Anglers on the hunt for billfish

Handsome fish: Keith Willock with a northern fingermark. (Photos contributed for publication should be high res - 1MB or larger)

Handsome fish: Keith Willock with a northern fingermark. (Photos contributed for publication should be high res – 1MB or larger)

Luke from Leisure Coast Bait and Tackle at Corrimal says if the current run of summer weather stays with us this week there should be a few billfish ready to play ball.

Information courtesy Bureau of Meteorology

Information courtesy Bureau of Meteorology

Despite the up and down water temps, many took to the water for the start of the new year in great conditions and  headed wide to hunt themselves a marlin that have shown up more and more.

The best results came from crews who ran out to the 60 to 70 fathom depth line and set up a spread.

They found a small number of black and striped marlin that were holding bait balls and progressively working them over.

Crews need to do the same – even collect live slimies or yellowtail before doing the dash out and slow trolling with down rigger or drifting the schools with breakaway weights.

Along with the marlin there are some impressive dolphin fish taken already with the northern FADS giving up a couple between the 10 to 20kg size but these were the exception as there are many much much smaller.

Guys reported water temps between 21 and 23 degrees past the shelf but there were some warm pockets that peaked at 25.4 degrees.

Closer to shore, the packs of rat kings are out in force but there are still quite a few big brothers underneath them that generally take your bait once the light gear comes out for the rats.

Fish to 10kg were caught around Port Kembla islands and also south around Minnamurra and Kiama.

Snapper have still been slow with lots of smaller fish being caught and returned. This should improve as earlier this week the water temp rose and coloured up to a nice summer blue.

For those chasing a feed of flathead, the fishing just gets better with some monster fish taken on Tuesday and Wednesday just gone, with sizes over 50cm the norm and in top condition.

Drifts off Stanwell Park, Wollongong and Port beaches have all been fishing well.

Beach anglers have taken home whiting, a few bream and flatties from the gutters but not too many big mulloway to get excited about.

Website: reeldealfishing.com.au  Email: garywade@tpg.com.au

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