I DID a tour along the South Coast and have some good options to report on.
For a start there is heaps of good-sized blackfish and extra-large bream in the channel at Lake Illawarra.
Off the new Groynes in front of the Windang Beach Tourist Park is the go, the slack water at high tide is best, but slack at low or even in between will also work if you target the eddies.
You will note that the water clarity at the Groynes varies dramatically on certain parts of the tide – if the lake is chopped up the run out can be murky, and if the ocean is calm and clear the run in tide clears the water. The opposite is also true.
But clear or not clear, the fish are still there, it’s just a little easier to sight fish for them when the water is clear.
A few good ways to catch blackfish include traditional weed techniques, or burley with bread and use fish oil enhanced doughs.
For bream use light line, unweighted or lightly weighted size-two hooks, and a thumb-sized striped tuna, slimy, a pilchard head, carp or other tough skinned but oily bait.
You’ll get the bigger bream in the first few casts if you can see into the water, after that it is a case of working around the arriving pickers via bigger, tougher bait that lasts until the bigger bream come back.
Nippers also work well, but a live prawn is better if you like to use crustaceans for bait – the prawn is more picker proof.
While on the Groynes I coached some keen young anglers and their dad through the above techniques, they are well on track to mastering this type of fishing which makes fish like big bream, blackfish and flathead a reliable rather than fluke catch.
I noticed locals are slowly starting to realise this is prime turf for jewfish, and possibly as good as the bridge just upstream, with an eight-kilo fish reported on the Groyne last slack high tide at dusk, although slack low tide has worked on smaller specimens at times. It’s just a matter of trying a few tide changes until you strike it lucky.
Speaking of jewfish, I bumped into a guy called Phil Hunter who works at the car wash at Batemans Bay.
He thanked me for getting him his first jewfish via the techniques on my instructional DVDs.
This sort of feedback is awesome, but it was even better to hear it took him just two hours of trying to get his first jewfish – a solid six-kilo plus specimen.
I have friends that have done everything right and it took them two days to catch their first jewfish!
Locals have the advantage of giving the slack tide a go after work – just an hour each day off a jetty, groyne or best of all in the kayak, will see you get one after a few attempts.
Best lure is a four-inch Storm Pro Shad on a seven to 14-gram jig head. Smear it with ultra-bite gel scent and fish it slowly across the bottom metre of water. And for holiday makers, you can’t go past a house boat – play with the family in between tides, and target jewfish (and big bream and flathead) from a small boat or kayak on the tide change.
Rob and Sue Fish from Clyde River House Boats have recorded jewfish to a cracking 1.2 metres over recent weeks, but also suggest that the week days are better for fishing, as there is less traffic and on-water accommodation is also easier to find as we get into the busy season.
BIG BASS AT BROGO
Iconic Brogo Dam, one of few quality bass impoundments within range of a one to two-day trip, is producing some of the best bass fishing in years.
Keen bass buffs will know what I am talking about, but if you want to learn more about the place, or catch your first big bass, look out for the Brogo Bass competition, where lots of experts will be on hand to help anglers of all skill levels, and there is even some new kayaks to test fish from.
For more info, contact Darren Redman on 0427 934 688 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you on the water,
Rob Paxevanos hosts Fishing Australia on Sundays from 1pm on Channel GO!