Photo: Holly Prentice from Ningi with a 36cm snapper caught on New Years Eve
So another year bites the dust. Let’s hope 2015 is a good one for all of us.
So far the fishing has been holding up its end with some great fishing to start the 2015 year. I think I will go through the list.
There has been some big female fish coming from all the usual haunts. With the bigger fish comes an increase in smaller male fish which are the ones we are after. The bigger fish are fun to catch but as they are breeding fish they have to be left in the system to keep up the stocks. It is illegal to keep a fish over 75cm. The smaller male fish are the fish that you want if you are looking for a feed of flathead. The best spots to fish are the shallow areas near any drop off, look for a diamond shape in the sand/mud at low tide for signs that fish are in the area.
There has been a run of good size bream all through the passage. They sit on or near any structure and the biggest structure in the passage is the bridge, but there are a few tricks to fishing the bridge. The main one is fish it on a change of tide when the flow is slow or still that way you can get to the bottom of the bridge pylons where the big bream are hiding. Another trick is to fish the right side of the bridge, you want the fishing area of your boat (the back) facing the bridge. That way when the tide is running your baits are at the bridge not away from it. The canal systems are also large structures with lots of pontoons for bream to hide under.
Snapper are normally a winter species and that is when the bigger fish are in numbers in the passage. But we have a resident population of smaller fish that also stay around structures and rocky drop offs all along the passage. The best place to target these tasty fish in summer is the ledge that runs from the northern canal right up to white patch.
Summer whiting are slowing down now but are still able to be caught from the surf beaches and all sand banks in the passage. These fish are a lot smaller than early in the season but if you want to target bigger fish try the mouths of all the creeks that flow into the passage.
If you do catch one of these species or any of the other fish found in the Passage, please fish sustainably and only keep what you need of legal size. If you have any photos of yourself with the fish please send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org for submission with future reports.
Have a great year… Nigel Newman.