Have A Fishy SpringWelcome anglers, danglers and wranglers to September and the first spring edition of Fish ‘N’ Tips. I hope you all faired winter well and managed to wet a line at least a few times and caught yourselves a tasty feed or three during those short crisp days.
Sitting here under a cloudless blue sky, gazing out to sea with the omnipresent flock of gulls hovering over Bondi’s resident school of Australian salmon, it is hard not to be wishing I was anchored up on a snapper ground, floating a bait back for a knobby headed red fella.
Spring can be an awesome time for fishing around ‘our patch’. Wide of the coast there’s still a real chance for the tuna to turn up, and deepwater bottom dropping can be at its best on the calm afternoons. If heading wide it’s definitely worth trolling to your favourite drop spot and spending an hour or so searching the depths for deepwater ooglies like blue eye trevalla, hapuka, bass groper and gemfish. Dusks are usually a great time to catch big tuna on temperature breaks or in areas with high concentrations of bait. Try a consistent cube trail, swim a few livies down deep and float baits back in steady succession.
Spring is also a great time for snapper along the east coast, and our 30-50 metre broken reef patches are all worth a shot. Drifting will bag you smaller (legal) fish, whilst anchoring up and burleying will produce a better class of catch, provided you know where to anchor and the techniques to employ.
This winter kingfish have been a little thinner in terms of numbers, but as always, there have been some serious hoodlums caught by the dedicated. It is worth looking wide on the 80 and 100 metre grounds, as well as trying some of the shallower spots that are known to go off. My preference for bait in spring is always slimy mackerel, followed by garfish, yellowtail or squid. However, as the summer draws nearer, squid comes into a class of its own as a Seriola lalandi lollipop.
Along the rocky ocean headlands it should be action stations, with Australian salmon (as pictured), bonito, tailor and the occasional kingfish ready to tackle a well presented lure, keeping the addicted angler whooping and happy.
The beaches have also been fishing well and should continue to do so for those who like the feel of sand between their toes and saltwater rushing past the calves. Fish the changes of light, use fresh bait and keep warm and there’s every chance of a healthy winter whiting or bream for the plate.
As for the harbour, it can be a hit and miss affair at this time of the year. The water temp seems to stay cooler for longer and the weekends often start to get crowded. Having said this, whiting, flathead and bream will all be eager for a feed, and the tailor, Australian salmon and bonito schools will definitely be meandering in and out of the local bays. If you’re after a kingfish or jewfish, be prepared to spend the time catching quality fresh bait and then putting in the hours to find the fish. If past years are anything to go by, islands just west of the Harbour Bridge should be holding decent kings, whilst deep-edged haunts should hold jewfish at times.
Let’s welcome spring with open arms, dust off the tackle that may have been snoozing, do some maintenance and hit the water. Catch plenty, release plenty and have a fishy spring!