Ian loves flicking Zman plastics around this time of year but this week he tried the good old fashioned hard bodies and landed a 51cm lizard from the sand off Nelson Bay near the commercial Breakwall. Reports of Jewfish continue to come in from the main Breakwall with 2 being taken this week in excess of 20kg. Live yellow tail appears to be the way to go although with schools of blackfish in and around the Breakwall I would try a blackfish bait, fresh dead fillet or a head. This is also a great opportunity to either toss out a swimbait or large soft plastic. I have found that Jewfish appear most active around the changes of the tide, so if you’re specifically targeting them this is a good starting point.
The blackfish are here and biting both morning and afternoon and on all tides from the main break wall both inside and outside. The fish appear to be in good condition and good numbers. Both weed and cabbage baits are working. Scotty VEE and his Great Uncle fished the break wall this week and have been getting some quality blackfish on weed. With many more years of experience Great Uncle VEE was all over Scotty although let’s see what happens next week.
The fish were not biting as aggressively which present a greater challenge.
Under these conditions it can be frustrating and we tend to second-guess ourselves, our bait, rig’s, method etc. After experiencing the same myself over the years when the fish are being sensitive then I focus on the following 3 steps;
- Bait – presentation and amount. Less is more. With weed, use a loop knot shorten the weed tail below the point of the hook. With cabbage, a single leaf, not folded on itself, up over the eye of the hook onto the line and half hitched. Don’t brunch/clump your baits, this will result in many down’s and few hook-ups.
- If you have your float sitting low too the water line then let it go down and hold. I let mine go right down before striking. As opposed to those that have the float set higher on the water line they can strike as soon as it’s under the water line because the fish has had to take it down further. Basic rule, under then hold for 3 seconds.
- If you have ticked off 1 and 2, I’d say go back to 1 and really look at your bait presentation again but last is going to a lighter leader, 4lb or 6lb fluro carbon, which will result in more downs although you will potentially lose more fish after hooking them.
At Duffs check out our Black Fish Table, get all your ‘Stuff ‘in one spot, handmade floats, handmade weed flies, hooks, F/C leaders, and heaps more. Easy to find easy to shop. Plus weed! so get all your blackfish needs at Duffs!
For those time poor and just wanting to enjoying the fun parts of black fishing I’ve done all the hard stuff, pre-made berley, 20lt of rich weed/sand mix, plus a bucket with lid and fancy scope. Just add water!!, seriously you do need at add a little water to wet the sand just enough so it sinks.
John has been taking bream to 38cm from the outside of the Breakwall on floating half pilchard baits. Nathan from Anna Bay reports bream to 35cm from the inside of the marina on unweighted yabbie and prawn baits. The fish are in good condition. When targeting bream from the Breakwall hold the fish in a certain place with chicken or prawn pellets. Upon cleaning the fish their gut cavity will revealed chicken pellets. The rig is really simple, 10-12lb mono. with 00 or 0 ball sinker to a 1/0 Mustard Penetrator hook. In super calm water no sinker at all is suggested. Let the bream pick the bait up and move off before striking, perhaps using a bait runner featured reel or an open bail arm will increase the chances of the fish shallowing the bait.
Reports continue of some cracking bream & Leatherjacket to 40cm from the disabled wharf at the Southern end of Little Beach near the Boathouse Restaurant as well as the odd blackfish. Darren Jolly reports blackfish from the inside and outside near the pipe off the Anchorage Breakwall.
Mario doing well with some big Garfish off Shoal Bay Wharf. Reports flathead off the boat ramp at Shoal Bay on fish baits. Try the sand before Fly Point for flathead on slowly retrieved unweighted pilchard baits on 2/0 gang hooks. Also consider targeting flathead off the small wharf at Little Beach and Middle of Shoal Bay Beach on either bait or soft plastic. Most popular colour is ‘Nuclear Chicken’.
Check out Maddie in this week’s Examiner, explaining the difference between lookalike fish;