Bateman’s Bay Coast and Clyde River Report – Sept 2018

Provided by Catch Pro Team Member – Maté Bitunjac

The Clyde River

The Clyde River has started to warm up over the last few weeks after some low water temps, not seen in winter here for a long time.

The fish are getting a little more active with bream and good size tailor starting to be caught in the deeper parts of the river more than the shallows. There’s also a huge number of ludericks are holding in the river, but fresh nippers seem to be the only thing they will take (I haven’t tried cabbage weed).

The guys throwing soft baits are keeping their rigs as light as they can, and fishing is best at the top or bottom of the tide. There has been the odd big flathead caught in the shallow water on the last of the out-going tide using soft baits and the natural colours seem to be working the best (paddle or natural tail).

Although, the Clyde looks crystal clear, a lot of people fishing it are having a hard time with some real thick green algae. Some are saying it’s impossible to fish right now.

Bateman’s Bay

All the beaches and coves around the Northern side of the bay are loaded with jellyfish and they seem to be getting thicker over the last few weeks.

I cannot seem to find any squid and have no idea if it is the jellyfish causing the problem or there’s just no squid around. However, the bay is holding loads of small flathead to 30cm, which are heaps of fun using light gear with micro-jigs or curly tail soft-baits.

The bay is also holding huge numbers of bait fish, with our sounders completely coloured out by the size of the schools when in about 25m of water. The fish we have caught are slimy mackerel and red-spotted whiting. Even with all this good bait all these fish are holding in the bay, there’s seems to be a lack of bigger predators. Although to be fair, we haven’t fished the late afternoons and evenings.

Inshore and rock fishing outside the bay

The water temp inshore is starting to rise and is now over the 15 degrees. The snapper are starting to come into the shallow water and early mornings over the last three or four weeks both north and south of the bay have produced nice size snapper – 3 to 4 kg.

The best areas seem to be around the rocks and headlands in 12 metres or less. White coloured soft-baits have been the option of choice for most as well as squid bait.

Later in the morning head out deeper – 50m to 100m – looking for reef structure and gravel pits as they seem to be holding loads of snapper. Trying to get the wind and the water current right to drop jigs for them has been difficult. If you time things well with the moon phase and major bite time the snapper are feeding hard. They are not real big fish but if you can get past the 45cm pannies, you will find the bigger fish.

Soft-baits, jigs and lures all seem to work if you can get them down to the strike zone. We are also picking up the odd gurnard, pig fish and other reef speices using the same techniques.

If not fishing during a bite time trying to get them to take lure or bait is very hard. The best lures at these times are Kaburas, preferably in a lumo option.

Inshore flathead have been hard to find – most fish being small at 35cm. Some bigger flathead around the 50 to 60cm have been caught around the 40 to 50m off Broulee and Moruya. Kaburas dragged along the sandy bottom with a slight lift every now seem to work but soft-baits are the choice when the drift is quicker. Of course, the old paternoster bait rigs never seems to fail when deep dropping for flathead.