big Neil

Worth bothering?

30 posts in this topic

Presently the river where I usually fish is almost empty due to the Water Authorities doing major work on the weirs and channel regulators. So I'm getting a bit stir crazy, not having caught a fish for months. Question is... what is the fishing like in the estuaries in Winter? I know that the warmer months are much better for estuary fishing so is it worth bothering with a minimum 7 hr trip to the coast to either beach fish or drag the boat over the mountains for some estuary opportunities? My wife is heading to Bathurst for the first week of July, so I could accompany her and then carry on to the coast from there (boatless) or just head to the South Coast with my tinnie. Anyone got any good ideas? BN

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Tailor and salmon are pretty active off the beaches in winter, and the blackfish pick up activity in the estuaries too. There are certainly winter options for fishing the salt!

You'll also certainly pick up snapper/morwong/leatherjacket over reefs and flathead offshore too.

Cheers,

Wellzy

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Hi Neil,

That sounds a bit grim!

Certainly there is good winter fishing in the south coast estuaries.

My experience is that the bream tend to sit deeper and they are a better quality fish than the summer specimens.

Flathead are still there, albeit  less aggressive in the colder water and your best chance to find them is later in the afternoon on a rising tide when they come up on the flats that have been warmed a little by the sun and are holding small bait fish.

School Jewies too will be on the prowl on the rising tide... I figure they like the warmer water that comes in with the tide because it carries bait fish and I think even a few degrees bumps up their metabolism for feeding.

Tailor and salmon also make their way into the estuaries along with the bait fish and as as Wellzy says the blackfish are active in the winter months.

My experience is that that the smaller specimens disappear so the bite seems less active but the fish you catch can be of better quality. Ideal conditions if you  do go are a warmish day with top of the tide in the mid to late afternoon.

My experience only Neil but I am sure it probably fits with your general experience too.

BTW... any chance of a photo of the low river! ( don't put yourself out.. only if you happen to take one in your normal travels)

Cheers

Jim

 

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5 hours ago, fragmeister said:

Hi Neil,

That sounds a bit grim!

Certainly there is good winter fishing in the south coast estuaries.

My experience is that the bream tend to sit deeper and they are a better quality fish than the summer specimens.

Flathead are still there, albeit  less aggressive in the colder water and your best chance to find them is later in the afternoon on a rising tide when they come up on the flats that have been warmed a little by the sun and are holding small bait fish.

School Jewies too will be on the prowl on the rising tide... I figure they like the warmer water that comes in with the tide because it carries bait fish and I think even a few degrees bumps up their metabolism for feeding.

Tailor and salmon also make their way into the estuaries along with the bait fish and as as Wellzy says the blackfish are active in the winter months.

My experience is that that the smaller specimens disappear so the bite seems less active but the fish you catch can be of better quality. Ideal conditions if you  do go are a warmish day with top of the tide in the mid to late afternoon.

My experience only Neil but I am sure it probably fits with your general experience too.

BTW... any chance of a photo of the low river! ( don't put yourself out.. only if you happen to take one in your normal travels)

Cheers

Jim

 

 

Thanks for all that info Jim. I've actually done very little estuary fishing in Winter...almost none really. Have done a fair bit of beach and rock fishing for tailor, salmon, etc in Winter, but I was a lot younger and more agile then. I'll have a look what the tide /time relationship is for Tuross Heads and Batemans Bay...maybe it will be worthwhile if the weather is dry. I've just come back from the river. Had a trip to Carrathool, but never lost a bait. Low there, too...but nowhere near as low as here. I'll get a photo next time I'm down there. My usual boat ramp has about 3 mtres of sandy mud between the end of the concrete and the water. Cheers mate, hope you're keeping well, BN

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5 hours ago, Wellzy94 said:

Tailor and salmon are pretty active off the beaches in winter, and the blackfish pick up activity in the estuaries too. There are certainly winter options for fishing the salt!

You'll also certainly pick up snapper/morwong/leatherjacket over reefs and flathead offshore too.

Cheers,

Wellzy

Cheers Luke, thanks for the info. I don't go outside with my little tinnie. Have got a (not very good) beach outfit that I've used at Merimbula but never fished the beaches at Batemans Bay or Tuross. Any idea what they're like? Actually I've caught some nice Salmon at Merimbula main beach, though it's a bit further than BB or Tuross. Thanks for the info mate, BN

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I can't help you on the beach front, I don't really fish off the beach myself. However I have friends that do, and they consistently catch salmon! :)

Cheers,

Wellzy

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hi neil..moruya river has some good fishing..or go the other way and head for windamere..you have the cod and golden gear and there is heaps of fish in it..rick

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Winter is my favourite time to fish estuaries especially for bream we are also lucky enough up here to have a solid run of juvenile gt's and big eye trevally through winter and spring

focus your efforts on the afternoon

Dave

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6 hours ago, dirvin21 said:

Winter is my favourite time to fish estuaries especially for bream we are also lucky enough up here to have a solid run of juvenile gt's and big eye trevally through winter and spring

focus your efforts on the afternoon

Dave

Thanks Dave. So what's the set up for Bream in estuaries? I'm guessing fairly light leaders and smallish soft plastics. Do they hang around oyster leases in Winter? Neil

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11 hours ago, rickmarlin62 said:

hi neil..moruya river has some good fishing..or go the other way and head for windamere..you have the cod and golden gear and there is heaps of fish in it..rick

Cheers Rick. Not keen on the dams on my own. Most of my mates are like Cod...they shut down in the Winter. Hadn't considered Moruya River, but it's not far from either Tuross or Batemans Bay, both areas I've fished in the warmer months. Could be a plan. Neil

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Neil. The Clyde river has some great fishing in winter and the Big4 caravan park at Nelligen is 2nd to none and has its own boat ramp, Bream, Tailor, Trevally, the occasional Night time Jew. and it's not too far from Batemans and a few salt lakes.

Frank

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17 hours ago, big Neil said:

Thanks Dave. So what's the set up for Bream in estuaries? I'm guessing fairly light leaders and smallish soft plastics. Do they hang around oyster leases in Winter? Neil

my standard bream setup is 6-8lb braid and usually 6-8lb leader (a lot of people use 4lb)

on the oyster racks you want atleast 8lb leader and a locked drag winter is when the beasts appear on the racks

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8 hours ago, dirvin21 said:

my standard bream setup is 6-8lb braid and usually 6-8lb leader (a lot of people use 4lb)

on the oyster racks you want atleast 8lb leader and a locked drag winter is when the beasts appear on the racks

I've probably got something similar to that set up Dave. What soft plastics would be good for Bream? I've never targeted or caught Bream on SPs. Cheers, Neil

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23 hours ago, frankS said:

Neil. The Clyde river has some great fishing in winter and the Big4 caravan park at Nelligen is 2nd to none and has its own boat ramp, Bream, Tailor, Trevally, the occasional Night time Jew. and it's not too far from Batemans and a few salt lakes.

Frank

G'day Frank, how u doin? I stayed there once when we caught up with some of the family who were having a weekend trip from Canberra, where they live. As you say great facilities. I'm not too familiar with the area and any decent fishing spots in the Clyde though. I do remember a time where I nearly came unstuck trying to get the tinnie out near the BB bridge in a roaring, outgoing king tide. I ended up in the water with phone, wallet ,everything soaked...trying to get the boat on the trailer on my own, with the tide racing. Such is life, eh? BN

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Neil. There are some decent bream in the creek that is within the parks grounds, high tide, low tide is just a bog hole.

Great place to spend a few days and the pub opposite serves great meals.

Frank

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50 minutes ago, big Neil said:

I've probably got something similar to that set up Dave. What soft plastics would be good for Bream? I've never targeted or caught Bream on SPs. Cheers, Neil

I don't know about soft plastics, but I'd be opting for Ecogear SX40s or Cranka Crabs around structure for bream.

Cheers,

Wellzy

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14 hours ago, big Neil said:

I've probably got something similar to that set up Dave. What soft plastics would be good for Bream? I've never targeted or caught Bream on SPs. Cheers, Neil

squidgy wrigglers 80mm, zman grubs 2" go for plain natural looking colours

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13 hours ago, Wellzy94 said:

I don't know about soft plastics, but I'd be opting for Ecogear SX40s or Cranka Crabs around structure for bream.

Cheers,

Wellzy

this was exactly what I was also going to suggest, literarlly my preferred technique

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Aaah many thanks for the suggestions guys but I really haven't got time to learn new techniques with additional gear that I'll probably never use again....hence the question about SPs, which I do have some of. Actually have some of the ones suggested Dave, so will give them a whirl. Really just want to catch something, even the Carp aren't playing at present. Thanks for the tips guys, BN

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Hi Neil, I live on Burrill Lake just north of Batemans Bay and bream are still active here in the lake, as well as legal tailor and the odd snapper. I fish from a kayak, sneak close to where tailor are smashing baitfish late in the day and cast any ordinary silver lure over them. Snapper like live mullet, bream sometimes, but I find a fresh mullet cut in half is great for bream. But look for crustaceans around the lake to catch bream as well (crabs, yabbies). Running sinker for bream.

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If you end up anywhere close to Sydney Call me I'm sure I can take you some where to  get over the blues. You know I wont stay inside an estuary though, there's plenty of variety offshore during winter.
 

Brett

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15 minutes ago, oz_brett said:

If you end up anywhere close to Sydney Call me I'm sure I can take you some where to  get over the blues. You know I wont stay inside an estuary though, there's plenty of variety offshore during winter.
 

Brett

Thanks Brett. Unlikely I'll go as far as Sydney this time...most likely Tuross Heads, where I've fished before, looks ok. Cheers, Neil

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7 hours ago, Holls said:

Hi Neil, I live on Burrill Lake just north of Batemans Bay and bream are still active here in the lake, as well as legal tailor and the odd snapper. I fish from a kayak, sneak close to where tailor are smashing baitfish late in the day and cast any ordinary silver lure over them. Snapper like live mullet, bream sometimes, but I find a fresh mullet cut in half is great for bream. But look for crustaceans around the lake to catch bream as well (crabs, yabbies). Running sinker for bream.

Cheers Holls. At this time it looks like I may fish at Tuross Lake from Sunday 2nd July to Tues 4th. If you fancy joining me in the tinnie give me a call on 0466853633. Cheers, Neil

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Shame about the fishing in the Bidgee Neil.   

We have been getting a bit of rain in the mid north coast and it has slowed the fishing down as the dirty fresh water makes its way through the lake and into the sea. With the colder weather, and subsequent drop in water temperature, the big flatties have moved to the rivers and we have only been catching the smaller ones in the lake. Bream have been fishing reasonably well, but seem to be a bit smaller than in recent years.  

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1 hour ago, Cargo05 said:

Shame about the fishing in the Bidgee Neil.   

 

We have been getting a bit of rain in the mid north coast and it has slowed the fishing down as the dirty fresh water makes its way through the lake and into the sea. With the colder weather, and subsequent drop in water temperature, the big flatties have moved to the rivers and we have only been catching the smaller ones in the lake. Bream have been fishing reasonably well, but seem to be a bit smaller than in recent years.  

 

Thanks for the info John. Looks like I'll be heading to Tuross Lake for a few days. Just need to catch something. BN

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