Massive Basin chopper!

ST Georges Basin, located on the NSW South Coast, has further cemented its reputation as a big tailor hotspot with the capture of this 86cm beauty over the weekend.

Landed by well-known local angler Wal Balzan, the fish took one of the new Squidgy Prawn soft plastics. It unfortunately died and Wal has organised with NSW Fisheries to have the frame examined by researchers. It will be extremely interesting to find out how old the big fish was.

As well as producing huge choppers, the Basin is well known for its quality bream and croc-sized flatties. More recently, the system has begun producing snapper and mulloway.

St Georges Basin was previously heavily netted by commercial operators but has bounced back in a spectacular way following a buyout more than 10 years ago. Since then the fishing has steadily improved, resulting in the waterway becoming a major tourist attraction as well as a valued resource for local anglers and their families.

Evidence of the Basin’s return as a viable recreational fishery is matched by other net-free areas such as Botany Bay south of Sydney and Lake Macquarie on the Central Coast.

The fact that these fisheries provide quality fishing experiences for locals and visitors, and provide much-needed socio-economic benefits for regional areas, is behind the recent push for more “recreational havens” along the NSW coast, especially in the Hawkesbury region north of Sydney.

With a state election fast approaching, it will be interesting to see final recreational fishing policy statements from the two major political parties in NSW. Pledges for more net-free areas were a central plank of fisheries policies in the recent Victorian and Queensland elections, both of which were won by the Labor Party.

Meanwhile, it looks like St Georges Basin is the place to go if you want to target big estuary tailor!

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