Ocean waters are very cool and often extremely clear, especially after extended periods of westerly winds. However, this can be a great month for southern bluefin tuna between Sydney and the VIC border. Inshore fishing can be tougher at such times, although drummer, trevally, bream and blue groper continue to bite well this month. Estuaries still produce bream and blackfish (luderick), along with the odd flathead, especially further north. Specialist anglers will continue to target mulloway. Note that bass and estuary perch seasons are closed now.
It’s cold now, but the bream fishing is still very good in most southern estuaries. Surf salmon are still a fairly good option in places. Deep dropping offshore for trevalla, hapuka, bass grouper and the like can be good during calm weather and there may be the odd tuna around. The year’s second blood worm run occurs in SA.
Inshore snapper fishing is still fair to good, but definitely slowing. Skippy (silver trevally) are abundant along inshore reefs and squid remain a good option over shallower weed beds. Both school mulloway and larger fish are present along many beaches, but tailor and salmon are generally scarce. The north-west mackerel season in full swing now, with great land-based ballooning available in offshore winds.
Continuing cool water means slow barramundi fishing, especially with lures, but there are many other options on tap, from saratoga and sooty grunter in the fresh to mangrove jacks, cod, fingermark and a host of pelagics in the estuaries and beyond. The mackerel season is in full swing offshore and tuna are prolific, along with sailfish and small marlin on recognized grounds, when the south east trade winds allow.
Nights and mornings remain very cold, with frequent frosts. Native fish activity is slow, yet some of the year’s largest Murray cod continue to be taken, especially in the big dams. Towards the end of the month, a few golden perch (yellowbelly) may begin to be encountered. The trout season remains closed on most flowing waters (rivers and creeks) on the mainland, although it opens early this month in Tasmania. Hardy anglers who dress for the cold will find a few trout in many lakes, as well.
1 AUG: Trolling ban BEGINS on the Murray River in SA
First Sat in AUG: Trout season OPENS in Tasmania (some lakes open all year)