Australian Fishing Report – May 2014
NEW SOUTH WALES
Information provided by Otto’s Tackle World Drummoyne
Boat fishos are most likely aware of the plague proportions of juvenile mahi mahi out at the fads of late. A few better fish up to 7-8kg are being caught amongst them by persistent anglers.
Monster tailor between 5-7kg are being caught around local beaches and headlands on pilchards. Among the reports was one fish caught at Long Reef weighing in at 6kg.
Rock fishos have been catching plenty of blackfish off the rocks around local headlands but it’s still a bit early for drummer, although the odd one has been caught here and there. Those with a pelagic focus have been kept on their toes by good numbers of salmon and kingfish cruising the coastal rock platforms.
The rivers and bays are producing quality fish. Jewfish up to 55lb have been reported from Botany Bay on live mullet, likewise the Parramatta River has also been fishing well for Jew with Fish Candy and Transams working well.
Flatty fishing in the south coast estuaries is starting to pull back now with the onset of cooler weather. In saying that, there’s still some big lizards being caught as Daniel Dowley found out one day landing an 82.5cm croc while teaching his young man the ropes.
Daniel Dowley and son – Batemans Bay
Bream are still around in good numbers and trevally should also start pushing into rivers, lakes and bays as the temperature drops.
Batemans Bay local Jem Abbott has been catching some nice snapper off the rocks after rough weather. One session he managed 3 fish to 3.6kg plus some nice salmon and trevally, not to mention a few big bust offs by rogue kings.
Ray Smith, Wade Eaton and the boys from SC’s Fisha Mulisha have been smashing some quality fish around Eurobodalla this month. Whether they’re offshore chasing snapper, kings and drummer (yes that’s correct) on plastics or in the rivers chasing jew, they always seem to be in the thick of it. Keep up the good work guys and keep the pics rolling on Facebook.
SC’s Fisha Mulisha’s Wade Eaton – Black Drummer on plastic
Michael Jones of Newcastle has been getting into the action on Lake Macquarie this month. Among his typical estuary captures of bream, flatties and squire were some far from usual captures including kingfish to 90cm and even a sizable mahi mahi. Michael is in the running to win the People’s Choice prize in our Rapala Fish Of The Month competition with one of his kingy photos so with him luck.
Michael Jones – 90cm Lake Macquarie Kingfish
Along Tweed coastal beaches dart and tailor have been around in good numbers, likely the result of large supplies of baitfish pushing through along with the clear, warm water. Also seen chasing the baitfish are bonito and school mackerel. One angler seen fishing at Fingal managed about 10 tailor plus a few dart and bream in a short session at high tide along the beach. There’s also been reports of big flathead coming from Fingal Beach as well as whiting and long tom around Tweed beaches.
Other reports in the north of the state include spotty mackerel around Pottsville. Tweed 9-Mile has been fishing really well which is standard for this time of year. Wahoo and spanish mackerel around 10-15kg are going off at the moment along with small yellowfin tuna. Halco Laser Pros have been the undoing of many fish.
Wide of the shelf there have been reports of blue marlin and yellowfin tuna to 30kg. Small mahi mahi are still around in good numbers at the fads but no reports of big fish.
Decent rain in the Snowy Mountains leads to high expectations of a good run of brown trout. Some large fish have been taken in Lake Eucumbene. As of 1st May restrictions are now in place to protect breeding trout so remember to check the NSW Fisheries website for all the details before planning your next trip.
Bass are now quieting off after what has been a great season. The Shoalhaven in particular has been a good producer of fish in the 1-1.5kg bracket. Among the popular lures of choice this season have been Cicada surface lures and fly fishos have been doing well on Bass Vampires.
Geoff Coghill from WA’s leading real estate company, Peard Real Estate, recently fished the Edward River with a few mates on an annual fishing trip. The boys got amongst the action with plenty of small to medium cod being caught including a respectable 64cm specimen caught by Danny Germano.
Danny Germano – 64cm Murray Cod – Edward River NSW
Information provided by The Tackle Warehouse Camp Hill, Fishing Warehouse Townsville and Gold Coast fishos Dan and Greggo Weaver
Out in the bay there’s been some nice snapper caught up to 70cm, the majority being 40-50cm. The snapper fishing should improve hereon in as we head into the colder months of the year. Also starting to show up are mackerel, including mainly spotties and schoolies with the odd spanish further down the coast.
School jew are being caught in the river and bay on livies and soft plastics. Plastics which are producing results in the bay include 5” Gulp and Z-Man, while those fishing offshore for snapper and pearlies are opting for plastics around 7”. For advice on plastic fishing and more drop in and see the crew at The Tackle Warehouse in Camp Hill. The staff are regularly out on the water and have their finger on the pulse when it comes to what’s biting and where.
In other news threadfin have really started to slow down in the river and the same can be said for bass fishing up in the fresh. Squid are starting to turn up and among new jigs to try are the Sabiki Fiberlicious. Bream, whiting and flathead are still being caught in the bay and foreshore on baits, plastics and hard body lures. Bream have been smashing hard bodies such as Lucky Craft NW Pencils and topwater lures.
One of the highlights on the Goldy at present is the pelagic activity, particularly just south of the border down at Tweed 9-Mile. Plenty of wahoo and Spanish mackerel are being caught in the 10-15kg bracket along with small yellowfin tuna. In other news offshore snapper and jewfish should be starting to turn up around the local 24’s as the cold water starts pushing up, usually around the middle of May is a good time to be targeting these species. There have already been reports of some nice snapper to 60cm being caught on 5” plastics and also the odd tuskfish turning up. Early morning and late afternoon are prime times for snapper and jew with pilchards, filet baits and soft plastics being standard offerings that work well.
Bream, flatties and whiting are still being caught around bars and entrances between Southport and Tweed. Soft plastics as well as fresh nippers and worms have been working well which is not surprising. Nerang River has been producing some good numbers of bream and jacks around bridge pylons. People getting them have been using live herring and diving lures, the bigger the better when it comes to jacks. Jackall Squirrels are a lure worth mentioning.
The ABT Haswing BASS Electric Major was held at Hinze Dam on the 27th April. Although the fishing was very slow a few lucky anglers were able to produce nice fish. Matt Johnson claimed victory weighing in 2/2, 2.59kg, with a Jackall Squirrel 61Sp fueled win over Colin McClymont (2/2, 2.30kg) in second place and Andrew Wilson (2/2, 2.22kg) in third. For more results visit the official ABT website www.abt.org.au.
The fishing in the Townsville region has been quite dim according to mick from Fishing Warehouse in Garbutt. There’s been a few billfish and mackerel caught out at the shoals for those putting in the hours, plus reports of a few nice fingermark coming off the shoals on plastics.
Off Cape Cleveland there’s been Spaniards up to 15kg getting around along with some nice queenies and golden trevally a couple of weeks back.
Freshwater continues to push out of the Herbert. While this has produced poor fishing a couple of legal barra have been caught there and a few barra are also getting caught in the freshwater sections of the Ross.
Bushland Beach and the front of the Black River are producing some nice catches of whiting up to 35cm on peeled prawns and yabbies.
Ross Zerk – 50lb worth of North QLD Estuary Cod – Released
Ethan Buschel – 51cm Yellowbelly – Leslie Dam Queensland
Information provided by Fishing & Outdoor World Darwin
Reportedly the best barra bites of late are coming from Shady Camp. In particular, the first km or so from the boat ramp is producing well with many fish being caught on plastics.
The Club Marine Barra Nationals starts soon on the 3rd May on the Daly River. There’s been some terrific fishing there lately on the big run in tides. Among the best methods have been trolling shallow diving lures mid-stream. Trolled big plastics such as the 25mm Kokoda Flash Shads have also been doing the damage and the guys at Fishing and Outdoor World in Darwin currently have a full range of these in stock.
Bluewater fishing in the territory has been going off, particularly around Dundee and Herron Island. Get Fishing follower Mitch Peterson fished Dundee at the beginning of the month scoring some good catches of Spanish mackerel and big cobia. Around Darwin there’s been plenty of mackerel and queenies caught. The 6-Mile grounds are holding heaps of bait at present and with them is good numbers of pelagics including big queenies over the 1m mark.
For those preferring to fish the bottom there’s some nice fingermark being caught around Loee Patches, Fish Reef and South Gutter. Darwin local Gabrielle Brady has been getting into the black jew action boating some big fish well over 1m.
Gabrielle Brady – Black Jew from 35m
Information provided by Tackle HQ Kingsley, Bluewater Tackleworld Myaree, Seasport Tackle Jurien Bay & Bluewater Tackleworld Exmouth
There have been reports of large schools of salmon between 5-9kg passing along the southern coastline particularly from around Albany and Denmark. Rian Ajemain got into the action from the stones early in the month and sent us this pic of an average size fish on the day.
Rian Ajemain – Albany Salmon
Also getting into the action from the stones this month was Cowan Wise from Albany. Cowan sent us in many photos of his recent captures for our Rapala Photo Of The Month Competition including some bruiser sambos and a monster 50lb blue groper caught on rod and reel. His photo of himself holding the blue groper won him this month’s Get Fishing’s choice prize in our Rapala Fish Of The Month competition. For his efforts Cowan will now be sporting a new Rapala 3-in-1 backpack PLUS Rapala Sportsmans Tackle next time he hits the stones.
Early in the month boat and land based anglers capitalised on large schools of salmon holding around Dunsborough and Bunker Bay but reports since have been of mixed success. Peter Rourke from Busselton said that one day off Bunker Bay there were 10 boats (including theirs) in close proximity all getting in on the action. At one particular time Peter looked around and counted 15 fishos all hooked up at once!
Cowan Wise – 50lb Albany Blue Groper taken on conventional tackle
On the salmon front Dawesville has been producing small schools of fish although their occurrence has been spasmodic. Metro anglers are finding the odd fish pop up in small schools along Perth and Rockingham beaches and there’s been a few reports of fish at Rottnest Island, Garden Island and Horseshoe Reef along the Hillarys 3 mile reef system.
The Maylands/Belmont reaches of the Swan have been producing great numbers of black bream with better quality fish being taken on soft plastic and hard body lures. Those using bait are still catching fish albeit generally smaller in size. Anglers in the area have been reminded to keep an eye out for people keeping undersize fish as there have been several reported instances of people fishing from jetties (including the yacht club jetty) keeping undersize black bream in buckets. Also there have been good numbers of tailor in the river with reports of tailor pushing frightened herring up against the shoreline.
Snapper are a hot topic at present with the first of the seasonal swells starting to push good numbers of big fish close to shore. The inshore snapper fishing should remain for the next 6 months or so with the next month or so being prime time to land big fish. If you’re wondering where to fish there has been reports of big fish being caught in Cockburn Sound, Garden Island, local rockwalls, and the 3-Mile reef from Scarborough right through to Mindarie. Michael Robertson has been landing some solid fish up to 23lb from his kayak in Cockburn Sound and Tackle HQ staffer Tyrone Yahiya also got a taste of the action landing a 5kg fish one evening on a 6” Z-Man plastic fishing off Scarborough with Get Fishing’s Robbie Riches.
Michael Robertson with a 23lb Snapper caught in Cockburn Sound
Tackle HQ’S Tyrone Yahiya – 5kg Snapper – Z-Man 6” plastic
There have been reports of large rogue samsonfish popping up in marinas and around inshore snapper grounds. Squid are beginning to show up in small numbers with the arrival of cooler waters.
Mulloway are also a hit at present for beach, river and Cockburn Sound anglers. Fish up to 15kg have reportedly been caught along Perth’s northern beaches while fish have also been caught in Cockburn Sound on baits, plastics and jigs. Mulloway over 15kg have been coming from the Swan River, including an estimated 18-20kg fish caught by Sam Smith around the middle of the month on a fresh squid on his first cast of the night.
Sam Smith – 18-20kg Swan River Mulloway taken mid-month
According to Clay from Seasport Tackle beach fishos have been treated with good numbers of tailor in the evenings and good numbers of yellowfin whiting during the day. Big mulloway are also being caught off the local beaches as well as the town jetty being a hotspot where a 30kg fish was recently caught. The rough seas are likely to be the cause of good numbers of mulloway showing up along the beaches and those wanting to target them should think live or big baits and concentrate their efforts around the bigger tides of the full and new moon.
Blue manna crabs are still getting around in good numbers in the boat harbor and those chasing crays have been bagging out, in actual fact clay from Seasport Tackle pulled 19 crays in one pot just the other day!
Harry Heyes – Rottnest Island Salmon and Lobster combo
Offshore anglers are still getting their share of pelagics including spanish mackerel and a few yellowfin tuna around the 15-20kg mark and one reported 35kg a few weeks ago. Spanish mackerel have been caught around 14 fathoms.
Bottom fishos are still catching good numbers of dhufish with lots of fish around the 10kg mark being caught. The cold fronts of late have also been stirring up the snapper and inshore anglers are starting to report good numbers of big fish.
This time of year the water is at it’s warmest and the wind is at it’s lowest and according to the guys at Tackle HQ and Bluewater Melville it is now prime time to be targeting GT’s. Sam Colvin, a distributor for Temple Reef, recently fished Ningaloo and reported good numbers of trout and snapper on jigs as well as GT’s fishing topwater.
The situation in Exmouth is wet wet wet. The town has recently experienced extremely high rainfall and is currently isolated due to floodwaters blocking the main road in/out of town. As a result of the high rainfall (up to 200mm in 24hr) the flats are currently very muddy and off the fishing radar, although prior to the rain were fishing well. In fact, the fishing in general was going off up until when the rain hit and Scott from Bluewater Tackle World reported that it was one of the best starts to the year he had ever seen.
For those traveling to Exmouth in the near future, Scott said that the fishing is still going off but you just have to get into the blue water, which begins at about 1km offshore. Black marlin are still being caught in good numbers just outside the reef with fish in the 20-60kg range going off. Also just outside the reef are good numbers of spanish mackerel over 18kg, the odd cobia and wahoo up to 20kg. Pelagics are responding well to deep diving lures such as the Strada Trackers in the 160mm and you can pick these up at Bluewater Tackleworld as they currently have plenty in stock. The mackerel fishing will begin to ramp up now with the arrival of colder weather. There’s also loads of rat mahi mahi around up to 5kg. The best methods for targeting these have been trolling small skirts or skipping gars behind the boat.
Leigh Fleet – Exmouth Cobia
In the marina people have been getting some nice queenies up to 1m on stickbaits and lightly weighted plastics. Mangrove jack up to 50cm are also being caught on half mulies. Local fisho Steve Vitale has been catching some thumper blackspot tuskfish (aka bluebone) on live crabs in the marina fishing heavy gear.
Information provided by Fuzzell’s Fishing Adventures Arno Bay and Fisherman’s Paradise Adelaide
Gulf St Vincent:
Snapper are the cause of much activity around inshore waters at the moment with plenty being caught from ruggers right through to 16kg specimens. There’s no need to travel far for them either, with many good fish being caught just 1-2km from shore. King George Whiting are starting to show up in numbers.
Mulloway of 75cm-1m are currently being caught in Port River, Onkaparinga River and the Western Lakes System. Those getting results are getting them on soft plastics and live trumpeter.
South of Kangaroo Island is still holding bluefin tuna with reports of fish up to 63kg being caught. Keith from Fisherman’s Paradise in Adelaide says that trolled skirts are accounting for most of the fish, with the 7” Black Pete Knuckle Head in purple being one of the favourites.
Fuzz from Fuzzell’s Fishing Adventures has reported good numbers of King George Whiting and a few rugger to just size snapper being caught along the western gulf, with not many bigger snapper over 60cm getting around.
Plenty of blue swimmer crabs are being caught and should still be good for the next 3-4 weeks.
Boaties fishing off Port Lincoln are still catching Bluefin around 20-30kg about 1-2 hours offshore, however they are starting to move on now.
Reasonable numbers of yellowfin whiting are being caught off the beaches and squid are starting to push right into the gulf with reports of a few huge ones getting around too.
Around the Port Lincoln region shore based anglers are picking up a few salmon in the 3-5kg size bracket. There are reports of garfish being caught as well as the odd snook. If you plan to keep snook they are best eaten fresh with the skin off and also come up quite nice in the smoker if you have one.
Further west of Port Lincoln there has been reports of nice samsonfish and kingfish landed while jigging.
90 Mile Beach:
Beach fishos putting in the hours have been landing some nice fish this month. Reports include good numbers of gummy sharks, a few late season mulloway of various sizes from undersize to 23kg, as well as some big snapper between 6-10kg.
The Murray River System has provided great Callop fishing with good numbers being reported with spinnerbaits, hard body lures and live shrimp being the bait/lures of choice. There have also been a few reports of large cod on large hard body and spinnerbait lures, nothing unusual about that.
Information provided by Compleat Angler Bentleigh and Fishing Fever Mordialloc
With the arrival of cooler weather winter species are now being targeted by local anglers. Calamari are starting to fire up in Port Phillip Bay and should be in prime numbers right up until August – September. Those catching calamari at present are using artificial squid jigs such as the 2.5-3.0g Yakamito Chameleon and Gan Crafts new Aussie range of jig. The guys at Compleat Angler have a wide range of the latest squid jigs so if you’re running low on jigs pop in and stock up before the season starts to fire.
Land based fishos have been landing the odd small snapper between 28-40cm and from known vantage points such as Brighton Pier and Sandringham Jetty.
Whiting from 30-35cm have also come from St Leonard’s Pier on pippies during the evening.
Salmon are now beginning to turn up along Victorian surf beaches, Western Port and Port Phillip Bay. There’s no real trick when it comes to targeting salmon, popular methods include casting ganged pilchards, spinning with metal slices and trolling slices or small hard body minnows.
In other news Melbourne anglers have been catching garfish using small baits such as silverfish, Patterson Lakes marina has been producing mid 30’s – 40cm bream, and the flathead season is now coming to an end.
Bluefin and albacore tuna are still being caught between Port McDonald to Port Fairy with trolling being the preferred method for most anglers using Richter and Black Bart skirted lures. The Easter period saw plenty of boats bagging out on quality fish, including Nathan Robinson and Michael Liptac who fished the horseshoe area near Portland landing 10 fish for the day over 90cm on X-Raps and skirts.
Portland tuna were firing over Easter
The Western District Lakes have been fishing well for trout. Be sure to check up on the current rules and regulations in the Victorian Fishing Guide as this time of year restrictions are in place to protect breeding trout.
The Stevenson and Little rivers have been producing good numbers of trout as Mick from Fishing Fever found out on a recent outing, landing a mixed bag of over 20 rainbows and browns on spinners and sinking hard body lures. If you’re after trout fishing advice be sure to drop in and see Mick. He’ll not only tell you where they’re biting but also show you what lures are doing the trick.
Fishing Fever’s Mick with a Stevenson River Rainbow
Luiben Pfeifer was rewarded handsomely when fishing at Mildura last weekend, where he caught four cod up to 1m while trolling 20cm minnows. Luiben also got onto a bunch of big yellow belly while he was at it.
Luiben Pfeifer – 1m Murray Cod – Mildura
Information provided by Spot On Fishing Connection Hobart
News on the freshwater scene is that the majority of inland waterways are now closed to fishing until the start of October. Check local regulations for more information.
It has been a terrific month for tuna fishos this month with plenty of bluefin and albacore being caught by boat fishos. Albacore around the shelf are now quieting off but the bluefin are still going off. Currently there’s an abundance of 15-20kg fish, a few 30-35kg fish, and everyday at least one or two jumbos around the 100kg mark being caught. Most are being caught trolling skirts and diving lures. Diving lures doing the damage include Rapala X-Raps and Halco Laser Pros and Halco max in the kingbrown and white redhead colours. The season seems to have been a bit later and the hot bite should continue for another couple of months with the next month expected to be the pick of all months.
In other news there have been a few salmon kicking around as well as a few calamari to those putting in the hours. Not many people have been braving the cold weather to chase abalone and crays. A few striped trumpeter are being caught but the tuna frenzy has kept most occupied away from bottom fishing.
In regards to black bream there’s been plenty caught throughout the Derwent, mostly mid-30’s and a few better fish over 40cm to the fork. Good reports of bream are coming from those spinning the shallows with small minnows and vibes, particularly Cranka vibes and minnows as well as Smith Panish minnows. For the full range of these lures and more drop in and see the guys at Spot On Fishing connection in Hobart.
Adam Neville presenting a nice Tassie Bream caught this month