Groundhog Day again
  |  First Published: February 2011

I’m starting to feel like I’m stuck in that silly movie Groundhog Day – every time it stops raining and the river shows signs of clearing, down comes the rain and sends yet another fresh down the Clarence.

The most recent time the majority of the heavy rain fortunately stopped just north of us; the northern Clarence catchment did receive a fair amount but little to none fell in the southern side.

This is good news for fishers because any water coming from the northern end flows through granite country and for the most part flows clear. This can actually help to clean up the water quickly in the lower river – fingers crossed!

The Clarence from around Palmers Island to the mouth is getting all the attention.

Small hardbody lures and vibration blades cast Collis Wall and the Middle Wall are resulting in plenty of decent bream and the odd school mulloway.

It would be fair to say it has not been the greatest Summer for flathead and whiting on the Clarence.

However, anglers putting in the effort around Oyster Channel and the flats from Goodwood Island down are getting good results.

The last of the run in to the top of the tide is producing some pretty big whiting for those using surface lures so a little more sustained effort will still get results.

With fluctuating water quality, mud crabs have been difficult to pin down. The area around Back Channel at Chatsworth seems to be producing the most.


As I forecast in my report a few months back, with all that warm water offshore we did see a very early run of mackerel.

Anglers fishing around Woody Head have been rewarded with good-sized spotties to around 8kg.

Those anchoring and using berley have also been getting a few decent cobia.

The key to getting mackerel is to get out after them as soon as a southerly change has passed and the ocean calms down; the constant nor’-easters cool the water in close and the southerly pushes the warm stuff back in.

After a couple of lean seasons here the billfish are shaping up nicely. A few wahoo have been caught off Sandon and where there are wahoo, marlin won’t be far away.


Fishing for bass in the creeks this Summer has been all but a write-off, but if you still need your Summer bass fix, the rocky reefs around Maclean are producing some cracking specimens with a few cracking the classic 50cm mark.

The method I explained in last month’s report is still the best way to catch a few. Blades and rattling lures are the key here.

If there is one area that has not suffered at all from the rain, and in fact has benefited greatly, it’s the Ebor region.

All the creeks up on the Tableland are looking superb and the fish are as fat as labrador pups, with all the food and none of the associated climate stress you would expect at this time of the year.

There has never a better time than now to take a look at New England trout fishing if you have never tried it before.

While all this rain we are receiving in the Clarence catchment is a nuisance, it is nothing compared with the devastating floods affecting our friends in Queensland and our hearts go out to them all.

• For all the latest info call in and see us at Big River Bait & Tackle, 16 River St, Maclean, phone 02 6645 1834. Country service with city prices.

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