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Australia’s Warm Water Windfall

By Dan Trotter on June 1, 2011 in Sport

And so the warm water currents persist – at least at the time of writing in early May – and all signs are pointing to the fact that upon distribution of this fine magazine the unseasonably late warm water currents will still be in force on the coast we call home.

As part of the 2Dans Fishing weekly radio show that I’m a host of, I’ve been calling my fishing buddies and fishing tackle stores around Australia for weekly reports on the prevailing conditions and the fishing. Interestingly, what I have discovered is that the warm water we are all enjoying right here on our doorstep is extremely wide spread.

Not only have Southern NSW and Eastern Victorian coastlines been awash with the lingering pleasant warmth driven south by the East Australia Current, the southern coastal towns of Western Australia have also been engulfed by the unusually far-reaching warm waters of the Leeuwin Current. Areas such as Busselton and even Augusta have experienced ocean waters as warm as 26 degrees.

What makes this even more interesting is that it seems no one has a living memory of when the last time was that waters were this warm so far south along the WA coastline.

As it is understood, low pressure tropical cyclones are the driving force behind the strength, distance travelled and longevity of both the EAC and the Leeuwin Current, and given that we have seen some very strong tropical cyclones wreak their havoc on the northern waters of our island continent it probably should not come as too much of a surprise. Nevertheless, it has been a boon for both recreational and commercial anglers, as well as the myriad other ocean enthusiasts.

As far as the fishing goes, this has produced a spectacular run of northern pelagics in southern waters all along the coastline. Sydney has experienced amazing fishing for striped and blue marlin, dolphin fish and early yellowfin tuna. The harbour and the estuaries that form part of greater Sydney’s waterways have seen extended seasons on a plethora of inshore pelagics, as well as hot bites on more residential fish like bream, whiting, kingfish, flathead.

Getting away from Sydney’s fishing for the first time in this column, I would encourage keen anglers to also consider a trip to either the south or north coast as soon as you can arrange it. The fishing to the north from Port Stephens to the border has been nothing short of outstanding and should continue to be so for the foreseeable future.

For land-based anglers, longtail tuna, or northern bluefin tuna as they are also known, have been prolific and large at many of the well-known Land Based Game (LBG) locations, whilst those anglers who can get on a boat can expect decent catches of Spanish mackerel, marlin and dolphin fish. To the south, from Nowra to Eden, the fishing for striped marlin, hoodlum yellowtail kingfish and large specimens of both yellowfin and southern bluefin tuna has also reportedly been great.

In light of all this, I say go fish. There’s plenty of action, the water is warm and what else could you possibly prefer to be doing?

Peace and fishing!