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The lowdown on longtails • Exploring Mallacoota • SUP fishing

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Contents BYRON COAST The Tweed 28 Ballina 29 Yamba 30 COFFS COAST Coffs Harbour 32 Coffs Game 33 Nambucca 34 South West Rocks 35 MACQUARIE COAST The Hastings 36 Forster 38 Harrington-Taree 41 HUNTER COAST Port Stephens 42 Hunter Coast 43 Erina 44 Swansea 45 SYDNEY The Hawkesbury 14 Sydney North 16 Pittwater 18 Sydney Harbour 20 Botany Bay 22 Sydney South 23 Sydney Rock and Beach 24 Western Sydney 25 ILLAWARRA COAST Illawarra 46 Nowra 47





From the Editor’s Desk... There’s an old saying, “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em”. I’m talking about the amount of ‘screen time’ that we are exposed to on a daily basis. It’s a global thing. In the last year I’ve seen the same scenes in China, Japan, Australia and the USA. Busloads, cafes-full, streets full of people totally engrossed by what’s on their phone rather than what’s going on around them. I suppose it’s a symptom of our exposure to this new technology - until we become desensitised to this constant stream of information, we’ll wade into it and see how it feels. In the meantime, how are we reaching these people? We’re broadcasting fishing into their information streams. It was only a year ago that we decided to give

Live Streaming from boats fishing in a tournament a try. It was BassCat’s Craig Simmons who twisted our arm to do it after USA-based Aussie bass pro, Carl Jocumsen, was getting real reach delivering content live from his boat. It was an instant success, although clumsily done, which led us to refine what we do. A year on, we’ve just finished delivering coverage of the ABT’s Franklins Australian Open – Australia’s toughest bream fishing tournament that’s held on Sydney Harbour and the Hawkesbury River. From those clunky beginnings, we’re beginning

to deliver action through your screens that you’ve never been able to access before. You could pick one of several boats who were live streaming – or even watch all three at once if you had a big enough screen (and data plan)! There were more cameras on other boats that recorded the action, these were edited down into 5-minute highlights packages (for those of us who aren’t as fanatical and only want the juicy bits). If that wasn’t enough, you could watch the starts and the weigh-ins live as well. You want screen time? At least we’ll deliver you something more relevant than watching cats jump into the air when you put a cucumber behind them. The technology is cool: we use waterproof, Garmin VIRB cameras that can run all day off the power in the anglers’ boats. These



are capable of recording the information, rendering it to a size for streaming and getting to a Live YouTube event in less than 30 seconds. We’ve come a long way in just a year. I’m looking forward to what we can do in 2019. So, please stay glued to those screens and let us deliver you the action live from the water, because we know that’s where you’d really rather be. Or, as you’ve done already, grab a copy of NSW Fishing Monthly and take some time away from your screen. You know that we take away all of the clutter and give you a product that never runs out of power, costs $6.95 instead of $1,695 and is proven technology that’ll endure through any blackout or internal crash. True story.

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Paul Lennon with a hard-fighting longtail tuna.



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SPECIAL FEATURES How to catch longtail tuna Marvellous Mallacoota


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Fishing Diary Angler: Paul Lennon Date: May 15th 2016

Location: Port Stephens Conditions: NE 5 kts, on changing tide

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Longtail Tuna

Gonna land me a longtail! PORT STEPHENS

Paul Lennon

On the Mid North Coast of NSW the longtail season is one of the most hotlyanticipated times of the year for anglers. This is especially the case for land-

over 20kg a real trophy fish. They are a coastal species of tuna, meaning they don’t usually venture further than a few kilometres offshore, preferring to hunt schools of baitfish hanging around headlands and shallow reefs. At times they will also move up into some of the oceanic

that, while entertaining, can at times be a downright pain in the backside. I’m talking about species like tailor, bonito, mac tuna and sharks, which often get in on the action. You’ll also run into more prized species such as cobia, kingfish and to the north, Spanish mackerel and

The author displays a magnificent boat-caught longtail. based game anglers, and to a lesser extent those fishing out of kayaks or in smaller boats with restricted range. For those who fall in these categories, longtail tuna are a very special fish. Many regard longtails as pound for pound the best fighting of all the tuna species, which is why being able to target them from the rocks and close to shore is so appealing for anglers. While longtail tuna can grow in excess of 30kg, the average size in NSW is around 14kg, with anything

bays of estuary systems, particularly places like my home town of Port Stephens. While Port Stephens is a renowned area for longtail tuna, it’s also the species’ southernmost stronghold. This is not to say longtails aren’t caught south of Port Stephens, but the consistency and predictability becomes significantly tougher. One of the biggest reasons chasing longtail tuna can be so exciting is the by-catch that comes with it. This ranges from species

even black marlin! Tagging studies have shown that longtail tuna can travel huge distances in a very short space of time, with one tagged fish recaptured 850km away from where it was tagged only 20 days later! OFF THE ROCKS There’s no doubt longtail tuna are most prized when caught from the rocks. Highly-dedicated land-based game anglers will go to great lengths to catch these fish. Depending on the time of year, water temperatures and

conditions, these anglers will travel up and down the coast to give themselves the best chance of catching a longtail. The other thing these anglers do so well, and perhaps better then any other fishing group is network together. It is however a very guarded and tight-knit community who don’t just divulge their information to anyone. Those in the circle are kept in the loop of what’s going on, with constant exchanges of reports from up and down the coast. This allows them to have their finger on the pulse for exactly where the action is. Being privy to this information, especially early in the season when the fish are moving down the coast, is of great benefit. Depending on how far north fish are being caught you can really pinpoint that first bite of the season to being a matter of days or weeks away. Tagging studies have shown that longtail tuna can travel huge distances in a very short space of time. If you you haven’t caught a longtail from the rocks and want to give it a crack, the best advice I can give you is don’t expect too many short cuts. It’s not as easy as waiting until you hear as few reports of fish being caught. Most of the time a hot bite will be kept pretty quiet and by the time word does get out, the ledge is packed and the fish have often slowed down or moved on. The best approach is to a get a rough idea when the fish usually show up, and

Fishing from a boat allows you access to lots of different areas, as opposed to just one stretch of coastline as with LBG fishing. of them. This scenario will however be very unlikely if you just rock up with no prior experience once you hear the fish have shown up. Where to start and what you’ll need The best time of year to target longtails is from late February through to May, however some years I’ve seen fish getting caught until mid July. Water temperature and quality plays a big role in success with cold, dirty or water with a lot fresh in it not even worth fishing. The ideal setting is clear water with a temperature somewhere between 21-25°C. The best areas to fish are usually headlands and points

livebait stick, and most of the time it will be in free spool, which is why a lever drag is very important. The other big advantage of lever drag reels for this type of fishing is that maximum drag can be pre-set and then repeatedly backed off and back on when fishing a fish. This can be particularly handy when a tuna is being pursued by a shark, as free spooling can sometimes result in the tuna outrunning the shark. Once it’s in the clear, the pre-set maximum drag for that line class can be reapplied quickly and accurately, and the fight can recommence. The other benefit free spooling can give you is when your fish is heading towards structure or

Blake Chaffey with a typical size land-based longtail, taken from a rocky ledge.


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start fishing a few weeks earlier then that. While the tuna might not be there yet, you should be able to cut your teeth on some bonito and mac tuna and get your bait catching skills down pat. It’s also likely that a few more experienced LBG anglers will start turning up, and you will learn a lot from just watching how and what these anglers do. If you’re really lucky you may even get taken under the wing by one

that drop off into deep water, especially places with reefy bottoms that hold baitfish. Often getting to these areas can be quite a trek, so it’s important to not take too much stuff, but still have everything you need. Starting with outfits, most anglers will generally take three set ups with them. The first is an overhead lever drag reel loaded with around 600m of 10-15kg mono line on a 7-8ft rod. This is your typical

objects such as lobster traps or anchored boats. Backing the reel off to free spool in this situation can often make the fish change direction, and skilled anglers will use this to their advantage. The most common way to rig a livebait rod up is to attach 2-3m length of 50-60lb fluorocarbon leader to your mainline and then run a torpedo float along the leader to the hook. The float will slide up and hit your

Longtail Tuna joining knot, which will act as a stopper. You can also use a small ball sinker on the leader to keep your live bait down a bit. While many anglers like to use livebait style hooks for longtails, I prefer a suicide pattern around a 6/0-7/0, as I find the hook up rate to be much better. It’s a good idea to have a few leaders with a float and hook made up ready to go, as fish like sharks and tailor can be a real pain in scuffing up and biting through leaders.

Being able to quickly change over a damaged leader will ultimately lead to more time in the water and a greater chance of catching your target. The second outfit in most LBG game anglers’ arsenal is 30-50lb spin or overhead combo. The reel needs to be capable of holding around 300-400m of 30-50lb braided line and the rod should be around 8-9ft and stiff enough to comfortably throw lures in the 40-85g range. Spinning for longtails is by far the most

exciting way to catch them, as it’s often very visual when tuna are actively busting into schools of baitfish, especially gar. This outfit should be always rigged up and ready to grab and throw, as tuna will often suddenly appear out of nowhere and can be gone before you know it. The FG or PR knots are the preferred braid-to-leader connection knots for spinning, as they are very streamlined and don’t restrict your casting distance even with longer Colin King is pleased with his ‘false alarm’ mac tuna. These fish put up a tremendous fight.

These are the essentials, regardless of whether you’re land-based or fishing out of a boat.

leaders. Around 50lb leader is a good size and I like to run about 2m of it. Lure wise, there is a range of different ones to throw at them, with a few of the most common being 65-85g metals such as Raiders and Knights or stickbait varieties like Maria Loadeds in 140-180mm or Duel Adagios in 125mm. The third outfit you should always have on the rocks is a smaller 7-8ft rod exclusively for catching your live bait. This doesn’t have to be anything special, just a 4000 size reel and a basic rod rigged up with a bait jig. I find the Black Magic jigs are the best and it’s just a matter of clipping a small sinker to the end and casting

out and retrieving with slow lifts and drops. Taking a couple of loaves of bread along with you will also help you in attracting live bait to the ledge, especially when getting bait is tough. Another valuable LBG tool is the good old fashioned blow up kiddy pool. These are ideal for keeping your live bait, as they take up very little room in your backpack, but once blown up hold plenty of water to keep bait alive. You can also extend the life of your bait by adding an aerator to your kiddy pool. This however will only extend the amount of time between having to change the water, as slimy mackerel won’t last too long without water changes.

Other essentials One item that you should never be without, and which will potentially save you a lot of heartache, is a long gaff, preferably in a 3-piece configuration. While most of the time someone else on the ledge will have a gaff, you can guarantee the one time no one else is there will be the one time you need it to land a fish of a lifetime! Rod wraps are another small thing that make life so much easier, as you can secure all your rods and gaff together to form one object. This might not sound like a big deal, but believe me, this makes a huge difference when you’re doing a lot of To page 10

APRIL 2018


Longtail Tuna From page 9

walking, especially through skinny bush tracks. Apart from all that, you just need a quality back pack to hold all of your gear, some food and water, and to always LBG with a mate or two! It’s much safer that way. DOING IT BY BOAT While many LBG anglers call catching them out of a boat ‘cheating’, it’s still a

they can get access to fishable water, and not because that’s the only place the fish are. Nothing is more frustrating for a LBG angler then when they have bashed their way through the bush in the dark, spent a couple of hours trying to get a livebait, then finally float a bait out only to have a boat come along and drop anchor right on top of where they’re fishing. Having the

the preferred method when fishing out of a boat for longtails, however larger Baitrunner style reels will also work quite well. Drift your baits a good 30-50m away from the boat and have the reel in free spool with the ratchet on. When it screams off, push the lever to strike and hang on! The same rigs and hooks as mentioned above apply for

Longtails are a very striking fish, and it’s easy to see how they can generate so much speed and power.

Even off the rocks, cobia can sometimes show up. Blake Chaffey did very well to wrestle this one up onto the ledge. challenge and great fun, the first rule in my book however, when chasing longtail tuna from the boat is to show some courtesy and stay away from the anglers targeting them on the stones. These anglers are fishing there because often it’s the only area along large stretches of coastline where

luxury of a boat means you can travel to areas LBG anglers can’t get to, so take advantage of this and find your own area to fish. Look for those isolated headlands or reefs close to shore, particularly those that hold a lot of bait. Overheads with lever drags are again

out of the boat, with the only real difference being a shorter rod length of around 6-7ft. Again, have a spin rod rigged up just in case they pop up within range. It also pays to keep berleying while you’re fishing, not so much to directly attract the tuna, but

to keep the baitfish around your boat, which in turn will attract the tuna. When the longtails are on, you can quite easily catch half a dozen or more. One fish will provide a great feed of sashimi or steaks for a few families, however it’s very important to bleed and ice them down after capture, as tuna will spoil quickly. There’s also no need to be greedy, so releasing any extras is a good option. While off the rocks this can be a task, but out of a boat the fish can be easily grabbed around the tail wrist with a glove and gently lifted on board. By doing this they

can be quickly unhooked and sent on their way with minimal damage to the fish. I hope this gives you the

confidence to try to share in one of the greatest events of the year for anglers on the north coast.

Al Wilson took this decent longtail spinning.




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The lowdown on soft vibes NSW STH COAST

Steve Starling

The family of ‘hybrid’ lures known as soft vibes has become extremely popular in recent years. Today, soft vibes represent one of the fastest growing lure styles on tackle shop shelves… with good reason!

yonks. The original Frenchmade Floppy (a classic bass lure when I was a kid) and its less famous cousin the Sossy, were early examples of this group. So was the Burke’s Little Big Dig from America. However, the hybrid concept dropped from prominence for many years before finally being re-kindled over the past decade or so, thanks to a

Transams. These classy (and expensive) Japanese lures kick-started a new wave of interest in hybrids, and also spawned a rash of look-alikes from other makers, both international and domestic. The Jackall brand, from Lake Police, is better known for its hardbodied lipless crankbaits, rated by many as the finest representatives of that lure family. TN Jackalls

A collection of modern soft vibes, with the FLT Transam 95 in front. Other lures in this line-up are from Jackall, Atomic, Shimano, Threadybuster, Fuze and Fish Candy, but plenty of other companies also offer quality soft vibes these days. The majority of modern lures can be defined as either ‘soft’ or ‘hard’, but there’s also an overlap between those groupings. Lures in this intermediate zone are referred to as ‘hybrids’. Hybrid lures have actually been around for

wave of new contenders from Asia, America and Europe. Today, there are again excellent hybrid soft/hard lures on the market, most notably the so-called soft vibes: a family of lures epitomised by the likes of the Jackall Mask and FLT

The Lake Police Jackall Mask Vibe has become a genuine ‘go-to’ lure in many angling scenarios, especially when chasing bass and golden perch.

launched a lipless crank bait (LCB) phenomenon here in Australia during the first decade of the new millennium — and it’s far from finished! Mask Vibes are the hard-bodied Jackalls’ lesserknown stable mates, and while they mightn’t have created as much fuss in local circles as their hard siblings, Masks quickly won the hearts of many keen anglers. A little later the larger, fishshaped FLT Transams joined the Masks, also becoming a major hit, especially amongst barra specialists, as well as anglers chasing threadfin salmon and mulloway. With their strong-butsoft, stretchy ‘elastomer’ bodies and internal wire frames, Masks and Transams are basically soft, chewy lipless crankbaits. They have a tight but reasonably subtle vibrating action when cranked, jigged or ripped and a seductive flutter on the drop, combined with a tendency to stand briefly on their chins or noses on the

bottom when paused. This style of hybrid lure can be worked using a variety of presentation strategies, from a fast, steady burn to a slow roll or a subtle lift-and-drop or double-hop along the bottom. They’re also effective when jigged in mid-water to target suspended fish and they can even be trolled. This versatility makes soft vibes an ideal choice for targeting barra, bass and golden perch or yellowbelly in man-made impoundments, but they’re also highly effective in rivers, estuaries and billabongs, as well as offshore. In fact, vibes work really well anywhere that the species named (and many others) are found, especially if those fish are hanging in the lower half of the water column. Soft vibes are a particularly good choice when the fishing’s tough and the bite is slow, but they’re also effective searching lures, especially in deeper water. Anglers using them typically identify suspended or bottomhugging ‘shows’ of fish on their depths sounders, then stand off a short distance and cast their soft vibes beyond the fish. The lures are allowed to sink to the desired depth (often the bottom) before being worked back to the boat or kayak using a mix of stops and starts, or lifts and drops, interspersed with spells of steady cranking or slow

The author with an average impoundment bass, hooked while jigging a Jackall Mask near submerged timber. rolling. It pays to experiment to discover what’s working best on the day. While the action of soft vibes isn’t as crisp as that of a hardbodied plastic or metal vibe (and doesn’t provide as much feedback through the line), it’s still discernible and can easily be felt it if you’re using low stretch braid. Interestingly, it seems that this quieter, less well-defined vibration may actually be a turn-on for less active fish. The fact that those fish also get a mouthful of soft, chewy material when they bite seals the deal. As a bonus, commercial scents and attractants stick very well to soft vibes. The downside of these lures is the fact they don’t

Jackson ‘Jacko’ Bargenquast hooked this lovely saltwater barra on a Storm SFX 70 soft vibe while targeting threadfin in 8-10m of water at Hervey Bay. Soft vibes can be highly effective, versatile lures, especially in deeper scenarios.

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‘play well with others’. The elastomer compounds they’re made from react badly with PVC-based soft plastics, hardbodied plastic lures, painted surfaces and even other elastomers. For this reason, these lures should be stored separately in the compartments of a quality tackle box or, better yet, kept in their original packaging. On their day, soft vibes can spell the difference between a blank session and a red-hot bite. For that reason, few experienced lure fishers hit the water these days without at least a few of these sneaky lures tucked away in their tackle trays… They’re just too deadly to leave behind!


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Trophies come when the temperatures drop Lure and bait fishing for mulloway will be good this month based on previous results at this time of year. Live herring, poddy mullet, squid, pike, yakkas and legal tailor are relatively easy to obtain for a session of bait fishing. Use them live, butterflied or as strip baits to mix up the presentation to any likely takers. I find soft plastics to be the most effective and affordable for searching the Hawkesbury’s waters, and school mulloway


Dan Selby

Conditions have been very favourable over the last few months, giving anglers plenty of opportunities to wet a line in the Hawkesbury and its tributaries. Looking back through the diary indicates April to be one of the months to get a trophy fish from the Hawkesbury. The water temperature usually drops a couple of degrees this month, with this being the trigger for different responses from different species. The most common response of all species though is to put on weight before the leaner times of winter, and this is great for anglers! Bream have been appearing in catches again and are in good condition. The rock walls are producing the better numbers of fish from Wisemans ferry to Broken Bay. A run-out tide is the key ingredient to get the back eddies forming along the rock walls and the bream in feeding mode. Bait anglers will do well with live or fresh baits of nippers, prawns, yakka, pilchard, slimy fillets and

Simon was thrown in the deep end when this 95cm kingfish grabbed the first bait of the day 30 seconds after setting it on the downrigger. pudding baits. Berley is required to keep the fish at your location for a longer time, and to bring in adjacent fish to the activity being created by other fish in your berley trail. Lure anglers are doing well casting deep running crankbaits, crab imitations and soft plastic grubs tight

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to the rock walls and fallen timber snags in Berowra Creek and the main river up to Wisemans. Following the contours of the bank with your presentation is crucial to find the fish that are hiding in the cracks and crevices beneath the oftenmurky water. You’ll be fishing snags with this style of fishing, so I find an electric motor to be an essential item these days to quickly and quietly manoeuvre yourself back near the bank and attempt to retrieve your lure off the obstruction. Make sure to check your light leaders for any nicks or abrasion from the snags before you

cast again. These small ‘one-percenters’ are what makes the difference between hooking fish and actually landing them when fishing with light tackle. Flathead are a common by-catch when targeting bream along the rock walls and can be specifically targeted in these areas using slightly larger soft plastics and jigheads. Some decent flathead can be found in these areas, so a leader strength of around 12lb and upwards is suggested. Smaller tides and around the tide change period will aid in getting a good drift and keeping your plastics on the bottom easier.

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white, silver, gold, pumpkin seed and blood worm will cover most situations when matched to an appropriate jighead. Tide changes are the prime time to fan casts across your chosen area and cover the ground. Pittwater and Broken Bay should still yield a few kingfish for those putting in the time to source live baits. We have had a fantastic season on the kings using live yakkas, getting several fish over the metre mark and a lot of quality

Autumn is big bream time. Baits and lures will both account for good fish over the next couple of months.

eating size kings between 70-90cm. Downrigging has been the ticket to finding the active concentrations, then it’s just a matter of drifting and feeding them baits at the side of the boat! Mud and blue swimmer crabs have been caught in good numbers this season. Most of the muddies have been a fair way upstream of Wisemans Ferry, and there’s even been reports of good crabs from lower Portland and Sackville. Fresh fish frames from a previous session, wired or cable tied in your traps, has been the best presentation for success. The blue swimmers have been in good numbers and size from Berowra back down to Broken Bay and into Pittwater. Bass and EPs have started to school in small numbers, but these numbers should increase as the month goes on, especially if we get some much-needed rain. Soft plastics, blades and fast sinking fly techniques all work well once the fish have been located using your electronics.






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The game species have come in hot recently SYDNEY NORTH

Paul O’Hagan

Another month has passed and the summer has moved on. It has been a great time for fishing from the land to the continental shelf. A warm current moved down

with a lot of baitfish in the area they have become very active. Anglers have reported seeing 3-4 fish free jumping on most of their trips. While a lot of these small blacks have been hooked on small skirted lures, live slimy mackerel trolled slowly on a downrigger have accounted

to the surprise of the anglers who weren’t expecting to see a marlin soar into the air with their line attached. Few have been landed as these anglers weren’t using equipment designed for catching fish of this quality. From the rocks around North Head and Blue Fish

James McPhee with a great mahimahi. from the north and has been holding for some time now, bringing all manner of our game species with it. Small black marlin have moved in quite close to shore in good numbers, and

for a good number of fish. There have also been reports coming in from fishos of small black marlin being taken on some of our inshore reefs while fishing for kings using live yakkas,

Point there have been masses of anglers throwing small metal lures to catch some of the bonito that are available, so they can put out one on a balloon rig hoping to pick up a marlin. While there have

been some fish hooked, few have been landed as this is a very specialised sport and not for the faint-hearted. Further out from the heads, around the FADs and fish trap markers the mahimahi have been working hard beefing themselves up all through the summer months and are in great condition, eagerly awaiting a lure to be trolled past or a live bait dropped down in front of them. While these fish are often eager to take a range of offerings we have had reports from some anglers that they have tried casting, trolling and live baiting with yakkas to no avail while other anglers have turned up dropping live squid and all of a sudden it is on for young and old. A good tip here is to cover all bases. What works one day is not guaranteed to work on the next trip out. Around the Twelve-Mile Reef there have been some great reports of mulloway being taken by fishos as well as some very good-sized kings for those anglers that can get a good bait past the leatherjackets that will attack anything that hits the water. Striped tuna have been seen in big numbers further

Mal Steem with a kingfish and dory. out and around the shelf, and with this sort of bait about the black and blue marlin have been on the prowl

looking for an easy meal. With all three species of marlin in our waters at the moment there is no better





APRIL 2018

time for our game fishos to try for the grand slam – all three fish in the one day. The fishing inside the harbour continues to be

lures and a range of metals between the Wedding Cakes and the Harbour Bridge seems to be the way to go, and fishing all of the bays

On most days in the early morning or in the evening there have been large flocks of sea birds eagerly feeding on the schools of baitfish that are available, showing anglers where to go. Other days it will take a bit more effort to locate the fish. Some rare catches have been taken among the mix in the harbour with cobia and spangled emperor, to name a few. Fishing around the Clontarf area and the spit bridge has seen an increase in activity, with some anglers using fly rods from the shore and taking some very large salmon, while others have had some good sessions using small metals

and picking up a mix of tailor and salmon and the odd rat kingfish. Along our beaches there have been some mixed reports coming in. Narrabeen is a bit of a standout at the moment with some good whiting up to and over the 40cm mark being taken on worms, while Palm Beach is offering some good bags of bream and flathead. A good report came out of Manly last week; one angler was fishing the beach and after a tremendous struggle an eagle ray of about 40kg lifted its head out of the water to the cheer from the large crowd that had gathered to watch the struggle.

Ollie Farcich with a spangled emperor from Sydney Harbour.

Blue marlin have been on the prowl looking for an easy meal. top quality with pelagics harassing baitfish from the heads to the Harbour Bridge. Trolling small bibbed

in between should see some action as there aren’t many days that you wouldn’t pick up a fish or two.

This greedy eagle ray was caught twice on Manly Beach.

The fish was unhooked and returned to the water and the angler continued to fish on for another hour when the rod took off again with a screaming run nearly emptying his spool. To his surprise after a long, hard fight it was the same fish that he had caught earlier. Rock fishing has been good around Flat Rock and some of the headlands, with mostly bonito and salmon being taken on metals. Live baiting with fresh squid and yakkas has accounted for some decent kingfish. As always, stay safe and enjoy the fishing.

APRIL 2018


Kingies crashing bait off the top! PITTWATER

Peter Le Blang

March saw some great fishing along Pittwater and on Broken Bay, and hopefully this month will see some great fishing as well, especially since this season has been a bit funny on Pittwater. Normally in the spring months we see a lot of very tiny baitfish and kingfish and salmon slurping the surface. At the moment we have the same scenario, but no salmon. The very small baitfish have been almost impossible to match, and 1000 casts will generally see only a few follows which

can be very frustrating, especially when drifting amongst the melee. These patches of very small baitfish were thick in February and March, but as these schools thin out the fishing is becoming easier, especially when chasing kingies. At the moment kingfish are pouncing on freshly caught squid, alive or dead. The odd nice kingfish is also being caught when downrigging yellowtail, but squid still seems to be number one on their menu. If you are an early riser and hit the water as the sun is shedding its first light, watch for the working seabirds. The seagulls and terns will generally lead you towards some activity, and

the fun begins from there. If there is no surface activity, quite a few fish are being encountered along the western side of Pittwater from Soldiers Point through to Church Point. Once again it’s better to downrig and cover ground while watching the sounder for balled up baitfish midwater than to wait for a fish to find you. There are also kingfish roaming around Scotland Island, so the usual haunts will see quite a few anglers and hopefully quite a few fish being caught. Squid are being caught along the length of Pittwater, but you must find baitfish near the weed beds. We have been lucky this year, as there seem to be many areas that

A Barrenjoey Head kingy that ate a downrigged dead squid.

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have squid ready to pounce on 2.0 and 2.5 size naturalcoloured jigs. Other colours are working, but the brown or red colours are working the best. Don’t forget to put a swipe of scent paste on your squid jigs for best results. On many occasions now I have had squid netted at the boat without being spiked, and refusing to let go of the squid jigs because of these scents. I am not sure if these scents leave a trail in the water but once a squid gets a taste, they rarely let go. The better areas to try for squid have been at Careel Bay, The Basin, Mackerel Beach and the ever-reliable Palm Beach weed beds. These areas will see you fishing the shallows, so it is important to have a squid jig that sinks horizontally and slowly, so you are not hooking up to the surrounding weed constantly. By using slow sinking jigs in these areas you are keeping the jigs in the strike zone for longer, and it gives you a lot more opportunities to try different techniques and tactics if the squid are there are being tricky. We still have some mulloway in Pittwater, and

these fish can be targeted along the deeper holes of this magnificent waterway. I have found over the years that targeting mulloway on Pittwater is a little different from most places. Because of the lack of current along most of Pittwater, especially when in the deeper water, it’s hard to get a berley trail going and there is minimal structure in the deeper water. The deeper holes in Pittwater are quite large, and once again it is better to cover ground rather than waiting for a fish to find you. Drifting these larger holes seems to be the best way to consistently find some fish. Finding baitfish balled up near the bottom is a good start and once found, simple paternoster rigs or running sinker rigs will see you in with a great chance, providing you have fresh bait. While you are drifting these areas slowly with the wind and your baits are set up in a sturdy rod holder, try using soft plastics or micro jigs to stir up the fish as well. I rate the micro jigs very highly and have seen many mulloway caught on them. Target mulloway along Pittwater at the change of tide for your best window of opportunity. Flathead are finally starting to show up in the usual haunts of Pittwater, which are the Mackerel Beach area, Careel Bay, the Palm Beach drop-off and The Hill towards Scotland Island. All these areas have recently seen decent flathead being caught while drifting using a variety of baits. Whitebait, prawns, pilchards, squid strips and soft plastics are all being attacked in the abovementioned areas. This month along the coast we should start to see some big kingies in areas such as Mona Vale, Avalon and of course Long Reef. The big kings will be moving along the coast and if the water temperature holds, they

There are still a few samsonfish to catch on Pittwater. should be pretty active and respond well to surface soft plastics, trolled or downrigged yellowtail or slimy mackerel. If you find a patch of bait near the surface, stay close by, as the eruptions of predators won’t be too far away. If you are trolling or downrigging try the closer bommies and reef areas and you will be surprised at some of the fish that will smash your bait. A little bit wider we should also start to see some kingfish show up whilst targeting snapper on the reefs. The last month has seen the usual culprits of morwong, pan size snapper, flathead and nannygai being caught as well as the odd bonito and trevally. As usual, if you are going to fish the reefs make sure that if you are going to drift the edges you find the baitfish first and use your plotter so you can circle around and drift through that area. There has been the odd marlin eating hooked reef fish on the way up in water depths of around 70m, so be prepared for anything to happen!

The better areas offshore seem to be in the water depths from 50-80m, but of course this can change overnight. We have been getting some success in the areas of The Ordinance Grounds, Dee Why drifting grounds, Mona Vale Reef and The Container. The better baits to use have been pilchards or squid, but if you do find some baitfish along the edges of the reef, drop down a bait jig to catch a few to use live. If you find it hard to catch fish, why not try your local fishing charter for some areas, techniques and ideas on how your chosen waterway fishes. The knowledge that you pick up on the day will see you advance very quickly, and the techniques learned can be used for the rest of your days. I hope this report sees you grabbing your fishing gear and fishing mates to enjoy our wonderful part of the coast. • Peter Le Blang operates Harbour and Estuary Fishing Charters, phone 02 9999 2574 or 0410 633 351, visit www.

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Warm water entices the tropical species SYDNEY HARBOUR

Craig McGill

The very warm water off Sydney this season has attracted some tropical ring-ins including cobia. While your chances of ever catching one are slim, they might be improved if you target them specifically. I must admit though that all the ones we took, the best of them to 120cm, were all by-catches of kingy fishing. Cobia are generally caught between February and May. Most captures have coincided with a large influx of sharks into the harbour and captures of remora in the same area. The fish I cleaned recently had three stingrays in its gut, which is a fair indication that they feed on or near the bottom. I regularly hear fishos from the tropical north say that it’s common to see cobia swimming along under stingrays. The theory is that they are using the ray as an ambush point, hiding in its shadow and darting out to grab prey. Is it actually possible that they are swimming under a pregnant

Amberjack are common through the warmer months. stingray that is about to drop its young with a view to eating them? Rays give birth to live young and would no doubt be trailing embryonic fluid immediately prior to giving birth. Baby stingray eaters would undoubtedly be attuned to this. And it’s not just rays that cobia follow. Fishing guide Nick Martin spotted a very rare leatherback turtle swimming off Sydney Heads recently and it had a big

cobia cruising along with it. Discussions with LBG anglers revealed that the best locations are rock platforms that fall onto a sand bottom. We have taken our biggest ones in Middle Harbour around Bantry Bay. The best baits include sand crabs, yakkas, squid and slimies. The best spots in the harbour would include Cannae Point, north head, middle head, Middle Harbour and Clifton Gardens. They are the most

delicious pelagics I have ever eaten and are more like reef fish than game fish. This most likely reflects their diet. Despite the fact that the water is cooling down, tropical ring-ins are traditionally at their best now. Samsonfish are much more common now; they fluctuate in numbers with our best year producing over 50 and our worst only two. Generally, they appear to be coming more common.

They can come in as early as December and are most prolific around Easter. You will also find that the years when amberjack are most prolific are the years when samsonfish are least prolific, and vice versa. They are most often taken in the lower reaches, and we have caught a few upstream in middle harbour. They are caught in most of the spots where you would take kings and are usually a by-catch. While we have taken a few trolling lures along the washaway/ Dobroyd run and over in Quarantine Bay, they are primarily a bait target. The best bait is squid by a long way, followed by yakkas and slimies. I generally fish just below mid-water for kings. If you are specifically targeting Sams then drop it a bit deeper – not on the bottom. On average they run at about 3kg – we got one weighing 6kg one year. The best spots are Fairlight Point, Dobroyd and Quarantine Bay. They are good eating. Amberjack can be very common at times. One season we were taking one amber to every two kings. Their average size is about 2kg, and every year we get a

handful at 6kg. Once again, they’re usually a by-catch of king fishing. Unlike Sams they are targeted specifically with exactly the same method you would use for kings. The little ones are happy on squid strips and all the big ones have taken live squid. While we have taken a couple on deep jigged slugs, they are mostly a bait proposition. We have caught them in February and March, but they are at their best in April and May. Prime spots include the Spit for the larger fish, Dobroyd, middle head and north head. We have taken a few up at Pickering Point in middle harbour too. They have very similar eating qualities to the kings. You will see the occasional rainbow runner but like cobia they are very rare. They are always small, around 1kg, and swim with kings. There was a school of them at the yellow marker near quarantine a few weeks back – it was the first time I have seen them for six years. Watsons leaping bonito rarely come in. I can only remember three seasons when they entered the harbour and they were in huge numbers, so they are feast or famine. You will catch them with



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small metal slugs just as you would normal bonito. They often swim with frigate mackerel. They are ordinary tucker, being very red meat – certainly much more so than bonito. I’ve never seen them leap. Tropical long tom come in most years in large numbers but are seldom caught, simply because they are so hard to hook. If you get them to swallow a small unweighted bait they are great sport, leaping high and

often. They are mostly in the lower reaches, particularly around north head. We have been getting some spectacular king fishing of late, and hopefully with the late start to the season we will get a late finish, taking the warm water and kings right through to June. This is the time of year for bigger than average kings and an addition to tactics. While I’m generally a strong proponent of fresh squid for bait, big kings develop a hankering

Big kings love gars almost as much as squid.

for garfish at this time of year. This is not surprising given that we get a good run of gars in the harbour about now. You will find gars in places like Quarantine and Watsons bays and around Sow and Pigs Reef. A bit of bread or pellet berley mixed with tuna oil will get them in behind the boat in no time. My favourite gar bait is pilchard gut on a short shank no. 12 or 14 hook under a light quill float. I suspend the bait about 30cm under the float with no lead. Use as light a line as possible. To keep them alive you will need a good-sized, well-aerated (preferably circulating) bait tank. One of the most successful and spectacular (huge surface strikes) ways to fish the live gars is to swim them out under a bobby cork with no lead. The rig is simple and consists of a 1m mono trace with a bobby fixed at the point where the trace meets the main line. No lead is used so that the gar, pinned on a 6/0 octopus style hook, swims on the surface. Pin the gar under the lateral line just behind the anal fin. By having the hook on the underside you naturally keel the bait. A gar hooked above the lateral line will have to constantly fight the hook and tire more quickly. When it

Kez with a cracker 120cm cobia taken in Middle Harbour. does tire, the hook weight will pull the gar upside down and it will die. An alternative rig is to drop the bobby cork and let the gar swim free. This is a great natural presentation; the disadvantage is you won’t always know where your bait is and this can result in tangles. If you are going to use this method, you will need to keep a constant check on your bait’s position. While gar are great at this time of year don’t write off the squid. A big, whole, live squid fished deep will take its share of big kings and still rates as the number



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Holiday options to take the young ones out nearby for bream, whiting and flathead, just to keep an eye on them. If you are looking for a place to take the kids for a fish, you could try for bream, whiting, dusky flathead and flounder along Fishermans Beach at La Perouse. Over on the western side of the bay the beaches for Brighton to Dolls Point are always


Gary Brown

This month – at least half of it – will be school and public holidays, giving many of you the chance to get out for a fish during the week and on the weekends with the kids. Whether you are going to fish offshore, off the beaches and rocks, or out of a boat in the estuaries, you will have a great chance of getting amongst a few fish. For those of you venturing offshore you could try trolling skirted lures along the coast either south or north of the entrance to Botany Bay for bonito, salmon, tailor and kingfish. Once you have picked up a couple you could then try drifting for sand flathead off Maroubra and Long Bay to the north of drifting for snapper and morwong of Kurnell. The Twelve-Mile is producing large Chinaman leatherjackets, while the peak has a few kingfish and the FADs are worth a shot for mahimahi. Strips of fresh squid or live yellowtail are the go for the kingfish or mahimahi. Maroubra, Bondi and

School holidays and weekends are a great time to get the kids out on the water to chase a few bream. Coogee beaches are worth a shot for bream and whiting on beach or tube worms. I would take along a few ganged hooks and garfish or pilchards for the tailor and salmon that frequent these beaches. Maybe a couple of metals in the 30 and 40g range for those longrange casts. Inside Botany Bay there




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to resist a half pilchard or whitebait on ganged hooks while drifting out in front of Silver Beach at Kurnell. Trevally Alley will have plenty of trevally on hand, so take those peeled prawns, pilly tails and strips of squid. Don’t forget to put out that heavier gear for kingfish. Bare Island will be worth a shot for drummer and luderick. Don’t forget when fishing off the rocks you will need to wear your life jacket. I would take a couple of metal slugs along for the bonito, salmon and tailor that cruise along here. Blue swimmer crabs are worth a shot around Towra and the entrance to Woolooware Bay. Make sure you check out the NSW Fisheries site to know what you can or can’t do when chasing blue swimmers. There are a few mud crabs in both the Woronora and Georges rivers as well. I usually put out a couple of witches hats and drift

If you are going to target mud crabs in the Georges River, you will need to check out the NSW Fisheries website to see what kind of traps you can use. worth a shot for bream and whiting with bait, and dusky flathead love blades and soft plastics. For those lure fanatics, you could try working shallow or deep diving lures over the weed beds at Towra, Silver Beach and throughout Woolooware Bay.

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Get yourself a few yellowtail (dead or alive) and try the Captain Cook, Tom Uglys or Como Bridge for mulloway. The slower parts of the tide seem to produce the better results. Bald Face and Kangaroo points are also worth a shot. Try drifting between Kangaroo Point and the Como Bridge for whiting and

Bic Fox and a couple of mates got a few bream while fishing in the Georges River.

bream. The best baits have been tube worms, nippers, half pilchards, whole prawns and whitebait. You can also get a few dusky flathead here as well. The Woronora River is also another great place to drift for whiting, bream, flathead and mullet. Landbased anglers could try at the back of the soccer field at Bonnet Bay, the old Woronora Bride and Prince Edward Park. Further upstream is accessible mainly by boat for bream luderick, mullet, flathead and bass. This is a great area to chuck a few lures around. Further upstream you could try drifting from Lugarno to the Moons for bream, whiting and flathead. For the land-based angler, you could try the Georges River State Park for bream, whiting, flathead, flounder and mullet. Make sure you take some berley and a few soft plastics while you are waiting for a bite. Don’t forget to keep those reports and photos coming in! If you have anything to report or have a picture of your latest catch, just email it to me at

Plenty of good places SYDNEY SOUTH


Gary Brown

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person is 100. I usually pump around 50 for a session on the whiting and bream. Local charter operator Rolland reported that the offshore reefs are producing morwong, pigfish, snapper, leatherjackets and trevally. There are also a few bonito and kingfish being picked up on the troll in close off the Royal National Park. Scotty

Lyons reports that there are snapper and sand flathead south of Marley Point and Dave Austin reports that there are a few squid about offshore. If you venture offshore, you should check the NSW Fisheries website for the GPS marks for the John Dunphy Artificial Reef. It has only been in for a short time, but it should be starting to hold plenty of baitfish, which in turn will attract snapper, leatherjackets, trevally and kingfish. You could also try drifting the area for sand flathead. At night the following beaches have been producing a few mulloway, shovelnosed rays and salmon: Greenhills, Stanwell Park and Coledale. The best baits have been fillets of fresh yellowtail and slimy mackerel. The rock platforms from Kurnell to Coalcliff are worth a shot for drummer and luderick. Green weed, cabbage, peeled blue-tailed prawns and cunje have been getting the best results. Don’t forget to take a couple of metal slugs along for any salmon, tailor and kingfish they may pop-up in your berley trail. Keep those reports and photos coming in! If you have anything to report or have a picture of your latest catch, just email it to me at


easiest to clean and they are delicious on the plate. Try any of the wharfs in the Port Hacking or position the boat over one of the many reefs or weed beds and start fishing. I prefer a paternoster rig with a number 10-16 sized long shank hook. The best baits by far are a small piece of prawn or a bit of squid. One of the best baits for the Port Hacking is the pink nipper. All you need is a bait pump and a bucket. Remember the bag limit per

You will find pan-sized snapper on the chew inside and outside the Port Hacking. the edge of the flats at Grays Point is also worth a look, as is the diversion wall just upstream of the ramp at Swallow Rock Drive. If you’re looking for a place to take the kids for a fish, the small beach beside the boat ramp at Swallow Rock Drive at Grays Point is a spot to look at. There are toilets, a BBQ and a shaded area. Plus, you can cast a line from the beach. The best time to fish is when the tide is at least halfway up and halfway down. Take a poddy mullet trap down and get yourself a few. Flathead just love them. Bass have been caught on lures and bait downstream of the Audley Weir during first and last light. You park your car and walk along the shoreline for a short distance to the deeper holes. Try your hand at fishing for mullet while you’re there. Bread berley and bait will get the best results. Leatherjackets are the scourge of the soft plastic angler, but to me they are one of the easiest fish species to catch and they are one of the



If the weather stays steady, the Port Hacking River should be on fire during April on all fronts. Try working surface poppers and plastics in and around the moored boats for kingfish, tailor and salmon. Under the boats you could try working soft plastics and blades for bream, whiting and leatherjackets. Luderick will be schooling up along the edges of the weed beds near the entrance to South West Arm, the Ballast Heap and Gunnamatta Bay. The best baits will be green cabbage and fine green weed. Check out the local rocks for the green weed and cabbage and remember to only take enough for the fishing session. Don’t forget to have a small and steady berley trail going. For those of you fishing from the shore you could check out the baths at Gunnamatta, Gymea and Lilli Pilli. The drop-off at




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Solid snapper off the stones SYD ROCK & BEACH

Alex Bellissimo

We anglers are feeling the chill setting in, but this is not necessarily the case for the fish. The April water temperatures normally stay above 20°C, so don’t be overly concerned when the

cool wind change arrives on the day that you’re fishing. It does not mean the water will be cold. This month the mullet in the estuaries will be starting their run, and anglers will notice large shoals of sea mullet on the surface. You can make an attempt to catch them but they probably won’t be interested. Still,



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APRIL 2018

even though these surface schooling fish aren’t a good bet, there are other mullet around that may take your bait. You can fish for them using the conventional bread baits and bread berley. Mullet make great bait for a number of species, including bream, flathead, trevally, snapper, kings and mulloway. They make a hardy live bait and transmit plenty of vibration that mulloway and kings find irresistible. When you notice schools of sea mullet along the ocean beaches and ocean rocks, it pays to fish near them as there’s a good chance that large predators won’t be far away. I like to fish with live mullet off the beach, and I also use them as a live bait for kings off the rocks suspended under a float. A live mullet above that 28cm mark has enough energy to tow the float around. You may notice when you’re using a sizeable live mullet that they will often drag your float in close to the ledge that you’re fishing. For that reason, it’s a good idea to tow your float out into the washy zones which will help you to keep your bait out away from the ledge. There has been a great run of snapper off the rocks, with specimens over 50cm landed by myself, clients and some of the locals on several outings. Both distance casting and wash fishing methods are working well. While fishing the washy zones off the ocean rocks, I like to use a berley trail of cubes of pilchard. I recommend adding some ‘fill’ to the berley, otherwise it can get a bit expensive. The fill can be bread, pollard (if you can get it) or even soaked oats. Mix the pilchard through the berley, and regularly berley up every two to three minutes. If you see me fishing on the rocks with clients, you’ll notice I normally have two bait containers – one is for berley and the other is for bait. Having to walk back to your berley bucket that is 20m+ away from where you’re fishing is not a practical way to berley up consistently. Another option is to use an Alvey carry bag and keep some berley in there in a plastic bag or container. When you’re chasing snapper off the rocks, sinker weights vary from 00 to 2 ball, and the hook size should be 2/0 to 3/0, preferably 2x strong. You’ll want a 3.4m+ rod that’s suitable for 6-8kg, a spinning reel 4000 or Alvey 600-650 size, and 6-10kg mono or bread for the eggbeaters. Spots worth have a go for snapper are South Whale (the Ovens), flat ledge on

the north side of Long Reef approximately 400m from cleaning table (commonly called Snapper Rock), sloping rock approximately 150-200m from the Dee Why swimming pool, and Bluefish’s eastern front. If you’d like to learn how to fish for these great fish, book a trip with me and I’ll set you on the right path. You can also expect a mix of fish like trevally, which are now coming into season, along with bream, some salmon, and even the odd king. Squid strips, mullet fillet, tailor fillet, half pillies and large prawns will all work; pick two or three of these baits and you’re away. Kings to 85cm are being caught from all of the above rock spots. Luderick, groper and bream are also in the wash zones, and there are kings being taken in the harbour from Georges Head and Spit Bridge. Georges Head and the Spit Bridge area are also producing bream and luderick. Some quite sizable tailor to 50cm are around too, picking up gar and live baits. You could also use a whole ganged pilchard with the float stopper set about 2m under the float. If you like you can bait spin your pilchard, i.e. cast and retrieve it like a lure. When it comes to actual

This massive 4.7kg, 61cm pig was caught by Andrew Morgan. The unusual thing is that it was caught on a half pilchard while fishing for snapper. Rock blackfish are very seldom caught on fish baits. fresh, rather than freezing them. They work well for bream, mulloway, sharks and even tailor. When it comes to releasing tailor, you are better off keeping any larger fish that are too damaged by the hooks, and just release the cleaner hooked fish. If you are releasing a tailor, it’s best to do so as quickly as possible. Having a good

A 58cm and 60cm snapper, both caught on 6kg mono wash fishing. So much fun! lures, your best bet is metals like the 45-65g Knights spun at a medium pace, using a 4000 size reel with a ratio of 5:1 or more. Using this metal you can get away with a medium speed retrieve and still get results. April for me is a great month for all species. Not only that, the tailor in the evenings on some of the beaches are of a good size. Just remember that there aren’t as many tailor as there used to be in years gone by, so please don’t keep more than you need. If you intend to use them for bait, salt down the fillets or use them

set of long-nosed pliers can assist in getting the gang hooks or trebles out of their mouth quicker. When releasing them, make sure you throw them back well into the water. Try to avoid releasing a fish in the very sandy, churned wash zone of the last wave impacting on the shore. Sharks and some mulloway are also around. Fishing with larger sand mullet caught from your local lake or estuary works a treat. Fillets of mullet work well too, being such an oily fish. Squid strips, whole squid and tailor fillets are all

great baits, along with live yellowtail, which are quite easy to catch from your local wharf. Whiting fillets and live whiting are great baits too, just make sure they are legal size. Talking about whiting, the numbers are great as they are schooling up at the moment, and will continue to do so next month. Some anglers are finding it hard to obtain tube and beach worms, and if this is you, you can use pink nippers instead. Alternatively, if you’re new to beach worming, or can only do it with pliers, you can do a course with me and catch your own bait. Worms survive a lot longer when they’ve been extracted without pliers. Now for the locations: try Manly/Queenscliff beach, the pole north at Dee Why Beach, Collaroy when there is a bit of swell (above 0.8m), Newport, Bilgola, and Palm Beach, preferably from the two massive boulders north of Palm Beach Road. Finally, if you don’t have time to incorporate bait catching/harvesting on the day with you’re fishing, why not consult you local reliable fishing tackle shop and see if they can assist you? Ask them vital questions about how fresh their squid is, the size of their pilchards, how is their live bait supply is going, and more. You may be able to make a purchase over the phone and pick up your order the following morning or arvo. Give the store a call and I know 99% of them will be happy to assist! • 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.

There’s still plenty of action in the fresh water us choose to fish the estuary, with bream and flathead being the main target and ever-willing to scoff a small hardbodied diver or soft plastic. My secret lures for these are the Daiwa Double Clutch 75 in a natural colour like suji prawn or ghost perch, and the Keitech Easy Shiner.


Cameron McDonald

With the bass season closing on 1 May, and the surface bite all but gone, it’s time to put away the cicadas and other topwater lures. Switching to mid-water or bottom lures will see you continue to get some fish. Spinnerbaits, deepdiving hardbodies, and mid-weighted soft plastics are what is required at this time of year slow rolled, trolled or cast tight in to steep drop offs and submerged timber. Upriver bass will start to make their way downstream as they get ready to spawn. While some fish won’t be interested in spawning and will stay in their territory, the majority will feel the urge to travel down the Hawkesbury proper and begin to school up. The average catch size will drop too. If you are going to stay with freshwater fish, start to think about and target trout, redfin and Murray cod – assuming you haven’t been already.


Specialising in small group offshore charters Gun angler Pepe with a quality daytime bass. early in the morning and late into the evening. For the lure aficionados, try long range bomb casts with the ever-reliable Tassie Devil in bright pinks and browns just before sunrise and you shouldn’t be disappointed. Hardbodies and plastics can be just as effective if used

experienced, this is your time to bag out on redfin on just about any lure. Small Celtas, hardbodies, ice jigs, plastics, micro poppers and even Tassie Devils, all in assorted colours, will work. If you look in your box and think ‘a redfin might eat that’, throw it in, because they probably will.

an angler has been busted off when fishing light for trout when a honker bass decides it wants your offering. The cod bite is still red-hot on both the surface and down deep. If your preference is surface, aim to fish early morning, especially in the heavily-shaded areas. Deep into the night seems to bring more success on the surface. During autumn, many of


Wally Morozoff’s trout taken on a small nymph fly. At Thompsons Creek Dam, the resident trout will be suckers for a well presented dry fly – a cricket or grasshopper imitation placed well should see some strikes. Look out for other terrestrial insects floating on the water, and you might just figure them out. However, don’t dismiss the good old Woolly Bugger, particularly

• The expert staff at Australian Bass Angler in Penrith specialise in all fields of fresh and saltwater fishing. If you want to know about the latest tackle or techniques, kayak fishing, or tournament bass boats, drop into the store at 105 Batt Street, Penrith or phone (02) 4721 0455.

correctly in dark browns and blacks. Patience is a virtue at Thompsons Creek, and it can be the most frustrating place watching huge trout in crystal clear water follow your lure for an eternity and then turn away at the last minute. Lake Lyell is currently facing a dramatic increase in the population of redfin. Whether you’re a beginner or

While rocky points dropping into deeper water would be the first place to try out, the standing trees should not be ignored. Don’t forget, redfin are a superb table fish, and you won’t be disappointed with some pan-fried fillets. If you’re chasing redfin around these areas, you are also a slight chance to hook into a football-sized bass, and many


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Brendan Turner holds up a solid cod that he caught off the surface at night. APRIL 2018


Marvellous Mallacoota and its fishing options time by exploring, and we had a great time doing just that. For us, no trip to ‘Coota is complete without our round of putt putt golf, so we managed to fit that in as well before the weather came good and we could get out and start the hunt for those bream. Day one was spent exploring the Gypsy Point area and did not go to plan. We threw a variety of lures


Jason Scerri

Mallacoota is a long drive from home for my family but a place we love to visit. Recently we set off on our third trip to Mallacoota and hopes were high that it would also be our most successful fishing wise, as our previous attempts had seen problems of one kind or another that let us down on the fish front. PAST EXPERIENCES Several years ago we hit Mallacoota with our Hobie kayaks. Although it was a fun trip, Mallacoota is a large waterway to fish effectively in kayaks. Sure there are pockets, but to make the most of this place we needed a boat. We returned two years later and this time we ventured there with our Gale Force in tow. Again, this trip didn’t go to plan and motor problems saw the best part of the trip sitting in the drive fixing the engine issues. After a few more years had passed and we have a new boat in tow, the decision was made to pack the gear and make the nine-hour trip south along with our Stratos boat and see if we could finally find some good vibes in Mallacoota.


APRIL 2018

ready for action, we were soon back on the water, but this time we concentrated on fishing a number of different flats throughout the top and bottom lakes. This proved to be a great move and it didn’t take long before the fish started firing. We worked a number of different lures, but the most effective option was hardbody lures that dived to around the 1.6m mark. Working these

Bella with her 29cm bream that couldn’t refuse an Asakura lure. a great range of restaurants to offer, however there is enough there to get by and as I mentioned, with Eden just an hour north there are

One of the better fish of the trip, which measured in the high 30s and fell to a ProLure D36. ABOUT THE TOWN Mallacoota is a lovely destination on the far East Coast of Victoria and only about a one-hour drive south of Eden on the NSW Far South Coast. Admittedly, Mallacoota does not have

a little deeper, and also gave the vibes a good run with no results. Back at base with our tails between our legs, we set a new game plan for day two on the water and decided to work some locations that had produced a few fish on our previous trips. With the wind up again but predicted to drop by the afternoon, the decision was made to have good brunch at the local café and do

plenty of eating options there to please the whole family. Mallacoota’s fishing scene is obviously heavily about bream fishing in particular, but in saying that there are also some of the best beaches you will come

across, and more often than not you’ll have these beaches all to yourselves. There is also a huge number of off road tracks for those who enjoy a little four wheel driving, and in the town centre itself you will also find a sweet little putt-putt golf course, which is great fun for the family. Before any trip away like this, I put a huge effort into researching how the location has been fishing. I touch base with mates that have fished there recently and try to put a game plan together for the trip. It’s not a good move to travel nine hours to your destination and simply hope you find a few fish. Unfortunately for us, the reports were not great. Mallacoota (‘Coota) had not been fishing overly well on the lead up to our trip, however we were still determined to give it a red-hot crack and see if we could produce the goods. OUR TRIP Joining me again this time for the trip was my wife Caroline and daughter Bella. Both love their fishing and get as excited as I do as the thought of some chunky black bream on lures. Unfortunately, not only were the fishing reports not great, but the weather reports were looking equally depressing. The first three days in ‘Coota were uneventful on the fish front due to the strong winds and rainfall. Of course, this is the ideal time to take advantage of some family

The author’s best pair for the trip. Coming in around the mid to high 30cm range, they’re great fish and extra fun on the flats. and worked a range of water depths and could not find the fish. We worked soft plastics in the snags along the edges, then tried some deep-diving hardbodies out

some kite flying on the beach before our afternoon session chasing the bream. With the boat refuelled, new knots tied and a variety of lures again rigged and

Caroline with one of many mid 30cm fish that fell to deep-diving offerings.

slow-floating lures did the trick over the flats and we soon had the whole family into the fish. The first few fish landed were not huge by any means, with the average around 30cm. But I didn’t mind, as this was good enough to keep us entertained and sticking at it, and we didn’t have to wait too long for the better fish to turn up. As a rule I opt for more brightly-coloured lures in the overcast conditions and with the dirty waters we were faced with, but as much as we tried we could not pull a fish on them. I made the decision to switch to deep-diving Pro Lure D36 and also Asakura DD Hornet lures, and went for more subtle, natural colours and that was the turning point not only for this session, but for the remaining trips during our visit. It was a bit of an odd bite, with most fish not striking the lures until the retrieve was basically over, with the fish hitting the lures literally a few metres from the boat. We had planned our trip to take place outside of the school holidays, which meant boat traffic was not an issue. We could hit a school of bream and simply spot lock with the electric motor and with no other

boats zipping around, this allowed us to pull a few fish from the schools, as we came across them before they would lose interest. We would then simply continue

the winds did not drop as expected, but I don’t mind fishing the wind too much, so I stuck it out. The session proved less successful than the previous days, but I

and most of the fish came from tight structure on the bank in the form of fallen trees. Again, I didn’t land any of the big bream that ‘Coota is renowned for, but

location for Victorian game fish anglers chasing the mighty broadbill swordfish and marlin in big numbers. Only recently has this come about and already the results are sensational, and Mallacoota has very quickly become a must fish hot spot for game fish crews from across the state. Many boats are now hitting multiple marlin in a day’s session, with up to five fish per trip not uncommon. It is also one of the very best locations for day time broadbill fishing. It is still a very new fishery on this front and there is plenty more exploring to come over coming seasons which I suspect will only strengthen Mallacoota’s reputation for the latest trailer boat game fishing hot spot. So make sure you do your research before heading this way, but know that there is plenty to do for the fishing family in this beautiful part of the world, even if the fishing is slow.

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The results of a quick afternoon session before the weather cut the trip short! the drift until we located more fish willing to take our offerings. Although not a big day on the water at around three hours, it was a nice little session with plenty of fish landed. This certainly lifted our spirits and had

still managed a few more quality black bream. I was really struggling to get the hooks to stick this time, and dropped some nice ones, but it kept me hopeful. With such strong winds I found a different tactic more effective this time,

with solid mid 30cm fish and from the structure they were in, it was still exciting fishing and enough to get me keen enough to start planning my return trip to Mallacoota to try yet again to tempt some big ‘Coota black bream.

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me itching to get back out there for another crack in the days to come. The next day I was back on the water, but this time for a solo session. I again opted for an afternoon trip with strong winds forecast for the morning. Unfortunately,

and concentrated on the banks that the winds were hitting. I basically hit the spot lock on my electric motor and sat a couple of boat lengths off the bank. This allowed me to sweep this section of bank and really pepper it with casts,

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Storms are dictating the fish’s appetites THE TWEED

Anthony Coughran

The storm season is well and truly underway, and with the storms you have to expect the good and the bad. It’s good for the rivers. Storms normally flush most systems and the fresh moves bait around the rivers and creeks, and it will fire up the mulloway and crabs. It’s bad because it can lower water temperatures and send estuary pelagics such as jacks and GTs off the bite. It’s bad for pelagic species offshore, as the rain sends most species deep and off the bite. It’s good, because in the aftermath of the storms you get debris, and mahimahi love floating debris. Reef species such as snapper, spangled emperor and golden snapper will sit in small schools and packs on the close reefs adjacent to the rivers and creeks and feed up on the bait and injured fish that get flushed past these shallow reefs. Either way there is still some really good fishing to be had. You just need to work out what’s working when. Keeping a diary of every day you fish is a great tool and gives you great reference points on what fish you were catching years before. This is made even easier now with smart phones and apps. Even just looking back through your own photos on your phone you can you see what you were catching on that day or month in previous years.

A team effort – Justin and Blake posing for a quick shot with their Tweed black marlin. off Cape Byron. Troll baits, stickbaits, deep diving lures and floating pilchards have been catching a few solid steel toothed lure-munchers over the last month. A few spotties have been caught at the Fidos bommie, Cudgen Reef and Black Rock Reef. There is still the odd wahoo, mahimahi and black marlin around Nine-Mile, Five-Mile, the 24s, 36s and 50 fathoms. Trolling skirted lures is best this month. Look

Christian Cochrane and Luke Samuel Keating with a double hook-up on a cobia and Spaniard. OFFSHORE The weather is dictating the offshore fishing this month. Storms, cylones and strong winds have been pushing the patience of a lot of anglers. But when boats have been able to make it out they have scored. The Spanish mackerel have shown up in small packs, and most Tweed reefs are holding them. Try NineMile, Five-Mile, South Reef, Fidos, the pinnacle at Kingy, the back side of Hasting Point bommie and 28

APRIL 2018

for floating debris, current lines, schools of bait and birds working for the best results. The FAD has a few smaller-model mahimahi sitting under it, which are always fun on light gear and metals. The odd yellowfin tuna has been around, and they can be caught on skirts too. Look for 26-28°C water. Mixed reefies are on the close reefs. Try plastics, small micro-jigs, octa jigs and drift baits for a good feed of mixed reefies. Fidos, the Five-Mile, the mudhole,

Kingy Reef, Hastings Point bommie and the 24 fathom lines are good areas. Look for small schools and isolated packs for the best results. The odd cobia has been on the close reefs off Tweed. Slow trolled live baits are catching them, and plastics have gotten some great 10-15kg fish over the last few months. Look for long arches along the bottom, then go to neutral and let the bait drift down to them. This technique should see your reels start to scream. A downrigger can be a handy tool for this style of fishing and is great when trolling baits for mackerel too. ESTUARY The warm water temperatures and the afternoon and night storms are firing up the jacks and they are smashing just about anything put in front of them. Trying to work out their bite time is the tricky bit and it could take most of the night before you will even lose a bait. Then, like a volcano, everything changes and erupts. This bite period could last for 30 minutes or three hours, depending on the bait, tide, water temperature and the storms. Fish large live baits like 30cm mullet on snelled double hook rigs; this should tempt most red dogs out of cover. Stopping them is another story. The odd big cod is being caught in most jack haunts and it’s great to see good numbers again in the system. Some good school mulloway have been found in the river mouth with the storms around. Live pike has

proven irresistible for most soapies. Good-size GTs are around most bridges at night chasing herring. Unweighted or light-weighted live herring will catch a few quality fish. They are also chasing bait along the rock walls. Floating live herring or flicking various artificial lures at them such as surface lures, vibes, blades and plastics will catch some good fish. Some great whiting are up in the skinny water. Beachworms, bloodworms and yabbies will catch a feed, but surface lures and small plastics are catching the bigger elbow-slappers. A swift retrieve is crucial to having a successful hook-up rate and to get a good hook set. Using small assist hooks can also increase your catch rate, but can hinder your lure’s action. There are still some good shovels around in the skinny water and dropoffs. Position yourself in a good drain or channel on a large draining sand flat or weed bed and use whiting/ poddy mullet type plastics such as 120mm bloodworm Wrigglers, 4” pumkinseed PowerBaits, 3” minnows and 3” grubs. If you do get a few smaller ones in one spot, keep casting at that spot.

Hastings Point River mouth and the oyster racks at Brunswick Heads for a good feed of flathead. A few nice muddies have been moving around and fattening up over the last month. Try around

Nick Dillon with a great eating-size Spaniard. freshwater drains, deeper holes in the lakes, sugarcane drains, around Stotts Island and any back creeks. A few bullies have been in the upper reaches of the Tweed. Try a whole live or dead mullet, eel, stingray or tuna on wire for a bit of toothy fun. Murders Creek and around the sugar mill are fishing well. BEACH There is still the odd tailor and some good dart

David Cooper with a great feed of Tweed River whiting. There is normally a larger female, which smaller males will hang around. A change of plastic or switching to a shallow diving lure can often lead to a reaction bite and a nice battle with a big shovel. Try Cobaki, Terranora, the house boats, the piggery, the golf club, around the weed in Cudgen Creek,

kings will be in the Tweed bar this month. Metals and plastics are proving to be lots of fun and tempt most of these species. A few soapies have been around the rock walls with larger plastics

being caught on metals in the various gutters around the headlands and rock walls right down the coast. Sunrise has been fishing better with metals, where small plastics, pilchards, white bait and small stripbaits are fishing better once the sun is established. Odd small packs of tuna, GTs, bigeye and rat

and live pike catching few over last month. Again the storms, wind and swell are dictating fishing terms on most beaches. FRESHWATER With the rains and storms come the flooded waters and the bass love it. If you can find and target rapids, waterfalls, drains and weirs, you’ll find the fat bass waiting for the food to come to them. Cicadas, plastics and vibes are fishing well around sun up, and jig spins, spinnerbaits and Hardz are fishing better once the sun is established. This time of year is a great time to explore new territory and find new ground. Walking or kayaking around the backcountry and small creeks can prove to be a very successful and quiet, as these areas aren’t fished all that often. NEXT MONTH We should to start to see more of a season changeover the next month. The weather and storms will still dictate times for most anglers. The mackerel will still be around with the odd pelagic on close reefs. Some anglers will start fishing deeper water with jigs over the next month. Early season snapper, the odd mackerel and kingfish will hang in these spots too and are always a welcome by-catch. Jacks will feed up and eat just about anything as they bulk up for their spawning season. Fishing heavy structure with heavy gear and big baits will see you arm wrestling with the biggest of red dogs. More big cod will be caught as by-catch over the next month. Again, try those usual jack haunts. There will still be a lot of whiting up in the skinny water with large flathead chasing them. GTs and bigeye will keep chasing bait along the rock wall and herring at night around the bridges. This is the last real month of crabbing, so get the pots out and grab yourself a feed.

Fresh run in the Richmond proves fruitful BALLINA

Joe Allan

The beaches around Ballina and Lennox Heads have been fishing really well and should continue to get better. Look for gutters on Patches Beach and back to South Ballina, as well as the beaches along Seven Mile Beach north of Lennox Heads. There have been good

and these little morsels are a great fresh bait for most bread and butter species. Just remember, you’re not allowed to take these from the beach. The rock walls have produced some good size mangrove jack, and while they’re not in good numbers, the better size specimens have come out to play in recent times. The breakwalls have been seeing some good mulloway

Anthony Melchior with a stunning cod caught off a rock wall in Ballina. catches recorded of tarwhine and flathead on soft plastics and blades. With both plastics and blades, stick to around a 1/4oz weight. If it’s too windy, this might be a struggle. There are still good numbers of pipis around

caught, with the dirty water from the recent rains really setting them on fire. Live mullet seem to be producing the best catches up river in the holes, however down on the walls try some big deep diving crankbaits.

Mud crabs are showing up in North Arm and Immigrant Creek. The dirtier water has definitely stirred these critters up, so if you’re after a feed, get out and get into them. Dans Lane and Pimlico Island flats have been very consistent producers of bream. If you’re into soaking bait, nippers are one of the best baits and are good fun to catch with the kids around. If you’re into throwing lures, small crankbaits and small topwater poppers are always my go-to. You’ll pick up a few whiting as well, although the dirty water has hurt the numbers of these being caught. If you are after a feed of flathead, try the stretches between Pimlico Island and Broadwater. Whitebait and fresh prawns are the go if you can get them. The prawns are on the move at the moment, so if you can find them, you’ll find great numbers of fish following. The best hooks for these are a number 1/0-2/0 Gamakatsu Long Shank. The longer shank in the hook keeps the line away from their teeth which, while only small, can cut through some pretty tough line. If you are into throwing hardbodied lures try tolling some lures that get down past 3.5m easily in the holes around the Wardell Bridge and areas close by. Bright colours are best. Once you’ve found the drop-offs, it’s always good idea to have a 3-4” soft plastic with a 3/0 1/4oz jighead ready to go. The freshwater stretches of the Richmond and Wilsons rivers have been patchy. There’s been plenty of reports of people catching 15-20 fish one day and then going back the next and getting one or two. The

Adrian Melchior with a midday surface-eating bass caught on the new Bassday Yaminama Sniper 65. best lures are spinnerbaits with big gold blades, and lipless crankbaits with bright colours. The noise and flash is what’s attracting these fish in this dirty water.

The creeks around Bangalow and Corndale are worth a cast now that they’ve cleaned up a little. Downsize everything that you’d normally throw in the main

river. Small 2” plastics and bream or trout size crankbaits are what you should be throwing. You’d be surprised how big the fish that live in these small creeks can get.




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Brodie Moore with an absolute stonker Spanish mackerel caught offshore from Ballina.


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A great month for all species YAMBA

Dave Gaden

April is here already and it seems like I only just put the paper from the Christmas presents in the recycling! I really like April for fishing, mind you, I have been accused of being over optimistic, but I don’t know any fishing nut that isn’t an optimist.

upstream to Browns Rocks. This big piece of coffee rock in the middle of the river just upstream from Goodwood Island wharf is just a magnet for big bream. Turkeys Nest on the Iluka side and Middle Wall will also produce a feed in no time. Luderick have also been great in the latter part of summer and early autumn. Once again, the Middle Wall and Collis Wall are

in that area, as it seems that if you take one, two come to its funeral. I’ve had reasonable catches at the entrance to the lake up Oyster Channel, and there have been nice fish as far up as the Broadwater upstream from Maclean. For those chasing crabs this Easter, concentrate on the muddies. This year the blue swimmers never really hit the system in big numbers, and although you

unstuck, but a well-presented lure can be very exciting and saves you finding bait. Lovers Point on the Yamba side on a good day will be worth a hit at the bottom of the tide for a big mulloway in daylight. The best lure would be a locally made Bill’s Bug, as these things can be worked so slow and deep on the ledge they are virtually irresistible. OFFSHORE Offshore, this may be the best month since January. February was a total loss this year with consistent bad weather and big swells from the cyclones that rolled off the north. March is the ‘calm down’ month to let everything settle again, which brings us to now. Being the middle of autumn, the expectation would be that the water is starting to cool, but as a general rule this isn’t right. April holds good water temperature here and it was very late when we got our first warm water anyway. The early part of our mackerel season was dismal, but in previous years when this has happened we have had an absolutely great

Darren James from Yandina in Queensland was chuffed with this wahoo. second half as the fish start to move north, but stall on the huge bait shoals that hold here. Fortunately for our visitors, the best area for mackerel in April is the closest reef to the mouth of

the river. Head south just past Angourie to the first rock headland and start trolling around, it won’t be too hard to find as we will all be there! Troll for them until around 9am, then just drift the reef with a couple

Geoff Reeves from Yamba with a brightly-coloured mahimahi. The first half of this month I expect will be pretty busy around here with Easter and school holidays, but I also expect the numbers of fish to be there to satisfy the visitors and locals alike. ESTUARY In the estuary the humble bream have been great all year, even when other species have been a little hard to find. These fish will be building in numbers this month and won’t be too hard to find. For the boat owners, head

great spots, but if you are land-based, try under Oyster Channel bridge or the very eastern end of Yamba Bay at the back of the old Gorman’s restaurant. Flathead will be about, but you may find them hit and miss. It seems like they are bunched up in small pockets this year and not consistent, with anglers having bagged out in a spot one day and not get a fish in the same spot the next. As always, if you catch a reasonable fish stay

may get a few, the muddies will be a better target. As always, have your traps clearly marked, try not to set them in the middle of the narrow navigable channels, don’t use floating rope and keep an eye on them to avoid the ‘share farmers’. Mulloway will be in good numbers this month and my advice would be to target them of a night off the breakwalls on either side of the river. Obviously a small livey will bring most big fish

The mulloway have been a great option in a little closer, as Nick from Queensland can attest.

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of light floaters while you are catching snapper on the bottom. It’s that easy! April is also when the big currents out on the 50 fathom line start to ease. So for those who like to venture wide, the rewards can be great. Snapper, pearl perch and pigfish will be on the wider reef this month (not that they left, the current was too just too strong). Mahimahi and wahoo will be around as well, so if you’re not in too big of a hurry to get to the reef, throw

a few skirts out the back for the last 10 nautical miles and troll to the grounds. On the southern reef off of Brooms Head this month, we can expect Venus tuskfish and Moses perch, mixed in with the snapper and trag. It’s a good idea to try and get in close around Red Cliff and Plumbago area for a snapper and mackerel early, then move out to the 40m mark for the tuskfish. Wide of this ground is the FAD, and it will be well worth your time to give

it a hit at least once while you’re here. The amount of mahimahi it has produced this season is incredible and the late season fish are also a little easier to catch. Remember, mahimahi must be 60cm, and there’s a bag limit of 10 and only one over 110cm. While you are at the FAD, drop a bottom line over as the spot quite often holds some very big bluespot flathead. The northern grounds from Black Rock to South Evans Reef should have great

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Ben Conway came all the way from Taroom in Queensland and had a great day on the water landing a variety of fish, including this mulloway.

Ben Martin from Mansfield, Victoria with a FAD dwelling mahimahi.

numbers of trag this month, as well as the usual big mulloway mixed in. It really isn’t as far to the grounds as it looks, with Black Rock only being 10 nautical miles north, and if there is going to be a late northerly, you get the comfort of a following wind for the trip home. If you are heading our way this Easter and need some advice or would like to join me on a charter, call into the shop at the marina and we will be more than happy to point you in the right direction as well as help you out with whatever bait and terminal tackle you may need.

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Coffs camping season gets underway in April COFFS HARBOUR

Stephen Worley

A slight crispness to the mornings and a dulling of the midday heat mean we are definitely on the downhill run into the harshness of another Coffs Coast winter. The back half of the summer has given us some very hot and humid

required can be beyond many anglers’ reach. It also doesn’t have to mean freshwater, or even river fishing. There are some fantastic ocean campsites in our area that can provide great beach fishing and even access to offshore fishing. Minnie Water, Diggers Camp and Station Creek offer great national park camping, as well as access to superb beach and rock

beach gutters. The headlands around the aforementioned campsites, however, are the perfect place to throw some big lures around in search of the much-coveted prize of a mulloway on a hardbody. Even camping at one of the holiday parks in the area can be enough to feel like a holiday, and you can spend a little more time fishing with family and friends. Red Rock, Woolgoolga,

Mangrove jack have been plentiful in our local estuaries. This one fell to Jason O’Brien’s Bassday Sugapen. conditions, but that chill in the air this month will mean only one thing – it’s camping time. Many of us fish to relax and have fun with friends and family. A weekend camping trip allows more space and time for those two objectives to be met, without our cluttered and busy lives getting in the way. A camping trip doesn’t have to mean going to some far-flung bush track in the hinterland. The logistics of that type of trip and the gear

fishing just out the tent door. Mulloway have been on offer along our entire coastline, including the northern beaches and headlands around these campsites. Although there are plenty of small schoolies to catch, the average size has been a little better. Fish in the 5-10kg have been common, and the odd mulloway in the teens or heavier has graced the dedicated anglers with their presence. Squid and worms are the odds on favourites to draw a mulloway out of the

Mylestom, Urunga, Valla and Nambucca all have holiday parks right near the beach, the estuary, or both. The new highway upgrade has also made the likes of Scotts Head and Stuarts Point barely a hop down the road, and these areas offer fantastic fishing. The estuaries around these areas have continued to provide really good jack fishing. Surface lures have been having the most success with clear patterns doing particularly well. The

smaller creeks make it easier to pinpoint where the fish are. The larger systems such as the Bellinger, Kalang and Nambucca have had a little more variety. Large schools of trevally, mulloway and jacks can be found around the focal points such as dropoffs, constrictions around structures like bridges and breakwalls, and the river confluences. In these more open water river sections it’s best to attack the area with diving hardbodies and soft plastics. It’s easier to cover more of the water column with these types of baits. Heading west from the coast, there are many hinterland rivers that offer great riverside camping with plenty of bass to boot. Some rivers require knowing property owners to get some camping access, while others have dedicated camping areas for the public. For many people it isn’t camping unless there’s a campfire. Roses Park at Thora offer free camping right on the Bellingen River with fireplaces provided, although it’s on the main road and not very secluded. To find remote camping locations on the Bellingen you will need to do some walking or know some local landowners. Even though the cicadas have literally died down, surface lures have still been very effective on the upstream bass right throughout the day. During this month we should see the bass start to move downstream, if they

backpack on and get away from it all, setting up your tent next to the river with no one else within cooee. You can even get in the kayak, raft or canoe and go from

set amongst snow gum and Antarctic beech forests. The further away from the roads and tracks, the better the camping and the better the fishing. Fishing these trout

A camping trip to the local holiday park is the perfect excuse to spend the whole day on the water with the family. camp to camp, working your way down the river. The bass fishing in the Nymboida is some of the best in the country and the scenery is world-class. The river system is also home to the totally-protected eastern freshwater cod, so don’t be surprised if your lure gets crunched by a local eastern or two on your way through, and be ready to get them off for release ASAP. If you’re not sure where to start in planning a

streams in April is prime. It’s not hot, but warm enough in the day to not worry about getting in the water without the waders on. The fish are active even during the day, and the camping involves crisp nights around the campfire with no flies. Throughout the high streams the trout have been hitting flies and lures well. The humid weather over the past few months has seen a lot of insect activity and so the flies have been

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aren’t already on their way. As I mentioned last month, I would expect a big spawning season this year after such a glut of cicadas during summer. Further afield, the Nymboida offers the ultimate in bass river getaways. On the Nymboida you can have your pick of camping trips; you can find a location to set up basecamp next to the car and just bunker down for some fishing, swimming and relaxing. You can get the

Nymbo trip, head to www. m y c l a r e n c e v a l l e y. c o m / clarence-river-canoe-andkayak-trail where there are detailed descriptions of the river sections and directions to many designated camping spots. If that chill in the air means camping and camping also means a fire, you may as well head where the cold is real. The Dorrigo Plateau and New England areas offer camping alongside crisp alpine trout streams,

particularly successful. As the days cool throughout this month it’s better to target the trout with subsurface flies and lures in the daytime. Still head for the emergers and dry flies in the early morning and afternoons. If you end up on a week-long getaway, a quick overnighter, or just fishing the local waters, I hope you revel in the company of friends or the enjoy the peacefulness of solitude. The choice is yours.

Everyone is waiting on the blues to come in COFFS GAME

Glen Booth

What a difference a month makes – a season that looked to hold so much promise has gone quiet on us. I can’t really blame the weather this

Normally at this time of year we’d expect to be up to our armpits in blue marlin with multiple shots a day. Too much current makes it a hard slog at times, but this year the current has been quite benevolent. In fact, it’s possibly too nice – not flowing at all, and

It was a summer of firsts – Don Cummings caught his first marlin, an inshore black. time, as it has been fairly reasonable. There have been plenty of boats on the water too, but if the fish aren’t there, catching them becomes somewhat problematic.

symbiotic relationship with blues, are also absent. While striped marlin encounters become less common as the water temperatures reach the mid 20s, once again the inshore blacks have done their disappearing trick and moved well south of here. Granted, a skeleton crew has been left behind, but the bulk have relocated to anywhere between Port Stephens and Bermagui. On a positive note, the Gold and Sunshine coasts are still seeing good numbers of fish, so we’re in with a good chance of a late flurry here. The summer wahoo bite has petered off somewhat, while the size has definitely increased with fish over 15kg (and at least one 24kg beast) being caught. They’re all over the place it seems, from South Solitary to over the shelf, and those who have intercepted live slimies have really got the mackerel trollers’ reels squealing. Speaking of, after a slow start, the Spanish are getting nicely into gear. The quality is excellent, with most in excess of 10kg and they’re deepsided specimens that you normally see later in the season. While slimies remain the gun bait they can be hard to source on some days, although there’s no shortage of yellowtail on the bait grounds. It pays to

Don caught some tasty lure-destroying by-catch. have gar or small bonito on board just in case. Spotted mackerel are about, but appear to be outnumbered by the Spanish at this stage – a nice problem to have! Mahimahi are scattered. The early birds attacking the FAD and wave recorder with live bait were doing okay before it gots too crowded and shut the bite down; finding an unmolested trap float in 45 fathoms can lead to some heady action.


even uphill on occasions. There are blues in it, but it takes time and commitment to find them. The colour is ok, but there isn’t much in the way of bait, and pilot whales, which have a

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Taigan Heath caught this quality snapper in northern NSW.

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Action all around the district your search upstream of Stuart Island and fishing any of the shallow rocky structure around the oyster leases in the area around Pelican Park is a good method. Care must be taken as you manoeuvre around, because there are ropes, old broken leases and generally lots of obstacles that can get in the way. This area is really good bream country in the depths of winter, and fishing plastics up under the floating leases is a top tactic. We have had a really good run of bream show up in the river lately, so it would would be worth a shot to flick around and see if there are any blue nose beasts willing to play.


Riley Wilson

As we move into April, we will start to see some changes in the weather, with refreshing cool mornings, shorter days, some new fish species to catch and different techniques to try out. And while we will see some change, some things will also linger on from the warmer months. The river has seen a few fish change their habits with the changing seasons. Flathead are distributing themselves back upstream again and will be harder to come by in the lower sections of the river. Starting

The ocean has fired up quite well over the last month and that should continue for the rest of April, whether you’re offshore in a boat, off a local beach or venturing onto one of the headlands around the valley. Fish are there to be caught by those who have a little knowledge

nice, big shiny baits hidden away in the freezer to troll from previous trips. While they aren’t livies, they are bait, and legal tailor or big slimies are top contenders. Throwing big stickbaits or surface poppers has taken off amongst energetic anglers, as the strikes can be awesome.

Kane with a neat cobia spun from the stones. Off the stones, both spinning and bait fishing are catching numbers of fish. Cobia and tuna have been caught by the spin gang, while the bream and drummer fishing has been more accessible to the masses. Like I mentioned earlier, some quality bream are about and can add to the fun, especially on light gear.

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Easter is about holiday fishing with family and getting stuck into tasty fish like this pair of 12kg Spanish mackerel. and perseverance. Mackerel, both big Spaniards and their smaller cousins the spotted mackerel, are hitting the decks of the local boats. There’s also quite a few travelling anglers doing well, so let’s not forget about them. Live bait is again scarce, so this is a big battle, and for most anglers just getting bait can take up all their fishing time. This is where some anglers come away ahead by having some





Lauren Maree

They also have the big advantage of being able to cover ground. Off the beaches, the fishing is good. Mulloway are biting well with some nice fish being reported, and some good numbers of them too. The best part, however, is the best is yet to come! Mullet season can produce some monsters, but if rain comes, everything could kick off with the dirty water coming down.

Jerry Newbolt with a great mulloway off the beach.


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Transition time keeps anglers on their toes deadly, as are small lightlyweighted grub soft plastics. Flathead are in good numbers in the mid reaches of the Macleay between Jerseyville and Smithtown. These fish are being found anywhere there is bait and schooling fish present, with the deeper channels adjacent


Brent Kirk

Offshore the pelagic season has been a bit of a rollercoaster affair this year. We have had everything from fish showing up when the water looks pretty ordinary and bait is scarce to bait being absolutely plentiful and not a predator to be seen! It’s not all doom and gloom however, because if you get it right you will be in for an awesome session. The latter part of the season has definitely seen the most consistent fishing, and there is still a little bit of time to target some quality fish. Cobia have still been the stand out species, while mackerel have had their moments occasionally from the reefs up off Grassy Head down to Point Plomer. The

of the beach. Whiting have started to thin out, but the average size outweighs the lack in numbers. Blue spot flathead have been fairly reliable and bream numbers are ramping up as we edge ever closer to winter. The bass fishing upriver has been great, and while

A PowerBait Ripple Shad was the undoing of this mulloway for Darcy Plunkett. up and berleying also helps avoid the sharks’ attention. Marlin are still around off

through to the gaol for the rockhoppers, and Fish Rock and Black Rock have had some decent kings at times. Mulloway have been fairly prolific around the headlands and in the river. There’s also some good fish coming out of the surf. The beaches generally fish well for mulloway as the days shorten up and the spawning

runs start to happen along our coastline. Big tailor are common predators that will accompany these spawning runs. Big bream are starting to enter the Macleay, mostly concentrated in the first few kilometres of the river system. Unweighted baits of tuna or mullet floated along the rocks walls are proving

Bass like this one will start to head downstream shortly. mackerel catches have been a mix of both spotted and Spanish in equal portions. Usually sharks are a big problem at this time of year, and this year is no exception. Fishing heavy helps a bit but when they are around in the numbers that they are at the moment, there is not a lot that you can do. Slow trolling live baits as opposed to anchoring

the gaol ground, but only in patchy numbers after a what was a fairly solid season. For keen LBG anglers, the first run of longtail tuna arrived a few weeks ago and these fish were in good numbers from Hat Head down to the back road headlands past Crescent Head. Kingfish have been around under the lighthouse

It’s nearly time to pack the bass lures up, so make the most of the remainder of the season!

The author with an average headland mulloway.

to the rock walls holding some absolute crackers. Trevally are about in the river up around Smithtown absolutely demolishing any bait schools that they come across. Smokey Beach is fishing well through the mid section

the surface action is slowing up as the weather starts to cool off, there are still some solid sessions to be had with soft plastics, divers and spinnerbaits. The bass season closes for NSW at the beginning of May and will reopen on 1 September.





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Many fish to be fooled in April THE HASTINGS

Mark Saxon

April is probably the last month before we start our fishing transition into the cooler winter species.

There is still a lot of good fishing to be had, so let’s look at a few ways to fool some of our favourites. BASS April is the last month of the NSW river bass season and it can be a very good one. Here on the Mid North

Coast we have experienced a lack of rain upriver, which made the last month patchy. You can still get some

divers to be very successful; also the beetle spins with a paddle-tail or wriggler attached worked well. Get

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Mandy will still be chasing bass from the yak this month. quality fish and fishing but it’s possible you will have to put in the casts. Bass at this time of year can be located high upriver, so trying up past Wauchope by boat and kayaking up from Khouri Island are options on the Hastings River.

out there and enjoy the last month of the season, as it seems to take forever for 1 September to arrive! FLATHEAD The last month has been interesting with plenty of flathead landed. A very large number have been

flathead hold up here. A walk around your flats at low tide can show you the tell-tale signs of where they have been laying. This month my attention will be on checking the flats around Pelican Island, and some of the flats on the Camden Haven. These all produce quality fish and, who knows, the magic metery may be waiting for you. Big lures are the top method for the larger females. If you want to catch a quantity of fish then hardbodied lures like the Daiwa Double

BREAM A month ago you could catch the wily bream by simply casting a cicada imitation near the structure, leaving it there and waiting to get crunched! As the season changes this method slows down, although they do still respond to surface lures. I’ve found success lately by using the prawn-style imitations such as Sugapens, Sammys and EcoGear PX prawns. This month is a crossover between seasons where we use plastics, crabs, hardbodies and vibes

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The Maria Arm up into Pipers Creek and Connection Creek will still hold fish, and an early morning or late evening surface fish should see you connected. Recently upstream there were good numbers of bream with the bass. This month should see the bream start to move down, though there are always a few stragglers. Last year towards the end of the season we found hardbodied

below 40cm which, judging by the quantities caught, is a good thing but the usual fishos who land the big girls have been pretty quiet. It could be worth hitting the sand flats and giving the bigger plastics a run; this technique is proving a very consistent way of getting the bigger females to bite in very shallow water. I never disregard water only a foot or so deep as some very big

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Bream and EP are still on the target list in April.

Trevor Ford caught and released this upriver mulloway on the Midori Vibelicious.

to catch our fish, yet still have a surface rod rigged up. Also be prepared to throw subsurface lures and you will get more consistent fishing. Bream are still spread out through the river system. This will start to change as the month moves on and we start using our sounders to check the deeper water for any early signs of bream getting ready to move downstream; this is when it becomes vibe time. WHITING The whiting continue to be elusive – not uncatchable but not as plentiful in the rivers as they have been in past seasons. By using proven methods like surface fishing, we have been getting some very solid specimens. The quantities have definitely been below average for the season, so hopefully April will see a late season on these shallow water speedsters.

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No April fools this month FORSTER

David Seaman

Life is made up of expectations and memories and often one is driven by the other. Each year, as the seasons change, there is an expectation that the fishing will be better than last year or as good as your memory recalls, back in the day. OFFSHORE ACTION I am sure that if the spotties and Spaniards are

as good as last year, then everyone will be ecstatic. Driven by bait balls and warm water, the mackerel season last year lingered on for months and the peak of it saw plenty of big fish hitting the cleaning tables. With the inshore marlin hitting their straps you could get distracted from the mackerel and set your sights on a few of the small models that are hanging around. Out at the FAD the mahimahi have not been huge, but they have been

legal, so that is good news for anyone looking for a feed. Mahimahi have a phenomenal growth rate and it doesn’t take them long to put on heaps of weight, so the fish should be a better size by the time they start to move on. If you can’t be bothered with all the pelagic action, then the reef areas have benefitted from the warmer currents too. While there hasn’t been a tremendous amount of flathead being caught offshore, there has been enough to provide a

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good feed. Mixed with other species like trag and small snapper, an early morning trip offshore is well worth it. LAKE As the water cools and we hopefully get some run-off from rain events, the bream will shift from the upper estuaries back toward the lake entrance. The bream have certainly thinned out in the Wallamba around Nabiac. During April


Bream on crab imitations is a no brainer in April. and May, if you’re up for a challenge, there are schools of mulloway in the rivers. You will need a sounder to find the fish and check out the mapping on C-Map Genesis (formally Insight Genesis) for locations of deeper holes in the tributaries. Vibes or minnow style soft plastics bounced through the school may get you a fish or two. There are still some big ol’ flathead in The Paddock and surrounding area and channels. Target them at the slowing and slack ends of the tides and you should be right. Try to pick tides that have smaller water level variation like those of the full and new moon period. This is simply due to the flooding volume of water that rushes through the breakwalls. Blackfish seem to be everywhere at the moment, with heaps hanging on the lease poles and the weed and coffee rock edges of Wallis Island, opposite Breckenridge Channel. The blackfish on the wall have been of an average size and are set to get bigger as they set themselves up to run to sea. Bream, too, will be gathering on the lower leases and bridge area and will be found hanging around the schools of mullet that are ready to run at Easter and beyond. Last year’s mullet run was not good, so I hope that this year things improve for the fish and the commercial anglers.

If you are more into catching a feed and not so much for fun, then bait fishing the sand flats and leases with worms or yabbies would be my preferred method. Some of the whiting getting around the lake at the moment are nudging 40cm to the fork and are suckers for

mac tuna open to a lure or two. If the water is too clear for the pigs, fish deeper holes or those covered with wash. Ideally, the water colour needs to be that cold green, like water after a southerly blow. A bit of bread berley, a few cooked prawns, and you’re set. The clearer the

Big whiting are more likely on bait, but can still be teased by lures. a bait. Drifting the channel along Godwin Island and even Breckenridge Channel will bring results of bream, whiting and flathead. ROCKS It’s a great time to be fishing the rocks, with the first of the bream numbers appearing, pigs gathering and heaps of chopper tailor and

water the lighter the leader, sometimes as low as 16lb. Next month should see the best of the bream and blackfish move onto the coast and really fire up the rock fishing. The blackfish will be at their best during winter where fishing with yabby baits is exciting and very productive. Stay tuned.


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Ian Pereira

The Manning River in the fresh water section is in the worst condition it has seen in many years. There have been a few nice drops of rain on the coast – not enough, but enough to keep the farmers reasonably happy. Upriver we have not received nearly enough rain. The recent showers put a small rise in the river that will only last a couple of days. Further upstream at Gloucester, 50mm of rain has fallen. It will take a couple of days for this water to make its way down to Wingham where the fresh water runs into the salt part of the Manning. The farmers above Wingham aren’t expecting a very big rise or for it to last very long. Hopefully the upriver parts of the Manning get plenty of rain before April or the mullet will not be able to migrate down the river to make their run to the north.

Craig Stockton was the champion of the NSWFCA Estuary State Championship recently held at Forster. and beach worm baits fished from the spit in the mouth of the river. Mulloway have been quiet with only a few small fish taking soft plastic lures. BEACH AND ROCK Tailor have been the main catch on the beach, with good bags being taken on small metal lures in the


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Jae Woodley with a decent bream. ESTUARY The big event of April is the mullet run, which occurs around ANZAC Day every year. There have been a few small schools of mullet seen in the lower parts of the estuary, but nothing like what is expected for a decent run. The Manning has continued to produce good catches of fish despite the horrible weather that has been restricting the outside anglers and the beach and rock fishers. Bream are biting well from the river wall and the spur wall at Manning Point. The occasional fish reaches the 1kg mark but most fish are in the 500-800g range. Mullet strips, yabbies and mullet gut are the most successful baits. The flathead have moved back upriver and the best catches are being made up around Croki, the mouth of the Lansdowne and Cundletown. Good whiting have been taken on yabbies

early morning and late evening. No salmon have shown up this year and it appears the netting of these fish for cat food has reduced the numbers back to what it was like in the ‘80s when no salmon appeared on this part of the coast. Some bream and good-sized whiting have been caught from the southern end of Crowdy Beach on beach

worms and pipis. OFFSHORE Snapper have been the fish to target over the past month. The northern grounds have fished consistently for fish to 7kg, while Old Bar has produced some catches when conditions have allowed. Some pearl perch, trag and flathead have made up the rest of the catches. Bonito only showed up for a short while and other surface species haven’t appeared. The highlight of April is the run of the mullet out of the river to the sea to breed. While the mullet are milling around in the river waiting for a westerly wind to start them out to sea the fishing is great. Big mulloway, sharks, tailor and bream shadow the schools of mullet looking for a feed. The mulloway, sharks and tailor feed on the live mullet while the bream pick up the scraps that fall to the sea floor. Live bait floated near a school of mullet will get a response from the big predators. The best time to fish is when the mullet are held up on the southern side of a headland at night. The sharks and mulloway attack the mullet each time they try to round the headland and they may be kept on the southern side of a headland for days. Eventually, they head north despite the harassment of the attacking fish.

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Can’t go wrong with fishing options this month PORT STEPHENS

Paul Lennon

If you can’t catch a fish in Port Stephens in April, you are doing something terribly wrong. April is my favourite time to fish; with so many options on the table, sometimes it’s hard to know just what to do and whether to stay in the bay, go outside or fish the beach or rocks. ESTUARY Inside the bay, longtail tuna are being regularly sighted busting into garfish and other kinds of baitfish throughout the lower end

of the port. Shoal Bay Moorings through to the Corlette wreck are all good places to chase them. Either sit and wait with a live bait suspending under a float or drift with your motor on and a rod rigged with a stickbait then wait for them to pop up. Early mornings are best, especially during glassed-out conditions. Other pelagics like bonito, frigate mackerel and tailor are also moving thoughout the bay and providing plenty of fun on light spin gear. Bream numbers are starting to increase, with good reports coming from

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Soldiers Point around the racks and rock walls. Small plastics and hardbodies have been working best, but you could always anchor up and cast some unweighted nippers down a berley trail for good results too. Flathead have shown no signs of slowing up yet and there have been some quality fish around. Some have measured well into the 90s. Larger plastics to 120mm+ have been doing the trick for me while on charter, especially in paddletail styles. Mulloway continue to be a presence in the deeper waters in the back half of the bay, with West Bank, Middle Island and Fame Cove all worth a shot. BEACHES Quality whiting have been reported along Stockton, Hawks Nest and Fingal Bay beaches as well as plenty of

The author with a quality bit of cobia by-catch. bream. Live worms or pipis are by far the best bait you can use, especially fishing a

live bait potentially producing anything from longtail tuna to cobia and kingfish or even a black marlin. Charter boats have been reporting good numbers of trag from the 21 and Vee reefs as well as solid mahimahi coming off the FAD. Snapper have been a bit hit and miss, with

one bloke I know fishing two days in a row up Edith Breaker for a dozen fish one trip and nothing the next. The islands out the front are as good as anywhere at this time of year for a red and an unweighted bait cast down a pilchard berley trail on dawn and dusk is hard to beat.

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deep gutter on the last of the run-in tide. It’s travelling season and mullet and luderick are making their way north along the ocean beaches. Predatory fish in the way of sharks and big mulloway won’t be far behind them. For this reason it can certainly pay dividends at this time of year to stick around after dark and lob a bigger bait out for a couple of hours for a mulloway. OFF THE ROCKS It’s peak month for land-based gamefishing and Port Stephens is one of the best areas to do it. Longtail tuna, cobia, mac tuna and bonito are all on the table this month. Check out this month’s longtail feature for a bit more info on how you can get into some of the action. OFFSHORE The shallow inshore reefs and headlands at this time of year are a real lucky dip, with a

Flathead are a real possibility this month.

Troll up some tailor HUNTER COAST

Gary Earl

fishing well for bream this month, while the weather remains warm. As autumn progresses and the air temperatures starts to cool, the southern end of the lake will be the better place to fish, as the bream start to seek that warmer water in areas such as Chain Valley Bay and Bonnells Bay. Lure anglers get good results on soft plastics and vibes in the deeper water. For the bait fishers, any of the traditional baits will work – mullet, peeled prawns, chicken gut and mullet gut. Just remember that if you’re bait fishing you’ll want to focus your efforts in the evening and into the night. This is when the hordes of small squire and tarwhine depart, allowing

This month’s report has been supplied by Jason Nunn from Fisherman’s Warehouse Tackle World. April is an exciting time in this part of the world, particularly the latter half of the month, as it’s when the migratory fish move up the coast. The trigger is those cool southwesterlies, which are like a starting gun for the mullet to begin their migration. As the mullet move out of the Hunter River and Lake Macquarie and head north along the coast, the predators will be close behind. Good numbers of tailor and salmon will start to build up along the Hunter Coast region, and of course, the mulloway will be active as well. We can expect quite a few mulloway in the Hunter River and around many of our ocean and rock platforms, and now is the perfect time to target them. As the mullet pass by, we’ll start to see southern species such as bream travelling along the coast behind them. The Swansea Bonanza Advert Oct 2017 channel in particular will be

you to catch more and bigger bream. We always fish after dark in late April for bream, and get consistent results. At the moment anglers are getting into some really good tailor in Lake Macquarie, and catches should continue to increase as April progresses. Looking for birds working is a good way to find the fish, but using your sounder to mark schools of bait, before trolling around those schools, is the best way to maximise your catch rates. I recommend trolling with the Rapala Deep Tail Dancer, because it dives to 30ft (most of the lake bed is around 30-33ft deep). The best colours for us have been blue chrome, clown and green tiger.

Catches of tailor in Lake Macquarie should get even better this month. It’s not just greenbacks prowling that bottom zone either – there are mulloway as well, feeding on the same whitebait that the tailor are eating. Most of the mulloway are only 3-7kg school fish, but they’re still a welcome by-catch. On the beaches, it’s the time of year for good catches of tailor, salmon and bream. The salmon traditionally come into the Hunter coastline in late April, and early May sees the big salmon schools moving along the coast. Chromies and pillies are the go for both tailor and salmon. During May we’ll see those salmon moving

As autumn progresses the bream 1 5/10/2017 6:15 pm will seek warmer water.

- Final.pdf

back into Swansea Channel, where they can be targeted using light 2-4kg spin and baitcast outfits, or on fly. At the moment we’re experiencing the best marlin season we’ve had in 20 years, boosted by the stripes which have shown up for the first time in three years. I estimate that over 800 marlin have been tagged off our coast so far this season, and we can expect the action to continue well into autumn. This month we’ll probably start to see a lot more blue marlin being tagged as that water moves down the coast. There are mahimahi in amongst the

marlin too, with several large specimens caught during the season. Another prize bluewater target at the moment is yellowfin tuna. There’s currently a run of yellowfin averaging 50-60kg out on the 1000 fathom line. Generally in April we start to see a movement of big tiger sharks down the coast too, with specimens around that 300-400kg mark. For all the latest info on what’s biting and where, drop in and see the team at Fisherman’s Warehouse Tackle World at 804 Pacific

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Rain makes our good fishing so much better to be honest there still has been some awesome fishing to be had lately anyway. Brisbane Waters has been fishing well in recent weeks, and in particular the flathead have been about in numbers. Both the shallows


Aaron Donaldson

It was great to see some solid rain hit the coast last month. It should really improve the fishing, but

and some deeper areas have been holding some good fish; not a lot above 75cm but the average size has been 50-65cm. I mainly use plastics on lighter heads ranging 1/8oz to 1/4oz for the shallows, but in the deeper water I can’t go past the Samaki Vibelicious in 70mm size. It has been deadly for me, and I like the feedback of the action, not only because the flathead like it but it tells the angler when weed has fouled your lure. Try fishing shallow earlier in the morning, and then move deeper as the day progresses. Bream are still fishing well and should hit their peak this month. Baits like pilchard and tuna should attract some good fish. Look for a good spot to anchor, use a bit of berley and float back some

baits with no or very little lead and you should catch a few good ones. Areas like The Rip Bridge, Half Tide Rocks, and Paddys Channel can provide some great bream action at this time of year. Rock fishing has mainly been pelagic-based of late, with stacks of bonito, frigate mackerel, salmon and kingfish. This action should continue for the next month, and areas like Terrigal Haven, The Skillion and Avoca are good spots to try your luck. The blackfish are still about the ledges too, so it’s worth a fish for them in the upcoming months as well. Beach fishing will hit it straps from now on. It’s surely the best time of year for beach fishing locally, as during the mullet run some

Keen angler Tameeka Sharp with her first frigate mackerel. The great flathead action should continue this month.

The author with a nice frigate caught on fly. good bream can often follow. Whiting and tailor will also be a target at this time, and don’t forget that some big mulloway will follow the mullet so its definitely a great time to cast out a big live mullet and wait for that elusive silver ghost! Finally, the marlin season is shaping up to be an absolute cracker. Anglers have been enjoying some unreal marlin

fishing, for both blacks and stripes, out the front just inside the shelf in the 100-200m zone. Hopefully this will continue into autumn. The inshore black marlin fishing has been quite tough lately so it’s definitely been worth heading out wider if you’re after one. I hope you all enjoy your fishing this month. See you out there!


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Action ramps up as temps drop SWANSEA

Jason Scerri

As we settle into autumn, it’s hard to forget the summer just gone, and all the anglers claiming they experienced some of the best game fishing from the past decade. With marlin numbers really high, there was plenty of action to go around. And it wasn’t only the offshore brigade that got to enjoy the good fishing, as the lake was also producing very good bags for anglers. I’m not sure if I have been out of the loop a little this year or what the case may be, but from what I have seen and heard, the kingfish from inside the lake itself have been a little down on previous seasons. They are possibly out there and being caught, but if they are most anglers are keeping relatively tight-lipped about their results. On a more positive note, the mulloway have been about in good numbers. Although most fish continue to be in that size range under the metre mark, there have been the odd larger fish going over 110cm that I am aware of. Lures and live baits are scoring the majority of fish, but anglers soaking dead baits after dark are also finding a few smaller fish around the 80cm mark. The other good thing is the by-catch. There are some ripping tailor being caught on the lake at the moment, so I hope this continues, as they are not only a great little

There have been many marlin caught this summer, and although this one was not released, it was not wasted. The anglers were new to game fishing and being their first marlin, the mother and son team were excited to share the fish on the table with family and friends. one then activate spot lock or anchor feature on your electric motor, you will more often than not be able to pull at least a couple from the school before they move on through. Like always, be prepared and ensure your hooks are sharp and your knots are good, because there are some absolute cracking bream mixed in with the usual school fish. There is nothing much worse than loosing that one you have been plugging away for due to something avoidable like

Another example of the quality of the lake snapper that are about. sportfish, but also very nice on the plate when prepared correctly and cooked fresh. Bream have been a bit tricky. One day you can bag plenty and the next you can find yourself having to work very hard to secure a handful of legal ones. Small shallow-diving hardbody lures thrown around the flats have been scoring a few fish, but like I say, they can be patchy. I find once you hit

a dodgey trace or knot. There continues to be some very good smaller snapper throughout the lake. This is a really good sign for the lake and things do look promising for the future. Just imagine how good it would be to see snapper over 60cm become a regular catch in the lake one day! The water temperatures will start to drop off now and as it cools, you will find the

majority of the lake’s flathead will make their way into deeper waters throughout the lake Macquarie. This is a style of fishing I really love. I look forward to fishing water depths of around 8-10m and working a variety of soft plastics for a good feed of fresh flathead and a PB flatty to release if I’m lucky enough. For this style I really have a preference for ‘fish’ profile soft plastics in the 4” range. I mix it up with the colours. You know what it’s like, some days they are crazy for the bright pinks and greens, then other days they won’t go near them and instead just fall for the natural colours. This is the one style of fishing that I basically always use scent in one form or another. I have had great success with SAX Scent and also the Pro Lure scent, and these are the two I stick with these days, but there are plenty of options on the market, so give them a go. Making our way out the mouth of Swansea Channel, the fishing continues to produce. The pelagic fish action around here just seems to get better year after year. Kingfish, bonito, salmon, and mac tuna are all on offer on their day. Fly fishing is proving a real hit these days, and super effective on these sportfish that are generally feeding on very small baitfish. Small soft plastics are also very effective, and soaking a live bait in these schools of fish is also a great idea, particularly for those wanting to get into a larger kingfish.

As we head further offshore, we reach what has been all the talk for the past couple of months now. Marlin numbers have been great this season. Small trailer boats as small as 4.5m have been picking their days weather wise and making the most of the action. Some of the more serious crews play around with techniques such as switch baiting, but most locals fishing from their trailer boats will generally either be trolling a spread of skirts or slow trolling live slimies around bait balls. Both are very effective methods (as is switch baiting for those crews skilled at the technique), but I would say for anglers fishing the water straight out from Swansea, I’d lean towards a spread of skirted lures. Crews travelling further afield and fishing the waters up off Port Stephens would generally be pulling live baits around the bait balls off the carpark location. Again, this is not set in concrete and it can change from day to day, but as a guide that’s what you could expect. Most crews practise tag and release for their marlin fishing these days, which is great to see, but at the same time, if for whatever reason a marlin is killed possibly during the fight or the crew simply want the fish for a feed, then that’s not the end of the world. It is certainly much more common practise to see fish released these days, but if a new comer to the sport does happen to kill their first fish, instead of playing the all high-and-mighty role, maybe congratulate them on a great capture and achievement. We should look to get them involved in a club or even just chat about the tag and release option. Some will listen and others won’t, but that’s life, and you can only make a suggestion and offer some advice, but please don’t make people feel bad about their capture if they’re not breaking the law. Shark fishing has been fairly good. A little surprising has been the number of smaller tiger sharks I’ve noticed this year at the Weigh Bridge and ramps. Sure there have been a number of crackers thrown in the mix, but quite a few smaller tigers around the 100-200kg size as well. So get the beanies out of the cupboard, wash off the jackets and winter clothing and get ready, because if the fishing throughout winter is as good as the summer has been, you won’t want any excuses to be sitting at home instead of out on the water getting stuck into a few.


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The fishing this month isn’t a total wipe out ILLAWARRA

Greg Clarke

April was always a great time to catch kings in the Illawarra, but they copped an absolute hammering from those nasty devices – the kingfish traps – before they were banned, to the point that after all this time these fish still haven’t recovered. To the north anglers still get good numbers of decent fish and the kings are still quite prolific down around Jervis Bay where the traps were never really used in the same numbers. It hasn’t been a total wipe out over the years, as we have had a few runs of fish that seem to have been travelling through the area, but not hanging around as they should, so it hasn’t been all doom and gloom; it has been a struggle to constantly

find good fish, even in their peak times. Places like the Humps off Shellharbour, Rangoon, Bellambi bommie and the islands off Port Kembla were always reliable for school fish and a few monsters at various times of the year with the deeper spots like Wollongong Reef and Bandit holding schools of good fish on a regular basis. This month all of these places are worth a look. I don’t chase kings that much anymore, because I don’t like wasting my time. I do put a live bait over some of these spots just in case, and sometimes I am rewarded, but for the most part it’s tough going and more often than not any kings I hook are by-catch. Last April I was having a bad day, so I downrigged a live yellowtail over one of these spots due to a good show on the sounder and

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APRIL 2018

bingo! It only lasted a few seconds before an 8kg king snaffled it. That was the start of a good run as I went from spot to spot just to see if they were holding fish and there were kings on almost all the usual spots, with some

about and usually bite you off even with ganged hooks. You could use wire, but really wire isn’t an option, as it lowers your bite rate from the snapper and that’s what you’re after. A few trevally are

A few nice flatties can be found in the lake, even in the rain. fish better than 10kg. They lasted all April and into May, with a few popping up all year, so things may be on the mend. With that in mind and a few fish hitting the deck over March, this month could well fire again. It will be worth a look. Snapper are on the move this month with solid fish moving into the shallows on the full moons, which are right at the beginning and the end of the month. Berley and bait will produce the best results, usually in the late afternoon and into the evening. Plastics are working better in the mornings in slightly deeper water. For some reason the big fish come into very shallow water around the bommies and reefs all along the coast, and 7kg fish and better aren’t unusual. Plenty of smaller fish will be among them too if you hit a good school. During the evenings, particularly just after dark, tailor can be a real nuisance; if you have a smoker, they can be a welcome addition to the catch. Fish to 3kg are


starting to show up in the berley trails as well, and with the full moons this month it could be time to look for a trag or two over the old trag bumps. A few came in over the summer period and they weren’t all on the moon, but enough to make a targeted effort worthwhile. Big bonito are always a feature of April and can be a real nuisance if you find a few kings, as the bonnies aren’t usually too far away. Fish over 5kg are regular and they can get to 7kg. They make short work of your precious slimy mackerel. If you find a few, they respond well to the old yellowfin cubing method with pilchards and will come right up to the back of the boat to compete for the next cube. At this size on light line they are more like mini dogtooth than bonnies. There is still a good chance of a few northern visitors, particularly cobia around the kingy hangouts, but they are liable to pop up anywhere, even swimming right up to the boat if you are berleying for snapper. Another visitor that comes down every year and is rarely captured is the longtail or northern bluefin tuna. By the time they get here they are usually bigger fish of 20kg+ and are usually missed, as they travel very close to shore. Often the only giveaway that they are about is when word gets out that someone was spooled soaking a pilchard under a float on one of the rock platforms. You may also see them coming out of the water smashing garfish in one of the bays or the back of a beach and they are often reported as yellowfin. If you are fishing

in close, it always pays to keep a live bait out at all times. Further offshore there are mahimahi around the FADs. They hung around until June last year and were better fish than the summer schoolies. There is still the chance of marlin, particularly stripes and blues, with a black not out of the question yet, and there is also a good chance of a yellowfin tuna from jellybean to jumbo if the currents are in our favour and bring them in. The odd one has been picked up but they have been random at best so far. On the rocks it is transition time, with a lot of fish moving along the coast on spawning runs. Mullet will move with the first southwesterlies and the luderick will start to move along the coast, so most headlands and harbours will be productive if you can get some good weed; if not, good old cabbage weed will do the job with some cabbage weed and sand berley. Fish over a kilo are the rule rather than the exception. Drummer love a feed of cabbage as well and go hard on the lighter luderick gear. Bream and a few trevally are in the washes and there is a great chance of a nice snapper off the stones this month, particularly on any of the rock platforms north of Wollongong. The Kiama area will have its fair share too, with deeper water right at your feet. The deeper Kiama ledges will be the place to put out a live bait for any passing

side, particularly if we get a late season northeasterly. It’s a great time to fish the beach, with some nice mulloway being picked up all along the coast. The weather is usually kind at this time of the year with light southwesterlies making the ocean a little more friendly with good gutters and less water movement. The mulloway have been mostly caught during the hours of darkness and mixing with them, as always at this time of year, have been the whaler sharks. They go hard but they waste a lot of time when you really want a mulloway. Tailor are in good numbers and a few salmon are about, but not like previous seasons, as they can net them down south again and this has really thinned them out. If you prefer fishing the daylight hours, there are still a few flatties about and some very good whiting. While they’re not as thick as they were in the summer months, they make up for that in size. Throw in some bream and even the odd dart, mullet and even a stray luderick if you’re using worms for bait and you’re in for a good session. The estuaries are starting to slow a bit. They’re still a good option with solid bream in the lake and feeder streams. There are a few prawns getting about on the dark – enough for bait. Fished live in the feeder streams and in the evenings around the bridge, these will score some big bream and a few really solid whiting.

There should be a few kings around the islands this month. longtails, big mackerel tuna and early morning kings, with deeper water keeping the travelling fish in close. While you are waiting, there are plenty of bonito and a few salmon and mackerel tuna with even a late frigate thrown into the mix. Any frigates should go straight back out on heavy gear for a king. Bass Point should have plenty of bonito, salmon and mac tuna along the northern

Flatties are backing off a bit, but there are more than enough for a feed if you work the drop-offs on a falling tide. Luderick are schooling and taking worms and weed while a stray mulloway along the wall and near the bowlo is not out of the question on big plastics. Minnamurra has much the same as the lake with a few nice trevally near the entrance at the top of the tide in the late afternoon.

A favourite month of the year NOWRA

Johnny Nolan

It’s no secret that April is one of my favorite months of the year! The only downside for me is

do miss those few hours of daylight after work to head out for a fish. But this aside, I love this time of the year. Still mornings with little or no breeze and that cooler temperature with a hint of winter in the air makes for

OFFSHORE My last report touched on the poor game fishing season we were having offshore. Things have certainly changed since then! The last month and into this one has had a complete turnaround for the game fishers. The bite

Tim Mcgoldrick from Lure Addicts with a nice size muddy destined for the pot. the sad end to daylight savings for the next six or so months. For those like myself who work an 8:30am to 5:30pm job six days a week, I really

some comfortable fishing opportunities. Here on the South Coast of NSW, we can expect an array of different species biting through April.

Wal Balzin holding the bill of just one of the marlin he has caught this season. He has been racking up the numbers in his new boat.

on the continental shelf for both black and striped marlin has been nothing short of amazing. Big numbers of fish that are in top notch condition have been holding up at the Drum Canyons and around The Kink, with fish also showing up at the banks and in close around the stones. The majority of fish have been taken on live baits fished on light fluorocarbon leaders around the 130-180lb with a 10/0 circle hook being the most popular choice of hardware. There have been plenty of small to mid-sized mako sharks around also giving some anglers fun, while others are cursing them for eating all their baits before they can hook a marlin. I’m sure all the game fishers are now sweating on a smooth transition from the marlin season into the tuna season, both bluefin and yellowfin. I guess time will tell on that one. BEACHES The beach fishing took a little while to take off this year, but since about mid-February there has been a good run of big whiting and some 1kg plus bream on most of our popular beaches. These fish are still about, but the numbers have dwindled a little. Maybe there are larger fish lurking in the gutters preying on these smaller species and they have decided to bug out before they get eaten. The larger fish I’m speaking of are the mighty mulloway. April

is traditionally when the mulloway anglers start getting serious about chasing these elusive fish from the beach in our neck of the woods. They can be caught right throughout the year in the estuaries, but from now and through winter is when the big models seem to patrol the beach gutters. Tailor, salmon and mullet are all on the menu, live or dead, with the live baits preferred, which will cut down on stingray and shark captures, slightly. RIVERS In the Shoalhaven and Crookhaven rivers, the luderick are back on the chew after a pretty poor few weeks. Broughten Creek, the canal and around the usual haunts of Greenwell Point are all producing fish. With weed hard to come by, the weed flies are doing the job nicely. Something else that has been happening this year and is still happening at the moment is the crabbing in our estuary systems. I have never seen so many big mud crabs come from the Shoalhaven and surrounding systems in quite a while. I’m not sure of the reason, but they seem to be everywhere.

Nathan Brindle looking pretty happy with a marlin caught from his estuary boat on the shelf off Jervis Bay. The river is very salty due to the lack of rain and the amount of blubber in it is ridicules, so I’m not sure if this has something to do with it or not. None the less, fishers are taking advantage of it and catching plenty.

Remember to check up on the rules and regulations before you head out crabbing and stick to them. Good luck with all your fishing trips for April and enjoy what we have on our doorstep!

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APRIL 2018


The autumn offshore bite is still hot, hot, hot! BATEMANS BAY

Anthony Stokman

As expected, the offshore marlin bite was red-hot over February and March. From Sydney to Eden and even off Victoria, the whole east coast has seen a very good season this year. On the South Coast Jervis Bay had some memorable sessions with boats getting over five marlin per day regularly. Guy Jamison and Tom and Chloe Lawrence had a great two days of fishing getting fish on both days – seven striped marlin one day and a black marlin the next. Al McGlashen, Craig Rushby and Adam Polly had an amazing two days at Jervis Bay as well with nine marlin the first day and five the next. Off Ulladulla George Lirantzis on Side Effect has been having a ball with his mates and visitors. Many days they catch 3-5 marlin per day and a few days the numbers are 5-10. The fishing between Batemans Bay and Jervis Bay has been consistent all summer and we expect that to continue throughout autumn.

Zaide Thompson with a nice by-catch while chasing marlin this season. There is an area off Batemans that has had plenty of fish and very little traffic that I might take advantage of if I can manage a day off.

East and south of Batemans has been very good as well, with some great days off Tuross and then further south off Narooma and Bermi

there have been some good days. Last year going into autumn, Bermi seemed to be the only spot worth making the effort for, but this year it looks like it’s good up and down the coast, especially in my favourite area! Every year there are newcomers to marlin fishing and nothing has changed too much. On the first

few trips they seem to be comfortable with running lures as they get used to their electronics and navigating around this new area and going out further to sea than they previously have. So I can understand safety and getting used to navigating out there is paramount, so dragging four skirts around is the best way to keep it simple – maybe a teaser if you want to step it up a notch. But with lures this means a very low conversion rate. If I hear 8-3-0 (eight hits, three hook-ups, zero tagged) and 8-7-6, I know the first sequence is a boat fishing lures and the next sequence is a boat very lucky on lures or using skip/live baits with circle hooks. To improve the conversion rate on lures there are very prickly, thingauged hooks out there that are a lot stronger than they look. These hooks improve hook-up rates because they are sticky, prickly and penetrate a lot better. They can straighten easier if you locked the drag up, but with some sensible angling and driving towards the fish you’ll have it boat side where it can be tagged in no time. BKK and VMC are a couple of brands that produce such hooks and we stock them at Compleat Angler Batemans Bay. While trolling around looking for beakies and using these thinner gauged, prickly

hooks, you’ll notice you’ll never drop a mahimahi coming in and hitting your lure. These by-catch are a great addition to the day as they are second to none on the table and anyone who eats fish loves mahimahi. The FADs off Ulladulla, Batemans and Narooma will be getting collected over autumn, which is a bit of a shame as there are still plenty of fish around. So we will be relying on floating flotsam and jetsam over the next couple of months for FADs. Another welcomed by-catch while chasing beak faces over the summer has been the odd yellowfin tuna and lately there have been some good numbers and sizes coming in on the commercial boats. It’s really good seeing these guys into autumn. Autumn can be a very good time for yellowfin tuna and their presence indicates the change of seasons. Spawning squid also indicate a change of season and there are large numbers that can be found over dark areas along our coast. Last year was an ink fest and you couldn’t walk any rock platform without seeing it painted in ink. It was quite a good run of squid and the mulloway love squid; they also run very good in autumn. The mulloway run from spring up until now has been the best run of mulloway I have ever seen. They were

There haven’t been many sambos, but there have been some stonkers. 48

APRIL 2018

getting caught on beaches, out of boats, in the bay and in the estuary all at the same time and continuously, so it’s going to be interesting to see what this autumn brings. The squid being in good numbers provides good fresh baits for chasing mulloway. Our inshore reef fishing will improve over autumn and snapper, mowies, flathead, pigfish, nannygai and others will be common on our reefs. The reef fishing wasn’t that bad through our toughest month (January) and the rest of summer was quite good too. By March there were some good snapper getting caught from the rocks and out in the boats. A run of kingies off here would be a pleasant surprise and very welcomed. Montague has been seeing a nice little showing and if you want to increase your chances on these fish, it’s probably best you go to Montague. And when you go there don’t forget your massive selection of jigs. The most popular sizes have been the 150-200g jigs and the best ones have

been the Yakamitos, the new Zest Shovel Heads and the Jignesis jigs. The beaches have been quite slow and there hasn’t really been one species standing out from the rest. There are salmon, tailor, bream, whiting, flathead and even trevally, but don’t expect much. The beaches have been better of a night, with lots of sharks and the chance of a mulloway. Using fresh squid will yield results for sure – there are that many sharks at this time of the year. They’re mostly 1m bronzies and the odd gummy and school shark. The estuaries are always good at this time of the year and are always worth putting in the time. From fishing the racks for bream to fishing the straits for flatties or fishing the sand flats for whiting, the estuary is a great place during autumn. The mulloway are the jewel of the estuary throughout autumn and throwing vibes like the Samaki Vibelicious in the main mulloway holes during the turn of a tide can have you hooked onto one of these jewels. Then during

the night we can expect a lot of anglers from boats and land-based using fresh squid during April. Upstream the estuary perch bite continues and further up there are still reports of bass. Angles are resorting to deeper divers as the surface action seems to have slowed. It’s a great time of the year so get out before it gets too cold! • 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).

Tyler Frawley and one of many mulloway that will be caught this season.


Fishers fined Two recreational fishers have been fined more than $2,000 after being apprehended fishing in a Solitary Islands Marine Park sanctuary zone. NSW Department Primary Industries (DPI) fisheries officers responded to a community report and apprehended two men fishing from a boat in a southern sanctuary zone. DPI’s Manager for the Solitary Islands Marine Park, Nicole Strehling said the men were found to have exceeded bag limits and were in possession of undersized fish and a black rockcod – a threatened species that is totally protected in NSW. “Black rockcod were decimated by overfishing prior to 1983 and have been protected in NSW since that time,” Ms Strehling said. “Thanks to a quick thinking member of the community, fisheries officers were able to respond in time to release the black rockcod to the water alive.” Sanctuary zones protect a representative mix of ecologically important areas in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. All animals, plants and their habitats are protected, and only passive, low-impact activities such as snorkelling, scubadiving and swimming are permitted. “Protection of these precious areas is having flow on benefits for

adjacent areas,” Ms Strehling said. “Research has shown a significant increase in the number and size of popular fish like snapper in Solitary Islands Marine Park sanctuary zones when compared with areas outside the Marine Park.” DPI’s Supervising Fisheries Officer, Mr Ian Stockton, said community reports often assist in detecting and responding to illegal activity. “Information such as time, location, vessel and vehicle registration numbers, descriptions, and photographs all assist officers to undertake investigations and target offenders,” Mr Stockton said. “Fisheries officers undertake routine patrols of marine park sanctuary zones, so anyone fishing in sanctuary zones will likely be caught.” For more information on Marine Park zones download the ‘Fish Smart NSW’ App, which provides maps that use your smartphone’s GPS to establish accurate positioning relative to the different marine park zones. Anyone with information on suspected illegal fishing activity is urged to call the Fishers Watch phone line on 1800 043 536 or report illegal fishing activities via the DPI website at www. compliance. – NSW DPI


APRIL 2018


Offshore and estuaries turning up surprises MERIMBULA

Stuart Hindson

Easter is upon us, but don’t let that deter you from fishing, as some exceptional angling will be had. The last month has been excellent and I can’t see any reason why this will change in the short term.

black marlin. There have been a few reports of smaller fish with one angler getting a little more than he bargained for when he hooked a 60kg fish flathead fishing. Yes, he did lose it, but he also said the marlin ate a fish on his line when bringing it to the boat – interesting stuff. Marlin aren’t the only gamefish getting caught;

Quality trevally like this fish are abundant in the lower sections of Merimbula Lake. Offshore the gamefishing community have had their fair share of action, with striped marlin the main species being captured. Some crews getting are upwards of six shots a day, which is red-hot fishing in anyone’s books. Most fish are succumbing to trolled skirted pushers, though switchbaiting has been popular when you can get the bait. The beakies are 80-120kg and can be found from the 70-fathom line outwards, but don’t underestimate the inshore grounds as they too are worth a look, especially for

some cracking yellowfin tuna to 80kg have been captured, with one boat getting two 60kg fish in the one outing. That’s great to see and hopefully a good sign that the yellowfin are coming back in numbers; let’s hope so anyway. Closer to shore the snapper have been good on some days and hard to find on others. Anglers fishing the shallower water have fared best with the bommies off Tura Beach and Hunter Rock getting plenty of action. Some of the reds are solid fish to

4kg, but the key to consistent results is to fish light with plenty of berley using almost unweighted baits. It’s not for everyone, but it’s certainly working at present. The deeper water off Horseshoe Reef has also seen a few snapper with the odd gummy shark and plenty of morwong. If you fish in 70-80m, there’s a good chance of bagging out on nice-sized tiger flathead; you may have to move around a bit but once you locate a patch happy days will be had. The beaches and rocks continue to fish well for the pelagic species like salmon and tailor. Tura Head is still firing with locals having a ball on these surface speedsters. Casting chromed lures and throwing ganged pilchards are working with bonito and smaller kingfish. We may start to see some decent snapper coming from this ledge this month with drummer, luderick and groper all on the cards. Cunjevoi, crab and

Bream and trevally numbers are excellent in the channel below the main bridge in town. cabbage will all work, and fresh squid and cuttlefish are ideal for the snapper. If beach fishing is for you then North Tura and Haycock beaches have some great-

Some anglers have been getting amongst the salmon on fly towards the mouth of Pambula Lake, great fun.

looking gutters lately and are certainly worth a look. There have been a few school and gummy sharks caught from the northern end of North Tura too. Fish fresh tailor slabs after dark on a flooding tide with some moonlight and you may just be rewarded. In the estuaries some thumping tailor have made the top lake at Merimbula home with fish to 2kg and bigger possible. Casting metal shiners to feeding fish on the surface is the go with legal snapper, flathead, bream and the odd mulloway picking up the scraps underneath. Some of the snapper taken are up to 48cm – better suited to offshore than the estuary, but that’s fishing. These fish have

been caught on soft plastics; you will lose a few to the choppers but you will also get some quality fish. Pambula Lake is still producing the goods with most fishos getting nice fish. Captures of 10-15+ fish are the norm and fishing the outgoing tide is the go. The main basin has been productive; concentrate on fishing the edges of the channels with plastics and blades for the best results. There have been some solid flatties towards the entrance too with soft plastics around 70mm being ideal. A few 60-70cm flatties have been caught, though there are also plenty of eaters to be caught.

The sportfishing scene is now in full swing NAROOMA

Stuart Hindson

The offshore sportfishing scene is in full swing with a host of game species playing the game over recent weeks. I can’t see that changing any time soon; in fact it should only get better. There have been plenty of marlin about – mostly striped. A few bigger blacks have made their presence felt too. I know of several around the 150kg

mark tagged with a reported monster of 250kg lost at the boat after a three-hour fight. That’s hard to take after that amount of time but that’s fishing, as they say. The fish have shown up from the 70-fathom line around the traps right to the second drop, so it’s a matter of finding the bait then the fish. The water temperatures have fluctuated quite a lot with pockets of cooler water around 19°C; these areas have produced some decent yellowfin tuna for crews trolling skirts. It’s still worth a look when the tuna are



30-60kg fish – they’re not huge but a stack of fun. I expect this to continue as long as the conditions remain the same. At Montague Island it’s all systems go with kingfish plentiful and all techniques working. Jigs have been dynamite with fish around the 65cm the most common. There has been the odd better fish pushing 1m but most of these have been caught on live bait. The kings are widespread with the Southern Pinnacles and Fowl House reefs holding plenty. Mixed in with the


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APRIL 2018

kings are loads of bonito, and good-sized trevally schools are thick at times. If you’re after snapper, the eastern side of the island has been good. Be careful where you fish with the sanctuary zones that are in place. The inshore grounds off Kianga and Dalmeny are good for flatties with the odd snapper coming from the deeper water off Potato Point. For the rock-hoppers after the pelagics, it has been happening for weeks now and this will continue. There have been bonito, salmon and

smaller kingfish on most local platforms; the hotspots are Mystery Bay to the south and the golf course rocks in town. These species have responded well to chrome lures up to 50g wound flat-out back to the base of the rocks. A few of the kings have pushed 6kg, which is pretty good from the hard stuff and I’d expect the odd larger fish if you’re using live bait. Every season you hear of a few bigger kings busting up fishos and I reckon it will be the same this year. For those after a feed there will be the odd luderick and

drummer in the washes but you may find them a little slow. I’d be concentrating on the southern end of the breakwall or Dalmeny headland if you’re after a feed. Fresh cabbage and prawns are the preferred baits and a whole black crab fished almost unweighted is ideal for a groper or two. The local beaches north of Narooma have been excellent for bream and whiting. Coila and Blackfellows are the places to fish. Casting To page 51


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From page 50

lightly weighted baits like worms and pipis just past the shore dump will see plenty of fish caught. Look for those deeper gutters close to shore; the rockier corner at the southern end of Coila is a good place to start. There have been a few salmon and tailor caught with the odd mulloway and gummy shark but they have been a little tougher of late. While the salmon have been okay on a paternoster rig, casting metal shiners and working the beach seems to be getting better results lately. In the estuaries Wagonga has been a little mixed, though the bream surface fishing is nothing short of awesome. Catches of 15-20+

flathead. Anglers targeting the larger flatties have done okay with some excellent fish to 90cm+ falling to soft plastics and larger live baits. These fish seem to be in the deeper water of the main basin. Concentrate your efforts in the 6-9m mark on the edges of the ribbon weed that litter the foreshore of Wagonga Inlet. OCEAN HUT COMPLEAT ANGLER REPORT The outside fishing has been awesome, with bait everywhere. At the islands we’ve been getting kings every day for weeks, with most fish ranging from legal to around 90cm. They’re taking everything – jigs, livebait and squid.

front half of the estuaries. The bigger the school the lower the average size, but most are legal to around 35cm, with the odd 40cm fish mixed in. You can catch them on lightly weighted soft plastics or surface lures. If you’re using bait, don’t go any heavier than 4-6lb, and fish as light as you possibly can. There are a few flathead around in the lakes. You can catch them on soft plastics, but the guys using live poddies and live nippers are doing the best. You have to do the hard yards and stick it out, waiting for a tide change or another unknown bite trigger. On a recent outing we had nothing early in the morning, and didn’t catch a


485 SCORPION The gummy sharks have been a fantastic option offshore for anglers wanting a feed of fresh flake, and who could complain about a tasty double up like this one? bream and some solid fish to 1kg are a daily occurrence. With the water so warm, this won’t change in the short term. The fish are throughout the entire system with the weed edges certainly fishing better than the flats around the main bridge. Upstream from the 4knot zone is also fishing well on the flooding tide, and the back of the leases has extensive areas to fish. Some of this water is pretty skinny, so having a kayak in this situation can pay handsomely. You can expect the odd trevally, flathead and whiting. Most days you’ll get a few of each species, so it makes for great fishing. In the main basin the place is loaded with salmon and tailor. The diving terns are a dead giveaway as to where they are but some of the salmon are monsters. I know of a handful of fish over 4kg, which are big fish for the estuary, particularly when taken on light gel-spun line. There have also been a few kingfish in the system with a handful of fish around the legal size getting caught by those casting larger soft plastics for mulloway and big

There are also mahimahi on the FAD, with sizes ranging from just legal to 90cm. Marlin are coming good too out at 12 Mile, and from Tuross Canyons to the Kink. They have been taking skirts as well as slow trolled livebaits. Lumo colours have been working really well. If you want to stop on the way home to catch some flathead, there are plenty around in the 30-33m depth range. Simple paternoster rigs with squid or spiny will do the trick. Not many people are bothering chase flatties though because there are so many kings and mahimahi around. Beach anglers are starting to catch salmon and tailor fairly regularly now, with most caught on paternosters with a pilly on the bottom and a surf popper on top. For the lure die-hards, chromies from 20-35g will do. There are plenty of yellowfin bream on the beaches too, taking fresh beach worm, pipis, and even prawns. They’re moving in and out of the estuaries for spawning, and you’ll get them at the mouths and the

fish until the middle of the day. You just never know. Guys fishing the rocks near estuary openings are catching plenty of bream and the odd drummer on very lightly weighted mullet gut. You can also chuck poppers and metals for salmon and tailor, which should swim up into the estuaries soon. There’s the chance of a king as well, and we’ll hopefully we’ll see the bonito show up this month too. Looking ahead, I don’t see why the king fishing wouldn’t stay reasonable right through autumn. The marlin and mahimahi should stick around too, provided the water temp stays good for a while. The pros have seen some yellowfin way out wide, and hopefully the tuna will come within trailer boat range. For all the latest info on what’s biting and where, drop into Ocean Hut Compleat Angler Narooma at 23 Graham St, or give them a call on (02) 4476 2278. You can also find more into at www. compleatanglernarooma. or on Facebook at OceanHutCompleatAngler.

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APRIL 2018


This school holidays almost anything goes TATHRA

Darren Redman

It’s school holiday time again and with this the keen young anglers come to Tathra Wharf in pursuit of the many species that pass there, so anything goes. Mackerel, slimies, ‘greasies’ – whatever you like to call them, they are the mainstay and this month

there are thousands. They also provide plenty of bait for future outings. Mixed in with these baitfish are yakkas, trevally, garfish and, with a longer cast and heavier lead, flathead can be taken from the bottom ranging from small to large. Due to the offshore water temperatures being warm, a variety of pelagics often visit this area. Frigate mackerel pass in schools providing good light tackle spin action.

If you float one out under a bio-degradable balloon, anything from sharks and large tuna to kingfish and even a marlin is possible. This isn’t only restricted to land-based anglers, as the offshore boaties are also getting into the action. Close to shore anglers are casting and trolling up many different light to medium sportfish out from almost any rocky headland. Further afield striped, albacore and yellowfin tuna are increasing in numbers

This is what the Bega River is known for – very big bream.

Whiting are plentiful this season – there have even been some southern imports.

and it looks to be one of the best seasons for many a year. This is also one of the best times of the game season for big blue marlin and the Canyons east of Tathra are famous for these large predators. Not to forget the bottom fishos, this style of fishing is just great lately and looks to be good for some time yet. It doesn’t seem to matter where you go, there are plenty of flathead with both tigers and sandies available, while on the reefs snapper and

morwong are ever increasing in numbers. If you only have a small boat or none at all, try the Bega River slightly north of Tathra or one of the many nearby estuary systems, as the fish within them are all fired up and on the chew before the onset of the winter months. Flatties have been in very good numbers this season and using live mullet has been very effective in all the lakes and rivers. Mixing with them are the

ever-available bream species – both black and yellowfin – which will occasionally take a live mullet but have more a preference to a wellpresented nipper, worm or live prawn. It has also been a season for whiting with plenty to be found on both the beaches and in the estuaries. Luderick, tailor or trevally are also on the short list while in the Bega River anglers can expect to encounter the strongpulling estuary perch on a regular basis.

Why not have a go with some livies this month? BERMAGUI

Darren Redman

Whether you fish offshore for gamefish, land-based from rock platforms or jetties through to the estuaries, try using live bait – it may produce larger fish and often results in anglers encountering more fish. There has been excellent fishing in most estuary systems as fish feed to put on condition for the cooler months ahead. Luderick are being encountered on cabbage weed near the bridges (both Wallaga and Bermagui) and around the breakwalls. Lots of southern yellowfin bream have moved into the estuaries and using nippers and striped tuna in berley trails is extremely effective. Recently live mullet have been producing some excellent flathead captures with some of these fish being of exceptional size. The slower neap tides are best with livies where there is less run; when this happens baitfish will move around the systems more freely and this is when flathead find it easier to predate on smaller fish. Not only are flatties active in these conditions, other predatory species like tailor, 52

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The marlin action has been great this season and is set to continue through the autumn months. mulloway, a stray salmon and kingfish are too. Calm seas, plenty of fish and mild weather are the order for the middle of autumn. Just about all forms of fishing are at their prime and this is my favourite time of year to fish. April usually means good sea conditions, allowing anglers to access a lot of offshore fishing. Gamefishing sees a crossover of different species; yellowfin tuna along with albacore and many smaller species are starting to appear in good numbers. Trolling or berleying will account for many tuna, although while berleying you may attract sharks like makos, blues and tigers. While berleying, don’t be frightened to put a live bait out in a trail

for marlin; use heavier traces to handle them. Conventional means of targeting marlin are also working well with plenty of fish on the TwelveMile Reef and along the Continental Shelf. Mahimahi are hanging around the fish traps and are providing plenty of entertainment, while Montague Island has its share of kingfish in various sizes. Good numbers of bonito are there to keep anglers busy. While trolling deep diving lures is a great way to catch bonito. Try trolling small live mackerel hooked through the nose for a better result. Sport and reef fishers have plenty of options in the calmer conditions. It’s popular to use soft plastics offshore and bouncing these artificials

around is producing interesting results out of Bermagui. Fishing in around 15-20m out from the headlands and bommies, working from the bottom to mid-water, will effectively produce the best fishing. Kingfish, salmon, snapper and many other species fall to this technique. For many reef anglers this time of year heralds the start of the snapper season. Drifting over the reef complexes – Goalen Head is the prime area – or anchoring will produce good fish. Larger snapper are regularly encountered by anglers anchored up and berleying in depths of around 30-40m. Fishing baits like pilchards, mackerel and tuna strips at varying depths will produce the better fish.

Other reef fish are also in good numbers with morwong, flathead, pigfish and perch coming from the deeper reefs. Sand flathead are plentiful out from most beaches that surround Bermagui. The beaches to the south are best. Flat seas allow anglers easy access to rock platforms, which will give them the chance to try different techniques. Live baiting for gamefish is one option with good deep water surrounding many of the rocky headlands. Tuna, kingfish, sharks and marlin are all on the short list. Lure fishing for salmon, tailor, bonito and the like is also very popular, while the drummer and groper fishing is also hotting up. Most beaches are fishing well with good numbers of salmon, tailor,

gummy sharks (on the moon) and the occasional mulloway. Smaller species like bream and whiting are also around with beach worms, nippers and striped tuna accounting for most. Use fresh berley like tuna and mackerel to keep the bream schooling close to shore. Brogo Dam is starting to cool, making fishing more difficult, however live crickets are effective for those who wish to fish baits. Trolling lures around the weed beds that are starting to become exposed with falling water levels is most effective and producing good bass. Humid conditions will still allow flyfishers good fishing, again around the weed beds later in the evening.

When bait fishing for flathead, circle hooks are easier to remove for a safe release.

Visitors are enjoying the South Coast fishing EDEN

Kevin Gleed

The far South Coast has been blessed with excellent weather over the past month with little rain and enough days with light winds to allow the boats to get offshore. With the great weather there are still a few visitors about enjoying everything the South Coast has to offer. Out wide the story is all about striped marlin. The fish are around the 110kg mark and there is no shortage of them. Once again the best fishing has been of Mallacoota with boats heading to the shelf of Eden

then making their way south until they encounter the fish. The water temperature has been around the 21°C mark and there are plenty of schools of baitfish around. Find the bait and the fish won’t be far away. When heading offshore for the day it pays to stock up on live baits, as catching them out there can sometimes be near impossible. On the kingfish front there has been little to report. My guess is they are further down the coast and they will make an appearance as they head north ahead of the cold water as it pushes its way back up the coast. Tiger flathead are also being caught along with

sand flathead. If you’re heading offshore, get out early and you should be back with a feed before the wind gets too strong. Some good morwong and snapper are also being caught with fish caught on the reef edges. The snapper have been a good eating size from legal-size through to a couple of kilos. There has been good salmon fishing on the local beaches with decent gutters, the recent swell has really stirred things up. Chasing the fish with lures has been the way to go, as it is easier to move from gutter to gutter and find the fish. The local estuaries are still fishing well with

reports coming in of good catches of yellowfin bream and sand whiting from the estuary mouths with fresh bait prawns being a good choice of bait. Dusky flathead are still being caught on a variety of soft plastic lures. The size of the fish can be down to luck with the odd big fish taking the lure when you least expect it. Around the new moon period it’s worth taking a look for a few prawns, as the past few darks have produced prawns for those keen enough to search. Make the most of the more pleasant weather of April, because all too soon the South Coast will be bitterly cold.

Diane with a great dusky flathead caught on a lure.

Prepare for a quiet month around Mallacoota MALLACOOTA

Kevin Gleed

The town caravan park was busy with plenty of caravans and motor homes. This month the

Grant Shorland with one of many marlin caught from his boat off Mallacoota.

weather will turn pear shaped and they will head north to chase the warm weather. The town will be quiet once again. The game fishing out wide has been excellent with striped marlin around in big numbers. The pool of water that moves around with all the baitfish and life in it has been on the continental shelf east of Gabo Island. Find the schools of bait and that’s where the action has been. Slow trolling slimy mackerel and big-skirted lures has worked well along with switch baiting. An amazing number of fish have been raised and caught with plenty of boats getting in on the action. How long the fishing lasts will depend on where the pool of water moves to. In closer, the kingfish have been around with fish down around Ram Head. It’s fair to say the action has been quiet with boats coming across fish but very few actually being caught. Those fishing for tiger flathead have been coming home with a feed along with a few good-sized gummy sharks closer to shore. Sand flathead are also being caught. The boat launching facility at Bastion Point is still constantly silting up and requires constant dredging; this means there can often be delays launching and retrieving boats. The fishing from the beaches has been slow with only the odd fish being caught. Salmon are about travelling along the beaches in small numbers. The lake is still closed and will stay this way until decent rains raise the lake level to a point where it opens and can drag the

sand out to sea, creating a decent entrance that will once again silt up and close. That is the natural cycle of the Mallacoota lake system. With the lake closed there have been some good catches of prawns. Anglers are also having good prawning sessions in the Betka River. Dusky flathead are about and they are well fed. This can make them hard to catch. Soft plastic prawn imitation lures have worked well along with baits of fresh prawns and whitebait fish are being caught anywhere from the front of the system through to the top lake and above. Big tailor are also being caught, along with a few salmon. These fish were trapped in the lake when it closed and they will only grow bigger over the

coming months. Black bream and yellowfin bream are being caught. While the fishing hasn’t been easy, the key is to keep moving until fish can be found. For those who have fished here for years, don’t expect it to be like it used to be, because it isn’t. Commercial netting has been banned for 20 years and relentless recreational

fishing is taking its toll; with no total possession limits in force in Victoria, Mallacoota is under constant pressure with the second biggest caravan park in the Southern Hemisphere on its shores. Something needs to change for the fishing to improve, and unfortunately, I don’t believe that is on the cards for the foreseeable future.


FIRST 20 Customers


February, March, April and May only

UNBEATABLE MALLACOOTA FISH AND STAY PACKAGES Half and full day charters available


0424 625 160 APRIL 2018























Valley Hill Rocketeer Slicer




The first correct entry at the end of each month will win the prize pack. SEND ENTRIES TO: NSW Find-a-word Competition, PO box 3172, Loganholme Qld 4129

NSW APR 2018

Phone (day):


The Rocketeer Slicer from Japanese tackle giant Valley Hill is a real feat of Japanese design and engineering. The Rocketeer Slicer has a unique metal plate at the nose of the jig, which lets you secure line in two places, and ensures a superior swimming action even through debris. In addition, its tail system lets you cast more effectively into the wind. The Rocketeer Slicer is available in two sizes (3.0 and 3.5) and 13 different colour combinations. It has proven to be highly effective on Australian squid.



GEORGE & NEV by Michael Hardy



Congratulations to Jim Cross from Mondrook, who was last month’s winner of the Find-aWord Competition! Monthly winners receive a sponsor prize. Prize delivery can take 8 weeks. – NSWFM


The subscriber prize winners for February are M Jurkovic of Glendenning, N Brunyee of Gumly Gumly, N Sebbens of Coffs Harbour and J Wright of Greenfield Park, who won a Salt-Away kit voucher valued at $97.45. All subscribers are entered in the monthly subscriber prize draws. Prize delivery takes up to 8 weeks. – NSWFM

Botany, P Parsons of Spit Junction, C Carter of Richmond, K Burge of Salamanda Bay, B Williams of Forster, G Smith of Weston, R Kresevic of Canley Vale, M Klumper of Nambucca Heads, B Bailey of Ulladulla, P Maynard of Blaxland, L Hosking of Clunes, M Kojic of Mount Druitt, C Colley of Mount Panorama, B Newham of Penrith, A Hepper of Iluka, M Calleghen of Teralba, R Waters of Temora, S Roweth of Millthorpe, T Maroney

of Gunnedah, J Paul of Inverell, R Kroll of Minnie Water, J Natt of Sussex Inlet, F Bubas of Albion Park, C Nolan of Black Butt, A Thompson of Ermington, B Mitchell of Nords Wharf, A Bird of Singleton, I Braun of Coraki, D Nisbet of Tuncurry, R Rich of Hamlyn Terrace, D Miller of Cobar, J Rose of Muswellbrook. Prize delivery takes up to 8 weeks. – NSWFM




The answers to Find the Gamakatsu Logo for February were: 9, 18, 23, 34, 37, 40, 46, 81, 86, 89, 93, 99, 108, 113, 121. – NSWFM

This month’s Guess the Fish Answer: Mangrove Jack

The Find the Gamakatsu prize winners for February were: C Portelli of Colyton, M MacMurray of Eglington , G Smith of Werris Creek, S Cook of Seven Hills, S Hayter of Spring Farm , T Griffin of Bathurst, J Cupitt of Sanctuary Point, K Chubb of Caringbah , B Jordan of


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Camo Cod is as rustic as the true Australian outback! With shoulders covered in a khaki camouflage, you’ll blend into your surrounding environment easily. The big Murray cod launches from the depths to attack the lure, amid sharp sticks and logs lying atop the dam floor, surrounded by rockery and weed. The natural colours of the Murray cod are enhanced by detail in the design, the accurately speckled finish, the soft wispy fins and the needle-like teeth in that huge bucket mouth. The lightweight fabric is perfect for all outdoor elements, protecting you from the harsh sun with Samaki’s UV50+ resistant technology. The soft touch 100% polyester material is very comfortable, and has the added feature of being breathable, keeping you cool and dry. Samaki designs are brought to you by Australian anglers who love to design Australian species. Camo Cod shirts are available in adult, youth and kids sizes from a size 2 through to a 3XL, allowing the whole family to get in on the action. Price: SRP $59.95 (adults), SRP $49.95 (kids)



purchase at the SoftGaff website. Bulk discounts for tournament organisers and clubs are welcome.


Samurai has launched four new 3-piece 5’9” travel rods in two weight ranges in both spin and casting built especially for barramundi and cod. These are shorter rods for pinpoint accuracy, perfect for tight country, skinny creeks, mangroves and overgrown river spots. The 16lb and 25lb weights are perfect for heavier creek needs. Cruisers come in an indestructible travel case designed to fit into your luggage and be thrown about the ute with no worries. The travel package includes a spare tip, so if you’re unlucky enough to snap your first while trekking, there’s another in the tube to get you back in the game. Just like the existing Cruisers, the seamless joins makes these rods a joy to use, and high quality AAA cork and stylish aluminium parts make the new Cruisers a classy piece of artistry. For more information visit the Frogley’s Offshore website or go to samurairods.





APRIL 2018




Japanese fishing tackle giant DEPS have become world renowned for their high quality, and truly unique lures. The NZ Crawler is no exception to this, and is the ideal bait for anglers targeting big freshwater predators. This crazy bait is unlike anything you’ve seen before. It’s a wide-bodied, high-mass jointed lure which is constructed of resin, and it swims across the top of the water, attracting hungry fish with its distinctive swimming action and highly attractive colour combinations. The NZ Crawler features large stainless steel wings that move a lot of water and make a unique sound. There is also a blade at the back that creates a flash to further attract nearby predators, and two super-sticky treble hooks that produce solid hook-ups. If you’re looking for a big profile bait that moves a lot of water and gives the appearance of a distressed fish, frog, rat or bat, try a DEPS NZ Crawler. It’s available in Australia through Dogtooth Distribution.

Housed in a heavy-duty canister, the UVstabilised, non-wrinkle SoftGaff AccuMat has been confirmed for accuracy by precision engineers, and is available in both metric and imperial formats. With a flip-up nose plate for big fish, the AccuMat allows for quick measurement of fish up to 150cm/60” long. Retracting smoothly into the canister after each use, it prevents the creasing and wrinkling inherent to other brag mats (which distorts the measurement), to deliver a precise measurement fish after fish. There is also a SoftGaff app to automatically record details of every catch. SoftGaff’s AccuMat is brainchild of father and son team Ray and John Callingham. “After years of research, development and rigorous testing, we believe the accuracy and quality of the AccuMat is unmatched in the industry,” John said. In particular, the AccuMat’s assured accuracy will be of great advantage to measurement-based tournaments. SoftGaff’s AccuMat is available for



The 120mm Tango Shad was tested in the steamy jungles of Papua New Guinea, where black bass like to exploit any weaknesses in the system. During prototype testing, the very first 120 Tango accounted for 18 PNG black bass before succumbing to the sticks, and that was without counting the barra caught as bycatch. Trolling to 6m deep, the 120 Tango is constructed from tough ABS plastic in onepiece to ensure maximum strength. Internally there is a casting weight that drops into a slot during retrieve, helping to keep the nose down. The weigh is released to the tail of the lure during casting to provide more accurate casting and greater distance by reducing tumbling during the cast. Externally the 120 Tango is fitted with 4X trebles that are wickedly sharp, and all rings are overstrength to produce a lure that will not compromise in the field. Available in 10 colours, the 120 Tango Shad weighs in at 37g and is built for action.





The popular Soft Mullet from JM Gillies now comes in three new colours. There are now six colours in the range: blue, gold, plain, bananafish, Guns ‘n’ Roses and Qantas. There are two sizes to choose from – 4” and 6” – and each size comes in all colours. These pre-rigged soft plastic baits have been tested by numerous guides around Australia, and have accounted for some impressive catches. Soft Mullets feel more ‘natural’ to an enquiring fish, and this means the fish will mouth it for longer, giving you extra time to set the hook. Another recent lure release from Gillies is the Aqua Shad range, which was launched last year. Aqua Shads have a special soft touch construction, designed to produce a lifelike swimming action and extreme durability. Each Aqua Shad has an embedded holographic effect in the body, as well as lifelike eyes. There are four proven colours in the range (pearl, fire tiger, gold fish and bunker), and they measure 8cm and weigh 14g.



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Codger Lures are designed by Graham Saunders from Shepparton in Victoria. His lures are widely known by their upturned bib design and have been a favorite for all serious native fish anglers for many years, particularly around his home town and the cod fishing mecca that is Lake Mulwala. The small 55mm 10+ and 15+ lures have been around since the late 80s and Graham has recently added four new colours to the 55mm range. Like the recent edition of his new Codger surface lures, these new colours will be highly sought after by all keen native fish anglers, and will no doubt have the same success as the rest of the range. To find out more about these and other Codger lures, you can head over to the Trelly’s website or contact Graham Saunders directly on 0407 544 965.

Pro-Cure Super gel combines the best of the laboratory with real ground bait to attract fish and trigger strikes. Pro-Cure’s famous Butt Juice, now available to Aussie anglers. A killer scent on bottom feeders, it’s an easy-to-use super sticky gel formula and a great gift for your fishing buddy. Tested and proven, it combines real ground bait with UV enhancement, powerful amino acids and bite stimulants to fire up the bite. All this combines to attract fish, trigger strikes and make fish hold on longer, in a super sticky formula that sees it stay on any lure cast after cast. The 2oz squeeze bottle offers excellent value for money and the flip up nozzle makes applying Super Gel quick, easy and mess free, with no leakage when stored, so there’ll be no Butt Juice leaking all over the place when you least expect.






There’s good news for lovers of Sax Scent, with their 30mL squeeze tubes now coming with a carabiner as standard. This is a win for convenience for all fishos, as your favourite scent can now be hung from your electric motor remote lanyard, belt loop or anywhere else that’s easy to reach. It will save you valuable on-water time, and also make it easier to keep Sax Scent on your lure and get your rod bent. The Sax Scent 30mL squeeze tubes are available now in tackle stores or from the Sax Scent website. The SRP is $12.95 per tube, or $55 for a pack of five, which includes one tube of each of their flavours: crab, goldprawn, wasabi, bloodworm and abalone. Sax Scent is an Australian made and tested product that is used by successful tournament anglers all around Australia. It catches everything from bass and Murray cod in the fresh through to saltwater species such as whiting, bream, flathead, mulloway and more.

The Duckfin Liveshad has an remarkably effective design, which delivers outstanding action that resembles the swimming movements of a real fish. By applying 3D design and modeling around the realistic natural baitfish shape, this premium grade soft bait is one of the most accurate lifelike shads available on the market today. Suited to fast and slow retrieves, the Duck Fin tail creates a strong rolling and swinging action. Combined with its enticing swimming action, the lure’s streamlined shape, fins and large tail make it a very lethal lure. Features include: realistic patterns; 3D eyes; UV active prevents fading; fins for stabilization; and large Duckfin tail. The special soft material is also tough, and can endure multiple takes from predators. There are two models, a smaller size that measures 150mm long and weighs 28g, and a larger model that measures 200mm long and weighs 64g. They are available now in tackle stores around Australia. Price: from SRP $19.99




Mustad has upgraded their MT21 Lip Grip with some new additions that make this great tool even better. For starters, the new cosmetics make this tool jump out with anodised blue and black the theme throughout. The grip arms have also been tinkered with, changing from a one arm operation to a two arm operation. The handle has also been toughened up to allow larger fish to be easily controlled. Add in the existing features such as coiled lanyard for securing the tool to your belt or boat, single-handed operation and a weigh scale to 40lb, and this tool is a great accessory whether you are fishing from the bank or the boat. Mustad is distributed by Wilson Fishing, and you can see their full range of tools at Accessories/Tools. For all the latest news and catch photos visit the Wilson Fishing Facebook page at LWilsonAndCo.


Black Magic’s very popular range of Enticer spinners has been expanded with some new additions. There are now seven colour options to choose from in either a 7g or 12g weight, and the two newest colours are called ‘carp’ and ‘red belly’. Black Magic Enticers feature startlingly lifelike finishes, which imitate a number of juvenile fish species. This finish, coupled with the Enticers’ fluttering action, makes them particularly attractive to predatory fish. They are very effective for both trolling and casting from the shoreline for a number of freshwater and estuarine species across Australia. As you would expect from Black Magic, these lures are manufactured from high quality components including a chemically sharpened treble hook, strong split rings and a swivel to help prevent line twist. Black Magic Enticers are available from Black Magic dealers nationwide. For more information head to the Black Magic website, or look them up on Facebook at www.

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DTD are European manufacturer of high quality lures and squid jigs. Having taken out the top squid lure award for the past two years at the prestigious EFFTEX tackle trade show, DTD have built a reputation for innovation and ingenuity, and their Trlja Trolling Squid jig is a fine example. The Trlja features a diving bib, which allows the lure to suspend and dive to the desired depth, like a minnow bait. The jig can then be slowly trolled from a boat or kayak so it swims horizontally through the strike zone (usually just above the weed line). Unlike a traditional squid jig, which you jig in and out of the strike zone, the Trlja remains within the zone the whole time. The realistic swimming action, coupled with the bright fluoro colour combinations (which directly imitate rock cod and red mullet) entice the squid out from the weed bed as the lure passes over their heads. Strong stainless steel hooks, durable cloth body, and luminescent glow effect all combine to attract the squid and to then ensure the catch is effectively landed every time. The Trlja Trolling Squid Jig is available in two styles (Trlja and Trlja Platno) and in two sizes (90mm and 110mm).


Eureka Lures Australia has released a dynamic range of game lures this year that are certainly going to prove effective on species such as marlin, tuna, albacore and mahimahi. The Eureka Phantom lure is a short pusher that creates an amazing smoke trail, and can be placed anywhere in a lure spread. They feature a double skirt with an oversized eye and reflective prism head. The Phantom is 8” long and comes in six outstanding colours. The Eureka Viper lure is a Slant Head lure that can be trolled at faster speeds. It dives, pops and swerves and creates a short to medium bubble trail. The Eureka Viper’s weighted head allows it to handle rougher conditions. They feature a double skirt with a reflective prism head. The Viper is 71/2” long and comes in six outstanding colours.



The runner-up for Best Combo at the 2017 AFTA Show was the Penn Conflict II and Regiment II. Incorporating a lightweight yet strong RR30 (Rigid Resin) body and rotor, the Conflict II can withstand the high pressures that braided lines and powerful fish generate, while being light enough to comfortably cast all day. Housed with the RR30 body are seven stainless steel bearings and a computercontrolled CNC gear technology system where pinion, drive and oscillation gears are individually machined to exact tolerances. HT100 carbon fibre drag washers provide smooth and consistent drag pressure under high pressure and heat. There are four models covering a wide range of inshore applications, such as snapper on plastics through to casting metals at pelagics. Gear ratios range from 6.2:1 on the 2500 model to 5.6:1 with 90cm of line retrieve on the 5000. Maximum drags start at 5.5kg in the smaller models to 11kg on the largest. Penn Regiment II rods are a new generation of super light but powerful 5-piece travel rods. With a long tip and short butt, these lightweight, low diameter, fast action blanks are fitted with special Fuji intermediate rings for the perfect compression curve. Other features include: SLS3 blank construction; BCRLTSG guides; aluminium reel seat; and Cordura Tube. There 58

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are three models, all 2.1m long, ranging from 10-50lb.


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The Fish Inc. Lures Fly Half 80mm popper is built tough, with heavy-duty ABS construction and solid wire through body design, to punch above its weight, and comes fitted with HD Owner trebles. At 16g it casts like a bullet, and its unique keeled belly design and balanced weight allows it to be retrieved easily with a walk-the-dog retrieve, popped with a subtle pop, or popped more aggressively to move plenty of water and create more noise. As well as providing casting distance and balance, the internal weight also emits a low click when the lure is walked or popped, drawing fish in. The finish quality and colours are to the normal top shelf standard produced by Fish Inc. Lures, with either a chrome look finish or internal foil design that creates flash, attracts strikes and helps the fish to zero in on the surface presentation. This bite-size lure has already accounted for a stack of species, including jacks, barra, trevally, tailor and salmon. It’s currently available in eight colours, including blue ghost, tidal form, bronze sardine and sugar coral. Price: SRP $19.95


Full Throttle is the name, and full throttle is how these specialised rods are meant to be fished! This Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) saltwater spin rod series from Shimano is being widely embraced by the Australian offshore fishing fraternity as the pinnacle in casting and fish fighting performance. Utilising Shimano’s exclusive nano alloy High Power X Spiral graphite blanks, Ocea Plugger Full Throttle rods can propel and then work surface lures like the Ocea Spouter or Rock Dive with ease, and then comfortably handle a 60° fighting angle once hooked up — which will happen pretty quickly. As befitting rods of this standard, every element is top of the line. PE 4-8 braid ratings, lure weights from 20-150g, heavy-duty Fuji DPS reel seats, Fuji Titanium guides with SiC inserts for minimal friction build-up, and twopiece design with the ferruling underneath the foregrip means that Plugger Full Throttle rods are designed with big pelagics in mind.







The new VMC 7116 CB Saltwater Trolling/ Fly series has arrived. Incorporating a forged, octopus style, wide gape, nonoffset long shank, this range is ideal for rigging light game skirted lures or tying large saltwater flies. CB stands for the new Coastal Black finish, unique to VMC. It’s the ultimate combination of an innovative coating for extreme corrosion resistance and a premium hook finishing process for maximum sharpness, offering the longest lasting black finish in the saltwater market today. Chemically sharpened to perfection, the unique VMC Needle Sharp ground needle point design combines maximum resistance and sharpness for exceptional penetration. Available in 2/0, 4/0, 6/0, 8/0, 9/0 and 10/0 sizis, these hooks will assist in targeting many species including marlin, GTs, barra, tuna and golden trevally.


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SoftGaff AccuMat – the ultimate in accuracy ™


In today’s world of outstretched arms, clever camera angles and noses that grow like the fabled puppet Pinocchio, a brag mat has become more important than ever before when recording your catches, checking for a PB and, most importantly, making sure your fish is bigger than your fishing buddy’s!

That’s why we were so excited when the local postman dropped off a couple of perhaps the most technically advanced fish measuring tool to hit the shelves – the SoftGaff AccuMat™.

Brett Habener with a typical size barramundi from the trip north. This fish and many others hit the deck after falling for a Lucky Craft Pointer AU series jerkbait.

Developed by lifelong fishing tragics John and Ray Callingham, the AccuMat has been painstakingly designed and engineered to be the most accurate and efficient ‘brag mat’ on the market. In fact it’s so different from the competition that both the AccuMat and its accompanying smart phone app AccuLog™ have had international patent applications lodged.

WHAT’S SO DIFFERENT ABOUT THE ACCUMAT? The first thing you’ll notice is just how neat and tidy it is straight out of the box. I’ve only got a small 2000 model 4m Quintrex Hornet Trophy tinny to get me around on the water, and I like to carry too many rods, reels and especially lures so space is at an absolute premium inside my boat. With the AccuMat being able to be so easily wound back up into its own hard shell, it’s there when you need it but not in the way or flapping around in the breeze when you’re traveling. The outer shell of the canister is sleek, robust and bright yellow so it’s hard to misplace. The mat itself is very supple and won’t wrinkle, giving you a much more exact measurement of your fish. Manufactured from UV-resistant and mould/mildew-resistant material, the AccuMat has been designed to not fade, stretch or warp. No Metal, No Rust, No Worries AccuMat uses exactly zero metals in its construction so there’s no need to worry about rust and corrosion. This means you

can pull out the mat, wet it down to make life easier on your fish’s scales and wash the mat at any time without a worry. One mat will provide you with years and years of hassle-free use. DAD TALKS IN INCHES BUT I TALK IN CM Never fear, AccuMat are available in both metric and imperial versions up to 150cm/1500mm and 60”. THE APP Plenty of fishing-related smart phone apps have been released over the years,

but few of them have stuck around and not many worked – especially here in Australia. I have a feeling though that the AccuLog app will buck this trend and become a hit with us notoriously hard to please Aussie anglers. Available for Apple iOS and Google Android, the AccuLog digital fishing app helps you record dates, times, locations, methods and, with the help of your AccuMat, the size of the fish. I’ve had it on my phone for only a few weeks and a couple of fishing trips, but I’ve found it easy to use and navigate, as well as share pics to my increasing number of social media accounts. All your photos are kept in a neat gallery and it’s got a very intelligent and predictive list of species pre-loaded, so storing and accessing your data becomes quite easy. Each AccuMat has its own unique ID number right below where the fish’s nose goes, so it’s visible to the app and it uses this to recognise your account. We’ve had a little trouble getting this to work sometimes, but I suspect that’s a user error rather than a software or design error. THE PRICE Fishing gear is no different from any other purchase in life, in that you get what you pay for. The AccuMat isn’t cheap at a suggested retail price of $99, but with the way it’s put together this is probably the last brag mat you’ll ever need to buy. The AccuLog smartphone app is $2.99 from either app store.

WHERE TO BUY The AccuMat is still fairly new to the market, so while it is stocked in some tackle stores already, the network isn’t as large as I assume it will soon be. For now, if you can’t find it in your local store, jump onto and purchase it there.- RUPE

None of the fish caught on the weekend away testing the AccuMat™ were monsters but being 4 competitive young fellas you can be sure every one of them went on the mat to see who’s fish was bigger. Every millimetre counts!

APRIL 2018


Industry News

Costa launches their ‘Store in Store’ in Australia FMG

Peter Jung

Florida-based company Costa Del Mar produces arguably the world’s best polarized sunglasses. Established in 1983 by Ray Ferguson, the Costa brand has always been at the cutting edge of polarized lens technology

a few. Their message is as clear as looking through their glasses; they wish to “Support causes that contribute to the preservation of our watery world,” so everyone is able to go out and enjoy it. Australians, with our love for the outdoors and for quality products, have welcomed the Costa brand. Australia now represents one of their highest growth markets in the world.

It’s the first in Australia and only the third of its kind outside the US; the concept store was officially opened on Friday 23 February and Fishing Monthly was there. As you would expect Michael is stoked with how it all looks and even happier that it will further enhance his love of the Costa product and what he can offer his customers. The Store in Store display gives him the ability to offer

With room for nearly 200 pairs of sunglasses, apparel and additional stands for all things Costa, the ‘Store in Store’ concept is an impressive one.

The concept store is a great reward for all the effort that Hooked On Bait and Tackle has made to establish the brand over a number of years. and continues to strive to improve its lenses, so the end consumer is getting the best of the best. Costa is also all about giving back. They are involved with projects like OCEARCH and the Kick Plastic campaign, just to name

Enter Hooked On Bait and Tackle in Hoppers Crossing, Victoria. Owner of Australia’s number one Costa retail store, Michael Felsovary was offered the opportunity to have a concept store within his shop and jumped at the chance.

the full range of glasses that suit Australian conditions. Michael explained to us that it is great to know that the quality of the glasses reflect the floor space he has given them in the store. “The glasses have exceptional image clarity

Damien Kerves from Rapala VMC Australia, the distributor of Costa sunglasses in Australia, also attended the opening. “What a great way to represent the brand here in Australia. Australians love Costa sunglasses and this is a great reward for Michael and his team for all the hard work they have done establishing the brand with their customers,” he said. When prompted about whether it’s likely more concept stores will be set up in Australia he said, “It would be great to have a concept store in each state to show off everything Costa has to offer. Watch this space.” Congratulations to Michael and his team. The store looked fantastic and the addition of the Costa concept store is just another reason to drop into the store. If you want to see the Costa ‘Store in Store’ concept for yourself, Hooked on Bait and Tackle

and come in a great range of frames that cover every face shape and size. Once a customer puts them on and sees the difference for themselves, they just won’t wear anything else,” Michael summarised. Most importantly he said you need to try them on to ensure that they are comfortable to wear, because if they are not, you won’t wear them. Michael explained Costa also has a great range of lifestyle products. “Costa is all about embracing the

The latest 580 high definition lens from Costa is unparalleled in its ability to cut glare and enhance your view of the outdoors.

The Costa concept store in Hooked On Bait and Tackle is the first one in Australia and only the third outside of the USA. 60

APRIL 2018

The concept store is all about promoting the lifestyle that is Costa. There is a great range of accessories and clothing to complement your sunglass purchase.

outdoor experience, so they have a great range of T-shirts, caps and technical apparel as well as cleaning products and other items for the glasses. The Store in Store concept allows our customers to experience everything Costa.”

is at 174-180 Old Geelong Road, Hopper Crossing, Victoria. You can contact Michael and his team on (03) 9748 3811. To see the full range of products and find your local Costa dealer you can go to www.

Enjoy the fabulous fishing weather in Canberra CANBERRA

Bryan Pratt

We’ve just finished a month where the weather could be described mostly as fabulous. Day

used to be like in the ‘good old days.’ The good fishing extended from some of the lowland streams to the smaller creeks and rivers of the high country where there were gentle flows of

was possible to be the only angler on the waterway. The fish were mostly small, up to about 0.5kg, but there were occasional bonus larger fish about 1.2kg. It was mostly catch and release fishing, but

Maria Haalebos with a 1.1m Murray cod taken on a bibless Jackall while it was stalking a bait ball of small redfin in Lake Ginninderra. after day it has rolled on with balmy days, small rain and electrical storms (mostly late in the afternoon), and cool nights to counterbalance the warm days. And we have receptive fish to go with it – what more could you ask for? FLY CHAMPION Flyfishing was the biggest beneficiary of the good weather. We had insects galore on the streams – moths, beetles, grasshoppers, dragon flies, chironomids, midges, stone flies and caddis and they responded repeatedly to the brief storms, much to the delight of anglers seeking browns and rainbows. The fish rose often, sometimes right through the day and those landed were chocka-block full of food. More pleasingly, the fish were taken on some of our oldest favourite flies, Hairwing Coachman, Humpy, Red Tag, Coch-a-Bondhu, Hardys Favourite and others, reviving memories of what the fishing regularly

cool, clear water comprised mostly of seepage from the winter snowfields. Work and other duties claimed

occasional specimens were kept for the table or the smoker and they were delicious.

good weather. There was some excellent lure, bait and flyfishing. Flyfishing was particularly effective for large browns and rainbows. There were rises during the day, particularly late in the afternoon and early evening with large wets such as Hamills Killer, Mrs Simpson and Craigs Night Time being the most successful. SNAKE TIME Many of the recent comments from anglers related to the good fishing, but snake tales also featured prominently. Snakes are highly active at this time of the year, chasing food items such as cockroaches, grasshoppers, lizards, mice and frogs. Alternatively they may be curled up sleeping in the sun until disturbed by an angler walking on or near them. That’s when you may get struck at or bitten, so it pays to keep your eyes open. The usual distribution pattern locally is for red and blacks and the occasional tigers to be near waterways, with browns and copperheads in more open country and death adders closer to the coast. They can all bite, but none are particularly aggressive.

Snakes are active across the Monaro at this time of the year. Browns are common at the moment but this unfortunate specimen died when a bushfire swept through his resting area.





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For people who care about the future of native fish, releasing a specimen like this big Murray cod to grow larger and provide fun for other anglers provides a great deal of satisfaction for the captor. many anglers, which also meant that there was little crowding on the streams and on some weekdays it

GOOD RETURNS FROM LAKES The big mountain lakes also benefitted from the

Pan-sized trout like this provided a lot of fun for dry fly anglers fishing the Monaro streams in the warm, balmy weather we have experienced lately.

Leave them alone and they won’t bite you. Many anglers now wear long trousers and snake-proof gaiters as a regular part of their dress, which seems to be a sensible move. NATIVE FISH HAPPY Native fish also appreciated the good weather. Murray cod showed in local lakes, stalking redfin bait balls. Regulars who were aware of this included canoe fishers Tom and Maria Haalebos who did well in Lake Ginninderra. Maria landed one fish of 72cm and another 1.1m fish, both taken on bibless Jackalls then released. The largest of the fish weighed 25kg.




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Try something new to tempt a cod strike CANBERRA

Toby Grundy

Cod season is now in full swing throughout the capital and I have heard plenty of reports from anglers of great catches coming from our local lakes and the Murrumbidgee. In my January report I wrote about new-release cod lures and the importance of casting lures that the cod haven’t seen before. So

far, this theory has been proved correct with the Dragonsaurus from Mimix and the Mega Pompadour from Jackall getting the attention from the bigger cod. As we head into the cooler months, these lures will yield even more impressive results because the big girls will be out and keen for a feed on something new. Remember, the cod will have seen everything throughout summer including spinnerbaits, swimbaits,

divers and surface lures, so always try to find something in your local tackle shop that’s new and different to tempt cod from their snags. LOCAL NEWS Lake Burley Griffin is fishing well and will continue to do so throughout autumn and early winter. There have been plenty of good-sized goldens caught at dusk along the flatter areas of the lake by savvy lure fishos who hit locations flogged by bait fishos during the day.

CODGER TOPWATER Flooding has changed the river but the fish are there.

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The National Museum is one of these areas and is always worth a look along with the points under the major bridges. I also like the rock wall running up to the entrance to the Molongolo River near the hospice. Slow rolling

producing large numbers of redfin, and many anglers have walked away with cricket scores of solid fish. April is a great time to hit Ginninderra as the massive goldens in the lake are on the chew, and respond well to lots of different lures

Trout rigged with the hook on top of the lure to make sure the lure swims through the weed without hindrance. Several solid cod have come out the lake recently using these lures. Lake Tuggeranong is producing with all four

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A subtle lure like the Ecogear ZX blade works well in Yerrabi.

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hardbodies in this area always produces, as does slow lifting soft plastics off the bottom. The entrance to Sullivans Creek is another great place to cast plastics for cod and yellas. Lake Ginninderra is still

including medium sized swimbaits like the Ricky Roach fished in amongst the reeds that line the banks. If you’re after a cod, fish the weed infested points with lures like the Jackall Dunkle or Savage Gear Line Thru

species hitting a variety of lures. The carp are sitting up in the flatter, shallower areas like Greenway and can be targeted with black soft plastics and flies. Watching a tailing carp grab a fly can be heart-

With a total weight of 8.9kg including battery, the Torqeedo Ultralight won’t limit your paddling performance, but when called on it can give you the right push against the current, against the wind, or be called on to save your tired arms. Technology that is clean and state-of-the-art Find your closest dealer: email: web: phone: 1800 069 469

A smaller ‘Bidgee cod ready for release. 62

APRIL 2018

stopping stuff and it’s not uncommon to see several flyfishers casting along the shoreline during an overcast afternoon. Several anglers have also caught a lot of Murray cod along the drop-off near the dam wall. This area can be accessed by boat or kayak and the cod (and drop-off) can be found using a sounder. Dropping

to ambush their prey. This is a great winter fishery so it will only get better as the water cools. The Murrumbidgee is a bit hit and miss. Overall, it has been a good cod season but recent flooding in March changed the river with some snags disappearing completely. The water took a long time to clear and it’s

medium sized goldens are still hitting lures throughout the dam and the occasional cod is also being caught by those throwing medium sized spinnerbaits into the sunken timber around the 4m mark. The points at Shannons Inlet are worth a cast whether on foot or in a kayak or boat as there are plenty of redfin schooled up here and the goldens are sitting around these schools waiting for the smaller fish to make a mistake. If you’re after a monster cod, it’s better to wait until the last of warmer weather has disappeared and angling pressure has lessened.

Googong is still producing fish.

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E: Find a lure they won’t have seen before. spinnerbaits down to the bottom and slow lifting them back up through the water column produces a great reaction bite. Yerrabi Pond is infested with weed but after recent rains it’s starting to fire with both goldens and redfin hitting blades and soft plastics rigged weedless. Yerrabi is hard to fish from the shore or from a kayak due to the masses of weed. If you manage to find a gap, make plenty of casts into that spot as the yellowbelly tend to sit facing the gap waiting

only now starting to recover. That said, conditions should continue to improve and the cod will once again come on the bite but will have moved from the fast water. SURROUNDS Googong is still fishing well, which is amazing considering how many anglers fished the waterway throughout summer and into autumn. Most areas, especially in the middle of the dam, have been hit hard. This means the larger natives have wised up and moved deep. However,





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Ben Barraclough and his uncle went fishing on the McDonald River at Kingstown. He caught this 74cm cod on a hardbody lure. APRIL 2018


Changing seasons bring on the good goodoo TAMWORTH

Adam Mears

The seasons are changing. The once blistering sun has now eased to a warm, comforting glow as we

meander around the next bend; shedding trees give a murky tinge to an otherwise picturesque river system

and the only thing better than the surroundings is the fishing. This time of year is the start of the monster hunt weather – on the Peel, Namoi and Gwydir river systems it’s time to load up the big gear, sling some XOS baits about and prepare for battle. To hunt the big girls on lures there are two main outfits that I would recommend;

spinnerbaits and diving lures in the smaller rivers and creeks. Always remember that it’s a good idea to head into your local tackle shop and let them show you a few setups before setting out. RIVERS The Peel and Namoi rivers have been suffering quite a bit due to low flow over the last few months but during autumn you will

relationship for me this winter. I love to fish it but the fish don’t love me. That doesn’t stop people hooking into some great fish. Big Murray cod haunt the edges, sneaking up on unsuspecting schools of bony bream and carp. Fishing around the full moon and focusing on dawn and dusk will be the key to success. Don’t be afraid

Match the hatch – this StumpJumper looks a lot like a Murray cod.

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Low light and native fish go hand in hand. This one took a liking to a Full Moon spinnerbait. the first is a 8-9ft rod rated at casting weights between 4-8oz. This might seem like overkill for Murray cod but it is essential for casting large surface lures and swimbaits without putting excess stress on the rod. Reels can be a little easier to choose – a heavy-duty bait caster that holds at least 100m of 50lb braid is ideal. The second is your standard cod outfit – a 4-7kg baitcaster with 20-30lb braid is perfect for casting

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to fish well into the night either as many fish are caught well after sundown. Chaffey Dam can be quiet at this time of year but bait fishos will still get silver perch and carp around the edges on baits of worm and shrimp. Catches of yellowbelly will taper off significantly. So get out and among the fishes. Make sure every cast counts and you may be rewarded with the fish you have always dreamed of.

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Email: APRIL 2018

often find the goodoo in quite shallow water gorging on baitfish and yabbies, trying to put on condition before winter. Don’t be too discouraged by the low levels. With any luck we will get some rain in the near future. This winter I will be trying a new watercraft similar to a kayak but with a little more versatility, so watch this space! THE DAMS The dam (Lake Keepit) will be another love-hate

Cooler water brings on aggressive spawning trout Steve Williamson

April is the month that we start to see a reduction in the surface temperature of the lake, which seems to spur a few trout onto an early spawning run and some trout will start trout moving into the Thredbo River. You can now really feel the mornings getting cooler and the water temperatures are dropping now. For the lure anglers, the Thredbo River will only improve as the month goes by and the best lures will be jointed minnows as the brown trout start to become really aggressive and territorial. Other lures like spinners are certainly a must in your lure box. It has been a long, hot and dry summer this year and with cooler nights comes better spinning on the lake as the water edges cool down. You may find the best spinning will be early and late in the day and fishing where there are steep dropoffs with plenty of rocks will be the best. Bays like Rushes, Hatchery and Creel all fish well. The best areas have been down at the South Arm or

Canberra Killer Tassie will be good. In shallow bays I like to use some of the small soft plastics like the Strike Tiger in spotted brew colour or vodka and orange. Even pink is a good colour to try. Flyfishing on the rivers and streams has been okay with the mountain streams still producing lots of small trout on dry flies and this is heaps of fun, especially if you are just getting into the art of flyfishing. Try a small Hopper pattern, Royal Wulff or Royal Humpy. A caddis moth fly is also not a bad option. The Thredbo River still has a little dry flyfishing to offer on some days but we will be swinging into the nymphing season very soon. As the month goes on and more early spawning brown trout move into the Thredbo River you might start trying a black nymph and if we get that heavy rain and a rise in the river, we might see a switch to glowbugs and nymphs. Flyfishing on the lake is still best at night. Try any of the streamer patterns such as Craig’s Night Time or a black Woolley Bugger. Olive green nymphs and shrimp patterns are also worth a try. The South Arm, Creel Bay and Hayshed Bay are all great.

Michelle Martin and Beth Dias from Broadbeach with a brown and a rainbow – just two of the trout caught downrigging on the lake at 45ft deep over February. near Banjo Patterson Park but as the month progresses Waste Point and the Snowy Arm will start to fire. When the water temperature gets to about 16°C we will start to swing into the use of pink and orange winged lures this month as the fish also move into spawning and aggression mode. For now green and gold Tassies like the Willys Special and maybe the

Overall fishing on the lake over recent months has continued to be very good and now that the lake water temperature is cooling down to the trout’s comfort zone, they are happier to move in close to the edges of the lake and this makes the fishing a little better for anglers who don’t have a boat. Autumn is a great time to go trout fishing. The trout are feeding up in readiness

for winter and are often easier to catch. I would expect that the great shore-based angling will continue right through the winter months like it did last year. Boat trolling in the shallow water will improve again this month now with the cooler water temperatures and early morning surface fishing can be quite productive. The best way to attack the fish is to start off the morning by surface trolling lures and maybe a lead core line at two colours out so the lure is about 3m deep. Later in the morning you can still target some of the browns by fishing close to the bottom in deeper water with the aid of downriggers. I find about 20ft of water is a good place to start. This is the time of the year that we sometimes start to move into pink or orange colours. It’s also well worth running the bigger minnow lures in brown trout or spotted dog. Some of the better trolling areas this month will be Sids Bay through to Rushes Bay. Also try Waste Point or Creel Bay for downrigging, as there may be a few early spawning brown trout about. They will mostly be deeper at 20 or so feet. AUTHOR’S OPINION Let’s ban treble hooks in NSW trout waters! Let’s also close the tributaries of trout spawning streams in NSW to all methods of fishing until 30 November each year! That was the recommendation put forward at the Snowy Lakes Trout Strategy Working Group (SLTSWG) meeting held at Gaden Trout Hatchery last December. While I was able to stop any new changes for the time being, over 18,000 anglers shared their thoughts on our Facebook page. The recommendations were to be put to the Recreational Fishing New South Wales Advisory Council in late March for the committee to discuss and to review. We should find out more about the outcome of that meeting shortly and may common sense prevail. So what happened at the SLTSWG meeting? A minority group at the meeting were trying to make changes while more than half of the SLTSWG committee were absent. Now, what I am talking about here is NOT about banning treble hooks or closing streams to fishing for longer periods – this is about correctly running a meeting that abides by the NSW Government regulations where it would not be possible to spring a controversial item into an agenda without first being placed into the agenda prior

to the meeting, so there could be some open discussion before the item was tabled at the general meeting! I am not interested in certain people’s private agendas; this is about letting the public also have their say as to what rules should and shouldn’t be changed so that anglers can enjoy the sport they love. Here’s a statement made by Senior Fisheries Manager Inland for NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Cameron Westaway in another fishing magazine last February; “We will continue to base our management decisions across all our freshwater fisheries on quality science and input from the angling community in the

the fishing community that don’t understand that anglers just want to have fun and go fishing. It is my personal opinion

how do you expect tackle shops to be able to sell the new products? Many years ago when the trade shows were in Penrith

APRIL ROUNDUP – THE BEST OF THE BEST! Best method..... Surface trolling early and then using lead core lines 30m out Best depth........ Trolling at 25ft deep or 35ft for the middle of the day Best lake lure... Tasmanian Devil number 111 or Y82 Best lake area.. Hayshed Bay and Waste Point. Best dry fly....... Parachute Adams or black cricket Best wet fly...... black weighted nymph Best river.......... Thredbo River above the Diggings that if we keep going down the pathway that the management of the NSW Snowy Mountains trout fishery is heading, we won’t have a trout fishing tourism industry in a few years’ time!

in Sydney, there was a public day when anglers could check out new products. They couldn’t purchase anything, but they were offered discount vouchers to use at their local tackle shops.

Cameron Webley has been doing some great stream flyfishing. Hopper patterns are working best. recognition that recreational angling is a great contributor to the social and economic health of regional NSW.” Well, Cameron, let’s hope that you stick to the statement above, because there are some people out there in

In other news, Steve Morgan questioned in last month’s Editor’s Desk why we don’t have public days at our Fishing Trades Association Tackle Show. If the general public can’t get to see what is new then

• If you want to know more about the latest in fishing conditions, just give me a call on (02) 6456 1551 or check out my website at www. Until next month, hope you catch the big one.

n Trout Hatchery e d a G

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April will have good weather and great bites WAGGA WAGGA

Rhys Creed

As the year goes round there is one month that gets me more excited than any other and that’s April! It’s by far the best time to target natives, especially on our rivers and creeks.

casting conditions and, best of all, our lures can now be closer to the bigger fish. Both downstream and upstream of Wagga will fish well. Fishing below Wagga will yield more numbers of fish, especially Murray cod. Casting 5/8oz spinnerbaits is by far the go-to technique. Make sure you cast them close

and exposed sand bars, which can make navigating up and downriver difficult. Trout cod inhabit this area as well, so if they are caught, make sure they are returned safely to the water. BLOWERING DAM Blowering Dam has taken a backseat as the rivers become such a great area to

Chris Cotterill with a late evening rainbow taken casting a shallow diving hardbody. the creek is flowing slowly, so you’ll be able to cast anywhere in the creek and retrieve your lure back. Make sure you cast everywhere because chances are there will be submerged structure below and sometimes

gold wobblers and small hardbodies will work wonders. If you’re after large fish and are happy to do more casts for less action, target the deeper holes and use a lure that sinks, like a 1/6oz soft

spinners, wobblers and small hardbodies. Cast them into the fast water and retrieve them quickly. Rainbows love these fast flowing areas and will chase down most lures at this time of year.

Beautiful mornings and beautiful goldens – April doesn’t get much better than this. Not only are the fish extremely active, but the weather is perfect! Cool nights and beautifully warm days make for comfortable and exiting fishing. So now that you know it’s my favourite time to fish, let’s get into the reports.

to the structure and remember to let them sink in below the structure before retrieving. The best colours can vary. The water will start to clear up so darker colours are the best to start with, as the brighter colours can spook fish. In saying that I do like to use

fish. This doesn’t mean it’s not worth a visit… with less traffic it is well and truly worth a crack. As the days become nicer, casting the edges for cod becomes a good technique. Try to stay in the steeper areas around the island and wall. Casting medium-sized

Redfin are a common by-catch through the Murrumbidgee when targeting natives.

Tallis with a pig of a golden perch that took a slow rolled 3.8oz Mud Guts Spinnerbait. MURRUMBIDGEE RIVER The lifeblood of the Wagga Wagga region is the Murrumbidgee River and it’s by far the pick of the locations. The Murrumbidgee over the last few months has run high due to irrigation demand in the west, but that is now coming to an end or at least slowing down. Burrinjuck and Blowering dams began to reduce their outflows during March and now the rivers are nice and low and perfect to fish. Less water means there is less current, which makes fishing and boat navigation much easier. More logs become exposed, making for perfect 66

APRIL 2018

white, purple and white, and white and green with flecks of orange. I know I just said that darker is better, but it’s always good to have some brighter colours on hand. With larger fish being about, it can pay to upsize your plastic. If you do this, make sure you add a stinger hook so you don’t miss a fish that only taps the back of the lure. If you’re fishing upstream of Wagga between Oura and Wantabadgery, make sure you use willow blades on your spinnerbaits, because the water in this area is fast flowing. Be careful navigating in this area during this month because there are some shallow runs

soft plastics up to 160mm will be best, as this will give you a chance of catching all sizes of cod. If you’re chasing big fish, upgrade to a 200mm+ lure. OLD MAN CREEK With the Murrumbidgee River running low, Old Man Creek will also be low and if you’re keen for a surface fish, this is the place to go. There are plenty of reserves along the creek, which provide great areas to walk and cast for both cod and goldens. Paddlers are the go and the smaller lures will give you more chance of catching smaller fish. First thing in the morning and late afternoon are by far the best times to fish. Try to fish close to structure;

you catch more fish off hidden structure than the stuff you can see on the bank. TUMUT RIVER Another great place to visit this month is the Tumut River! The flows are low and the trout action is second to none. Casting spinners, Tassies, small soft plastics,

plastic. Cast into the deep hole and allow the lure to sink. Once it hits the bottom, give it a flick and slow roll it back. This is the best way to target the large browns that sit down deep in these holes. If you’re after a bit more fun, fish below the rapids in the faster flowing water with

April is by far the best month to fish and it’s a shame that it comes and goes so quickly. Try and plan a trip to head out and go camping along the river, because it’s the best weather and the best fishing. Hopefully I’ll see you out there somewhere. Happy April fishing!

With shallow and clear rivers, the Takacat Inflatable Boat is by far the best way to get around.

Prepare for early starts and frosty mornings LITHGOW/OBERON

Glen Stewart

The first few steps from the car were crackly under foot. My footprints burnt holes in the short icy grass as I stood running line up through the runners on my rod. Glancing sideways and up I blew a hot stream of air out of my lungs, puffing like an old steam train. Yes, another change in season is here, and with it a whole host of different fishing opportunities… Four distinct weather seasons really are a blessing. People rave about endless summers. No thanks – not for this little black duck.

catchments in the last year or so. After a while you start to realize the advantages of targeting specific species at specific times. BE ON THE BALL Be warned – windows of opportunity can open and close very quickly, especially if you’re after the biggest and the best. The old saying ‘you should have been here yesterday’ can certainly ring true. The upcoming window of aggressive pre-spawn browns is one such case. The bucks can be very aggressive towards other fish and it really is a golden opportunity to catch big mature buck browns that come to 60cm+. For most of the season, especially in the lakes and dams, these fish

have been shy for way too long. These big fish don’t snack at this time of year. It’s partly out of a pre-spawn aggression, especially later in the month and as we get into May. It’s also a fact that big fish need to eat much larger prey to survive. To a certain extent this is unchartered waters for mainstream anglers in Australia when it comes to trout, but a quick look on the internet at some of the Northern Hemisphere angling tactics for big trout tells a much different story. Like I said, don’t be shy when it comes to lure size. APRIL EASTER Easter fishing memories will ring true for many of us. It’s a tradition that goes back Western flowing waters have provided peace and serenity for generations over the Easter period. The timing as far as the fishing goes is usually pretty smack on.

Having a plan and being ready for a big fish before it’s boat side is critical to its survival. Supporting the weight of the fish correctly for its short time out of the water should be part of that plan. We have a good mix of introduced Northern Hemisphere species: rainbow trout, brown trout and redfin as colder temperature offerings, and then a growing population of stocked native species, bass, golden perch and Murray cod. These fish have been stocked much higher up the

are called ‘the untouchables.’ Lake Lyell has its fair share of big brown trout, and I’ll bet pounds to peanuts most of them die of old age. I can tell you the next six to eight weeks are the time to get amongst it. Try trolling large minnows. Don’t be shy – we

many generations – city and country folk alike jam pack whatever they can into the trusty old wagon and head for western water sheds beyond the sandstone curtain. It’s no coincidence that generally speaking the fishing is nearly always good. As the heat of summer has gone, surface

water temperatures in the impoundments have come back from giddy heights, and cold water bottom depth releases from our storage dams have or should be on the decrease, bringing a return to the natural ebb and flow of our western rivers. The clarity improves and, in some sections, it’s even worth throwing a big noisy surface lure or flashy spinnerbait. Bait is always a good standby. Fresh is best; try yabbies, bardi grubs, worms and shrimp. Keep in mind a lot of cod are caught on cheese these days. Who would have thought? Some camps don’t use anything else. The hectic hurly-burly of town and city life is quickly forgotten after a few days on western waters with family and friends. It’s easy to get swept up in the sway of a river red gum’s leaves in the breeze, or the dappled light of late afternoon as the sun sinks slowly in the west. Before long the coolness of night will have you searching for the fire – a warmth and serenity that only western

wood can bring. Find me a man, woman or child that could not enjoy such settings. Maybe that’s the true joy of Easter. HANDLE WITH CARE I’ve got no doubt some big cod will be caught over the next few months. Be prepared; expect and plan for a monster well before it hits the bank or boat. Upsize your net, fish with a mate, have your camera ready, have your pliers ready, talk

to your mate about it before it happens, have a plan, leave the fish in the water for as long as possible, lift carefully if needed, support the body and return the fish to the water quickly. Hold the fish upright in the water until it’s ready to go, then enjoy the tail shower. These giants are too good to catch just once. I hope to see you on the water soon. Until then, tight lines.


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Fish get comfortable and feed in cooler water NEW ENGLAND RIVERS

Adam Townsend

The New England area has continued to fish well in recent weeks although the local dams continued to slowly drop throughout February and into March for irrigation. It’s usually around this time of year, give or take a few weeks,

where it all eases up a bit. The dams start to stabilise and with the middle of autumn now upon us, we should also see the cooler weather patterns start, making the fish more comfortable to feed. Working lures in the low light periods is still the most productive way to find an active Aussie native fish, however with the cooler days

A Severn River cod caught off the surface on a Croaker Lure.

around it’s likely you’ll find a healthy Murray cod cruising through the shallows during daylight hours as well, whether it be in the rivers or local impoundments. Pindari Dam has been producing some great numbers of average-sized yellowbelly and Murray cod of late for both bait and lure fishers. There have also been many carp being caught as well, which is not a good sign, as they are not supposed to be in this waterway. It’s unknown how they got there but there have been stories of them escaping dams coming from upstream somewhere during the last flood and of people doing the wrong thing; either way it’s not good. Pindari was recently sitting at around 60%. The Severn River below the dam is currently flowing from water releases, however if you can get access down below the cold water levels, the fishing has been really good, with multiple big fish getting caught on a variety of lures from chatterbaits and swimbaits to surface lures. Above the dam has also been fishing well. With not many big rains lately there is still lots of weed laying around, making it that little bit harder

This Murray cod took a liking to a Westin MonsterVibe. to present a lure or bait. Weedless lures have been the standouts, although there are still some parts of the river that aren’t completely fouled up where other lures can be used properly with good success as well. The Beardy River has been producing some nice redfin lately on a mixture of lures. Small spinnerbaits and vibes have been the go-to lures working along the weed edges or structure. Copeton has been fishing well for the committed anglers putting

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in the time. The water releases can sometimes put the fish in a lockjaw mode, but eventually they do have to eat and the locals are proving that with big fish catches most weeks. There have been reports that Copeton’s irrigation has stopped now, which is a good sign for the fishers and comes just in time for the MoTackle & Outdoors Cod Cash on the 14-22 this month. With free entry and over $25,000 to be won it’s definitely worth getting out and checking.

Working sub-surface and surface while it’s dark and fishing deeper during the day will increase your chances of finding a big Copeton fish; hopefully it’s a fish with a tag in it. Drop into Inverell Fishing and Hunting on your way out to the dam or stop by the Copeton kiosk to see what the fish have been biting on. Any lure will work at the right time and place. Copeton was recently sitting at 29%. Good luck to all those venturing out on the water this month.

Good cod catching weather COPETON DAM

David Allen

Okay, cod fishers – it’s that time of year again; the weather is cooling and the big fish are starting to become much more active, April last year fished very well with lots of big fish being caught by holiday guests as well as the dedicated big fish specialists. This fishing is available to everyone who is willing to put in some effort. While early starts and late evenings are required for fishing from a boat or the shore, at least you aren’t risking frostbite at this time of year. Last year was definitely the year of the swimbaits and wakebaits. What will be the standouts this year? Early indications are that lures will continue to get bigger; I am seeing and hearing about baits that are measuring 300-450mm+. You are going to have to start in the gym now to get yourself into shape to throw these giant lures. Will wakebaits continue to be the go-to surface lure or will paddlers make a comeback? What will we see in soft plastics this year and how much more realistic can they become? Maybe they’ll have a

season, it is probably time to touch on a couple of important issues – boating at night and handling your catch. Being safe if fishing during the low light periods of dawn and dusk and

last thing we want to see is a collision on the water. A lot of anglers complain that the white light ruins their night vision; the simple fix for this is to extend the pole of your white light to


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A typical Copeton yellowbelly for Thomo. through the night is the responsibility of everyone. There was a serious issue last year with anglers not displaying their navigation lights and the required

get it above your line of vision. A 2m length from the gunwale will have the light visible to others but out of your way. You have to be seen to be safe.

A 100cm cod caught 20m from the main boat ramp. pulse. Will deep diving hardbodies get dusted off? With so many questions, it’s going to be fun working out the answers. Being the start of what is now considered our big fish

handling so much easier in recent years but they generally won’t fit over the jaw of a Copeton cod over about 115cm, so it comes down to grabbing the jaw by hand, and if you

all-round white light (this has been mistakenly called an anchor light in the past). This light must always be displayed between sunset and sunrise when underway and when stationary. The

When it comes to handling big Murray cod everything has to be upsized. The biggest landing nets on the market only seem just big enough. Lip grips have made fish

want to continue to be able to fish, you are going to want a good glove. A big cod’s teeth will shred you to the bone if the fish clamps down and rolls. To get your photos remember to support your prize and minimize the time out of the water; get organized while holding the fish in the water. When releasing your fish hold them beside the boat while they revive. They will let you know when they’re ready and will probably give you a shower as they go. The Inverell Shire Council, MO Tackle & Outdoors Cod Cash fishing tournament will be held at Copeton Dam from 14-22 April; this is a tagged cod competition offering $25,000 in cash prizes for the capture of tagged fish. There will be one tagged fish worth $20,000 and an undisclosed number of other tagged fish. Entry is free and registrations can be made at many local businesses in Inverell – what a great excuse to come to the cod capital of Australia, the Reflections Holiday Park Copeton Waters. • 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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Tough conditions this month for lure anglers HUNTER VALLEY

Peter Phelps

April is hopefully the time for change in the Hunter Valley. The heat and dry weather have been relentless over summer. The drought has been one of the worst we have experienced for a long time now, and the ground water is all but

the lakes should start to spread out between deep and shallow patterns as the water temperature drops. It should be back down to around 20-22°C this month and this begins a time of transition for the fish as they prepare for winter. LAKE ST CLAIR The recent dropping water levels will have killed off most of Lake St Clair’s

all the typical deep-water techniques. The fish should be evenly split between deep and shallow water at this time of year. The weather will always be the determining factor for where you should fish. Hopefully the cooling weather brings on some foggy mornings and overcast days. These should keep the shallow water fish biting

Artificial lures fished shallow at St Clair in low light produce decent catches. gone. The local lakes still have fairly high levels but are dropping at a consistent rate. The temperature should be cooling down soon though and with a bit of luck some rain should come this month. April can generally be a tough time for the lure anglers out there and the recent conditions will not make it easy. The fish in

weeds beds this year. With not much weed to provide shelter and shade, fishing the edges will be productive during low light or windy and stirred up conditions. April can be a real mixed bag for what the fish will eat at St Clair. They can take everything from topwater, jerkbaits, reaction-style baits and plastics cast at the edges to

longer during the daylight hours. I would start out with a topwater lure in the backs of bays and around any weed you can still find. Glassed-out water is always best for surface lures as the fish can easily track your lure from a long distance. A jerkbait would be my next selection. Fish these

edge will also catch fish. It’s just a matter of finding out what works. The deeper fish should be more consistent to target and easier to catch. There should be fish schooled or scattered along the deeper edges in 15-20ft and these will eat a slow rolled plastic, hopped blade or tail spinner and even a dressed blade. You could move out even deeper and find them schooling off deep flats and points in 35-60ft. A vertically presented plastic is an easy way of getting your lure in front of the fish at these depths. By sounding around, you can find fish and drop your plastic straight down on top of them. A nice slow roll up through them should be all it takes to get some bites. LAKE GLENBAWN Lake Glenbawn’s weed beds really haven’t survived well over the past six months; with the constant dropping water levels over summer they haven’t had a chance. There will still be small patches found throughout the lake and these will definitely hold fish at this time of year. Following a similar pattern to St Clair the fish will be deep but starting to transition into shallower water. When the fish start to get shallow in Glenbawn they have a tendency to sit in 15-20ft of water. Low light and stirred up water are key for catching these fish up on the edge as they move freely away from structure looking

A deep diving suspending jerkbait used with long pauses to allow the fish to travel up out of the deep or long distances is ideal. Long casts are needed to allow the jerkbait to get

The deep curl-tail grub will be your go-to lure for fishing deep. down to its maximum diving depth. After it has landed, a nice slow roll to get it down followed by 2-3 hard rips and a long pause (up to 20 seconds) can be all it takes. A super slow rolled plastic grub or paddle-tail worked through the edge fish may work too. Another option for targeting these suspended shut down fish is a spybait. Use long casts and count down the spybait to the desired depth then slow roll back through the fish. Glenbawn’s steep banks are great for extending the low light bite. As the sun gets up they cast a shadow onto


“Drop in and ask our friendly staff what they’re biting on!” Jack Maunder worked a skirted jig around some rocks at lake St Clair for this decent bass.



ABERDEEN Phone 69 New England Hwy, [02] 6543 7111 Aberdeen NSW 2336 70

APRIL 2018

tight to the bank and around any structure you can find. A standard 2-3 rips and pause are enough to see if they are onto a jerkbait bite. Follow this up with a bladed jig, spinnerbait or crankbait for a reaction bite. A skirted jig and craw dragged along the bottom or even a slow rolled grub or paddle-tail off the

for food. Topwater should be your first option for chasing these fish this month. A fastmoving large surface lure like a prop bait, paddler or walking bait is great. These can cover water quickly looking for any active fish. From here a slow and methodical approach to fishing these edge fish is key.

April. Any way up from the Narrows you should be able to find some deep schooling fish. Slow rolling plastic grubs and hopping a blade or a tail spinner through the fish in 30-60ft of water will

the water; you can chase these shadows late into the morning. Once that sun is out and it is hot and glassed-out, targeting deeper fish should allow you to continue catching fish. Fish should be spread out throughout the lake, but the back half of the lake tends to fish better in

work. An ice jig is another option that works well on these deep fish this month. By working the ice jig in front of the fish’s face you can sometimes get a reaction strike out of them. All things considered, April lure fishing can be fussy. Get the weather and moon phase right and you will have a ball. Try and replicate it the next day and you will be left scratching your head. The bait anglers will reap the rewards this month. If you can get hold of some live freshwater shrimp you can almost guarantee some fish. Tying up to the tops of trees in water around 30-40ft deep is a good method. Sink your shrimp slowly down the tree lightly weighted and hooked just through the tail. Any fish in the area shouldn’t take too long to find your bait. If you can’t get a hold of any shrimp, crickets can also work, whether they are black crickets or pet shop ones. In the local rivers the fish will be starting to spread out through the whole system now. Some bass will have started their transition downstream in preparation for spawning. All the upper reaches and creeks have suffered from the hot, dry summer and need rain to get them flowing again. If you stick to the main rivers like the Hunter, Paterson and Williams, they have maintained flow from their vast catchments and lakes releasing water. These main rivers should hold good numbers of fish this month. The lack of rain may have allowed the salt water to come up a long way in the rivers. In the Hunter around Raymond Terrace there has been a crossover of salt and freshwater species. If you are chasing bass, keep this in mind as that transition point may be higher upriver now.

Photo credit: Department of Industry & Investment NSW

Protect your favourite fishing spot Look out for WATER WEEDS Water weeds are invasive plants that threaten our waterways. The Murray/Darling river system is at high risk of invasion by water weeds. WATER WEEDS RUIN WATERWAYS BY: • forming large floating mats, dense submerged thickets or extensive stands along banks; • creating drowning hazards; • reducing water quality; • reducing the abundance of fish and other aquatic life;

• Learn to recognise water weeds. Be on the lookout for new or unusual water plants. Weed profiles are available in NSW WeedWise, via the free smartphone app and online at: A list of serious water weeds in NSW can be found by using the advanced search in NSW WeedWise (select weed category)

SALVINIA (Salvinia molesta): a floating water weed.

WATER HYACINTH (Eichhornia crassipes): a floating water weed.

• Avoid weed-infested waterbodies and stop the engine in infested areas.

• restricting access to fishing spots;

• Report suspicious plants to your local council Biosecurity Officer.

• fouling fishing gear and making it difficult to land fish.



By law biosecurity is everybody’s business. Water weeds threaten our biosecurity and come under the new Biosecurity Act 2015 in NSW.

• Plants move from one waterbody to another attached to boats, watercraft, trailers and fishing gear. • Propellers and anchors cut plants into pieces that can still survive, spreading them around waterbodies. A single fragment can start a new infestation. • Some weeds can survive considerable time out of water attached to boats, trailers and gear. WHICH WEEDS ARE A PROBLEM? Alligator weed, salvinia, water hyacinth, water lettuce and cabomba are the main plants to look out for and report.

WATER LETTUCE (Pistia stratiotes): a floating water weed.

CABOMBA (Cabomba caroliniana): a submerged water weed.

Every person and organisation needs to do their bit to protect the economy, environment and community from the risks posed by water weeds. This is now part of your “general biosecurity duty”.

ALLIGATOR WEED (Alternanthera philoxeroides): an emergent water weed that can also grow on land.

WHAT CAN YOU DO? • Use NSW WeedWise to find out about the biosecurity duties for water weeds in your area (go to or get the app)


• Talk to your local council Biosecurity Officer about water weeds on your property

• Inspect and remove any plants from watercraft, trailers and equipment before leaving a location or launching at a new location.

For more information about the Biosecurity Act 2015 visit www.dpi.nsw. or email

Inspecting and removing water plants from watercraft, trailers and gear can help reduce the spread of water weeds.

Report to your local council Biosecurity Officer or the NSW Invasive Plants and Animals Enquiry Line on 1800 680 244 or email Further information on water weeds can be found at

APRIL 2018


Plenty of golden perch are around in autumn ROBINVALE

Rod Mackenzie

Along the Murray River, anglers are enjoying some first-class angling action. Swan Hill has had

to really get going as the pending change of season kickstarts a very hot bite. Golden perch have also been on the chew in the Murray around Swan Hill with most fish taking baits in the deeper holes. Scrub worms and local river shrimp have

similar story around Mildura where golden perch catches are the norm amongst those wetting a line. In truth the bite continues downstream into South Australia where local anglers can never remember the perch biting so well. Anglers fishing the

had me scratching around the tackle box in search of a lure. As luck would have it a small StumpJumper with rust-tainted hooks provided an opportunity to cast the many bank side snags. Second snag in the small lure plopped down behind a log out of the main flow. A few cranks of the handle and the small lure wobbled out of sight only to be smashed hard by a good-sized perch. This happened several times

over the next few hours as the perch all but lined up to engulf the small lure. Most snags I cast at would produce at least one bite if not a fish. It’s not uncommon when casting lures for golden perch for these fish to flick or short strike the lure and this happened quite a few times. This can at times be very subtle and may be dismissed as light contact with a twig or other structure. If at any time during your retrieval,

you suspect there may have been a show of interest from a fish, cast back to the same spot. It’s amazing how often that small tap turns into a solid fish. As the mornings begin to cool and the demand for irrigation drops away the fishing in our local waters will only get better. There are still no serious cod reports from Robinvale, Wemen, Mildura or Wentworth that can be verified. Maybe next month will be better.

This chunky golden perch took a small StumpJumper lure cast from the bank at Wemen on the Murray River. a boom in cod captures this season and remains a favourite location for local and visiting anglers alike. Murray cod to 108cm have been caught on lures and bait along the Murray from the road bridge upstream to Pental Island this past month. Surface lures are also claiming a bit of cod action with several cod landed to 96cm off the top recently. I expect the cod fishing

been the best baits and the larger of these perch have stretched the tape measure out to 50cm. While it is cod season, it seems someone forgot to tell the perch, as anglers are enjoying one of the best bites seen for many years. As you make your way down along the Murray River, Boundary Bend, Robinvale and Wemen are all reporting good numbers of golden perch on bait and lures. It’s a

Murray River near Renmark have reported catches of up to 20 perch and the odd Murray cod in a single day’s fishing. Most of these fish have been caught on lures with small minnow patterns working well. I also took advantage of the perch bite and wet a line from the bank at Wemen on several occasions this past month. On my first visit I intended to soak a few baits but the excellent water clarity

Anglers can expect to see more cod captures in the Murray River around Swan Hill as the season starts to change.

Perfect conditions expected for Murray cod YARRAWONGA

Tony Bennett

Conditions are nearing perfect as the summer sun eases, and it’s time to be hitting the home of the Murray cod, Lake Mulwala. The word on everybody’s lips at the moment is weed. Vast amounts have flourished in recent times. The weed has brought on concentrations of cod, and some big ones at that. The most successful anglers have been fishing either faces of weed beds or small pockets around timber. Spinnerbaits and hardbodied lures have been producing a plethora of smaller fish while larger surface and sub-surface lures have generally accounted for the bigger models. It may be your last chance for a year or two to fish this type of structure, as the drawdown will hopefully kill it off for a while. For those who haven’t seen a Lake Mulwala drawdown, this is about to happen in early May. This 72

APRIL 2018

creates a unique opportunity to get out on the lake and have a look at the vast amounts of structure and find where the cod live. To witness what lies on the lake floor gives you a whole new perspective on how and where you could find fish once it’s full again. The lake fishes extremely well during this time. Don’t miss this opportunity that only comes around every four years or so. Looking back, there has been plenty to talk about when it comes to who’s catching what. Local gun footballer Brad O’Connor laid claim to a magnificent 113cm cod on a cast spinnerbait. Steve ‘Big Gun’ Cannon was another to lose a bit of string to a healthy cod; this time it was a 91cm cracker that took a liking to his spinnerbait worked across the top of the weed. Big cod specialist Craig Leehane had a magnificent pre-fish day before the Da$h 4 Ca$h pulling a 96cm then backing it up with a 110cm on the same day; unfortunately he went a bit hard too early and couldn’t find the same fish during the competition! While on the Da$h 4 Ca$h, 140 anglers gathered

mid-February to fight it out for the $11,000 worth of prizes. Throughout the three sessions, 65 legals

morning’s 1st place team was Brendan Hawkes and Brad Everett; 2nd – Mathew and Peter Pejkovic; 3rd –

morning’s 1st place team was Col Hyland and Simon Weir; 2nd – Lance Curry and Zac Jury; 3rd – Mike

Adam Trembath with a healthy 85cm Murray River cod caught on a Bassman spinnerbait. were caught. The longest for the weekend went to a very excited Darryl Keirl who boated a magnificent 102.8cm specimen – a great cod to catch in any competition. Saturday

Dave Adams and Justin Rees. Saturday arvo’s 1st place team was Mike Bressan and Mick Massier; 2nd – Lance Curry and Zac Jury; 3rd – Derek Davis and Tony Hayward. Sunday

Bressan and Mick Massier. Below the weir, fishing has been outstanding with huge numbers being caught with some monsters mixed in amongst them. The recent Native Fish Challenge saw the

lucky winner land an absolute giant measuring 122cm on a surface lure. Local fella and all-round nice guy Adam ‘Elvis’ Trembath was another to have a bit of fun recently landing a healthy 85cm on a spinnerbait along with a handful of others for the afternoon. I would like to pass on the condolences of the whole fishing community to the family of Dave ‘Grizzly’ Adams. Dave was a great fellow who loved his family, fishing, fossicking and motorbikes. He excelled at competition fishing and took home plenty of cash and prizes, even at the recent Da$h 4 Ca$h. Unfortunately his life was cut short in a tragic motorbike accident. Rest in peace, ‘Team Grizzly. • 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.

All species feeding hard! BATLOW

Wayne Dubois

This month at Blowering Dam the Murray cod and golden perch will be getting the urge to feed hard, and although they will be best targeted early and late in the day at this time of the year, especially if the weather isn’t too hot, they will feed actively right through the middle of the day.

chatterbaits, as these types of lures ride through the weed better than most other lures. Another technique that has worked really well on these weed huggers is to cast into the weed with a lipless crankbait and rip it back out, both freeing the lure from weed and attracting the fish’s attention at the same time. This technique can sometimes turn on the most shut down fish and is worth a shot if you’re not getting any action on the abovementioned lures.

be your last chance to get a good fix. Trout and redfin will start to get the urge to spawn late this month. This means really good fishing, as the fish feed hard prior to spawning and also become super territorial once they get that spawning urge. TANTANGARA DAM This lake has fished exceptionally well all summer. There has been great numbers of smaller rainbows and browns around to keep anglers quite happy,

Casting trout-coloured sinking hardbodies like this rainbow trout coloured Insanity Tackle SSO Mino has been working consistently at Tantangara Dam. It seems land-based anglers have been faring best, so don’t be deterred if you don’t own a boat. this type of lure for trolling is the option to vary your trolling depth by simply putting a heavier or lighter jighead on.

The above-mentioned lures are also great for casting to finicky trout, but when casting in particular, I prefer to use the sinking

minnow lures. Anything in rainbow or brown trout colours should see you with a bend in your rod on a regular basis.

The quality of the trout at Tantangara Dam this season has been sensational. GOLDEN PERCH Golden perch will be worth targeting up in the shallows of the lake this month, as these natives love to bask in the warmer water

REDFIN Casting around the margins of Blowering, either from the bank or a boat, will give you a good chance of catching a bag

Golden perch will be most active in the shallows of Blowering Dam this month. and lie in thick pockets of grass or weed waiting to ambush any easy meal that swims or crawls by. I like to target these fish with lures like Angel Baits, plastics and

full of redfin this month. Make the most of it, as these fish will soon form large pre-spawn schools in deep water, so if you are land-based, this month will

but lucky anglers and those willing to put the hard yards in have got into some large brown trout as well. Most of the big brown trout action has been just on dark and after dark, with a lot of activity during the wee hours of the morning. Most people target the resident trout by trolling winged Tassie Devil styled lures, which does work well at times, but the big ‘educated’ trout that have been caught a few times before generally won’t fall for the same old trick again. I like to use something a little different to increase my chances of fooling one of those monsters that live in the lake. Over many years of trial and error, I’ve worked out that trout love to hit trolled and cast lipless crankbaits, with a preference for a gold colour, however I’ve also caught my fair share on white, red, black, striped and trout colours as well. Give your lipless crankbaits a shot next time you’re hitting the trout lakes – you will be surprised at how well they work! Paddle-tail soft plastics rigged on jigheads ranging from 1/8-1/2oz are also great trout trolling lures. If you haven’t used them before, I’d recommend giving them a shot, especially when conventional winged lures aren’t working. The other major advantage of using

Redfin will be just in reach of land-based anglers this month, but will form massive pre-spawn schools towards the end of the month and will move out to deeper water better suited to boat fishing. If you don’t own a boat, make the most of it this month.

DAM LEVELS Dam............................... % Full

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

Dam Jan Feb March Blowering 45 39 39 Brogo 102 96 101 Burrendong 55 46 40 Burrinjuck 65 56 46 Carcoar 80 74 66 Chaffey 84 78 73 Clarrie Hall n/a n/a n/a Copeton 39 31 29 Dartmouth 88 89 89 Eucumbene 41 39 36 Glenbawn 81 79 77 Glenlyon 69 60 57

Dam Jan Feb March Glennies Creek 74 71 69 Hume 68 60 51 Jindabyne 74 70 64 Keepit 32 19 14 Lostock 71 61 57 Oberon 76 72 69 Pindari 86 65 60 Split Rock 29 19 16 Tantangara 40 30 22 Toonumbar 100 100 101 Windamere 46 44 43 Wyangala 80 75 72

(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.)


Tasty miso crusted salmon with crunchy rice BRISBANE

Lynn Bain

This recipe is very easy to make. It’s a slightly salty, savoury and sophisticated dish – if there is such a taste as sophisticated, then miso has it. The red miso paste that I use as part of the crust on the fish in this recipe is available at most supermarkets in the Asian section. You may also notice white miso paste in the same area of the supermarket. You could use either in this recipe, however I prefer red miso because it has a more pronounced flavour than the white miso, and red miso also adds an excellent colour to the crust on the salmon. The quantities in this recipe will serve two.


Ingredients • 2 salmon steaks • 2 tbsp red miso paste • 3 tbsp soy sauce

Add the brown sugar.


3 6

5 74

APRIL 2018

Place the salmon steaks onto a clean work surface and spread the miso paste mixture over the flesh side of the salmon. Place the coated salmon steaks into the fridge, skin side down, for half an hour to allow the flavour of the miso paste mixture to partner with the salmon and for the coating to firm up.

• 1 tbsp brown sugar • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar • hot steamed rice • uncooked vegetables • noodles

Add the rice wine vinegar to the miso mixture.

Heat your bbq plate or heavy-based cast iron frypan to a medium-high heat. When it’s hot, oil it lightly with some cooking oil. Place the salmon skin-side down onto the hot surface and cook for three minutes before carefully turning the salmon over. Cook on the flesh side briefly to get some heat into the miso paste. Remove the salmon from the heat and place to one side on a plate. The salmon will continue to cook for a little while after you take it off the heat, so ensure that there is a sliver of pink flesh through the centre of your salmon steak when you remove it from the heat.



Place the red miso paste into a cup or small bowl. Add the soy sauce and stir together well. The paste is quite thick and it will take a bit of stirring to incorporate the soy sauce into the miso paste.

Mix until well blended.

The miso crusted salmon with the rice medley is ready to be served – the rice/veggie mixture is a simple combo of steamed rice accompanied by slivers of carrot and sliced Asian greens as well as slivers of red onion. Top the rice/vegie medley with some Asian crispy noodles for that crunchy texture. These can be purchased at most supermarkets.


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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. APRIL 2018


WSBB launches East Coast Bream Series Western Sydney Bream and Bass (WSBB), a fishing club in the western Sydney area, is pleased to announce a new tournament series for bream anglers, the East Coast Bream Series!

year, WSBB saw this as an opportunity to expand. WSBB hopes the East Coast Bream Series will raise funds for the club, expose more people to competitions, and most

Harbour, arguably one of the best bream fisheries in Australia, on 21 October. The live weigh-ins are sure to draw a crowd, and this series will obviously be a catch a release series,

The East Coast Bream Series will see some of the best bream anglers in the business going head to head.

The series hopes to promote the sport of bream angling, and to expose more people to competition fishing. With the success of the Bream Skins Knock out series and various other bream and bass comps since the club’s inception, and cancellation of the Southern Bream Series, the timing seemed right for a 4-round bream series in the Sydney and Greater Sydney. The last three years has seen the club running a Bream Skins, and with no other local bream series this

importantly, promote bream angling and get more people chasing this wonderful sportfish. The East Coast Bream Series will consist of four rounds and a grand final. The rounds will take place at Botany bay on 13 May, St Georges Basin on 24 June, Hawkesbury on 22 July, and Lake Macquarie on 23 September. The grand final will take place on Sydney

which will further help to promote catch and release angling practise. If you’re a bream angler in the Sydney area and want to test your skills against some of the best in the business, and possibly win some cash and prizes, make sure you check out the east Coast Bream Series! For more information, visit the WSBB website on - FMG

With some of the best bream fisheries on its doorstep, Sydney is a fantastic place to run a bream series.

South Coast Mighty Bonanza has moved its dates! Lock in 13-15 April on your fishing calendar and prepare for a huge weekend of fishing fun to be enjoyed by the whole family. Tens of thousands of dollars in prizes will be up for grabs and there’s also cold hard cash to be won in the $2000

Kingfish Shootout. TV and print media personality Rob Paxevanos has graciously accepted our invitation to come be part of the festivities. Kids, come say hello to rob and maybe you will get a special prize! The first 150 juniors registered as part of a family entry receive a free Garmin

Register online to be part of the fishy fun.

There are plenty of categories to enter into, so you can catch your favourite fish. 76

APRIL 2018

shirt, Shimano hat and face buff valued at $130, and the following 100 juniors registered as part of a family receive a show bag valued at $80. Early bird gets the worm – or prize! Let’s beat last year’s competitor numbers –

enter your family, friends and fishing buddies. For more information and to get your online early bird registration go to www. or visit us on Facebook www.facebook. com/scmbfc/. – South Coast Mighty Bonanza

The South Coast Mighty Bonanza is an event for the whole family.

Chen kicks off the Hobie Kayak Bream Series The 2018 Hobie Kayak Bream Series 10 started off in style on 10-11 February with 102 anglers entering round one at Bemm River in Victoria. Anglers from all over Australia competed in the two-day competition at the bream fishing Mecca in East Gippsland. On the Friday pre-fish day anglers hit the event arena and a reasonable number of them reported pulling in solid bags. JONATHAN CHEN TAKES THE WIN Day One Chen started off the competition on day one by heading to his marks near the mouth of Bemm River, beginning with a 3ft deep flat. The water was crystal clear with no wind, and finding the fish a bit spooky, he only managed a few small undersize bream on a Greedy-guts 66. “My patience wore thin having the lure fowl up on loose weed nearly every cast,” he said. “To help avoid this, I switched to a Damiki Armor Shad 3” plastic in skin

bass re-coloured green with a green Spike It pen,” said Jonathan Chen. Chen ended the day with a 2.85kg bag and the lead going into Day Two. Day Two “The weather was bad due to the wind, but it was all go for the tournament. I headed straight to my first spot and they weren’t there. Moving just 10m and a tad deeper – 4.5ft – I managed

legal. The media boat arrived for a few happy snaps while fighting the fish. There were a few hairy moments where the fish would take a big run while I was trying to net it. Managing to get the fish in the boat, my second legal was a 37cm bream. A short time later, switching to a Damiki Armor Shad in skin blue, a 30cm bream was added to my bag. I moved to another drop-off, catching

positions were very close for sure!” Bogdan was using a Miller Custom rod, Daiwa Exist, Steez and Certate reels, Sunline 3lb fluorocarbon line and 5lb Varivas Braid. His go-to lures were a Daiwa Spike, Jackall Chubby in brown suji shrimp colour and a ZMan Grub in motor oil.

DIVISION WINNERS The Youth division (16-20 years) was won by Jack Gammie from NSW. Michelle Gamble (Vic) took out the Women’s division. The Master’s (60-64 years old) was tied, taken by Lex Court from NSW and Gary Hanson from Vic. John Ellis from NSW took the Grand

WINNING TACKLE Rod: Miller Bream Buster Reel: Shimano Stradic C14 Line: 3lb fluourocarbon straight-through Lure: D  amiki Amour Shad, skin blue, Damiki D Grubb and Juro Firebait Kayak: Hobie Pro Anger 1a4 EVENT STATS Total fish day one:................. 256 Total fish day two:................. 236 Total fish:................................ 492 Total weight:........................... 333.44kg Average weight:..................... 0.68kg

Jonathan Chen took the victory in the first round of the 2018 Hobie Kayak Bream Series 10.

“There were a few hairy moments where the fish would take a big run while I was trying to net it,” said Jonathan Chen. blue and began searching the area for legal-sized bream. “At 9:30am, drifting over patchy weed and working my plastic faster over the weed, I quickly managed to fill my bag with three 37cm bream. With a good bag already, I decided to keep moving, leaving the spot for the next day to find a new area holding fish for day two.” About 100m from his main location, Chen scored himself a good upgrade – a 42cm bream. “The fishing was quiet. Changing to a Damiki D Grub on a 1/12oz jighead then casting at a small drop-off, I was rewarded on the drop. After a few more casts, each time leaving the plastic sitting on the bottom for 10 seconds, Chen upgraded another fish from 37cm to a 39cm specimen. “With the wind blowing harder, I decided to do a long drift heading towards Bobs Bay and making long casts into the wind. I had another small upgrade of 50g on the Damiki Armor Shad in baby

into the wind, allowing the lure to move slower in the water column. With casting into the wind and changing the jig head to a 1/8 I finally managed to get another good upgrade on a grub. “Hoping I had enough to keep me up at the top, at 12pm I decided to head back to the flats out the front of the launch spot, as the wind was bad and I didn’t want to risk being late. I landed a couple

to get two undersize bream in two casts on the Damiki Armor Shad in baby bass and coloured UV green. Deciding to slow down and fish the area thoroughly finally produced my first legal – a 40cm bream. “Switching to a shadtype lure produced another

bream after bream for about an hour, all being around 31-33cm, upgrading a bit at a time.” After upgrading his bag a few times, it was back to his original location. “The wind was really blowing now – to my advantage I started casting

of good fish but no upgrades. It was a nervous wait as anyone had the chance for a massive 3kg+ bag. Weighing in last, my bag went 2.71kg. It was enough to keep me on top and take out my second win at Bemm River with a total of 5.56kg.” BOGDAN ZISU TAKES SECOND Bogdan Zisu from Victoria had a great weekend and almost pulled off the round win. “With Tony Pettie weighing in six fish at 5.18kg and moving to the top of the leader board, then David Shanahan knocking off Tony with a 5.22kg bag, I was unsure what my total would be and was very surprised to see my bag tip the scales at 5.26kg. It was a great weekend and one that will be remembered for some time. The top five

He fished out of a Hobie Pro Anger 14 kayak. The Atomic Big Bream winner was Dale Baxter from Victoria with a 1.29kg bream. Neil Hutchins from SA was the Mortgage Corp Monster Mover.

Master’s division and the Pro Angler 17 Tandem (Teams) division win went to Jamie Bowdon and Tammy Arnold, also from NSW. Matthew Lang (SA) was the winning First Time Competitor. – Hobie Cat Australia ONLINE TOURNAMENT TACKLE STORE





The competition started off in style with 102 anglers entering round one at Bemm River in Victoria.

0425 230 964 – SHOP 18, 29 KIORA RD MIRANDA NSW 2228 APRIL 2018


Mario jigs Geneo for victory Victorian breamer Mario Vukic kick-started the 2018 Costa BREAM Series in grand style with the 2017 runner-up claiming victory in the opening round of the tour, the Costa Mallacoota BREAM Qualifier held on 13-14 February. Proving that he’s the angler to watch when the Costa tour comes to town, Vukic went one step better than his runner-up title in 2017 to claim victory in the opening round of the 2018 Costa BREAM Series. Fishing the Genoa rock walls for the event Vukic keyed in on a 100m stretch as the pick of the areas to fish and it was here that he fished a deepwater soft plastic and Cranka Crab approach to catch his fish each day. “My game plan was to find a location that would produce numbers of fish.


Mario Vukic with a brace of Mallacoota winning bream. lure,” explained Mario. The approach paid dividends with Vukic catching 25 legal fish on day

BIG BREAM Glen Sturrock claimed the Daiwa J-Braid Big Bream Prize with the BREAM tour veteran picking up the $500 winning fish on day one on a super wakasagi coloured OSP Dunk crankbait. Caught off a snag on the edge it was Sturrock’s only fish for the session. For more information on the Costa BREAM Series head to – ABT

Then it was a matter of picking through them and catching the occasional bigger fish – the fish that you want to have in your bag

one and another 20 legals on the shortened day two, his limit coming by 12pm on day one and by 9am on day two.

While the ZMan was Mario’s bag filler it was a 3” Gene Larew Baby Hoodaddy and a light Cranka Crab that delivered him his upgrades for the tournament. On day one it was the Hoodaddy that delivered the upgrade magic in a technique that was a mixture of aggression and inactivity, Mario explained. “The key with the Hoodaddy was to give it a series of aggressive flicks then deadstick it and allow it to sink back down on slack line. It looks just like a prawn coming back down to the bottom when you work it this way.”

Glen Sturrock caught the standout fish at Mallacoota claiming the Daiwa J-Braid Big Bream Prize with his day one kicker fish.

Visit for entry forms. For general enquiries phone ABT on (07) 3387 0888. 78

APRIL 2018

when you deliver it to the scales,” explained Vukic. Vukic’s go-to lure first up each morning was a motor oil coloured 2.5” ZMan GrubZ rigged on either a 1/16oz or 1/12oz jighead. Its presentation involved casting it tight to the edge then hopping it down the rock slope and back to the boat. “The bank dropped off into about 15-20ft of water and it was as I hopped the lure off the slope and just as it was about to hit the bottom that most of the fish bit the

On day two it was the Cranka Crab that proved the hero with Vukic catching a kicker fish on it. “After catching my limit on day two the plan was to move to the shallows but I decided to tie on a Cranka Crab and it paid off. I caught a 1kg+ fish which anchored my bag, and in the end it was this fish that helped me claim the event win,” explained Mario. The kicker fish in his 3.59kg day two limit it was enough to enable Vukic to leapfrog Dan Mackrell into 1st place to claim his maiden win on the Costa BREAM Series, on a waterway that carries much personal significance. “My parents brought me to Mallacoota when I was a child, and now as a parent I bring my kids here as well. It’s a place that is dear to myself and my family, so to win my first event here is very fitting and further adds to the specialness of the win and our love of ‘Coota,” explained Mario. For his win Vukic cashed a $3200 winner’s cheque and pencilled his name in as a qualifier for the Costa BREAM Grand Final in Victoria in November. The victory also cemented his name as one of the anglers to look out for when the Costa tour comes to Victoria.

TOP 10 BOATERS Place Angler

Fish Weight (kg)


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

10/10 10/10 10/10 10/10 10/10 10/10 8/10 10/10 10/10 10/10

$3,200 $1800, Duffrods Big Bag (3,76kg) $1300, 1st Mercury Bonus $1150, 2nd Mercury Bonus $975, 3rd Mercury Bonus $800 $650 $500 $500 $500


7.11 7.10 6.29 5.87 5.86 5.70 5.69 5.44 5.32 5.21

For full result listings, see

Mack attack at Coota Dan Mackrell compiled two solid days on the water at Mallacoota to claim 2nd place in the boater division to punch his ticket for the Costa BREAM Grand Final and head home $1800 richer for the weekend. Fishing the Narrows area for the tournament the Frogleys Offshore sponsored bream pro, like many anglers in the field, chose a soft plastic approach to catch his fish, namely a 2” motor oil colour curl-tail grub rigged on a 1/20oz Seeker jighead. Working areas of varying

depth from 50cm on the edge out to the secondary drop-off in 2.5m, Mackrell fished tight to the bottom. “The fish were positioned tight to structure regardless of the depth so it was important to keep the lure in touch with the bottom,” explained Dan. It wasn’t solely a soft plastic approach for Mackrell, especially on day one, as the Victorian breamer fished the shallow flats with a 65mm Atomic Seekerz jerkbait in Tim’s prawn colour. “The key with the jerkbait

was the pause; you wanted to let it sit motionless for a long time to get the fish to eat it,” explained Mackrell. Out in the deep fishing his jighead rigged soft plastic, Mackrell found plenty of baitfish with tailor and bream sitting underneath them looking for an easy feed. While Dan could find the bream and the bait, it wasn’t until later in the day that the bream started to play. “They didn’t really fire here until mid-morning so I spent time fishing other locations while I waited for them to turn on,” explained Mackrell. When they did turn on the action was fast and furious with Dan catching 30 legal fish for day one and a dozen on day two. It was a late start for the bite to turn on day two and it wasn’t until the last hour and half of the reduced four-hour session that he caught his first fish. “My non-boater had four

DUFFRODS BIG BAG Event runner-up Dan Mackrell secured the Duffrods Big Bag for the tournament, with the Atomic-sponsored angler claiming the prize for his 5/5, 3.76kg day one limit. The standout limit for the tournament, Dan’s XOS sack was enough to give him the lead heading into day two, but unfortunately wasn’t enough to hold off Mario Vukic for the event win.


Dan Mackrell found the big fish at Coota, falling 10g short of claiming victory. fish and I had nothing, so I was starting to get a little worried. I reminded myself to stay focused, and the fish eventually came, including my limit and a few upgrades,” explained Mackrell. Weighing in a 3.34kg

limit for the session Mackrell unfortunately didn’t have enough weight to hold off eventual winner Mario Vukic, falling 10g short of claiming victory. “To lose and to lose by that little definitely

hurts,” explained a heartbroken Mackrell. The tackle Mackrell used included Samurai Reaction rods (models 101 and 181), Daiwa Ignis reels, 8lb Unitika Aorika and X4 braid and 3lb Unitika fluorocarbon leader.

Badrock bags out for Coota non boater victory Doug Badrock punched his ticket for December’s Victorian Costa BREAM Grand Final with the Bright-based tournament gun claiming a comprehensive non

Zman Grub on jighead

boater victory at Mallacoota. Fishing with Robert Lee on day one Badrock started his day fishing the northern side of Goodwin Sands, throwing a brown

suji coloured Atomic Jerk Minnow, and twitching and pausing it above the weed beds. “The lure and technique paid off and I caught my first fish for the session. We then

Cranka Crab

15-20’ deep

TOP 10 NON BOATERS Place Angler


Weight (kg) Payout




2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10


Costa Prize Pack, 1st Hobie Bonus Simon JOHNSON 10/10 5.27 Tonic Sunglasses, Prize Pack Bowan JOINER 9/10 4.96 Atomic Arrowz rod, Prize Pack, 2nd Hobie Bonus Blair BRYANT 7/10 4.30 Daiwa LT Exceler reel, Prize Pack, 3rd Hobie Bonus Grant OLIVER 7/10 4.07 Prize Pack Stuart WALKER 7/10 4.06 Prize Pack Michael THOMPSON 6/10 3.83 Prize Pack Ben SHUEY 6/10 3.64 Prize Pack Paul LANGLEY 6/10 3.44 Prize Pack Chris HEAD 6/10 2.94 Prize Pack For full result listings, see

moved and headed to the southeastern side of Goodwin Sands,” explained Badrock. Fishing water 0.9-1.3m deep, the pair keyed in on an area that had plenty of weed and, most importantly, sand patches scattered throughout. “This is where I caught all my legals for the day, and just like the fish I caught earlier they fell to a slow-rolled, twitched and paused Atomic Jerk Minnow. The slower, the better was definitely the key when it came to the retrieve,” explained Badrock. Badrock’s two go-to colours for his Atomic Jerk Minnow were a brown suji and a brown colour. While the Goodwin Sands’ bream loved Badrock’s Jerk Minnows and choice of colours, they did make him work for them and it wasn’t until the last ten minutes of the session that he caught his fifth fish for the day. Sitting in 5th place at the end of day one and paired with day one leader Dan Mackrell for day two, Doug was feeling positive about what day two had to offer. With angling time a premium on day two due to the reduced session, Badrock wanted to get them and he wanted to get them early, and that’s definitely how it played out. Fishing in 1.5-3m of water the pair spot locked on a particular location, targeting fish feeding on baitfish in the area. “The bream were sitting bellow the baitfish and it didn’t take long to get them to bite. I caught four fish in the first 40 minutes – the fourth was fat 39cm yellowfin,”

Doug Badrock claimed a solid victory in the nonboater division at the Costa-presented event. explained Badrock. Doug’s fifth fish proved hard to catch and it wasn’t until the last 20 minutes of the session that he caught it. His gun lure was the bloodworm and motor oil coloured 2.5” ZMan GrubZ rigged on a variety of jigheads, ranging from 1/12-1/8oz in weight. “The 1/8oz was the go-to when the wind really got up because you could cast further and keep the lure in contact with the bottom,” explained Badrock. While Badrock and Mackrell caught fish throughout the session the bites came in 10

minute windows. “The bites came in waves and we found as the day progressed the quicker hops and twitches would draw the best reaction from the fish,” explained Badrock. Badrock weighed in a 5/5, 3.35kg limit to claim victory and secure an 800g win over Simon Johnson in 2nd place in doing so becoming the owner of a new pair of Costa sunglasses, securing a berth in the Costa BREAM Grand Final, and claiming his first win on the Costa BREAM tour.

WINNING TACKLE Rod: G.Loomis TSR 862-2 Reel: Daiwa Steez 2004 Line: 10lb (0.6 PE) Sunline Castaway PE Leader: 3lb Sunline FC Rock Lure: 2.5” ZMan Grubz in motor oil rigged on either a 1/16oz or 1/12oz jighead, 3” Gene Larew Baby Hoodaddy and an olive coloured light Cranka Crab. Shrimp flavoured Pro Cure scent was also added to the lures. APRIL 2018


Cam crushes field for Gippy win


Cam Whittam added another BREAM trophy to his mantel piece at round two of the Costa BREAM Series with the gun Victorian breamer compiling a 10/10, 10.37kg limit to claim victory in the 2nd event of the Viccy Tour, the Atomic Gippsland Lakes BREAM Qualifier on 17-18 February. Calling upon his extensive knowledge and experience fishing the vast Gippsland Lakes fishery, Whittam fished two key areas to claim the win. On day one he focused on the Mitchell River flats and on day two the Mitchell River flats and the shallow reef at the mouth of the Tambo River. Fishing the shallow reef on the Mitchell River flats – an area that many boats in the field were fishing – Whittam found the fish, but found getting them to bite wasn’t always easy. “I was fishing in 3-4ft of water and picked up

Atomic Gippsland Lakes victor Cam Whittam holds aloft a pair of his tournament-winning bream. sitting in 2nd place at the end of the day. Returning to the Mitchell River flats at the start of day two, Cam once again found the going hard. At 10.30am, with only two fish in the

DAIWA J-BRAID BIG BREAM Wayne Hamilton claimed the Daiwa J-Braid Big Bream Prize at Gippsland Lakes with the Gippsland local securing the $500 prize on day two for his standout fish caught in 3ft of water at the Mitchell flats on a hardbody. The tackle Hamilton used to catch the prizewinning fish included a 2-4kg Duffrods Broken Bones rod and Daiwa Ignis 2004 reel.

Visit for entry forms. For general enquiries phone ABT on (07) 3387 0888. 80

APRIL 2018

and pinpointed fish with my Humminbird Helix sounder; getting them to bite however proved more challenging. The bite was ultra timid and I missed 8-10 fish each day, because they weren’t really committed in their bite,” explained Whittam. Fishing the Mitchell River flats on day one Whittam threw a two-lure punch, throwing a deep brown suji shrimp Jackall Chubby and a 2.5” ZMan GrubZ – the latter was used to catch his kicker fish. “There was plenty of algae in the water which greatly reduced the visibility. The Chubby was the perfect lure for these conditions because of the combination of rattle and UV, particularly when the sun was low and there was less light penetration into the water,” explained Whittam. The presentation for the Chubby involved a slow retrieve, bumping the bottom and walking the lure over structure as it swum through the water. The timid frugal bite proved challenging on day one with Whittam only catching five legal fish and a couple of undersize fish for the day. What he lacked in numbers he made up for in size with Cam weighing in a 5/5, 5.26kg limit to be

well, he pulled up stumps and changed location, heading to the mouth of the Tambo River in search of more productive water. Whittam also made a change in lure, swapping to an OSP Dunk in a variety of different colours. Cam’s changes paid dividends, finding fish at the Tambo that were more eager to eat than the timid fish at the Mitchell. “The fish at the Tambo were far less pressured and were more committed to eating the lure; getting them to the boat however was the hard part at times. I got

dusted by at least six fish for the day,” explained Cam. Within 30 minutes of arriving at the Tambo Whittam had filled his limit, his eventual bag weighing 5.11kg anchored by two 38.5cm fork-length fish. Weighing in two 5kg+ bags for the tournament Whittam claimed the victory in a canter, winning by a 2.16kg margin over event runner-up Jamie McKeown. In victory Whittam added $3100 to his career earnings and additionally value added his rewards with the $250 Mercury Bonus.

The big fish came out to play at Gippsland with Wayne Hamilton securing the Daiwa J-Braid Big Bream Prize.

TOP 10 BOATERS Place Angler


Weight (kg)

1 2

10/10 7/10

10.37 8.21

3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Cameron Whittam Jamie McKeown


$3100, 1st Mercury Bonus $1700, Duffrods Big Bag, 2nd Mercury Bonus Warren Carter 10/10 7.96 $1200, 3rd Mercury Bonus Brad Hodges 10/10 7.27 $1150 Christian Wardini 10/10 6.49 $950 Kris Hickson 8/10 6.42 $800 Grant Kime 9/10 6.08 $600 Mario Vukic 9/10 5.76 $500 Mark Cribbes 7/10 5.59 $500 Brad Roberts 7/10 4.95 $500 For full result listings, see

Yellow fever for podium finish Queensland Breamer Jamie McKeown made the long trip from home on the Gold Coast to Victoria for the opening rounds of the 2018 Costa BREAM Series with the 2017 BREAM Grand Final runner-up fishing like he was still at home chasing yellowfin bream rather than the black bream of the south to claim a top two at the Gippsland Lakes event. Fishing for the rarelytargeted yellowfin bream of Gippsland Lakes McKeown keyed in on the rock walls at Lakes Entrance during the pre-fish and it was here that he fished during the event. “After I found them

during the pre-fish I was confident that I’d have them to myself during the tournament because guys rarely target them down here. I perhaps wasn’t so confident that they would last for the whole tournament,” explained McKeown. Hitting the ground running on day one, McKeown went straight there from the start and started fishing. He worked water and walls in the 2-9m depth range. “The key was to look for walls with plenty of current flow and cast into the eddies. Sink your lure down to the bottom and if you could get it there, the

DUFFRODS BIG BAG Queenslander breamer Jamie McKeown picked up the Duffrods Big Bag with the Gold Coast tournament veteran catching the tournament’s standout bag on day one, a 5/5, 5.62kg limit of yellowfin bream caught from the rock walls at Lakes Entrance.

bream would generally eat it,” explained Jamie. The lure that he used was the lure that delivered him so much during last year’s Grand Final – the Cranka Crab. McKeown threw the 5.9 and 9.5g models in spotted and brown colours. “It was hard aggressive fishing. In many ways it was like jack fishing on the Gold Coast – super aggressive bites followed by a strong tussle to stop the bream finding its way home,” explained Jamie. The action was fast and furious from the get-go on day one with Jamie filling his limit by 9.30am. Upgrades followed throughout the session, and when McKeown dropped a 5.62kg limit of yellowfin bream on the weigh-in scales back at the Metung Hotel he turned heads and made plenty of people sit up and take notice. “Black bream have always dominated our events

in Victoria. There’s yellowfin down there but they rarely get considered as a viable option during a tournament. To see Jamie bring a bag of them in – and a bag that size – is something that’s never been done before,” explained ABT Tournament Director Simon Goldsmith. Day two however was the real challenge with a change in current flow and line breakage issues plagued McKeown’s day on the water. “The current wasn’t running the same, so it was more difficult to get the lure down to the fish. I also lost a few key fish because I’d run out of my main leader material and I had to use something else that wasn’t as robust in rocky situations. While Jamie found the quality of fish he’d been on the two days prior, regretfully he only managed to put two fish in the well. Weighing in a 2/5, 2.59kg limit for the

we moved out and fished the shallow reefy main flat,” explained Joiner. The bite when fishing the timber was anything but subtle with a pause of his lure followed by an aggressive hit. On the shallow flat, however, the fish were a bit more reserved with the

bream giving a slight nudge of the lure before Joiner would set the hook. The approach was exactly what the fish wanted with Joiner catching 12-15 fish for the session, including five legals and three upgrades. Weighing in a 5/5, 4.19kg limit on day one Joiner was


Event runner-up Jamie McKeown zigged when many anglers zagged, catching yellowfin bream on the rocks walls at Lakes Entrance to secure a podium finish. session McKeown slipped from 1st to 2nd to head home with thoughts of what may have been and growing plans for redemption in the 2018 Gippsland Lakes event.

The tackle McKeown used for the event included Samaki Zing Extreme and K2 rods, Ecooda Hawke II reel, 8lb Samaki braid and 6lb leader.

Joiner grubs and cranks to maiden victory Mallacoota breaming wunderkind Bowan Joiner once again showed his angling prowess with the talented East Gippsland angler claiming victory in the non-boater division of the Atomic Gippsland Lakes BREAM Qualifier.

Fishing the Mitchell River flats on day one Joiner and his boater target flooded timber in 3-10ft of water and finding bream holding tight to the base of the timber. “We worked through the area and once we fished all the timber we could find

Deep Jackall Chubby

OSP Dunk

Zman Grub on Jighead

Victorian young gun Bowan Joiner claimed the non-boater title at the Atomic-presented event.

Weedy bottom

Rocky bottom

TOP 10 NON BOATERS Place Angler


Weight (kg) Payout




2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Bowan Joiner

Costa Sunglasses, Prize Pack, 1st Hobie Bonus Tomas McIntosh 8/10 6.46 Tonic Sunglasses, Prize Pack, 2nd Hobie Bonus Wayne Hamilton 7/10 6.04 Atomic Arrowz Rod, Prize Pack, Daiwa J-Braid Big Bream, 3rd Hobie Bonus Peter Breukel 9/10 5.89 Daiwa Reel and Prize Pack Glen Sturrock 8/10 5.47 Prize Pack James Morgan 6/10 5.25 Prize Pack Grayson Fong 5/10 5.18 Prize Pack, Simon Johnson 8/10 4.90 Prize Pack Craig Johnson 7/10 4.64 Prize Pack Jason Sellings 7/10 3.97 Prize Pack For full result listings, see

sitting in 1st place heading into day two. A different boater and different location greeted Joiner on day two, with the Mallacoota local fishing the jetties at Paynesville. With a jighead rigged ZMan GrubZ tied on Joiner would skip his offering in under the structure to the waiting fish. “The fish were holding on the structure waiting for the current to deliver them food. The key was to skip the lure as far back into the shade as you could, let it sink to the bottom, then give it a

series of small hops and jerks as you worked it back to the boat,” explained Joiner. It was hard fishing with Joiner only catching two legal fish for the session, the first coming at 10am and the second at 2.20pm. Despite falling short of weighing his full limit for the session, Joiner had just enough to hold off a strong finishing Tom McIntosh for the win. The tackle Joiner used to catch his tournament winning fish included a Millerod 2-5kg Brawler rod matched to a 2500 Shimano

Stradic reel spooled with 6lb Sunline braid and 6lb Sunline FC Rock leader, and a Millerods 1-3kg Twitch Freak rod matched to a Daiwa 2506 Luvias reel spooled with 4lb Sunline braid and 4lb Sunline FC Rock leader. The lures he used included an OSP Dunk 48 in H-23 colour regularly smeared with S Factor, and a 2.5” ZMan GrubZ in motor oil and watermelon red flake colours rigged on 1/24oz Nitro jigheads.

WINNING TACKLE Rod: Duffrods Broken Bones BB 2852 and Titanium Series T8522 Reel: Daiwa Certate and Luvias 2506 Line: 12lb Sunline Castaway PE Leader: 4lb Sunline FC Rock Bream Special fluorocarbon Lure: Deep Jackall Chubby in brown suji shrimp, 2.5” ZMan Grubz in motor oil rigged on a 1/12oz jighead, and OSP Dunk in a variety of colours APRIL 2018


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






Evans Head Deep Sea Fishing Charters, 0428 828 835 Reel Time Fishing Charters Yamba 0428 231 962 Wooli Deep Sea Tours (02) 6649 7100


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


Freshest Fishing Tours 0421 405 221 Coffs Coast Sport Fishing 0434 517 683 The Rocks Fishing Charters 0412 074 147 Trial Bay Fishing Charters, 0427 256 556 South West Rocks Fishing Adventures 0411 096 717


Phone: 02 6566 0500

Crescent Head Holiday Rentals (02) 6566 0500 Macleay Valley Coastal Holiday Parks 1300 262 782



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


CENTRAL COAST Central Coast Holiday Parks 1800 241 342

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

*Minimum 6 people

On board our fully equiped 38ft Randell TRIFECTA


Contact: David Hayman (Stumpee) Mobile: 0411 096 717

Riviera Caravan Park, St George’s Basin (02) 4441 2112


FRESHWATER Burrinjuck Waters State Park (02) 6227 8114 Winter Keep (Snowy Mountains) Grabine Lakeside State Park (02) 4835 2345 Alpine Tourist Park (02) 6454 2438 Milani Trout Cottages (02) 6775 5735 Wyangala Waters State Park (02) 6345 0877 Chifley Dam Cabins 1800 68 1000 Copeton Waters (02) 6723 6269

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

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

EDEN COAST Esprit Fishing Charters 0418 634 524



Sea Lady Charters 0411 024 402

Fish Taxidermist 0428 544 841

Shell Harbour Fishing Charters 0425 216 370



Mikat Cruises Fishing Charters Swains & Coral Sea 0427 125 727

Dave Gaden’s Yamba • Deep Sea


FISHING EXPERIENCE OF A LIFETIME! • 6am to 2pm $150pp • 3 boats – holds up to 30+ people • All fishing gear and bait is supplied • No fishing licence req. • Pickup from Yamba Marina or Iluka ferry wharf

Phone Dave today: 0428 231 962 EASY PARKING

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



Phone: 0427 125 727 I Fax: (07) 4972 1759 MARINA BOAT & TACKLE, YAMBA MARINA

YAMBA’S LARGEST TACKLE STORE • Chandlery • Boat Sales • Ice & Gas • Bait & Tackle • Trailers Sales & Parts • Charter Bookings Ph: 6646 1994 or 0428 231 962 Email: Now Agents For

FISHING GUIDES PORT STEPHENS Fish Port Stephens Estuary Charters 0434 370 687

ILLAWARRA COAST Bay & Basin Sportsfishing 0413 610 832

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

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. 82

APRIL 2018

Boats & Guided Fishing Tours Directory KAYAK DEALERS

ba Prawn Blade s” “Yam

The Life Aquatic - Mona Vale – (02) 9979 1590 Australian Bass Angler - Penrith – (02) 4721 0455



Maclean Outdoors - MacLean – (02) 6645 1120

YAMBA BAIT & TACKLE “Yamba’s Leading Tackle Shop”

Wetspot Watersports -Fyshwick – (02) 6239 1323

“IN THE MAIN STREET” Shop 3, 8 Yamba St, Yamba

Hunts Marine - Yallah – (02) 4284 0444 Bunyips Great Outdoors - Lismore – (02) 6622 1137

Graham Barclay Marine – Forster – (02) 6554 5866 Hunter Water Sports - Belmont – (02) 4947 7899




02 6646 1514 • OPEN 7 DAYS

22 85

Totally Immersed Watersports - Nowra (02) 4421 5936 Hunts Marine - Batemans Bay – (02) 4472 2612 Compleat Angler – Merimbula – (02) 6495 3985


“The Home of Leavey Lures” • Stocking all Major Brands • Experienced Local Knowledge • Tournament Bream Gear in Stock • Snorkelling gear in stock

SYDNEY Penrith Marine (02) 4731 6250 Moby Marine (02) 9153 6506 or Cohoe Marine Products (Sydney) (02) 9519 3575 Blakes Marine (02) 4577 6699 Watersports Marine (02) 9676 1400 Marina Bayside (02) 9524 0044 Shannons Outboards (02) 9482 2638 Hi Tech Marine (02) 4256 6135 TR Marine World (02) 4577 3522

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

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

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

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

MODIFICATIONS & REPAIRS // BOAT & TRAILER Bonanza Trailers 0408 299 129 Salt Away 1800 091 172

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

Drop in to see Mick & Kelly Phone Cases

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




29 45


Compleat Angler Kempsey (02) 6562 5307 MOTackle (02) 6652 4611 or Rocks Marine Bait & Tackle South West Rocks (02) 6566 6726 Outdoor Adventure South West Rocks (02) 6566 5555



1 7 27

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

HUNTER COAST Port Stephens Tackle World (02) 4984 2144

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

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


20 3 3 Throw Pillows



25 4 2

and lots more...


This is where your copy will appear. You will have approximately 40 words within a 10x2 ad size. BENT MINNOWS

42 7 0




Clocks $




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

Advertisers wanting to be involved in this directory can call (07) 3387 0800 or email APRIL 2018


2018 2018 2018 Local Time


LAT LONG 151° 13’ LAT33° 33°52’ 52’ LONG 13’ Waters Times and Heights of High 151° and Low Times and Heights of High and Low Times and Heights of High and LowWaters Waters MARCH FEBRUARY JANUARY MARCH JANUARY FEBRUARY MARCH JANUARY FEBRUARY Time m Time Time m Time m Time m Time m

Local Time Local Time APRIL APRIL Time TimeAPRIL m

m m Time mm Time mm Time mm Time mm Time mm Time mm Time mm Time mm Time Time Time Time Time Time Time Time 0213 0.53 0214 0.51 0311 0.46 0212 0.40 0241 0.34 0141 0.34 0315 0.30 0213 0.34 0.53 0.51 0.46 0.40 0241 0.34 0141 0.34 0315 0.30 0213 0.34 0812 1.96 0213 0943 2.04 0311 0837 1.94 0214 0846 1.72 0832 1.69 0936 1.75 0819 1.68 0851 1.74 0212 0213 0.53 0214 0.51 0311 0.46 0212 0.40 0241 0.34 0141 0.34 0315 0.30 0213 0.34 0812 1.96 0943 2.04 0837 1.94 0846 1.72 0832 1.69 0936 1.75 0819 0851 1.74 1451 0.19 1618 0.11 1511 0.17 1525 0.39 1459 0.37 1605 0.34 1428 0.36 1502 0.33 0812 1.96 0943 2.04 0837 1.94 0846 1.72 0832 1.69 0936 1.75 0819 1.68 0851 1.74 TH TU FR MO TH FR SU MO 1.68 14512049 0.19 16182220 0.11 15112114 0.17 15252116 0.39 14592100 0.37 16052203 0.34 14282043 0.36 15022115 0.33 TU FR MO FR MO 1.33TH 1.50SU 1.44TH 1.79 1.73 1.48 1.54 1.58 0.19 0.11 0.17 0.39 0.37 0.34 0.36 0.33 TU 1525 TH 1511 FR 1459 MO 1451 TH 1618 FR 1605 SU 1502 MO 1428 2116 2100 2203 2043 2115 2049 2220 2114 2116 1.33 1.33 2100 1.50 1.50 2203 1.44 1.44 2043 1.79 1.79 2115 1.73 1.73 2049 1.48 1.48 2220 1.54 1.54 2114 1.58 1.58 0327 0.36 0348 0.44 0256 0.36 0233 0.32 0250 0.51 0304 0.30 0251 0.45 0407 0.30 0327 0.36 0.44 0.36 0233 0.32 0.51 0407 0.30 0304 0.30 0.45 0904 2.04 0250 0922 1.75 0926 1.94 0251 0909 1.72 1032 2.00 0348 0934 1.65 0256 1012 1.75 0903 1.65 0327 0.36 0348 0.44 0256 0.36 0233 0.32 0250 0.51 0304 0.30 0251 0.45 0407 0.30 0904 2.04 0922 1.75 1032 2.00 0926 1.94 0909 1.72 0934 1.65 1012 1.75 0903 1544 0.12 1559 0.37 1555 0.17 1531 0.34 1705 0.14 1538 0.40 1638 0.33 1505 0.38 0904 2.04 0922 1.75 0926 1.94 0909 1.72 1032 2.00 0934 1.65 1012 1.75 0903 1.65 MO SA TU 1.65 TU WE FR SA FR 15442144 0.12 15592152 0.37 17052310 0.14 15552200 0.17 15312135 0.34 15382155 0.40 16382239 0.33 15052124 0.38 SA TU TU WE SA 1.55 1.50 1.35FR 1.62 1.57MO 1.73 1.47FR 1.84 0.12 0.37 0.17 0.34 0.14 0.40 0.33 0.38 MO 1538 SA 1638 TU 1505 TU 1544 WE 1559 FR 1555 SA 1531 FR 1705 2310 2144 2152 2200 2135 2155 2239 2124 2310 1.55 1.55 2144 1.50 1.50 2152 1.35 1.35 2200 1.62 1.62 2135 1.57 1.57 2155 1.73 1.73 2239 1.47 1.47 2124 1.84 1.84 0427 0.44 0412 0.41 0344 0.34 0326 0.32 0327 0.50 0459 0.33 0354 0.29 0330 0.41 0412 0.41 0326 0.32 0.50 0.44 0354 0.29 0.41 0.34 0459 0.33 1047 1.72 1016 1.54 0344 0950 1.60 0956 2.07 0327 0958 1.76 1120 1.91 0427 1014 1.89 0330 0946 1.72 0412 0.41 0427 0.44 0344 0.34 0326 0.32 0327 0.50 0459 0.33 0354 0.29 0330 0.41 1016 1.54 0956 2.07 0958 1.76 1047 1.72 1014 1.89 0946 1.72 0950 1120 1.91 1712 0.34 1613 0.48 1545 0.42 1636 0.09 1633 0.35 1750 0.21 1636 0.21 1604 0.33 1016 1.54 1047 1.72 0950 1.60 0956 2.07 0958 1.76 1120 1.91 1014 1.89 0946 1.72 SU TU WE 1.60 WE TH SA SA SU 16132233 0.48 16362238 0.09 16332229 0.35 17122316 0.34 16362244 0.21 16042211 0.33 15452208 0.42 17502358 0.21 WE TH SU SU WE 1.50SA 1.70 1.86 1.50 1.36SA 1.54 1.64 1.62TU 0.48 0.34 0.42 0.09 0.35 0.21 0.21 0.33 TU 1613 SU 1712 WE 1545 WE 1636 TH 1633 SA 1750 SA 1636 SU 1604 2233 2238 2229 2316 2244 2211 2208 2358 2233 1.70 1.70 2316 1.50 1.50 2208 1.86 1.86 2238 1.50 1.50 2229 1.36 1.36 2358 1.54 1.54 2244 1.64 1.64 2211 1.62 1.62 0456 0.47 0419 0.34 0404 0.50 0508 0.45 0443 0.32 0411 0.39 0434 0.35 0550 0.39 0.45 0456 0.47 0.35 0419 0.34 0.50 0443 0.32 0.39 0550 0.39 1058 1.44 0434 1047 2.05 0404 1033 1.75 1126 1.67 1059 1.79 0411 1026 1.70 1041 1.53 1207 1.77 0508 0508 0.45 0456 0.47 0434 0.35 0419 0.34 0404 0.50 0443 0.32 0411 0.39 0550 0.39 1126 1.67 1058 1.44 1041 1047 2.05 1033 1.75 1059 1.79 1026 1.70 1207 1.77 1645 0.56 1728 0.12 1708 0.36 1746 0.36 1716 0.29 1638 0.34 1630 0.48 1833 0.30 1126 1.67 1058 1.44 1041 1.53 1047 2.05 1033 1.75 1059 1.79 1026 1.70 1207 1.77 WE TH FR MO SU MO TH 1.53 SU 17462357 0.36 16452311 0.56 16302255 0.48 17282331 0.12 17082305 0.36 17162327 0.29 16382249 0.34 1833 0.30 TH TH FR MO 1.65 1.48 1.36SU 1.51SU 1.63 1.66WE 1.85 0.36 0.56 0.48 0.12 0.36 0.29 0.34 MO 1746 WE 1645 TH 1630 TH 1728 FR 1708 SU 1716 MO 1638 SU 1833 0.30 MO 2311 2357 2255 2331 2305 2327 2249 2311 1.65 1.65 2357 1.51 1.51 2255 1.85 1.85 2331 1.48 1.48 2305 1.36 1.36 2327 1.63 1.63 2249 1.66 1.66 0542 0.54 0514 0.38 0444 0.51 0553 0.48 0531 0.38 0455 0.39 0530 0.39 0045 1.51 0542 0.54 0.48 0.39 0514 0.38 0.51 0531 0.38 0.39 0045 1.51 1139 1.97 0444 1109 1.72 1206 1.60 1143 1.66 0455 1107 1.64 1135 1.44 1140 1.34 0530 0643 0.48 0553 0542 0.54 0514 0.38 0444 0.51 0553 0.48 0531 0.38 0455 0.39 0530 0.39 0045 1.51 1206 1.60 1135 1139 1.97 1109 1.72 1143 1.66 1107 1.64 1140 1.34 0643 0.48 1818 0.18 1743 0.37 1824 0.40 1754 0.38 1715 0.37 1718 0.56 1720 0.65 1254 1.61 1139 1.97 1109 1.72 1206 1.60 1143 1.66 1107 1.64 1135 1.44 1.44 1140 1.34 0643 0.48 TH FR SA TU MO TU FR MO 1824 0.40 17182346 0.56 1818 0.18 17432345 0.37 1754 0.38 17152330 0.37 17202350 0.65 12541916 1.61 TU FR FR 1.37MO 1.69TH 1.80 0.41 1.59 0.37 0.37 0.56 0.65 1.61 TH 1720 FR 1818 0.18 SA SA 1743 TU 1824 0.40 MO MO 1754 0.38 TU TU 1715 FR 1718 MO 1254 2345 2330 2346 1916 2350 2345 1.37 1.37 2330 1.69 1.69 2346 1.80 1.80 1916 0.41 0.41 2350 1.59 1.59 0040 1.52 0631 0.60 0630 0.43 0025 1.46 0524 0.53 0009 1.60 0542 0.41 0134 1.48 0631 0.60 1.52 0.43 0025 1.46 0.53 0134 1.48 0009 1.60 0.41 0642 0.51 1226 1.26 0630 1235 1.37 0609 0.45 0524 1146 1.68 0619 0.46 0542 1151 1.57 0738 0.57 0040 0631 0.60 0040 1.52 0630 0.43 0025 1.46 0524 0.53 0134 1.48 0009 1.60 0542 0.41 1226 1.26 0642 0.51 1235 0609 0.45 1146 1.68 0738 0.57 0619 0.46 1151 1.57 1250 1.51 1800 0.72 1815 0.64 1230 1.84 1819 0.39 1225 1.52 1754 0.43 1341 1.45 1226 1.26 0642 0.51 1235 1.37 1.37 0609 0.45 1146 1.68 0738 0.57 0619 0.46 1151 1.57 WE FR SA SA SU TU WE TU 1800 0.72 12501905 1.51 1815 0.64 12301909 1.84 1819 0.39 13411959 1.45 12251830 1.52 1754 0.43 WE SA SU WE 0.45TU 0.27 0.48 0.50 1.51 1.84 1.45 1.52 FR 1800 0.72 SA WE 1250 SA 1815 0.64 SA 1230 SU 1819 0.39 TU TU 1341 TU 1225 WE 1754 0.43 FR 1905 1909 1830 1959 1905 0.45 0.45 1909 0.27 0.27 1830 0.48 0.48 1959 0.50 0.50 0120 1.44 0128 1.53 0052 1.56 0035 1.53 0045 1.75 0026 1.38 0015 1.69 0226 1.45 0128 1.53 0035 1.53 0120 1.44 0052 1.56 1.75 0026 1.38 0226 1.45 1.69 0838 0.64 0706 0.52 0738 0.55 0709 0.55 0015 0726 0.65 0045 0739 0.47 0608 0.56 0634 0.44 0120 1.44 0128 1.53 0052 1.56 0035 1.53 0045 1.75 0026 1.38 0226 1.45 0015 1.69 0838 0.64 0738 0.55 0726 0.65 0706 0.52 0709 0.55 0739 0608 0.56 0634 0.44 1431 1.31 1321 1.69 1342 1.41 1308 1.38 1320 1.21 1345 1.32 1226 1.61 1240 1.47 0838 0.64 0706 0.52 0738 0.55 0709 0.55 0726 0.65 0739 0.47 0.47 0608 0.56 0634 0.44 SU TH WE SA SU MO TH WE 14312045 1.31 13421952 1.41 13201851 1.21 13212000 1.69 13081907 1.38 13451921 1.32 12261858 1.61 12401837 1.47 TH SU SU MO TH 0.78 0.70 0.42WE 0.50SA 0.58 0.36 0.51WE 0.57 1.31 1.69 1.41 1.38 1.21 1.32 1.61 1.47 SU 1321 TH 1342 WE 1308 SA 1320 SU 1345 MO 1226 WE 1431 TH 1240 1851 1921 1858 2045 1837 1952 2000 1907 1851 0.78 0.78 1921 0.70 0.70 1858 0.42 0.42 2045 0.58 0.58 1837 0.50 0.50 2000 0.36 0.36 1952 0.51 0.51 1907 0.57 0.57 0215 1.42 0111 1.39 0136 1.51 0103 1.67 0320 1.43 0223 1.53 0130 1.48 0152 1.70 0215 1.42 1.39 0136 1.51 1.67 0320 1.43 1.53 0130 1.48 1.70 0806 0.60 0111 0658 0.60 0803 0.62 0103 0732 0.49 0945 0.69 0223 0845 0.58 0829 0.67 0152 0850 0.48 0215 1.42 0111 1.39 0136 1.51 0103 1.67 0320 1.43 0223 1.53 0130 1.48 0152 1.70 0806 0.60 0658 0.60 0803 0.62 0732 0.49 0945 0.69 0845 0.58 0829 0.67 0850 1415 1.53 1310 1.53 1356 1.27 1335 1.37 1531 1.21 1445 1.32 1428 1.18 1501 1.33 0806 0.60 0658 0.60 0803 0.62 0732 0.49 0945 0.69 0845 0.58 0829 0.67 0850 0.48 0.48 MO TU TH FR TH FR SU MO 14152049 1.53 13101941 1.53 13561948 1.27 13351928 1.37 15312136 1.21 14452050 1.32 14281958 1.18 15012038 1.33 MO TU FR FR MO 0.45 0.66 0.45TH 0.58SU 0.64 0.56TH 0.82 0.71 1.53 1.53 1.27 1.37 1.21 1.32 1.18 1.33 MO 1415 TU 1310 TH 1356 FR 1335 TH 1531 FR 1445 SU 1428 MO 1501 2049 1948 1941 1928 2136 2050 1958 2038 2049 0.45 0.45 1948 0.66 0.66 1941 0.45 0.45 1928 0.58 0.58 2136 0.64 0.64 2050 0.56 0.56 1958 0.82 0.82 2038 0.71 0.71 0201 1.41 0200 1.64 0313 1.42 0419 1.44 0327 1.55 0226 1.46 0235 1.45 0305 1.67 1.41 1.64 0419 1.44 1.55 0235 1.45 1.67 0313 1.42 0226 1.46 0754 0.63 0841 0.52 0913 0.66 0201 1057 0.69 0327 1002 0.57 0904 0.67 0200 0934 0.66 0305 0956 0.46 0201 1.41 0200 1.64 0313 1.42 0419 1.44 0327 1.55 0226 1.46 0235 1.45 0305 1.67 0754 0.63 0841 0.52 1057 0.69 1002 0.57 0934 0.66 0956 0913 0.66 0904 0.67 1400 1.45 1443 1.29 1513 1.39 1643 1.16 1602 1.26 1453 1.18 1542 1.21 1612 1.39 0754 0.63 0841 0.52 0913 0.66 1057 0.69 1002 0.57 0904 0.67 0934 0.66 0956 0.46 0.46 WE SA TU FR SA FR MO TU 14002029 1.45 14432030 1.29 16432235 1.16 16022200 1.26 15422114 1.21 16122154 1.39 15132140 1.39 14532040 1.18 WE SA SA TU TU 0.48FR 0.64MO 0.52 0.67 0.58FR 0.72 0.82 0.68 1.45 1.29 1.39 1.16 1.26 1.18 1.21 1.39 WE 1400 SA 1443 TU 1513 FR 1643 SA 1602 FR 1453 MO 1542 TU 1612 2029 2030 2235 2200 2114 2154 2140 2040 2029 0.48 0.48 2030 0.64 0.64 2140 0.52 0.52 2235 0.67 0.67 2200 0.58 0.58 2040 0.72 0.72 2114 0.82 0.82 2154 0.68 0.68 0519 1.46 0437 1.61 0345 1.46 0415 1.68 0411 1.43 0257 1.44 0324 1.43 0306 1.62 0411 1.43 0519 1.46 1.61 0324 1.43 0345 1.46 1.68 1.44 1.62 1205 0.65 0437 1122 0.51 1034 0.62 0415 1055 0.43 1023 0.68 0257 0900 0.64 1014 0.69 0306 0958 0.52 0519 1.46 0437 1.61 0345 1.46 0415 1.68 0411 1.43 0257 1.44 0324 1.43 0306 1.62 1023 0.68 1205 0.65 1122 0.51 1014 0.69 1034 0.62 1055 0900 0.64 0958 0.52 1752 1.17 1724 1.28 1645 1.27 1711 1.48 1615 1.29 1501 1.37 1604 1.15 1602 1.27 1205 0.65 1122 0.51 1034 0.62 1055 0.43 0.43 1023 0.68 0900 0.64 1014 0.69 0958 0.52 SA SU TU WE WE TH SA SU 16152230 1.29 17522334 1.17 17242312 1.28 16042146 1.15 16452222 1.27 17112301 1.48 15012124 1.37 16022146 1.27 WE SU WE TH SU 0.50SA 0.67TU 0.66 0.56SA 0.78 0.61 0.56 0.75 1.17 1.28 1.27 1.48 1.29 1.37 1.15 1.27 SA 1752 SU 1724 TU 1645 WE 1711 WE 1615 TH 1501 SA 1604 SU 1602 2124 2146 2230 2334 2312 2146 2222 2301 2124 0.50 0.50 2146 0.67 0.67 2334 0.66 0.66 2312 0.56 0.56 2222 0.78 0.78 2301 0.61 0.61 2230 0.56 0.56 2146 0.75 0.75 0615 1.51 0546 1.70 0445 1.50 0515 1.70 0508 1.47 0358 1.51 0430 1.43 0420 1.64 0508 1.47 0615 1.51 1.70 0430 1.43 0445 1.50 1.70 1.51 1.64 1300 0.59 0546 1232 0.41 1124 0.57 0515 1145 0.40 1133 0.67 0358 1016 0.61 1123 0.66 0420 1112 0.48 0508 1.47 0615 1.51 0546 1.70 0430 1.43 0445 1.50 0515 1.70 0358 1.51 0420 1.64 1133 0.67 1300 0.59 1232 0.41 1123 0.66 1124 0.57 1145 1016 0.61 1112 0.48 1851 1.21 1835 1.34 1735 1.35 1801 1.58 1720 1.23 1615 1.32 1721 1.17 1722 1.31 1133 0.67 1300 0.59 1232 0.41 1123 0.66 1124 0.57 1145 0.40 0.40 1016 0.61 1112 0.48 SU MO WE TH TH FR SU MO 17202320 1.23 1851 1.21 1835 1.34 17212257 1.17 17352319 1.35 1801 1.58 16152225 1.32 17222303 1.31 TH TH FR MO 0.70 0.58 0.50SU 0.75 0.63WE 1.23 1.17 1.35 1.32 1.31 TH 1720 SU 1851 1.21 MO MO 1835 1.34 SU SU 1721 WE 1735 TH 1801 1.58 FR 1615 MO 1722 2320 2257 2319 2225 2303 2320 0.58 0.58 2257 0.75 0.75 2319 0.70 0.70 2225 0.50 0.50 2303 0.63 0.63 0028 0.63 0018 0.49 0534 1.56 0001 0.53 0600 1.52 0501 1.60 0533 1.47 0531 1.69 0600 1.52 0501 1.60 0028 0.63 0018 0.49 0533 1.47 0531 1.69 0534 1.56 0.53 0702 1.57 0648 1.80 1205 0.51 0001 0609 1.70 1237 0.62 1133 0.53 1222 0.61 1217 0.41 0600 1.52 0028 0.63 0018 0.49 0533 1.47 0534 1.56 0001 0.53 0501 1.60 0531 1.69 1237 0.62 1133 0.53 0702 1.57 0648 1.80 1222 0.61 1217 0.41 1205 0.51 0609 1346 0.52 1331 0.30 1815 1.44 1230 0.38 1820 1.22 1731 1.32 1824 1.22 1827 1.40 1237 0.62 0702 1.57 0648 1.80 1222 0.61 1205 0.51 0609 1.70 1.70 1133 0.53 1217 0.41 MO TU TH FR FR SA MO TU 1820 1.22 17312329 1.32 13461938 0.52 13311933 0.30 1824 1.22 1827 1.40 1815 1.44 12301847 0.38 FR TU 1.26 1.43MO 1.67 0.47MO 0.52 0.30 0.38 1.32 FR 1820 1.22 SA MO 1346 TU 1331 MO 1824 1.22 TU TH 1815 1.44 FR FR 1230 SA 1731 TU 1827 1.40 TH 2329 1938 1933 1847 1938 1.26 1.26 1933 1.43 1.43 1847 1.67 1.67 2329 0.47 0.47 0114 0.59 0118 0.42 0006 0.62 0054 0.47 0009 0.58 0603 1.71 0000 0.70 0011 0.55 0009 0.58 0114 0.59 0.42 0000 0.70 0006 0.62 0.47 1.71 0.55 0745 1.63 0118 0745 1.89 0617 1.61 0054 0658 1.68 0647 1.57 0603 1244 0.42 0628 1.52 0011 0634 1.76 0009 0.58 0114 0.59 0118 0.42 0000 0.70 0006 0.62 0054 0.47 0603 1.71 0011 0.55 0647 1.57 0745 1.63 0745 1.89 0628 1.52 0617 1.61 0658 1244 0.42 0634 1.76 1425 0.45 1424 0.22 1243 0.45 1312 0.39 1329 0.56 1841 1.35 1311 0.54 1313 0.34 0647 1.57 0745 1.63 0745 1.89 0628 1.52 0617 1.61 0658 1.68 1.68 1244 0.42 0634 1.76 TU WE FR SA SA SU TU WE 13291913 0.56 14252018 0.45 14242026 0.22 13111912 0.54 12431852 0.45 13121930 0.39 1841 1.35 13131921 0.34 SA WE SA SU WE 1.32 1.51TU 1.53 1.74 1.24 1.29 1.50FR 0.56 0.45 0.22 0.54 0.45 0.39 0.34 SA 1329 TU 1425 WE 1424 TU 1311 FR 1243 SA 1312 SU 1841 1.35 TU WE 1313 1913 2018 2026 1912 1852 1930 1921 1913 1.24 1.24 2018 1.32 1.32 2026 1.51 1.51 1912 1.29 1.29 1852 1.53 1.53 1930 1.74 1.74 1921 1.50 1.50 0048 0.54 0053 0.56 0029 0.43 0155 0.54 0051 0.64 0111 0.47 0142 0.43 0155 0.54 0048 0.54 0.43 0053 0.56 0.43 0051 0.64 0.47 0658 1.65 0142 0730 1.63 0029 0702 1.83 0824 1.68 0715 1.59 0111 0729 1.81 0744 1.64 0155 0.54 0048 0.54 0142 0.43 0053 0.56 0029 0.43 0051 0.64 0111 0.47 0824 1.68 0658 1.65 0744 0730 1.63 0702 1.83 0715 1.59 0729 1.81 1317 0.40 1411 0.49 1345 0.29 1500 0.40 1351 0.48 1400 0.29 1349 0.41 0824 1.68 0658 1.65 0744 1.64 1.64 0730 1.63 0702 1.83 0715 1.59 0729 1.81 SA SU MO WE WE TH SU 15002054 0.40 13171928 0.40 13492009 0.41 14111958 0.49 13451943 0.29 13511951 0.48 14002009 0.29 SU SU MO WE TH 1.62 1.27 1.41WE 1.36 1.37 1.59SA 1.78 0.40 0.40 0.41 0.49 0.29 0.48 0.29 WE 1500 SA 1317 SU 1349 SU 1411 MO 1345 WE 1351 TH 1400 2054 1928 2009 1958 1943 1951 2009 2054 1.36 1.36 1928 1.62 1.62 2009 1.78 1.78 1958 1.27 1.27 1943 1.41 1.41 1951 1.37 1.37 2009 1.59 1.59 0134 0.55 0233 0.50 0134 0.57 0130 0.46 0127 0.38 0204 0.39 0227 0.41 0130 0.46 0134 0.55 0.38 0233 0.50 0134 0.57 0.39 0.41 0810 1.68 0127 0900 1.72 0755 1.65 0204 0738 1.68 0227 0758 1.94 0819 1.83 0827 1.58 0134 0.55 0127 0.38 0233 0.50 0134 0.57 0130 0.46 0204 0.39 0227 0.41 0738 1.68 0810 1.68 0758 1.94 0900 1.72 0755 1.65 0819 1.83 0827 1449 0.44 1533 0.36 1426 0.42 1351 0.37 1440 0.19 1445 0.27 1425 0.46 0810 1.68 0758 1.94 0900 1.72 0755 1.65 0738 1.68 0819 1.83 0827 1.58 1.58 MO TH TH SU TU FR MO 13512004 0.37 14492038 0.44 14402038 0.19 15332129 0.36 14262027 0.42 14452053 0.27 14252047 0.46 MO TU TH FR MO 1.30 1.40 1.44 1.71 1.47TH 1.66SU 1.80 0.44 0.19 0.36 0.42 0.37 0.27 0.46 MO 1449 TU 1440 TH 1533 TH 1426 SU 1351 FR 1445 MO 1425 2004 2038 2038 2129 2027 2053 2047 2038 1.30 1.30 2038 1.47 1.47 2129 1.40 1.40 2027 1.44 1.44 2004 1.71 1.71 2053 1.66 1.66 2047 1.80 1.80 0221 0.33 0254 0.35 0221 0.33 0254 0.35 0851 2.01 0906 1.80 0221 0.33 0254 0.35 0851 2.01 0906 1530 0.12 1525 0.28 0851 2.01 0906 1.80 1.80 WE SA 15302130 0.12 15252135 0.28 WE SA 1.52 1.71 0.12 0.28 WE 1530 SA 1525 2130 2135 2130 1.52 1.52 2135 1.71 1.71

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 Copyright Commonwealth of Australia 2016, Bureau of Meteorology Copyright Commonwealth ofofAustralia 2016, of Meteorology Copyright Commonwealth Australia 2016,Bureau Bureau Datum of Predictions is Lowest Astronomical Tide of Meteorology Datum of Predictions is Lowest Astronomical Tide Datum of are Predictions is Lowesttime Astronomical Tideor daylight savings time (UTC +11:00) when in effect Times in local standard (UTC +10:00) Times are ininlocal standard time (UTC +10:00) orordaylight savings time when Times are local standard time (UTC +10:00) daylightFirst savings time(UTC (UTC+11:00) +11:00) wheninineffect effect New Moon Quarter Last Quarter Moon Phase Symbols Full Moon New First Last Moon Full NewMoon Moon FirstQuarter Quarter LastQuarter Quarter MoonPhase PhaseSymbols Symbols FullMoon Moon Tide predictions for Sydney (Fort Denison) have been formatted by the National Tidal Centre, Australian Bureau of Meteorology, Copyright reserved. All material is supplied in good faith and is believed to be correct. It is supplied on the condition that no warranty is given in relation thereto, that no responsibility or liability for errors or omissions is, or will be, accepted and that the recipient will hold MHL and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology Australia free from all such responsibility or liability and from all loss or damage incurred as a consequence of any error or omission. Predictions should not be used for navigational purposes. Use of these tide predictions will be deemed to include acceptance of the above conditions. 84

APRIL 2018

boats & kayaks

In the skipper’s seat 95 Paddlin’ on Gordon Bigger and better...

After the event went on hiatus in 2017, The Rosehill Trailer Boat Show (previously the Sydney Trailer Boat Show) is back at its original home, at Rosehill Racecourse. The venue has undergone extensive renovations, and this year promises to be bigger and better than it ever was.

Come and see...

The Rosehill Trailer Boat Show will have plenty to see and do for those new to boating, as well as boating veterans and families. There’ll be the latest and greatest in the world of boating, plus entertainment for adults and kids.

When and where...

The show will be on at the Rosehill Racecourse in the Exhibition Hall & Grand Stand (Ground Floor) James Ruse Drive, Rosehill from 7-8 April. Read all about it from page 86!

Toby Grundy uncovers another one of Canberra’s freshwater fishing secrets in Gordons Pond.

96 SUP fishing part II

Justin Willmer has finally caved and bought his own SUP, and tests it out on his local water.

100 Quintrex 350 Outback Explorer

Wayne Kampe checks out the smallest member of Quintrex’s newest range of boats.

102 460 Vision CC

Editor Steve Morgan takes a ride in this brilliant offshore ready craft from Sea Jay Boats.

104 460 Breezaway

NSWFM writer Gary Brown has a run in this lovely craft from Stessco, powered by a 75hp Mercury.


The Rosehill Trailer Boat Show returns in April

The Sydney Trailer Boat Show will make its much-anticipated return to Rosehill Gardens Racecourse on 7 and 8 April 2018 between 10am and 5pm, featuring more


APRIL 2018

than 30 exhibitors and over 250 boats on display at this free-to-enter event. Once again, fishing enthusiasts will not be disappointed at the show, as everything for the

fun-loving or serious angler will be on display, from tinnies to the latest open watercraft. Anyone who loves fishing or just cruising around with the family will find plenty to see and learn at the show. And the organisers have also included free parking with the free admission. Fishing with a trailer boat is increasing in popularity due to advances in trailer technology and access to improved local boat ramps. With the inclusion of showfavourite Tacklebusters, the Rosehill Trailer Boat Show will be immensely popular

with fishing enthusiasts who not only want the best deals on rods and tackle but are also keen to see the latest on fishing boat design and fishfinding technology. The Show is also owned and organised by the Boating Industry Association Ltd

fishing amongst Australians was always evident at the BIA’s shows. “Two thirds of our audience have a primary interest in the lifestyle,” he explained, “and the Rosehill Trailer Boat Show always includes something for those

owning a trailer boat can be answered.” A much-heralded return to the Rosehill Trailer Boat Show this year is Australia’s largest fishing demonstration tank. At 21m long, the glass tank holds 14,500L of water

(BIA), who look after shows such as the Adelaide Boat Show, Sydney International Boat Show and Brisbane Boat Show. Howard Glenn, Chief Executive Officer of the Boating Industry Association, told Fishing Monthly that the love of

who love to fish. It’s obvious that boating and fishing go together, and we at the BIA certainly want to ensure that our industry continues to support and deliver all that fishing enthusiasts need to enjoy this pastime. This is the trailer boat show where all your questions about

with live fish, and is the perfect backdrop for presenting an educational and entertaining fishing experience at the show. The tank has the unique ability to demonstrate how a lure works in the water, and which lures work best in different environments.


Along with the giant tank, the NSW Department of Primary Industries will be at the show, with all the latest information and guidelines on fishing in the state. NSW Roads and Maritime Services will also be present to answer all your licensing queries. The incredibly successful Old4New lifejacket van will also be onsite, so you can learn about the wear, care and servicing of your

lifejacket. Old4New has been running for an incredible five years, helping to encourage wearing a lifejacket when you’re out fishing on the water, especially when in smaller craft. This Trailer Boat Show is the longest running boat show in the state, with plenty of nostalgia mixed in with the latest boat and fishing technology. It’s a welcome return to Rosehill Gardens,

especially with the free admission, free parking and a location accessible to so many fishing enthusiasts. To find out more about the Rosehill Trailer Boat Show visit the website at r o s e h i l l b o a t s h o w. c o m . au, where information is constantly being updated. Or alternatively, you can contact the Boating Industry Association direct on (02) 9438 2077. - BIA


1 Railway Road North, Mulgrave NSW 2756 APRIL 2018



Blakes Marine Blakes Marine carries a wide range of boats and motors to suit all your boating needs. From the hardcore angler to the family weekender, they tailor packages to suit all your needs and wants. Blakes Marine are the NSW distributor of the award-winning Bar Crusher Boats, the plate aluminium

boats that have ranges to cater all your fishing requirements – everything from hard tops to cuddy cabins, walkaround, side and centre consoles. Blakes is also a Stacer dealer. With over 70 models within eight ranges there will always be a Stacer boat to suit your needs. You can customise your Stacer with

either a Suzuki engine or Evinrude E-Tec, with a wide variety of colours and stripes that you can choose from. Chaparral Boats will also be on display at the Blakes Marine stand. Chaparral are one of the world’s leading manufacturers, and they have an extensive range of bow-riders to cabin cruisers to suit everyone’s

requirements. Whether you want to fish, ski, tube or wakeboard, the Chaparral H2O Ski and Fish models let you do it all in the same boat on the same weekend. Come and see one of the friendly staff at the Blakes Marine stand at the revamped Rosehill Boat Show for a deal too hard to pass up. For more information on their range, or to get in contact with them, visit www., or call (02) 4577 6699.




Full Range on Offer

• Samurai Hull • Capped Keel • Swept Bow • Live Bait Tank • Reverse Chine • 90 Litre Fuel Capacity • 3mm Sides • 4mm Plate Bottom (5083) •Wide Body 2300mm Beam







For further information visit To like us on Facebook visit


APRIL 2018


Good Times Marine

Good Times Marine is returning to the Rosehill Trailer Boat Show, with some exciting news from two brands from the legendary The Haines Group stable.

From Haines Signature Boats, Good Times is excited to debut a brand new model never before seen – the 545F. The 545F is the big sister of the 525F, albeit a remodelled version with the inclusion

of the tried and tested hull of the ever-popular 543F. The new model has been given an all-new deck and stylish modern lines. It’s an excellent, practical fishing boat with all the

features you’d expect from a larger boat, backed by the performance and stability that comes with the Signature Variable Deadrise Hull, and the Good Times team say they’re honoured to show it off for the first time at Rosehill. At the stand you will also see Signature’s biggest ever centre console, the flagship 788SF, making its NSW debut. It’s been making waves since its release in late 2017 and you’ll see why when you catch it at the show. These two new models will be side-by-side along

with a superb range of other Signature boats, including the 495F, 543SF, 535BR, 580BR and 600C – all perfectly suited for fishing, watersports and cruising both inshore and offshore. From Seafarer Boats comes the launch of the Vamp 5.25. Sink your teeth into this centre console, which possesses clean, sporty lines and plenty of deck space. The Vamp includes a live bait tank, rod holders and heaps of storage for all your gear. It’s a great inclusion to the Seafarer range and will be displayed alongside

the Victory 6.0 X-series. The X-series model is a beefed up version of the standard Victory – extra resin, 32mm stainless steel and glass, with a massive 270L fuel tank makes it a strong, no-frills fishing boat with long range capabilities. With a fantastic range of Signature and Seafarer boats to suit everyone’s needs, the Good Times team are looking forward to seeing visitors at the Good Times Marine stand from 7-8 April. For more information of the range, visit www.

APRIL 2018



Aussie Boat Sales Based in the ACT, with branches at Bateman’s Bay Marina on the South Coast, Freshwater in Sydney and also Patterson Lakes in Melbourne, the team from Aussie Boat Sales ACT/NSW pride themselves on providing a customised service for boaters. Aussie Boat Sales also service customers Australia-wide as one of Redco Trailers’ biggest

suppliers, and can deliver trailers and new boat packages Australia-wide. In the alloy plate range, Aussie Boats ACT/ NSW has partnered with Formosa and are Australia’s largest dealer of both the Tomahawk and Sea Rod ranges. Together with Ross and Duncan of Formosa Marine, Jason and Johanna from Aussie Boat Sales are stretching the boundaries

of the Formosa range with the latest models on display at the show. The growing range in the Formosa line-up means they have a quality plate aluminium boat to suit every customer’s needs and budget. Jason says they have a lot of repeat customers buying their second or third Formosa, going bigger each time, which speaks volumes about the quality of these boats. Interested parties are

welcome to take them on the water to experience the ride for themselves, and that includes customers from Far North NSW to Melbourne, Tasmania, Adelaide and everywhere in between. Aussie Boat Sales ACT/ NSW was just awarded 2017 Formosa Tomahawk Dealer of the Year. This is a great credit to the business and testament to their ability to cater for customers Australiawide, with the massive Honda family offering all the after-sales servicing along with with a 7-year warranty. As well as with

Formosa, Aussie Boat Sales ACT/NSW is a dealer for Caribbean Boats. Since 1958 Caribbean Boats have had a formidable reputation in the fishing and fibreglass boat market in Australia. Jason specialises in the Trailerboat range of Caribbean boats, and those anglers who know the Reefrunner and the 2300 models know just how awesome these boats are. Jason is also the sole distributor for the Sidewinder made by Micro Cat Boats here in Australia, and will have the all-new 4m twin cat on display at all the shows.

“It is a great fishing platform and we know that people are going to love the layout of this ingeniously designed boat,” he said. “You must see it to believe it, and like all our brands it is great quality and at the right price. This boat is definitely a boat that combines brand new ideas with a no-nonsense well-designed boat which caters for just about any type of usage, including in the commercial market and marina-style operations as a hire or work boat.” Aussie Boat Sales ACT/ NSW has also just become

Come and check out the new release 545F + more at the Good Times Marine stand – Rosehill Trailer Boat Show, 7–8 April.









APRIL 2018



SIG GTM 242x165mm Ad 03-18.indd 1


2 Toorak Avenue, Taren Point | P (02) 9524 6999 | 0414 440 412 E 7/3/18 10:20 am


a new boat. The fully interactive online showroom will take you on boat tours and help you decide on the style and options of the perfect boat for you. “We at ABS thank all of our business partners for supporting this,” Jason said, “and we are looking forward to showing and entertaining our customers with a whole new buying experience.” Aussie Boat Sales ACT/NSW is also one of Australia’s largest Honda

the main distributor for Black Dog Cat plate alloy twin hull boats coming out of New Zealand in the North Island. The Black Dog Cat range is well known for their build quality, performance and stability in the rough seas of New Zealand. “We know the Aussie market will love these boats, and after testing them ourselves in New Zealand the performance is unbelievable,” Jason said. The media and public

launch to Australia for the Black Dog Cat brand will be at The Rosehill Trailer Boat Show, and the team will have the ground-breaking 630 Enclosed Cab with walkthrough, a 510 Cuddy with folding rocket launchers and the 410 Side Console with enough room to swing a cat. These boats will be ready for demonstration and water tests after Rosehill, and Australian Boat Sales are looking forward to getting them out to all the

Marine dealers, and are major business partners with Garmin, Redco-Tinka galvanised and aluminium boat trailers, Fusion Electronics, Sam Allen Wholesale Marine Products, Minn Kota, Savwinch, Horizon aluminium boats, Spotters Sunglasses, Railblaza deck hardware, Solas propellers by AMS, Aussie Boat Transport and Freight, Ozzy Tyres ACT, Dometic Group (Waeco fridges and cookers),

Mobile Boat Covers and Marine, X-Factor wraps and signage in Sydney, Marine Graphics Ink Victoria, Mid North Coast Trucks - Isuzu - Macksville, Boat Names Australia, and the BIA throughout Australia. ABS are also partners with Club Marine insurance, and you can find them at stand G14 at the Show. In the meantime, if you want to talk to Jason you can ring him on 0433 531 226 or visit www.

boat shows this year. For any information contact the team and they can forward video footage and brochures prior to the launch. All of Aussie Boat Sales’ business partners have jumped on board the au website, and when they launch this completely new concept at the Rosehill Boat Show and all the other shows, their customers will be introduced to a completely new experience in buying

APRIL 2018



Hunts Marine Hunts Marine will again have a huge display of Quintrex aluminium boats and Glastron and Whittley fibreglass boats on display at the Rosehill Boat Show. New to the Quintrex range are the revolutionary Apex hulls, and you can come and check them out on the Frontier fishing boats and Freestyler bowriders. Along with the proven Quintrex Trident models,

Hunts Marine will also have on display one of the new Yellowfin Southerner plate boats. Visitors can also check out the new release Whittley Cruiser and Sealegend models, along with an impressive range of Glastron fibreglass American bowriders. After recently moving their Sydney dealership to a new location at 259 West Street, Carlton, the team at Hunts Marine are

pleased to let their loyal customers know that they can still expect the same outstanding levels of choice of brand, after sales service, and most importantly red hot deals! In the meantime, you can view the full Hunts Marine range of Quintrex, Glastron, Whittley and Smartwave boats packaged up with your choice of Suzuki and E-Tec motors at www.

Sea Jay Boats Family owned and operated since 1989, Sea Jay Boats are renowned for their strength, workmanship and customisation. Popular ranges of boats sold through the Sea Jay dealer network include everything from their popular roof topper

models like the Nomad and Angler, to open and console boats such the Avenger and Navigator ranges built on the Adrenalin Hull, right up to the latest generation of 3D designed and 4-stroke futureproofed Samurai Hulls used on the Sea Jay Boats. All of

these are available through Marina Bayside, which will be displaying a sample of smaller Sea Jay Boats at the show. For more information on the Sea Jay Range of boats visit www.

Sailfish Catamarans

Sailfish Catamarans are celebrating their 25-year silver jubilee this year, and to mark this milestone they are offering an extensive upgrade package worth over $17,500 for only $4990 to the first 25 customers who purchase a new package.

with maximised hull efficiency delivering huge volume, deck space and stability; and all wrapped up into towable sized packages. They pack enormous facility into the compact dimensions and weigh considerably less than equivalent fibreglass boats, with similar

sales network combines with innovative design and flexible manufacturing to customize your dream machine to suit your lifestyle. As you’d expect, this company experiences high volume of repeat business, with satisfied

Sailfish Catamarans burst on to the Australian boating scene way back in January 1993 with their impressive, locally manufactured aluminium twin hull designs that hit the mark with Australian sportsfishers, divers and nomadic seafarers. Twenty five years on, Sailfish have risen from humble beginnings to become one of Australia’s most successful marine manufacturers. Sailfish have always offered a blend of seaworthy, offshore capable packages

purpose enhanced by their innovations in alloy trailer construction. Boaters can choose from a range of cabin layouts and options. Sailfish’s new and exclusive Hydroflow GEN 3 hull offers superior performance, amazing efficiency, maximum stability plus lightning fast hole shot performance. The traditional ‘cushion of air’ has advanced to a magic carpet ride with improved hydrodynamics providing the softest, most predictable and reliable off-shore hulls available. The

customers often returning to update or upsize. These premium boats have a high retainment value, with Sailfish packages being eagerly sought after on the second-hand market. A mere three years after the birth of Sailfish, a partnership was formed with Sydney’s Webbe Marine. This partnership grows stronger to this day, now some 22 years later. You can check out the latest models at the show, or find out more at

BOAT SHOW SPECIAL See us at the rosehill trailer boat show. Come and see why Extreme boats are new Zealand’s most awarded alloy boat.

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Hastings Marine The team at Hastings Marine are excited about the return of the Rosehill Trailer Boat Show and are looking forward to showing off a selection of New Zealand’s finest offshore fishing weapons to the Sydney market. Extreme Boats is a family-run business, producing New Zealand’s premier aluminium

head sea performance, all while retaining a high chine with full shoulder for excellent sea-handling. Superior stability both at rest and at full-throttle comes from a pair of very large aft chine flats. This also makes for an incredibly dry ride. It’s these features that have allowed Extreme Boats to grow from a small company producing

“Our dealership is located on the Mid North Coast in the sunny seaside town of Port Macquarie, and this central location lets us service customers all over the state. “At the BIA shows we meet so many fans of Extreme Boats, and it’s great to hear the feedback on the quality of finish, looks and practicality of

boats with a high quality finish to make sure your boat performs well and looks great. Extreme Boats began manufacturing boats in 1998 in small runs, and they have gone from strength to strength

a few boats in 1998 to a sizeable company today. They employ 50+ staff and produce more than 200 new boats annually thanks to a strong following from boaties in New Zealand and around the world.

the product. The last of the boats for the show are in fit-out for the event, including the centre console Game King and Sports Fisher models. For this show we have selected a range of value models and

580 WITH




4 Luckly Lane Billinudgel, NSW, 2483 Phone: (02) 6680 3322

A & J Outboard & Boating Services

Merimbula Outboard Service

734-738 Woodville Road Fairfield East, NSW, 2165 Phone: (02) 9728 9311 Fax: 02 9728 9322

382 Sapphire Coast Drive, Tura Merimbula, New South Wales, 2548 Phone: (02) 6495 9634 Fax: 02 6495 9345

Coffs Harbour Marine

Deniliquin Yamaha

J & M Marine

Shoalhaven Marine

3/11B Pacific Highway Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, 2450 Phone: (02) 6652 4722

ever since. From the outset they could see no benefit entering the trailerboat market without introducing a series of recreational boats with a major point of difference. All Extreme hulls are designed in-house. Designed as a range of serious offshore boats based on proven hull technology, these boats feature the Deep Vee hull. The boats boast fine entry for high-speed

“We always enjoy showing off these fantastic boats to the Sydney market,” said John Morton from Hastings Marine. “In the last two years we have represented Extreme Boats as their NSW dealer at the Sydney International Boat Show, and we are pleased that the Boating Industry Association has asked us to attend the Rosehill Trailer Boat Show.

specification levels to best showcase what is available, and to show that you don’t need to spend a fortune to own a quality custom-built plate boat.” Check out the range of New Zealand’s most awarded boat brand at the Rosehill Trailer Boat Show at stand G8 on the ground floor. For more information, check out www.

North Coast Yamaha

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167-169 Napier Street, Deniliquin, NSW, 2710 Phone: (03) 5881 1461 29 Browns Rd South Nowra, NSW 2541 Phone: (02) 4422 3947

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Have a go at Canberra’s Gordon Pond in April small craft up to 12 and 13ft fishing yaks. I used my Native Slayer 13 and it was superb but something much simpler would be equally as effective. THE SOUNDER We did benefit from my Lowrance Elite Series 7ti. I was able to find the golden perch quite quickly and we ending up catching quite a few by searching the points and pinpointing the fish. We also found the reddie schools and sounded several large cod following the school around.


Toby Grundy

I try to mix it up with my kayak hotspots each month. Sometimes I hit a big impoundment or river and sometimes I’ll try a smaller, out of the way location, which is often overlooked. Gordon Pond certainly falls into the second category being a small (often overlooked) waterway near the outskirts of Canberra. It is not high on the list of possible kayak destinations for most local anglers and a lot of fishos from interstate won’t have heard of it. However, it is a pond, which has been heavily stocked since being built and is a really interesting waterway to fish especially through autumn and into winter when the action is always great. FACILITIES Gordon Pond is located in the suburb of Gordon,

spooled with 6lb braid and six pound leader for chasing the yellas, reddies and carp. This combo handled the reddies with ease and provided great sport when I was hooked into the carp and golden perch. For the cod, I used my Daiwa Air Edge heavy bait cast rod with a Daiwa Millionaire 103 spooled with 20lb braid. Though there are some massive fish in the pond, there isn’t a lot of structure so a combo like this is more than enough for fighting a big muzza.

Casting Jackalls around the points can result in good action. and some good cafes, a BCF, restaurants, petrol stations and a supermarket in the Tuggeranong town centre. There is phone reception right the way around the pond and you don’t have to wear a life jacket but I always do just in case.

we switched to cod lures but did not catch any green fish. TECHNIQUES The golden perch in Gordon are a lot of fun to catch as they fight really hard. I’m not sure why they fight so hard but their run is

take a good look at the lure before striking. One of my favourite techniques for connecting with both the reddies and goldens in the pond is to work a soft plastic slowly along the bottom for 10 winds or so before pausing the lure for several seconds. I’m an impatient fisherman at the best of times but it really pays to draw out those seconds of inactivity with some of the better fish hitting the lure after a five second pause on the bottom. If you’re after the carp, speed retrieving a TN50 along the flats brings the

Look for the reed-lined banks. A sounder isn’t absolutely necessary when fishing the pond but it is clear that the fish move around a lot so having some understanding of where they

TIMING Gordon Pond is a great autumn and winter fishery. As the water cools, the fish really fire and it is possible to catch some big specimens

The carp in Gordon will eat anything. This one took a Jackall intended for reddies and yellas. which is situated on the edge of Tuggeranong in Canberra. There are plenty of picnic spots around the pond where you can launch a kayak along with BBQ facilities and public toilets. There are good tackle shops close by including Tackleworld in Fyshwick

SPECIES Gordon Pond contains healthy populations of Murray cod, golden perch, redfin and plenty of carp. We focused our attentions on the redfin and golden perch but found that the carp were responsive to lures. Late in the afternoon

equivalent to a decent yella from Windamere. To connect with a yella, cast Jackall TN60s parallel to the points around the circumference of the pond and slow roll the lure back to your kayak. It pays to fish these lures really slowly as the goldens seem to prefer to The author’s kayak kitted up for an arvo on the pond.

Careful dental work was required for this hungry Gordon golden.

better strikes with some of the really powerful takes causing boils on the surface. A carp on lure is always a bit of fun and you’ll be in the mix for a big reddy using a fast retrieve. THE KAYAK Gordon is a wonderful location to introduce a novice to the sport. It is a kid friendly location because it is quite shallow and if the wind whips up, it is a short paddle to land from anywhere around the pond. Therefore, Gordon is suited to paddle and peddle kayaks and can be fished from very

are sitting on any given day will help. LOCATIONS Find the drop-off near the points and you will find the fish. It seemed like every single time we sounded fish, they were hanging just off the drop off near the edges. There are also some good spots around the reed lined banks near the dam wall and the shallow areas near the islands are great for chasing carp. TACKLE I used my Daiwa Harrier 6’4 light spin stick coupled with a Daiwa Certate 2004

even in the heart of a Canberra winter. The fishery does cop a bit of angling pressure from the bank but does not see a lot of pressure from kayak fishos around this time. CONCLUSION Gordon Pond is a little gem tucked away at the back of Canberra. It is often overlooked but provides excellent fishing for those looking for a quick kayak mission or for a novice first starting out. Now is the time to hit Gordon as the cooler weather gets the fish riled up and keen for a feed. APRIL 2018


Going on a fishing adventure in a new SUP BRISBANE

Justin Willmer Find me on Facebook at Yaks On

If you missed last issue you missed out on my tale of horror and then elation as I borrowed an SUP, (stand up paddleboard) and had my first crack at SUP fishing. I learnt that you need to pick your weather, know your limits and remember safety first, however I also caught some fish, had a ball and ended up buying my own SUP for future fishing adventures. Join me on my second SUP fishing adventure and the maiden voyage for my new vessel.

jighead, which enables long casts and has a quicker sink rate for prospecting deeper holes and sandy patches for flathead. I’ve also found the bream up on the flats to be quite aggressive as they move across the flat hunting bait, so they don’t mind a quicker retrieve. Make a long cast, allow the plastic to sink to the bottom or just above the bottom if it’s weedy, give it a couple of hops to attract the attention of the fish and then just roll it back above the bottom. If you’re hitting the bottom, lift the rod tip or retrieve quicker. If a bream taps the plastic, continue your retrieve at the same speed

Success! A flatty for dinner in the net. Flathead are a great target from an SUP. Flathead are one of my favourite species to target because they are readily available, love lures and you don’t need to spend a million bucks to chase them. They are also a fantastic SUP target, because they can be caught in calm waters not far from launch points, love feeding in the shallows and they’re relatively easy to handle – no big, sharp teeth thrashing around! Flathead were an obvious choice for christening my new board and when I awoke to a cracking Sunday morning and a run-out tide, it was game on. I like a run-out tide for chasing flathead as they move to the edges of the banks and channels, lying in wait for the baitfish and prawns that are forced off the flat with the dropping tide. With the tide still quite high though there was time to roll some 2.5” paddle-tail plastics across the flats in search of a few bream. When rolling the flats for bream I fish quite quickly, rigging the little paddle-tail on a 1/4oz 1/0 96

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and they will often continue to chase and bite the plastic until they find the hook and you feel the weight of the fish and the hook sets. It’s important to remember that this is what works for me; if it’s not working for you, mix it up. I am also a big believer in scent – whether it’s attracting fish, making them bite or getting them to hold on longer, I will apply scent every 30 or so casts and after landing a fish. The day was an absolute glamour. As I drifted the flat with the tide I landed a handful of bream and yellowtail pike. The elevated position on the SUP, whether standing or seated on the icebox, allowed excellent

Let the SUP fishing adventure begin.

This isn’t a bad way to christen the new SUP – get that rod tip to the front of the board when fighting these brawlers! visibility and quite a few of my fish were landed casting to disturbances on the surface or bait and prawns flicking as they tried to escape the predators that stalked the flats. A cast to flicking prawns followed by a slow roll with a few flicks and shakes almost guaranteed a hook-up. The bream weren’t monsters, but I had a ball

Working a mangrove edge for bream.

catching and releasing fish and it was all good practice for when I had to take on a larger species from the SUP. It’s definitely important to keep everything within reach, while also keeping the deck as uncluttered as possible. It’s a bit of a balancing act but it does make you keep things simple. After my last session

I decided to keep my lures, leader and tackle in a dry bag between my feet, rather than in the icebox. I also had my ruler and a water bottle on the deck, Boomerang Tool line snip attached to the icebox, scent in the centre carry handle and my landing net tucked into one of the straps that held the icebox to the deck. My rods were simply laid on the deck in front of me and they stayed dry, however I will be looking at installing a couple of rod holders on the icebox and would suggest that you sort some rod storage as most SUPs are not as wide, thick or buoyant as the model I chose. It was now time to focus on catching a flathead as the SUP slid off the flat and into a channel about 1.5-3m deep. I stuck with the same plastic and jighead, casting ahead of the drift so that I could better control the plastic, rather than dragging it along behind the drifting SUP. The SUP drifted quite well, without spinning or turning. I kept the paddle lying across the board just in front of my feet so that it was easy to grab if I wanted to adjust the drift or drift angle. I allowed the plastic to sink to the bottom, watching

When you opt to travel at the wrong time of the tide and get to wheel, float, drag and paddle home.

for the line to go slack and then retrieved the plastic with two hops up off the bottom and then a pause to allow it to sink back to the bottom where the flathead lay in wait. I repeated this hop, hop and pause all the way back to the SUP. It didn’t take long before I was hooked up, pointing the rod tip toward the front of the SUP to fight the fish, which keeps the SUP stable and tracking straight, before sliding a small flathead into the net. I smiled as I released the flathead back into the water and watched it shoot off toward the bottom. I was keen to take one home for dinner though, so I decided

amazing how little water it takes to float a SUP, with the fin being your major consideration. I watched stingrays cruising in less than a foot of water, fins breaking the surface as they swept across the bottom. They had so many colours and patterns, including a few leopard rays, with the odd big ray keeping me on my toes. I also saw small flathead shooting off out of the sand, mullet and gar cruising in schools and turtles popping up only metres away on the edge of the flat. The coolest encounter though was a large dugong that cruised and fed within metres of the SUP and I even felt like he was

a little murky following a lot of rain. The additional weight also meant the lure was getting down quicker, so I could cover more water and also better control the lure as the SUP was drifting faster in the main flow. Within a few casts I was hooked up solidly to the largest opponent I had faced on the SUP and moved the rod tip to the front of the SUP and enjoyed the ride! A few good runs and the fish was under control and I saw the colour of a decent estuary trevally break the surface. It’s important to keep your cool and don’t rush things or you’ll end up with a fish that’s still full

The author found some fun-size bream on the flats.

A keeper for dinner, but only by a couple of centimetres – the author caught this flatty from his new SUP. to keep drifting and casting. Approaching a patch of oysters I made a cast right into the shallows and hopped the plastic down the edge into deeper water, where it was met with a solid take. After a spirited fight I had a better flathead in the net, measured on the ruler and stowed in the icebox. This would have been a good time to head for home… but what a day! It was only another kilometre or so to another good spot that I could see in the distance, so why not? I continued with the tide, sneaking across what water was left on the flats. It’s

getting closer every now and then to check out my new vessel. The elevated position and low profile of the SUP definitely allows you to observe and appreciate so much more than when you are in a larger, noisier craft or lower to the water in a kayak. After reaching the next location and dropping the lure straight down to measure the depth (it was about 3m) I changed up my presentation to a 3/8oz 3/0 jighead and 3” paddle-tail. This presentation would have a larger profile and create more vibration and water movement in the deeper water, which was also

of fight beside the SUP and then diving aggressively back under the SUP. I played the fish out a little more, sat down, positioned the net in the water beside the SUP and guided the fish from the tip of the SUP back into the net. With a quick high five to the fish gods, I paddled into the shallows, tied the SUP to a mangrove branch so that it wasn’t rubbing on rocks and oysters and set up the camera for a couple of quick photos. I swam the fish in between pics and it swam away strongly for someone else to enjoy. I was hooked

The SUP tied up to a mangrove to avoid rocks and oysters.

on SUP fishing. The trip home was not ideal however and taught me a few lessons. I had travelled a few kilometres from home with the tide, and with the sky darkening from a possible storm and the wind picking up I opted to head home against the last of the dropping tide, instead of following through with my plan of travelling home with the incoming tide as it once again flooded the flats. I had fished myself into a position where I had dry banks between myself and home, so this also meant I had to traverse land and sea to get home. The things I do for an adventure. In short, I had the SUP back on the trolley to wheel it across some sandy sections until it got boggy, then back off the trolley. I dragged it backward across the shallows, lifting the fin so that it didn’t dig in. Soon I only had a couple of inches of water, so I removed the quick release fin and floated the SUP to the edge of the weed, before dragging it across the weed bed and launching into the main channel for the paddle home, without the fin fitted back in place! Don’t get me wrong; I was never in danger, only paddling shallow water and always having a backup plan. These good weather days are great opportunities to put yourself out of your comfort zone and test yourself and your craft a little. I had learnt how to manage the SUP and trolley on a variety of surfaces, how best to handle the SUP in the shallows, across the weed and without the fin. I took the opportunity to paddle the SUP the last kilometre or so home without the fin so that I could learn how it tracks and how best to handle it without

the fin, should something ever go wrong and I find myself finless. Overall it had been a great half-day session. I had landed plenty of fish, including my target flathead for dinner and a bonus trevally, seen a myriad of wildlife going about their daily business on the flats and channel edges and also enjoyed a bonus workout without even thinking about it. SUP fishing may not be for

everyone and you will still see me out and about in my kayaks and boat, however it does offer a different experience and is a great way to really immerse yourself in the living world around us. There are plenty of SUP hire places out there. Choose a good day, grab a large board, sit your icebox on there as a seat and just go for a play and a look around; you may find yourself with a rod in your hand on the second trip though.

The cockpit area is a balance with everything at your fingertips and not too much clutter. APRIL 2018


Mercury launch 3.4L V6 at Miami Boat Show FMG

Steve Morgan

You know that Mercury is releasing something serious when you get bundled on a plane with a bunch of Aussie and New Zealand media for a global product launch at the Miami Boat Show. The last time it happened, Mercury released the 300, 350 and 400hp in-line, 2.6 cylinder supercharged Verados – a platform that has helped redefine what can be done with consumer level big boats and outboards. Indeed at the 2018 Miami

be coming from the maker: a brand new platform of 175, 200 and 225hp engines. With their current offerings consisting of the oil burning 2-stroke Optimax and versions of the superchargedyet-heavy 4-cylinder Verado, Mercury was due to release something lighter, cleaner, faster and more advanced in that market segment. After some exclusive access to the product on the water, it was pretty obvious that the futuristic-looking 3.4L naturally aspirated V6 was going to tick all of the boxes. Design-wise, the 3.4L platform is significantly

The main top panel covers the easy access to the dipstick, oil fill and cowling removal handle. show, there were dozens of big boats sporting one, two, three, four or even five Verados on the transom. Boat porn at its finest! We weren’t there for Verados though. This was obvious at the media launch the day before the show, where the world’s boating media were treated to an embargoed preview of the next big thing to come from the Fond du Lac, Wisconsin factory. As Mercury boss, John Pfeiffer and his Chief Technology Officer, David Foulkes slid the covering from the veiled engine, we saw what we thought might

different from everything in the product line except the new 15 and 20HP that were released a few months ago. An angular cowling is vastly removed from the 150 and 135hp 3.0L motors which sit just under these in the horsepower range. Initial feedback from consumers when shown the stand-alone motor was pretty harsh. It reminded me of when Daiwa upgraded their old logo a while ago to a modern looking iteration. It took some getting used to and now it never gets mentioned. These outboards will be the same.

The morning following the launch we saw single and twin rigs on a variety of boats in the water. Both the standard black and white and the colour panel accented Mercs looked great when fitted up. But let’s face it, it’s what’s under the cowling that counts, and that’s where the platform really impressed. QUIET AND LOW VIBRATION At the media launch, Mercury claimed that these motors were significantly quieter than both their previous offerings and their competition. Although we had no way to objectively measure this, let me just say that if there was no telltale ‘peeing’ into the water, it’d be difficult indeed to even know that they are running at all! Advances to the mid section and the naturally balanced design of the V6 has Mercury claiming a 50% reduction in vibration. Again, using the product makes this claim seem legitimate. They are very quiet and smooth. COWL ACCESS POINT When you see the clever cowl design and inspection hatch that gives access to an all-in-one cowl handle and an oil checking and filling point, you immediately wonder why this isn’t standard in all outboards. Previously, one had to remove a heavy cowling VIDEO The new Mercury 3.4L 4-stroke is a naturally aspirated, V6 motor that is set to replace their 1.7L 4-cylinder Verado and some of their OptiMax models. It is available in 175, 200 and 225hp.

Scan the QR code to see the David Foulkes technology video.

(with up to three external, salt collecting latches) to do simple maintenance like check and top up the oil. Cowl removal is elegant, with a pop-up handle both unlocking the internal latches and acting as the lift point for

No matter what the base colour or motor iteration, all of the 3.4L 4-strokes are customisable with a replaceable colour panel to suit your colour boat. There are four standard colour plates and a plate that can be customised if required. 98

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the engine cover. We are sure that users and technicians will love the solution. You just put the cover down to a point and it pops up and open. You shut it by pushing it closed until the detent clicks. WEIGHT I suppose the whole challenge for designers of modern outboards it to load them with as much fuelefficient power as possible with your boss also saying that they have to be the lightest motor in class as well. These motors are, indeed light, with the 225hp weighing in at 215kg. Let’s compare that to the 231kg of my current 150hp 1.6L, L4 Verado or my 229kg 3.0L, 225hp OptiMax ProXS that I owned before that. Lighter weight naturally gives you better power-toweight numbers and that’s what we were super-keen to test out on the water. I chose a Robalo 206 Cayman bay boat that was fitted with a 200hp 3.4L – mainly because I’d tested this hull previously with a older 4-stroke outboard on it and wanted to see if the performance stacked up. The previous Robalo test took 5.6

seconds to get onto the plane. So we left the dock with sister magazine Editor, Great Dixon from NZ Fishing News, and set out to feel the power that the Mercury staff alluded to the night before. With Mercury staffer, Angel Melendez at the helm, I got to talk first hand with someone whose job it is to deal with all of the Florida boat builders that fit Mercury outboards to their boats. “We secretly worked with several boat builders while designing this motor and all of them are excited about what this power plant offers their hulls when it comes to performance,” he said. “Being light and fuel efficient with awesome power-to-weight means that their hulls perform better than ever.” With that he punched the throttle and we felt the mid-range torque for ourselves. The new 200 3.4L took half the time of my previous test and the power was evident. MID-RANGE TORQUE To be honest, it reminded me of a G2 E-Tec. In my opinion, the Evinrude offered the best mid-range torque in the business with its evolved 2-stroke power plant throwing you and whatever craft you’d cleverly matched it to up and out of the water with ease. The 3.4L delivered the same hole shot and ‘sit-down’ style punch in the 2,000 through 4,000rpm range that makes you smile and giggle. It’s a saying – ‘there’s no replacement for displacement’ – and the quad-cam design gets the most out of the naturally balanced and aspirated V6 design. Although I haven’t seen the torque to horsepower curves yet, the fact that the engine easily popped the Robalo onto the plane at 3,000rpm suggests that the 3.4L produces big horsepower way down the rev range. Often when doing VIDEO

Scan the QR code to see the launch night video for the 3.4L V6. economy tests, we will put a boat onto the plane at higher rpm and then drop back to 3,000 to get an accurate cruising reading. Not here! ECONOMY When we talk economy at Fishing Monthly, I like to refine the numbers down to kilometres travelled per litre of fuel burned, or km/L.

Generalising here, we see best numbers of 3-6km/L for small outboards, 2-3km/L for mid range outboards and 1-2km/L for big outboards. The 20’6” Robalo with the 200hp 3.4L delivered a maximum economy of 2.2km/L at 3,000rpm. I think that’s exceptional for a rig weighing 1300kg (boat and motor). Like all outboards, economy drops the closer you get to the maximum rev range and the table hereby shows that.

Continuing the theme from Mercury’s 2.6L Verados, the 3.4L platform is also available in white.

As with all boats, you can drive it for range or you can drive it for fun. The choice is up to you. ADVANCED RANGE OPTIMISATION How do Mercury present an outboard lineups with better economy each time? In the 3.4L, it’s called Advanced Range Optimisation. I caught up with Mercury’s Chief Technology Officer, David Foulkes, to ask why Mercury took the high-capacity path rather then use a supercharged engines like they had done with the Verados previously. “Basically we have an algorithm that works out which area of the rpm versus load engine map we could change to for the benefit of fuel economy, and we wanted to apply that in as wide a range as we possible can so that you get the biggest benefit,” David explained. “The secret is, however, to be able to switch between the standard mode and a leaner air-fuel mixture mode and for the customer to never know that they’ve made the switch. We’ve patented a series of algorithms to make that customer experience exceptional.” It makes sense. Customers want engines that minimise fuel burn and maximise performance and the Mercury walks this line wonderfully. We all have a fixed size fuel tank in our boats and we want to get the most out of them.

Cowl-off the 3.4L still looks mean. You’ll note that all external cowling latches are gone. PERFORMANCE 3.4L V6 1000......... 7............ 2.2 2000........ 14........... 2.1 3000........ 34........... 2.2 4000........ 52........... 2.1 5000........ 67........... 1.3 5500........ 75........... 1.2 ADAPTIVE SPEED CONTROL I also asked David about Mercury’s Adaptive Speed Control, which had been converted from their Mercruiser inboard motors. “Normally when you use a control, you command a particular throttle opening, but in this case, you comment

a particular rpm, and that’s really important because when you lock that rpm, no matter what manoeuvre you perform, the engine will automatically add or subtract torque to keep that rpm,” David said. “For example, when you go into a turn, you’d add throttle into the turn because the drag goes up and then subtracting throttle when you exit the turn. Basically the control system does that for you now, which results in a better boating experience.” POWER OR HYDRAULIC STEER Now, some of you will be reading this and thinking, “that would be a great motor for me

to re-power my current boat.” You’re probably right, and Mercury have made it easy to do this in several ways. The 3.4L is compatible with any existing SmartCraft or VesselView gauges, which means that it will plug into all of your existing gauges and looms, and that includes your current hydraulic steering. Of course, you can get proprietary Mercury power steering for these motors at an additional cost, but there will be models available that plug into your existing hydraulic pistons. Got a 175 Verado? Unbolt and it will run on all of your stuff with Digital Throttle and Shift. Got an old OptiMax? It’ll work with that kit, too! NO JOYSTICK One of the features I did expect to be available with this platform is compatibility with Mercury’s Joystick Piloting that runs so well with multi-rigged, 6-cylinder Verados. Especially since these outboards are available with power steering. Alas, this isn’t so. If you want (the admittedly expensive) option, you’ll need to stick with the Verado L6 platform. COLOURS Mercury broke with tradition when they offered the 6-cylinder Verados in black and white colour options. It came as no real surprise, then, that the 3.4L platform was offered domestically in the USA in a black and three shades of white. White is the preferred colour of most saltwater boat manufacturers.

In Australia, we’ll likely see only black and one of the whites in stock, however, a full range of the four custom colour panels (plus a primed, ready-to-paint panel for boat manufacturers that like to colour match) will be available locally. The custom colour panels VIDEO

Scan the QR code to see the 3.4L V6 being tested on the water. run along the top and back rather than the sides of the outboards. MERC VS MERC So what does this mean for Mercury’s current line up? It looks like the 1.7L 4-cylinder Verados (150200hp) will be gone. You can also expect some OptiMax motors in that power range to be deleted. I know that there are lovers of these engines, but from what we’ve seen in Miami, there’s nothing to be scared of – these motors are light, quiet, fast, fun and innovative – and who wouldn’t want that on their boat! Make sure you watch some of the launch videos by scanning the QR codes hereby.

3.0L 150 ProXS lost in 3.4L V6 motor launch Believe me, there’s a lot of people in the Australian market that were waiting for the launch of the 3.0L 150 ProXS 4-stroke. Traditionally, the ProXS motors are tuned for maximum performance and it’s not just tournament anglers who appreciate a quicker hole shot and a few more km/h at the top end. In fact, Mercury Australia’s Nicholas Webb reported that around a quarter of the 115hp 4-stroke 2.1L outboards that Mercury sell are the ProXS build. With that in mind, Mercury’s engineers have taken the popular and reliable 3.0L 150 4-stroke and tweaked it. I caught up with a member of Mercury’s design team, Chandler Nault, to find out just where the advantages lie. “One of the things that I think people will really like is that we are 25lb (12kg) lighter than the competition,” Chandler explained. “The gearbox has a

higher (2.08:1) gear ratio and low water pickups which allows users to jack the motor up with a jack

end which lets the motor rev to 6,000rpm. But it’s the Transient Spark Technology, which came

acceleration curve that gives ups more power to get out of the hole and then backs off when the boat levels out. It gives you more oomph to get out of the hole,” Chandler concluded. After the success of the 115 ProXS, we know that Aussies will embrace the new 150 ProXS – whether you own a bass boat or not, because who doesn’t want more speed out of the hole and to go faster? VIDEO

The 150 ProXS gearbox is grey and has low water pickups so you can jack it up higher. The new Mercury 150 ProXS is an extension of their current 3.0L engine, but has a distinctive styling and gearbox, 200 more rpm at the top end and new spark technology that helps you get out of the hole quicker.

plate and get even greater performance out of it.” “Then there’s the 200 more rpm at the top

out of the Advanced Development Team, which sparks the engine at different rates during

Scan the QR Code to see Steve Morgan’s interview with Chandler Nault. You can see all of the specifications on or through your local dealer. APRIL 2018



Quintrex 350 Outback Explorer with 15hp Evinrude


Wayne Kampe

The Outback Explorer series is a brand new range of boats from Quintrex, complementing the already well received Explorer range of punts. The emphasis on the Outback models is for lighter weight, enhanced dimensions and, best of all, affordability. There are three models in the Outback range –350, 370 and 390 – and there are some extra options available for each rig to cater for individual requirements. The new Explorers offer a wider beam and an enhanced freeboard, so even though they’re only small boats they provide a lot of bang for your buck. EXPLORER 350 The little 350 model is the smallest of the three new Quintrex Outback Explorer tinnies. This baby of the Outback range weighs just

81kg, and it’s sure to be well received by people wanting a lightweight, highly portable boat for a multitude of uses. To start with, it would definitely be handy as an inexpensive tender for a larger rig. Likewise, travellers wanting a lightweight boat to put atop the vehicle or a home away from home on the draw bar of the car will also find the 350 worth a serious look. Other likely owners could well be from the first boat buying fraternity, or those wanting to downsize from a larger rig to something far more portable and less of a hassle to use. A RANGE OF OPTIONS The little 350 Outback Explorer is a 4-person craft with engine ratings up to 15hp. Standard features include two bench seats with flotation underneath, an anchor locker up front plus a small front deck, grab handles and a glove box/ drink holder. Standard, also, is a surprisingly good ride!

SPECIFICATIONS Length...........................................................3.58m Beam.............................................................1.53m Hull weight..................................................... 81kg Persons................................................................4 Engines..................................................up to 15hp Engine fitted..........................Evinrude 15 4-stroke Fuel Tote tank...................................................20L Towing................................... family sedan or SUV 100

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More on this later. Options for the 350 ranged from a bimini to a carpeted floor, side rails, fuel tank rack, vinyl wraps to add bling, and last but not least a transducer bracket. Although standard construction of the 350 Outback Explorer sees 160mm alloy used throughout, Quintrex also offer an upgrade from 160mm bottom material to 200mm for those boaters planning for some heavier duty work for their rig. EVINRUDE 15 4-STROKE Stepping into the 350 from a pontoon, I was surprised by the inherent stability of this small, puntstyle craft. I also liked the overall rigidity; the floor and sides were obviously well braced within the unit, and for a small boat the 350 had a surprisingly solid overall feel about it. Power on the transom came from a 15hp 2-cylinder Evinrude 4-stroke outboard, which at 52kg was within the 58kg weight range suited to the rig. With myself and a Quintrex rep aboard, we carried out test runs in the Coomera River, which was a perfect, sheltered environment for the little tinny. I found that the Explorer 350 had a surprising turn of speed. With a light hull weight of just 81kg, I expected the Evinrude 15

would make the craft hum along pretty well, but did more than hum – it fairly sang! Planing was between 11.3km/h and 11.8km/h, and 30km/h was an easy cruising speed. With the Evinrude’s hand throttle control wide open it reached 37.3km/h, which was very good performance from a small rig under such modest power. When it comes to boat design, it’s pretty easy to build something that can go fast in a straight line. What’s less easy to achieve is brilliant handling of a little craft like this one. With a well formed waterline entry section up front and a slight amount of vee astern, this 3.5m punt amazed me with its tenacity in the corners. This is one punt that would make it fun to whiz up a mangrove creek to check the pots before the tide gets too low. With the absolutely amazing way in which the 350 cornered under near full throttle (it generated some very serious G-forces in the process) I’d reckon there would be little chance of skidding out of a sharp turn and ending up in the mangroves. The ride was quite good thanks to the work Quintrex have done with the Explorer range in general. The new Explorer’s F-section bow, plus the hull’s clever design, ensured that we could press over wash from other craft

Main: The 350 Outback Explorer may be small, but you get a lot of bang for your buck.. Above: This shot of the Explorer travelling fast shows the excellent entry area of the punt-style hull. without having to reduce speed. This is pretty much ideal for any small alloy craft these days. SUMMING UP The new 350 Outback Explorer is definitely worth a look if you’re in the market for a highly portable but equally useful small boat. I liked the ride, the ease of handling plus the roomy layout within the Explorer’s hull. Rigidity of the craft plus a decent amount of freeboard were also much to my liking. With so many people wanting to explore the Top End’s fishing, it’s great to see that there

is an ideal craft for their requirements. The price of the rig as reviewed, ready to go onto the carry racks, would be around the $5490 mark as supplied by Surf Coast Marine on the Gold Coast. To find your local Quintrex dealer go to • 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.


Hang onto your hat! This little boat does nearly 40km/h with a 15hp outboard on it.

This image displays the excellent side height of the 350 Outback Explorer.

Large boat owners would find the 350 Outback Explorer to be a great tender.

A shelf for the anchor, and seats with flotation underneath are just a couple of the features that make the Explorer such a handy craft. A drink holder and glove box are standard equipment in the little 3.5m Quintrex.

Modest beginnings in the Quintrex factory lead to a quality small craft on the water.

Maximum power is a useful thing in small boat, and the 350 Explorer handled the power very well. APRIL 2018



Sea Jay 460 Vision CC with Yamaha F75 - SC





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it. Like the rest of the boats in the Sea Jay range, the warranty is effectively doubled with the purchase of the factory-matched trailer. It’s good value in our eyes. The single axle setup is achievable with a half-ton hull weight and allows you

PERFORMANCE • Top speed 63.5km/h at 5900 rpm • Best economy at 4000rpm of 3.3km/L

Main: It was great to be able to take the 460 Vision out for a serious test in some rough water. Above: Powered by the new Yamaha F75 (which is 1.8L, compared with the 1L existing F70), the rig delivered 3.3km/L at 4000rpm. With a massive 2.3m beam, this 4.6m long boat holds a console that would be at home in a hull much longer. Well designed, with a grab bar all the way around

SPECIFICATIONS Length overall ......................................... 4.74m Bottom .......................................................4mm Sides ..........................................................3mm Beam..........................................................2.3m Depth .......................................................1.24m Floor ribs ....................................................... 11 Capacity ....................................... Five persons Hull weight .............................................. 495kg Max hp ...........................................................75 Max motor weight................................... 175kg went over the setup and quickly deduced that this rig was for anglers who wanted the versatility to fish anywhere from a tidal river to offshore.


One of the most popular boat tests we’ve completed in Fishing Monthly recently was the simple and effective Sea Jay Ranger 460 – an unpainted, tiller steer open boat with the Samurai hull. That hull – powered by a 70hp tiller Yamaha – struck a chord with anglers Australia-wide. This iteration of the same hull is painted, has a plywood, carpeted floor and a giant console. Enter the Vision 460. And we finally got a nice, rough day to take the test boat for a spin – 15-20 knots from the southeast with a big tide is a pretty standard nasty-dayon-the-bay. Meeting Sea Jay’s Garry Fitzgerald at the ramp, we



Steve Morgan





Same as most boats? Yep, and once you learn the limits of the hull, you’ll comfortably traverse water that’s too uncomfortable to fish in. High gunwales make this rig comfortable to fish in, especially from the cockpit.


the windscreen, there’s ample room for a mountain of big screen electronics and a dry storage shelf underneath. The front casting deck is elevated from the main

floor, but not so high that it’s unfishable in a bit of a sea. Underneath the floor is some gear storage and a compartment that’s ideal for the batteries for the bow mounted trolling motor. On the water, we had plenty of opportunity to see how this boat performed in a variety of conditions. In the lee of the wind and chop behind the headland, the Vision jumped up and onto the plane with the 1.8L 75hp Yamaha showing the benefit of its displacement. Around the corner where the waves and wind met current you needed to match the trim and speed of the boat to conditions. Get it right and the Vision lands gently, with the bow cutting the water. Try to traverse the chop too fast and you’ll

land the boat on the belly of the hull and wear the bang to match.

Wound out to 5900rpm, the Yamaha pushed the Vision along at 63.5km/h, but the most economical speed was at 4000rpm, there the Vision delivered 40km/h at a frugal 3.3km/L. Cradled on a Sea Jay aluminium I-beam framed trailer (manufactured by Dunbier), the Vision isn’t so heavy that you’ll need a specialised 4WD to tow

to manoeuvre the boat in tight garage situations. Overall, the 4.6m Vision would suit an angler that wants the best of all worlds, with a bent more towards bay and inshore fishing than estuary work. For more information, visit au or like Sea Jay’s Facebook page (Sea Jay Boats) for updated or new models.

With a 2.3m beam and 4.6m overall length, the Vision is definitely a wide boat with a big ol’ console. Spinning a 15” GP Alloy Yamaha prop it definitely jumps up and onto the plane.


With a steep entry up front flattening out to a 16° deadrise down the back, the 460 Vision’s Samurai hull addresses the balance between stability and ride.

The upswept shape of the Samurai hull has become a Sea Jay trademark.

Now that’s a big console – we loved the handrail the whole way around and the abundance of room to mount electronics.

You can have the best of both worlds up front. The traditional, roomy anchor locker and bowsprit can work with an offset mounting plate for a bow mounted trolling motor.

A plumbed livewell in the port corner transom is a typical, simple Sea Jay design.

The front casting deck is raised, but to an intermediate height. This provides a balance between height and balance in rougher conditions.

The practicality theme continues towards the transom with the fibreglass cooler doubling as a seat.

Even with a medium-height casting deck for’ard, there’s still a mountain of room to store gear underfloor – including trolling motor batteries.

Store your catch, your lunch or the food for a week away in here. The world’s your oyster with the Vision set up like this.

Cradled on a Dunbier-built, Sea Jay-branded aluminium I-beam trailer, the Sea Jay gets a twoyear rather than a one-year warranty – a solid reason to go with the factory-designed kit.

There’s some extra storage in the transom and the standard side-pockets are great for the incidental gear you’ll take for a day on the water. APRIL 2018



Stessco 460 Breezaway with Mercury 75hp


Gary Brown

Over the years I have had many different types and shapes of boats and they have all (but one) been boats that I can mainly fish from with the option to do a small amount of towing if need be, and only one has had a canopy for protection from the elements. The Stessco 460 Breezaway powered by the Mercury 75hp 4-stroke ELPT outboard is one that will enable you to do all of the above and much more. With its plumbed livewell and kill tank you will be able to keep your live bait alive and kicking for those kingfish, mulloway and dusky flathead you are targeting. You will also be able to keep your catch alive if you are into catch and release, or if you get a feed of fish for the family or friends you will still be able to keep your catch in top condition for the table. A suggestion would be to install a separate aerator on a timer so that you can keep the fish a bit more on the perky side. This isn’t a must, as you could also install a

Main: Stessco 460 Breezaway is an impressive outfit both on the trailer and on the water. Above: The Stessco 460 Breezaway powered by the Mercury 75hp 4-stroke ELPT outboard with its rear bait board, bimini top and colour paint upgrade looks good and is a soft ride. your family and your friends out of the elements whether you are fishing or just out on the water for a bit of sight-seeing. The bimini can also be folded down to give you more room if you prefer to stand when driving or drifting. Having the bimini folded down will also allow you to have less wind resistance when towing either a skier or someone on

SPECIFICATIONS Length........................................ 5.04m Top and bottom sides............... 3mm thick timer on the livewell switch so that it will refill the kill tank every ten minutes or so. This package comes with a gunwale mounted bimini that will keep you, 104

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a float tube behind. The Stessco 460 Breezaway boat also has a 60L underfloor fuel tank, lockable glovebox, boarding ladder leading to a transom

door, two comfortable T6 Commodore pedestal seats, a generous padded seat box with storage at the rear, which also includes a padded seat back, two side pockets for that extra storage, a bilge pump, two bollards, non-feedback steering, two transducer brackets, navigation lights, a switch panel with a 12v socket, underfloor drained storage and a walk through threepiece windscreen complete with grab rails. For added comfort under-foot the floor has been carpeted and the battery shelf has easy access. The Mercury 75hp 4-stroke ELPT outboard will get you up and going whether you are just going to your favourite fishing or

picnic spot, or if you are towing a skier or taking the kids out on a float tube. This 8-valve single overhead cam 4-cylinder will push the Stessco 460 Breezaway at somewhere between 45005500rpm. This will depend on how many people you have on board or whether you are towing someone or not. It comes complete with an engine protection operator warning system in case anything goes amiss. Use unleaded 91 fuel as a minimum and Mercury 4-stroke 10W-30 oil. When out on the water the digital technology of the Smart Start Electric key starting made starting the motor so easy, while the mechanical throttle and shift

and dual cable mechanical hydraulic power steering made driving the Stessco 460 Breezaway a breeze. The Mercury 75hp 4-stroke ELPT outboard has a shaft length of 508mm and a gear case ratio of 2.07:1. Its lightest model available weighs 163kg and has a three-star emissions rating. The standard power trim and tilt system has a shallow water trim range between -6 and 16° and a maximum tilt range of -6° to 64°. The standard white 460 Stessco Breezeaway comes on a braked Dunbier trailer Sports 4.7m with 13” wheels, a Mercury 60hp 4-stroke ELPT with three gauges, an

inland water safety kit, trailer and boat rego, battery and a bilge pump will set you back a total of $27,999. If you would like a few extras, the boat (as tested) will set you back a cool $34,899. If you’re after something like the Stessco 460 Breezaway powered by the Mercury 75hp 4-stroke ELPT outboard, you need to get into Penrith Marine and talk to either Gaye or Stuart about taking one for a test drive. Call them on (02) 4731 6250 to make sure that they have one in stock, as they go out as quick as they come in. Don’t forget to ask about the optional upsize to an 80hp motor.

FEATURES • 60L underfloor fuel tank • Lockable glovebox • Boarding ladder leading to a transom door • Two comfortable pedestal seats and a generous padded seat box with storage at the rear including padded seat back • Two side pockets • Bilge pump • Two Bollards • Non-feedback steering • Two transducer brackets • Navigation lights • Switch panel with 12v socket • Drained storage under floor • Dunbier braked trailer • Mercury 60hp 4-stroke ELPT EFI with three gauges Optional Extras • Bait board with two rod holders - factory built • Side colour panels • Upgraded seats • Bimini • Fusion stereo active • Plumbed livewell • Vessel View • 502 sounder with transducer • Mercury 75hp ELPT with three gauges * The build time on these hulls is approx. 4-5 weeks.


The Dunbier trailer comes complete with centre rollers, skids, tie down locations and submersible lights. The transducer has been mounted before delivery and the intake hole for the livewell and kill tank has had a gauzed cover installed to stop large objects going into the hole.

At the helm you have plenty of legroom and extra dashboard space to install any other instruments that you may require. To the left of the steering wheel there is a fiveswitch electrical panel including a 24v socket.

At the rear of the boat the rig tested on the day had a self-draining bait board with two rod holders. On the left your will find a livewell and on the right-hand side there is an access door for getting in and out of the boat.

The braked Dunbier Sports 4.7m trailer with 13” wheels looked very shiny straight off the truck. While at Penrith Marine you should talk to the staff about how to look after your trailer.

The test boat coming off the trailer, ready for a day on the water.

For ease of access up front to the anchor well you have a full wrap-around windscreen with handy grab rails. The bow sprit stainless steel lock-in roller and bollard makes it easy to deploy and retrieve your anchor when needed.

Up front there are two T6 Commodore type swivel seats to make your comfort ride even more comfortable. Directly situated between the seat on the carpeted floor is your underfloor storage tank that can be plumbed and used as a kill tank for your latest catch.

On both sides of the boat there is more open storage for things like tackle boxes, life jackets, and spare tow ropes for skiing or float tubing.

On the passenger’s side you have a lockable glove box, a couple of drink holders and a sunken tray for a bit more storage away from the oncoming salt spray.

To make it easier to get in and out of the boat either on dry land or in the water you have a fold down aluminium ladder and lockable door. The pod also comes with non-slip material strips.

The rig tested on the day had the upgraded Mercury 75hp ELPT outboard – the lightest model available at 163kg, it also has a threestar emissions rating. The motor has been fitted with a 3-bladed stainless-steel Mercury Spitfire X7 13x17P PH prop.

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Honda Marine has just launched its redesigned and improved BF175, BF200, BF225 and BF250 V6 outboard motors. Targeting the heart of the boating market, the refreshed Honda ‘V6’ models mark the newest evolution in the company’s product line, integrating innovative design, a sleek new style, enhanced reliability, streamlined maintenance and an expanded number of rigging options for ease of use. Whether boaters are weekend cruisers or commercial (including government and law enforcement) users, these enhanced V6 motors deliver what every marine enthusiast wants— maximum time on the water. “With multiple rigging options and with Honda’s legendary durability and reliability as standard, these new Honda Marine engines will provide best power and performance from the initial blast to top end speed,” said Rod Day, Sales Manager at Honda Marine.



Building on the success of the Mercury 115 Pro XS FourStroke, Mercury Marine has created its new 150 Pro XS FourStroke – an engine which sets a new standard in the 150hp high-output category. Mercury’s new 150 Pro XS more than lives up to the legendary Pro XS reputation for superior hole shot, top-end speed, and durability. This new FourStroke is an ideal fit for performance-oriented boating; for recreational, fishing and competition applications. “The new 150 Pro XS is based on one of Mercury’s most successful and widely adopted engine platforms – the Mercury 150hp,” said John Buelow, Mercury Marine vice president of category management. “Building on this solid foundation, we’ve engineered the new performance-tuned 150 Pro XS to be the quickest, lightest and most advanced high-output outboard in its class.” The new 150 Pro XS boasts fast acceleration, light weight, large displacement, high torque, improved fuel efficiency, smooth performance, corrosion protection, and much more.



Navionics, the leader in content and location-based services for the recreational boating market, have announced the release of Navionics+ Regions in seven coverage areas throughout Australia and New Zealand. At the affordable price of $165 AUS per region, Navionics+ Regions is a tremendous value that includes Nautical Chart, SonarChart 0.5 m HD bathymetry map and Community Edits. Daily chart updates and advanced features are included for one year. “For the vast majority of boaters and anglers, the coverage of one Navionics+ Region preloaded with Nautical Chart and SonarChart, allows them to take full advantage of the outstanding capabilities of Navionics+ at a more affordable price point,” said John McDonald, Sales Manager at Navionics Australia. Navionics charts are updated every day with official information, while SonarChart and Community Edits are continuously enhanced by regular contributions from fellow boaters. To keep their charts current, customers can download updates anywhere within the coverage area from the website. Price: SRP $165 106

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COMPACT YANMAR 4 3JH40 Yanmar Marine International has launched the latest addition to its family of new generation common rail (CR) diesel engines: the compact Yanmar 3JH40 inboard engine. The 3-cylinder 3JH40 has been developed by leading manufacturer Yanmar as the marine industry’s smallest CR inboard diesel engine. With an output of 40mhp, it will enable a whole new category of smaller leisure boat owners and commercial vessel operators to benefit for the first time from the efficiency and performance advantages associated with the most recent electronically-managed CR fuelinjection technology. Offering minimal fuel consumption and exceptionally low noise and emission levels, the new Yanmar 3JH40 propulsion engine surpasses EPA Tier 3 and EU RCD Tier 2 emission regulations, for virtually smoke and odour-free operation. The 4-stroke, water-cooled 3JH40 is an ideal solution for new builds and repowering applications, such as small motor boats or light duty commercial craft. Weighing 192kg and with 1.642L displacement, the engine can be operated by either standard mechanical cable controls or the Yanmar VC10 electronic control system.



Mercury Marine is excited to introduce its allnew V6 FourStroke outboard family and the expansion of its SeaPro commercial line. Just unveiled at the 2018 Miami International Boat Show, the new engines include 175hp, 200hp and 225hp FourStroke outboards and a V6 200hp SeaPro commercial outboard. Precision engineered from skeg to cowl, all four outboards are built on Mercury’s new 3.4-litre V6 platform, which is designed to be powerful, light, compact and fuel-efficient. It employs a large displacement, naturally aspirated powerhead and proven mid-section and drive-system designs. “This new platform will position Mercury to advance product leadership in the 175-225hp outboard category, and deliver across the board on consumer needs,” said John Pfeifer, Mercury Marine President. “These new outboards address applications across recreational and commercial applications, strengthen our core product lineup by building off the success of our recent programs and delivering on the requirements of our global customers.”



Raymarine have just announced a marine electronics first at the Miami International Boat Show in the United States this year, with the introduction of the UAV integration with Axiom/Axiom Pro MFDs! This leading-edge technology now brings a hands-free, aerial view to the water, ushering in a new era of UAV control and video possibilities for anglers and boaters doing a lot of on-water filming. Not only does it make capturing video footage of fish catches easier, it also increases Axiom’s inherent fish-finding power to include aerial scouting capabilities while you’re out on the water. Currently compatible with DJI Spark and Mavic UAV drones, features include single button launch/track/record functions, GPS link for various ‘follow’ modes, and real-time video streaming on the Axiom MFD, to make filming with a drone even easier! Axiom UAV integration will be available in the spring of 2018.







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All recreational Mercury Outboard models from the 2.5 to 350hp range now come with 6 years of warranty coverage. A comprehensive warranty that’s supported by the strength and service expertise of one of the largest dealer networks in the country. Simply have your engine serviced at an Authorised Service Centre at the recommended servicing intervals and you’re covered by an additional 3-year factory backed warranty on top of the first 3 years. That’s a full 6 years of non-declining warranty coverage. *Terms and conditions apply for full warranty information visit

NSW Fishing Monthly April 2018  

Complete digital version of NSW Fishing Monthly Magazine for April 2018.

NSW Fishing Monthly April 2018  

Complete digital version of NSW Fishing Monthly Magazine for April 2018.