Is there a better month to be a fisho than October? I don't think so, especially here in the Clarence Valley.
The long weekend will see the opening of the trout season and I will be packing my trusty 4WD with the fly kit and heading for the hills. With good winter rain in the Ebor region, all the streams will be in top condition and I am hopeful of a little spring top-up that should put the area in good stead right through into summer.
It is shaping up to be one of the best Octobers for school mulloway on the Clarence River in many years. After the little fresh that fizzled out around Lawrence, the Clarence is in peak condition.
All we need now is vital ingredient – prawns. Last year was a very lacklustre season for school prawns in the river after massive floods wiped out the weeds beds they shelter in while growing. This year, conditions are far better.
Another species that always fishes well in clean, clear water is whiting.
Local lure specialist Paul Gillespie has had an early crack at them with surprising results. Although they are not quite ready for surface presentations yet, Paul managed a good feed on soft plastics and small diving lures and reckons a good surface bite is not far away.
I hope he is right, as it has to be one of my favourite forms of fun fishing, not to mention how good whiting are on the tooth!
Throw in the real possibility of hooking a giant herring or tarpon cruising the same flat on a light whiting outfit and the fun multiplies.
The offshore scene on the Clarence coast can be a hit-and-miss affair in October. If the water stays cool the snapper will still be in close and the trag should be around in good numbers.
Once the water temp climbs, the leatherjackets that have been in absolute plague proportions will start to thin out and maybe a trip offshore jigging kings won't cost $200 in lost jigs.
And if the god of the winds cooperates, October can be one of the best months for jigging kings and samson fish here.
The days are getting longer and warmer and the bass, returning up river after their winter spawn in the brackish zone, will be very hungry indeed.
October is when more 50-plus cm fish are caught and released in the Clarence and its tributaries because the big lady breeders are heading back to their summer homes and are feeding voraciously to put condition back on.
Formed a little over 12 months ago by a bunch of like-minded anglers, the Clarence Valley Sportfishing Club is based around catch and release bream and bass-style angling.
Most months the club holds a bream or a bass tournament (depending on the season) run very similarly to the ABT-style comps.
These teams or individual events are followed by a barbecue lunch, a chinwag and light-hearted grilling. If you are interested in this style of fishing and live in the Clarence area, drop in at the shop, call us on 02 6645 1834 or email me. We meet at the Brushgrove Pub the first Tuesday of each month.
We also have many anglers from outside the area who come along and fish a bream outing as an ABT pre-fish. Non-members pay $20 to enter but are still in the running for the same booty!
Our exclusive line of Shake and Bake vibration blades has its own website, www.shakeandbake.com.au, which will save mail order customers (and me) lots of time trying to decipher what colour lure they were really after. The same great price of $10 each or buy five and get one free applies, with a flat fee Australia-wide of $7.50 registered post.
New colours are coming on line almost weekly and course everything we stock in the shop will be available online, including our vast array of Japanese lures. There will be a brag board with a couple of free blades for the best digi pic of the month. Pay Pal, secure credit card checkout and phone credit card are welcome.Reads: 1333