Casting with Coatsy

Beautiful conditions over the Easter break were a delight to both local fishos and holiday makers.

The sun was out, the wind was down and the sea was fairly calm which made for an extremely fishable few days. Plenty hit the water, so let’s get into it.

The crew from Southerly Fishing Charters have made the most of the beautiful weather for their clients, over the last week they have done some bottom fishing over the shelf and landed some great blue eye, hapuka and gemfish, in closer at around 80 metres to 100 metres for gummy and school sharks and other mixed reef species, to inshore reef fishing for sweep and snapper.

There are still no local tuna to report just yet, but a few of our local boats headed to Portland over the weekend and had no trouble finding school fish at the back of the Julia Reef, or down on the north shore. Rat kings are still mixed in with them too, so a great mixed bag is on offer for those willing to travel.

There has been whispers of barrels over that way too with some boats claiming to have seen fish jumping clean out of the water and another boat was spooled, but until one gets landed, we’ll never be 100% sure.

The surf fishing over the Easter period was unbelievable. Not only was the weather amazing, but the weed stayed away and the fish turned up. Plenty of crews went to the Coorong while the weather was so good and I have seen some excellent fish already.

Caleb Mulraney and crew found some excellent shark upwards of 15kg and I have heard a few unconfirmed reports of mulloway around the 50lb mark too. I’m yet to see any pictures of the fish yet, but it would not surprise me in the slightest! Locally we saw a few nice sharks hit the beach, from Discovery Bay at Nelson, through Piccaninnie, Paradise and Browns Bay, the fishing was fairly good for most.

Gummy shark to 10kg, salmon, elephant shark and undersize mulloway were all on the menu, along with plenty of rays, 7 gillers and other undesirables. Garfishos have been getting stuck into some of those nice big red beakers this week while the wind has been down and they have been well spread out.

The usual hot spots such as Cape Douglas, Nene Valley and Livingstons Bay have all been good, as have other lesser fished areas such as the Port Mac Breakwater, Petrified Forrest and Hutt Bay.

There are still tommies and mullet around in the same spots, so do not be surprised if they turn up too! The whiting fishing over the weekend was a little bit tougher than it has been in previous weeks, which can be put down to conditions being too good.

As most of us know the whiting love the milky and stirred up water, so when the sea is too flat for too long, it’s just too clear. That said though, they’ll still feed in deeper water or at dawn and dusk, so there was still a few nice fish landed by both the boaties and land based anglers.

When the water is clear, there are a plenty of other species on offer for those who’d usually target whiting. You have got sweep, garfish, tommy ruff and squid which are all up there as great whiting alternatives and are generally found around the same sort of areas.

The dawn and dusk sessions on the Port MacDonnell Jetty have been fairly productive, from whiting and salmon trout, to squid and garfish, it fished quite well for most.

We saw some nice fish over the weekend from the Glenelg River, one crew who were staying down at the River Vu Caravan Park in Nelson managed a few nice mulloway on cut pilchard to 80 centimetres down in the town ship itself, while some others had luck up at Taylors Straight, Hutchessons Landing and even a couple from as high up as Sapling Creek.

The bream have been well spread out again; the estuary has been good, as have the rock walls heading up stream. Estuary perch have been a little slower this week, but there has been the odd fish caught on plastics by the guys targeting bream, but that’s been about it.

Looking forward to the weekend and it looks like we are going to cop a pizzling. 7.2 metres, yes, you read that right, 7.2 metres of sea has been forecast for Sunday morning with 25 knots of wind on top.

If you’re going to the coast, it’s gonna be ugly! Hopefully it’s downgraded before then, but we’ll have to wait and see.

Until next week, safe fishing!


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