Weekly Reports

Well the School Holidays have started so a warm welcome is extended to the many visitors to the Illawarra, enjoy your stay and remember alcohol and water do not mix.

It is also at this time of year the boat traffic at the few boat ramps on offer, do get a little crowded and congested and everybody wants to get launched, so exercise a bit of ramp courtesy, bide your time and even help out those less experienced – remember you were a novice once.


Botany Bay Game fishing club will host their annual Bill Heyward tournament on weekend January 19/20th.

Sylvania Marina and St George Motor Boat Club and heaps of other sponsors have committed to $60,000 in prizes and awards.

Go to club’s Facebook page for more details.


Another couple of events to remember - January 13th for the Ocean Storm/Wollongong Sportfishing club – Lake Illawarra Flathead classic.

January 19th for the Kiama Game fishing clubs Annual kid’s competition down in Kiama Harbour.

Go to respective Facebook pages for more details.



Thankfully there has been NO reports of barracouta or green toads out over the many flatty drifts as it seems the warmer water has pushed them back south.

Northern drifts also have been producing plenty of quality fish and much the same with all the spots up and down the Illawarra, but the standouts are up off the Royal National park and Stanwell Park as well as Wollongong sands and also Port beach.

Beaches have been really consistent of late and with all the rain last week all the local creeks have again burst and spewed loads of bait out so we should see plenty of fish over the coming weeks.

Remember fresh is best when it comes to bait, so try your hand at collecting worms, pipis etc and that is also an excellent kids and family activity, but watch bag limits and regulations.

DPI/Fisheries wishes to remind recreational fishers that collecting pipis for human consumption is not permitted in NSW.

This is a longstanding arrangement which permits recreational fishers to only take pipis for bait and not to eat and they cannot be taken more than 50 metres from the high tide mark along the NSW coastline.

The closure is in place because pipis may contain toxins due to natural algal blooms, which may not always be visible and cooking does not destroy the toxins.

These algal blooms can occur anywhere along the coast and are normally the result of the upwelling of nutrient rich deep ocean water onto the continental shelf, and can often be seen after rainfall events in estuaries and in river mouths like we have just experienced.

For more info go to: https://bit.ly/2Qzg6UF


Luke from Leisure Coast Bait and Tackle at Corrimal said there wasn’t a great deal to report from last weekend with the bleak weather that saw big swells, storms and rain, but the rain certainly flushed out the creeks and feeder streams.

The warmer water is still pushing down quite strongly and everyone is ‘champing at the bit’ for the upcoming pelagic season especially the billfish as the bait schools are stacked at all the right locations.

The next few weeks will be interesting to say the least to see when the bite starts and the DPI Fads settle and start attracting all matter of fish with some small dollies starting to show up on our local fads.

Prior to the bad weather, there was some excellent kingies caught and speared with a couple of them to 18 kilos that were taken off the islands around Port Kembla.

There some excellent king reported also off the Bellambi bommie but the swell was pumping a little too hard to get a trolled bait close enough to where they were seen holding in the shallow water swells

Off the Sea cliff bridge there were plenty of divers reporting big schools of large ‘hoods’ cruising the rock platforms around that area.

These early signs of big fish seem to indicate that this season for kings is shaping to being a good year for them, something that hasn’t happened in a couple of years and has everyone buzzing with excitement

Snapper fishing has been still firing on all cylinders on the deeper reefs when the weather permits and still the magic depth is again out around the 50 metre mark.

Crews have targeted fishing in and under the many bait balls that seem to be just about everywhere at present and have nailed some amazing quality reddies.

School holidays are upon us and the weekend forecast is looking fair to good, so there should be plenty of scales on the cleaning tables.

Lastly Luke and Rebecca would like to wish all their customers and The Reel Deal readers a safe and Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2019.

Shop trading times are on their Facebook page.


Photo 1 – young Riley Peters with his Bass Point salmon

Photo 2 – Steve Black with a land based Lake Illawarra flatty.

Photo 3 – Tommy (cranky) Watson with a nice cobia

riley peters salmon resized

Steve Black resized

Tomcranky Watson cobia resized

AUSTRALIAN'S love fishing

Get off the lounge, visit your local tackle shop, buy some gear, bait etc


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Gary Wade


Shellharbour NSW Australia

0407 969 529


Mon - Sun: 7:00 - 17:00