Gone fishing with Jonno: It's Gone Fishing Day on Sunday

Gotta love a week of high pressure systems drifting across the Shoalhaven, no doubt this had a big influence in the fishing stepping a gear with the bass, estuary perch, snapper and flathead all coming on the chew.  

Local angler Blake Fallon with a stonker (54.5cm) of a South Coast bass. Jonno reckons bass, estuary perch, snapper and flathead are all biting.

Local angler Blake Fallon with a stonker (54.5cm) of a South Coast bass. Jonno reckons bass, estuary perch, snapper and flathead are all biting.

The estuary perch are smashing pencil poppers off the top of the water under Nowra Bridge and there was stonker sized bass caught like the one pictured, which was landed by local angler, Blake Fallon.  We ventured out off Culburra over the weekend and ended up with some snapper and flathead, but the big treat was humpback whales breaching out of the water.

This Sunday, October 15, to celebrate everything fishing, the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) is holding a series of events across NSW as part of Gone Fishing Day.

It doesn't matter if you haven't fished before or if you're the keenest of anglers, Gone Fishing Day is for everyone!

Free NSW DPI community fishing events for everyone will be run in six locations across NSW on Sunday from 9am-3pm.  The nearest venue for people living in the Shoalhaven to go to is Lake Illawarra, Judbooley Parade foreshore (north side of Windang Bridge).

There is something for everyone at the free Gone Fishing Day events, including beginners, who want to learn about fishing, as well as activities for the keen angler.

Free, fun-filled fishing activities at each location will include:

How-to fish workshops; casting comps; goodie bags with bonus lures; expert fishing tips; touch tanks; loads of kids' activities; and activity marquees.

Snappy, the DPI crab mascot, will also be making an appearance and handing out lots of cool prizes.

Whether it’s going to the Gone Fishing Day events, being part of a fishing club day, fishing with mates or the family, Gone Fishing Day is a great excuse to wet a line and enjoy all the benefits of recreational fishing.

Gone Fishing Day is supported by the Recreational Fishing Trusts and NSW DPI.

If you’re going to wet a line as part of Gone Fishing Day, here are my tips; Go bassin as the bass have come on the chew over the past week.  Throw some soft cicada surface lures around the snags in Broughton Creek or the Shoalhaven River for some top water boofing bass action.

I’ve had good success lately flicking pencil poppers from both the boat and shore underneath the Nowra Bridge catching lure-slurping estuary perch.  Any pencil popper that looks like a prawn is the go, use a walk the dog style retrieve, with lot of pauses.  Remember to get the popper dancing on top of the water to activate a strike – no wobble no gobble.

Head down to St Georges Basin to try your luck at catching a trophy-sized flathead.  Use your sounder to find the bait schools and then flick your soft plastics around the location.  While doing this you might also get tight on a mulloway or big chopper tailor.  Give some of the Pro Lure Fishtail soft plastics a go on a ¼ once jig head or use a 80 or 100mm Squidgie Fish in the Silver Fox colour on a 3/8 jig head.  Use a slow to medium retrieve, with lots of hops on the bottom and pauses.

Going offshore, why not go for an old fashion bottom bounce targeting areas where the reef drops off onto a gravel bottom for some snapper, mowies and sand flathead.  A big tip here is use one of the Berkley Slow-Mo jigs as your sinker, you’ll be surprised with the number of flathead that will take this lure as it bounces across the bottom.

Whether it’s soaking some green weed under a float for luderick or chasing big bluefin tuna, enjoy Gone Fishing Day with your family and friends.  Remember to let the little ones go to let them grow.