With winter fast approaching its time to dig out the jumpers and beanies as the temperature begins to fall. It’s a true test for all fisho’s, as the keen ones still get amongst the action and others prefer the comforts of a warm bed. The winter is one of the best times of the year to fish the lake as species like Flathead, Mulloway, Salmon, Tailor, Squire and Bream to name just a few are the main targets.
Although traditionally baitfishing is the usual approach by anglers, methods such as flicking soft plastics, hardbodies and probably the best although it is beginning to be an all year round choice by many is vibes, both soft and metal blade styles lures work exceptionally well this time of year for enticing fish from the deeper waters of the lake. With so many choices and equal amounts of species on offer, if you haven’t tried soft vibes yet your missing out on one of the best options to awaken fish from the wintery depths. The 70mm size Samaki Vibelicious is a good all-round performer with a wide variety of colours available it’s hard to have a favorite as they been proven and without a doubt will catch many of the lake species mentioned on a fairly consistent basis . Predominately flathead, bream and Mulloway will be the most likely victims, but may other species such as Flounder, Squire and Tailor will happily eat these type vibes, although it rarely ends well if you hook a tailor.
As the lake temperature is starting to fall, there have already been reports of some very nice Flathead being landed in numbers as well as Bream and some solid Squire up for grabs. For the bait fisho’s, oily baits such as pilchards, strips of mullet or bonito are irresistible for many of the fish mentioned, squid is also another good option they can’t swim past. The Mullet have been schooling up for their annual run up the coast and what wasn’t nabbed by commercial netters will continue their journey along the coast. Some big schools of Tailor in all sizes are present with a mix of Bonito and Kingfish amongst them at the moment. There was also quite a few Dolphin fish landed throughout the lake. Trolling deep diving lures is great way to target these fish, look out for birds working the surface and remembering not to troll directly through the feeding fish as this only spoils your chances of hooking up, as well as anyone else working the same school. Casting metal slices (chromies) and slow sinking or floating stickbaits is another option. There are still a few “lake squid” around but as the water cools they will become harder to find. Australian Salmon have been caught but they will again plague the lake and channel over the next few weeks/months as they do each year, providing anglers with plenty of reel screaming action. Although considered a pest by many, these fish are great fun on light tackle and anglers, especially the kids just love having their arms stretched by these critters.
Offshore, it has been a good season for surface action with plenty of fish on offer. Out wide there are still a number of Marlin with some big blues around, Dollies and the odd Wahoo as well as Tuna, which will be one of the main targets over the next few months. This time of year we are coming into prime jigging season with a number of species such as Kingfish, Snapper and perch among some of the main targets, although jigging is becoming an all year round option for some it does fish peak at this time of year. Techniques like the big heavy knife jigs or the lightweight micro jigging is a less painful way to land these deep water fish matched up with a micro jigging rod outfit such as the Gomoku style, Shimano Grappler or Revolution series as well as one of the many other brands now available is a great way to target them. The rods are a fraction of the size of the broomsticks used in the past and will still handle fish of equal size without having to visit the chiropractor afterwards. Loads of Spotted Mackerel and Spanish mixed in for those trolling inshore reefs and landbased to the north up around Seals Rocks and South West Rocks.
Landbased fisho’s have been cracking into the Longtails, Mack Tuna, King, Cobia and the odd little black marlin which have been pulling drag on many reels in various locations along the coast but if you can manage to claim a decent vantage point the only other obstacle is getting you fish past the men in grey suits. Longtails over 15kg and Cobes upto and over 20kg have been a plenty.
On the Beach reports of some bream, tailor, mulloway and salmon with a few late season whiting still about. Still a lot of small sharks taking baits. Strips of mullet, salted pilchards or mackerel are again good oily baits but squid strips and prawns will still be on the menu as well. Its often rewarding to have a metal slice in the tackle bag to lob out for tailor or salmon if you want to mix it up.