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Of Fishing Fanatics, Friends And Freeways

By Dan Trotter on February 23, 2015 in Other

Photo: Dan Trotter

Photo: Dan Trotter

With the madness of the Christmas holidays fading in the rear view mirror and our attentions turning to the year ahead, one thing is for certain: it’s as important to keep fishing outings in the schedule at least once a week as it is to focus on the money maker that is your work.

February on the east coast is an awesome month to plan some short and long haul angling adventures. To the south, the fishing just gets better until the warmth of the EAC begins to subside in late autumn, and to the north, there’s at least six months of legendary piscatorial pursuits ahead.

Up to six hours drive in either direction will put you in the thick of it. To the south, Tathra, Bermagui, Batemans Bay, Jervis Bay and Gerroa all offer great fishing and relaxed coastal destinations. To the north, I’d opt for destinations like the Coffs Coast, South West Rocks, Port Macquarie and Foster/Tuncurry.

If work and family commitments mean you just cannot tear yourself away from our local waters, don’t let this stop you fishing. February offers an endless list of options to keep your line taut and your rod bent.

With the planning, scheming and dreaming of fishing trips arguably just as important as the fishing itself, be sure to refer back to your dairies for records from the past. Using these as a guide, plan your trips with attention to the moon, tide and, of course, the weather.

Hatching a plan… a guide.

I’m heading out tomorrow morning at 4.30am, with a target high tide at 9.50am. The goal is to be on location at the designated big fish spot an hour before the tide and stay there for an hour afterwards.

Of course almost all fishing sessions need to start with bait collecting and you need to allow time for this, so our first stop will be to catch small yellowtail scad for live bait, then off to a shallow reef for southern calamari squid.

Provided we catch our bait quickly, we will make a short stop to try and tempt a dawn jewfish or a school of teraglin. Then we will up anchor and race to the wrecks where the kingfish always seem to be at this time of year. Once that’s done, we’ll slow troll live baits around the rocky headlands or we’ll run wide to find some FADs to see if there are any dolphinfish to play with. Here’s to hoping my dairy keeps me on point and delivers a fun day out.

What’s Biting Locally?

Along the rocks and beaches of the east, fresh bait still dominates, so get set-up and try targeting whiting, bream, drummer, blackfish, bonito and yellowtail kingfish.

In the harbour it’s anyone’s game. The kingfish are in good numbers again this year with some real brutes about, and any day now reports will start flying in of spotted mackerel the occasional cobia, plus the pocket rocket small tunas too. Of course the bread and butter species like flathead, bream, silver trevally, whiting and blue swimmer crabs will also be hungry and ready for a well-presented fresh bait offering.

Whatever you can do to get out and wet a line, do it. If you have friends up or down the highways, hit them up, prep your tackle and go fishing.

Tight lines and big smiles my fishing afflicted friends!