THIS fishing year so far has been one out of the box, with a late start to the kingfish season, some unusual visitors to Montague Island including dolphinfish, amberjack, rainbow runners and in the last week small (3-4kg) yellowfin tuna have been caught while fishers were targeting kingfish and bonito around the island.
The unusual catches have seen a few fishers reaching for their fish ID books to make sure they weren't seeing things.
The water temp has been between 21 - 23.5c, kingfish have been taken up to 93cm long, as well as some huge bonito.
These fish have been taken trolling and with live baits, and only the occasional fish has been taken on jigs, with a lot of work in between.
Schools of sauries have been smashed by kings and bonito, the challenge for fishers has been to try and present lures which imitated sauries, blue 170cm Rapala shallow divers have proved to be getting the best results.
Dolphinfish are still being caught east of Montague Island, but now they are about 2km east.
They have been taken using 10cm pink skirted lures trolled at around 6 - 6.5 knots with the lures about 30 - 40 metres behind the boat.
Frigate mackerel have also been caught while fishers have been trolling for kings, consider going down a hook size if your lures are being hit without hooking up.
There are plenty of large mowies and pan-sized snapper around Montague at the moment, best catches have been taken in the couple of hours before the high tide. Remember to vary your baits when targeting snapper.
On Monday, charter boat 'Nitro' fished 'the shelf' catching and releasing a striped marlin of around 100kg.
The marlin fell to a trolled skip bait, with three others hitting trolled lures - but failed to hook up.
For the last few days there has been a massive school of slimy mackerel due east of the surf club, these excellent live baits are around 13cm long. To target slimies just watch for the ripples on the water, and start pumping berley nearby, you should have heaps of bait very quickly for a day off shore.
Large schools of Chinaman leatherjackets are still causing problems, the key has been to keep a good eye on your sounder, and when the little green and yellow terrors appear - move (quickly).
Long-time charter boat skipper Captain Andy Legg hung up his tackle this week when he sold “The Sherriff” to local professional fisherman Jason Bunney.
All those connected to local fishing wish Andy well with his future endeavours, and it probably won't be long before he's back on the water chasing marlin between here and Cairns.
Tip of the week: frigate mackerel make excellent strip baits for snapper, especially when used with a running sinker in slow current.
Joke of the week: Q: What did one hillbilly say to another?
A: I got a new fly rod and reel for my wife......best trade I ever made.
Catch of the Day: Leatherjacket scourge
Catch of the Day (April 27): Inshore bottom bashing on the Far South Coast of NSW is nigh on impossible due to the latest leatherjacket plague.
The good news is were last week some yellowfin encountered in close to Montague Island and more dolphinfish in the area, while the long-liner Sea Angel was seen unloading some thumper yellowfin at the Bermagui Fisherman’s Wharf on Saturday.
The amazing kingfish run at Montague Island of a week ago seems to have ended with no recent reports, although the weather over the weekend probably also kept a few off the water.
Fishermen who did get out of Bermagui over the weekend reported leatherjackets on every drop fro Camel Rock down to the Three Brothers. There have also been reports of jacket offshore from Tathra too.
Earlier the week, leatherjackets were reported biting off rigs at Narooma too.
And in the latest development, jackets have been encountered in estuaries in the Bega River at Wagonga Inlet at Narooma.
The jackets were biting soft plastics of the clients of one fishing guide at Narooma while another angler caught eight leatherjackets in the Bega River.
As one angler said there has to be some bad with the good hot water that has brought dolphinfish and other waterwater species to the Far South Coast.
We are not sure how far north of the South Coast of NSW the leatherjacket scourge extends but drop us a line or send us a comment if you have encountered them!
The Redmap organisation that is tracking unusual marine encounters would also like to know.
Kids fish Tuross comp
ON Easter Sunday, the Mikolic family left their chocolate eggs behind to hit the water early and headed to Tuross for the “Kids Get Hooked On Fishing” comp.
The flathead were on the bite and many were caught, and many released. Nakita, Jake and Harmony all weighed in their limit of two each.
Bream were also on their list and Jake and Nakita caught one each.
Salmon, tailor and whiting we're also on their list but unfortunately they weren't hungry that day.
Jake came home again with a load of prizes, taking out the Judges Choice Award. Well done Jake!
The children had an awesome day and would like to thank the Tuross Boatshed and all involved in this great day.
Paxevanos: Trout spawning season has started
Fishers are reminded that the annual trout spawning season commences in the Snowy Mountains from 1 May 2014.
Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Inland Senior Fisheries Manager, Cameron Westaway, said the annual trout spawning season fishing rules apply to the Thredbo River and its tributaries and the Eucumbene River and its tributaries - upstream of the Lake Eucumbene dam wall and including Providence Portal.
“Restrictions are in place from Thursday 1st May to provide protection for early spawning trout while also providing fishers with the opportunity to catch a trophy sized trout,” Mr Westaway said.
“The Eucumbene River in particular has provided excellent fishing for large brown trout over the past two years.
“A minimum size limit of 50cm, daily bag limit of 1 and possession limit of 2 trout will apply to these waters from 1 May to the end of the Queens Birthday long weekend on Monday 9 June.
“Anglers can use 1 attended rod and line with up to 2 hooks with artificial flies or lures and up to 3 treble hooks attached to any lure is permitted. Fishing gear rigged for bait fishing is prohibited.”
The annual closure on fishing in trout streams throughout NSW will then be in place from Tuesday 10 June 2014 allowing brown and rainbow trout to breed uninterrupted until the trout fishing season re-opens on the October long weekend on Saturday 4 October 2014. Trout dams remain open to fishing throughout the year.
“The minimum size limit of 25cm, daily bag limit of 2 and possession limit of 4 trout will again apply to the Thredbo and Eucumbene Rivers when the season opens in October,” Mr Westaway said.
“While 150,000 rainbow trout have been stocked into Lake Eucumbene and 50,000 rainbow trout into Lake Jindabyne each year for more than a decade, it is important to provide increased protection for brown and rainbow trout during their annual spawning runs.”
Fisheries officers will be patrolling the Thredbo and Eucumbene Rivers to ensure that fishers are abiding by these rules.
All fishers are reminded to respect other users, use facilities provided, dispose of any rubbish or refuse responsibly and not interfere with other fishers by parking or camping too close to the water (where permitted) when fishing these rivers.
Detailed information on the fishing rules can be found at www.fisheries.nsw.gov.au or in the NSW Freshwater Fishing Guide which is available from DPI fisheries offices and most bait and tackle stores.
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