enough to see what the fish are taking, try to match the lure size and colour to that. It’ll give you more of a chance.


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The fish are awake on the lake from daybreak SWANSEA

Jason Scerri

It sure is a great time of year to be out and about on the local waterways, and it’s looking like we’ll have a cracking summer once again. I’ll be taking advantage of what the area has to offer this summer. After spending the last couple of years struggling to find a suitable ‘crossover’ style boat that suited my family needs and my fishing needs, I recently bit the bullet and purchased a second boat. I’m a lucky man with a very understanding wife, but after giving up on finding one boat, I opted for two boats – one for my estuary lure fishing, which is my 4.1m Polycraft, and the other is my 5.6m Haines for my family outings and offshore bluewater adventures. I’ve no excuses, so I’d better put a few runs on the board and fresh fillets on the table for the family, or I’ll be in trouble. We’re now seeing days into the 30s, water temperatures on the rise and bait activity increasing – with it, the fishing action is heating up. Estuary, inshore or offshore, it’s all happening. This will

continue for the next few months. The lake is producing some fantastic fishing again, now the temperatures are on the increase. We have a great fishery here in Lake Macquarie these days, and if managed well by us all, we should continue to see it thrive in years to come. Flathead are about in both numbers and size – plenty of good bags are coming in, but remember to just keep a few for the plate and let the rest go. Flathead are responding well to soft plastics. Pinks are doing the damage for more than a few. Generally 3-5” soft plastics work, but mix it up with a variety of colours and shapes. Some days they’re loving the paddletail style and other days it’s the flickbaits scoring the fish. Mulloway are also around in really good numbers, possibly due to the health of the lake and the number of squid and other baits on offer for them. Many anglers are scoring fish on lures, but live bait anglers are getting more than enough. Live squid is proving deadly once again on the lake’s mulloway populations. They are widespread throughout the system and I’ve even been getting them on lures while chasing bream down around Chain Valley Bay.

Speaking of bream, they’re about in good numbers, and the shallow edges and various flats throughout the system are all producing at times. Early morning and late afternoons are the best bet for working the shallows. Overcast

Kingfish have also been causing havoc. Many unsuspecting bait anglers have been torn to shreds in no time with their light tackle offerings only to have a hefty Lake Mac kingie nail their baits. Those anglers specifically

Brad Knight with a solid Lake Mac flathead that took a liking to his new AusTackle soft plastic. days will also allow you to have a successful trip in the shallow water. Sunny days are another ideal time for working the shallows or the edges, when the winds are up a little. This gives the fish a false sense of security and they’ll come out and hunt lures all day long in these conditions. Again, mix it up with colours and lure styles until you find what’s working best on the day.

targeting them will be best off fishing live baits or throwing poppers and other lures around structure, such as the Swansea Bridge.

at times. As the waters are warming, more and more anglers are finding a few kingfish and bonito mixed in with these salmon schools, which are providing countless hours of entertainment for many. For those budding flyfishers out there, there’s really no better situation to practice or master the art than working the flats in Salts Bay with these schools of pelagics. Once you cross the Swansea Bar, with care, you’re into a whole new world at this time of year and for the next 4-5 months. We’re very lucky here in many ways and during a good summer run, we should see black marlin, mahimahi and more come in close – enough even for smallish trailer boats to safely have a shot at some of the majestic gamefish our waters have to offer. Between now and the end of summer, it’s not uncommon to have marlin caught a kilometre or two off our coast. From the rock ledges out to the 60 fathom line is

For anglers looking to connect to their first or have only caught the odd one here and there, I suggest two options. Select a spread of 6-8” skirted game lures, in a number of different colours, and troll the waters out to 60 fathoms. Keep an eye on your sounder and pay particular attention to any temperature breaks or bait balls you may come across. The second option would be to jig up a few live slimy mackerel and slow troll them around bait balls that should be around the area. For this option I suggest you swim one up high in the water column and the other one weighted with a breakaway snapper lead fished down deep. For anglers with larger vessels, out beyond over the shelf is another great proposition. It’s a fair run out there, but not a real issue for decent boats with capable crews and favourable weather. The same options are on offer and you’ll also often encounter schools of tuna and some very nice


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With no shortage of nice flathead on offer at the moment, fish like this are plentiful. Other good locations are many of the channel markers and other markers within the lake itself. Salmon remain on the chew and in big schools

a prime area for targeting marlin during these coming warmer months. So long as the currents are kind and the baitfish show, predators will be there ready to go.

mahimahi, not to mention larger marlin out in these deeper waters. When all is said and done, there’s only one thing left to do: go get ‘em.

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Local waters are kicking into gear in November CENTRAL COAST

Jamie Robley

Spring weather hasn’t been as warm or dry as the previous few years, when we experienced summer conditions as early as September. However, despite the slow start, our local waters are kicking into gear and fishing has definitely improved over the past few weeks. Beach fishing has still been all about salmon, and that trend will continue this month. Depending on your outlook, that may be good or bad, but I’m sure most of us would rather hook a few sambos than nothing at all. Several years ago, there was a very bad patch of beach fishing here, which often resulted in nothing or just a few pesky sand crabs destroying baits. When things go tough like that, salmon are surely welcome. Thankfully, local beaches are far from dead at the moment. Aside from sambos, a number of mulloway, up to the average 10kg mark, have been caught from Forresters, North Entrance and Budgewoi. No doubt some of our other beaches have also produced the odd mulloway as well. A sprinkling of bream, tailor, whiting and flathead have also shown up amongst catches. Although the surf zone isn’t what I’d call on fire, it’s going ok and worth a shot this month. Rock fishing is traditionally a touch on the patchy side at this time of year. We’re really in between seasons and not all fish are in full swing. Having said that, a few solid drummer, groper and luderick have been taking baits close in under the washes at the usual places from Avoca up to Norah Head and Catherine Hill Bay. Once again, salmon are still featuring heavily in rock fishing catches, but they’ll

‘uphill’, a few bonito and rat kingfish may start to appear closer in over the coming weeks. The odd tailor, trevally and bream are likely to take a bait while rock fishing this month, but overall, it’s best to

delivers, whereas you can head wider to find decent water in a boat. At this time of year it’s quite common to have fingers of warmer water coming down from the north, while it’s still a bit cold in close. Northeasterly

At the opposite end of the spectrum, the big boys have been into some tuna and the odd marlin out wider. As the tuna fade away, marlin will slowly take over. As mentioned though, those

It’s a good time to get out on the water as much as possible. As usual, I suggest an early

start to beat the northeasterlies, and sunrise is also the prime time for most species.

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Salmon can still be expected along the beaches this month. The author has been getting into a few with his Daiwa Sensor Sandstorm surf rod and BG 4000 reel. Such equipment makes beach fishing even more enjoyable.

persistent and often strong northeasterly winds are a big problem this month. Bigger vessels can deal with it easier, but still there will be days when the wind is too strong to head out or kicks in so early that’s it’s hardly worth 24 Paley Crescent 30 Gommera Street 15 Wallarah Street Watkins Road heading out wider than a few Swansea Belmont South Blacksmiths Wangi Wangi Crescent Street 30 Gommera Street Street 15 Wallarah StreetRoad kilometres. Keep a close eye F3 24 Paley Crescent 24 Paley 30 Gommera 15 Wallarah Watkins Blacksmiths Belmont South Swansea Located on a peninsular Just a short stroll from A spacious tree filled park Nestled between the shores Belmont South Blacksmiths Swansea Wangi Wangi on coastal weather forecasts. 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$259 NOVEMBER 2016


Keeping things interesting! ILLAWARRA

Greg Clarke

This time last year we were in full gamefishing mode, with striped marlin being caught all along the coast. Multiple hook-ups and several fish for the day were commonplace, and they weren’t as far out as stripes go, with many caught inside the 50 fathom line. That was last year. Usually we see a few stripes show up on the shelf this month, but November can be strange as the currents are all over the place. Warm water pushes into cold and anything can happen. A few years back it was yellowfin tuna that were everywhere, but that’s not so uncommon as history shows they often arrive in November in good numbers. It’s all in the lap of the currents and the weather, so we shall see what happens this year. Warm water is already on track to make an early appearance. With the prospect of striped marlin and yellowfin tuna, it should be worth a look out wide. A few stripes have been hooked, and some small to average fin up to 30kg

as well, but they’re patchy so far with a lot of hours put in for nothing by many boats. That can all change in 24 hours. Big mahimahi at 15-20kg usually show up on the first of the warm water that pushes through at this time of the year, and they could well be on the cards, seeing as we still had them around in August this year. A few albacore are still about, so there’s the chance of some light tackle fun and there are plenty of striped tuna around for bait and berley, and the usual mako and blue sharks. Usually the current is not pouring down the coast yet so dropping to the bottom is still a good

option on a quiet day. The gemfish have slowed down, but there are still plenty of nice trevalla about on the drops and walls around the canyons. In closer it’s the time when the yellowtail kings gather over the inshore reefs to make more kings, so places like Bandit, the Hump and Wollongong Reef are the spots to be. If you really want to get into some big fish, try the Banks further south. Not my report area but still the place to be for big kings at this time of the year. When you see them on the sounder, drop knife jigs and livebaits down to them. Alternatively you can slow

There are a few small jellybean yellowfin mixing it with the striped tuna.

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troll downrigged live baits while watching the sounder to mark the fish. Squid are deadly when used like this but I prefer to eat the squid myself than feed them to kings. Fish up to 20kg are about but the majority of fish will be under 10kg – still good fun. The islands, Bass Point in close and down around Rangoon will throw up a few in the early mornings as well. Keep the live baits big for the best results in around the closer spots as there are so many salmon about the smaller live baits will be knocked over in no time or just bashed up. For the most part the salmon will be feeding on the multitude of tiny baitfish moving down the coast, but they don’t mind an easy feed of small mackerel or yellowtail. If the kings are slow, they’re a good fun alternative and they’re just about everywhere along the coast, often rippling the surface as they feed with or

without the hordes of seagulls giving away their presence. Small lures cast in among the schools is the best way to catch them, as trolling through them just puts them down deep and off the bite. Plenty of silver trevally will be moving with and under the salmon, so let the lures sink a bit before the retrieve to get a bit of variety going. Snapper will be under the schools, so bigger plastics worked deep could be rewarding and even if you’re chasing the sambos, often big kings are too so putting a big live bait out while chasing the other fish should cover all the bases. Snapper are not only under the salmon, but have been quite prevalent over the deeper reefs and gravel during the past few weeks. If the current is not too strong, they’ll respond well to berley and baits, particularly if you can get a few striped tuna for bait. Working plastics is so damn effective that baitfishing for reds seems to be a dying art, and they have been responding to plastics too. You have the options. The bottom bouncers are getting a few nice reds drifting along with baits down deep, as well as lots of pigfish and mowies. The big mover is the flathead that usually get going this month when the small baitfish arrive. They’re over every patch of sand at the moment, from just behind the beaches to the deeper sand in 50m. Most are good sandies to 60cm. On the beaches things are starting to heat up with whiting as the main target for most. The beaches around the lake entrance are still the best, but now they’re showing up on just about every beach along the coast. As usual, the only bait for consistent catches is beach worms. There are plenty on the beaches at the moment, but that will soon change as the pro wormers put the cutter through them. Flathead have really picked up on the beaches too, but have mostly been by-catch to whiting fishos and the casual anglers fishing for whatever takes their pilchard. A concentrated effort with plastics on any

A couple of average size kings from around the islands. Live slimies did the trick. beach should throw up a few nice fish. As always, salmon will get in on the whiting action when worms are used. They’ll grab just about anything and they’re on most beaches as well. School mulloway have increased in numbers over the past few weeks with the usual beaches producing a few fish, but you still have to work for them. No big fish heard of as yet, but they won’t be too far away as they move out of the estuaries to our north and south and move along the coast. Some solid tailor are on the southern beaches, but they’re a bit hit and miss; probably a school moving around the area. In the estuaries, it’s all systems go this month with the flathead in full swing, particularly during the darks at the beginning and end of the month when the prawns are moving. The main channel and the drop-off will be the best spots. They’ll be all over the place by the end of the month, so you can get away from the crowd and still get a few. With the prawns moving, now’s the time to get the poppers out and have a bit of fun working the flats for

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whiting. As always, weekdays and early mornings work the best when it’s quiet but any time is worth a go. Worms will get more whiting, so the sand flats around the entrance to the lake and Minnamurra will be well populated with anglers. Some big luderick will be moving through the systems and they’ll pick up on the worms too this month. Don’t be surprised when that big fish screams off on the whiting gear. Bream are on the move too. Live prawns fished unweighted down around the bridge pylons will hook some big bream, and the same tactic will work well in the snags in the feeder streams to the lake as well. It’s worth a look for the odd mulloway in the lake channel during the evenings, but you really must get lucky to score them. The mine fields will be set up all through the lake from now on, and for the rest of summer as the blue swimmers get a move on too. Always keep a good lookout for the floats as it’s impossible to travel anywhere in the lake in a straight line and not get one tangled around the prop.


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An exciting time for fishers on the South Coast NOWRA

Johnny Nolan

November – an exciting time of year for fishers on the south coast of NSW. So much is happening or about to happen, let’s jump in and start with the offshore fishing! It’s usually the transition time for the offshore fishers where the last run of tuna for the season are caught before they vacate our waters over the warm water period. Striped marlin begin to show on the shelf in numbers at

offer the best opportunities. The stand-out jigs are still the Yamashita range. The 3.0 size is the most popular, and finally we’ve been able to throw these jigs without losing one every second cast to a leatherjacket. The green natural colour in the glow body and the yakka colour in the clicker range are two of the more popular jigs. If you’re not sure which jigs are where, call into the shop and ask one of us. We’ll point you in the right direction. The reds inside the bay have been a little on the quiet side, but the wash fishing outside along the

a big plastic, stickbait or popper can be either the fish’s or the fisher’s undoing, depending on who gets the upper hand first. More often than not it’s the fish who gets the trophy!

pretty good bream action right throughout, and a few mulloway have been caught around the entrance to the creek during night hours. The bass season has well and truly started. Fish

Coolondel and Gradys are great base camps to launch a bass expedition on the upper Shoalhaven, and both have good camping and canoe and

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places like the Kink and the Canyons, depending on where the bait decides to hold up. The first run of fish usually frustrates anglers as they once again try to learn the art of hooking these feisty, stick-faced fish. Year after year we have fishos come into the shop wondering what they’re doing wrong and why their hooks aren’t sticking. There’s always a healthy debate on whether to use double hook or single hook rigs in your striped marlin lures. I’m not one to comment on which is best as I’m not much of a game fisher, and don’t claim to be, but the same thing happens year in, year out. By December and January, anglers have it all worked out, or maybe the fish have changed the way they take lures accounting, for more hook-ups. JERVIS BAY AND THE CLIFFS Inside the bay, we’ve seen some awesome squidding. Over the past months, most corners of the bay have held squid, but the Long Beach seagrass beds on the north side and the same sort of terrain on the south side between Bowen Island and Bristol Point

cliffs is making up for it. This type of fishing requires a good skipper, plenty of caution and a reliable engine due to conditions and how close you actually are to the razor sharp rocks. It should only be attempted by the experienced, and only when conditions are right. Soft plastics or lightly weighted baits tossed into the wash and worked slowly back to the boat can produce some awesome fishing. Make sure you have the heavy gear rigged for when a school of kings decides to bust up within casting range. Here

ST GEORGES BASIN If you’re after a trophy flatty this season, it’s seriously the time to start targeting these fish in this amazing recreational fishing haven. I’ve already seen pictures of 2m+ fish this season so far – one taken in only a few feet of water and the other in the deep. Fish of 70-80cm have been quite common. With the upcoming annual Flathead Classic run by the Basin Lure and Fly Club, I’m sure we’ll see some awesome fish come in. SHOALHAVEN RIVER For the first time in a long time, river fishing is rivalling its above counterpart, and may even have it over the Basin. The flatties have been biting like crazy in the lower reaches on both the Samaki Vibalicious and the Squidgy Prawns. Estuary perch are biting further upstream around the bridge and Ski and Animal Park rocks. Broughten Creek has been graced with some

were pretty much hitting the surface lures with gusto from day dot! The Shoalhaven and its tributaries are all producing good fish and are all running well with plenty of water to coax the fish as far upstream as they can get. Break out the backpack, that short, tight water bass stick, the gaitors or a good pair of high-top boots for snake protection, and a small box of your favourite bass lures, and hit your favourite sneaky little creek. Jackson Cicadas, Megabass Sigletts and the Tiemco Soft Shell Cicadas are favourites now in most serious bass fishos’ boxes. If you’re not catching them on these three lures, you may as well pack up and go home. Maybe don’t be that extreme – you get my drift.

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Chris Robertson from Tassie is usually at home chasing trout. He caught this 102cm flatty from the Basin while visiting – quite an achievement!

The Samaki Vibelicious Thumper Tails are working a treat on the flatties in the river at the moment.

kayak launching facilities. There you have it – options aplenty for the next month or so. See you on the water. Be good, stay safe. Johnny out.

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Heffo and Shacko with a pair of Shoalhaven River bass from around the ski park area. Bass are moving upstream fast and are well into the freshwater sections of the river. NOVEMBER 2016


What’s New FISHING



Remora Lures are a new brand of Aussie gamefishing lures, created by Jason Olivey. He has designed the heads so that they can be customised with photos or logos. Jason has fished for marlin and tuna up and down the coast for years, and a few years ago he created the first lures in the Remora range. He made a few samples for a shop, and then the orders started coming in. “When I make the lures I start with a nice piece of timber and carve the shapes from that,” he explained. “There are secrets in lure making, like magicians’ tricks! I run different styles of heads and hook rigs to see what works best. You cut the tail to see how it swims better, use different weights and different anglers on the face until you get the result you’re after.” For more info and pics, including custom heads with photos inside them, look up Remora Lures on Facebook.



The new Hy-Braid from Zerek is a translucent braid that is visible outside the water and has a decreased visibility beneath the surface of the water. Hi-Braid is a unique hybrid hyperfill fibre line that has all the advantages of a traditional fused braided line without the disadvantages. The unique build of Hy-Braid allows for incredible casting distance and durability, and it has a longevity that is unsurpassed. Additionally, and most importantly, HyBraid is easy to tie knots with and retains excellent line strength after knot tying. Currently available in 15m and 300m spools, Zerek Hy-Braid is a truly unique braided offering unlike anything else on the market. Keep an eye out for it at your favourite tackle store, or for the latest news and pics you can like Wilson Fishing on Facebook.



ZMan 4” Turbo CrawZ are a deadly jig, ChatterBait or spinnerbait trailer, as well as a versatile soft plastic presentation in their own right. Their specially designed Turbo ClawZ thump at even the slightest rod movement or reel crank and the buoyant, 10X Tough ElaZtech material allows the claws to rise up off the bottom in a natural defensive posture that attracts fish and triggers strikes. This buoyancy also allows the Turbo CrawZ to be rigged weedless on a ChinlockZ hook and buzzed across the surface, weighted on a ChinlockZ SWS or SnakelockZ jighead for fishing heavy cover, or rigged on a HeadlockZ jighead for fishing open water. The realistic craw profile will appeal to a wide range of freshwater species, while also attracting the attention of a myriad of saltwater species, offering anglers a profile change when the bite is tough. Turbo CrawZ come in a pack of six in a range of colours. Price: SRP $9.95






Synonymous with the offshore fishing game, Williamson embarks on a new inclusion into the game fishing market, introducing the companies Soft Game Tremor. Now Williamson are looking to extend the soft vibe category into the deep blue, with their brand oversized soft plastic vibration style bait suitable for trolling for finicky pelagic species such as southern bluefin tuna. Measuring 160mm and weighing a hefty 165g, the Williamson Soft Game Tremor is created with a durable, yet pliable soft plastic body, encasing a full-wire body construction connecting the inline VMC single hooks to the tow point, giving you the confidence to fish this bait hard. Able to be trolled at up to 12knots, the Soft Game Tremor opens up a new category for blue water fisherman looking for that edge when the fishing gets tough. Available in four great colours, next time you’re heading offshore why not try something different, like the new Williamson Soft Game Tremor.



Technology combines with stylish good looks and outstanding value in the new Emeraldas MX. Designed for the Eging fisherman who wants it all, the newest reel to bare the famous Emeraldas name and styling, carries the same pedigree and performance of its predecessors to once again remain the choice of Egi enthusiasts. Available in single handle and double handle models, and loaded with innovative technologies including Real Four, Digigear II, Mag Seal, Air Rotor and ABS II, the Emeraldas MX 2508 PE has the features and performance to rival expensive hiend reels, yet comes with a price that will excite, and looks that will entice. Features include: Real Four; Zaion body and body cover; Digigear II; Mag Seal; Engine Plate; Air Rotor; ABS II; Twistbuster II; Airbail; waterproof UTD and CRBB. There are two models, the MX 2508PE and MX 2508PE-DH, both with a gear ratio of 4.8 (72cm), 6+1 BB, 7kg drag and a spool capacity of PE 0.6-190m/0.8-150m.






Japanese company Valley Hill has created a range of squid jigs called Squid Seekers, designed specifically for anglers targeting squid in deeper water. To achieve this, Valley Hill has created a clever design that incorporates a heavier, streamlined, integrated head weight which distributes more weight towards the front. This causes the jig to sink much more quickly, while still maintaining a nice, smooth action. It’s no problem to get 20-25m down to where the big squid are, and to keep your jig where you want it to be when the current is running. Squid Seeker jigs have ultra-sharp, double-barb crowns and 3D eyes, and there are currently four models in the range: 23g, 30g, 35g, and 50g. There’s also a wide range of colours, all incorporating UV for maximum visibility and attraction in deeper water.

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What’s New FISHING






Every lure fisher likes to pimp their lures, whether it be a new, innovative paint scheme or a touch of extra weight or flash for added fish-catching appeal. Atomic has answered the call, combining under one banner a range of products designed to make your lure stand out from the crowd. A toolbox for your tackle box, Trick Bitz is everything you need for every situation. Atomic’s range of eye-catching paints and UV dips now allow you to customise your hardbodies like never before, while the addition of sticky weight and holographic tape enable you to tailor the buoyancy and flash of your favourite hard bait. Your options don’t end there, with a range of powder coat paints, slide in rattles, and adhesive eyes allowing you to take your jigheads from dull and boring to bold and striking. The potential of these products is limited only by your imagination.



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The runner-up for the Best Soft Lure at the AFTA Tackle Trade Show, the Halco Madeyes 7” Paddle Prawn, is constructed with Madeye’s signature Rubber Stretch Technology. The super-stretchy compound enables the Paddle Prawn to withstand repeated strikes, making this 7” soft plastic lure ideal for species such as snapper, kingfish, amberjack and other demersal species. This new lure is the bigger brother of the 3” and 5” Paddle Prawns, and its thin, lightweight yet durable tail is buoyant and sends irresistible vibrations through the water when jigged or in a current. The legs and feelers add to the natural appeal, making the Paddle Prawn look incredibly lifelike in the water. Halco recommends pairing the 7” Paddle Prawn with a Madeye Octoskirt and Halco’s Catch Scent for maximum attraction. For more information on this and other models in the Madeyes range, head on over to the Halco website. Price: SRP $12.95






Designed from the award-winning lineage of 13 Fishing’s Concept family of reels, the A3 is everything desired in a big low profile, cranked up a few notches. Power is paramount to the new A3 design, and it all starts with the guts of this beast. Cut with Japanese Hamai precision, the new H.A.M gears are hardened brass that is substantially stronger and thicker than any other reel in its class. There’s over 30lb of fish-stopping power in the Bull Drag System, putting the brakes on the hardest fighting fish with silky smooth precision and ease. Key features include: Ocean Armor 2 Saltwater Protection Process, Dead Stop anti-reverse system, concept cork knobs and power handle, Beetle Wing rapid access side plate, Trick Shop compatible, HD aluminium frame and gear side plate; Airfoil carbon palm side plate, Arrowhead line guide system, and 1-year warranty. Price: SRP $359

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River2Sea has created a new brand of soft plastic lures called Chasebaits, and one of the most interesting models in the new series is called the Dagger Bait. Creator Grainger Mayfield got the design concept from a knife. The lure has a thicker body like the handle of a knife, and a very thin, flat, serrated tail like a knife blade. “I just looked at my prawn knife one day and thought, ‘that would make a great lure’,” he said. “It looks just like a fleeing baitfish, with a left-right darting action and a good tail whip, and it’s great for trevally and tuna.” Like all Chasebaits, the Dagger Bait is made from a very soft and supple PVC plastic for maximum action. And, in spite of how soft it feels, it’s stronger that you’d expect. There are three other models in the range – the Curly Bait (one of the only ribbed curltails on the market), Paddle Bait and Fork Bait. All have injected salt and scent, plus eyes for added attraction. Price: SRP $11.95



Storm’s range of hard and soft baits has come a long way in the previous few years. Their R.I.P series is particularly popular with barramundi and cod anglers all over the country. Now, Storm is releasing their newest product, developed for rigging their R.I.P series baits and any other large profile soft bait. The R.I.P Rigger consists of a weighted, plastic encased head with multiple tow points, featuring a large rigging screw to secure it to your plastic. Underneath swing two VMC trebles rigged on stainless, multi-strand wire. The two trebles are staggered, so anglers can pin them into the body of their preferred soft plastic. The head has two tow points. The position closest to the nose of the lure allows for more body roll and tail swing action, while the position on the top of the head allows the lure to track deeper, with a tighter body roll. Available in four different colours to suit any colour of soft plastic body.



Techniice Australia is well known for their quality iceboxes and fridge freezers. What some people may not know is that they also sell a range of well-priced, quality camping products, and one of those is the Jungle Reef double self-inflating mattress. With a 6cm PVC base and soft TPU-coated fabric upper that self inflates through a dual nozzle system, it is a comfortable and durable option for the weekend warrior or a serious camper. Weighing in at only 4.5kg, it rolls up into a compact bundle using heavy duty straps, so it only requires minimal space to pack. Starting from $59 plus shipping, the Jungle Reef double mattress also includes two inflatable pillows. For more information on this and other products in the Techniice range, check out the Techniice website. Price: from $59

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What’s New FISHING







Shimano’s Nasci FB has many features not normally seen in a reel at this price point. Its cold forged Hagane gears offer an improved mesh transition, better durability, and much greater strength. When fighting XOS fish, these reels not only have the cranking power, but will retain the smooth rotation of an unloaded reel. Features include X-Ship (bearing-supported pinion gear for maximum cranking power and torque), G-Free Body (compact with a lower centre of gravity) and Core Protect (water repellent treatment on the line roller and clutch roller). The Nasci’s body design allows one half of the side plate to sit within the opposing side plate, making water entry even harder, and additional seals have been added as well. There are four BBs and one roller bearing, and gear ratios of 5.0:1 and 6.2:1 depending on the model. The 1000 size packs 3kg of drag, the 2500 and 3000 compact size offer 9kg, and the 4000 and 5000XG compact model can handle 11kg.

Anglers who like tangling with big brawlers should check out the new Penn Slammer III. These new reels are built for heavy-duty fishing. Slammers already have a reputation for being tough, and are trusted by charter captains all over the world. The III features a new IPX6 sealed system, which keeps water out of the gear box and drag system, so these reels will stand up well to constant use. The updated Slammer drag system now uses Penn’s proprietary Dura-Drag material and 6+1 ball bearings, making it super smooth and comfortable to use. There’s eight models in the range, so regardless of what you like to do battle with, there’s options for chasing big fish across the board.




The Digital Snapper is the newest Samaki Australian shirt design. The snapper’s sleek, chromed up, metallic appearance means business! Chasing down the Samaki Boom Bait Rattle Snake, this fish is aggressive and determined, never taking his eye off the prize. In the background, a white, carbon fibre chest detail blends into deeper, darker carbon as it weaves and wraps around the body. The lightweight fabric is perfect for all outdoor elements, and is certified UPF 50+. The soft touch 100% polyester material is comfortable on the body, and has the added benefit of being breathable, keeping you cool and dry. Samaki designs are brought to you by Australian anglers who love to chase and design Australian species. Digital Snapper shirts are available in adult, youth and kids’ sizes, allowing the whole family to get in on the action. Price: SRP $59.95 (adults), $49.95 (kids)



The Jumbo Cicada, distributed in Australia by EJ Todd, is the largest profile cicada available from Japanese lure maker Tiemco. The new Jumbo features a 70mm, 13g floating body with a loud single knocker ball bearing, which creates a deep, fish-calling sound. Like its smaller brother the Soft Shell Cicada, the Jumbo Cicada has soft folding wings that give it an easy and natural walking action. This big lure is set to be a big hit with anglers targeting big bass and Murray cod. The Tiemco Jumbo Cicada is available now in eight natural colours. And there’s another new release that fans of the original Soft Shell Cicada will like – three new black patterns in the Soft Shell range, which create a great silhouette. For more information check out the EJ Todd website, or like them on Facebook. Price: SRP $28




The name Maikuro, from the Japanese word meaning micro, is a new series of nano graphite technology rods. These rods have a sleek, modern design with a matt black finish, white, silver and black trims, and stylish butt configurations incorporating the new Sea Guide carbon hooded reel seat. The butt design is a combination of cork and extra hard EVA, selected for the best transmission of bites. Thanks to the highly responsive graphite blanks, this series is best suited to finesse lure-casting situations. There are rods that can be used for light estuary species, freshwater fish like trout or yellowbelly, and heavier coastal and reef dwellers. There are three models, all 2-piece: MK6625SP (1.98m, 3-5kg line weight, 7-14g lure weight), MK682SP (2.02m, 6-8kg, 10-25g) and MK702SP (2.13m, 2-4kg, 3-8g). The Maikuro range also includes baitcaster, beach, jigging and offshore models. Price: approx. SRP $120




BuzzlockZ feature a clear, 4-bladed buzz blade that creates water movement, noise and a bubble trail that attracts predators and triggers brutal strikes. They come with a ChinlockZ SWS jighead to lock your soft plastic in place and keel the presentation when retrieved. The ChinlockZ SWS is attached via a stainless steel twist lock system, enabling you to quickly and easily switch blade or hook sizes as required, or attach the BuzzlockZ blade to other lures such as metal slugs or stickbaits. BuzzlockZ are available in small, medium and large blade sizes, ranging across hook sizes from 2/0 to 8/0. The small size comes in a pack of two, and the medium and large sizes come in a pack of one. Whether it’s bass, cod and saratoga in the fresh, mangrove jack and barra in the creeks, or tailor, salmon, trevally and other pelagic species in the salt, there’s a BuzzlockZ to fire them up! Price: SRP $8.95

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2.5” Slim SwimZ – The new all rounder

ZMan soft plastics have proven themselves at both a tournament level and an everyday level, and they’re a favourite of many anglers. These high quality soft plastics cover the full spectrum of target species and fishing situations. One of the newer models is the 2.5” Slim SwimZ, and I was introduced to it when doing kayak field testing with Justin Wilmer from TTs (the ZMan distributors). At the start he was towelling me up in the fishing stakes, and was kind enough to pass over the lures he was using – the ZMan 2.5” Slim SwimZ, matched with a TT 1/4oz HeadlockZ Finesse 1/0 jighead. My fishing fortunes changed!

centre alignment doesn’t matter; the tail still wobbles and the lure tracks straight. The Slim SwimZ really shine when you’re targeting fish in less than 5ft of water. Large estuary flats hold an abundance of species, and the size and profile of these lures gives you an each-way bet on what species you may catch. There’s a number of retrieves you can use in this situation. The standard lift-drop will work, but I have found that it tends to take the lure too far off the bottom and out of the strike zone. The best results have come while either slowly rolling and wiggling the lure along the bottom or using a sharp, sideways whip of the rod tip while winding the reel (looking for

a reaction bite, but not moving the plastic too far from the bottom). The fun part has been the mixed bag of species I have caught. So far I have caught tailor, flathead, whiting, flounder and bream on these lures, and I’m sure this list will increase as time goes on. I haven’t yet used the Slim SwimZ in freshwater, but I can see them working well on bass, trout, redfin and golden perch. With a RRP of $10.50 for a packet of eight plastics, and 20 colours to choose from, why not grab a few packets next time you’re in your local tackle store and give them a try? For more info check out www. – Peter Jung

This colour is called suicidal rooster, and the author figured with a name like that he had to give it a try.

What sort of angler wouldn’t like catching whiting on plastics?

We caught a range of species including flathead, bream and whiting. The suppleness of the ElaZtech plastic means as soon as the Slim SwimZ hits the water, the tail starts moving hell for leather and attracting fish. The ElaZtech material is also incredibly durable; there’s every chance you could fish an entire day using one plastic. The simple design also means that that rigging the Slim SwimZ is relatively easy. I say ‘relatively’ because it takes a little bit of time to push any ElaZtech plastic onto a hook (the HeadlockZ jigheads are the best match). However, you don’t need to have the Slim SwimZ absolutely straight. A small kink or off-

TESTED: Valley

Another species coming from less than 5ft of water was this flounder, caught on the 2.5” Slim SwimZ in motor oil colour.

Hill Rocketeer Slicer – it’s a little different maximum angle while the jig sinks (keeping the tines away from structure) and provides a strong side-to-side action during the retrieve, keeping the jig in the right zone for a longer period. CONCLUSION I have been impressed with the Valley Hill jigs that I bought. I limited myself to a few of the 13 colours available and, because the squid fishing in QLD tends to be shallow water, I purchased the 3.0 sized jigs rather

WHAT’S DIFFERENT? The Rocketeer Slicer has two main differences from a standard jig. Firstly, it has a casting system that can be used to gain extra distance. It’s a simple rubber toggle that you place on your line before attaching the jig. Before casting you slip the toggle onto a prong, which comes off the tines of the jig. This elongates the jig, pointing the weight of the jig forward, so you can maximise your casting distance. I have to say that although this is a cool feature, I can’t see me using it;

Four of the author’s favorite colours. The humble squid has become a more and more popular target species throughout Australia. This popularity has provided a plethora of options for anglers when it comes to the number and quality of jigs available. I am a squid jig addict. My collection of squid jigs has grown over the years to the point where I think I could squid fish every day for six months and not use the same jig twice. I made a conscious decision that enough was enough. I didn’t need any more. That was until the AFTA show this year. I was drawn to the Dogtooth Distribution stand (the distributer of Valley Hill in Australia) by their display of squid jigs. The Valley Hill jigs caught my eye; particularly the Rocketeer Slicer, which offers something a little different from a standard jig. SCAN THE QR CODE!

A quality feed of tiger squid caught on the brown shrimp colour Rocketeer Slicer.

The author knew this squid loved the Valley Hill squid jig. It cuddled it all the way in. it casts well enough without it. The feature that excited me the most was the duel tow points on the nose of the jig. The duel tow points provide two key adjustments. Firstly, they provide a change to the angle at which the jig sinks, and

secondly, how it reacts on the retrieve. This versatility really appealed to me. IN THE FIELD Squid can be pretty dumb at times, but some days can be really tough. On those days you really hope the jig you have on may prove to be the difference from the person next to you. With the Slicer, I have to say so far, so good. I have had a few tough outings but I have still managed to bag a few when other anglers haven’t. The duel tow points are a fantastic feature. As most of my squidding has been land-based, I have used the tow point furthest from the nose. It provides

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The author is a big fan of red, foil-based jigs. Not surprising when you catch quality squid like this one. than the 3.5. They have a medium to slow sink rate, and because I use a Mustad Fastach clip it’s very easy to take advantage of the duel tow points. Retailing for around $20, the Rocketeer Slicer fit into the medium price bracket for jigs. They have good quality components and I have had a few squid like them so much that they cuddled them all the way to the shore. Go to au to check out the range and to find your nearest stockist. – Peter Jung

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What’s New FISHING TESTED: $100, Sometimes it’s hard to get a decent angle for writing a reel review. Modern reels are increasingly reliable, feature filled and resilient to the punishment that angling – especially in saltwater – can inflict. And this is to the point where even the most discerning tournament angler can fish very effectively with a $250 reel. The fact is that a $200 reel today is packed with more features than a $500 reel a decade ago. If your retirement plan included buying a heap of top end reels a decade ago and hoping they appreciate in value, you’re going to be as disappointed as the other guy who stocked up on Nokia 3310s. In that light and in the flood of new products hitting the shelves after the 2016 AFTA Trade Show, we thought it’d be a good idea to do a side-by-side comparison between a low, middle and top-end Daiwa reels to see how much difference there actually is. The models supplied by Daiwa were some of their most popular. All 2500-class light spin reels, we unboxed the $600-class 16 Certate 2508PE, the $200-class BG2500 and the sub-$100 Sweepfire 2B. We had a look at the trio on paper first. Secondly we put them to the test in the field. I don’t like writing about anything that I haven’t comprehensively used in the field – and that means more than just having a few casts down in the local waterway. The last Daiwa I reviewed – a Magsealed Zillion – didn’t get any ink until it knocked over 50 threadfin salmon and mulloway in the river over a six-month period. I’m not sure this batch did that much work, but with nearly six months of bream and bass tournaments as well as a reasonable social fishing workload, I put these reels through their paces to get in touch with the strengths and weaknesses of each. One thing I learnt from the process is the importance of gear ratios on threadline reels. I didn’t really put it all together until compiling the table in this article. You see, one of the most recent tests came at the Costa BASS Megabucks at Lake Somerset. I don’t do much tournament bass fishing anymore, but I really enjoy becoming immersed in it over an intense, two day period. That’s exactly what Megabucks is - three sessions of bass fishing for the biggest impoundment bass in Australia at the time of year when they are the fattest and most willing to bite. This year was the year of the metal spoon lure. With the typical spring absence of any noticeable thermocline, the bass ranged from



$200 and $600 Daiwa options compared 16 Certate $600

BG 2500 $200

10-70ft down and a lump of metal was the best way to get a lure in front of the fish. As it happened, a slow roll (technical for slow wind) was the best presentation for the fish that we found. And like most events, after you get dialled in, most outfits on the deck have the same lures on. By a long way, I hooked most of my fish – and all of my big fish – on the Sweepfire 2B – the cheapest reel in the bunch. You see, on a slow roll, the fish can’t tell if there’s two or ten ball bearings in the reel you’re fishing with. All that they can tell is how fast the lure is swimming. On that day, the 5.3:1 ratio of the Sweepfire (recovering 80cm of line per turn of the handle) outfished the $600 16 Certate that retrieved 8cm less line per turn at 4.8:1. The braid was the same and the leaders’ strengths and lengths were the same. Interestingly, this session highlighted the weakness of the $100 reel, and that was the lack of variance in the drag system. Around a fifth of a turn of the drag knob sent the drag from ‘way too light’ to ‘locked up’. For oyster rack fishing, this is awesome, but for nursing

Sweepfire 2B 5.3:1 80 2+0 260 2 PE1/200m Graphite Alloy No $100

BG 2500 5.6:1 84 6+1 265 4 PE1.5/200m Aluminium Alloy No $200

MATCHING RODS Reel Sweepfire 2B BG 2500 16 Certate


Sweepfire 2B $100 1

SPECIFICATIONS Reel Ratio Retrieve/turn (cm) Ball bearings and roller bearings Weight (g) Drag (kg) Capacity (m) Body material Spool material Magsealed Price (approx.)

Scan the QR code to watch the Daiwa 2016 Certate, Daiwa BG and Daiwa Sweepfire 2B review.

For the test period, the author selected some ‘fit for purpose’ spin rods from the tackle room. Rod 2-piece Daiwa Spellbinder SP702ULFS Daiwa Heartland X HL-CX601MLFS-S Nordic Stage Artist 762LX

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16 Certate 4.8:1 72 10+1 245 7 PE1/120m Zaion Alloy Yes $600


a 5lb Australian bass from the depths on a single-hook, it’s heart in mouth stuff. BACK TO THE TACKLE TABLE On the table, there is a definite difference between these reels. Pick up the Sweepfire and you’ll immediately notice a few things – the lack of an infinite anti-reverse and the lack of an anti-reverse switch, meaning you can never wind it backwards. Weight-wise, there’s not much between the Sweepfire and the BG, with the Certate only being a few grams lighter. You can definitely feel that the Certate is lighter in the hand. In the tackle store, you’ll pick a fair bit of distance between the Sweepfire and the others. The BG and Certate feel a lot closer, but you can still feel a little more resistance in the BG, whereas the Certate is buttery smooth all round, as you’d expect from a $600 reel. The unexpected result, though, is the closeness between the $200 BG and the $600 Certate. Is the Certate a better reel? Price aside, the answer is undoubtedly yes. As well as being aided by four more ball bearings, the Certate’s ‘Zaion’ body allows this reel to weigh in as the lightest of the bunch. Zaion is Daiwa’s answer to magnesium for body material. Magnesium is awesome and light, but does not like salt water at all. In Australia, lots of us like to run our reels in both salt and fresh water. A COUPLE OF TACKLE JUNKIES As part of this review, I sat down with Simon Goldsmith, Daiwa uber-fan, and we talked through the three reels. You can watch the interview by scanning the QR Code on this page. Simon’s done plenty of work for Daiwa writing copy for their catalogues and knows the intricacies of the reels. Coupled with the time I spent on the water with the tackle, we were able to come to a consensus on where we’d put our money in certain situations. This is how it went… Sweepfire: This is a very robust reel that can take a lot of the punishment that occasional anglers or kids can dish out. At under $100, it has limited elements in the drag system and there’s not much variance between too loose and too tight. That said, it caught plenty of great fish in the test period, has a fast gear ratio and didn’t show any

fatigue from being used in the salt water. It was particularly good at Forster, where a locked-up drag was a benefit and not a negative when fishing soft plastic baits in the racks. I wouldn’t use line under 6lb on it due to the lack of finesse in the drag. BG: If the Certate is at one end of the scale and the Sweepfire is at the other end, the BG is definitely closer to the Certate in performance. The $200 price tag would suggest that this should be the other way around, but ignore that. The BG can definitely handle lighter lines and a finesse angler could confidently fish down to very light lines and leaders, and lose fish through no fault of the reel. They are a little heavier and a little faster than the Certate, but they’re definitely not 1/3 of the reel for 1/3 of the price. 16 Certate: It was hard to fault the Certate. It was the lightest, the most butterysmooth and had the best drag system of all the reels we tested. It looks great and fishes just as well. It’s the slowest reel of the bunch, which would suit bream anglers perfectly in lots of situations. It’s probably not the most robust reel of the group – the all-aluminium BG may well have that title. Time will tell. CONCLUSIONS The big question, however, was if you had $600, would you buy one Certate, three BGs or six Sweepfires? Well, it depends on your situation. If it’s a reel that will get limited use or be thrashed by the kids, buy six Sweepfires, especially if you have six kids. If you’re a tournament angler that wants the most features for money, the BG is hard to go past. Lose a winning fish on a BG and you probably wouldn’t be blaming your gear. You’d spend your $600 on three BGs. But if you appreciate great gear and want to treat yourself, the 16 Certate is definitely the way to go. We couldn’t fault the reel and if you think that you’ve deserved a well-earned Christmas present, there’s no shame in leaving the Daiwa catalogue opened at the 16 Certate page. You just need to get the significant other with a disposable $600 to see it. For more information on all Daiwa reels, visit - Steve Morgan

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Sounder way of snapper fishing VFM

John Adams

Pink snapper are a highly prized, sought after fish. They’re distributed around the Australian coast, commonly caught from the Gascoyne region of Western Australia to South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, and right up the southern coasts of Queensland. Here are some tips about snapper and how to use your sounder to improve your catch rate. Fishing from the shore,

large numbers, sometimes between 1000-2000 fish – the size of these fish schools can mislead people into thinking that snapper numbers are healthy. What needs to be considered is that these fish may have travelled long distances, from a wide area, and this does not necessary mean there’s a lot of them out there. SHALLOW WATER SNAPPER SCHOOL An observant fisher can sometimes spot dense schools of pink snapper finning around in the shallows, close to the shore

commonly found in the vicinity of coral bottoms, where they gather in large schools to spawn. A single mature breeding snapper can release thousands of eggs in a season. Most of these eggs will not survive due to natural mortality. When large fish aggregations occur, the food source is quickly depleted and fish become ferociously hungry. This makes them easy to catch, but can result in pressures on the fish stocks from overfishing. A very hungry super school of snapper can also do damage to mussel stocks.

The author with a cracker fish. from kayaks, or from deep blue water boats, anglers have the opportunity to catch pink snapper. They’re found in a wide range of water depths, from the shallow waters of estuary bays and inlets to the deep waters of the continental shelf, where fishers may see large schools finning just below the surface. HEALTH OF SNAPPER STOCKS Snapper aggregate in

in estuary bays and inlets. These fishers spot them by looking for what look like patches of black seaweed with a slight tinge of blue. This colour is created by the fishes pink body color and the sprinkling of iridescent blue spots on their backs. SNAPPER HOTSPOT Snapper are known to form hotspots, in both shallow and deep water locations. Snapper in deep oceanic waters are

Brad Thompson, a Western Australian mussel farmer, had an encounter with a super school of hungry pink snapper a few days before Christmas last year. The super school attacked his mussel farm, crunching through thousands of dollars of mussels and ate 15t in 10 nights – wiped out his entire Christmas stock. At times these fish can become annoying if you want to catch other types of fish. Snapper like to get to the bait

first. If this happens, all you can do is move to another spot to get away from them. SNAPPER BAIT One memorable autumn fishing trip, a group of us, including a fisher from Japan, went out fishing from Fremantle in Western Australia. On this day, we headed west 24 nautical miles from Fremantle to the 120m contour line. Fishers need the right gear and skill to catch fish at that depth. The day didn’t look good for fishing – the swell was up to 3m and the wind was southwest between 12-16 knots. It was going to be hard work to hold the bottom, and the drift would be fast, so we decided to do some long drifts over the depth contour line, and hope for the best. The bait we normally use is octopus as it’s a good bait to use at that depth and stays on the hook. Our Japanese friend brought his own bait. When we arrived on the grounds and were getting ready to bait up and drop our lines to the bottom, he pulled a large scaly mackerel from his esky. My first thought was “That won’t stay on the hook at 120m,” and my second thought was, “This bloke doesn’t understand deep water fishing.” It soon became apparent he did. I watched him delicately cut two 10cm strip baits from the side of the partly defrosted 25cm mackerel. He placed each bait on the end of a single hook, leaving the barb of the hook completely exposed. We all dropped our lines to the bottom and started the first drift. Within a few minutes, our friend was hooked up on his first fish and landed a big snapper. Our octopus bait couldn’t compete with the scaly mackerel. Mackerel bait mimics the action of a small fish when placed dangling on the end of a hook, and its strong oily odour is quickly detected by the fish’s nasal sac. Big snapper like to eat

Pink snapper look really good in the water. small fish, so this method of strip baits using mackerel works a treat. SOUNDER FREQUENCIES FOR SNAPPER Pink snapper inhabit depths from 1-250m, so different frequencies will need to be used depending on the water depth being fished. The golden rule is that high frequencies produce the best resolved images in shallower depth, and low frequencies produce the best resolved images in deeper water depth. Snapper fishing in shallow water using 450kHz Once a year, from April to October, snapper spawn in an area called Cockburn Sound, close to the Port of Fremantle in Western Australia. During the spawning season, the area is closed to snapper fishing. The shallow depths in this location are covered in meadows of sea grasses, which provide a nursery for the spawning snapper that have come in from the deeper oceanic waters. During last year’s closure, in the early part of the season, I ventured out into

the Sound to take a number of screen captures using a colour sounder, and to check out the fish stock numbers. This area has shallow water depth, so I was able to use two different operating high frequencies, as shown in my screen captures. Screen capture no. 1 was taken with an operating frequency of 450kHz. This frequency can produced highly resolved screen image of bottom structures within a limited depth range. The bottom echo signal is always the most prominent signal recorded the display. Notice how the echo signals from single fish targets appear as small dots on the display – this is created by the ­ frequency’s characteristics. A number of these fish targets can be seen to have gathered into a school, forming a vortex on the top of a bottom structure. Screen capture no. 2 is an example of how an operating frequency of 450kHz can produce highly resolved screen images of a boat wreck. This boat wreck is sitting on a flat sandy

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Screen capture no. 4 shows three schools of fish.

Snapper bottom surface, and it is completely covered in fish. It is also home to a resident school of large Samson fish. Had this image been taking using a different frequency, like 200kHz, it would have

the type of fish from the signal recorded on the display screen. A definite identification of fish can only be made by catching the fish, or by sending down a diver or camera.

signal strength of fish targets recorded on the display. Fish school no. 1 has a parabolic arch, created by the fish school being virtually stationary when the transducer’s sound beam

targets can be seen above the bottom echo signal. These signals are strong targets, indicating medium size fish. These fish are likely snapper, because this image was taken during the snapper spawning season. Not many fish in this location would swim well off the bottom, producing echo signals this size. Note that echo sounder signals are not specific to any type of fish, therefore a fisher can’t identify

Screen capture no. 4 uses an operating frequency of 200kHz. It shows three schools of fish rising up into the water column. The thickness and tails within the bottom echo signal are indicating a rough hard bottom surface. The background clutter in this image was created by switching the sensitivity gain control from auto to manual, and then tuning the sensitivity gain control up to 80% to further enhance the

largest and most dense fish school. The signal strength of the fish school is similar to that of the bottom echo signal, indicating a lot of fish. When dropping a baited line on top of these types of fish schools, a fish hook-up will often occur before the lines reach the bottom. In these situations, snapper will even bite on bare hooks. Low frequencies (83/50 kHz) are selected in deeper To page 52

Screen capture no. 3 was taken at 200kHz –­ the same single target fish from no. 1 look bigger. looked completely different. Snapper fishing in shallow water using 200kHz Screen capture no. 3 was taken 100m away from No1 with an operating frequency of 200kHz. The bottom echo signal indicates a flat sandy bottom surface. The echo signals from single fish

Note the difference in the size between the echo signals from single fish targets in this screen capture, and then compare them to the ones in Screen capture no. 1 They are the same size fish, but the echo signals from single fish targets are bigger when using 200kHz.

passed through it. Echo signals from single fish targets can be see below the main school. Fish school no. 2 is the smallest in this screen capture. Echo signals from single fish targets can be seen close to the bottom to the left of the school. Fish school no. 3 is the

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water-depths, and will produce reasonably good resolved screen images. The lower the frequencies, the lesser resolved the image. The depth-range at which these frequencies can be operated is not restricted due to its low acoustic absorption loss through the water during transmission. The operating range at low frequency is determined by the performance level of the transducer. Sounding in water depths of 200-600m will only be achieved

with a high performance transducer. TIME VARIABLE GAIN Fishing deeper water depths, it’s essential to use Time Variable Gain (TVG) correctly. If you’re not using it, you will be missing out on a lot of fish. The golden rule is, as you go deeper increase the TVG setting and as the depth decreases, reduce the TVG setting. With the TVG switched off, a school of fish detected at 60m will be recorded as a strong signal. The same size school of fish detected

at 160m will be recorded as a weaker signal or may not even be visible on the display screen. By switching the TVG ON, and adjusting it to the depth, a school of fish located at 160m is recorded proportionally to the same size school of fish detected at 60m. TVG works well at depths to 450m, but after that it loses effect. Some sounders allow TVG to operate on auto control, while others can only be operated on manual control. I prefer operating TVG on manual control, where I control the amount of gain. By doing this, the image will be fully optimised to detect fish targets through the various depth ranges.

Screen capture no. 2 shows a wreck clearly.

Screen capture no. 1 shows bottom structure and a school of fish.

A kayak fisher with a great catch at night.


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UNDERSTANDING ECHO SOUNDERS/ FISH FINDER When I first used echo sounders, I found the information recorded on the display was a complete mystery. I discovered over time there are no mysteries or secrets attached to echo fishing, only facts. Once these basic facts and principles are understood, they can be applied to any colour echo sounders, in any water depth, anywhere in the world. If you become skillful in reading the echo sounder, you’ll be able find many new locations

that produce fish. This will open up a whole new world and perspective of life under the sea. John Adams’ book, How to use an Echo Sounder/ Fish-finder is well known among anglers. John is an ex commercial fisher with a vast amount of expertise using colour echo sounders, he lives in Western Australia where he manages Fremantle Boat School and is a keen recreational fisher. To learn more about echo fishing, visit www.howtouseafishfinder. com, or contact John by email, john@ fremantle



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It’s time for Merimbula’s monster mulloway NAROOMA

Stuart Hindson

It’s that time of year when the light bream outfits get pushed aside and the heavier, beefed-up mulloway sticks get their turn to shine! November is prime time for these silver marvels with Narooma’s Wagonga Inlet and Tuross Lake system to the north the areas to fish. There’s already been a few mulloway caught in both systems over recent weeks, but expect a lot more over the next month or so. Anglers using large soft plastics and vibes will fare well, although live and dead baits will also produce, especially at night. For me and many other anglers targeting them, softies are the go-to method, as you’re actively chasing them around moving bait schools and subsurface structure. Not to mention the fun of the chase and getting that bite, which certainly gets the adrenalin and blood flowing. I expect to see big fish this month, as we got the rain at the right time over winter and spring, which gave the estuary systems the good flush they needed. This in turn has seen huge bait schools enter both systems, especially Tuross, as it’s the deepest at the entrance I’ve seen it for a very long time. With more whitebait, glassies and pilchards in the calm water, tailor numbers have increased, and we all know that mulloway love tailor.

I’m a firm believer that fishing the edges of feeding tailor schools is the ultimate way to target mulloway in this neck of the woods. I would say that 70% of all my mulloway captures over the last 15 years have come from tailor schools within these two estuary systems. There are a few downfalls with this, as you do go through a lot of gear with softies, jigheads and leader all suffering, and it does become expensive, but if it’s a prize catch you want, the money is worth it. I’d be concentrating in the main basins of both systems, looking out for diving terns above and bait schools below. Just keep casting, your turn will come. If the mulloway don’t play the game, then mega flathead are a possibility as well. It’s a great month for the crocs as they head downstream to do their thing and are hungry. A slower presentation fished close to the bottom is the go, as they are lazy buggers when they get to this size. Fishing the same type of plastics and vibes should entice the strike. If the trophies are not for you and you want a feed, then the ribbon weed edges in 6-7m of water around the margins should produce ample 40-55cm flatties for the pan. The sand flats in both systems will see bream and whiting starting to chew as the water warms further with anglers fishing nippers, worms and surface walkers getting amongst them. The channels will

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Catching two mulloway in two casts isn’t the easiest thing to do, but these boys managed just that! These fish went 90 and 81cm, and both fish were tagged and released. have ample blackfish, trevally and bream for those who want to anchor and berley. Offshore has seen some cracking yellowfin tuna caught thus far this month with local Narooma gun angler Anthony Nelipa getting into them. Anthony has caught several solid fish up to 80kg on cubes fishing wide of the shelf. It may seem a bit weird to be getting tuna at this time of year, but I think they have been there all winter and spring this year. The water has remained above 18°C, the bait’s been there, the only problem has been the sea conditions with wind making it hard to get out there. When it’s been okay the fish have responded, which all looks promising for the coming months. It’s possible we may see an early striped marlin run if the water warms a little further. If so, trolling a spread of mid sized pushers may be the go with the shelf and beyond the place to fish. Closer to shore at Montague Island, the kingfish have been very patchy. You get a few one day, then nothing for the next three, so the consistency is certainly not there. When anglers have had success, jigs have certainly worked best with the northeast corner the place to fish when the current is pushing south. There’s been a lot of bonito around, so if the kings are slow, a feed of bonnies shouldn’t be too hard to get. These guys eat well when looked after either fresh or in the smoker.

The beaches have started to fire up with a few mulloway captures. I know of one visiting angler that did a guiding ession with me recently who told me of two fish, 9 and 6kg, that

he caught on Blackfellows Beach on the last moon. That’s pretty good fishing from the sand! He was using fresh tailor fillet strips on a paternoster rig. Other beaches worth a

look for a mulloway include Brou, Coila and Tilba to the south of Narooma. If you’re after a feed of bream and whiting, then these same beaches should fish well. Use a smaller running sinker outfit with pipi or beachworm for best results and just fish past the shore dump. On the rocks, the blackfish have been excellent in the washes. The northern end of the Golfie Rocks in the corner has been a stand-out with bag limits reached on most occasions. Those doing okay have used fresh cabbage with a sand and weed berley mix, though fresh prawns has been pretty good too. There’s been a few groper, bream and drummer mixed in, so a heavier outfit might be on the cards if you’re after the bigger fish. The front ledge has been okay for salmon and tailor, though they have been a little sporadic with the calmer sea conditions we have had of late. That will change once we get some white water around the ledges.

Gun offshore local angler Anthony Nelipa with a cracking 7580kg yellowfin he caught while cubing off the shelf.

November wind will blow over MERIMBULA

Stuart Hindson

It’s been a windy start to November for the Merimbula region. The mornings have been okay, but by 10:00am those 30-40 knot northwesterly winds have wreaked havoc on fishos. I know that’ll change over coming weeks and we get the traditional northeasters in the afternoons, but at the minute it’s difficult.

When you can get out, the estuaries will continue to fire up with local haunts producing quality fish. Pambula has been excellent with trevally, flatties, bream, salmon and luderick all chewing at times. The faster water in the channels from Shark Hole to the entrance is the place to fish with bait and lure anglers having success. Anchored up on the draining tide with the freshest of baits, the bait brigade has had a ball. A few locals have cleaned

Ritchie and son Josh, 11, with a few trevally they caught while fishing Pambula River – fish don’t have to be huge to bring smiles to happy anglers. The lads managed 20 odd fish in pretty windy conditions.

up on bream, especially with a bit of colour still in the water. In the main basin, the edges in 4-5m have been okay for flathead, but they’re sporadic. This is likely due to the water temperature staying around 16°C. That will change over coming weeks. In fact, this coming moon should be good for the flats. I don’t mind targeting them and have had solid success around that time. I’d be using plastics or soft vibes mixing it up a little until there’s a pattern happening. It’s funny, but when they’re not switched on, you need to change things up to get desired results. Offshore, wind has made things difficult. Sportfishers have had to pick their days. When they’ve got wide, there’s been a few yellowfin around, mostly school fish in the 20-30kg bracket, but there will be bigger fish there. Solid jumbos have been caught north of us off Narooma, so if the currents do the right thing, we may be in luck. Trolling is the go early this season, as you get to cover the water and find the fish. If you come across a decent patch, cubing

might be worth a look. Closer to shore, there’s plenty of big kings about, certainly not what it was a few months back, but they’re popping up from headland to headland. The better places to search for a greenback are Tura Head, Long Point or Haycock to the south. Cast bigger stickstyle softies or poppers for a stack of fun. If fish are deeper then a weighted slimy mackerel might be the method. The local beaches have been exceptional over recent weeks, especially for bream and whiting. Most beaches hold fish. Bream to 1kg or so and whiting to 43cm have been captured and are good sport on the light tackle, not bad on the plate either. Better baits to use include pipis, fresh prawns and live beachworms. North Tura, Tura Main, and Haycock beaches are the picks. There’s plenty of salmon around. At times they’re thick and play havoc on light gear. If you target them on paternoster rigs, you’re in for some fun. I expect a few mulloway and gummy sharks to be caught for those who have a go.

Craig ‘Hendo’ Henderson with a thumping whiting taken on a plastic. This fish was released. Fishing the evening flooding tides into the nights leading up to the full moon should pay rewards. North Tura is a hotspot for mulloway. The rock-hoppers are still getting smoked by kings off Tura Head, but not like previous months. Being there at first light has been the key to getting a bite with all methods getting results at times. I’d expect to see a few smaller kings turn up too. November usually sees bonito and the odd striped

tuna as well. All these speedsters can be targeted with spinning shiners or whole pilchards on ganged hooks. If all else fails, a few solid sambos should keep you interested in between other species. There’s still some good bread and butter species like bream, drummer and luderick there for the taking. Fishing the washes at Short Point with fresh cunjevoi or prawns should see tasty fillets for the pan.

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Reefies set to rev up BATEMANS BAY

Anthony Stokman

The summer weather is here, that’s for sure. It hasn’t really disappeared. We had one of the mildest winters – while snow and rain dumped everywhere else, we were sunbaking. Another thing

that didn’t disappear was the odd marlin. The water seemed warm enough and there was plenty of bait to keep them here. We’ll soon see over the next year or two what effects the super trawler has on our bait population. We expect to have very bad side effects and won’t be seeing marlin







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in summer, let alone winter. At this stage, it’s only the odd marlin and with the water being warm, we’re still yet to see the East Australian current do its thing and inject a heap of warm blue cobalt water into our area. When this happens, the marlin bite is in full swing. We should expect to see a few getting around in mid to late December out wide, although it doesn’t look fantastic. There’s still the chance of tuna. A nice yellowfin was caught off Tuross a week ago and shows there still is a chance. Spring summer usually sees smaller yellowfin schools, albacore and stripey tuna. If we don’t have any luck on the tuna, and the currents are favourable, then it’s time for some electric reel deep dropping. Now’s a good time of the year with some good windows in between the wind. As summer kicks in, you’ll get consistent northeasterlies that are up early at times. Shimano have a new electric reel on the market that has replaced the successful Plays 9000. The new one is called the Forcemaster and the benefits of this reel are a bigger screen that can be seen further away, they’re narrower, quieter and they hold more

Naite Turner fished for snapper with his dad and caught this beaut. braid. I found you can get 1200-1300m of 80lb braid on them. They are definitely the electric reel of choice. Closer to shore on the reefs, boaters are having success on snapper. There are some good schools of snapper moving around our parts and it’s just a matter of finding them. They seem to be all up and down the coast and usually it’s the depth that becomes the factor. We’ve been getting them from 10m of water to 35m, 60-80m at times. At first light during dawn, I like combing the shallows and moving from headland to headland, bay to bay, peppering these areas with soft plastics. As the sun starts to rise, I’ll move out a bit deeper in depths of around 10-30m. Plastics are still the lure of choice with slightly larger weighted jigheads. These depths are also ideal to start some vertical jigging on micro jigs. Micro jigs of 30-60g on really light outfits are the most exciting way to fish of late. If you can get snapper using these setups, you’ll have a ball. During November you get some nice big schools of snapper out in the deeper waters and 60-80g micro jigs are ideal in these depths. Go into your Compleat Angler and grab a micro jig stick matched with a 40005000 spin reel and spool it up with 20lb braid. Use a 10lb leader if the fish are shy and go up to 15lb or 20lb leader if you get busted off. The micro jigs themselves are coming out of every company now and there are a lot on the market. We have heaps of fun in the shop playing around with them and inventing new versions. There’s many different assist hooks out there and lots of flash and bits and pieces you can use to try and attract a bite. Don’t be shy in being creative. Off the stones and beaches, consistent catches of salmon and drummer have kept everyone satisfied from these areas. Another species

that has been targeted with great success has been the grouper. Jarrod Ward caught a stonker blue of late and quite a lot of our customers have been successful with brown grouper on the chew. Targeting these guys requires a solid reliable rod with heavy leader, a small but strong hook and a crab dancing on it. If you don’t have this setup and no dancing crab, you may not see one for a while. Even with all that, there’s still a chance he’ll reef you. On the beaches we should see whiting get around taking worms and nippers. Tailor seem a bit scarce, but salmon have made up for the lack of them. We should start seeing tailor action build in the estuaries, as the bait is starting to build there. With bait and tailor comes predators. Now is a good time of year to chase a daytime mulloway on the lures before the holiday traffic hits the estuaries. Use a nice 4-8kg 7ft rod with a 40005000 reel, spooled with 20lb

braid and 20-30lb leader, casting a 100mm plastic to a 20-30g weighted vibe, hard or soft. Mulloway seem to fancy vibration and rattle, so hardbody vibes with a rattle will get them fired up! Further upstream, bass are coming on and there’s been a fair bit of water in the outer regions. You can probably find bass pretty much everywhere. Black and purple spinnerbaits are still our number one choice and this year, we should see some crazy surface action with some of the new surface lures being thrown at them. There are frogs, mice, lizard heads and all kinds of hardbodied lures being made today. Come in to Compleat Angler to check out all the new season stock that’s just arrived! • For more up-to-the-minute 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).

Jarrod Ward with his blue grouper caught off the stones – this beast is just under 10kg.

Race season or fishing season Darren Redman

The spring racing carnival in Victoria hosting the Melbourne Cup is not to everyone’s liking, so what do anglers do when they don’t want to go to the races? Well, they go to Bermagui for the start of the game fishing season.

and beyond, with most fish coming from out over the Continental Shelf through to the Canyons. It helps if you can work with other boats, as often one may find a school of fish and other boats coming into the area will help keep the fish up on the chew. With water temperatures now on the increase, don’t be surprised to see the odd marlin starting to show.

be encountered with recent good captures of morwong, snapper, ocean perch and some lovely Tassie trumpeter. This is also the time of year for big tiger flathead and you won’t get them bigger than on the edge of the Twelve Mile Reef. It may be hard fishing out there, but the results are worth it. Thankfully those tigers don’t reside just around

Berleying the shallows often offers surprises like this ray sniffing the berley bucket. With holidays on offer Victorians have ventured to Bermagui Melbourne Cup weekend for many decades now, so what can they expect to catch? Already there is plenty on offer in small to medium tuna – albacore, yellowfin, striped and the occasional big-eye tuna. Most of these are being taken on the troll with diving, swimming lures providing most success. Using these in conjunction with skirted lures will often see the divers taken first, resulting in other fish from the school then reacting to the skirts. The areas to target are from the Six Mile Reef

When rigging lures, make sure your hardware is sufficient to handle an early season beaky. I’ve always stated that where there is tuna there are sharks, hammerheads, whalers and especially makos. The makos are out there in numbers and a well-laid berley trail of tuna should attract one to your vessel. Do this where the tuna are concentrating for the best results. The Twelve Mile Reef may be considered, and gives you the option of some reef fishing while you wait for the big one to come along. Fishing on the Twelve Mile you can expect most of your common reef fish to

the Twelve Mile, these fish can be found in closer around the many reefs that surround Bermagui, in as close as 30m water depth. Most medium sized fish will be taken from water depths of around 50m close to the reefs where you can still encounter those other reef fish. Closer to shore, sand flatties will prevail out from most beaches and provide tasty bags for anglers, with the added bonus of a gummy shark thrown in for good measure. There’s plenty to be had on shore with the estuaries in full swing. This is the result of good rains last season that left our lakes and rivers open

to the ocean. Fish stocks have increased, as have the prawns. Not only are the fish feasting on these succulent crustaceans, so are humans! There’s plenty to be found in the lakes surrounding Bermagui. The entrance to Wallaga Lake is very wide at present, where nice mulloway have entered giving anglers chasing flathead with lures a pleasant surprise. Both Wallaga and the Bermagui River have good stocks of luderick at present, which are hanging around both bridges, along the rock walls and around the sea grass beds over the flats in the upper reaches of the systems. There’s plenty of the other estuary species to be found as well around the entrances or adjacent beaches and rocks. Salmon are prolific with some nice tailor mixing in. We should also see other small pelagics travelling the coast in the form of bonito, kingfish or frigate mackerel, which are in good numbers up at Montague Island. Brogo Dam is in full swing – the ongoing stocking program of the Far South Coast Bass Stocking



When striped tuna start to show you can be sure big fish will follow. Association provide excellent angling within the dam. Sizes are mixed with the average around 30cm and the odd thumper over 40cm. There

are also lovely fish in the river below the dam, but there is now a no fish zone for the immediate 300m below the wall.

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Action on the wharf TATHRA

Darren Redman

Tathra Wharf has long been a favourite structure from which anglers can fish for a variety of different species. It’s a meeting place. As a kid, it was a great venture to catch up with mates, fish

and we should see more in the future, along with great kingfish that harassed pilchard schools. These are still the regulars to be had here with slimy mackerel, yellowtail or silver trevally to keep the kids entertained, while some nice luderick are being taken close to the stones. A lot of those species mentioned are also being encountered off the

probably the best month of the year to target them and they’re in pretty good numbers. However, early starts are in order to beat the spring winds. Whether you fish north or south off Tathra, it’s all about depth and structure. Tigers will hang near reef. Start up on the reef, catch some nice morwong, snapper or other reef fish to start with

Trevally are a popular species, from the ocean and the estuaries.

Sweetwater kayak fishing is popular, and there’s plenty on offer in the Tathra area. and do what young people do, creating fond memories. Last season saw plenty of the small pelagics like bonito or frigate mackerel captured from the pier. This is just starting to happen

rocks, with the added bonus of some big drummer or blue groper tossed in. For those who like to grace the table with tasty fish fillets, its tiger time offshore – flatties, that is. This is

and then drift onto the gravelly sand that tigers prefer – this should see constant action throughout the session. Depth is important, as there seems to be a pecking order with these fish. In the 30-40m mark,

you’re likely to encounter smaller fish. As you go wider to depths of around 100-140m, they’re much larger. Even though it’s hard work in the deep, there are added bonuses of other reef fish like those big tasty Tassie trumpeters. Out on the deep blue, tuna are starting to show in numbers with stripies being the most prolific. There are albacore around, along with a few yellowfin – most are out over the Continental Shelf. Trolling is the preferred method with a mix of skirted or swimming lures working best. With the water warming, it won’t be long before we see marlin starting to show. Remember, where there

are tuna there are sharks, especially makos. A well laid berley trail consisting of tuna should see one of these lovely gamefish attached to a line. Back on shore, the estuaries are the highlight. The Bega River is in full swing from top to bottom. This is largely due to the amount of food in the system and those surrounding Tathra. As a result of last season’s massive rains, prawn stocks were able to come in from the ocean and much to our delight, this provides good prawning and good fishing too. In the upper reaches where the fresh meets the salt, bass are fired up. With many good holes created, there are

plenty of options for anglers. You’re likely to find some nice black bream here, which make a perfect target for those wishing to sight cast to their pray. Big bully mullet exist here too, but prove elusive for those who pursue them. A small wriggling plastic may be the answer to obtaining a strike. Throughout the rest of the river, all species are in full swing and providing plenty of action. If it’s a lure, bait or fly you like to fish, there’s something happening for all. If you want some serious fishing, get up early, catch some live prawns, fish them on daylight and enjoy the experience.

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Warm up for a great fishy challenge on the cast MALLACOOTA

Kevin Gleed

The town is quietest over the winter months and with the amount of rain we have had, you can understand why. Most visitors and holidaymakers are waiting for the weather to improve before heading to Mallacoota for a holiday, but with spring here and summer around the corner, it won’t be long untilthe town livens up. The offshore water temperature is around 15.5°C. The fishing won’t really fire up until the water warms a few more degrees and the local fishers are aware of that. Once the water warms, everyone will be out on the water trying their luck among the fish. Currently, those who have tried have done it hard with only a few good-sized gummy sharks caught. If you are heading

offshore from the harbour, you will need to be familiar with the shifting sand. On the lower tide, it is surprising how shallow it can actually be. Pick your day carefully and allow for waves breaking across the front of the entrance. Those fishing in the harbour and surrounding rocks have been getting good catches of yellowfin bream and silver trevally. The odd King George whiting has also been caught. Fresh prawns and pipis have been the choice of bait for most anglers. And don’t be surprised to catch a black bream or dusky flathead either – a good fresh really moves the fish. Reports have shown that salmon have been caught from the breakwall and gutters on local beaches with lures or bait – it’s just a matter of making sure your offering is in front of the fish. After the recent rains, salmon have been caught on the incoming tide in

Harrisons Channel. The salmon were further up the system, but muddier water chased them back to the ocean. The back of Goodwin Sands has been fishing well with plenty of baitfish about. Finding the schools will put you amongst the yellowfin bream and silver trevally. Chopper tailor are annoying, as they steal lures and chew up soft plastics. On the upside, if they’re about, you’re in the right area. Good fish have been caught in the Narrows. Bream, flathead and a few estuary perch are in after rain. The Narrows is often the spot to fish, as it’s a travelling lane – fish move from the Top Lake to the Bottom Lake. Good fishing has been had upstream above Gypsy Point with black bream spawning. They can be a real challenge – some days biting, other days near impossible.

Decent-sized tailor have been terrorising the bait schools.

Fishing will get even better at Eden this month EDEN

getting out there and chasing these fish. The full moon gets the tide moving, which is the best time to chase kingies anywhere from South Head down to Mowarry Point. Whether trolling lures, live baiting or jigging, you need to keep an eye on the sounder. Once fish are found, you can then work out the best way to catch them. Keep an eye out for whales that are migrating at the moment. Some have been spotted very close to shore. Salmon are still



L LY . S N A P P E R






E . BR



After a cold wet winter it’s starting to warm up. With spring here and summer around the corner, more visitors are heading to the far south coast. It’s a great time to be here, before the town gets real busy over the Christmas holidays. The offshore water temperature is warming up around 18°C, a lot warmer than Mallacoota to the south. With the warmer water, the fishing is starting to pick up. Good catches of tiger and sand flathead from between the Pinnicles and Haycock Point have been had, with good size snapper still caught on the inshore reefs. Morwong, leatherjackets and nannygai are also being caught on the inshore reefs. Yellowtail kingfish are about, and it’s worth


Kevin Gleed

on the local beaches with sand whiting and yellowfin bream being caught on beach worms on the rising tide. Dusk or dawn tides are the most productive. With the amount of salmon around, you can expect to encounter them in local estuaries as they move in and out with the tide, terrorising bait schools and anything else they come across. Fishing from the rocky headlands has been good for luderick and big drummer. More and more people are

getting into this style of fishing and the Eden area has some productive spots for it. The local estuaries are starting to fire up with the warm water. Dusky flathead are on the go with some good black bream further upstream. The fishing will only improve over the coming months. In the fresh at the top of the rivers, bass fishing is coming alive. Remember, this is a catch and release fishery, as they are too valuable to only catch once.








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Promoting a responsible fishery


Stefan Sawynok

Anyone who’s had a chance to visit the wild Pacific North West will be able to tell you there’s some spectacular fishing to be had. I recently had the opportunity to do some digging under the hood of the Washington State fishery, as a part of a trip to the US presenting at a conference in San Diego. First of all, I’ll confess that everything I knew about Washington State came from watching the 90’s TV series Twin Peaks. That includes the

lessons from the trip, which I’ll share. Rather than my usual technical detail, I’ll tell the story of the fishery through the eyes of people encountered. BILL OSBORN Bill is the neighbour of the folks I was staying with, Rick and Amy Moyer. Rick is a Radio DJ/Musician who I worked with on a yearlong audio book project, a few years back. Bill is an ex-teacher in his eighties and started work at the local high school in 1968. He’s a serious guy and tells it how it is, so you always know where you stand. I had a blast getting the guided tour of his tackle box, including a full range of techniques. Bill was an early

Steve Morgan in action doing interviews at the ABT Queensland Open. fact that fishing for salmon comes with the risk of finding dead teens, that coffee is amazing, and Washington State is where cherry pies go to die. I can confirm that the latter two are true. I found an abandoned pumping station for a nuclear power plant while on the water, but fortunately no bodies. The other thing I learned from Twin Peaks is that the people are hospitable to a fault. This is also true. People everywhere bent over backward. Washington State is blessed with bountiful natural resources and beauty, and the people seem to reflect the generosity of the natural world. Being a fishing nerd with only a few days to work, I wanted to learn as much about the fishery as I could from all perspectives. I learned a massive amount in four days, thanks to the locals who each shared their perspective. Like all fisheries, the Washington Salmon and Trout Fishery has its share of conflicts. Much of the eastern seaboard of Australia faces similar clashes, and I wanted knowledge about those battles to bring back with me. There were a bunch of 62


advocate and YouTuber for a technique he called ‘twitching’ – a micro-jigging technique using some brightly coloured furry tailed jigs. I can’t wait to try out some twitching here. Bill gave me a tour of the upper parts of the Chehalis River on his custom made jet boat. The first thing I’ll say is that Bill has a fishing beast. The 150 jet motor on a broad base just flies and can go over as little as 6” of water. The area we went through allowed for a mix of bank and boat fishing. When the salmon run is on, there’ll be fishers lined up. On that front, the salmon fishery is not for those that like their space. Once the fish are in the rivers get very crowded, especially on the weekends. That’s part of the reason for the design of Bills boat; he can get into places that are impossible for traditional craft and so manages to find the fish away from crowds. Locals use a variety of innovative techniques to keep their spot both on land and on the river. Having tasted the local product, I can tell you there are good reasons to stand in line. Tasmanian Salmon is tasteless by comparison. I could spend days

listening to Bill. He has that old school wisdom that seems to be lost in the modern technological world, and he’s forgotten more about fishing than I’ll ever know. Many of the techniques we use in Australia apply equally well – spoons, hardbodies, jigs and soft plastics. The trick is getting the right lure into the right part of the water column. The fish are looking for the sign of fresh water flows that will enable their passing into the spawning pools. They tend to congregate in groups as the tide recedes, allowing the switched on fisher to land a bag. From Bill’s perspective, the main conflict was with the white gillnetters who group up with as many as 30-40 boats in the town reaches during the salmon run. I spent a good hour watching the early season hopefuls in action. There’s no doubt that once the season gets into full swing, there isn’t a lot of space for a fish to make it through. The local netters offload in the centre of town, so it’s easy enough to watch the catch coming in. You can see Bill in action on YouTube on the Bill Osborn channel. DINO BLACKBURN There seems to be a connection between food and meeting people in Washington State. I met Dino by chance as we stopped off to try out razor clams, a local delicacy which rivals the giant oysters from nearby Raymond. Their Razor clams are so big that when crumbed, you could mistake them for a piece of fish. We picked up the clams at a roadside diner, Dino’s Pizza and Grill, though we weren’t expecting him to be there. Dino is a Native American fisher from the Chehalis tribe. As I learned, there’s a lot of politics between tribes and the white community, so it wasn’t all that surprising when he was reluctant at times to answer a nosy Australian. Dino’s a very impressive man – as well as the diner, he works as a commercial gillnetter. In Washington State, the native tribal fishers have a 50% quota of all species, so you’d expect tensions to be high. If my stay was longer, I would’ve snagged a trip out with him. All the salmon that Dino takes go to processing facilities owned by the Quinault tribe. The produce from that plant is shipped all around the world. I found it hard to fault this, as here was an example of local employment. The tribes employ their scientists and hatcheries and take a pretty strict approach to the fishery. Lake Quinault was closed to fishing when I was there by the Quinault Tribe due to concerns over fish stocks. It’s not necessarily a popular stance, but it shows a great communal concern for the fishery.

The beautiful Chehalis River. The conflicts Dino reported were mainly with recreational fishers who took exception to his fishing when he was on the water. KEVIN MARKS I managed a trip to the Westport fish markets on the last day of the season. Had I been a day later, all the stores would have shut down for the coming winter. Rick wanted to introduce me to Dungeness crab – and if it sounds like all I did was eat, you’d be right. We went out onto the local piers where all the commercial fishers were cleaning up, to a small floating shop called Seafood Connections. Kevin was working away outside the store shovelling ice into large crates on a small barge that he used to ferry around the stock. The crates were stocked with some late season albacore and salmon, with a tub full of live Dungeness just behind. All the fish were in immaculate condition – no doubt the low 20s “summer” weather helps. I chatted to Kevin who picked up right away I was Australian. Kevin opened the store selling his father’s fish during lean times for the family farm and it’s grown into a very successful business. Kevin’s approach of selling direct off the boat means the seafood is very fresh, and I can personally attest that it’s the highest quality. There’s no way I would want to buy from the markets after trying out the Dungeness crab fresh from the boat. I’d love Kevin to pack up his floating store and bring it to our backyard, as I think he has the kind of know-how and problem solving I’d like to see more of in our commercial fishers. He hasn’t overcapitalized the retail side of things, his store is small and simple, yet stocked with anything you could want in local seafood. He also runs a tuna canning operation, which sells across the US. In terms of conflicts, Kevin considered his main concern being the tribal fishers who get an automatic quota of 50% of the Dungeness crab, a very profitable product.

CURT HOLT The last story of Washington Fishery came from Curt. Curt has worked in many areas of the fishery including for tribes, so he was incredibly knowledgeable about the data, which brought out my inner fishing nerd, and also the politics and conflicts between the groups. Curt filled in the gaps in my understanding about the role that hatcheries play. In the salmon fishery hatcheries play a very important role, where fish are spawned and reared before being released into the wild. Hatchery fish are fin clipped, so they’re easily identified in the wild. I was fascinated to discover that many of the hatchery reared fish return to the hatchery during spawning. Some still end up in the wild, and that presents a challenge in removing those fish. Curt’s view of the fishery was somewhat different to any of the groups I’d talked to before. The proportion of fish that make it back to the hatchery, for example, is pretty high, and there’s space for the recreational fishers to take more fish if they were more efficient in their methods. Curt highlighted the 80-20 rule, which I have discussed in an earlier article. I found it hilarious to hear it from the other side of the table. Curt cheekily suggested that if more recreational fishers could actually catch fish, then less of the hatchery fish would make it through. I just nodded my head. Speaking as one of the 80%, I knew any protest would be a lie. LESSONS FROM WASHINGTON Our perspectives are based on experience, how many fish we think there are and how many the other fishers are taking. I’m not going to judge or take sides – it would be the height of arrogance for me to tell them how to run things. From the numbers Curt showed me, which I have no reason to doubt, the data tells its own story. I didn’t get to look at the availability of information. How transparent

is the fishery? The second lesson I took away was the value of actually doing something with the fish commercial fishers catch. Fishers like Dino and Mark are adding value to their community and play a direct role in creating employment. Both own stores and do good things. I’d be the first to stand in line to defend them and their right to operate. There’s a difference between that and those who just sell into the wholesale market. Granted, the wholesale market also plays a role, but it doesn’t translate into the same sort of community roots unless there’s additional processing. Here I find my biggest criticism of the local inshore fisheries in Australia. There’s been little to no effort to add value to the product and the recreational sector make the point that they are willing to pay more to access those fish. The Queensland average price for most species outside of the big sellers is around $4.30 per kilo (ABARES). That is not great value. I don’t agree that getting rid of gillnetters is the answer. Mark and Dino demonstrate that it can work. Unless they’re willing to take risks and create that value, gillnetters should expect continued community pressure. The last lesson was in how dependant the salmon fishery is on human intervention. The wild fishery can’t sustain the overall fishing pressure and without intervention, fishing might be a lot more difficult. The tensions that are there could get a lot more severe with significant job losses. I can’t imagine the devastating impact on the locals, if the hatcheries could not operate for a few years. I guess it shows that we as fishers have a role in taking responsibility for our fishery collectively, no matter where we come from. I get the conflicts, but asking the government to play umpire is not the best answer in the long run. If we want sustainable fisheries, it’s us that should have the biggest say, not the

government. Those not willing to play a role in a more responsible fishery, regardless of which part of fishing they come from, should not expect their rights to be protected. They will be the last people I stand up for. FISHING AS A SPECTATOR SPORT – HOW TO BUILD AN AUDIENCE I will admit to being a sports tragic. I’m that guy that trolls Cricinfo for stats on my favourite players and follows the AFL and NRL websites in the off-season. If there’s a real sports event, preferably with online coverage – I’m there. Back in the late 2000s, I fished in the Rocky Barra Bounty, embarrassingly in the times when the fishing was pretty good. I managed three fish in two events and having climbed those stratospheric heights, decided to retire on top. You know, cash in on the post-retirement book deals and movie rights. The next year, I joined the work crew. The only opening seemed to be on the social media side, so I gave it a whirl. Having grown up with an endless stream of Channel 9 and Channel 7 commentaries, with the delusion of being the next Bill Lawry in all his hyperbolic glory, I launched into a constant stream of Facebook posts. At the time, the idea of live commentary was new for the event, so there wasn’t much to talk about. I learned as all commenters do, in the gaps, a steady stream of anecdotes and other rubbish gets you through. To my surprise, people started following and joining in, and not just fishing tragics. In that first year, more women commented than men. In fact, when I looked at the

This year I am aiming for an audience around the 100,000 mark. Last year we got to 70,000, so it’s within reach. In the spirit of sharing, here are some things that I have learned over the years. WHY BUILD AN AUDIENCE? Cutting to the chase, I built an audience because I loved doing commentary and interacting with the public. It helps get sponsors excited. I learned in my first year to engage young women directly and help them join the fun. In general, if a community has a fishing positive attitude, then it’s better for local stores and the community. Positive images in the community are vital to combat negative images put around by other groups. That’s why it’s good for sponsors to build a wider audience. If fishing is seen to be a good and healthy thing, then more people will be able to buy the products. If you wish to engage an audience for your event, you can’t just talk about the things you’re interested in. If you’re writing for a magazine where the audience is straightforward – the readers are similar to the writers with similar interests, the work in cultivating the audience has been done. Writers just need to insert juicy content to grab attention. With a fishing event, you have to cultivate an audience. When it comes down to it, people don’t all respond to the same things. Some people like me track scores, some speculate on what’s going to happen, others follow personalities, or like a good joke, and others want recognition themselves. If you’re going to take fishing to a wider audience, you can’t just ‘insert content for

It’s not just the fish that get attention. analytics, the audience was full of younger women. It was a 50/50 split. That year we reached around 24,000 people including viewers from Poland, Afghanistan, and Thailand – not places I associate with fishing. When I repeated the dose the year after, we achieved a much bigger audience. It wasn’t just a fluke. There’s a lot more interest in fishing than fishers realize.

fishers here’. You need to put yourself in the place of the audience and look at the event on the outside. Imagine you have a camera following the action. What are you going to share? There’s action, but think about what you remember from a good game of footy. Do you remember the big plays or the big stink? I watched the Giants vs. Bulldogs in the AFL last weekend and being a Giants

fan, it was the goal miss at the end – that and the fact Channel 7 interviewed nobody from the Giants after the game. Conflict and drama – the fun gets our attention. If all you focus in on is action, you’ll only cultivate a small audience that likes that sort of thing. WHAT IS YOUR SELLING POINT? The Rocky Barra Bounty has a great tradition and community focus. Two core values really help in building a wider audience. First and foremost, the event was created to promote Rockhampton as a fishing destination. Second, the data collected in the Bounty is used every year to help assess the state of the fishery and contributes to stock forecasts for the next year. These two things make it easy to connect with the community. The result of the Bounty is important. If it’s a good result, the whole community benefits. If catch rates are down as they have been the last couple of years, it means things aren’t going so well. If they are going up, it means good times are coming. A few years back there was a bunch of survey work done in the Rockhampton community relating to another issue – the health of the river. Around 80% of the community said that they associate healthy fish stocks with a healthy river. That survey included a lot of the non-fishing public – a key point not to be ignored. The community wants healthy waterways, because they know that development has degraded many waterways over the years. The fact there’s a connection between fish stocks and health of the waterway is something most fishers would see as a good thing. For this reason, competitions are increasingly important for monitoring the health of fish stocks. Here’s a desirable, community accepted selling point. Each event has its selling points, but I suspect most are focused on attracting competitors, not an audience. What attracts the audience will be different, and there’s your first challenge. COMPETITORS VERSES THE AUDIENCE I’ve had to fight many battles with the competitors in the past five years, some I’ve won, some I’ve lost spectacularly. In general, competitors are after whatever’s in their best interests. Things like not knowing the real score until the end, not knowing where they fished are things competitors like. Competitors like to be secretive. Sometimes what the competitors want isn’t in their best interests. Imagine if there was a rule of no television coverage for an AFL or NRL final after half time and no reporting of the score until the trophies are handed out. The television audience would die in an

instant. It would be suicide by hashtag. The audience wants to be part of the action – the closer to the final call, the more they want to know. Last year on the last day, our live scoreboard website was crashing all the time. We couldn’t even update it because of how many people were trying to access it. I’ve had to shell out the clams for some serious upgrades, because this year we plan for

and interviewing is not new, it wasn’t until I saw Steve in action that I realized just what can be done. I’ve a lot of work to do to match him. WHY WE BUILT AN APP Moving into a more content-driven world requires a change of thinking. You need the content and a constant feed of it to make it work. An app needs that. Last year’s Bounty was the breaking point for me. The last

possible and getting to know them is a good idea. Share those little details that keep the audience interested. LIVE COMMENTARY I’m one of the few people that I know who does live commentary for an event. I don’t have a lot of notes to compare and I don’t know that I’m even aware of my own process. I post whatever I can to provoke a response, sometimes talking about the

Kevin at Seafood Connections. a much bigger audience. I’m dead against hiding the scores, and the competitors should be as well. While, in their heads, it might give them some advantage. The reality is the fish are either there, and you get them, or you don’t. Hiding the scores won’t change a damn thing, but knowing might just make you work that much harder to get across the line. Fishing is the only sport I can think of that goes out of its way to allow competitors to hide their scores, and it suffers for it in gaining an audience. THE MOST POPULAR ANGLERS We often have a high school vision of popularity, that it’s the cool kids that people follow. It doesn’t work like that at all. The most popular anglers aren’t the ‘best’. I’m not trying to be harsh and I respect the skills of the best. I’ll happily talk them up, but the thing that makes them the best is often something that makes them less accessible to a wider audience. In my experience, the most popular fishers are the ones with personality. It doesn’t matter how that comes out. I love the grumpy, trash-posting guys as much as the bright personality. It takes all types to tell a story. You need heroes and you need villains. My favourite team in the Bounty is the Beer and Bundy Boys. They’re serious fishers who excel at not taking themselves too seriously. They have a fanatical family cheer squad. It’s like having a team of ten instead of a team of two. As a rule, shining a light on as many of your competitors as

action, sometimes posting photos. Other times it’s just posting something completely irrelevant. If I’m getting likes on posts and comments, I’m doing the right thing. WEIGH-INS The Barra Bounty doesn’t have a weigh-in. I know that weigh-ins have been a staple of fishing competitions for a long time, but as spectacles, weigh-ins just don’t cut it. They work in the Bass series in the US, but they have some high profile fishers with household names. The real purpose of most weigh-ins is to allow anglers to connect and talk postevent. There will be different views out there on how best to do that. In the professional circuit, the move to post-event interviews and media rather than an official weigh-in will become the go-to and fishing will be better for it. Sportfishing will evolve to become all about content. CONDUCTING INTERVIEWS Video is a big thing and live streaming is available to the masses. Where it was once an expensive exercise to share the video of competitors with the world, it’s much easier to do now. All you need is an iPhone and a good data plan. It’s a good idea to add a quality microphone. There’s a whole bunch of streaming services out there. Each targets a different audience, so it pays to research the one that will fit your needs. I have Steve Morgan to thank for the interviewing side of things. While I have been a podcaster for nearly ten years

day was fast paced and we had a huge number of fish reported at the last moment. The team was pushed as we had to get all the data in, end of event movie done and scoreboard finalized. We had more fish reported in the last hour than we did on the first day. There had to be a better way. If I’d known a better way would consume the next year, all my design and software engineering skills and push the finances to the limit, I might have thought twice. In the end, it was the right decision. We’ve just run our very first event with the ABT Bream Queensland Open, and overall the app performed well and delivered what we expected. Most importantly, come 1pm and rods down, we knew the scores. In this case, results were determined on the live weigh-in, but the principle was confirmed. The app delivers better content, leaves the event manager in control and saves time. The full edition of the app will be available after the Barra Bounty with some great goodies to come in the months ahead, now that we have the core done. This Barra Bounty, I decided to push the envelope and team up with the biggest YouTuber in fishing – Darcie Arahill. She’ll be fishing the event from Florida with her catches going on the scoreboard. She will be promoting the event live in the US, while fishing in the US. Hopefully, we hit our mark for viewers. Content is where it’s at. There’s a ton of innovation to come. Sportfishing can only get more exciting from here. NOVEMBER 2016


Golden Perch

Spring time yellowbelly NSWFM

Chris Frith

Spring is undoubtedly my favourite time to hit the water in search of golden perch. I cannot help but feel enshrouded in a buzz of anticipation as the final days of winter count down. With the

transcends through the entire food chain, from baitfish and yabbies to lizards and beetles. Ultimately, the exothermic yellowbelly thrive in these conditions as they can warm up and feast on the buffet of tasty morsels. Furthermore, for those who fish highly pressured waterways such as Windamere Dam, the early

progress quickly, with often only a three week window for a particular bite. Early September will see yellowbelly disperse out to sunny banks to warm up. I focus on banks with rock for radiating warmth, or weed for a concentrated bait source. In the past year, dams that have been long void

Spring is your best opportunity to tangle with trophy sized golden perch. Beating the late season angling pressure is key for larger specimens.

Blades are a hard option to beat in September. This chunky yellowbelly chowed down on an Atomic 1/4oz offering. beautiful weather that spring entails, combined with active, spawn mode yellowbelly and the fact that cod are off limits, the decision to actively target goldens is an easy one. With recent large scale rain events across inland NSW, this spring is set to be memberable. WHAT MAKES SPRING SO GOOD? September through to November offers the best yellowbelly bites of the year for a number of reasons. The fish have undergone winter hibernation and are ready to feed up on the abundant food on offer, warming weather and increased sunlight

spring periods will produce far more fish, particularly trophy specimens, as the winter break is a large window in which the fish see very few lures and associated pressure like sonar pings and boat noise. As spring progresses through October and November, golden perch will congregate in large numbers to spawn. This occurs in a number of areas on a waterway – if you’re prepared to suss out the local spawn areas, it can provide an unforgettable session. WHERE, WHEN AND WHAT TO USE Being a transitional season, the tactics I employ

of weed such as Keepit and Copeton have established impressive weed beds and I’m confident they’ll produce some terrific fishing come spring. In contrast to the traditional freshwater bite, times of early morning and late afternoon, sun-bathing yellowbelly will often become more active during the day where the natural warmth will boost their metabolism. Bladed lures are an absolute must for September. Their small profile and tight vibration make them irresistible to fish that aren’t keen on hunting down large lures. I tend to go small, with the 1/4oz Atomic

Metalz being my mainstay. Natural to dark patterns are ideal, such as muddy prawn or purple knight. When fishing blades, a slow retrieve is paramount; hop the bottom, allow the blade to rest for a few seconds between lifts and see a good percentage of catches take the lure while lying motionless. It sounds ridiculous, but works a treat! In addition to blades, lightly weighted plastics such as Atomic Prongs and 2.5” paddle-tails in avocado and camo tiger will draw some good attention.

During this period, bites may be tentative and require a bit of finesse to reduce pulling hooks. I run 8lb main and leader on a 2-6lb Samurai Reaction spin stick, which is soft enough to prevent losing fish. As the season progresses to more consistent warm days, the activity of yellowbelly will increase, as they scout the local waterways for potential breeding partners and areas to school up for spawn. With increased activity comes a greater nutritional demand, so they’ll be looking for more filling meals.

Lipless crankbaits come into their own during this period. They’re well suited to covering water while searching for schools, can be used right through the water column and are an effective enticement for goldens. Between 50-70mm lipless cranks are ideal. I opt for the Atomic Hardz Vibes due to their ability to be worked at a dead slow retrieve and still produce a meandering action. When looking for schools, I focus on prominent points in dams, or large, deep pools in rivers.

They’re not all giants, but catching large volumes of fish out of spawning schools can make for a memorable session.

Recent rain events across inland NSW will hold the waterways in good stead for the upcoming fishing season. 64


Some of my go-to spring lures. Starting with my early season picks to the left, and finishing with my late season lollies.

Golden Perch A quality depth sounder can adequately show schooled fish. Spot hopping between likely looking areas is also an effective measure. Spawning yellowbelly are at their most aggressive and will respond to any number of lures you put in front of them. Trying to imitate a small yellowbelly is always a good option- nothing fires up buck goldens like a smaller fish in his territory, so don’t be afraid to throw

large lures such as Megabass Vibration-X Ultras. It can pay to up the artillery when the big, aggressive fish are active. I trade in the light gear for a 6-12lb Samurai Refraction and fish up to 17lb main and leader. The spawn bite can continue for a number of months into summer. The main issue that will lead to poorer results from fishing schools is the pressure from other anglers, particularly when fishing popular holes.

It always pays to spend a bit of time looking for back-up spawn areas, as they can be a saving grace when the popular spots stop producing. Late spring can be challenging at times, especially when the hot days start to roll through. When water temperatures begin to creep towards 30°C, it pays to focus on deeper water. Fish will remain schooled up into summer, so moving into deeper water off previous

Murray cod are an inevitable by-catch during spring. If possible, try to release any cod without removing them from the water, to better ensure a successful spawn.

As the weather warms up, the yellas feed up. Check out the girth on this slab.

spawn areas is a simple way of tracking fish. Deeper schools can be tricky, as many lures aren’t suited to reaching 25m+ depths. My preferred technique is hopping 60mm Semi-Hardz Vibs through these schools. Soft vibes are a natural presentation that produce a lifelike, fleeing baitfish action when hopped. Golden perch rarely school up midwater – work on maintaining bottom contact during the retrieve process. Deep water calls

for dark colours such as patterns with black or purple tones like dark shad. Alternatively, targeting standing timber with soft plastics is becoming a popular tactic in hot months. Vertically rolling 3” Plazos fat grubs on 1/4oz jigheads with a slow retrieve speed is highly reliable and will regularly draw bites when other techniques fail. An important issue to remember when fishing western waterways during spring is that Murray cod

are fully protected from September to November inclusive, with the exception of Copeton Dam. They will inevitably be encountered while targeting yellowbelly. Please be mindful to release all cod and avoid removing them from the water if possible. I hope this helps everyone have a memorable spring chasing our golden gems of the west. If I wasn’t already excited enough, I certainly am after writing this!



River flows are high MILDURA

Darcy Scherger

With river levels high with a fast flowing pool here in the Mildura region, water continues to be dirty

and makes it hard for the local lure fishers. The dirty water has managed to stay around, but there have been several good reports in some locations around Mildura with the odd fantastic golden perch.

The river was high in Mildura last month.

These fish have been caught mainly on bait, with live bait producing the goods. Live shrimp and worm cocktail has been very productive, as live yabbies have been going very well in the snaggy waters and below weirs. The Mildura Weir was pulled out late September to early October as a result of the increased river flows. The rain continued to make its way down and it should settle down and clear up for cod season come 1 December. The cod anglers want our pool to be steady and clear, but it’s a long shot. The water will have to travel for a productive cod opening. Dams and reservoirs will be quite popular in cod season, as the water tends to be clearer and more productive for lures. The acting Executive

Darcy Scherger with a solid golden perch caught at Mildura on a Jackall TN60. Director of River Management, Andrew Reynolds, mentioned in September that the weir was removed. Flows were predicted to reach about 43,000ML/day for the first time since 2012. Hopefully, these large amounts of water

flowing through the region will steady up. People can chase yellowbelly on lures with success. There have been small bursts of golden perch captured. Golden perch should become more active as water

clarity improves and the temperature increases. Jackall TN50, 60 and 70s, small Carl’s Compact Bassman Spinerbaits, small Oar-Gee, AC and Custom Crafted will be productive over the summer for solid golden perch.

Anyone’s guess this month YARRAWONGA

Tony Bennett

Either Nostradamus or that German World Cup tipping octopus would be better off writing this report. Honestly, with recent rains and surrounding areas being in flood, who knows what the fish will be doing today, tomorrow or in a week? Traditionally, the water above Majors Creek up to Bundalong

and surrounding backwaters should be your first port of call. TN60 Jackalls, hardbody lures in the 50-70mm size range or smaller profile spinnerbaits in natural colours would be my preference. If water conditions don’t clear in a hurry, a nice bunch of worms or a smaller yabbies will be unbeatable. Report wise, spring is by far the worst time of the year for any fishing action. A closed cod season and yellas that haven’t started to fire yet makes things slow. In saying that, the

one bright spot came late in the month when school holidays hit. Armed with a handful of bait and endless enthusiasm, kids hit the lake in search of some angling adventures. Young gun Joel O’Dwyer was a standout and got all others inspired. Off the back of landing some nice yellas, Joel got a fair surprise when his bunch of scrubbies ended up in the bucket mouth of a monstrous 110cm cod. A super fish and a good reward for a keen young fisho. Regardless of closed

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

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

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

Aug Sep Oct Blowering 75 84 50 Brogo 101 101 101 Burrendong 72 121 18 Burrinjuck 87 100 71 Carcoar 45 75 19 Chaffey 84 115 58 Clarrie Hall n/a n/a n/a Copeton 21 36 22 Dartmouth 54 60 63 Eucumbene 36 43 53 Glenbawn 86 89 88 Glenlyon 26 42 30

Aug Sep Oct Glennies Creek 87 87 86 Hume 74 96 47 Jindabyne 77 68 65 Keepit 31 60 17 Lostock 104 100 100 Oberon 71 85 99 Pindari 46 76 34 Split Rock 7 16 7 Tantangara 47 47 18 Toonumbar 99 100 100 Windamere 40 45 43 Wyangala 92 98 61

(All levels correct at time of going to press. Dam levels can change at any time, so please check with local authorities to ensure safe boating and fishing.) 66


season or not, this fish was always going to be released and that’s a credit to our new generation of fishers. Tanner Irvine was another to spend every minute of his holidays trying to tempt a fish or two, with countless trips to the tackle store from mum to keep the bait supply up. Tanner saw plenty of action and was rewarded on numerous occasions. Even with fish on the smaller side, it’s a great way for kids to spend their time. Cooper and Hunter Lonergan were another duo to put in plenty of effort for some nice catches. Unfortunately, Hunter did most of the watching with his turn to catch fish coming soon! For those who are keen on their tournament fishing, organisation is well under way for the 2016 Yamaha Cod Classic. The Cod Classic promises to be huge with something for everybody. Prizes include seven boating packages plus plenty more. For more information, call in and see us at Lake Mulwala Fish Camp and Ski, the official Cod Classic shop, opposite the post office in Mulwala, or find us at our Yarrawonga store located between Rivers and One Zach. For up to date fishing reports or further information call (03) 5744 1667. In closing, I’d like to send my sincere condolences to the family of a great man, Stephen Gack, killed recently in an accident on the Hume Highway. ‘Gacky’ was a passionate representative in the fishing industry

Tanner Irvine with a nice little school holiday cod. and was more than just a salesman – he was a friend. Full of energy, up for a joke and always looking to cut a deal, he will be sorely missed. • If you are visiting town, I urge you to call into Lake Mulwala Fish, Camp & Ski (opposite the post

office) in Mulwala and say G’day. We are your largest Murray cod-specific shop in Yarrawonga/ Mulwala and specialise in all things ‘green’! For any information on the upcoming events or fishing reports, give us a hoy on (03) 5744 3133.

Big rains wash slate clean



Rod Mackenzie

The almost biblical rains that have fallen across the lower half of NSW and Victoria over the past month have changed the face of a well-trod fishery. All that we have come to know and rely on has been washed away in the turbulent flows of change. Creeks and rivers now run fast with muddy flow and will do so well into the open of the cod season if the rains continue. Tricks of seasons past will be lost in these turbid flows and anglers will be forced to shift from what they know in order to put a bend in the line. The use of lure and fly will be lost

CHAMPION 198 Location: NSW

$36,000 SKEETER SX180 The Murray River has broken the banks ensuring an excellent breeding season for native fish and the promise of a good feed of yabbies.

Most spring run golden perch are in excellent condition. in the rolling mud, as will surface and soft plastics. Bait will be the mainstay of most early season angling encounters and, with a little nous, will open new doors to some excellent angling opportunities. Golden perch are easy game and bite well in the pockets of backwater on baits of shrimp and worms. Large rolling eddies with jutting timber snags will hold good numbers of well fed perch that are revelling in the heaven sent bounty of freshly washed edibles. As the water continues to warm, the bite will escalate as the breeding run peaks in the flow. Huge numbers of carp will also sweep in on the bait, as will the odd eel-tailed catfish that are now starting to make a comeback at many locations. Rigs are many, but a basic running sinker rig straight through to the hook

is simple and effective. Hook size is dictated by the bait used and sinker weight should be just enough to hold bottom. Some anglers prefer a paternoster styled rig, which is all good and well under calmer conditions. In dirty flow, the same rig sees the bait flail around in the current like a feather in the wind. It’s very hard for a fish to zero in on the exact location of the bait, especially dirty flows where last moment visual locking is taken out of the equation. The running sinker rig pins the bait in position and the fish can simply follow the scent trail up the flow and onto the bait. It’s the small things in fishing that make the big difference. I use this style of rig for all dirty water bait fishing scenarios, including giant Murray cod once the

season reopens. Along the Murray, good numbers of perch have been caught at most locations from Swan Hill through Robinvale, Wemen and beyond. It’s a seasonal bonanza as the fish feed in the dirty flows that only come with a well-timed flood. If the past is any true indication, yabbies should start to move very soon. With this event, the camp cooker will waft the delicious odour of fresh cooked yabbies in the breeze. I love these tasty crustaceans and welcome their number in the flows. Fishing will take a swing from the norm with the coming season, but the high water will bring a new flush of life and a ripper breeding season for our native fish.

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$38,000 A sizable shrimp bait for golden perch. Note the free running sinker all the way down to the hook.

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Water, water everywhere... CANBERRA

Bryan Pratt

Normally, at the opening of the trout season, we’re worried we might not have enough water in the streams and lakes to support a decent fishery. That’s not the case this year. We have an abundance of water. The rain started early in the year and has just kept on coming, to the point where they’re now talking about record annual rainfall. In addition, we have a massive mantle of snow remaining in the high country. Together with the flooded sphagnum bogs in the alpine areas, this should provide water for months to come as they melt or drain to the streams. One good indicator of the amount of rain we’ve had is Lake George. It’s supposed to be Australia’s largest natural freshwater lake, but has been dry for the past twenty years or so. Now, it’s covered by a vast mass of water and is getting deeper day by day. If this keeps up, there could be enough water to last for several years. We should consider stocking it again with golden and silver perch and Murray

browns and rainbows. Results to date suggest there are some good fish around, with some nice browns in the upper and clearer regions of the Eucumbene, Thredbo and Murrumbidgee rivers. A mix of smaller browns and rainbows are in the Tumut and Goobragandra. A few interesting-sized fish also have been seen in streams that don’t normally carry many or large fish. As they clear they could be worth a look. As always, flyfishers will have the most success, because it’s easier to manipulate a fly rather than a lure in fast and discoloured water. Nevertheless, it’s worthwhile for lure fishers to persevere if they use noisy or flashy lures such as a Celta, Mepps or Wonder Imp. We’ll have more information as the season progresses. MOUNTAIN LAKES The mountain lakes are holding good heads of water and are still rising. Fishing has been variable, with most of the fish being taken on bait from the shoreline. PowerBait, scrub worms and wood grubs have been the most effective. Most anglers have managed 1-4 fish in each session. Flyfishers have taken

The mountain lakes are worth a try for flyfishers seeking well-conditioned rainbows, like this finclipped two-year old specimen caught using Woolly Buggers and dark or green nymphs. The Burley Bash lure fishing competition for golden perch, in Lake Burley Griffin, runs for ten weeks and will test the ingenuity and skill of the contestants, as the water is still cold and discoloured. attracted the meat hunting brigade and there have been some recent incidents of which so-called anglers should be ashamed. At Good Hope the top end of the Murrumbidgee arm was crowded with bait anglers catching limit bags

of golden perch. In some instances, distressingly, they also took more than their legal allowance – sometimes twenty or thirty fish. They also took, illegally, silver perch and undersized out-of-season Murray cod. They should be ashamed of themselves. URBAN LAKES Canberra’s urban lakes have been turbid and cold for several months. Although they’re now

warming, fishing has been slow. Most of the fish caught have been taken on scrubworms or yabbies and the best locations have been Black Mountain Peninsula in Lake Burley Griffin and the top end of Yerrabi Pondage. The annual Big Burley Bash, a 10-week lure fishing contest for golden perch, has just started. It will be interesting to see just how clever our lure fishers can be.

Trollers in Eucumbene have caught some large browns and rainbows on flat line, but fared even better with lead core line, which gets the lure down to the thermocline where the fish are resting. cod that have done so well in previous years. STREAMS RUNNING HIGH All of the regional trout streams are running high and it wasn’t possible to conduct a pre-season check on fish numbers in some streams this year as we normally do. As always, we hope for the best and that there’s been sufficient natural recruitment and hatchery stocking to provide a good head of 68


an occasional fish using dark Woolly Buggers with a little silver flash tied in, or dark and green nymphs. Trolling has been slow for anglers using flat line, but those with lead core line have reported some excellent fish, including several browns over 3kg. LAKES FULL Regional reservoirs have taken in a lot of water. Wyangala filled and overtopped in August. The whole of the downstream

country is now flooded. Fishing in the lake has been good, with hordes of golden perch and some silver perch and catfish feeding around the shoreline, gorging on food washed from the soil. Burrinjuck also filled and overtopped in September. The rain activity triggered a mass movement of fish initially to the shoreline of the Main Basin, then upstream to the Murrumbidgee arm. Unfortunately, this

Most of the regional lakes have filled and overtopped, providing excellent fishing conditions at the start of summer and hopefully for months afterwards.

Lake Jindabyne trout luring JINDABYNE

Steve Williamson

Welcome to November, the last month of spring. It’s closer to summer and even Christmas isn’t far away. After what was a very cold and wet winter and early spring, I think I am looking forward to a bit of summer. Talking of how wet the last few months have been brings me to the exciting news. The ground is so wet in the Snowy Mountains region, all the rivers and streams are in fantastic condition and there’s so much ground water it would take an extremely hot summer to dry up the springs that feed the mountain streams. We’ll be having one of the best fishing seasons since the 1980s. The once famous Monaro flyfishing streams are all flowing again and with a little restocking over the last five or so years the only problem we’ve had is that there’s almost nobody fishing them, including me.

after that you’d better be fishing deep. Lake bait fishing has been good. Team up your rig with worms and artificial baits, with the worm sitting on the bottom and the artificial bait floating about 25cm above the worm. Meal worms are an old-fashioned but very productive bait for trout. They’re excellent fished off the bottom and also very good fished a metre or more under a float where they look very much like a bunch of maggots to the cruising trout. Best areas for baitfishing at the moment have been Waste Point area, the Claypits and at East Jindabyne near Rushes Creek. For the lake boat trollers, surface trolling lures at 2m deep and lead core lines at three colours or 30m will be the best methods to get trout at the moment. It’s worth trolling some minnow lures early in the morning off the lead core lines. StumpJumpers have been good. The 5cm Bullet Lures


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BEST METHODS TO CATCH A TROUT Best method – bank-based bait on the lake with artificial bait or scrub worms. Best lake trolling lure – Tasmanian Devil green and gold number 111 and Y131. Best lake area – Creel Bay and Waste Point area and Stinky Bay, the Haven. Best fly method lake – black weighted Woolly Bugger and Williamson’s Goldfish. Best River Fly Fishing– black bead head nymphs and a size 12 tea tree beetle or white moth. Best River Lures – trout pattern Bullet Lures and Striketiger Hawg in black and gold. Best lake spinning lures – Tasmanian Devil number 111 and 5cm trout pattern Bullet Lures. We need more anglers out there to give us an update. The fishing is most likely very good and the few that are fishing the streams are keeping the good news to themselves. The start of November is the time for the annual Snowy Mountains Trout Festival – get onto the web to find out more at Let’s look in more detail at what to expect this month. For the flyfishing enthusiasts on the rivers and streams, we’re now seeing plenty of white moths and tea tree beetles. Soon we should see the start of the hopper season. With the water level on the lake still quite high, flyfishing the edges of the lake early and late in the day is still very worthwhile. Fishing the small bays and inlets has been good and we’re still seeing cruising trout that are very catchable. Be careful not to spook the fish. Woolly Buggers, Craig’s Night Time and Williamson’s Goldfish have been the flies well worth using at dawn and dusk. The shallow bays on the lake are worth a try before the sun rises, but

are really gaining popularity as one of the best minnow style trout lures in Australia. The 20g Tasmanian Devil lures have been gaining in popularity with boat trollers over recent years. It may be because of the larger and clearer volume of water in our lakes that anglers are changing to a lure that dives a little deeper and has a slightly stronger action. The best Tasmanian Devil colours at the moment have been the Canberra killer, Willy’s special 111 and the new 2016 Y131 yellow mongrel.


Kate Rogers with a rainbow trout – one of the ex hatchery trout that she caught on a Tasmanian Devil lure. Clearer water often means the trout will go deeper when the sun is high. Best areas to troll at the moment with the high lake level have been the East Jindabyne islands, Hayshed and Hatchery Bay and up at Creel Bay. Lure spinning has been good early and late in the day and should continue that way for a while yet. There are trout about and the best fishing is in the shallows early and deep water later in the middle of the day. Try minnow lures like floating Rapalas, Stumpjumpers and lures in rainbow and brown trout patterns, or gold colours to represent the Jindabyne goldfish that trout love to chase and eat.

Matthew Caldwell with a rainbow caught on a soft plastic.

Soft plastics have been gaining in popularity for trout over coming years. While the usual paddle-tail and curltails have all been great, the Strike Tiger nymphs and the 2” Hawgs are very lifelike. Fished with very light jigheads, these are catching some great trout and are worthwhile trying, especially in the rivers. Don’t stay in one place too long and only put in a couple of casts in each area. If you’ve been following my Lake Jindabyne Trout Fishing Adventures on Facebook, you would have seen the new Bullet Lures that we’ve been trying out and the newer larger minnow has again been proving very successful, both in the lake and on the rivers. • If you would like some personal guiding, I will be available over the coming months for fly-fishing tuition and lake trolling trips. Lessons can be booked from 2 hours’ duration, and trolling trips from 3 hours to a full day. If you want to know more about the latest in fishing conditions, just give me a call on (02) 6456 1 551 or check out my website at au. You can also see our daily Facebook updates at https://www.facebook. com/LJTFA.

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Golden days are ahead WAGGA WAGGA

Rhys Creed

It’s been a very wet spring so far, which has refreshed the land and filled all our dams.

the subtle approach of a soft plastic, because they not only catch the spooky fish but also active fish. The Gulp! Minnow Grub, PowerBait T-Tail and PowerBait Ripple Shad are proven golden perch plastics.

will ensure you land a few fish in the coloured water. Bardi grubs, yabbies and worms will catch all species. Try to target the still eddy water and backwaters as this is where the feeding fish will be.

A selection of Strikeforce lures are perfect for golden perch. the lake. Worms, wood grubs, yabbies and shrimp are perfect baits for all species – cod, golden perch and redfin.

you’re trolling, then small hardbodies of any style will work wonders. The 50mm and 70mm AC Invader and the Strikeforce 65mm

casting distance from the bank. All the food runs out of the drains, so this is where both the perch and cod will be feeding.

Jack Zyhalak presents a golden perch fooled on the Mud Guts 5-8oz spinnerbait. Places like Blowering, Burrinjuck, Wyangala and Hume are full and looking incredible. The banks are covered in lush vegetation and the backdrops are beautiful green hills rather than bland clay banks. Even better news is the fishing is looking great for the month ahead.

Trolling during the night is another great technique, especially around the November full moon. Spending the night trolling across the rocky points in 4-8m of water with 60-90mm hardbodies is well worth a try. The best lures for this are 70mm AC Invaders 30ft+ bib and the Strikeforce 80mm Cod

If you’re looking to cast lures, look for the same locations and fish tight to the structure. Feeding fish will be sitting up high ready to smack a spinnerbait. Mud Guts 5/8oz spinnerbaits are the perfect lure for casting in the high flowing waters. LAKE ALBERT This is a location I’ve

Murrumbidgee River goldens will be on the chew throughout November. If you’re looking to cast a lure, choose lures on the smaller side that have a rattle or give off a good vibration. Lipless crankbaits between 50-60mm are a great choice and the best technique is to hop them up and down off the bottom. If

Whipper Snapper are my preferred choices. Use your sounder to find the schools. Troll back and forth through the school and you’ll be entertained for hours. When casting from the bank, fish around the drain runoffs. This is where the fish school in

If you’re after a family friendly day out this November, you can’t go past Lake Albert. If you’re keen on football sized goldens in clear water, get up to Blowering Dam before the end of the month. Plenty of great fishing is happening around the area!

The author with a late season golden that has packed on the pounds. BLOWERING DAM Blowering Dam is always a hotspot during spring with the golden perch still in an active mood. Early November will continue to fish well and the perch will be starting to school up, so it’s not uncommon to see another 4-6 fish following the fish you hooked-up to the boat. They will be feeding aggressively and take most lures including small spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits. I prefer to use 70


Stalker. Make sure you keep your lure close to the bottom as this is where the fish will school. One metre from the bottom is the rule to remember when trolling for natives. MURRUMBIDGEE RIVER The Murrumbidgee is very high and irrigation flows are running strong. The water will be getting close to the 20°C mark now which is perfect for resident fish. Bait fishing

yet to touch on, but in recent years it has returned as Wagga’s premier fishing destination. Situated in the suburbs, Lake Albert is home to a strong population of native fish that have been on the mend since the 2010 floods filled the lake. The food in this lake is so good that the fish have grown quickly and anglers are having great fun. Both bait and lures have been working. November is one of the best months to fish

The beautiful Lake Albert is full of water.

Well it’s a-trout time BATLOW

Wayne Dubois

As a freshwater fisho, you just have to love spring – another month with great weather and so many great fishing options. The trout season is back

our lakes will be about as good as it gets until early next spring. GOLDEN PERCH Blowering Dam, Burrinjuck Dam and Lake Hume will all be well worth a flick this month with golden perch activity about to peak. At Blowering, try fishing the edges with small

Trout are now back on the cards in our creeks and rivers and with fish like this about, you’d be crazy not to get out there amongst them. in full swing, both in the lakes and rivers. Golden perch fishing to be had in

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If they aren’t sitting on the banks, you’ll have to fish down deep with rubber vibes and blades, especially any banks and points that have been copping a flogging from wave and wind activity. The backs of bays are also worth a hit early in the day and at night. At Burrinjuck dam and Lake Hume, it’s very hard to beat grubbing in the trees. This technique has gained huge popularity over the last couple of years. On top of being super easy to master, it consistently yields good numbers of fish. The technique is simple; grab hold of a tree and drop your plastic to the bottom then slowly wind the lure to the surface before dropping the plastic back down and repeating it all over again. Any 2-4” plastic will do the job, but it’s hard to beat a 3” single curl-tail rigged on a 1/4oz jighead. TROUT FISHING Trout anglers will be able to get their fixes at a number of places this month. The lakes always fish well this time of year. Jounama, Tantangra, Talbingo, Dry and Three Mile dams, and Lake Eucumbene are all worth a shot this month. Most trout lovers will be hitting the creeks and rivers now that trout season is back into full swing. The Tumut River will see its fair share of anglers this month and with good reason. Generally the discharges from Blowering Dam in November are quite low, meaning the Tumut River could be low and make for some amazing and easy fishing. If the river is in low flow, lure fishing is about as easy as it gets. Simply jump in the river and slowly work your way upstream. Cast ahead of yourself as you go. Best lures for this style of fishing are the good old Rapala CD3s, IMA Sukaris, Asari Matsutas, Insanity Tackle Bling spins, Wordens Rooster Tails and Gillies Feather Tails. Colour selection with these lures is critical, as the river is almost always crystal clear. Most of the time, bright unnatural looking lures will just scare fish and limit your chances, especially at those bigger smarter fish. By sticking to natural colours, you’ll scare less fish and in turn catch more. In this area, due to the massive numbers of rainbow trout present, it’s hard to beat a rainbow trout coloured lure when targeting any trout. Flyfishing is generally good this month. The odd fish is already starting to take a dry fly and almost all fish will respond to wets, especially nymphs. I like to cover both bases by using a dry fly as my indicator. Depending on the depth, I have a 1-4ft dropper off the dry with a bead head nymph attached. This helps me work out what

Golden perch and plastics go hand in hand, especially at Lake Hume and Burrinjuck Dam. This one fell to a twin curl tail plastic but pretty much any plastic in the 2-4” range will do the job. the fish want on any given day. After I see what the first ten or so fish are caught on, I may change my set up. If I’m getting them on both flies, I leave this setup. If I find most fish are rising for the dry, I’ll get rid of the nymph dropper. If all of the first fish are caught on the nymph dropper, I get rid of the dry fly and replace it with a floating stick-on indicator, and then add another nymph to the first one so the fish have two flies to choose from that I know that they’re interested in. Flyfishing using these strategies will see you catch good numbers of trout all year round in all conditions. Drifting bait also works well in the low flows. The key word here is ‘drifting’. If your bait is not drifting, you’ll catch far less than if it is, so be sure to actively fish your bait for best results. Many types of bait will catch trout at this time of the year like worms, PowerBait, yabbies and prawn tails, but it’s very hard to beat a juicy wood grub. The hard work involved in gathering these grubs makes it worthwhile when you’re hooking fish after fish.

If the fish aren’t sitting around the edges at Blowering Dam, go deep with blades or rubber vibes. This one fell for one of the new Insanity Tackle Mini vibes, but other great lures for hopping in the deep are the Jackall Mask vibes. When it comes to blades, it’s hard to beat the Ecogear ZX range.

True trophy sized trout like this 70cm specimen are a rare possibility this month, both in our lakes and our rivers. No need to get out of bed early for them yet either. Air and water temperatures are still right in their comfort zone.

Living in an anglers’ paradise LITHGOW/OBERON

Glen Stewart

Around these parts, it’s like a freshwater fishing smorgasbord of choices and opportunities. Creeks and rivers are flowing well and dams are full to the brim. Life underwater has exploded – it’s easy to see, especially at night with the help of a torch. It’s like a soup, a culinary fish degustation with a thousand courses. It’s a wonder the fish we chase even bother with the lures, baits and flies we present them on a line. Herein lies the problem. For the most part, I and many other fishing scribes preach the notion of a natural presentation – “make your lures and baits look as lifelike as possible”. In fact, it’s possibly a good thing that most of our offerings aren’t how nature intended. The deception act we participate in is a fine line, too close to the real thing and we blend into what could be trillions of others, an actual defence mechanism of nature. Too far the other way and we scare the living daylights out of what we’re trying to catch. It’s a balancing act with so many variables and challenges. TO ATTRACT OR TRIGGER A big part of this balancing act revolves around the numbers of fish present in the waterways and locations we chose to fish. Sparse numbers of trout spread over a vast area in say, Lake Lyell, will more than likely have me looking for a presentation that is higher in attraction

weight. Use something to cast long distances to cover the water, something to actually pull the fish in from a wider area for a closer look. The same presentation made in the Fish River for trout on a quiet settled pool would more than likely scare every fish to an undercut bank for the rest of the day. There are variations, subtleties and adjustments that need to be made in both situations when the need

very basic outline of my approach, but it’s one you can use on any water or any species. A TIME FOR CAMPING The high water levels in our local dams have gifted us with awesome camping locations close to water with shaded trees for the upcoming summer season – Wyangala, and Burrendong are especially good. This is a great opportunity to take family and friends into the great outdoors for a couple

from the rod tip can be the best place to lob a bait. Stay close to the rod, the next one to be pulled in won’t be the last. Scrubworms, shrimp, and small yabbies are the go-to baits and live is best. Look after your baits if you’re there for a few days, keep them cool, freshen up the dirt or water on a regular basis. Circle hooks are great for catch and release baitfishing. I must admit, I was a bit dubious of their

Definitely the right choice between attract and trigger when your lure is this far down the hatch. Skirted jigs are a great option on native fish when you’ve found a concentration of fish. days. Local bass will fire up this month, so they’ll keep me busy for a short time, but that Murray cod itch will need scratching by the time December rolls around. I suspect the rivers to be quiet early, especially

on lures. There could be some stained water still in the systems and lakes, but we’ll see how things pan out. Come 1 December, it’ll be game on. I hope to see you on the water soon. Until then, tight lines.



Spending time with family in the great outdoors is special. Camping allows us to do this for longer periods. Small streams and large lakes offer a great outlook – the fishing is a bonus. arises. Faster water or rapids in the Fish River or stained water will have me looking for more of an attraction style of lure or fly, big and flashy. If I were to find trout on the depth sounder at Lake Lyell gathered in a location, I’d more than likely opt

of days of fishing and adventure. The bankside fishing straight out from camp can be sensational on bait in both these locations. If the trend of the last month or so continues into summer, it’ll be action stations on all rods.

effectiveness until I tried them on the Murray River a few years back. They make a difference – every single fish hooked in the corner of the mouth and with just the flick of the pliers, all fish where released within seconds of being caught. Smaller sizes are available in most tackle shops, so do yourselves a favour and check them out. ONE MONTH UNTIL COD SEASON If you’re anything like me, you’ll be counting the

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The Imakatsu Piranha vibe is one of the better options when it comes to a search tool for native fish. The rattles inside the bigger side on profile and the ease of casting such lures allows you to cover more water when fish are scattered. qualities, like a flashing blade, a bigger profile, a brighter colour or a heavier

to scale things back in the attraction stakes and go for a more natural look. It’s a

A long cast is not needed after the sun goes down. Literally metres NOVEMBER 2016


New territory opens up TAMWORTH

Dean McFarlane

As conditions settle after all the rain we’ve had, all the major dams around Tamworth are fishing pretty well. As I write this, the water is still stained, but guys are still going out every day and catching fish. The water is getting clearer by the day, so things will only get better. If you’re fishing the dams at the moment, you’ll want to use a lure with good vibration and/or flash to attract the yellas in dirty water. I recommend using noisy lipless crankbaits, or spinnerbaits with flashy blades. Lately we’ve been getting great results on the Jackall Squirrel in brown dog, and the Jackall TN60 in HL gold. When it comes to spinnerbaits there’s no particular standout, but if you want to know where to start, I’d suggest a dark colour such as dark purple, for a good silhouette. It’s exciting fishing Chaffey Dam at the moment. The increased height of the dam wall, combined with a ton of rain, has resulted in this dam reaching around 140% of its original capacity. For a few weeks after the rain it wasn’t fishable, but as soon as the water started to clear, anglers had a great time fishing all the new ground. The water has

flooded all through the old treeline, and it’s exciting to fish up against huge gumtrees that you used to camp under. A lot of guys are getting good goldens from around these big trees. In Keepit Dam, the best approach is still to cast around rocky outcrops like the first, second and third bays, or troll the quarry. If you prefer bait fishing, your best bet is to get some freshwater shrimp and vertically jig them around the base of the trees. The rivers were impossible to fish for a while, but the dirty water is clearing up and anglers are catching some nice fish. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to avoid catching a cod at the moment. Using little yellowbelly lures in an effort to avoid catching those big breeding fish isn’t working; the cod are hitting lures of every size. I recommend fishing the dams instead. If you’re determined to fish the rivers and you do catch a cod, please handle it with care as you return it to the water. I’ve been getting a few reports of some nice trout being caught around the Tamworth district. The trout streams are nice and healthy for a change! I recommend casting some Celta spinners in red/gold. Alternatively, you can try some little Rebel Crawfish. You should use a darker colour because the resident crayfish have been

buried for months and haven’t seen any daylight, so they’re quite dark. You have to match the hatch to maximise your catch rates. It’s the same story if you’re using the everreliable Rebel Frogs – you should go for one with a light tummy or natural background colour, because the local frogs are just coming out of hibernation and that’s their colouration. If you like more relaxing fishing, I suggest putting a worm on a size 6-8 hook with no weight. Float it down a rapid into a hole, and sit back and wait. THE MONTH AHEAD With the water temperatures still rising, the yellas are well and truly out of hibernation. Over the next few weeks we’ll be in for some serious fishing. The rivers are settling down nicely after the floodwaters and, provided we don’t get anymore substantial rain events, the rivers will be absolutely spectacular this summer. Both the rivers and the dams are at record highs after eight years of drought, which is great to see. The fishing will only get better as the hotter days come on. This month’s report has been supplied by Dean McFarlane from AusSpin Lures and Tamworth Fishing Tackle. • For more information on what’s biting and where, drop into Tamworth Fishing Tackle

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New Bradley Smoker series Australia is undoubtedly experiencing a culinary obsession with Americanstyle BBQ cooking. Served in numerous pubs and restaurants, people are starting to bring this style of cooking into their backyards. Low and slow BBQs are becoming the norm; people are serving cold smoked fish and cheese along with hot smoked ribs and brisket at weekend get-togethers. For years, Bradley has created world-class smokers, and now they have introduced the new Original Bradley Smoker Range. The Original Smoker Range is an impressive line-up that incorporates more features than ever seen before on an electric smoker. The new Bradleys are fitted with a sleek, high-end stainless steel interior and new rack supports to keep the racks level and ensure they stay steady when you’re removing trays. On top of this, these cookers feature extra large front feet for unparalleled stability from the ground up. With an extra large cooking capacity, the Bradley BXLT comes with six removable racks that can be monitored with a simpleto-use temperature control for ease of use. If you’re looking for something smaller and

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What a start to spring! HUNTER VALLEY

Peter Phelps

What a start to spring the Hunter has received this year! Mother Nature has been providing the impoundments with a nice constant top up. This slow continuous rise is perfect for the fish, as it gives

Lake St Clair’s fishing is shaping up to be great this month. The lake has not come up a tremendous amount. With warming water, the weed growth and beds are really turning into an endless sanctuary for the fish to hide in. With the lake being fairly small, it suffers from boat traffic and pressure during warmer months. On

even really bright unnatural colours. Chartreuse or bright orange can deter the smaller fish and give the larger ones something they haven’t seen before. The insect life will become active this month, which really brings on the surface bite at St Clair. Low light into night will see the most action. Experiment with

Dave Diggins with a 1.8kg Glenbawn bass on a spinnerbait.

Eathan Martin and a golden perch that scoffed a jerkbait. them time to slowly adjust to the conditions. These unpleasant rainy days should always be welcomed to an impoundment fisher, as the rising water means bass and yellowbelly on the prowl in the shallows looking for their next meal. November is the time to take advantage of the last month of the spring bite before warmer weather really sets in.

water. They move back up in the late afternoon. When trying to locate fish it pays to concentrate your efforts on banks that the fish can transition easily. Ideally, target points with deep water not too far from the main river section. Fish can be caught anywhere in the lake, but you’ll find more fish holding on these points than other areas.

the weekends it pays to be out nice and early before everyone is on the water then wait until late evening before heading out again. Almost every fish in the lake will be eager to hit a reaction style lure this time of year. This can make it hard to find and catch the larger fish with so many smaller fish eager to get to your lure first. You can try going to slightly larger lures or

The author with a Glenbawn bass.

Bass will be loving the Bassman Shortys this month.

retrieves and lures to see what’s working. A constant retrieve from a wakebait, paddler or buzzbait will work some days. Sometimes a retrieve with a pause from a popper, walker, or propbait will get eaten. Tight to the edge over and around the weed is where you want to be to catch the larger fish in the lake. Anyone looking to catch with the kids, this is a great time of year to get them onto some easy fish. Troll along the outside of the weed drop off to see plenty of smaller fish eat a diving hardbody lure. They’ll be scattered the whole way around the dam. It shouldn’t take too long for one to jump on. Lake Glenbawn has come up a far way over September and October. If these levels maintain, the fishing should be terrific. The water should be hitting the low to mid 20°C and fish will be up on the edges during early morning, before retreating to deeper

It doesn’t feel like it on Glenbawn, but there is a current in the lake. With water running in and the dam wall releasing it, a current is drawn down through the old riverbed. It can be seen on weed beds or the algae growth on tree trunks against steep edges. The fish relate to this and will concentrate close to the main flow. November can be the throw any lure month, because it will get eaten at some point. The weed growth has been fantastic this year, so a spinnerbait and bladed or vibrating jig is ideal. These two baits are great for passing through weed and popping over timber or rock. With the clear water in the lake, it pays to stay fairly natural in colours like green, brown or silver. Topwater is always an option as the cicadas should be starting to sing soon, which means the bass will start to focus on them as a food source. Any edge with some tall trees

close to the water’s edge is a perfect place to start. When trying to mimic a cicada, it’s best to try shaking your lure on the surface instead of on the retrieve. Sometimes, a really long pause will get the bites after shaking it. When the low light bite dies off and the fish move deeper, trolling deep divers can reap rewards. The fish will move out and suspend at a comfortable depth. Trolling through these fish and covering water will find the active ones willing to feed. A diver that can reach at least 5m is a good starting point targeting the outside of weed edges and trees. River fishing will start to peak as well this time of year. The disadvantage of all this rain has been flooding dirty waters with poor river

fishing. The good news is that these times of extra flows allow the fish to migrate further upstream and reach all the little honey holes in time for summer. River bass can be pretty aggressive at times, but still have their slow days. Your basic crankbait, spinnerbait, beetle spin and surface combination will catch any willing fish in the area. These sections that you catch fish on hold more than just the one bass. Slow down to a plastic grub, swimbait or creature bait and pick apart the structure or timber to catch multiple fish. Sometimes, repeated casts at a snag will bring them on. I can recall catching about a dozen bass off one snag with a plastic when other lures didn’t get a touch.

Aberdeen Fishing & Outdoors

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We’re going for gold ORANGE

Michael Collison

At Windermere this month, big yellowbelly are in. Fish up to 64cm+ are available and the black ZX40 blade or Noise ZX40 are working wonders on these fish. A sounder will really improve your chances. The weather has been overcast lately, as on a recent fishing trip I looked up at the sky and rain was coming over the hill. We pulled up at the boat ramp and started to put the sounders on the boat and set up the gear for the day. I know where the yellowbelly are going to be, sitting with all the cloud cover around us. Chat with your fishing

mates and decide on leader size, colours and lures to throw at the hungry goldens, before you get out on the water. Brad was using a custom rod I built – a MHX Gen 2 blank 6-10lb. I used the brown and grey Noise ZX40 with my Edge rod, 6-8lb. Light leader seems to work a treat. Brad was using 10lb and I was using 6lb. I always use an FG knot with my light lines and it’s never let me down. The water has been a bit dirty around Windermere, particularly at the ramp, but about 400m on it starts to clear up. The further up the dam, the clearer the water. Sound for fish around weed, trees and rock, it’s even better if you can find one bank with all of these. Five minutes of casting in, you might get


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The author fought a suspenseful battle with the beast of a golden.



One metre

a fish that picks the lure off the bottom. If you get hit and miss it, with a bit of skill, put the lure in the same spot. I tried this and got smashed. I yelled out to my bother, “Gotcha this time!” Seconds into the fight, I saw a flash of gold in the clear water. I had a lot going through my head – light lines, knots, trees. This is where most big fish are lost. I loosened my drag three clicks and watched the fish power off for a good 5m run. We got it in the net and realized how big it was. The fish went 63.7cm and 8.2kg. If you’re going over to Windermere in the next few months, get yourself some ZX40 blades and throw them around. You might be surprised what you can catch on theses lures.

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Captain cod comeback area that was safe last time you were there may not be now – take it easy in changed conditions. Talking about safety, it’s a good opportunity to remind all fishers using Copeton Dam to follow the boating rules that apply to inland waters. The main concern, that has potentially serious consequences, has been the reluctance of some people to use the required lighting when fishing at night. It’s


David Allen

November can be one of the best all round fishing months of the year. All species are available and on the chew. This month will see the water temperature and fish activity rising. Cod have been quiet over the last little while as they’ve had breeding on their minds and rising dam levels. The cod in Copeton don’t like rising water levels. November is usually a stable month weather-wise and as the water warms the cod will come back on the bite. This month will also see a resurgence in the cod surface bite, so don’t pack away the wakebaits and paddlers just yet. Chatterbaits have been one of the must-haves over the last month or so. With the slightly discoloured, water bright colours have been the better choice. Swimbaits and spinnerbaits are also taking fish. As dam levels keep rising, more and more of the river upstream is becoming accessible. Remember with changing water levels, an

a requirement to show lights when underway, even under electric power, and when anchored. Check the Maritime Services website for details. It would be terrible to have something go wrong. Yellowbelly have been biting well for the last couple of months on all the usual methods. Bait fishers have been getting great catches on craybobs and shrimp while lure fishers have been using a mix of

The winners of the Jackall Copeton Cod Classic.

These boys pulled up a monster fish!


vibes, blades and hardbodies to fish the trees and flats. The tops of drowned trees have been very productive. If the dam continues to rise, fishing the edge can also be very productive. Small spinnerbaits can be very good. It’s a great time of year to target eel-tailed catfish in Copeton. Catties are a great option for the family fishers and kids – gear can be as simple as a handline with a sinker and hook with worm for bait cast off the bank. Catties can be caught off just about any bank. The kids and

adults will have a ball with this often overlooked and undervalued native species. When handling catfish, be careful of the spines on the dorsal and pectoral fins – they can inflict a very painful sting if not handled with care. Nesting catties at this time of year can be very aggressive and can also be caught on lures, sometimes even sight casting. The catfish in Copeton regularly top 60cm and will give you a great tussle before you can land them. The Jackall Copeton Cod Classic was run during

September. On a very tough bite due to wet weather and rising water levels, Nathan Mercer and Graham Ford from Team Water Rats came out on top with a beautiful 109cm fish. Matty Anderson also scored a 103cm fish during the competition. • Copeton Dam is one of the best lakes in NSW to catch a trophy Murray cod. Dave runs the Copeton Waters Holiday Park and is a great source of up to date, local information on what’s biting. Contact the park on (02) 6723 6269 for information and accommodation bookings.


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Essential summer guide to polarized sunglasses NSWFM

David Glennie

Every fisher knows that polarized sunglasses are the best choice to protect your eyes, eliminate glare, sight fish and help you pick out reefs and weed beds in the water. To help you select the best polarized sunglasses, here’s an explanation of glare, polarized light, the components that go into sunglasses and the different value for money across the vast price range that confronts you in front of a sunglasses display. Let’s start with a quick lesson on light and glare.

see the annoying glare as the sunlight reflects from windscreens and polished surfaces of the parked cars. This reflected glare is 6-8 times stronger and more uncomfortable than the surrounding ambient light and is described as polarized glare. Now put yourself on the water. The water surface is like being surrounded by hundreds of windscreens, attacked by glare – your eyes will be screaming for help. The perfect solution is a lens tinted to reduce the surrounding light coupled with a polarized filter to remove the glare. With the sunlight reduced and glare removed, your eyes

Whether for bait or the table, you’ll catch more squid by seeing the best ground courtesy of your polarizing sunglasses. Imagine you’re in an outdoor car park on a sunny day. As you look into an area of the car park with no vehicles, your eyes will feel mild discomfort at the light from the bright sunlight. As you turn towards a section of the park with cars, you’ll

They lack the ability to cut the stronger glare. CHOOSING A PAIR Now that you’ve decided to purchase polarized sunnies, which is the best pair? Many brands, varied prices, different lens colours and materials and frame design can make your choice bewildering, so here are some tools to make a great sunglass selection. The most important component of your sunglasses is the lenses, as the main reason of wearing sunglasses is to protect your eyes, remove glare and have you seeing comfortably. As mentioned earlier, the colour of the lens reduces the surrounding light. Therefore by extension, the darker the lens colour the greater the light reduction. As you look over a sunglasses display, you’ll see that the majority of models will have a grey or brown lens colour that will reduce the light levels by around 80%, which will perform an excellent job in full sun conditions. The internal polarizing filter will not be visible on the display, but its benefits will be obvious once you look through the lens. When choosing your sunnies, try on a grey lens and then a brown lens, preferably in sunlight, to experience the difference in tint colour. The brown lens has a higher amount of yellow in the tint colour, which will provide an element of lift in your vision and you might feel that colours appear brighter. This increase in contrast can certainly help

Top: This is a glare-filled environment without polarized lens protection. Above: Polarized lenses reduce the glare. in picking out a trout in a stream or such details, but this visual sensation is not comfortable for everyone. By contrast, the

grey lens will cool and soothe the light and is generally the lens choice of the harsher on-water environment, where the

will be more comfortable. With the glare-free water surface, you’ll be able to see through the surface and pick out fish and bottom structure. A non-polarized lens will only have the dark colour to reduce the light levels reaching your eye.

Wearing your polarized sunglasses will allow you to pick out the hotspots between weed beds and other structure to increase your catch rates. 78


glare surrounds us. By trying on both the grey and brown lens in quick succession you’ll be able to get a reaction on what you feel most comfortable looking through and choose what suits best. Some companies will brand their brown lens copper or rose or similar. If it looks brown to you, then it’s brown for the purpose of this discussion regardless of the marketing spin from the manufacturer. There may be some mid range tints on display with light reduction of around 50%, while a traditional lens has a reduction around 80%. In these models the polarized filter will still remove the glare, but the lighter lens will allow more light to reach the eye than the full tint lenses. These sunglasses are ideal in cloudy conditions or early and late in the day where the glare still exists on the water but the surrounding light levels are relatively low. Sight fishing in these lighting environments is ideally suited to these lenses, but you might not find them dark enough in full sun. If you can stretch

the budget, purchase a mid tint model and a second pair fitted with a full sun tint, to have you covered for all situations. Another way to cover multiple sunlight conditions is a polarized photochromatic lens. A photochromatic lens is lighter in colour, around 40-60% light reduction when not exposed to bright sunlight, and then darkens automatically in proportion to the amount of sunlight in the environment. Theses lenses are certainly flexible to the wearer, however the Achilles heel of the photochromatic lens is their ability to fully darken if your boat cabin or car roof and windscreen filter the sunlight that activates the lens. This causes the lens to not darken to

TO CHOOSE THE BEST POLARIZED SUNGLASSES • Check that the lenses are polarized; don’t assume they are. • Ask yourself, do I prefer the scratch resistant glass lens or a lighter acrylic type? • Brown tint and grey tint offer different visual properties. Choose what works for you. • Pick a frame with a comfortable fit and think, do I look hot? • Ask about the speed of repairs and warranty claims. • Stretch your budget as far as you can. Better quality sunglasses fit better for longer, and the more scratch resistant lenses will be more durable. ONCE YOU ARE THE PROUD OWNER OF YOUR WELL CHOSEN SUNNIES • Always keep them in a protective hard case – those cloth bags give minimal protection! • Before you wipe the lenses, a rinse under cool fresh water will remove abrasive sand, salt dust and grit. This will extend the life of your lenses enormously • After rinsing, use a lens cleaning spray and dry with a soft cloth or clean tissue.

The author with a cracker snapper catch. He’s got his polarized sunnies on. its full potential when behind glass, and so its performance in bright sun will be compromised. If one product could do everything, then we would only have one rod and reel combination, one lure and one bait variety. While this is a noble aim, there’ll be some compromise in performance. As well as looking at lens tints, lens materials are also an important consideration when choosing your new sunwear. There are three main materials in the quality sunglass ranges, with the choice of crown glass, acrylic and polycarbonate lenses. Lower priced sunglasses will generally use a triacetate cellulose lens. Most sunglass manufacturers will claim a glass lens to be superior in clarity to its acrylic and polycarbonate cousins. While this is technically correct, any difference is almost impossible to detect with the naked eye.

More important in your purchasing decision is the significantly higher scratch resistancy of the glass when compared to other choices. If you’re a bit careless, not so good at using a case or getting abrasive sand or salt on the lens then the scratch resistant glass is a great choice for you. Glass lenses are about twice the weight of acrylic or polycarbonate, so consider the comfort factor as you try different pairs in store. Glass lenses are a more brittle material and somewhat unforgiving if dropped on a hard surface where chipping or breaking can result. Never wear your glass lens sunglasses, or any other sunglass for that matter, unless they’re safety rated when working with power tools or machinery. A piece of broken glass embedded in your eye will spoil your day in a big way! A sunglass fitted with acrylic resin lenses, usually a material called CR-39, will result in a lighter and

more comfortable wearing experience. CR-39 has excellent optical properties. Most prescription lenses are made from CR-39, and I am sure that the sunglass industry borrows technology on manufacturing techniques and scratch resistant coatings from the larger and better-resourced prescription industry. You’ll find acrylic lenses are half the weight of their glass counterparts and near impossible to break in normal recreational wear. They will however require more care as they don’t have the same resistance to scratching as a glass lens. Take care of the way that you put them down, use a good case and rinse abrasive materials from the lens surface with cool water before wiping or rubbing and you’ll get long life from a pair of CR-39 lenses. Polycarbonate lenses also offer a lighter weight

The SLICELENS from TONIC EYEWEAR is the most technically advance polarised lens in the world. Featuring the latest Japanese glass technology the SLICELENS provides totally distortion free vision with precise depth and distance as well as unparalleled clarity. Try them on at your local retailer and discover the TONIC EYEWEAR difference for your self

To page 80



From page 79

option than the glass models and a good level of impact resistance. If you choose a polycarbonate lens you’ll need to pay stricter attention to the scratch avoidance. Polycarbonate is the softest surface of the three main materials. Most polarized sunglasses with a regular price of $100 or less will be fitted with a triacetate cellulose lens. The construction of these lenses is more like a foil and frequently less than 1mm thick, where traditional lenses are around 2mm in thickness. Being so thin, they’ll flex easily and spring out of the frame with light to moderate pressure. Thicker lenses are much more stable under pressure and a more secure fit in the sunglass frame. Triacetate cellulose lenses have the lowest resistance to scratching of the materials, and are a consumable that will be replaced more frequently. There are some models with a variety of coloured mirror coatings. These coatings reflect light away from the front surface of the lens rather than allow

Polarizing sunglasses will cut the glare from the water surface and allow you to pick out sand banks, weed beds and reefs. Look out King George whiting! an injection molded plastic or low-grade metal frame fitted with a triacetate cellulose lens and its assosiated shortcomings. Frames at this price point cannot be altered in shape for a personalized comfort fit, and the hinges tend to throw screws at the most inconvenient time.

fit some with glass lenses and others with an acrylic material in a variety of lens and coating colours so that you can make your perfect choice of frame, lens material and tint. Once the price rises over $300, you’ll get similar lenses with above average frames – perhaps a metal frame with titanium components for light weight and strength, or a beautiful European made acetate plastic frame from a fashion icon. Only a small percentage of sunglasses from European fashion designers use polarized lenses, so check to ensure that your stunning fashion sunglasses have polarized lenses fitted. For those who wear spectacles to assist their vision, don’t despair –

clear vision combined with glare reduction is available and can be fitted to most frames. Spectacle lens design for wrap sunnies is more complicated than conventional spectacles, so for the best result please seek the advice of an expert. Ask to see a qualified optical dispenser before you start looking at the various styles on display, so that you get the right advice on lens thickness, prescription suitability to each frame’s shape and size, and the relationship between the prescription and curvature of the lens. Avoid knock-off sunglasses that are cheap copies of quality sunglasses. As well as super low quality, I have great concerns of the protection levels of the lenses fitted

your point of purchase to have the screws tightened occasionally. The lifespan of these will be determined by your care of the lens surface and frame. Normal usage should give you several years of great wear. For a glass lens, you’ll be spending around $270$300. The frames will be

With long days on the water trolling for tuna, your eyes will be protected and relaxed behind polarized sunnies.

Polarizing sunglasses are not just great on the water but the best driving sunglasses. Can you see the cyclist past the glare? it to pass through. This works with the lens tint to reduce the amount of light reaching your eye. Premium polarized lenses will have a reflection-free coating on the rear surface of the lens to reduce bounce-back glare from any ambient light that reaches the back lens surface. The reduced reflection makes you visually less aware of the lens in front of your eye and you just feel the glare reducing benefits of the tint and polarizing filter. PRICE There’s a huge range of prices for polarizing sunglasses. Let’s look at why the prices vary and what you get for your dollar. Sunglasses priced under $100 will consist of 80


The frames will be prone to stretching out of shape, which will make them fit loosely and slip down your nose. You’ll still enjoy the benefits of polarizing lenses, at a lower price, but will need a more regular replacement purchase than higher priced sunglasses with higher construction integrity. Priced from $180-$220, we’re moving into stronger frames, usually made of grylamid with better quality hinges and fitted with lenses made from CR-39 or polycarbonate. The grylamid frames will fit more comfortably for an extended period of time, rarely working loose. The only maintenance required is a trip back to

similar to the grylamid, but the grinding and polishing of the glass lens pushes the price to a higher point. Several suppliers will make the same model frame and

your prescription can be produced in polarizing materials. Whether you need correction for distance only, or wear a bifocal or multifocal lens,

Choose a sunglass retailer who stocks a range of brands and models so that you can select the perfect frame and lens combination for your needs.

to them. If the people that make them don’t care about ripping off Gucci, Ray-Ban or Oakley, then they don’t give a stuff about protecting your precious eyes. Every sunglasses model sold in Australia has been tested by Australian Standards to ensure it’s protecting your eyes correctly. Never buy or wear sunglasses that weren’t purchased with a swing tag stating that it exceeds Australian Standard AS/NZS 1067 2003. Enjoy wearing your new sunglasses. For any queries, call David Glennie at Karingal Optical on 03 9789 4811. David Glennie has a Diploma of Optical Dispensing and has managed optometry practices for over 30 years. Fishing and diving in his spare time, he combines his technical lens knowledge with the requirements of long hours on the water.




3 1

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Costa’s 580 lens has some of the best light transmission technology in the world. The main blue spectrum is enhanced, the green is enhanced at its peak sensitivity, and the red is also enhanced. Working together, this allows anglers to see more and ultimately catch more. One of the most versatile lenses is the standard grey 580 lens, which maintains natural contrast and saturation through most everyday conditions. It’s great for a mix of fishing and everyday life. The copper lens enhances contrast while cutting glare from the water – perfect for the variable light conditions often encountered in estuary and freshwater fishing. It enhances colours and delivers high contrast, making it easier to pick out fishy targets. You can also get a Blue Mirror lens (built on a grey base lens) and Green and Silver (both built on a copper base). In low light conditions, there’s the Sunrise Lens. It transmits 27% of available light and provides excellent contrast at times where you wouldn’t normally wear sunnies. There are more than 60 frames in the Costa range, and you can find them at any store that stocks Rapala gear.

Designed for top end work, the new Apex sunglasses from Mako are really something new. What separates these sunnies from the pack is their innovative new gradient colour lenses. They provide darker shading on top where you need it most, and the lighter shades below give clarity for close-up work. Available in light polycarbonate or tough, crown glass distortion-free lenses in grey or rose tint, Apex shows Mako’s top-notch technology at its best. Made from tough warpresistant nylon composite, the Mako’s sleek, matte black frames are fashionable and are designed for all outdoor situations. It features less of a wrap than Mako’s new Ronin model, but will still sit close to your face, reducing side light. It also has rubber on the nose pads and arm inserts to keep them from slipping off. Mako has the largest array of polarised lens choices in Australia. Lightweight TR-90 construction make Makos some of the most comfortable sunglasses you will wear. Price: RRP $299 (glass lenses)

Designed for comfort and fit, the Ronin from MakoMY provides extensive coverage on bright, glary days on the water. The eight-base frame curves around your eyes forCY full sun protection, preventing glare from entering aroundCMY the sides of the frame. These sunglasses deliver superior clarity with their decentred, K distortion-free crown glass lens in copper, brown or rose. They are matched to either a silver, blue or flash mirror coating lens with excellent scratch resistance. Combined with the classically stylish matte black frame, with an ultra-tough pin hinge, the Ronin is everything you’d expect from Mako sunglasses. The Ronin will be available in a choice of High Definition glass lenses suitable for a wide range of fishing and outdoor pursuits. Mako’s High Definition filter removes some yellow and orange wavelengths of light that cause blurring, especially at distance. This results in a clearer view at a greater distance than what is possible with the naked eye. Price: RRP $299 (glass lenses)







Do you find it hard to find sunnies that fit you? When you head into a store to try on eyewear, do you find the lenses feel too small to give you the protection you need, or the frames are so tight they cause you headaches? Spotters have crafted a solution for you – eyewear that delivers a generous fit with a classic style. The Grit from Spotters boasts classic styling with slim temples that slide on under your headwear, and big lenses for ultimate protection. These sunglasses have been sculpted with innovative design features to deliver the perfect life-size fit. The geometrical lens shape fuses sophistication with aerodynamic lines, giving incredible lens depth and protection. The temple width has been whittled away to slide on under your headwear and stay balanced. The subtle curve of the temples provides the perfect amount of grip, while state-of-the-art frame materials give you unmatched flexibility and comfort. 82





The award-winning Spotters Rebel take you seamlessly from penetrating the glare off huge swells offshore, to a BBQ with your mates. These sunglasses combine ultimate visual clarity with comfort and classic style. The design for Rebel took its inspiration from the iconic movie star styling of the 50s. Beautiful retro styling incorporates an embracing lens curve to gently wrap your face and deliver ultimate glare protection. The lines of the frame have been selectively moulded to incorporate classic fluid elements – eliminating flat and boring. Spotters has developed a slim temple design with a sweeping curve to keep your eyewear secure, and removed any barrier to sliding these sunglasses on quickly and effortlessly. Rebel’s finishing touch is the bold temple branding. Frame finishes are available in gloss black, matt black or crystal brown. As seen here in the ice blue mirror lens, Rebel will deliver high performance polarised vision all day, every day.









Tonic Eyewear, the brainchild of eyewear expert Doug Phillips, is going from strength to strength. “You really have to try on a pair of Tonics to see what you’re missing,” Doug explained. “When looking through them you’ll see the colour saturation, reds, blues and greens more vibrantly due to our four and three colour polarising filter systems.” Another key feature is the applied anti-reflective back surface coating that absorbs reflective glare, stopping it entering the eye. There’s also a decentred lens, giving you incredibly accurate depth and distance perception, which is essential while casting. “The clarity alone is overwhelming,” Doug said. “Then you have some of our specialised lenses like Neon which is incredibly sharp visually, and our photochromic copper, photochromic grey and our mirrored lenses. Anyone can do a mirror, but it’s what’s behind the mirror that counts!” Doug Phillips, who used to design Spotters sunglasses, has launched several new models in the past 12 months, including the Mo, Jo and Rise. Check out the Tonic website for more info. Price: SRP $279




Kings of the Lake Lake Macquarie

Michael Shaw 0431344656

Nov 11-12

Berkley Uranga Sport Fishing Flathead Tournament Uranga

Dayne 0467675076

Nov 19-20

Central West TackleWorld Fishing Masters GF Lake Burrendong

Ian McLean 0478083066

Nov 19-20

South Coast Fishing Clubs Inc. Estuary comp Gerringong

Nov 26-27

Atomic Bream Classic Series Grand Final Marlo

Dec 2-4

ABT BREAM Grand Final St Georges Basin

Dec 2-4

Cod Classic Lake Mulwala & the Murray River

Dec 10-11

Central West TackleWorld Fishing Masters GF Wyangala State Park

Ian McLean 0478083066


Feb 18-19

South Coast Fishing Clubs Inc. Beach comp Kiama


Mar 18-19

South Coast Fishing Clubs Inc. Deep Sea comp Berry

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.













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AM OPEN QLD BRE Team Atomic Bridesmaids is no more! Perennial Moreton Bay studs Aaron Sharp and Steve Eldred have overcome the Bridesmaids’ tag that has followed them throughout QLD Open history, slamming the door on their first Open victory thanks to a final day 3kg+ bag, the only 3kg+ limit delivered throughout the entire 3-day tournament. This year, the Spotters Sunglasses QLD Open was held from the Cleveland 4x4 and Caravan Show. With huge crowds flooding the show each day, our anglers presented themselves in front of thousands of avid fishers and outdoor adventurers every day. Sitting in fifth after day one, the pair was quick to point out that you can’t win the Spotters QLD Open on day one, but you can lose it, “The extra day fishing in an event like the QLD Open really changes things,” said Sharp. “You really need to manage your spots and ideally try to build bags throughout the event, very rarely does the team that catches a big bag on day one hold through to win the tournament. If you can consistently deliver bigger bags to the scales each day, you’ll always have a chance to win”. The boys were close to that magic mark on days one and two, delivering consistent bags to the scales that had them sitting in fourth place going into the final day. Knowing they would need to present the weigh master with the biggest 5/5 fish limit of the whole tournament to have a shot at winning, the pair went to what they know best, cranking the shallow reef flats of Moreton Bay’s various islands. “The biggest key in a Spotters QLD Open or any multi-day tournament for

Atomic victory in open that matter is managing your spots,” said Sharp. The pair made use of their

just work so well in the bay. we never feel the need to try anything else.

When you have that level of confidence in a bait it’s hard to put it down,

The bronze bream of the Spotters QLD BREAM Open. vast experience on Moreton Bay and hit new spots every day on the way to their first QLD Open victory. “We’ve spent a long time learning the intricacies of Moreton Bay,” explained Eldred. “We don’t actually fish it outside of tournaments that much anymore, because as it is the islands receive a lot of angling pressure from the public. We have so much confidence in the bay we don’t feel the need to pre-fish too much, we back ourselves to figure out the exact area or technique on the day or during the event”. As is so often the case when fishing shallow flats, crankbaits and topwaters were the choice of lures. Relying on a one-two approach that often dominates Moreton Bay events, Sharp and Eldred used a combination of Atomic Crank 38s in both mid and deep depths, and also the Megabass Dog-X Jr and regular sized Dog-X to tempt kickers on the surface. “Those two lures

Bridesmaids no longer, Steve Eldred and Aaron Sharp from Team Atomic with the spoils of victory in the Spotters presented event. especially when it’s worked for the past seven years and continues to do so.” The technique wasn’t complex – it’s as simple as covering as much water as possible with each and every cast. “Fish spook easily in the bay. It’s shallow and clear and they can see you coming from a mile away – that’s where

Unitika braid and leader connected them to the winning fish, and when necessary, the pair retrofitted Gamakatsu Wide Gap treble hooks to their lures for the best hook-up and holding power. For their efforts, the pair walked away with the perpetual Spotters QLD Open trophy that

Tristan Taylor and Dave McKenzie were as consistent as ever in the open, finishing second to take home $1300 in winnings.

What’s cooler than a bunch of bass boats ready to open throttle onto a glassed-out Moreton Bay?

Weedy bottom



Rocky bottom

small things like having a lure that’s aerodynamic, thinner braid and more responsive rods all come into play,” said Sharp. The tools of the trade were the new Samurai Reaction rods, a revamp of arguably some of the most popular light spinning rods ever sold in Australia. “The new models are lighter, more sensitive and more responsive,” said Eldred.

had eluded them so many times up until this point, as well as a stack of cash to go towards a few gel coat repairs on the bottom of Sharp’s bass boat. TEAM SAMURAI REACTION SETTLE FOR SECOND Te a m Samurai Reaction’s Tristan Taylor and Dave Mckenzie are no strangers to Spotters QLD Open success. They’ve

won the title four times and been runner-up another four times in the event’s

three very consistent days on the water, without ever producing the all-important

the majority of our fish came from little drop offs out wider on the shallow

infinitely further than the small Atomic Crank 38 that they so often use, so they’re able to cover a lot more water and get the lure a lot further away from the boat. Picking up two Moreton Bay favourites in the Megabass Dog-X Jr and Megabass Dog-X, the pair would bomb long casts out over patchy weed, rubble and sand that litter the flats of all the Southern Bay’s

islands. It was the packs of bream they were looking for which would produce the most solid hook-ups, “When you had one single fish come up and look at your lure, you’d often just get them to swipe at it half-heartedly. It was when you’d get a pack of five or six fish competing for your lure that they’d hit it multiple times, and you’d almost be guaranteed



In what ended up being the closest Spotters QLD Open in the event’s history, Team Samurai Reaction fell 80g short of notching their fifth Spotters QLD Open

The competitors gathered for a quick briefing before heading off to their first spots. history. It’s no surprise to see them on the podium again in 2016. Despite facing some boat troubles on session one, which saw them having to switch boats and lose the best part of their first day on the water, the pair managed to put together

3kg ‘kicker’ limit that is often required to win in Moreton Bay. “With the tides the way they were this weekend, the fish never really had the opportunity to get right up into the super shallow water during the tournament hours, so we actually found

flats of the bay islands,” explained Mckenzie. Expressing a similar theory that the fish in these flats are on edge and easily spooked, the pair utilised a top-water approach for most of the tournament. The large sized top-water lures that they prefer cast

Aaron Sharp explains his winning tackle and technique on Facebook Live.

Anglers head out onto a glassed out Moreton Bay.

to hook one when that circumstance happened,” said Mckenzie. The colour of choice? Bright yellow of course! Big advocates of bright colours for this scenario, Team Samurai Reaction commented the bright colours like Modena bone allow you to keep track of your lure much easier, when it’s sometimes as much as 40m away from the boat. “The bright colour just stands out. It helps you to see when a fish is chasing so you can know whether you need to walk it faster or maybe stop it to draw a strike. It’s a really key ingredient to top-water fishing in Moreton Bay – I hardly ever use any other colour,” explained Taylor.

victory. The pair wanted to send a big thank you to their long-time friend and regular Spotters QLD Open angler Grayson Fong, who kindly lent them his boat after the pair had troubles with theirs on day one.

Scan the QR code to watch Steve Morgan chat to winners Steve Eldridge and Aaron Sharp.






ATOMIC Aaron Sharp and Steve Eldred




SAMURAI REACTION Tristan Taylor and David McKenzie




SNIPER Luke Rogan and Tyson Hayes




PONTOON 21 Denis Metzdorf and Khoi Pham




BUSH N’BEACH/ATOMIC Anthony Wishey and Lex Irwin




GONE FISHING DAY 16TH OCTOBER Steve Morgan and Nicholle Smith




DONUT KINGS Brandon Gosbell and Shane Davison


5.78kg NOVEMBER 2016


Allwood’s all star performance CE 1ST PLA

THE FUTURE IS HERE Self-contained Electric Outboards


Visit for entry forms. For general enquiries phone ABT on (07) 3387 0888. 88


Terry Allwood has claimed an emphatic win on the biggest stage in the ABT BASS Pro competition, claiming the 2016 BassCat BASS Pro Grand Final with a scale-crushing 15.85kg limit. Allwood hit the weigh-in stage needing 4.89kg to win, a bag that would have rivaled all but a few on Sunday afternoon. Allwood was one of the few bringing in a massive 5.81kg limit with non-boater Mark King. He led overnight and showed no signs of the nerves that have claimed numerous names in the past. Allwood’s victory secures him an experience that money simply can’t buy – a trip to the USA where Australian Bassmaster Elite Series Pro and BassCat family member, Carl Jocumsen will have his truck and Puma FTD waiting. The pair will fish a Bassmaster Open tournament together, where Terry will rub shoulders with Elite Series Pros, local sticks and young guns looking to make it in the high stakes sport of tournament bass fishing. A local to the dam that’s arguably one of the best in Australia during the September spring bite, Allwood had a number of areas and a technique locked down before official pre-fish day. “Leading up to the event, the fish were feeding predominantly on redclaw and smaller bait, so your presentation had to match. Smaller cut-down soft plastics were definitely getting more bites in the weeks leading to the blackout. On the Friday pre-fish, I went straight to the cut-down soft plastic, but noticed the abundance of larger boney bream in the shallows. That’s when I started using larger 3-3.5” soft plastics and noticed a dramatic difference in the size of the fish I was catching,” explained Allwood. After making the successful change, Allwood scoped out the dam, eyeing off places he had previously found fish, scouting out whether other anglers had stumbled on them. Allwood relied on two main baits to accumulate the Grand Final’s winning bag limit – a 3 1/2” Atomic Plazos paddle-tail in avocado glitter, and a 3” Megabass Hazedong Shad in green chartreuse. Both lures were rigged on Atomic Seekerz jigheads in 1/4oz weight.

He delivered the tournament winning baits on a combination of Samurai’s newest and tried and trusted rod models. The new Samurai Infinite 6-12lb was Allwood’s go-to, however occasionally he’d pick up the trusty Samurai Reaction 252. His line of choice was Unitika Light Jigging PE in 10lb, matched with a 6lb Unitika Aiger III fluorocarbon leader. Day one saw Allwood start on his preferred number one spot. Other anglers had also chosen to start there,

Finch caught a good limit early, coming back to weigh in early on in the first weigh-in window. Their 4/4, 5.11kg limit had them sitting in 3rd place, behind Mark Lennox, Paul Gillespie and their respective non-boating partners. The afternoon session played out harder than Allwood was hoping for, with himself and Finch looking at a half-empty livewell midway through the session. “I’d been jumping between two main spots,

2016 BassCat BASS Pro Grand Final champion Terry Allwood with a pair of stunning BP bass. but he felt he had ample room to scope out looking for an early bag. “The courtesy shown by all anglers this weekend was arguably the best I’ve ever witnessed.” Allwood and non-boating partner Leroy

and I remember saying to Leroy that we just had to knuckle down in my go-to area and we’d get them,” The pair stayed true to the plan and ground out the afternoon’s third biggest limit, which put him in the overnight lead heading

3 1/2” Atomic Plazos paddle-tail in avocado glitter

3” Megabass Hazedong Shad in green chartreuse

into Sunday’s final session. Allwood was the picture of calm and zen on Sunday morning’s start line. No doubt the fact that this was his home water and he’d been in this position before helped him calm the nerves. “My only goal on Sunday was to enjoy the day. I said to Mark King, who was my non-boater, that I had a plan. We were going to go out and not deviate from that plan and no matter what enjoy the day, enjoy the fact we were both in contention on the final day of a Grand Final and that’s what we did.” The approach seemed to be working out when on his third cast of the morning a kilo fish graced the deck. “That first fish broke the ice, and when I knew they were going to chew I turned to Mark and said you better tie on a plastic and let’s get stuck in.” With a 4/4, 5.79kg limit in the well by 9:30am, Allwood was almost ready to retire early. “With the 500g lead I had into the final session, I knew it would take the tournament’s biggest bag to run me down, so myself and Mark really enjoyed that last few hours of the session.” Despite a valiant effort by tournament runner-up Mark Ferguson, who brought Sunday’s biggest bag to the scales, a 4/4, 5.82kg limit, it wasn’t the 6.8kg that he needed. Allwood claimed the victory and now finds himself needing a passport, as he’ll be flying stateside in 2017 to hook-up with Carl Jocumsen for the ultimate fishing road trip. Allwood thanked his sponsors, Frogleys Offshore, Tonic Eyewear, A1 Roadworthys and Allcar Bitz for their generous support throughout the years.

Ferguson’s Sabre a vision of success CE 2ND PLA New BassCat owner Mark Ferguson ensured his new boat had plenty of mojo by finishing second in the season ending BassCat BASS Pro Grand Final. His 12/12, 14.89kg limit bested in-form Mitchell Cone’s third place sack by over a kilo, and marked Ferguson down as a name to watch over the next few years. Ferguson had never been to Bjelke-Petersen Dam before, but enjoyed one of the best weekends fishing of his life. “I’ve probably never caught as many fish in a tournament as I did during the Grand Final.” Ferguson identified early on during Friday’s official pre-fish that it was going to be run and won fishing on the edge. Being a relatively shallow dam compared to others the series visits, BP

lends itself well to an edge bite, especially in the spring. Ferguson caught a number of fish throughout the day, with half a dozen over the 40cm mark. “I wasn’t too concerned about catching my full 12/12 limit, which was my main goal after qualifying for the event. I was concerned about being able to find 12 good fish.” Ferguson paid close attention to the variety of bird life of Bjelke-Petersen. “I noticed after about

half of Friday’s pre-fish that the banks that had a lot of birds around them were the banks that were holding large amounts of boney bream. From what was in the bottom of my livewell after the weekend, that was clearly what the fish were feeding on.” “I caught fish early on a Jackall Squirrel 67SP jerkbait. I’d cast it out and twitch it once or twice, so that was my go-to for early in the session.” That approach couldn’t have worked better come

Mark Ferguson charged home on the final day to finish second.

Saturday’s first session. Ferguson and non-boating partner, Orton Marchant, bagged out within the first 20 minutes. “As the sun rose I slightly adjusted where I was fishing. I moved out off the bank and continued to cast tight to the edge, because I didn’t want to miss any fish that were still up shallow. I fished all my casts right back to the boat, sometimes getting eaten almost with my leader inside the rod tip.” “I’d rotate through all three baits I had on the deck, I’d go 20 minutes with the jerkbait, then pick up the beetle spin. 20 minutes with that and I’d go to the bare plastic. I think because we were rotating through the same banks multiple times, that continual lure rotation meant I was never presenting the same lure to the fish over and over again, keeping them honest.” After weighing-in mid way through Saturday morning, the pair headed straight back out to see if they could repeat their morning’s 4/4 4.59kg effort. Sure enough, the bank that had


been so fruitful to Ferguson in session one, continued form, producing a full limit in under 20 minutes again. They produced only one upgrade after their early bag, with Ferguson throwing out a 33cm fish for a 44cm beast with only 10 minutes to go on Saturday afternoon. His 4/4 4.26kg limit was enough to have him in third overnight heading into Sunday’s morning session. Ferguson experiencied some mechanical dramas on Sunday on his run up the dam. That’s when the second of two good breaks went Ferguson’s way. “I actually didn’t manage to get to my key spot first, another boat beat me to it. I turned to my non-boater Robbie Rayner and told him I knew where we could at least fill a limit. I popped the BassCat up on plane and focused on simply catching four.” The spot Ferguson was talking about was one he’d located in pre-fish, a flat featureless bank in the main basin. The seemingly endless supply of just scoreable bass had vanished, replaced by

Presente SERIES d by Bas sCat

the best size fish Ferguson caught weekend. The pair went to work and got a 4/4, 5.82kg mega bag. As it turned out, the session’s biggest bag wouldn’t be enough for him to challenge for the lead. Ferguson enjoyed his best weekend tournament fishing with a Duffrods Basstix 3-6kg rod made by long-time ABT sponsor and ABT BREAM Grand Final champion Steve Duff. On it he had an ABU Garcia Revo MGX 20 spin reels and spooled it with 8lb Berkley Fireline, topped with an 8lb leader of Sunline FC Sniper Invisible fluorocarbon. The unique colouration of the camo leader perfectly blended in with the stained water of Bjelke-Petersen and Ferguson went through the tournament without a lost fish. He thanked his sponsors of Bass ‘N’ Bream Tackle, Attack Fishing, Duffrods and Keitech Australia for their continued support, and he shared his success with his young family.

Pieschel’s rookie season ends with a bang -BOATER 1ST NON Brendan Pieschel had never really fished for bass prior to 2016, let alone thought about entering a tournament. A chance meeting with ABT angler Jason Martin led to a fishing frenzy that culminated in Pieschel enrolling to fish every round of the 2016 BassCat BASS Pro Series. “I really just came to Bjelke-Petersen hoping to end the year on the right note. I’d heard this dam fished well during the spring, so I was hoping to catch some fish, contribute to the bags and continue learning as much as I can from the boaters that I end

up paired with,” said Pieschel. Finding himself paired with Daniel Brown, who’s no stranger to success on the ABT stage, the pair enjoyed the dream start, when Brown’s first cast of Saturday morning produced a legal sized bass. “We had our limit by around 8am. Like most anglers on the water, after we had what we thought to be a competitive total for session one, we returned to the weigh-in.” The pair brought the tournament’s equal second biggest bag across the scales, and Pieschel was the man in form. The afternoon session had started the same as Saturday morning, except this time it was Pieschel to strike on the first cast. Throwing a Jackall TN60 in the everpopular brown dog pattern, Pieschel and Brown targeted main basin shallow banks, were an abundance of bait

had accumulated numbers of hungry Australian bass, which the pair took full advantage of. The arrival of a rain squall lit up the action, although the majority of fish they were converting barely measured 30cm. “It wasn’t until we moved to an area Brown had located during his Friday pre-fish that our fortunes began to turn around. I broke my personal best with a fish around the 43cm fork mark then almost unbelievably broke it a further two times, and ended up upgrading our whole bag. It was arguably the best fishing session I’ve ever had in my whole life, and one I won’t forget anytime soon.” Pieschel’s hot afternoon yielded a whopping 4/4, 5.82kg limit, which jumped the pair into second place after Saturday’s last bag crossed the stage.

Paired on Sunday with in-form angler Mitchell Cone. Pieschel contributed to the final day’s bag. With Cone weighing in the tournament’s biggest bag of 6.32kg on Saturday afternoon, they were in a good position to win. “I had to change my tack on Sunday. The Jackall TN60 I used on Saturday only produced a few fish early. I changed to a Keitech 3” Easy Shiner soft plastic and that’s when I started catching more fish.” The pair used the longer Sunday session to eventually upgraded their way to a 4/4, 4.92kg limit, which saw Pieschel with a full 12/12, 14.43kg limit, easily good enough to take top honours. Pieschel is the perfect example of the experience and knowledge there is to gain from the shared weight format ABT introduced at the beginning of the 2016 BassCat BASS Pro Series.

Pieschel was the recipient of a brand new Haswing bow mount electric motor and a

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


Terry Allwood 12/12 Mark Ferguson 12/12 Mitchell Cone 12/12 Paul Gillespie 12/12 David Young 12/12 Daniel Brown 12/12 Tom Slater 12/12 Stephen Kanowski 12/12 Peter Leggett 11/12 Tony Thorley 12/12

Weight (kg)

Brendan Pieschel secured the non-boater Grand Final to finish the season on a high.


15.86 Carl Jocumsen Trip of a Lifetime 14.89 Crashpad Swag, Bassman Pack 13.6 Costa Sunglasses 13.6 Spotters, Diamond Deck 13.14 Prize Pack 12.73 12.36 11.81 11.67 11.35

For full result listings, see

huge Bassman prize pack. He thanked every competitor, helper, staff and host.

Place Angler


Weight (kg)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

12/12 12/12 12/12 12/12 12/12 12/12 12/12 12/12 11/12 12/12

14.43 13.58 13.34 12.52 12.28 12.05 11.97 11.78 11.75 11.69

Brendan Pieschel Mark King William Schloss Leroy Finch David Simmons Robbie Rayner Orton Marchant Mark Mckay Paul Piper Joe Smith


Haswing Motor, Bassman Pack $300, Costa Sunglasses $200, Prize Pack Prize Pack Prize Pack

For full result listings, see NOVEMBER 2016


Keg bass at Costa BASS Megabucks s egabuck BASS M Nineteen teams rolled into Somerset Dam for the 2016 Costa BASS Megabucks. As usual with springtime events in the southeast, high hopes of record breaking bass were making all anglers eager to get on the water. South East Queensland impoundments typically fish well in early spring and Somerset did not disappointment in

that regard, competing teams cashed cheques in each session. This tournament was dominated by a technique that was almost forgotten until a few years ago. The resurgence of throwing metal slices and spoons for schooling bass has taken off over the past two years and we noticed the effectiveness of this technique during the Costa BASS Megabucks. Almost every front deck of each boat was a line-up of jigs and spoons all looking more accustomed to tailor spinning

Dave Young and Stuart France delivered over 9kg to the scales to secure the win in session two.

off the rocks than chasing Australian bass, but boy did they deliver when it came to crunch time. KANOWSKI AND SIMMONS – 8.6KG Session one began with a picturesque lake Somerset sunrise. Team Lews, made up of Craig Simmons and Steve Kanowski, made the short run from the starting line, around the corner to the deep flats known as the Spit. Fishing the dam wall side of the Spit, they positioned their boat in one of the deeper gullies that runs up onto the flat. This section acted like a highway for bass to come out of deeper water onto the flat and chase the bait schools of bony bream. Teams Lews chose a 20g Halco Twisty in silver to imitate these baitfish. On a full cast out, they let their spoon flutter all the way to the bottom before giving it a couple of hard rips. After ripping the lure up, they’d let it flutter back to the bottom again. If the slice wasn’t eaten in the first few rips, a slow constant retrieve back to the boat was used to tempt fish higher in the water column. This retrieve saw Team Lews land approximately twenty bass in total as they worked towards a solid bag.

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Craig revealed that many times over the session, they had 2kg+ fish on the deck trying to upgrade by small amounts, as a lot of the fish were almost identical in size. Spending the whole session

the bottom 4-6ft, and then allow it to fall back to bottom before commencing a slow rolling retrieve. A lot of the bigger fish came as soon as they started rolling off the bottom. Bass Brothers used

from the package without any modifications.” The team used the new Sunline V-Plus Fluorocarbon leader in 12lb after a large number of fish swallowed the lure right down. The main

Kris Hickson and Daniel Brown found their mojo in the last session to claim the $1000 winners’ cheque. in their gully on the Spit, the team weighed an impressive 8.6kg bag, a kilogram over their nearest competitor. The pair relied on EDGE First Strike and Black Widow rods, teamed with Lews reels and straight through fluorocarbon, to deliver the spoons accurately and with precision to feel the often slack line bites. YOUNG AND FRANCE – 9.06KG Team Bass Brothers, Dave Young and Stuart France weighed a respectable bag over 7kg in the first session. They headed straight back to the area of Bay 13, where they had found large schools of bass roaming the vast flats in 35-45ft of water. After failing to locate any substantial shows of fish in the first half of the session, and with no fish in the live well, they made the tough decision to leave the area. Using their Lowrance Insight Genesis Contour map, they were able to easily locate the area where creek bed ran adjacent to the deep flats section, where they had success in session one and assumed the bass had moved off the flat onto the edge of the creek bed. They positioned the boat right on the edge of the creek bed in 40ft of water, and using a variety of metal spoons or jigs, they’d make a long cast over the edge of the drop off and allow the jig to fall all the way to the bottom. Allowing the jig to fall on a slack line was key to creating a lifelike fluttering action, but required full attention to detect bites. Once on the bottom, they’d start with a couple long draws of the rod to lift the spoon off

the 14g Jackall Lizinc, and a 18g Nories Wasabi spoon, but the stand out by far was the Palms Anglers Republic Slow Blatt Cast Oval Jig in 20g with a silver metallic finish. Dave Young said, “The jig perfectly mimics a bony bream and offers a

line of choice was the recently released Sunline Super PE Light Blue in 10lb. Fished over a Dobyn’s Champion Extreme 703 and BarraBass XP902 spin rod, they were able to make super long casts and cover large areas of water searching for the active fish.

Steve Kanowski and Craig Simmons from Team Lews with their session one winning limit. much wider profile than conventional spoons currently on the market. This large oval profile in turn generates a slow fall that the big bass just couldn’t resist. Rigged from the factory with Decoy twin front assist hooks and a single assist on the rear, we could fish this lure straight

HICKSON AND BROWN – 9.5KG Team Hobie fishing/ TT Lures’ Kris Hickson and Daniel Brown recovered from a dismal session one and an average session two to compile the biggest bag of the tournament and take out the session three win.

Choosing to return to the Bay 13 area, Team Hobie/ TT chose to live and die by the area that had shown them fish on the screen, but failed to show them fish in the net and in the livewell in sessions one and two. With scattered fish showing on the sounder, the pair fan casted around with a paddletail plastic rigged on a 3/8oz TT HeadlockZ jighead to secure a couple of fish. Halfway through the session, these scattered fish began to school up in 35-40” of water. At this point, they switched to 20g and 30g Silver Halco Twisties hopped off the bottom and burned before killing the lure mid-water and allowing it to fall back through the school. “When we were searching and waiting for the fish to come past, we covered ground with long casts, but once you got them to switch on it was a short cast and a sort of slow jig retrieve that did the damage,” said Hickson. “The fish were in the area the whole time and there were several schools roaming around. You just had to be on the right ones at the right time using the technique that got them to bite.” An example of the often fickle nature of Somerset bass, with half an hour left in the session Brown and Hickson had a double hook-up on two big fish, one fish nearly pushing the magic 3kg mark. By the time the pair had landed and ultimately upgraded their four fish bag limit, the school had moved on, and they were unable to locate them again. OVERALL WINNERS Team Gamakatsu / Barra Jacks took overall honours, made up of Steve Otto and Adrian Melchior. They weighed a 12 fish limit of 21.46kg – a truly astonishing effort that would be unlikely to be matched in any Australian bass impoundment. Otto and Melchior also relied on schooling bass to fill their limits. They kept very mobile the entire tournament, dividing their time between the Spit, Bay 13 and some steep rocky banks. This constant moving allowed the boys to find plenty of active











Adrian Melchior, Steve Otto




Craig Simmons, Steve Kanowski






Dave Young, Stuart France






Matt Johnson, Shaun Falkenhagen




Michael Thompson, Mark Lennox




Peter Phelps, Mitchell Cone




Liam Fitzpatrick, Dean Thomson




Brett Hyde, Corey Goldie



Steve Muldoon, Robert Tilley



Matthew Mott, Andrew Mitchell



Kris Hickson, Daniel Brown










8 9




11 12


Mal Stewart, Jamie Johnson





Warren Carter, James Reid





Tony Thorley, Paul Gillespie



Steve Morgan, Peter Leggett



Owen McPaul, Guy Struthers



Peter Morgan, Dan Stead




15 16







John Brider, John Trigg





Mike Connolly, Chase Bursnall






schooled fish. They stuck by the plan that if they couldn’t see them schooling beneath

Steve Otto and Adrian Melchior from Team Gamakatsu/Barra Jacks dominated at the Costa BASS Megabucks claiming overall honours and a cheque in two of the three sessions.

the boat, they’d keep sounding around these areas looking for fish.

This strategy produced 20-30 fish each session. Otto and Melchior both relied

Shaun Falkenhagen and Matt Johnson from Team NeXgen Lures had a successful Somerset event, finishing 4th overall and weighing in the heaviest bass for the tournament – 3.06kg.

on a 20g Halco Twisty in silver to produce most of their fish. They modified the lure by replacing the treble with Atomic Tricksters Assist Hooks in size #1 and gold fleck colour. They felt these added some extra action and the single hooks helped with solid hook-ups. The technique first began with a long cast to cover maximum ground. Then they’d allow the lure to flutter all the way to the bottom before imparting three quick hops to lift the lure off the bottom. If the quick hops failed to get a reaction bite, they’d move to a slow wind until the lure was halfway back to the boat. At this stage, they would open the bail and freefall the lure back to the bottom before repeating the process. Adrian noted that most bites came when the lure

first fell on the free spool. Sometime they struggled to get the bail arm over as the bass was swimming away so fast with the lure in it’s mouth. While the Twisty produced a lot of fish, Otto found a Nories In the Bait tail spinner in 12g outdid the Twisty on the Sunday morning. A standard tail spinner retrieve was used, consisting of a big long hop or draw off the bottom then fall back to the bottom through the fish. They repeat this process back to the boat. Adrian used a Samurai Reaction 252 spin rod with Daiwa Steez 2502 spooled with 8lb Unitika Braid and 8lb Unitika leader. Steve used a Majorcraft Volkey spin rod with a Shimano Stradic CI14 spooled with 8lb Power pro braid and 12lb sunline leader. – Costa BASS Megabucks NOVEMBER 2016



2016 Gold Coast Flathead Classic wrap up BRISBANE

Bob Thornton

The 2016 Gold Coast Flathead Classic was, just like every other year, a monumental gathering of like-minded individuals, and the competition still remains the biggest fishing tournament in the country! This year was also a particularly big one, as

fishing skills is still part of the club today. The club still welcomes any angler into the club, whether you’re an old hand with a boat, or a newbie fishing from the bank. THE LEAD UP The weeks before the competition were full of rumours of some gargantuan lizards taken during pre-fishing. Even some of the Fishing Monthly boys kept locations of their

The Flathead Classic has always retained the ethos that the competition should promote catch and release fishing. the club that founded the competition, the Gold Coast Sport Fishing Club, turned 40 this year! The club’s history dates back to 1976 when club founder Don Woodford harnessed the interest of locals keen on fishing. The sharing of knowledge to improve

captures in pre-fish under their hats, only to be revealed at the conclusion of the competition. The conclusion of the event would see all the secrets come out, but for now, angler lips were sealed tightly. Last year the competition was won in deep water by

the Whyte brothers, so many competitors had put in months to perfect this technique. It certainly seems that the technique or techniques used to win the classic on any given year proceed to become the coolest way to catch flathead for the next year! What would happen this year was anyone’s guess, and the conditions were lining up to present a bit of a challenge for anglers. Word on the street was that a few innovative anglers had put in some groundwork perfecting an exciting technique. This competition really does encourage anglers to push the boundaries of what we thought was appropriate for flathead, and completely turn consensus on its head! THE BIG DANCE The tides this year were very different to last year, with huge tidal differences between high and low, so controlling boats was difficult. While the timing of the tides suited some, others found themselves chasing their tails until they found a tidal stage that suited their fishing style. As per each year, competitors spread themselves all up and down the Gold Coast to which ever ramp gave them the best access to their chosen haunts for the session. Kick off on 28 September saw the tide still making at 6:30am when it came time to get on the water. This suited the anglers who liked to get up onto flats and either cast or troll to find flathead up in the shallows. On a high tide, flathead are often actively hunting small baitfish, crabs, squid and other small prey. Those who were more comfortable fishing drains and gutters on a dropping tide had to wait. Of course, with any tournament, those who can catch fish under differing conditions and at different time of the day often do

The biggest lucky draw prize was a Quintrex Renegade – that’s a pretty good prize! And all competitors had to do was enter the comp for a chance to win. Photo courtesy of Gerry Nicholls. very well. About mid morning on the first day, some uncomfortable rain came through, forcing some to don the wet weather gear and keep fishing… or sit under a bridge and moan. The weather on day two shifted gears a bit, and so too did the fishing. Anglers were met on day two with barely a cloud in the sky, however, the wind was absolutely howling. Many anglers who would have usually fished in The Broadwater found

day, and the fishing wasn’t nearly as tough as the third day weather-wise. Calmer conditions made motoring along flats, parking up on bait schools or trolling a likely bank much, much easier. At the conclusion of fishing on the third day at 2pm, competitors flocked to the Northern Pavilion to swap stories of great captures, and lament about those that got away before the all important presentations. The great thing about this competition is that there is no secrets at

nights. It’s a great setting to mix with like-minded anglers, either celebrate or drown the sorrows of the day, and perhaps sneakily pick up some tips and tricks from those more experienced! There was also some very exciting lucky draw giveaways, which anyone could potentially win, regardless of whether they weighed in a fish or not. On the water, it wasn’t just flathead coming over the gunnels. There were many weird and wonderful

Despite the windy days, the mornings that greeted anglers at the beginning of each session were beautiful.

The Flatty Classic is famous for its giveaway and lucky draw prizes. Photo courtesy of Gerry Nicholls. 92


themselves up the many rivers, creeks and channels the wind their way through the Gold Coast’s topography just to escape it. Even those trolling found controlling the boat in such wind very challenging. When day three rolled around, most anglers were probably feeling a little sleep-deprived from the nightlife of the Flathead Classic. Nevertheless, many soldiered on to complete their totals on the third

the end of the tournament, and competitors can cash in on the knowledge of those who spanked ‘em! BETWEEN FLATHEAD CAPTURES Between each session, competitors could enjoy cheap beers, like-minded company, live music and entertainment, as well as dinner each night, which was included in the entry! To really get the full Flathead Classic experience, you need to get along to these

by-catch measured and recorded, as any by-catch was worth 5 points! To name just a few, a 101cm mulloway and an 80cm trevally were caught by competitors, which would make for some real excitement between flathead captures! AFTERMATH At the end of the competition, the secrets were out, and the stats told an interesting story! A total of 240 teams had entered the comp, with 588 individual


Some absolutely stonking flathead made an appearance during the classic.

competitors entering! A whopping 4195 flathead were caught, and just under half of them were legal. The soft plastic to hardbody ratio was an interesting half and half, with 2121 taken on softies, and 2074 eating hardbodies! Less surprisingly, the most popular lure colour was pink. The results revealed that the boys at Wilson Fishing had taken out the team event by almost 300 points! Local Franco Martinese took out the individual competition, while in the juniors, young talent Jaimee Horner took out top spot. In the female category, Katie Watsford came in first place, beating the runner up by over 400 points! The question everyone’s asking every year however, is ‘who took out longest flathead?’, and ‘how long was it?’ Unfortunately, the magic metre mark wasn’t quite reached, and has never been reached in the history of this competition… yet.

Anglers flocked to likely spots each day, but the angler courtesy was impressive, especially given that scenes like this were common. But, Christian Ross’ 96cm crocodile is extremely impressive, and was enough for him to take out the all-important Longest

Flathead title! In the juniors, 86cm did the job for Simon Sweeny. Over all, The 2016 Gold Coast Flathead Classic was

a monumental success once again, and the Gold Coast Sport Fishing Club has gone all out to present a fantastic event. Bring on next year!

Wilson Fishing takes top team title trolling Wilson Fishing are no strangers to classics – with a Barra Classic under their belt and a very near win at the Cod Classic, they look to be well on their way to becoming kings of the classics! Wilson’s Kord Luckus, Rob Payne and Scott Fleming took out the Gold Coast Flathead Classic top team with a whopping 3222 points, landing around 90 flathead for the three days of competition. Their tactic was to troll over shallow banks,

flathead measured 69cm, with many just legals and sub legals in the mix too. Kord Luckus took us through his thought process before the competition, and exactly what he did to win the teams category. “We used Zerek Tango Shads, 99% of our fish came on the Tango Shads, and they were all caught trolling,” he said. “When trolling for flathead, you’re looking for broken ground instead of nice clean sand. If it looks good and you’re not getting weed on your lure, you can be pretty sure you won’t

need to take note of the tide – the Wilson boys worked their fishing around the tides of each day. “The next most important thing to catching flathead trolling is current flow and clean water,” he said. “They don’t like still water, and if the water’s dirty they probably won’t be able to see the lure.” Kord also believes that trolling speed is very important when chasing flatties on the troll. “It really depends on the day – sometimes we troll quick and sometimes we troll slow,” he said.

The Wilson Fishing boys used Wilson imported tackle to trick all their flathead, and while they mostly trolled, a few came on the cast, such as this beauty. Photo courtesy of Wilson Fishing.

Franco Martinese and Chris Metcalfe from team Out 4 A Quickie!! came in first in the two-angler team category, and Franco walked away as the top scoring individual angler. Photo courtesy of Gerry Nicholls. but a lot of planning went into their trolling runs. Trolling is known for producing lots of fish, but not necessarily big fish, and their results are a good reflection of this theory. Their largest

land too many flathead. They really like the broken bottom. Sometimes they’ll sit on total weed, but more often than not we’ll begin our search over the broken stuff.” Kord also stressed the

“It’s all to do with the mood of the fish. Some people think you just throw a lure and drive forward, but there’s actually a lot more to it than that.” “We also find that adjusting the length of

your line is important as well. If your lure is diving too deep and ploughing the bottom, it’s not getting that nice erratic action that flathead love.” Scott Fleming also shared some interesting stories from the day, and said they had a secret lure that dug them out of the hole. “We do it every year. I get an unpainted Tango Shad and take it home to the family and we get the kids’ nail polish out,” he said. “We painted one up this year called ‘Lieutenant Dan’ – he had a black back, orange belly, which was a horrible orange, finished with a glitter stripe down the middle. It was beautiful. “He ended up dragging us out of the bottom of the pit on the second day. At the end of the day, no one

really knows whether colour makes a big difference or not, but we’ve noticed our colour choice has affected our fishing in a big way.” “For instance, we found that the UV colours were really great with the overcast weather of the first day.” Wilson Fishing will now shift their focus to the upcoming Cod Classic, and they’re looking for redemption after last year’s near win. Hopefully, the boys can use this win as momentum going forward. No team has ever won a Flathead Classic, a Barra Classic and a Cod Classic before, so the Wilson boys are looking to create history. FISH WITH A BROKEN FOOT? EASY-PEASY MARTINESEY! Franco Martinese used some very exciting and new

techniques to take out top honours in the individual category. Franco managed to amass 1784 points over the three days, with his best fish going in the mid 80s, and many fish above 70cm. Franco probably deserves an additional award for fishing the whole three days despite breaking his foot just before the comp started. “I was loading the boat and slipped and broke it, so I got on some painkillers and Red Bull and just dealt with it – clearly it was good luck!” he said. “Chris Metcalfe [fishing partner] had to baby me through the whole comp and net my fish, which was fine because I netted all his fish last year!” To page 94



Flathead From page 93

Franco and Chris were trying out some new techniques Chris had been working on in the last year, and their success had created a buzz in the fishing community. “We were throwing really big soft plastics up to 9” in shallow water, mainly the Silstar Slapstix, but a few other types as well. We caught them trolling too, and we’d been working on our trolling since last year, as it was once one of our weaknesses.” What’s interesting is

Christian caught his 96cm flathead casting in quite shallow water. “We were inside Tipplers and we had half an hour before the end of the session, and at this stage the tide was getting too low to troll our lures,” he said. “When we found a gutter in amongst this shallow stuff, we decided to throw some plastics and bang! “My previous PB was 94cm, so I was stoked to better that with this fish.” Christian believes his choice of lure and tackle is important, and played a

large roll in this capture. “I was throwing the 3.5” Ecogear Balt in green/ silver, weighted with a TT pink 3/8oz jighead,” he said. “I had that rigged on 6lb mainline and 10lb trace, which is pretty light compared to everyone else, and this fish had it deep!” Christian knew early on that the fish had swallowed it, and took his time gently coercing this slab to the boat. “We saw it had eaten it deep and chased it with the motor. Daniel [fishing partner] had a few shots

The Wilson Fishing boys pose for a victory shot. From left: Scott Fleming, Rob Payne and Kord Luckus. Photo courtesy of Gerry Nicholls.

Here it is – the biggest flathead from the 2016 Gold Coast Flathead Classic, going 96cm – a PB for its captor, Christian Cross. Photo courtesy of Christian Cross. how visual their fishing was, and many of the fish the guys caught were spotted before the cast was even made. “We often cruise over the before we catch them, or watch them come up behind the lure – we’ve even had them get airborne on the strike like a Spanish mackerel!” He said. “We fished from South Port to the ‘Pin, and everywhere in between.” “Everything is 10ft or under, and the key is to be stealthy when working in these shallow areas,” he concluded. Franco and Chris’ team Out 4 A Quickie!! finished on top in the two-person team division, and fourth overall! It will be very interesting to see what comes of these new techniques and the angler experimentation that will inevitably ensue as a result. CHRISTAIN CROSSES PATHS WITH A GIANT! The coveted Longest Flathead prize was taken out by local Christian Cross with his 96cm snorker. This monster flathead was also his PB, beating his previous PB by 2cm. The story of this crocodile remained true to the theory that trolling gets numbers rather than quality, and casting gets quality rather than numbers. 94


Franco Martinese’s fishing partner Chris Metcalfe has lead the charge with the hot new technique of The Classic, and nailed many crocodile-class flatties in the process! Photo courtesy of Gold Coast Sportfishing Club.

with the net but missed them unfortunately, but we got it in the end, and that felt good.” Christian also measured the biggest tailor for the competition, which came in at an impressive 50cm. That would have zinged off some string on his light flathead gear! WINNERS ARE GRINNERS These names will go down in the history of The Classic, and it looks as though trolling and throwing massive soft plastics in the shallows is going to be the coolest thing since sliced bread leading into next year! A mention must go to the winner of the Longest Flathead in the junior division, Simon Sweeney. He cracked an 86cm monster, still one of the longest flathead measured for the tournament. Jamie Horner took out the individual title for the juniors with 866 points, which is 200 points more than his runner up! Katie Watsford’s impressive 1069 point total was enough to secure a win in the female category, which was enough to smash her opposition by more than 400 points. The by-catch categories told a story of their own, revealing that the Goldy isn’t just a great place to catch big flathead. Tony Jewel measured a 101cm mulloway, which are becoming a more and more common catch when flathead fishing. BJ Leonard’s 80 cm trevally is almost unbelieveable… not that he hooked it, but the fact he managed to wrestle the beast in on flathead gear! Michael Thompson tangled with a 58cm estuary cod, and that dirty fight would have woken him up and straightened out any kinks in his gear! Warren Stevens nailed a 41cm elbow-slapping

Wilson Fishing’s Kord Luckus holds up one of many flathead that came on the troll. Photo courtesy of Wilson Fishing. whiting while he fished for flathead, which is a fantastic whiting in any waters. Finally, Andrew Mayhew would have get a shock when he first saw colour with his 39cm bream. While that metre mark

hasn’t yet been cracked in the event, the absolute mass of flathead measured and released each year gives hope that we’re getting closer! Who knows… Christian’s 96cm flathead might be over a metre next year!



Scan the QR code to listen to Steve Morgan chat to the Wilson Fishing boys and Christian Cross on presentation night.

Scan the QR code to watch the Wilson Fishing boys do an hour long Q and A about their tactics at the Flathead Classic.


2016 Gold Coast Flathead Classic results table Place 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

TOP 3-PERSON TEAMS Team Wilson Fishing Lowrance Whyte Boyz Team On Strike Lizard Wizards Mad Hueys Heritage Team Sands Fishing World Fishing World -Dead Fishy Frayed Lines Blu-C Hookusup Tmnt Hardheaded Hookers Hayes Pots Lucky Strike Fishing Tackle Switchbait Bcf Foul Hookers Team Canberra Fishos

Points 3222 2968 2795 2332 2313 2147 2125 2029 1954 1789 1676 1605 1495 1476 1469 1466 1435 1434 1404

Place 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

TOP 20 2-PERSON TEAMS Team Out 4 A Quickie!! Beer & Bullshit Shagga & Son Doug Burts Tackleworld Msg The Long Ones M.A.D Cabbage Tree Point B&T All Terrain Gear Fifty Shades Of Flathead The Salty Seamen Lizard Poachers Team Madkeen Tt Lures Tough Tt’s The Jig Spitters Got The Chips Bt Austins Bundy Guzzlin Flat Smackaz Fishing Monthly Team Heavy Tackle Pig Lures

Points 2793 2507 2383 2075 1751 1464 1450 1414 1376 1288 1257 1131 1103 1075 1063 1009 990 957 950 941

TOP 100 TEAMS OVERALL Place Team Team Type Points 1 Wilson Fishing Senior 3222 2 Lowrance Whyte Boyz Senior 2968 3 Team On Strike Senior 2795 4 Out 4 A Quickie!! Senior 2793 5 Beer & Bullshit Senior 2507 6 Shagga & Son Senior 2383 7 Lizard Wizards Senior 2332 8 Mad Hueys Heritage Senior 2313 9 Team Sands Senior 2147 10 Fishing World Senior 2125 11 Doug Burts Tackleworld Msg Senior 2075 12 Fishing World -Dead Fishy Senior 2029 13 Frayed Lines Senior 1954 14 Blu-C Mixed 1789 15 The Long Ones Senior 1751 16 Hookusup Senior 1676 17 Tmnt Mixed 1605 18 Hardheaded Hookers Senior 1495 19 Hayes Pots Senior 1476 20 Lucky Strike Fishing Tackle Senior 1469 21 Switchbait Senior 1466 22 M.A.D Senior 1464 23 Cabbage Tree Point B&T Senior 1450 24 Bcf Senior 1435 25 Foul Hookers Senior 1434 26 All Terrain Gear Senior 1414 27 Team Canberra Fishos Senior 1404 28 Fifty Shades Of Flathead Senior 1376 29 Stsmarine Senior 1375 30 Team Zman Senior 1343 31 Wildfire Senior 1320 32 The Salty Seamen Senior 1288 33 Tackle World Shimano Senior 1283 34 Flatty Wranglers Senior 1281 35 Reel Jerks Senior 1278 36 Coolrunnings Mixed 1257 37 Lizard Poachers Senior 1257 38 Thlega Mixed 1238

TOP 100 TEAMS OVERALL Place Team Team Type Points 39 Soft-On’s Mixed 1237 40 The Reel Wanchors Senior 1228 41 Team Mossops Senior 1205 42 Team Cooked Goose Senior 1142 43 Team Madkeen Senior 1131 44 Doug Burt’s Tackleworld Mixed 1110 45 Tt Lures Tough Tt’s Senior 1103 46 Bush ‘N Beach Fishing Mag Senior 1087 47 The Jig Spitters Senior 1075 48 Team Spotters Senior 1073 49 Got The Chips Mixed 1063 50 Bt Austins Mixed 1009 51 Hellfish Senior 1002 52

Bundy Guzzlin Flat Smackaz



53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88

Dodgy Fishing Adventures Mad Dad & Abbey Wet Dreamz Fishing Monthly Team Heavy Tackle Pig Lures Simrad Wasabi Fishing Rapala Storm Flattie Fever Lizard Tuggers Im On Spotters Fishen Chups Flats Rats Homebrew Hombres Flatfish Flickers 2Deep Zerek Lures Klustafark Fishn Klub. Fish On Nutchoz Rippin And Tearin Bundaberg Marineland 1St Street First Ladies Sicilian Bernt Pork Team Viper Strike Bonza Team 2 Team Jackall And Hyde Team Last Cast Thermofishers Go Free Gnbc Super Crisp Team Brumbs Pro Softies Bundy Bears Savage Gear Greenslopes

Senior Mixed Senior Senior Senior Senior Senior Senior Senior Senior Senior Senior Senior Senior Senior Senior Senior Senior Senior Senior Mixed Senior Senior Senior Senior Senior Mixed Senior Senior Senior Senior Senior Senior Senior Senior Senior

987 984 982 957 950 941 932 921 901 874 873 858 856 851 850 849 840 838 837 834 820 805 797 795 789 786 782 781 770 765 751 751 746 724 706 704


The Wild Medic Project Fishing Team



90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100

Team Bent Rods Team Tombo Misfits The Mad Hueys Two Anchors Beeracudas Crack A Flat Swainskis Well Polished Why So Serious Fatheads

Senior Senior Senior Senior Senior Senior Senior Mixed Senior Senior Senior

692 689 685 681 679 649 648 648 643 641 625

Place 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

TOP 100 SENIOR ANGLERS Team Points Franco Martinese Paul Neilsen David Whyte David Hill Blake O’loan James Mavroidis Christian Cross Ross Mccubbin Mark Grice Kord Luckus Rob Payne Murray Rogers Michael Angus Jake Neilsen Katie Watsford Matt Long

1784 1305 1286 1255 1252 1204 1197 1180 1163 1162 1140 1113 1079 1078 1069 1027

Place 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97

TOP 100 SENIOR ANGLERS Team Points Chris Metcalfe Daniel Cartright John Burke Danny Sands Luke Rafton Scott Fleming Steve Ward Stuart Grice Mark Frendin Greg Butterworth Brad Austin Julian Viselli Andrew Griffiths Ian Phillips Nick Whyte Brenden Whyte Shaun Forrest Chris Mitchell George Sands Warren Schmidt Justin Rowe Luke Atherden Luke O’connor Jason Heller Jaco Erasmus Nate Lapham Adam Long Tony Zann Cooper Sands Ben Job Alex Hallam Tim Spark Jack Gleadhill Chris Head Shane Holding Mick Stewart Kane Barclay Josh (Bream Bandit) Paguera Scott Gregory Evan Harvey Clint Wilson Andrew Lewis Marcus Tickle John Goodwin Megan Savas Jacob Sands Mark Wetton Dyllon Shulz Jamie Pollock Patrick Aubrey Nathan Sheiles George Mole Aidan Hurry Mathew Day Shane Mcgrath Geoff Carey Bradd Graham Stephen Wilson Brian Holden Nicole Sands Anthony Fullarton Dean Hanckel Evan Zikos Jan Vanderkwast Fay Rohweder Mick Kelly Scott Holzenagel Ashley Nobes Liam Clarey Mick Horn Dale Giddings Shane Gartner Kadan Maclean Conah Pheeney John Rafton Adam Barnes Alan Young Daniel Keller David Green Kane Macready Luke Geale

1009 952 948 947 945 920 914 912 896 894 868 866 858 846 845 837 822 819 796 795 789 766 764 756 754 730 724 722 715 702 693 685 680 678 648 646 638 635 632 630 625 621 615 609 607 607 604 601 597 591 591 589 581 574 573 570 565 560 559 551 551 549 548 544 542 538 536 530 528 527 524 519 514 510 505 504 502 495 495 489 486

Place 98 99 100

TOP 100 SENIOR ANGLERS Team Points Kevin Sands Josh Lowry Paul Cordery

485 483 482

Place 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46

TOP JUNIOR ANGLERS Team Jaimee Horner Toby Ferris Lucas Howell Simon Sweeney Rebecca Hay Jayden Hemming Abigail Mckenzie Jack Backus Jesse Hinder Max Hanckel Liam Burt Jack Burt Madeline Mckenzie Bailey Tarrant Hayden Swain Grant Sampson Emily Templar Tyne Cuttance Jai Yuen Ethan Cuttance Drayzen Allen Taj Austin Jack Bishop James Dibben Zac Marshall Cooper Ferris Broc Nickalls Rj Cooke Archer Smith Timothy Angus Adam Nickalls Lauren Sedl Alex Kern Kai Smith Oliver Meadmore Patterson Huggard Rourke Cooke Matt Kerr Broc Cooke Jett Bevacqua Ashlee Hay George Orsmand Travis Birch Aaron Murphy Rebekah Templar Hugo Burdon

Points 866 662 630 565 504 433 410 365 363 357 334 327 294 273 229 194 187 183 166 161 144 141 126 115 115 110 100 85 72 70 64 63 40 25 20 10 10 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Place 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

TOP FEMALE ANGLERS Team Katie Watsford Megan Savas Nicole Sands Fay Rohweder Tamara Gregory Tamara Edmondson Susan McNeice Nicky Burow Christine Norton Julie Morrow Tammy Braslin Montana Wilson rebecca clark Haley Bryers Larissa Thompson Melissa Butler Kylie O’sullivan Vai Johnston

Points 1069 607 551 542 362 278 267 253 248 200 181 93 74 73 55 30 10 5

LONGEST SPECIES Species Angler Length Flathead Senior Christian Cross 96cm Flathead Junior Simon Sweeney 86cm Mulloway Tony Jewel 101m Trevally Bj Leonard 80cm Estuary cod Michael Thompson 58cm Tailor Christian Cross 50cm Whiting Warren Stevens 41cm Bream Andrew Mayhew 39cm NOVEMBER 2016


Fishing Fill-its

Mahindra Ag and Auto Australia launch mPact Mahindra Automotive Australia Pty LTD, trading as Mahindra Ag and Auto Australia, announced the launch of an exciting new range of side by sides called mPact in September. Designed and built in the USA, the new Mahindra mPact

front differential and 27” ATV tires on 14” wheels, 30cm ground clearance and sturdy fully welded steel chassis with independent dual A-frame suspension on all four corners. Combined with CVT transmission with hi, lo, neutral, reverse, park and

dirty work conditions, and makes for an easy to clean and hose out checker plate tray option, not seen in Australia before. Topping out the range are two six-seater crew cab models, available in petrol or diesel, still with a decent cargo box

The new Mahindra side by sides go harder and tow even more.

The new Mahindra mPact range is based on a full width three-seater chassis design that comes in numerous configurations to suit Australian conditions. range is based on a full width three-seater chassis design that comes in numerous configurations to suit Australian conditions. The 750 B Spec, featuring Kohler 747cc petrol engine, 56.3km/h top speed, class leading cargo box capacity of 544kg with gas shock lift assist, and class-leading tow capacity of 952kg are just the start of the range. The 750 S adds alloy wheels, front hitch and electric powered cargo box lift. All models feature standard true 4WD with auto-lock

handbrake applied to all four wheels, large 260mm brake rotors, also on all four wheels, the Mahindra mPact is designed to haul more, tow more and go more than the competition. The unique Flex Hauler with electric lift, aluminium drop side tray is the stand-out in the range and unique to Mahindra. Available in either Kohler 747cc petrol or 1000cc diesel configurations, the Flex Hauler offers a true work vehicle with decent range from its 34L fuel tank. The aluminium tray lends itself to numerous

capacity of 453kg. The all-new Mahindra mPact range is available at a dealer near you. Pricing starts at $16,990 ride away for 750 B. For more information, see www. ABOUT MAHINDRA The Mahindra Group focuses on enabling people to rise through solutions that power mobility, drive rural prosperity, enhance urban lifestyles and increase business efficiency. A multinational group based in Mumbai, India, Mahindra provides employment opportunities

The aluminium tray lends itself to numerous dirty work conditions, and makes for an easy to clean and hose out checker plate tray option, not seen in Australia before. to over 200,000 people in over 100 countries. Mahindra operates in the key industries that drive economic growth, enjoying a leadership position in tractors, utility vehicles, information

presence in the agribusiness, aerospace, components, consulting services, defence, energy, industrial equipment and more. In 2015, Mahindra & Mahindra was recognized as the Best Company for

a comprehensive listing of the world’s largest, most powerful public companies, as measured by revenue, profit, assets and market value. The Mahindra Group also received the Financial Times Boldness in Business

With features like the sturdy fully welded steel chassis, the mPact range is tougher. Blake Harry, 15yo, caught this 106cm 10.5kg mulloway on live mullet at Ballina.



technology, financial services and vacation ownership. In addition, Mahindra enjoys a strong

CSR in India in a study by the Economic Times. In 2014, Mahindra featured on the Forbes Global 2000,

Award in the Emerging Markets category, 2013. – Mahindra Automotive Australia Pty LTD

Isuzu D-Max SX auto BRISBANE

Wayne Kampe

Gone are the days when a work ute sat idle over the weekend, the engine cold until Monday morning. These days the humble ute is a rising star in the recreation scene, with some

their products in four door configuration, offer auto drive trains (with either 4x4 or 4x2 transmissions) and deliver savings of tens of thousands of dollars. In the hotly-contested utility market segment, the Isuzu D-Max shines thanks to a combination of a laid back 3L turbo diesel engine and excellent comfort levels.

tested the somewhat down spec SX, in 5-speed auto guise. The SX is a long way from a poverty pack sort of vehicle, thanks to a decent standard of finish throughout – although cabin tonings are practical rather than fancy – and it has a couple of handy dash features such as Bluetooth, aux and a USB port. There’s also a 12V

Tidy frontal styling is a feature of D-Max design.

The SX in action just north of the Moogerah boat ramp. When we needed it we used the 4x4 capacity of the D-Max ute. of the more upmarket utes now giving the large 4x4 wagons a run for their money when it comes to market share. Thanks to high levels of creature comforts and enhanced tow capacity to 3.5 tonnes, modern utilities are now a common sight in front of caravans, camper trailers and boats. Other big reasons for this resurgence are easy to find. They are called dollars. While the big 4x4 wagons such as Patrols, Land Cruisers, Pajeros, Everests and Prados make a meal of this kind of work, they also make a meal of your bank balance. By contrast, virtually all of the ute manufacturers offer

outlet in the higher of the two gloveboxes on the left side of the dash area. Also standard were wellmade cloth seats, basic air conditioning (no climate air), electric windows, cruise control and a decent radio with a couple of speakers. Rear seat passengers won’t be short of room in the 4-door SX, as Isuzu have achieved an excellent balance of space

4.3m TABS Bullshark and trailer on the tow ball, the Isuzu ran sweetly at 1800rpm for 100km/h and returned a fuel consumption on a trip to Moogerah Dam of 8.3L per 100km. With a braked towing rating of 3000kg and unbraked being a generous 750kg, we hardly noticed the boat at all. D-MAX KEPT ME DRY Our fishing trip to

Whether towing or doing some easy cruising, the D-Max four cylinder diesel takes hills in its stride just as easily as long straights. Additionally, for a vehicle that doubles as either a workhorse or recreational pony, the D-Max suspension set-up is pretty refined. True, there are springs at the rear (most competitors have these) but the ride around town won’t be too hard – and if there’s a bit of gear in the rear pay load area (rated for up to 600kg) the ride just gets better all round. With ample models to choose from there seems to be a D-Max for everyone. While Isuzu does offer high-end models with all the bells and whistles, I have

A neat centre console set-up sees the 4WD and other controls conveniently placed for the driver.

The D-Max’s interior is plain but it’s easy to keep clean, and is in keeping with a work vehicle’s layout.

for both front and rear seat travellers. INITIAL IMPRESSIONS So, without sat nav, rear view camera and the like, you might be thinking that the SX D-Max is a bit Spartan – and perhaps it is. However, it’s a well performing, easy pulling and easy riding 4WD with both low and high range options available at the touch of a centre console switch, and that’s more important than the little bells and whistles. With its free running, 4-cylinder 130kW/ 380Nm turbo-charged engine complete with all-oflife steel timing chain, the diesel engine never seems stressed, taking everything easily in its stride. On the highway, with our

Moogerah gave me the perfect opportunity to try out the 4WD system of the D-Max. A nasty 20 knot westerly wind blew in at

lunch time, and I reckon when it’s necessary to tie the boat to a tree just to keep fly fishing, it’s time to give it away! Returning to the ramp near the camping area was easy enough, but from there things were looking tough. A nasty set of breakers had become established right across the ramp, so we had no choice but to avoid the ramp and move around the corner to the north to load the boat, to avoid me getting drenched with cold water. We backed the D-Max well down, winched the boat up, and with the ute’s console switch engaging 4WD the boat and trailer came out of the mud and weed with ease. That is what’s great about all ‘proper’ 4x4s – when you need it, you’ve got it! So that’s my take on the Isuzu SX D-Max. This ute may not have all the upmarket bling and fancy creature comforts of the other D-Max models and competing brands, but at around $39,000 drive away it certainly has a lot going for it. A 5-year, 130000km warranty is standard. Bear in mind that Isuzu has sold over 9000 D-Max utes for the first half of this year so they certainly have some serious runs on the board. If your plan is to work all week and play on the weekends, it will definitely fit the bill.

There’s plenty of rear leg and head room in the D-Max. NOVEMBER 2016


Kamikaze kayak crabbing BRISBANE

Justin Willmer Find me on Facebook at Yaks On

Last year I wrote about chasing crabs and crayfish from the kayak. There’s no doubt that the kayak is an ideal vessel for chasing crustaceans. You can launch anywhere, travel

the main body of water I’d left behind. Best of all, my crab pots would be out of sight of the share croppers, maximising my chances of catching a feed. It’s a good feeling to locate a crab hole in the shallow water, or key structure such as a drain or complex mangrove root system. You set your pot and return on the

local rules and regulations relating to legal apparatus, size and bag limits, along with the tides, ensuring you have enough water to access where you want to set your traps and also enough water on the following tide to check them. When crabbing from the kayak, I tend to strip it back to the bare minimum and keep the decks of the kayak

Ronny checking and rebaiting the pots with fish frames. carry them on the front of the kayak where I can keep an eye on them and see to navigate through the mangroves with minimal fouling. Manoeuvring the kayak through the mangrove forest, the standard kayak paddle can be cumbersome and I’ll often stow it and pull out the Backwater Paddle Company Assault Hand Paddle. This paddle can be operated one

This is a male crab. across shallow areas to get to deeper sections of creeks, even portaging if necessary. You can get up in amongst the structure that often houses these tasty critters, including weed beds, standing timber and mangroves. After a couple of recent experiences with ‘share cropping’ – people checking my crab pots for me – I decided it was time to go kamikaze! The first time I punched the nose of a kayak through the mangroves and slid under mangrove forest canopy, it was like entering another world. There were some negatives including bugs, a maze of roots and branches to navigate, and everything attached to the kayak getting caught on the mass of structure. I entered the home of crabs – an environment rich with wildlife, peaceful and calm as the trees diffused the wind and wave action from


to quickly and easily clamp onto a branch, preventing the kayak from drifting with the wind or water movement, especially when dealing with a cranky crab.

Pots in more open water are highly visible and can be victims of share cropping.

Caution is required when handling mud crabs – a wet rag and timber fish donger are handy accessories to have on board. next high tide to find a big crab has taken the bait. Before you enter the mangrove world though, there’s a couple key things to consider, including

Drains like this are extremely productive and make for easy entry points into the mangroves. 98

handed, floats and features teeth on the tip of the front edge for pushing off objects, and a hook on the back for pulling the kayak from branch to branch. You can hold the

clear to minimise snagging on tree branches and roots. With the manoeuvring between branches that required, I leave the larger kayak and pedal kayak at home, opting for a 10-11ft kayak that is light and easy to handle. A sit in allows you to keep everything inside the hull, out of the way, and protects you from the environment. Many also prefer the simplicity of a sit on top. Whether crabbing the salt or chasing crays in the fresh, your traps can be stored on the front of the kayak or in the well behind you when travelling. I secure them with an octopus strap to ensure they don’t slide off the kayak when paddling faster, especially in choppy conditions. I generally opt to

kayak in place or hook a crab pot rope that’s hard to reach. A grab anchor is another handy item to hold you in place while you set your pots, rebait, or handle a crab you’ve caught. A grab anchor can consist of a basic builder’s clamp with a length of venetian blind cord fixed to the clamp at one end and kayak at the other. This allows you

Have your baits ready to go on bait clips. I store these ready-to-go baits in a plastic container with a clip on lid. This keeps everything neat and tidy, minimises the blood and guts through the kayak and allows you to quickly locate, access and attach a bait as required. Popular crab baits include whole or half mullet and fish frames from a

Ronny getting his kamikaze on as he readies to enter the mangroves.

previous catch. When baiting your pots, clip the bait into the bottom centre of the pot, as I have seen many pots in shallow water with crabs sitting on top having a good old feed through the top of the crab pot. Other accessories worth carrying include a crab measure designed to measure your target species, a rag that you can wet and throw over a crab to settle them, and a basic first aid kit in a dry bag just in case. You’ll also need somewhere to store your catch, such as a bucket with lid, hessian bag or icebox in your rear well. Handling sand crabs (blue swimmer crabs), other smaller crabs and crayfish can be relatively safe, however when it comes to a big, powerful mud crab, it’s safety first. Some paddlers prefer

running into the mangroves, look for crab holes, complex root systems, lay down timber and depressions or deeper sections amongst the mangroves. Often the water is not much deeper than the pot that you’re dropping, allowing

The female mud crab is easily identified by the wider flap underneath her body.

A simple grab anchor makes holding position easier.

to paddle to the closest shore to handle crabs, however it’s important to remember to shake any undersize or female crabs (in some states) out of the kayak before transporting the pot anywhere. After years of handling crabs, I use a wet rag and a timber fish donger to restrain the crab so that I can get a secure grip on it. Positioning your thumb at the base of one flipper where it joins the body and your pointer or middle finger at the base of the other flipper allows you to firmly grip and control the crab ready to stow. It’s worth watching a few videos and learning to tie your mud crabs, as it makes them easier and safer to handle, even if it’s just prior to putting them in the freezer to put them to sleep, and then handling them in and out of the cooking pot. In terms of where to place your pots, it’s worth exploring a little to find drains. Drains are the number one structure that I crab and now instead of dropping my pots in the mouths of these drains, I paddle into these drains and deeper into the mangroves.

In fact, the tail end of these drains and smaller channels that run off the main drain often produce the best crabs and this structure is well out of the reach of boat anglers.

I also wear a long sleeve shirt, long quick dry pants and dive booties. I’ve found the prime times to crab are the warmer months of the year, especially around the full and new moon. Aim to leave your pots in on the

Success! It looks like there’s somebody home in this pot. you to keep an eye out for crab holes as you move through the mangroves. These often look like oval shaped, crab-sized holes

A thumb and finger behind the flippers enable you to securely grip the crab.

overnight high tide, as this tide is definitely the most productive. I throw my crab floats up into the mangrove trees a little when setting my pots, firstly so it’s easier to see the float and rope when looking for my pots, and secondly so that when the tide drops my float doesn’t drift under the branches and roots, or become lodged and make it difficult to locate on return. It’s also important to keep track of where you are. Don’t venture too far into the mangrove forest if you feel you could become disorientated and lost. A GPS can be a handy accessory, especially exploring a large expanse of mangroves – track your position and mark where you set your pots.

The author with a mud crab from inside the mangroves.

There’s some power in those claws – handle with care.

These drains act as highways that crabs will use to travel along, especially throughout lower stages of the tide. When crabbing drains, toadfish and other bait fish can destroy your baits and if you find this occurring, switch from bait clips to mesh bait bags, with the bait clip used to close them and clip them in. If there’s a lack of drains

that extend into the bottom or bank. If there are signs of activity around the entry to the hole, such as crushed shell grit, claw and leg marks, or freshly dug out mud, there’s a good chance you’re on a winner. Remember your bug spray and a mesh head net to protect yourself from sand flies and mosquitoes.

Next time you’re out on the water chasing a crab or dropping a couple pots on a multi-day fishing adventure, point the nose of that kayak at the mangroves and get your kamikaze on. Punch through the edge of the mangrove mass and take a look inside the hidden world that the mud crab calls home. See you on the water. NOVEMBER 2016


Kayak Hotspot: Burrinjuck CANBERRA

Toby Grundy

As a kayak destination, Burrinjuck was low on my list of potential hotspots, but that changed in 2015 after the inaugural Greg Whitehead Memorial Challenge. During the challenge, I witnessed several anglers catch monster fish from their yaks including the 100cm winning fish. Since then, I’ve been a frequent visitor to the dam and caught some great fish. It’s still a bit of a sleeper as far as kayak fishing goes, but that’s changing. FACILITIES Lake Burrinjuck is located about 40 minutes from Canberra and 30 minutes from Yass. Although

SPECIES Lake Burrinjuck holds healthy populations of Murray cod, golden perch and redfin along with huge numbers of carp. I’m always amazed at the size of the fish that come out of the snags. It means the waterway is very healthy with plenty of food available to both yellas and greenfish. TECHNIQUES When targeting yellowbelly, I like to wait until the dam has had a good dump of rain and then target areas that have recently flooded with Jackall TN50s and 60s, along with soft plastics like Squidgy Wrigglers in 65 or 80mm. These newly flooded areas will be covered in weed, so it pays to use a lure which can be retrieved effectively over the top of the weed (like a lipless crankbait)

shallow and deeper snags including timber and large boulders. Spinnerbaits slow rolled along the length of larger snags is a great way to target larger fish but Jackall

First, follow the bank from the boat ramp up towards the dam wall and turn right once you hit the entrance to Barren Jack Creek. Here is a wonderful

Burrinjuck holds some exceptional fish very close to the boat ramp as Ryan Osman proved.

Codey Flack caught this great yella casting around snags at the entrance to Barren Jack Creek.

Rigging up for a morning session at Carrolls Creek.

A decent yak like this Hobie is a must when fishing Burrinjuck. it seems quite isolated, the facilities at the Burrinjuck State Waters Caravan Park are very good, with camping and cabins available, barbeque facilities and a small general store. I recommend launching your kayak from the boat ramp here, as the better kayak fishing is only a short paddle away.

or fished right through the middle of grasses (like a plastic). If fishing the edge of a flooded bank, at the edge of a drop-off, I like to use an Ecogear ZX Blade. Slowly winding these lures back to your position can get the yellas to strike. Cod are a different proposition. The bigger specimens hold in both

Trolling the area from Barren Jack Creek back to the boat ramp can produce some great yellowbelly fishing. 100


Doozers retrieved quickly off the edge of a snag can also produce results. Deep divers like Predatek Boomerangs cranked into the heart of a snag is a risky approach but can yield results. TIP Size up your lure when targeting big yellas. If you find that a lipless crankbait size 60mm isn’t working, try a bigger size. These lures work well and will catch cod and yellas, but are particularly effective on the larger goldens. Peacock is my favourite colour, but bone is another good choice. LOCATIONS Burrinjuck is an imposing waterway. A kayak angler can easily lose a day’s fishing just looking for a decent snag. If launching from the caravan park, the lake seems to stretch for kilometres. I keep it very simple and focus my attentions on two areas, both of which are easily covered in a full day of fishing and provide me with flood-covered water along with deeper snags.

section of the lake that features snags, deep water and some really exciting yellowbelly fishing. Try every snag here, even the most unlikely bush. Some huge cod have been taken in this area. Troll your way back to the boat ramp, but this time head towards Carrolls Creek. There are plenty of big redfin holding along the banks as you move up this area. Yellowbelly follow these schools of fish looking for an easy meal. There’s also some significant timber here that holds good numbers of large cod. THE KAYAK The weather in and around Burrinjuck can change the waterway in an instant. One minute the water is calm and the next it’s white capping. It’s therefore imperative that you have all the necessary safety gear along with a larger kayak. I use a Native Slayer Propel 13 which provides excellent stability in the water. It’s pedal powered and cruises nicely even in rough chop. A pedalpowered yak like a Native or Hobie is ideal for Burrinjuck especially if facing a long trip back to the boat ramp.

TACKLE During cod close, I take two rods: a Team Daiwa X 1-3kg stick coupled with a Daiwa Freams 2004 spooled with 6lb braid and 6lb leader, and a Daiwa Harrier 2-5kg

soft plastics, spinnerbaits and massive vibes into cover when chasing large Murray cod. To land the bigger specimens, 30lb braid and 40lb leader are often needed, especially kayak fishing.

The yellas move onto newly flooded areas after rain. rod matched with a Daiwa Pixy spooled with 8lb and 10lb leader. I use the light rod for small plastics and the heavy rod for vibes and small divers. Once cod season resumes, I keep the Harrier for yellas, but ditch the 1-3kg stick and instead switch to a Daiwa Tatula 100H, coupled with a Daiwa Air Edge heavy rod. I use this to cast big

CONCLUSION Burrinjuck can seem daunting but by breaking it up into two sections – Carrolls Creek and Barren Jack Creek – it becomes much simpler and is easily achievable in a day or two. It holds big cod, huge yellas and hard fighting reddies. Although the weather can be fierce, the amazing fishing makes it an absolute must for the kayak angler.

What’s New BOATING



Haines Signature Boats has released its widest runabout yet: the 550RF. The 550RF has more than 11 extra inches of deck space than its predecessor the 543RF. It also features a long-range 180L fuel tank, walk-through front hatch, stainless steel rod holders, large side pockets, live bait tanks, bait board, 32mm stainless steel rails and a walkthrough transom door, as standard. The new-look dash has room for one large or multiple screens, and there are plenty of optional upgrades available such as a Viper drum winch, Roswell Bluetooth sound systems and premium targa. Haines Signature believes the 550F is a true fishing weapon for those in pursuit of an A+ offshore performer. “This boat has been designed and built for our customers who’ve asked us for a runabout that’s capable of running well offshore, but also feels at home trolling rivers and dams,” said John Haines, Chief Executive Officer of The Haines Group. The 550RF has been rated with an outboard range from 115-150hp and is backed by a 10-year structural, 2-year parts warranty. It’s priced from $54,175 BMT.



The Poparazzi has a unique, high winged shape with rocker bottom that allows you to carve into the wake and glide across the water’s surface with minimal drag. With a turn of the boat, inside riders will teeter deep into the wake while the other riders will rise high above it! Multiple EVA foam body pads allow riders to comfortably perform every riding position imaginable. The unique High Rise Tower equipped with multiple double webbing foam handles with knuckle guards allow standing or kneeling on the back deck. The convenient Quick Connect tow point will get you started in a flash, and Speed Safety Valves allow the quickest inflation and deflation possible. Stand, sit, kneel, steer, lay, balance and freestyle on this cool ride! There are two models, the Poparazzi 2 (1-3 people) and the Poparazzi (1-2). Price: from $876



The Minn Kota EO provides up to nine hours of primary propulsion for smaller boats, meaning you’ve got more than enough power for a full day of fishing. There are plenty of features, including Digital Maximizer, which allows you to stay on the water up to five times longer on a single charge. And if you want to know exactly how much longer you’ve got, the Push-To-Test Battery Meter makes it easy. The EO’s Lever Lock Bracket is a solid 10-position bracket that features a quickrelease lever lock and reinforced composite material that resists flexing, warping and UV damage. EO’s high-efficiency prop features a unique, patented design with swept-back, flared blades for reliable performance. There are two models, the EO 1/2hp and EO 1hp. The EO 1/2hp is 12V and weighs 13.8kg, and the EO 1hp is 24V and weighs 17kg. Both models have a 36” (910mm) adjustable shaft. Price: from SRP $1769





Mercury’s two new VesselView multifunction displays are now available, along with the new VesselView Link digital interface. VesselView puts realtime data about your boat and engine performance at your fingertips. Now, the VesselView502 (5”) and VesselView702 (7”) displays go a step further to show data from up to four engines at once. The 502 can interface with broadband sonar with CHIRP, DownScan imaging, and a full-featured chart plotter. Equipped with a Micro SD card slot for installing Maps plus gauge updates, it also comes with internal high-speed 10Hz GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and is GoFree cloud-enabled. The 702 has an ethernet connection to interface with radar, sonar and chart-sharing. It has two video inputs, Micro SD card slots, and an internal GPS and chart plotter. A GoFree Wi-Fi module is included. VesselView Link is now also available – an under-the-dash system integrates SmartCraft data and control system with specific Simrad and Lowrance instruments.




The Fusion StereoActive watersports stereo delivers crystal clear audio, and the optional ActiveSafe securely houses your phone, keys and other valuables. StereoActive’s buttons are adjustable with the touch of a finger or the tap of a paddle, or you can control the unit with a compatible Garmin smartwatch. The locking mechanism securely fixes the unit in place, even in the event of capsizing. In the unlikely event that it does detach, it will float. StereoActive can stream audio via Bluetooth from music services such as Spotify, from a compatible A2DP Bluetooth-enabled device or you can use its AM/FM tuner. There’s a waterproof cavity for a low-profile USB for MP3 playback, and audio playback over USB is available for Apple lightning products and AOA 2.0 Android phones. You can also mount an action cam on the unit. The battery lasts up to 20 hours, and the USB port also provides playback and charging for compatible Apple and Android devices. Price: Approx $400







Stacer has released two new models in their Ocean Ranger plate range: the 589 and 619 Ocean Ranger Hard Tops. They offer a more budget-friendly option that is still packed with power and strength. The new 589 now has more freeboard at 730mm, for better stability. It’s rated to 150hp with a 135L fuel tank, and an optional 80L secondary tank. The 619 has all the features of the larger hard top models, with more versatility when it comes to storage and towing. It’s rated to 200hp with a standard 168L fuel tank and an 80L optional fuel tank. All Ocean Ranger hard tops now come standard with trim tabs, and also feature Stacer’s new Side Deck Water Shield. All the seats in the range have been upgraded, and there are now two seating options for the 589 and 619 Ocean Rangers. The 619, 679 and 739 Ocean Ranger Hard Tops also feature new sliding side windows.

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First things to check when the boat stops dead BRISBANE

Wayne Kampe

I’m no marine mechanic, but I’m a boat owner who has seen some of the things that can spoil a day on the water. It’s something nearly every boat owner experiences sometime. The boat is humming along quite well and then suddenly, there’s no sound from the engine, or it revs really high and the craft isn’t moving. It’s running rough and can’t seem to

breakdowns but can help with tows off sand banks and many other marine issues. FUEL SUPPLY With smaller engines hooked up to a tote tank of fuel, we could rightly regard fuel supply problems as a prime suspect for many stoppages. I once saw the in-tank pick up pipe that sucks fuel from the tank and up to the main fuel line connections fall off the metal fitting into the bottom of the tank, on a brand new fuel tank. This meant that the engine would start when fuel was slopping around in the

the boat and fill it at the local service station, after which the cap is given some serious tightening to prevent nasty petrol smells escaping in the car. I’ve done this myself. Another fuel issue comes from the click-on connection between the fuel line and tank coming undone, which they sometimes do. This can be rectified. A couple pumps on the fuel primer bulb will often get things moving again. All fuel line connections that are accessible are also worth scrutinising. Cheap factory clips can come loose,

The isolator switch is one item that can get up to mischief. Replacing it every couple of years is a smart move.

Clips on fuel hoses can work loose and are a common cause of engine stoppage. snap out of it. None of these scenarios are what boaters want, but things happen. A few thoughts on the topic won’t go astray. Most small craft are outboard powered, so we’ll stick primarily with these engines. Remember, this is

near full tank and run for a few seconds before stopping again. It was frustrating and took time to find – an extremely rare occurrence. If the boat suddenly stops after running a bit ragged for a few seconds, and then refuses to start, fuel issues

connections come asunder, the primer bulb can split (a band-aid will fix it) and all these situations can let air into the fuel line to interfere with engine suction. If a dodgy clip is diagnosed, sometimes merely cutting off a small bit of fuel line

injected engine should be given time to idle for a while until it’s running smoothly. Full fuel flow needs to be resumed or the engine will struggle to run evenly under load, simply because the engine computer needs to be satisfied that all’s well, including fuel flow. An older style two-stroke won’t suffer from this short delay – with fuel in the cylinders it’s ready and willing to go. ELECTRICAL ISSUES Outboard engines come with emergency cut out switches – the kill switch. It’s important to ensure that the switch is engaged correctly on the tiller arm, or up near the forward controls where these are installed, otherwise the engine will never start whether it’s a key start or pull start model. If a pull start engine won’t fire up after apparently running well, and fuel tank cap or lines are eliminated as the problem, I’d be casting hard looks at that kill switch. The trouble is, without some electrical knowledge, not much can be done on the water, apart

from disconnecting and reconnecting the switch into it’s clip, to try to overcome or bypass a possibly bad electrical contact. Incidentally, the latter tactic is worth trying. Electrical issues can occur in both small and large engines. One of the most common is a total battery failure. Any boat battery can fail after a few years of sitting in a boat, so it’s wise to have the battery load tested from time to time to assess its health. Even a good battery can drop it’s bundle. A canny boat owner will be grateful for the alternative pull start system the engine has, or will have read the service book that came with the engine and know exactly how to get a rope onto the engine’s fly wheel to give it a pull start. I saw a mate start a 90hp outboard with a rope while we were a long way off the Gold Coast. He knew which parts of the shroud around the flywheel to remove, had the tools aboard to do it and he did it at home as an exercise. He was confident in the whole procedure.

Another culprit for electrical failure is the good old battery isolator switch, if fitted. These items are not bulletproof and if one’s subjected to spray or is located in a place where it can be damp for a fair time, maybe in an enclosed hatch, it can easily short out and stop the engine. Worse, it can fry the engine computer. Maintain your VMR membership as the engine sure won’t be starting again that day. If the isolator switch has dropped its bundle, it’s likely that all electronics can drop out as well, because power won’t be exiting the battery. Have the phone aboard to ring VMR. In truth, electrical problems from isolator switches are a lot more common than is generally understood. Replace the unit every couple of years if it’s in a place where salt water or salt spray can get near it. PLENTY NOISE, NO PROGRESS Let’s take another scenario: the boat has been running well but there was a brush with a sand bank or

VMR membership is an important part of boat ownership. When all else fails, a tow home is far better than sitting in the sun with the fun quickly departing from the day. about trouble shooting first – if a total engine failure occurs, there’s not much to do except organize a tow home. Membership with the Volunteer Marine Rescue is a great safeguard, as this facility not only assists with 102


should be a primary suspect. Take a look at the fuel tank and see if the breather on the cap has been opened or if the cap has been loosened a turn from when the tank was last filled. Boaters often remove their fuel tank from

and reconnecting a tighter section via the clip will keep things going well enough to get home. Be advised before powering off, once a fuel issue is solved and the engine fires up, a fuel

The good old kill switch – when exposed to salt water these systems can cause engine stoppage, but sometimes removing and then replacing the unit can see it working again.

two recently, or contact with stumps up the top of that lovely dam where the bass and goldens were on the boil. Suddenly the engine is revving quite well, but the boat isn’t moving forward. Outboard engines have a rubber bush in the propeller to avoid hard jarring when gears are engaged, and to act as a primary shock absorber for the gearbox when hard objects are hit. This rubber bushing can totally chew out over time or with sustained impacts. The result will be a total loss of propulsion under hard power, but sometimes a very gentle application of throttle can get the boat moving again. It depends on how badly the bushing is damaged. If all propulsion is lost, it’s time for a tow. HOT STUFF Your outboard might have overheating problems. While these incidents can occur as the result of water pump impeller failure – a lack of proper water service – a more likely incident will involve an obstruction over the engine’s water inlet. If the flow of water from the engine is steaming just before the engine shuts down, lift the outboard and check for a plastic bag or other debris around the inlet area. Fortunately, many of today’s high end engines

are designed to detect overheating and respond by shutting down to prevent seizure. If an obstruction is found, give the engine fifteen minutes to cool and try a restart. THE CHAFF CUTTER This describes an engine that is misfiring badly, running rough, or seems to be trying to stop but not quite doing so. This can be a difficult situation to diagnose out on the water, but is often attributed to fuel filter issues. The only option is to keep the engine going – so long as there are no overheat alarms present. Don’t push things too hard, just sneak back to base as quietly and efficiently as possible. Find what revs the engine wants to run at and stay with that one throttle setting. The fuel filter will usually be a job for a marine mechanic unless it’s conveniently located – some certainly aren’t. If the boat can get back to the ramp, the day ends alright. Those are a few first response scenarios, and I sincerely hope that you don’t have to refer to any of them. All else failing, it’s time to call VMR – you can join on the spot if you’re not a member. Get the Vee sheet out to advise other boats that you’re not able to proceed.


Adding more smart drumlines for sharks Almost 100 additional smart drumlines will be rolled out across NSW beaches as the NSW Government increases its investment in the shark detection technology. The major investment is in direct response to a meeting Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair held with community leaders in Ballina following a recent shark attack off Lighthouse Beach. “Our testing shows smart drumlines are highly effective

in catching sharks so they can be tagged and relocated, so we will increase the number deployed off NSW from 15 to 100,” Mr Blair said. “The smart drumline rollout will be prioritised on the North Coast in response to strong community support for the technology, which has now been proven with 31 great white and five bull sharks successfully tagged and relocated. “Our approach has been, and will continue to be,

informed by best available science and feedback from the local community who are in many respects best placed to help inform our approach. “We will be asking the Federal Government for approval for the rollout and will continue to work with local stakeholders on additional measures that may be required.” A drumline is usually defined as an aquatic device consisting of an anchored buoy (originally a drum) from which a single baited

hooked. When a shark is caught, the information is transmitted to an operator. NSW Premier Mike Baird said the Government had been testing the nation’s first smart drumlines off the North Coast with great success. “Smart drumlines have been incredibly effective in catching sharks for relocation, and have significantly boosted our tagging program since the first smart drumlines were deployed off Ballina last December,” Mr

hook is suspended. Smart drumlines, by contrast, are additionally equipped with technology such as GPS, underwater cameras and sensors that raise an alert signal if a shark gets

Baird said. “This is a major investment that expands our current smart drumline trial and complements the other measures in place on the North Coast to better protect surfers and swimmers.”

The perfect boats for barra, bass or bream

You’ll find them where the fish are... since 1967 Mako 214 CC

For more than 20 years, Nitro have continually refined and delivered serious fishing boats for serious anglers. Nitro boats are foam-filled to exceed US Coast Guard survey requirements. This gives you the safety of level floatation, security and comfort – and additional fishing stealth – all backed by a Limited Lifetime Warranty.

Mako 234 CC Mako 284 CC

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

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

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

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


Fishing and Leisure Boats, 165 Currumburra Road, Ashmore, QLD 4214 NOVEMBER 2016


The unique 4.5 Island Hopper from Cross Country


Wayne Kampe

It’s not often that you come across fibreglass boats as light as the Cross Country range. Whereas conventional glass craft are manufactured via layers of hand-laid fibreglass bonded with resin, the Cross Country range are different, with vacuuminfused glass bonded to a very tough, sealed foam core. The unique construction imparts both lightness and superb strength, resulting in the 4.5m Island Hopper’s hull weighing only 135kg. Think of that: a bay/estuary rig with a length of 4.5m, beam of 1.8m and with a side height of 640mm tipping the scales so gently. Construction is solid: there’s a bottom thickness of 24mm linked to sides and upper sections of 18mm thickness. The test boat, with its clinker-styled hull design, has been designed as a car topper, but the same hull can just as readily be set up on a trailer. As a bonus, there’s an inbuilt Keel Guard to prevent wear and tear at the ramp or on a trailer. AN UNUSUAL HULL The 4.5m Island Hopper has a lapstrake (clinker built) hull, which is something you don’t see very often these days. The term ‘lapstrake’ refers to an old, time-proven method of wooden boat construction. The wooden planks overlap each other along the sides of the boat, descending from the top of gunwales to the connection 104


with the hull bottom. This construction looked brilliant and worked well, but it was always a laborious process because it required accurate overlay and fitting of the timber. Because the Island Hopper is a moulded, one-piece unit, its lapstrakestyle hull delivers every advantage of this traditional, svelte design. Each side’s strake-like mouldings are carried through under the hull to enhance both stability at rest and lift underway. Looking much like a standard punt when viewed from the side, the Island Hopper’s under section consists of a fairly shallow vee aft with very big moulded strakes running to a fine and well-formed bow section. It did an excellent job of ironing out chop without undue jarring. STABILITY ASSURED Back at the ramp at Toorbul, the Island Hopper slid off its temporary trailer and sat level in around 12cm of water. Climbing into the Cross Country from a pontoon, I immediately noticed how stable the boat was; this thing just would not lean! Without doubt those big strakes under the ultralight hull were doing their job in resisting any tendency to lean, as would the hull’s inbuilt ballast tank, which held 80L of water at rest. Seated comfortably up front was John Hall of Cross Country Boats kicked the Suzuki 30 tiller steer into gear, I was impressed by the boat’s overall roominess. Other attractive features included storage compartments up front under

a generously large casting deck, and another full-width platform astern set up with a live bait well/esky to port and a fuel tank compartment in the centre. The test craft belonged to a customer who uses it as a car topper. It came equipped with a side console for a sounder, which was the sole extra apart from a bicycle seat up front. A bow mount 55lb Motor Guide was fitted for the test run, and it did a brilliant job of powering the craft given its light weight. DESIGN AND LAYOUT Before looking at performance, I’ll touch on some things that also impressed me about the Cross Country. Firstly, its light weight was a huge bonus and so was the liberal use of SeaDek on all the upper areas. SeaDek is a rubberised coating that you stick to the deck. It has a super strong adhesive and provides an attractive non-skid surface. As well as putting SeaDek on the deck, the owner also stuck some on the underside of the seat. When placed on the SeaDekcovered foredeck, the seat stayed firmly in place when I sat on it. It’s a good idea – it means you have the freedom to move the seat to other areas of the boat without

worrying about seat spigots, which saves weight. Another good feature was the hatch hinges. Hatches in boats (unless strut equipped) always seem to want to drop down while you’re busy locating or removing an important item. The Island Hopper, on the other hand, had friction hinges. They could still be readily closed or opened, but they stayed open – even half open – without any tendency to annoyingly close. It’s a good example of the attention to detail on this boat. Last but not least was the sheer practicality of this craft. Up front, a big hatchcovered anchor well was installed ahead of a very large under-floor storage compartment. Because of the slight overhang of the deck up front, the Motor Guide was fitted straight to the deck, doing away with the need for a side mounting point. On the test rig, a bicycle-style seat was one of many options available. The non-skid floor of the craft was clean, uncluttered and large enough for at least three anglers to enjoy their fishing thanks to 3.86m x 1.65m of work room. GREAT PERFORMANCE FROM 30 SUZUKI Up and running the Island

SPECIFICATIONS Length................................................................4.5m Beam..................................................................1.8m Weight hull....................................................... 135kg Deadrise.............................................................. 14° Horsepower................................................. 20-30hp Motor.......................................30hp Suzuki 4-stroke Max persons...........................................................6 Towing.................................. family big 4 or 6 sedan

Hopper was a very easy and predictable craft. It may have been lightweight, but rough riding or inclined to pound it certainly was not. The hull’s excellent design, centred around those big under-hull strakes and a really well formed bow with a lot of vee in it saw us whizzing over wash from passing boats in the Bribie Passage with only the slightest lift of the bow accompanied by a gentle bump. There was absolutely no pounding or noise, just a gentle slap of water on fibreglass to show for our efforts. Sensibly, engines are rated from 20-30hp for the car topper. Why overpower a small boat? I enjoyed some very entertaining test runs, which proved to me just how well the craft handled (great for mangrove creek work) and that the water ballast under the hull didn’t stop the craft from jumping onto the plane in about two boat lengths. The 30 Suzuki 4-stroke with its smooth and seemingly endless power would be ideal for two or three people aboard the standard rig as tested. The performance figures achieved were: plane at 10.4km/h, cruise sweetly at 28km/h, near full speed (limited by a new engine) at 47.5km/h. There’s no real need to go faster. OVERVIEW After having a very enjoyable time aboard the Cross Country Island Hopper, I give the Cross Country team full marks for a very well turned out and well performing craft. Some people might like to think of these ultra-light

rigs as tenders, or best suited to being carried atop a vehicle, but the reality is that they compete very favourably with similarsized glass and alloy craft of a similar size. Options for the Island Hopper include an under floor 60L fuel tank, rod holders, rod lockers, step up full size kill tank, side or centre console, deck wash and many other items. Because of ride quality, willing performance from limited power, ample work room and good stability, the Cross Country Island Hopper with the 30 Suzuki is suited to a host of fishing situations and applications. I really was impressed with this rig. There’s a safety aspect as well. Thanks to the flotation material used in construction, these craft are totally unsinkable and rated for level flotation. The finish was also very good, and the list of available additional features was impressive. A cartop hull can be purchased from $14,900, and a trailer version from $22,900. The boat as reviewed with electric motor, trailer and 30 Suzuki would come home for $34,350. Cross Country Boats can be contacted on 0410 090 317 or 07 5499 3155, and are based at Caboolture in South East Queensland. • 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.

This boat can be thrown about in fast turns to virtually recover on its length – great for mangrove creek work.

The SeaDek material provides an attractive, non-skid surface. It also grips onto other SeaDek surfaces, such as on the underside of this seat.

A very clean and uncluttered work area is a feature of this craft.

Here you can see the Island Hopper’s large under-hull strakes. This is certainly no standard punt.

An under-hull ballast system works well with the Island Hopper.

Big storage up front is a feature of this boat, and the friction hinges are excellent as well.

Sounders are a part of today’s fishing, and a mini console was provided for mounting one.

This photo gives you an idea of the stability and work area of the Island Hopper. NOVEMBER 2016


Tracker’s ProGuide 16WT with Mercury 75 4-stroke


Steve Morgan

They say you only get about a week of winter in Queensland. Some social media commentators say it was a Wednesday this year, but I disagree. It was definitely the Thursday that we took Fishing and Leisure Boats’ Tracker Pro Guide 16WT for a spin on Moogerah Dam. In the amphitheatre of the Scenic Rim, a cold southerly chopped up the lake and even at 9am, we were reaching for the jackets. For your information if you’re not a Queenslander, jackets are usually off just after the sun comes up. And as hard as the wind tried to blow, it couldn’t scuff up the surface enough to really test the 20° deadrise in this 16-footer. That was fine,

though. This boat was built for comfort and fishability, and that’s exactly what we got to test on this wintry day. Arriving on a locally built, single axle Dunbier trailer, the package towed easily with Tim Stessl’s work ute and definitely looked the part with the colour co-ordinated paint job that complemented the Mercury strapped to the transom. Admittedly, I’d never ridden in an American aluminium Deep V before: plenty of aluminium bass boats, but this was the first I’d driven that was designed for rougher water than a freshwater pond. “It’s been forty years since we riveted aluminium boats in Australia, and Tracker boats have been fully welded since 2012 onwards,” said Tim Stessl, who works for the local importer, Fishing and Leisure Boats in Molendinar. “This hull is made from two, big sheets of marine grade plate aluminium. It’s strong

SPECIFICATIONS Length (hull)....................................................4.88m Beam................................................................2.24m Bottom width..................................................1.78m Max hp...............................................................90hp Capacity....................................................5 persons Weight Capacity..............................................567kg Fuel (underfloor).................................................56L and has the best warranty in the industry,” he continued. Indeed, the hull seemed tough as nails and very quiet when bouncing across the worst that Moogerah had to offer. The consequence, though, of such a deadrise was the fact that the hull banked nicely into turns. Definitely not punt-like, but I felt right at home driving it. It may be because my first plate bass boat was copied – design-wise – from an image of a Tracker boat in an old American catalog. Regardless, after a while it was off to the shelter of Moogerah’s famous Gorge to wet a line and test the

Mercury’s 2.1L 4-strokes keep on impressing. Not only do they look the part on these Tracker hulls, they pop the boat up and onto plane with ease. 106


fishability. The first bit I loved was up on the front deck, there’s a compartment to hold the foot control for the electric motor. It’s a small thing, I know, but there’s nothing worse than the pedal bouncing around when the going gets rough. It’s no good for the pedal and no good for your boat. Secondly, I found the gunwale height was actually low enough (or conversely the deck was high enough) to be able to pitch-cast underhand. Again, it’s another small thing, but it’s the ability to do this that helps define the functionality of a fishing boat. And the more fishing boxes this boat ticks, the better. Under the front deck, there’s a plumbed and divided 87L livewell that also folds a bait bucket – great for keeping anything from yabbies through to your tournament haul. Walk through the windscreen, and that’s where the comfort starts. The height of the screen keeps you on the calm side of the elements and the lower floor in the cockpit helps to keep you (and the kids) in. The rod box lids running down each side also act as seats and overall, there’s a whole lot of comfort back there for those who aren’t that keen to be standing on the front deck casting all day. The ability to really customise your back deck

layout comes in two ways – the VersaTrack inner gunwale system allows you to mount a variety of options – from rod holders and rod racks through to cutting boards and cup holders. You can slide them along to wherever you want them positioned and then lock them off with the twist of a

just need to go for a ride in one to feel for yourself, and that’s exactly what you should do if you’re interested in researching this style of boat further. Visit www.fishingand for plenty more information. The price of this boat as tested was just

With the 20° vee, you can definitely feel the hull banking into turns. Reminds me of my first everbass boat, which was modelled from a picture of a Tracker bass boat. No surprises there. nut. You can see it in action in the accompanying videos that you can watch by scanning the QR codes. Overall, the quality of the Tracker hull and fitout was much better than I’d expected it to be and the strength and quietness of the hull was equally impressive. Tim Stessl says that you VIDEO

Scan to watch Tim Stessl and Steve Morgan put the Tracker V16 through its paces.

under $40,000. • 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. VIDEO

Scan to see Tim Stessl take you on a tour of the Tracker Pro Guide V16 WT.

At rest, there’s surprisingly little roll. Tim Stessl isn’t a petite ballerina and although you can see the port side riding a little deeper in the image, the roll feels negligible from the casting deck up front.

The 20° hull deadrise at the transom creates a soft ride and unique ‘banking-into-turns’ attitude, which make it a pleasure to ride in, whether you’re in the passenger or driver seat.

Get rid of any memories of Tracker boats being riveted – the Pro Guide V16 hull is made from only two large marine-grade aluminium sheets and is bulletproof.

Internally, the cockpit is quite deep and small-kid-friendly. The tops of the rod boxes act as seats and there’s a variety of seat mounting bases – for travelling and for fishing.

The helm layout is simple and fluent. There’s modern additions like a mobile phone holder with a power outlet adjacent. Nailed it. With the wraparound windscreen, the phone even stays dry on a rough day. The VersaTrack rail system offers infinite possibilities for mounting rod holders, cutting boards, tackle boxes and drink holders. Twist the knob, slide them to wherever you want them and tighten.

The test Tracker is fitted with a splashwell that collects a little water when you kill the power while on plane.

Now that’s a glove box. Plenty of nearwaterproof storage in there and wind protection for the passenger.

Anyone that runs an autopilot-style electric motor will love this – a nook for the control pedal to travel in while underway. Amen. NOVEMBER 2016


Trades, Services, Charter BAIT & TACKLE CLARENCE


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

COFFS COAST Compleat Angler Kempsey (02) 6562 5307 Rocks Marine Bait & Tackle South West Rocks (02) 6566 6726

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

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Greg’s Mobile Marine 0424 046 060 • 24/7 CALL OUT Penrith Marine (02) 4731 6250 Moby Marine (02) 9153 6506 or Aqua Marine 0415 600 301 or Cohoe Marine Products (Sydney) (02) 9519 3575 Blakes Marine (02) 4577 6699 Watersports Marine (02) 9676 1400 Neken Marine (02) 9979 9649 Boat Assist 24 - On Water Mechanic (02) 9746 6224

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Brooms Head Caravan Park (02) 6646 7144 Calypso Yamba Holiday Park (02) 6646 8847 Iluka Riverside Tourist Park (02) 6646 6060 Wooli Camping & Caravan Park (02) 6649 7671

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Crescent Head Holiday Rentals (02) 6566 0500 Hat Head Holiday Park (02) 6567 7501 Horse Shoe Bay Holiday Park (02) 6566 6370 Stuarts Point Holiday Park (02) 6563 0616 Grassy Head Holiday Park (02) 6569 0742 South West Rocks Tourist Park 1800 666 264

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


Central Coast Holiday Parks 1800 241 342

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.

Boats & Guided Fishing Tours Directory Jan’s Retreat (02) 4441 7000 Currarong Beachside Tourist Park 1300 555 515 Sussex Inlet (LJ Hooker) (02) 4441 2135 Riviera Caravan Park, St George’s Basin (02) 4441 2112 Killalea State Park, Shell Cove (02) 4237 8589 Holiday With Us, Sussex Inlet (02) 4441 2135 Surf Beach Holiday Park (02) 4232 1791 Kendalls on the Beach (02) 4232 1790 Werri Beach Holiday Park (02) 4234 1285 Seven Mile Beach Holiday Park (02) 4234 1340 Kiama Harbour Cabins (02) 4232 2707 Ulladulla Headland Tourist Park 1300 733 021





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

Burrinjuck Waters State Park (02) 6227 8114 Providence Lodge (Eucumbene) (02) 6454 2200 Winter Keep (Snowy Mountains) Grabine Lakeside State Park (02) 4835 2345 Lake Glenbawn State Park (02) 6543 7193 Wyangala Waters State Park (02) 6345 0877 Bass Lodge Macleay River NSW 0433 482 325 Chifley Dam Cabins 1800 68 1000

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

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

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Coffs Coast Sport Fishing 0434 517 683 Oceanic Sea Urchin II Charters (02) 6566 6623 or 0428 650 321 The Rocks Fishing Charters 0412 074 147 Trial Bay Fishing Charters, 0427 256 556 South West Rocks Fishing Adventures 0411 096 717


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

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

HUNTER COAST Tailermade Fishing Adventures 0411 096 717

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

ILLAWARRA COAST Sea Lady Charters 0411 024 402 Silver Star Fishing Charters (02) 4421 7462 or 0412 977 000 Shell Harbour Fishing Charters 0425 216 370

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Import USA Boat 0435 476 177


Boab Boat Hire (NSW) 1300 002 6221

CHANDLERY & ACCESSORIES Anchor Right (03) 5968 5014 Korr Lighting

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

2016 2016 Local Local Time Time


Time Time 0132 0132 0736 0132 0736 1331 0736 1331 1950 1331 1950 1950 0213 0213 0820 0213 0820 1420 0820 1420 2037 1420 2037 2037 0255 0255 0906 0255 0906 1511 0906 1511 2125 1511 2125 2125 0339 0339 0953 0339 0953 1603 0953 1603 2215 1603 2215 2215 0424 0424 1043 0424 1043 1700 1043 1700 2309 1700 2309 2309 0512 0512 1134 0512 1134 1800 1134 1800 1800

m m 0.19 0.19 1.56 0.19 1.56 0.27 1.56 0.27 1.82 0.27 1.82 1.82 0.14 0.14 1.65 0.14 1.65 0.21 1.65 0.21 1.82 0.21 1.82 1.82 0.13 0.13 1.71 0.13 1.71 0.19 1.71 0.19 1.77 0.19 1.77 1.77 0.16 0.16 1.75 0.16 1.75 0.20 1.75 0.20 1.68 0.20 1.68 1.68 0.22 0.22 1.75 0.22 1.75 0.25 1.75 0.25 1.55 0.25 1.55 1.55 0.31 0.31 1.72 0.31 1.72 0.32 1.72 0.32 0.32

0006 0006 22 0604 0006 0604 22 1231 TH 1231 TH 0604

1.42 1.42 0.42 1.42 0.42 1.67 0.42 1.67 0.39 1.67 0.39 0.39 1.30 1.30 0.51 1.30 0.51 1.61 0.51 1.61 0.44 1.61 0.44 0.44 1.23 1.23 0.57 1.23 0.57 1.57 0.57 1.57 0.44 1.57 0.44 0.44 1.22 1.22 0.59 1.22 0.59 1.57 0.59 1.57 0.42 1.57 0.42 0.42 1.27 1.27 0.56 1.27 0.56 1.59 0.56 1.59 0.38 1.59 0.38 0.38 1.34 1.34 0.50 1.34 0.50 1.61 0.50 1.61 1.61

Time Time 0209 0209 0812 0209 0812 1401 0812 1401 2020 1401 2020 2020 0245 0245 0849 0245 0849 1442 0849 1442 2058 1442 2058 2058 0317 0317 0926 0317 0926 1521 0926 1521 2133 1521 2133 2133 0348 0348 1000 0348 1000 1600 1000 1600 2208 1600 2208 2208 0419 0419 1036 0419 1036 1640 1036 1640 2245 1640 2245 2245 0452 0452 1113 0452 1113 1723 1113 1723 2323 1723 2323 2323 0527 0527 1154 0527 1154 1812 1154 1812 1812

m m 0.27 0.27 1.46 0.27 1.46 0.38 1.46 0.38 1.73 0.38 1.73 1.73 0.28 0.28 1.48 0.28 1.48 0.38 1.48 0.38 1.68 0.38 1.68 1.68 0.31 0.31 1.49 0.31 1.49 0.41 1.49 0.41 1.61 0.41 1.61 1.61 0.35 0.35 1.49 0.35 1.49 0.44 1.49 0.44 1.53 0.44 1.53 1.53 0.40 0.40 1.48 0.40 1.48 0.49 1.48 0.49 1.45 0.49 1.45 1.45 0.45 0.45 1.47 0.45 1.47 0.54 1.47 0.54 1.36 0.54 1.36 1.36 0.51 0.51 1.44 0.51 1.44 0.59 1.44 0.59 0.59

0007 88 0007 0607 0007 0607 1240 TH 1240 TH 0607

1.27 1.27 0.57 1.27 0.57 1.42 0.57 1.42 0.63 1.42 0.63 0.63 1.19 1.19 0.62 1.19 0.62 1.40 0.62 1.40 0.65 1.40 0.65 0.65 1.14 1.14 0.66 1.14 0.66 1.40 0.66 1.40 0.62 1.40 0.62 0.62 1.13 1.13 0.66 1.13 0.66 1.43 0.66 1.43 0.56 1.43 0.56 0.56 1.18 1.18 0.62 1.18 0.62 1.51 0.62 1.51 0.47 1.51 0.47 0.47 1.25 1.25 0.54 1.25 0.54 1.60 0.54 1.60 1.60

23 23

0.37 0.37 1.35 0.37 1.35 0.45 1.35 0.45 1.70 0.45 1.70 1.70 0.27 0.27 1.45 0.27 1.45 0.35 1.45 0.35 1.78 0.35 1.78 1.78

29 29










1908 TH 1240 1908 1908 0100 0100 0657 0100 0657 1334 FR 1334 FR 0657 2015 FR 1334 2015 2015 0205 0205 0757 0205 0757 1437 SA 1437 SA 0757 2129 SA 1437 2129 2129 0320 0320 0904 0320 0904 1544 SU 1544 SU 0904 2233 SU 1544 2233 2233 0429 0429 1009 0429 1009 1643 MO 1643 MO 1009 2326 MO 1643 2326 2326 0524 0524 1105 0524 1105 1734 TU 1734 TU 1105 TU 1734


10 10 11 11 12 12

13 13

0011 0011 14 0610 0011 0610 14 1156 WE 1156 WE 0610

1820 WE 1156 1820 1820 0052 0052 0654 0052 0654 1244 TH 1244 TH 0654 1905 TH 1244 1905 1905

15 15

LAT 33° 52’ LONG 151° 13’ LAT 33° 52’ of High LONG 151° 13’ Times and Heights Times and Heights of High and and Low Low Waters Waters Times and Heights of High and Low Waters OCTOBER NOVEMBER OCTOBER NOVEMBER m Time m Time TimeNOVEMBER m Time OCTOBER m

16 16 FR FR FR

17 17 SA SA SA

18 18 SU SU SU

19 19 MO MO MO

20 20 TU TU TU

21 21 WE WE WE

1908 TH 1231 1908 1908 0112 0112 0703 0112 0703 1334 FR 1334 FR 0703 2023 FR 1334 2023 2023 0227 0227 0813 0227 0813 1445 SA 1445 SA 0813 2138 SA 1445 2138 2138 0345 0345 0925 0345 0925 1556 SU 1556 SU 0925 2244 SU 1556 2244 2244 0451 0451 1033 0451 1033 1659 MO 1659 MO 1033 2338 MO 1659 2338 2338 0545 0545 1131 0545 1131 1751 TU 1751 TU 1131 TU 1751

24 24 25 25 26 26

27 27

0023 0023 28 0630 0023 0630 28 1222 WE 1222 WE 0630

1837 WE 1222 1837 1837 0102 0102 0709 0102 0709 1306 TH 1306 TH 0709 1917 TH 1306 1917 1917 0136 0136 0745 0136 0745 1346 FR 1346 FR 0745 1955 FR 1346 1955 1955

30 30

0.35 0.35 1.41 0.35 1.41 0.45 1.41 0.45 1.62 0.45 1.62 1.62 0.33 0.33 1.47 0.33 1.47 0.41 1.47 0.41 1.62 0.41 1.62 1.62 0.32 0.32 1.52 0.32 1.52 0.38 1.52 0.38 1.60 0.38 1.60 1.60

Time Time 0208 0208 0819 0208 0819 1424 0819 1424 2030 1424 2030 2030 0338 0338 0952 0338 0952 1600 0952 1600 2205 1600 2205 2205 0407 0407 1025 0407 1025 1638 1025 1638 2241 1638 2241 2241 0438 0438 1059 0438 1059 1716 1059 1716 2317 1716 2317 2317 0510 0510 1133 0510 1133 1758 1133 1758 2357 1758 2357 2357 0545 0545 1213 0545 1213 1843 1213 1843 1843

m m 0.33 0.33 1.55 0.33 1.55 0.38 1.55 0.38 1.56 0.38 1.56 1.56 0.35 0.35 1.57 0.35 1.57 0.38 1.57 0.38 1.51 0.38 1.51 1.51 0.38 0.38 1.58 0.38 1.58 0.40 1.58 0.40 1.45 0.40 1.45 1.45 0.43 0.43 1.58 0.43 1.58 0.43 1.58 0.43 1.39 0.43 1.39 1.39 0.48 0.48 1.56 0.48 1.56 0.47 1.56 0.47 1.32 0.47 1.32 1.32 0.53 0.53 1.53 0.53 1.53 0.51 1.53 0.51 0.51

0041 77 0041 0626 0041 0626 1256 FR 1256 FR 0626

1.25 1.25 0.59 1.25 0.59 1.48 0.59 1.48 0.56 1.48 0.56 0.56 1.19 1.19 0.65 1.19 0.65 1.44 0.65 1.44 0.58 1.44 0.58 0.58 1.15 1.15 0.69 1.15 0.69 1.42 0.69 1.42 0.58 1.42 0.58 0.58 1.16 1.16 0.70 1.16 0.70 1.43 0.70 1.43 0.52 1.43 0.52 0.52 1.21 1.21 0.65 1.21 0.65 1.49 0.65 1.49 0.44 1.49 0.44 0.44 1.31 1.31 0.56 1.31 0.56 1.57 0.56 1.57 1.57









1935 FR 1256 1935 1935 0132 0132 0714 0132 0714 1346 SA 1346 SA 0714 2036 SA 1346 2036 2036 0234 0234 0814 0234 0814 1446 SU 1446 SU 0814 2144 SU 1446 2144 2144 0345 0345 0923 0345 0923 1555 MO 1555 MO 0923 2247 MO 1555 2247 2247 0454 0454 1034 0454 1034 1700 TU 1700 TU 1034 2343 TU 1700 2343 2343 0550 0550 1137 0550 1137 1758 WE 1758 WE 1137 WE 1758



10 10

11 11 12 12

0030 0030 13 0639 0030 0639 13 1232 TH 1232 TH 0639 1849 TH 1232 1849 1849 0115 0115 0725 0115 0725 1325 FR 1325 FR 0725 1938 FR 1325 1938 1938 0158 0158 0810 0158 0810 1415 SA 1415 SA 0810 2028 SA 1415 2028 2028

14 14 15 15

0.35 0.35 1.43 0.35 1.43 0.45 1.43 0.45 1.65 0.45 1.65 1.65 0.26 0.26 1.56 0.26 1.56 0.34 1.56 0.34 1.72 0.34 1.72 1.72 0.19 0.19 1.69 0.19 1.69 0.23 1.69 0.23 1.75 0.23 1.75 1.75

Time Time 0241 0241 0855 0241 0855 1507 0855 1507 2117 1507 2117 2117 0325 0325 0942 0325 0942 1600 0942 1600 2209 1600 2209 2209 0411 0411 1030 0411 1030 1654 1030 1654 2302 1654 2302 2302 0459 0459 1121 0459 1121 1751 1121 1751 2359 1751 2359 2359 0549 0549 1214 0549 1214 1851 1214 1851 1851

m m 0.15 0.15 1.79 0.15 1.79 0.16 1.79 0.16 1.74 0.16 1.74 1.74 0.16 0.16 1.87 0.16 1.87 0.12 1.87 0.12 1.68 0.12 1.68 1.68 0.20 0.20 1.90 0.20 1.90 0.13 1.90 0.13 1.59 0.13 1.59 1.59 0.28 0.28 1.88 0.28 1.88 0.18 1.88 0.18 1.48 0.18 1.48 1.48 0.38 0.38 1.83 0.38 1.83 0.26 1.83 0.26 0.26

0058 0058 21 0644 0058 0644 21 1310 FR 1310 FR 0644

1.38 1.38 0.48 1.38 0.48 1.74 0.48 1.74 0.34 1.74 0.34 0.34 1.29 1.29 0.57 1.29 0.57 1.64 0.57 1.64 0.40 1.64 0.40 0.40 1.25 1.25 0.63 1.25 0.63 1.56 0.63 1.56 0.44 1.56 0.44 0.44 1.26 1.26 0.65 1.26 0.65 1.51 0.65 1.51 0.44 1.51 0.44 0.44 1.32 1.32 0.62 1.32 0.62 1.49 0.62 1.49 1.49

16 16 SU SU SU

17 17 MO MO MO

18 18 TU TU TU

19 19 WE WE WE

20 20 TH TH TH

1957 FR 1310 1957 1957 0203 0203 0745 0203 0745 1411 SA 1411 SA 0745 2105 SA 1411 2105 2105 0315 0315 0854 0315 0854 1519 SU 1519 SU 0854 2213 SU 1519 2213 2213 0427 0427 1007 0427 1007 1629 MO 1629 MO 1007 2313 MO 1629 2313 2313 0529 0529 1115 0529 1115 1731 TU 1731 TU 1115 TU 1731

22 22 23 23 24 24 25 25

0004 0004 26 0619 0004 0619 26 1215 WE 1215 WE 0619

1825 WE 1215 1825 1825 0047 0047 0703 0047 0703 1307 TH 1307 TH 0703 1910 TH 1307 1910 1910 0124 0124 0742 0124 0742 1350 FR 1350 FR 0742 1950 FR 1350 1950 1950 0158 0158 0816 0158 0816 1430 SA 1430 SA 0816 2028 SA 1430 2028 2028 0230 0230 0849 0230 0849 1506 SU 1506 SU 0849 2104 SU 1506 2104 2104 0300 0300 0922 0300 0922 1543 MO 1543 MO 0922 2141 MO 1543 2141 2141

27 27 28 28

29 29 30 30 31 31

0.43 0.43 1.39 0.43 1.39 0.57 1.39 0.57 1.49 0.57 1.49 1.49 0.42 0.42 1.46 0.42 1.46 0.51 1.46 0.51 1.49 0.51 1.49 1.49 0.41 0.41 1.53 0.41 1.53 0.46 1.53 0.46 1.49 0.46 1.49 1.49 0.40 0.40 1.58 0.40 1.58 0.42 1.58 0.42 1.48 0.42 1.48 1.48 0.40 0.40 1.62 0.40 1.62 0.39 1.62 0.39 1.46 0.39 1.46 1.46 0.42 0.42 1.66 0.42 1.66 0.38 1.66 0.38 1.43 0.38 1.43 1.43

Time Time 0330 0330 0954 0330 0954 1619 0954 1619 2217 1619 2217 2217 0402 0402 1028 0402 1028 1657 1028 1657 2256 1657 2256 2256 0436 0436 1103 0436 1103 1737 1103 1737 2336 1737 2336 2336 0514 0514 1142 0514 1142 1819 1142 1819 1819

m m 0.44 0.44 1.67 0.44 1.67 0.38 1.67 0.38 1.40 0.38 1.40 1.40 0.47 0.47 1.67 0.47 1.67 0.39 1.67 0.39 1.35 0.39 1.35 1.35 0.51 0.51 1.66 0.51 1.66 0.42 1.66 0.42 1.31 0.42 1.31 1.31 0.56 0.56 1.62 0.56 1.62 0.46 1.62 0.46 0.46

0020 55 0020 0555 0020 0555 1223 SA 1223 SA 0555

1.26 1.26 0.61 1.26 0.61 1.57 0.61 1.57 0.49 1.57 0.49 0.49 1.22 1.22 0.66 1.22 0.66 1.52 0.66 1.52 0.52 1.52 0.52 0.52 1.21 1.21 0.70 1.21 0.70 1.48 0.70 1.48 0.52 1.48 0.52 0.52 1.22 1.22 0.71 1.22 0.71 1.47 0.71 1.47 0.48 1.47 0.48 0.48 1.29 1.29 0.67 1.29 0.67 1.49 0.67 1.49 0.42 1.49 0.42 0.42 1.39 1.39 0.59 1.39 0.59 1.54 0.59 1.54 0.35 1.54 0.35 0.35 1.52 1.52 0.48 1.52 0.48 1.59 0.48 1.59 1.59







1907 SA 1223 1907 1907 0110 0110 0643 0110 0643 1310 SU 1310 SU 0643 2001 SU 1310 2001 2001 0207 0207 0739 0207 0739 1405 MO 1405 MO 0739 2100 MO 1405 2100 2100 0311 0311 0846 0311 0846 1509 TU 1509 TU 0846 2201 TU 1509 2201 2201 0415 0415 0959 0415 0959 1616 WE 1616 WE 0959 2258 WE 1616 2258 2258 0515 0515 1107 0515 1107 1721 TH 1721 TH 1107 2349 TH 1721 2349 2349 0607 0607 1210 0607 1210 1818 FR 1818 FR 1210 FR 1818

66 77

88 99

10 10

11 11

0037 0037 12 0656 0037 0656 12 1307 SA 1307 SA 0656

1914 SA 1307 1914 1914 0124 0124 0744 0124 0744 1402 SU 1402 SU 0744 2007 SU 1402 2007 2007 0210 0210 0832 0210 0832 1457 MO 1457 MO 0832 2100 MO 1457 2100 2100 0258 0258 0921 0258 0921 1550 TU 1550 TU 0921 2155 TU 1550 2155 2155

13 13 14 14

15 15

0.28 0.28 1.67 0.28 1.67 0.35 1.67 0.35 1.63 0.35 1.63 1.63 0.23 0.23 1.80 0.23 1.80 0.24 1.80 0.24 1.65 0.24 1.65 1.65 0.21 0.21 1.91 0.21 1.91 0.15 1.91 0.15 1.63 0.15 1.63 1.63 0.23 0.23 1.98 0.23 1.98 0.11 1.98 0.11 1.59 0.11 1.59 1.59

Time Time 0346 0346 1012 0346 1012 1645 1012 1645 2250 1645 2250 2250 0436 0436 1102 0436 1102 1741 1102 1741 2346 1741 2346 2346 0529 0529 1154 0529 1154 1838 1154 1838 1838

m m m 0.27 0.27 2.00 0.27 2.00 0.11 2.00 0.11 1.52 0.11 1.52 1.52 0.34 0.34 1.97 0.34 1.97 0.15 1.97 0.15 1.45 0.15 1.45 1.45 0.42 0.42 1.90 0.42 1.90 0.23 1.90 0.23 0.23

0045 0045 19 0624 0045 0624 19 1248 SA 1248 SA 0624

1.38 1.38 0.51 1.38 0.51 1.79 0.51 1.79 0.32 1.79 0.32 0.32 1.32 1.32 0.60 1.32 0.60 1.66 0.60 1.66 0.40 1.66 0.40 0.40 1.30 1.30 0.66 1.30 0.66 1.54 0.66 1.54 0.45 1.54 0.45 0.45 1.31 1.31 0.69 1.31 0.69 1.45 0.69 1.45 0.49 1.45 0.49 0.49 1.35 1.35 0.69 1.35 0.69 1.40 0.69 1.40 0.50 1.40 0.50 0.50 1.41 1.41 0.65 1.41 0.65 1.37 0.65 1.37 1.37

16 16 WE WE WE

17 17 TH TH TH

18 18 FR FR FR

1937 SA 1248 1937 1937 0145 0145 0723 0145 0723 1345 SU 1345 SU 0723 2036 SU 1345 2036 2036 0249 0249 0828 0249 0828 1445 MO 1445 MO 0828 2135 MO 1445 2135 2135 0353 0353 0936 0353 0936 1548 TU 1548 TU 0936 2230 TU 1548 2230 2230 0452 0452 1045 0452 1045 1650 WE 1650 WE 1045 2318 WE 1650 2318 2318 0544 0544 1149 0544 1149 1746 TH 1746 TH 1149 TH 1746

20 20 21 21

22 22 23 23

24 24

0002 0002 25 0629 0002 0629 25 1244 FR 1244 FR 0629

1836 FR 1244 1836 1836 0042 0042 0709 0042 0709 1330 SA 1330 SA 0709 1920 SA 1330 1920 1920 0117 0117 0746 0117 0746 1412 SU 1412 SU 0746 2001 SU 1412 2001 2001 0152 0152 0821 0152 0821 1449 MO 1449 MO 0821 2041 MO 1449 2041 2041 0226 0226 0855 0226 0855 1526 TU 1526 TU 0855 2118 TU 1526 2118 2118 0300 0300 0930 0300 0930 1602 WE 1602 WE 0930 2157 WE 1602 2157 2157

26 26

27 27

28 28 29 29

30 30

0.49 0.49 1.48 0.49 1.48 0.59 1.48 0.59 1.37 0.59 1.37 1.37 0.48 0.48 1.55 0.48 1.55 0.53 1.55 0.53 1.37 0.53 1.37 1.37 0.47 0.47 1.62 0.47 1.62 0.47 1.62 0.47 1.38 0.47 1.38 1.38 0.47 0.47 1.67 0.47 1.67 0.43 1.67 0.43 1.38 0.43 1.38 1.38 0.47 0.47 1.71 0.47 1.71 0.39 1.71 0.39 1.37 0.39 1.37 1.37 0.48 0.48 1.73 0.48 1.73 0.37 1.73 0.37 1.36 0.37 1.36 1.36


Time Time 0334 0334 1004 0334 1004 1640 1004 1640 2236 1640 2236 2236 0411 0411 1041 0411 1041 1718 1041 1718 2316 1718 2316 2316 0450 0450 1119 0450 1119 1800 1119 1800 1800

m m 0.50 0.50 1.74 0.50 1.74 0.37 1.74 0.37 1.34 0.37 1.34 1.34 0.52 0.52 1.74 0.52 1.74 0.38 1.74 0.38 1.32 0.38 1.32 1.32 0.56 0.56 1.71 0.56 1.71 0.40 1.71 0.40 0.40

0000 44 0000 0532 0000 0532 1200 SU 1200 SU 0532

1.30 1.30 0.59 1.30 0.59 1.67 0.59 1.67 0.42 1.67 0.42 0.42 1.28 1.28 0.63 1.28 0.63 1.62 0.63 1.62 0.44 1.62 0.44 0.44 1.28 1.28 0.66 1.28 0.66 1.56 0.66 1.56 0.45 1.56 0.45 0.45 1.31 1.31 0.68 1.31 0.68 1.52 0.68 1.52 0.44 1.52 0.44 0.44 1.37 1.37 0.66 1.37 0.66 1.49 0.66 1.49 0.41 1.49 0.41 0.41 1.47 1.47 0.60 1.47 0.60 1.48 0.60 1.48 0.37 1.48 0.37 0.37 1.59 1.59 0.50 1.59 0.50 1.50 0.50 1.50 1.50






1844 SU 1200 1844 1844 0047 0047 0620 0047 0620 1245 MO 1245 MO 0620 1931 MO 1245 1931 1931 0140 0140 0714 0140 0714 1334 TU 1334 TU 0714 2024 TU 1334 2024 2024 0238 0238 0816 0238 0816 1432 WE 1432 WE 0816 2119 WE 1432 2119 2119 0339 0339 0927 0339 0927 1538 TH 1538 TH 0927 2215 TH 1538 2215 2215 0439 0439 1039 0439 1039 1646 FR 1646 FR 1039 2311 FR 1646 2311 2311 0536 0536 1149 0536 1149 1752 SA 1752 SA 1149 SA 1752



77 88


10 10

0003 0003 11 0630 0003 0630 11 1253 SU 1253 SU 0630

1853 SU 1253 1853 1853 0055 0055 0722 0055 0722 1352 MO 1352 MO 0722 1951 MO 1352 1951 1951 0145 0145 0814 0145 0814 1448 TU 1448 TU 0814 2047 TU 1448 2047 2047 0236 0236 0905 0236 0905 1542 WE 1542 WE 0905 2143 WE 1542 2143 2143 0327 0327 0956 0327 0956 1634 TH 1634 TH 0956 2237 TH 1634 2237 2237

12 12

13 13 14 14

15 15

  Copyright Copyright Commonwealth Commonwealth of of Australia Australia 2014, 2014, Bureau Bureau of of Meteorology Meteorology  Copyright Commonwealth of Australia 2014, Bureau of Meteorology Datum of Predictions is Lowest Astronomical Tide Datum of Predictions is Lowest Astronomical Tide Datum of Predictions is Lowest Astronomical Tidedaylight savings time (UTC +11:00) when in effect Times Times are are in in local local standard standard time time (UTC (UTC +10:00) +10:00) or or daylight savings time (UTC +11:00) when in effect Times are in local standard time (UTC +10:00) or daylight savings time (UTC +11:00) when in effect New First Moon Full New Moon Moon First Quarter Quarter Moon Phase Phase Symbols Symbols Full Moon Moon New Moon First Quarter Moon Phase Symbols Full Moon

0.33 0.33 1.72 0.33 1.72 0.38 1.72 0.38 1.51 0.38 1.51 1.51 0.30 0.30 1.85 0.30 1.85 0.27 1.85 0.27 1.53 0.27 1.53 1.53 0.29 0.29 1.95 0.29 1.95 0.18 1.95 0.18 1.53 0.18 1.53 1.53 0.29 0.29 2.01 0.29 2.01 0.13 2.01 0.13 1.51 0.13 1.51 1.51 0.32 0.32 2.03 0.32 2.03 0.12 2.03 0.12 1.48 0.12 1.48 1.48

Time Time 0418 0418 1045 0418 1045 1726 1045 1726 2330 1726 2330 2330 0510 0510 1135 0510 1135 1817 1135 1817 1817

m m m 0.37 0.37 2.00 0.37 2.00 0.16 2.00 0.16 1.44 0.16 1.44 1.44 0.43 0.43 1.91 0.43 1.91 0.23 1.91 0.23 0.23

0023 0023 18 0602 0023 0602 18 1225 SU 1225 SU 0602

1.40 1.40 0.50 1.40 0.50 1.80 0.50 1.80 0.32 1.80 0.32 0.32 1.36 1.36 0.58 1.36 0.58 1.66 0.58 1.66 0.40 1.66 0.40 0.40 1.34 1.34 0.66 1.34 0.66 1.52 0.66 1.52 0.48 1.52 0.48 0.48 1.34 1.34 0.71 1.34 0.71 1.40 0.71 1.40 0.53 1.40 0.53 0.53 1.36 1.36 0.73 1.36 0.73 1.32 0.73 1.32 0.55 1.32 0.55 0.55 1.41 1.41 0.71 1.41 0.71 1.28 0.71 1.28 0.56 1.28 0.56 0.56 1.47 1.47 0.66 1.47 0.66 1.26 0.66 1.26 0.55 1.26 0.55 0.55 1.54 1.54 0.59 1.54 0.59 1.28 0.59 1.28 1.28

16 16 FR FR FR

17 17 SA SA SA

1908 SU 1225 1908 1908 0116 0116 0657 0116 0657 1314 MO 1314 MO 0657 1958 MO 1314 1958 1958 0212 0212 0754 0212 0754 1404 TU 1404 TU 0754 2046 TU 1404 2046 2046 0307 0307 0855 0307 0855 1459 WE 1459 WE 0855 2135 WE 1459 2135 2135 0403 0403 1001 0403 1001 1558 TH 1558 TH 1001 2224 TH 1558 2224 2224 0458 0458 1110 0458 1110 1659 FR 1659 FR 1110 2312 FR 1659 2312 2312 0547 0547 1213 0547 1213 1758 SA 1758 SA 1213 2357 SA 1758 2357 2357 0633 0633 1306 0633 1306 1850 SU 1850 SU 1306 SU 1850

19 19

20 20 21 21 22 22

23 23

24 24

25 25

0040 0040 26 0715 0040 0715 26 1351 MO 1351 MO 0715 1936 MO 1351 1936 1936 0120 0120 0754 0120 0754 1431 TU 1431 TU 0754 2019 TU 1431 2019 2019 0158 0158 0831 0158 0831 1509 WE 1509 WE 0831 2059 WE 1509 2059 2059 0235 0235 0908 0235 0908 1545 TH 1545 TH 0908 2137 TH 1545 2137 2137 0313 0313 0945 0313 0945 1621 FR 1621 FR 0945 2216 FR 1621 2216 2216 0352 0352 1022 0352 1022 1659 SA 1659 SA 1022 2257 SA 1659 2257 2257

27 27

28 28 29 29

30 30

31 31

0.54 0.54 1.60 0.54 1.60 0.52 1.60 0.52 1.30 0.52 1.30 1.30 0.52 0.52 1.66 0.52 1.66 0.45 1.66 0.45 1.32 0.45 1.32 1.32 0.51 0.51 1.72 0.51 1.72 0.40 1.72 0.40 1.34 0.40 1.34 1.34 0.49 0.49 1.76 0.49 1.76 0.36 1.76 0.36 1.35 0.36 1.35 1.35 0.49 0.49 1.78 0.49 1.78 0.34 1.78 0.34 1.36 0.34 1.36 1.36 0.49 0.49 1.79 0.49 1.79 0.33 1.79 0.33 1.36 0.33 1.36 1.36

Last Last Quarter Quarter Last Quarter

Tide predictions for Sydney (Fort Denison) have been formatted by the National Tidal Centre, Australian Bureau of Meteorology, Copyright reserved. All material is supplied in good faith and is believed to be correct. It is supplied on the condition that no warranty is given in relation thereto, that no responsibility or liability for errors or omissions is, or will be, accepted and that the recipient will hold MHL and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology Australia free from all such responsibility or liability and from all loss or damage incurred as a consequence of any error or omission. Predictions should not be used for navigational purposes. Use of these tide predictions will be deemed to include acceptance of the above conditions. 110



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HURRY OFFER ENDS 25TH NOV, 2016 *Terms & conditions apply. Savings are based on RRP including recommended Rigging Kits and subject to change without notice. Prices exclude local freight charges, fit up and local statutory charges. Offer available on selected new consumer FourStroke outboards from 2.5 to 115hp FourStroke purchased from participating dealers till 25th November 2016. Ask your participating Mercury dealer for full list of models in the program. Offer is subject to availability and engines must be 2014 build onwards and installed and registered by no later than 3rd Feb, 2017. Offer not to be used in conjunction with any other offer or rebates.

NSW Fishing Monthly November 2016  
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