Fishing SA: Exploring new water

I’d done a couple of inshore sessions for snapper lately, but instead of going through the motions and fishing our regular inshore reefs I decided to poke along the coast a bit to see what new reefs we could possibly find. The more proven grounds you have tucked up your sleeve the better, giving fall-back plans when the usual isn’t going to plan.

I’d love to say it was easy and that we found fish straight away…but we didn’t. It took a bit of sounding around and a few slow trips to finally raise a legal fish from a new patch of reef, but the idea of exploring new ground was in itself exciting, and when we landed a neat little pinkie from the new area it was very satisfying. The reef lay only 100m from shore and I reckon you could almost lob a bait, landbased, with a stiff offshore wind. We fished the area few more times and managed to find small snapper without too many problems, but it wasn’t showing signs of larger life so it was time to venture on and hunt for some new reef.

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There is a shallow lump of reef not far from one of our regular inshore snapper possies, but we’d always bypassed it on our way to a larger area of scattered reef where pan-sized reds are fairly co-operative.
We decided to give this new lump of rock a go, and anchored alongside the reef which rose from 6m of water to within 2m of the surface. It was a fairly substantial nugget of reef, with drummer and sweep milling around the top of the rock. I initially thought it was going to be too shallow, and that we would be harassed by annoying reef ooglies. We only had an hour to fish before sunset, so we set a decent berley trail and flicked small pieces of bait back into the trail. My first cast resulted in a neat 3kg snapper, great start, and it didn’t end there.

We ended up with 15 King George whiting and five snapper to 5kg – it turned out to be a great little session. We released the bigger snapper and kept a couple of smaller pan-sized fish for the table, along with the sweet whiting. The fish that we kept had been gorging themselves on the berley. It turned out to be a surprise little reef that we had been overlooking for some time. There’s still more reefs to be found though, so the search continues!

Read more Fishing SA in Reports.

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