Fish and weather hot up
  |  First Published: December 2008

It’s the silly season and in more ways than one, with fishing hotting up with the weather.

Play your cards right, maximise the cooler parts of the day and work the larger tides this month and you’ll be in for good fishing this December.

Offshore, the game fishing should hot up with marlin, tuna and mahi mahi frequenting our coast. If we get good bait schools it could be a cracker season.

Heading north out of Port Macquarie will be the best starting point; if there are schools on the bait grounds to the north then there is a good chance the predators will be not too far away.

Kingfish will also step up a gear this month along with the odd cobia.

Bottom-bouncers will do well on flathead straight off Port and Barries Bay. Boats chasing snapper on plastics have noticed a reduction in the numbers but some good table fish are still about.

Beach and rock fishing will be dominated by salmon and tailor. Whiting, bream and flathead will also be on the beaches.

Recently the salmon have picked up and if we get some warmer water and an increase in bait schools they could really become a nuisance if you’re not targeting them. I’ve already seen a few salmon lurking in the river and following lures and once the water warms they’ll switch on and some anglers will get a good surprises.

Estuary fishing will be in top gear in the early morning and late afternoon. The heat of the day will undoubtedly push the fish to deeper water and send them into a quieter mood, much like all of us on Christmas Day after a big lunch.

Bream will be well and truly up our river systems in their Summer haunts, looking for cover under the trees in the deeper holes.


If you’re bait fishing then I don’t think you could go past some fresh prawns because these will be one of the key foods for bream and flathead this month.

If you’re into lures then surface tactics for bream and lightly weighted plastics for flathead will have you enjoying a few good sessions.

Luderick have still been about and I’ve caught a few recently on plastics so there is hope the weed-soakers could enjoy some this month, but they might be better off focusing their attention on other prey.

Whiting should really come into their own this month. So far they have been a little slow at Lake Cathie but this could be partly due to the lake being closed to the sea. Let’s hope it opens soon to make the fishing more productive.

The back channel behind Pelican Island and the Maria River will produce some nice whiting this month. Best baits will be worms and prawns and don’t forget to run a red bead on your line which seems to really switch them on.

Try some clear or white poppers or pencil lures. I really like the Smith Crystal live prawns and the new Bassday Sugarpen ripped and twitched over weed beds.

Everyone knows I have a soft spot for pink grubbing, with a pink Ecogear Grass Minnow rigged weightless on a worm hook and ripped across the surface to imitate a fleeing prawn. I’ve discovered the new Atomic Guzzlerz 2” Prong also gets a good bow wave happening when ripped across the surface and then flutters like a prawn when paused.

The fish often hammer it on the rip or swallow it whole on the pause. I can’t wait to give it a real good go this month with the bigger tides and warmer weather.

I’d like to thank those who read my column and especially those who take the time to email or call. I wish you all a very safe and happy Christmas and hope the big fella puts some fishing tackle in your Christmas stocking.

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