IF you want good sport and a great feed, then it is hard to go past using shallow- running hard-body minnows in the South Coast “city” flatty systems at the moment.
Examples of flathead city systems include Durras, Tuross, Wallaga and many of the other shallow lakes with lots of fertile water in the 0.5 to 1.5-metre deep mark.
You’ll also find parts of bigger systems such as St Georges Basin, the Clyde, Wagonga and others have shallow edges, flats and bays that suit this type of fishing.
The key is to look for this type of terrain anywhere you can find it, and set about covering the water.
The shallow-running minnow has huge advantages over softie poppers and other lures in that you can pick the one that gets down to the preset depth.
For example, a good start is to target water a metre deep, and pick one that gets down to half a metre – high enough to miss the weed, but low enough to attract the flatties especially if you get active and give the lure lots of energetic twitches, rips and pauses.
Flatties can’t resist this.
With this same lure you can make the lure run a bit deeper by holding the rod tip low, or shallower by holding the rod tip high.
The big bonus is that it is easy to stay tight on this type of lure, even if it is a little choppy or windy – the same can’t be said for softies and poppers.
If you’re off the bank, half a dozen quick casts can cover an area the size of a golfing green, even at dawn, dusk and at night - the flatties love the vibration of this type of lure and will track it down pronto.
If you get a bite, follow, or drop a fish, cast back in as they’re hungry and will come back for more – or you’ll tempt another one from the same area.
If not, move 25 metres and start again. It’s an active, fun way to fish, and the hit you get from a flatty is awesome on this type of lure – it’s like running over a rock with a lawn mower (speaking of which, flatty fillets equal less nagging to mow the lawn at my house).
If you have a small shallow-draft tinny or kayak, then it’s even better.
Bank or boat, work a bank where you can cast downwind – this is a big help with casting distance, these lures are light.
Shallow-running trout lures fit this bill and work well, so take these along or talk to your local about newer models that are designed to cast further and be fished actively.
Oh, and take the esky and some ice – fresh flatties kept in good condition are even better than the usual ones.
There has also been lots of whiting and garfish about – Jim Yiannaros caught lots of big ones and a few bream as well fishing the Clyde River.
He’s an oyster farmer who’s been on the system most of his life and can’t believe how good the fishing has been in recent years.
Out on the shelf, the best marlin fishing, when the weather is good enough, has been down towards Bermagui and Eden.
A few black marlin and the occasional big blue marlin have again been reported among the more common striped marlin.
ACT RULES UPDATED
There have been a few tweaks to fishing rules in the ACT.
Anglers can find the latest pamphlet at tackle stores, or online at www.environment.act.gov.au.
Steve Williamson reports the alpine creeks are going well with lots of feisty little rainbows prepared to take a humpty, caddis or royal wolf fly off the surface.
The bigger streams are still low, which is normal for late summer, but trout are still readily available in the shade and undercut banks.
Steve also fished over the hill on the Indy and surrounding streams and had similar findings.
Some 40mm of rain due in the Snowies at the time of writing should make the stream fishing even easier.
On the lakes, bait anglers are still faring well on mudeyes under a float early and late in the day.
Browns are being caught on yabby/clay banks in four to five metres of water, sometimes even during midday, but much more early/late and at night.
Floating a worm off the bottom with some honey worm floating trout bait is the go.
See you on the water,