Vicki Winter-Lear Bio

Vicki Winter-Lear

NSW South Coast Fishing Personality

Vicki is a well known fishing identity based in Wollongong, NSW. An accomplished angler and fishing writer, she’s been successful on numerous species in both Southern and Northern Australia but particularly enjoys her Murray Cod and barramundi fishing. Vicki has written for multiple fishing magazines and is a king pin in the Barra’Prentice program encouraging women to become top flight anglers like Vicki.

Vicki’s Frigate Mackerel Fishing Tips

  • Frigate mackerel are a seasonal species in the Wollongong area, appearing around February and disappearing during April. During that period they are prevalent and often close enough to shore to be targeted land-based.
  • The prime time to fish for this species is are around the turn of tides, it’s not important whether it’s the top or the bottom of the tide.
  • Frigate mackerel are in the area to feed on the prevalent bait species, which are typically quite small, so it’s important to match the hatch with similar sized lures.
  • Occasionally it might be necessary to blind cast in order to find fish, but typically you will be sight casting to active schools. Be sure to cast over and beyond the schools and if they are moving to land the lure over and well in front of the direction of movement. Landing a lure in an active school will spook and dispersed the fish.
  • Best places to fish are jetties, break walls and boat ramps where there is good water flow during the rising or falling tides. Fish come on the chew when the tidal flow slows down.
  • if the fish are being tight-lipped it’s worth attaching a small saltwater fly to your lure with a few centimetres of leader attached to the bend of the treble hooks. This allows you to cast a smaller offering with spin gear and will often catch difficult to tempt fish.

Vicki’s Frigate Mackerel Tackle

  • Vicki reckons the gear doesn’t need to be anything startling, bream gear is often enough. A relatively long, soft rod in the 2-4kg line class and a small spin reel loaded with 4-6lb mono is plenty. The soft rod and mono make it easier to hook fish than a faster action rod and braid. 

Frigate Mackerel Fishing Lures

  • Small metal lures up to around 5cm in length are a good choice for frigate mackerel, brand is not too important. Vicki recommends removing the hooks from the tail of the lure and m to the head of the lure, then tying your line to the tail loop. This helps to rear-weight the lure, making it cast better and reducing the ability of fish to throw the hooks.
  • To fish these lures, cast over and beyond the school, or well in front if they are moving fast. Count for five seconds to let the lure sink a little and then retrieve briskly. Try to avoid striking the fish and when the lure is taken simply continue to wind until the line comes up tight.
  • Frigate mackerel and also great targets for fly fishers and can be targeted with a range of small saltwater flies. 

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Vicki’s Sponsors

Vicki has a long association with Daiwa Australia and appreciates the forward thinking and consultative culture of their Australian team.

Mako Eyewear produce some of the best polarised fishing glasses around and Vicki is proud to be associated with their products.

Humminbird and Minn Kota produce the electronics that Vicki and her husband use when they’re fishing from their boat.


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