Got to love November for fishing the depths and finding snapper! Spring is a great time for snapper fishing and a lot of people target them off the stones throughout winter and out of the boats throughout winter and spring. There are some good schools moving through out in the 60m to 80m and even deeper in the months of October through to December, November being my favourite month as it’s when I have had my most success. Reason the snapper fishing being so good over these months is the aggregations are spawning and they are thick and hungry over this period. With Marine Parks and “Stop The Lockouts” being on the headlines of late and with Marine Parks undergoing its 10 year review there is talk of seasons and closing the fishing during spawning times which can only be a good thing for the fish stocks.
How to catch snapper is the old fashioned paternoster rig, bottom bouncing with squid and pillies as bait would still have to be the most common approach I see. How to catch them successfully would be the old anchor up and berley and float baits down which is a bit more work but a lot more productive. How to catch them on lures is with soft plastics like the 5" or 7” jerk shad on a jighead and casted with a graphite 7’ rod. And it doesn’t have to be that soft plastic it can even be a hard body lure. This approach works great in shallower waters. How to catch them with maximum fun and ease and it’s been mentioned a few times in my articles and I will mention it again because it seems as though it has just taken another step up with the amount of micro jigs we have been selling in store. Everybody seems to be jumping onto this craze of micro jigging. We have a massive range of micro jigs at Compleat Angler Batemans Bay and the collection seems to be building with the demand for more. They are just so versatile being able to fish any depth and easy to use without having to play with bait all the time and they seem to catch all species, but the most enjoyable thing about micro jigging is the light gear that heightens the feeling when using and being hooked up.
Other than snapper that has been making headlines there have been some big schools of 50 to 60cm kingies getting around and the numbers should improve as the currents warm up. Hopefully this continues from here on and numbers of kingies are more prominent this year as previous years they have been hit and miss and lately what has captured their attention has been micro jigs when snapper fishing and to get kingies to play the game you’ll have to impart a more erratic action to get them to strike.
Above: Maddie Golden out fishing her dad again.
Out even deeper in the electric reel depths we are still seeing a good run of ling. Ugly looking things but are great table fish. There are a few blue eye, odd gemfish and loads of the usual ocean perch with the odd mako hitting the electric reel rig to make things exciting as the boys on “Fish Wizard” discovered when it started peeling line off the electric but Micheal had purchased the Shimano Forcemaster 9000 and it operated beautifully and the boys were very impressed at how it made short work of the mako, then the next level of excitement was when a gaff was put into it and came crashing in on deck to terrorise the place and chew everything in sight which had Rick jumping out the back and Dennis jumping on the nearest chair!
Above: Rick Grintrell on "Fish Wizard" with a nice double of blue eye trevella and ling. Great table fish.
Speaking of mako’s there should be still a few getting around to keep the shelf visits worth it while we are waiting for the marlin to show up and that shouldn’t be too far away with the bait and massive packs of small kingies already here.
Off the stones there is drummer, snapper, salmon, grouper and now the chance of kingies from location to location. You just have to pick the correct location. So if you are a avid rock fisherman your only excuse is the wrong location because the fishing can be very good. There is becoming less cuttlefish and squid have been a bit scarce which could improve though.
Our beaches have been going great for salmon and tailor and it’s looking good for spinning or casting a pilly. Again it will be all about choosing the right location. So move around until you find them. Whiting are starting to play also and we are off and running with selling surface lures in store the shorter Bassday Sugapen is already selling well.
But it’s this time of the year where the estuary starts to light up. What has kept it interesting of late has been the thousands of blackfish due to lots of food and weed for them and lots of estuary perch crowding snags and around oyster racks. This has given estuary flickers some entertainment until things start to heat up which is now with some good reports of flatties and bream coming on the chew and we should start seeing the mulloway warriors out catching afternoon livies getting ready for the screaming runs in the night and upstream the bass fishermen are waiting to hear the first cicada call.
There is always something on during our cooler, quieter months on our beautiful south coast but now with the weather heating up the fishing will start to heat up also. Got to love spring coming into summer. The above article is courtesy of Anthony Stokman of Compleat Angler Batemans Bay