Creeks fire up
  |  First Published: February 2011

I hope everyone who travelled and had holidays did so safely and for those of us that don’t have a life and got to work over that time, we’ll just have to think of that next big fishing trip we are working towards!

Bonville and Pine creeks have been producing some excellent fishing lately. Mangrove jacks, bream and whiting have all been booming in these two systems, not to mention plenty of flathead and bucketloads of trevally.

Most of the trevally are small and the schools move in waves up and down the systems, herding and attacking the baitfish along the way.

You notice it especially while casting poppers for bream or whiting, with the trevs coming through and annihilating just about any lure you put in their faces.

The bite sometimes lasts only a few seconds before they are gone again as they move up or down the creek.

That huge amount of extra water flow at the mouth has definitely done wonders for the fishing and the water quality and I’ve been able to experience some great surface luring sessions down there this summer.

Land-based fishos hitting the ledges at Coffs have been reporting plenty of tailor and bonito and there were a couple of longtail tuna taken off the stones a while back.

Throwing poppers and slugs is an easy way to give the tuna a go but live-baiting can be very productive and you could even snag a mackerel if you were lucky.

But hunting down a supply of livies and then keeping them alive, sometimes even ferrying them to the best LBG ledges, does require a fair bit of extra effort than just chucking a good old slug or popper.


There has been fantastic warm water running down the coast over the past month, with 25°-plus current running down along the continental shelf and there were early reports of mackerel north and south of Coffs last month. As always, we’ll have to wait for that warm water to push back up in a little closer to bring the fish to us.

By the time you get this mag in your hands that would have already happened.

Boats that did head out to that warm water when it first started pushing down were finding plenty of mahi mahi and there were spearfish and the odd marlin hanging around also.

Schools of slimy mackerel have also been thick in places, which is looking fantastic. Let’s hope it’s the start of a good run of mackerel and billfish.

As always at this time of the year, I spend a lot of my time chasing bass.

The bass fishing has had a lot of up-and-down days over the past month with cool, rainy days shutting the fish down and then a sunny, warm day picking them back up again.

I haven’t entirely struck out in any sessions for a while but I have done it pretty tough on a few occasions. I had a trip a few weeks back from above Thora all the way down to the Gordonsville Crossing and I was lucky to get half a dozen fish for two-thirds of a day’s fishing.

I went back a couple of days later for a quick couple of hours one evening and brought more than twice as many fish to the canoe in a quarter of the time.

This month I’ll be doing plenty more bassing and I’ll wash all that freshwater off my kayak when I get out and have another go at getting a mackerel from it.

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