Stubb'Sea Chronicles

Whether you fish singles or treble hooks, make sure that you give them a quick sharpening at the start of the day, and after each fish. Its worth it!

 While rumours of good fishing on the North coast trickled in, there was not much fireworks our side on the South Coast. Graciously, the bottom fish ate pretty well, but gamefish were scarce and the weather was very “hit n miss”. That all changed early in March, when overnight, the Couta arrived in force, and the weather patterns stabilized, leading to some memorable days on the water. 

 The “Couta Run” is something we look forward to on an annual basis, but in the last 8 odd years, it simply hasn’t happened, with fish only showing up in dribs and drabs. There were some indications last year when the Couta fishing improved for a few short weeks, but the run we are experiencing at the moment is comparable to the best I have ever seen in local waters. Even better news, is the numbers of small fish, which, to me at least, indicates successful breeding and migratory paths functioning, and bodes well for the future. While us ski boaters can only judge the volume of fish by our screaming reels, Spearo’s up and down the Coast have reported fish in extremely high numbers, with vast shoals filing past. This is a huge relief to all anglers, and a very welcome return, as these fish tick all the boxes. Exciting runs, hard and fun fighting, and delicious to eat as well. 

A point to note with this years Couta run, is that the average size of the fish is way smaller than in previous years, and they have been averaging between 3 and 5 kilos, which is pretty small by King Mackerel standards. This has led to many On / Off’s and missed fish. Whilst ive suffered the same fate as many, by missing quite a few strikes, I have definitely found that carrying a hook hone on the boat, and making sure your hooks are razor sharp has helped increase my conversion rate. Whether you fish singles or treble hooks, make sure that you give them a quick sharpening at the start of the day, and after each fish. Its worth it! 

While on the topic of fish appearing, one species seems to have disappeared, and its quite strange to note that the large shoals of Yellowfin Tuna that we traditionally have in our waters this time of year, have failed to pitch up to the party. For those that target them, we are normally seeing and catching decent numbers of fish, particularly in the 6 to 12 kilo class, but its been months since ive seen the Tuna boiling. Ill keep tabs on that, and be sure to keep you updated. 

While the Couta have been keeping us busy, for those that prefer to target some bottoms, the bite has been equally rewarding. There have been a few days where the current has been screaming, making angling really challenging, but when currents have been favorable, the bottom bite has been great too. Some high quality linefish (large Redfish), and a scattering of some nice Rockcod and some other prize bottom fish. 

Whether you fish singles or treble hooks, make sure that you give them a quick sharpening at the start of the day, and after each fish. Its worth it!

Craig Stubbs

Whilst talking bottom fishing. On the charter boat, or any boat in general, it really can be worth your while to always consider your bait presentation. There are days when simply threading a scrap of Chokka on your hook will get you a bite, but there is a definite correlation between those that prepare the right baits for the right species, and present them in the best fashion and getting regular good fish. A fellow charter captain of mine was telling me a story the other day, that really reinforced this. On a crew of 6 anglers, one angler would take his time, preparing his baits for each down. Making sure that they were well secured to the hook and using bait cotton to shape and construct his baits. On that particular day, he accounted for a nice Cracker and a Yellowbelly Rockcod, whilst those around him came back with mainly small fish. 

With the Easter Holidays just around the corner, be sure to give me a call if you wish to get out on the water. Its been a real pleasure of late to host Fathers and Sons, Husbands and wives as well as brothers. Its amazing to see the bonding and banter that takes place on the water thats what Stubb’Sea is all about, Small Group, Personal Angling Experiences. 

Till next time! 

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