• November 2015
  • October 2015
  • August 2015
  • July 2015
  • May 2015
  • April 2015

ACT and surrounds Fishing Report: November 2015


Kingfish have finally returned to Montague Island, but at this stage most of the fish landed have been undersized rats, with only a few legal size keepers for the esky. The good news is there are plenty of other species being caught near the island including snapper, silver trevally, flathead, morwong and slimy mackerel.

Aspro Charters skipper, Jeff Brooks, has reported good numbers of snapper, morwong, flathead and pigfish south east of Black Rock. The best baits have been squid, pilchards and slimy mackerel. Flathead are abundant right along the south coast in the usual grounds around the 30-40m mark.

Offshore, there are still a few smaller sized Yellowfin and Albacore Tuna hanging around the continental shelf and out over the 1000 fathom mark.

The estuaries systems right along the south coast are approaching the 20 degree mark which is a tell tail sign that fishing action will start to fire. In particular, there are some great reports of flathead coming through. After lying dormant through the winter months, these fish are hungry and in search of a feed.

Surface lures have become very popular for anglers targeting bream and bass in snaggy areas such as shallow mud flats and oyster racks. The Jackson Namazemi has just hit the shelves and has a striking resemblance to the Australian Cicada species. The boys at Tackle World Canberra are tipping that this is going to become a favourite lure amongst bream and bass anglers (pictured below).

The prawn season will soon be underway so it’s time to dust off your underwater lights and scoop nets and get amongst it. Matching the diet of the fish in the estuaries is essential, so lures that imitate prawn or a similar crustacean will be very effective throughout the summer months.


Lake Jindabyne and Eucumbene are both fishing consistently well from the shoreline, with scrub worms and artificial baits doing the damage. Mudeye hatches should get underway in the coming weeks so dry fly fishing or casting live Mudeye’s under a float will be the best option to catch yourself a trout.

In the local lakes, anglers fishing with scrub worms or yabbies are out fishing their lure casting counterparts. That won’t deter the lure casting diehards, but for now the bait fishos have the bragging rights. Lake Berley Griffin and Lake Ginninderra have been the clear stand out spots for Golden Perch, while Lake Tuggeranong has shut right down, with only a few redfin being caught.

The persistent rain in the early days of November has made the going tough. Due to the poor visibility in the water, anglers are best advised to tie on a bright coloured lure coated in scent.

No surprise that the anglers catching the most fish all have one thing in common; they are fishing as light as possible. Downgrading the breaking strength of your line and using fluorocarbon can make a world of difference. It might mean you lose a few rigs or lures to snags, but in the long run it will be well worth it for the extra fish that you will catch.

Anglers are being encouraged to report any sightings of carp in the local lakes, ponds or rivers on the ‘Feral Fish Scan’ website. At this time of year carp are spawning and are often sighted splashing around on the surface. Tracking the movement patterns of carp will help waterway conservationists develop removal strategies.


Daniel Turner from berra_natives. Send through a photo of your recent catch on our Facebook page to have your picture featured in this report.


ACT and surrounds Fishing Report: October 2015


Spring is here at last and the estuary systems right along the south coast are starting to fire. The warmer water temperatures have stirred up the fish and some great reports are coming through. It’s time to dust off the fishing gear and get out on the water.

Popular estuaries such as Wadonga inlet and Tuross are producing plenty of fish. There are stacks of bait schools breaking the surface which means salmon and tailor are never far behind. When the action is hot these fish aren’t fussy and will take anything from vibes, metal slugs and soft plastics. Below the feeding frenzy of a bait school you will catch trevally, bream, flathead, flounder and the odd pinkie snapper so locating a bait school is the way to go.

The three month fishing closure for Australian Bass and Estuary Perch has come to a close, so anglers can once again target these sought after sports fish in coastal rivers and lakes. Some heavy swells in recent weeks have stirred up the beaches and some prominent gutters have formed. Salmon, Tailor and Bream are being caught on pilchards and beach worms and the odd Mulloway has been landed using fresh fillets of baits. Offshore out on the 1000 fathom mark there have been good numbers of Dolphin Fish. These hard fighting fish are great eating so it is well worth the trip out to the shelf even though Albacore and Yellowfin Tuna are few and far between.

Closer in between 20-30 fathoms towards Durras there are plenty of snapper and pigfish about. After a few weeks of rubbish seas, conditions are starting to improve which is great for bottom bashing.


The closed season for Murray Cod is underway to protect their breeding season and won’t re-open until the 1st of December. Anglers are best advised to downsize their lure size considerably to help reduce the chance of hooking a Murray Cod. If you do catch one accidently, quickly release the fish so they can continue their job of breeding.

Spring time is when the Golden Perch start to fire in the local lakes. Consecutive days of warm weather will help the local lakes heat up and late afternoon is the best time to wet a line.

Slow rolling a blade, vibe or soft plastic with the occasional twitch is the best technique. This is a similar technique that you would use when targeting flathead with soft plastics. When retrieving your lure, keep it in close contact with the bottom and lift the lure vertically, followed by a pause. Popular lure choices include the Jackall TN range, the Jackall Mask Vibe Genie in the 55mm, the Ecogear ZX range or the Berkley Gulp 8cm Minnow Grub. Pay close attention to your line while using this finesse technique because Golden Perch can be subtle feeders at times.

Lake Burley Griffin is firing, especially around rocky points or weed beds. There are plenty of fish around the 40cm mark schooling up with an occasional elusive 60cm plus football shaped fish also being caught. Redfin are schooling up in all the local lakes and ponds and cricket score catches are not uncommon. As the weather starts to heat up these fish will congregate under the shade of bridges and trees.

Goodhope, Windamere and Burrinjuck are all worth the drive with some excellent reports of Golden Perch coming through. Tackle World Canberra staff member Kobin Rasker recently fished Lake Windamere and had some great success using the Ecogear ZX range (see pictures below).

Lake Tuggeranong has had another outbreak of algae which is frustrating for local anglers. Let’s hope it reopens soon and some strategies are put in place to prevent future outbreaks.

Trout streams and rivers re-open on the 3rd of October. Most of the spawning rainbow trout have been and gone from the Thredbo and Eucumbene Rivers but a few should still be lingering around. Bait fishing from the shoreline in both lakes has been consistent, with meal worms, scrub worms and artificial floating baits working well. The fish are biting all through the day and into the night so as long as you have a line in the water you should be able to land a few nice fish for the smoker.

The 41st ANSA Burrinjuck Convention is being held on Friday 6th November to Sunday 8th of November. This is a great event run by the Canberra Fisherman’s Club and is open to anyone to enter. Entries include full catering, and there are some great awards and trophies to be won. Entries close November 4th and the entry forms are available online or in the Tackle World Canberra store.



Daniel Turner from berra_natives

Send through a photo of your recent catch on our Facebook page to have your picture featured in this report.


ACT and surrounds Fishing Report: August 2015


At the south coast the Yellowfin and Bluefin tuna action has moved too far offshore for recreational boats. The commercial long-liners are heading south east from Ulladulla but unfortunately these fish are unlikely to be in reach for smaller vessels. It looks like the tuna season is all but over for another year at the south coast.

Closer in the waters between Batemans Bay and Durras are showing good signs with plenty of baitfish around. Unsurprisingly pigfish, morwong and snapper are being caught drifting along reefs and flathead and an occasional gummy shark two hours either side of a tide change are being caught on sandy broken bottoms. At this time of the year catching a feed of fish is just about the best you can hope for.

Rock ledges and beaches are firing right along the south coast with plenty of salmon and tailor around. You can’t go wrong using the humble paternoster rig with a gang-hooked pilchard on the bottom and a surf popper drifting around on top when fishing a gutter.

The estuaries are still shut-down and the fishing will not improve until the freeing water temperatures start to increase. The only positive is that an early start is not needed, with the best time be on the water in the afternoon around a tide change.


The mountain lakes are fishing well with both Eucumbene and Jindabyne producing consistent catches of brown and rainbow trout. Bait anglers used to catching rainbow trout will be surprised by the number of brown trout being caught from the shoreline in recent weeks. These brown trout have finished their spawn run and after weeks of tiresome breeding are gorging around the lake edges. While brown trout are occasionally caught on artificial baits, natural baits such as woodgrubs and scrub worms are far more successful baits. Best locations from the shoreline have been Providence, Seven Gates and Frying pan at Eucumbene, while Hatchery bay has been the standout at Jindabyne.

Polaroiding season is just around the corner and sight casting is definitely the most exciting way to target trout in the mountains. Casting hard-body lures, blades, soft plastics or fly-casting at these fish and watching them pick up your lure or fly is an addictive technique.

Closer to home, don’t waste your time fishing the Murrumbidgee River for natives and focus on some of the local lakes instead. The fishing is tough but a slow, finesse retrieval style fishing with vibes and soft plastics should stir up some golden perch. Lake Burley Griffin is the pick of the local lakes.

Daniel Turner from berra_natives

Send through a photo of your recent catch on our Facebook page to have your picture featured in this report.


ACT and surrounds Fishing Report: July 2015


At the South Coast the annual run of Yellowfin and Bluefin tuna has well and truly started, with both species being caught out wide along the shelf. These fish have proved elusive at times, moving unpredictably from one day to the next. A 91kg Bluefin Tuna was recently caught at Montague Island which shows just how unpredictable the movements of these fish can be!

Before the weather turned bad in recent days the most consistent catches of Bluefin were coming from south of Bermagui. Schools of albacore tuna have been a welcome consolation when the Yellowfin and Bluefin tuna aren’t showing.

Pat Jackson on board the ‘Apothecary’ managed to land an 85kg Yellowfin tuna on 15kg line when fishing 1000 fathoms off Tuross toward Kangaroo Head. This fish will take some beating with most Yellowfin reported so far this season weighing in around 40-50kg.


Trolling skirted lures covers plenty of distance and is the best way of locating a school of fish. Once a fish is caught, try and hold the school under the boat by cubing with pilchards. This is when the action can become insane and the fish will happily take cubes, live baits, jigs or soft plastics when feeding under the boat. Spraying water from a hose into the sea is also a popular method of attracting the fish to the boat as it imitates the splash of baitfish on the surface.

Most boats are happy to share their GPS co-ordinates with other anglers once a school of fish are located. Sharing co-ordinates is a win-win as the more boats cubing in the same area will result in the fish holding in your area for longer. VHF channel 22 is the preferred channel for communicating co-ordinates to other boats.

Some late season Striped Marlin are still being caught along the shelf off Batemans Bay, with the boys from Aspro Game Fishing Charters tagging and releasing an estimated 150kg striped Marlin in recent days.

Closer in the reef fishing is starting to pick up, with good reports of Snapper, Flathead and Morwong south of Broulee Island.


The Trout Rivers and streams might be closed in NSW until October but Lake Eucumbene and Jindabyne remain open to fishing. The water might be freezing cold but the trout love these conditions. Recent rain and snow melt in the area has stirred up the shoreline edges so the trout should be prospecting in close looking for a cheap feed. Scrub worms are the choice bait, but be sure to leave the bail-arm on your reel open so the fish can take the bait without feeling any resistance. Casting or trolling minnow lures are also catching fish, with pink and orange patterns working best.

Reports of native fish in the ACT area are few and far between, but those anglers that have braved the freezing conditions are being rewarded with the odd fish or two. At this time of year there is no point obsessing about fishing around sunrise and sunset, as the fish could come on the bite at any time of the day. Murray Cod will continue to feed in the winter months due to their metabolism, which doesn’t shut down as dramatically as some species do in these conditions. They will still be more inactive compared to the warmer month which means they won’t travel too far from their favourite snags for a feed, so work a slowly retrieved spinner bait or diving hard body in tight against submerged timber or a rock wall past where they will be hiding.

Daniel Turner from berra_natives

Send through a photo of your recent catch on our Facebook page to have your picture featured in this report.



ACT and surrounds Fishing Report: May 2015


Kingfish are still being caught at Montague Island thanks to the water temperature in the area hovering around 19 degrees. But as winter approaches it’s only a matter of time before these fish become more elusive. The best time to target these fish is early morning on live baits, whole squid or jigs. Schools of bonito are also in the area.

Charter boats and recreational anglers are catching Yellowfin tuna off Bermagui. Bunga Canyons is producing some nice fish up to 30kg. The key to finding these fish is locating the warm currents on sea surface temperature and current charts.

The 2015 Canberra Yellowfin Tournament was held recently at Bermagui, with a total of 82 boats entering the annual competition. A variety of species were caught during the competition, including Yellowfin, striped marlin, dolphinfish and striped tuna. An impressive 80.4kg Yellowfin and 142kg striped marlin were the highlights.

Salmon, tailor and the occasional school and gummy shark are being caught off most beaches at the south coast. However, cooler water temperatures in the estuary systems have slowed the fishing right down.


The annual spawn run in the Thredbo and Eucumbene rivers is well and truly underway. Huge numbers of trout anglers have lined the banks near Denison at Lake Eucumbene, and to a lesser extent Paddy’s Corner in Lake Jindabyne. Those wanting to avoid the crowds on the Eucumbene River should venture further upstream from the lower reaches of the river. Whilst the terrain makes the fishing more difficult, the groups of fish that have already moved upstream should make it worth the while.

When the river is flowing the go to fishing method during the spawn run has to be drift rigging. Drift rigging involves a Globug and a trailing nymph tied to a fluorocarbon leader that can be attached to the mainline of either a spin or fly fishing outfit. The brightly coloured globug fly imitates a trout egg and most of the spawn run trout are caught with this fly pattern. For casting distance and to ensure the two flies are drifting along or near the bottom of the river where the fish are holding, add as many split shot sinkers as necessary. Or alternatively, use Tungsten Beadhead Nymphs that are weighted and remove the need for split shot sinkers. Using this rig is as simple as casting upstream into the flowing river and allowing the two flies to drift with the current. Repeat the process until you hopefully get a trophy trout!

Anglers are also having success using deep diving lures that imitate the colours of a spawning brown trout, like the Rapala Spotted Dog pattern.

A reminder that NSW trout streams are closed to all forms of fishing from Tuesday 9 June 2015 through until Saturday 3 October 2015. During this annual closure, Lake Eucumbene and Lake Jindabyne remain open and the fishing at this time of the year can be excellent.

Daniel Turner from berra_natives

Send through a photo of your recent catch on our Facebook page to have your picture featured in this report.


ACT and surrounds Fishing Report: April 2015


The boys from Aspro Deep Sea Fishing Charters have being catching good numbers of flathead, snapper and pigfish between Burra Warra Point and Durras. Plenty of snapper are being caught in close on bait and soft-plastics as dusk approaches.

Further out, the marlin bite has slowed with the exception of Jervis Bay, which is experiencing a good late season run. As the marlin bite begins to slow game fisherman will turn their attention to yellowfin and albacore tuna. Long liners out on the 1000 fathom line from Narooma to Eden have encountered good numbers of yellowfin tuna which is encouraging for anglers.   There have also been reports of broadbill swordfish over the shelf off Bermagui.

Legal sized kingfish have returned to Montague Island, with reports of fish weighing as much as 10 kg.  However, landing these fish has proven difficult at the north end of Montague Island due to the seal population in the area.

Land based fisherman on the south coast can expect to catch salmon and tailor off rock ledges and beaches at this time of year. As always, gang hooking pilchards or spinning with metal slugs will give anglers the best chance of catching these fish.


Local anglers should not be disheartened by Canberra’s cooler weather and overcast days. This time of the year is a great time to target yellowbelly and Murray cod. Dark, overcast conditions give the natives the confidence to feed actively as they seek to put on condition in preparation for the winter months.

Lake Burley Griffin is the pick of Canberra’s urban lakes for yellowbelly, whilst good numbers of Murray Cod are being caught in both Lake Ginninderra and Lake Tuggeranong.

Adventurous anglers prepared to hike long distances along the Murrumbidgee River corridor are being rewarded with some sizable Murray cod. Whilst these anglers closely guard their favourite stretches of the river, it is no secret that these fish generally hold in deep pools so this is a great place to start for inexperienced anglers.

It is that time of the year when trout fisherman begin to anticipate the annual spawn run in the Thredbo and Eucumbene rivers.  The recent rain and cold weather in the area will lead to some early spawners embarking on their annual run. If these conditions continue the spawn run will be well and truly underway in May, providing anglers with an opportunity to land a once in a lifetime trophy trout, up until the closure of trout fishing streams at the end of the Queen’s Birthday long weekend in June.

Daniel Turner from berra_natives

Send through a photo of your recent catch on our Facebook page to have your picture featured in this report.