Warmer water on the way
  |  First Published: December 2008

Green water has given way to fingers of warm current that are starting to fill up the inshore waters along the Coffs Coast.

Offshore anglers have been experiencing a great run of striped marlin and yellowfin tuna in recent times, making for exciting surface action on trolled lures and baits.

While the yellowfin have mainly been sub-40kg, there are plenty of marlin from 70kg and up feeding around the schools of baitfish such as sauries, slimy mackerel and striped tuna.

Closer to shore, anglers fishing deep plastics and bait in 30m to 50m have been getting big snapper, pearl perch and teraglin. The reefs in 50m off Sawtell have been great producers on plastics, as have the northern reefs off Arrawarra and Wooli.

On the rocks and beaches there has been a patchy run of salmon with some great tailor. Jewfish lurers have found consistent action from the rocks on soft plastics, with the headlands from Sapphire to the north the best producers over the past month.

Those chasing big tailor have been doing well using poppers in areas with heavy reef and broken water, such as those at Woolgoolga, Station Creek and Brooms Head.

Beach anglers have been getting solid flathead in the gutters near river mouths as fish school up before heading back into the estuaries, North Beach and Urunga Beach are the pick locations.

In the estuaries there are good numbers of flathead taking soft plastics, whitebait and live poddies. The smaller creeks have been the best producers with Bonville and Sandon River the pick.

Mangrove jacks have also been on the bite with plenty of bust-ups starting to take place for those who stray too close to the deeper water and snags when chasing flatties.


The next three months are prime jack time with a big influx of fish expected over the next full moon. Remember, you're kidding yourself if you think you can play sportingly with these red terrors: The best plan of attack is to enjoy the hook-up and drag them out ASAP. Braid around 40lb and a 60lb leader or heavier are mandatory.

In the fresh the bass are taking surface lures early and late in the day, with big 50cm fish feeding at night. The biggest numbers of fish have come from the freshwater arms of the Nambucca system with anglers releasing dozens of fish to 50cm during morning and afternoon sessions.

Bream are also looking up for a meal with small surface fizzers taking the place of the plastics which have served anglers so well over the cooler months.

There are still good numbers of bream down in the salt on 3” plastics, with school jewfish also getting in on the action in the deeper water near oyster leases on the Bellinger and Kalang rivers.

Over the next month I'll be getting the canoe onto the water and breaking out my overhead tackle for bass and mangrove jacks. For jacks I'll target some of the smaller creeks with bait and lures on the run-out tide and for bass I'll head to the hills and the clear, flowing water.

The best thing about Summer for me is surface luring: The buzz of cicadas and noise of a surface lure getting smashed go hand in hand!

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