Weekly Reports

NSW Fisheries/DPI FADs program provides for recreational fishers right along the NSW coast and the 2018/19 seasonal deployment is 99% completed.

Primary species attracted to these FADs is the dolphin fish or mahi mahi and these guys can in fact grow to more than 40 kilograms in weight with a 20-odd kilo fish likely to be less than two years old.

The FADs program has been running for more than 16 years, made possible using funds from the NSW Recreational Fishing Trusts.

Christmas certainly came early for a couple of very keen north coast FAD fishers last week while freediving and spearfishing around  the very popular South West Rocks FAD, a couple of spearos experienced a couple of sensational fish with 2 bulls, the best going 22.5 kilos.

Locally, our offshore FAD locations are Wollongong 23 at 34.27.321 south and 151.04.308 east, Shellharbour 24 is at 34.33.720s and 151.00.626e and Kiama FAD 25 is on station at 34.41.000s and 150.59.500 s.

Exact FAD locations are kept updated at




The more northern flathead drifts continued to hold good numbers of fish up off the inshore drifts and to some extent, same depth drifts off Wollongong and Port island areas

Unfortunately, most of the catches were down as the hordes of barracouta have been joined by the dastardly green toads and both pests take great delight in eating the baits, plastics, leads and swivels.

If you strike a patch of either or both, lines up and move at least 500 meters away and keep doing this as necessary as you should eventually fill a box with a good feed of fish.

The beaches have been holding patches of good flatties and bream in some of the better foreshore gutters with whiting an added bonus and don’t forget to try soft plastics.


Roads and Maritime has announced the continuing program to help boaters dispose of expired flares, with mobile collections set up along the NSW coastline.

The 2019 Expired Marine Flares Collection Program will be run at various NSW locations and times in January and February during peak boating times of the year.

Locally collection/disposal locations include Monday from 8am on January 7th at Kiama harbour boat ramp, Port Kembla ramp area on same day but from 1pm and Bellambi boat ramp on Monday afternoon January 8th from 4.30pm.

A second raft of disposal dates are Huskisson Ferry Wharf, February 16th from 8am, then Greenwell Point Boat Ramp, that afternoon from 2pm.

Kiama Harbour Boat Ramp, Sunday, 17 February from 8am, then at Port Kembla Boat Ramp, Sunday, afternoon from 2pm.

Boaters are reminded it is an offence to set off flares except in an emergency.

Full details are at



Luke from Leisure Coast Bait and Tackle at Corrimal said offshore there have been a few good sized blue marlin sighted directly off northern suburbs and a little further south off Wollongong to Port Kembla shelf area, a few striped billies poked their sticks into a few trolled patterns.

A free swimming extra-large bull dolphin was spotted cruising alone and nowhere near the fads but the warmer currents are pushing down, so it should be a short time only before these species featured in a lot of catch stats. especially as the bait schools thicken up.

There again were plenty of good reds about over last week and Sunday but only when the nor’easter backed off enough to give guys a chance to get out and see what was about.

Unfortunately even though the snapper fishing is good at present, there are still a lot of barracouta about that are frustrating anglers.

This seems to be an unfortunate and unwelcome growing trend for the warmer months off our coastline.

With these pests around, some of the bigger reds caught, were on fillets of couta with a couple of fish nudging the 5 kilo mark.

With the amount of bait ball action at present, getting a bait underneath the schools of slimeys and yakkas has proved very successful for wide array of species including some good reds, mowies and trevally all hanging underneath the bait so it’s definitely worth the effort in presenting a plastic or fillet in that zone.

There were some cracking kingie hoodlums caught earlier this week around Port islands and Bellambi with a couple of fish off Port bringing the scales down to 16kgs and one of Bellambi going 12.5kgs so hopefully we will get a good run of theses awesome sports fish.

Slow trolled slimy mackerel and yakkas and squid are the preferred baits and if you can sort out down rigging those said baits should see your arms getting stretched in the coming weeks.

Divers have reported seeing more in the last two weeks than we have had in the past four years so hopefully that is an indication of the upcoming season.


Photo 1 – Daryl Wardman caught and released this 75cm flathead in Lake Illawarra

Photo 2 – Joe Sciberras with a solid blue groper of 8.65 kilos.

Photo 3 – Peter Tornaros from Oak Flats with an XL sized slatey bream.

Daryl l Wardman lake 75 cpr resized

Joe Sciberras blu grop8.655 resized

Peter Tornaros slatey cpr resized


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Latest Reports

16 December 2018
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21 November 2018
21 November 2018


Gary Wade


Shellharbour NSW Australia

0407 969 529


Mon - Sun: 7:00 - 17:00