THE Far South Coast is a very popular destination for us anglers, especially in summer, and it has already started to turn on some outstanding fishing.
Take, for example, the flathead fishing in Wallaga Lake near Bermagui. My first experience with extra-large flattys came at this awesome lake some 30 years ago when I saw an old fella with a 25-pounder that had a head bigger mine!
While there are still some real ‘crocs’ in the lake, it is the numbers of middle sized flathead that will excite most anglers.
Locals Darren and Jan Redman report catching 50 flathead or more in one half-day session. All on lures and often in shallow water between 1-4feet deep where at times you can even see the fish take the lure.
There are also loads of small prawns in the lake, along with good schools of poddy mullet. The flattys are feasting on these and packing on good condition.
Small, prawn-imitating plastics such as twitching nippers rigged backwards are ideal, but it is essential you stay in touch with the lure to detect and react to the bites.
If the wind gets up a bit, shallow running hard bodies are easier to keep a tight line on during the retrieve.
Best sized flattys to keep are between the 38-45cm mark. Please stick to bag and size limits and make sure you let the big breeders go to ensure future stocks.
Darren also mentioned the fact that he was able to catch a feed of good sized prawns amongst the small ones, and also added a dozen drift oysters to his seafood smorgasbord.
If that isn’t incentive enough to yearn for some Christmas holiday fishing, then I don’t know what is.
UP THE HILL
At Eucumbene and Jindabyne the ‘slowly’ warming temperatures have seen a few bugs about, which is great news for fly anglers. However bait fishing off the bank still remains by far the best way to catch trout.
Mudeyes under a float have started to produce fish, but artificial bait on a size 10 hook, floated up off the bottom from a running sinker rig is the go. Target practically any bay or creek mouth in 2-7m meters of water.
The best flavours to use include blood worm, mussel and snail and honey worm (bardi grub). Used on their own, these baits will catch you a bag of rainbow trout, especially around dawn and dusk.
If you add a scrub worm to these baits expect to add some extra-large brown trout to your list, but I prefer to let these go. They are typically not stocked in the lakes and rely on natural recruitment from the spawning rivers.
At Eucumbene good spots include Yens Bay, Buckenderra, Anglers Reach, Providence Flats, and Middling Bank. Jindabyne is going well at the mouth of Widows Creek, Hatchery Bay, in front of the Jindabyne Holiday Park (where I filmed recently), Kangaroo Bay and Hayshed Bay just to name a few.
A reminder to anglers that if you need and help catching fish on the south coast or the snowy mountains, I have worked with Tourism bodies, local fishing guides, and local businesses to produce a series of instructional DVDs that will get you well and truly sorted.
They are available at all good tackle stores and online at www.robpax.com
See you on the water,