The Coffs area fared pretty well compared with South-East Queensland, Northern NSW and a lot of Victoria, but we got a fair drop and the estuaries stayed dirty for a while.
It wasn’t anything the area couldn’t handle, though, and the quality fishing did shine through.
The mackerel didn’t fear the dark water spewing from the coastal streams and last month there were some fantastic fish taken. That looks like it will continue this month.
Not only have the mackerel done their part, but other prized offshore targets like snapper did the right thing as well, with plenty of quality reds hitting the decks up and down the coast.
One of my work colleagues, Jo Gorton, has had a few great inshore sessions, getting spotties, Spaniards, kings and snapper.
I haven’t heard any reports of monster mackerel yet but Jo assures me some of the kings are well worth the trip, finding a few 15kg-plus models smashing hardbodies.
Mackerel aren’t the only speedsters out there that people have been running into; there have been reports of a few wahoo off Coffs as well.
A couple of locals, Troy Boulton and Mark Edgely, have had some good trips, finding wahoo and mackerel happy to chew up their trolled skirted lures. Troy sent me a couple of happy snaps of fish but he didn’t seem too happy to be re-skirting all his lures that got chewed up and spat back out.
The estuaries should be back in full swing now with good water throughout, so you shouldn’t have any problems this month finding a fish in the creeks.
Whiting are still going insane on bait and poppers, although to be completely honest I’ve been having a few dramas seeing any whiting actually connected to my poppers.
I’ve been hitting Bonville Creek a little lately and the whiting are thick on the flats near the boat ramp and in the clear water around the corner towards the mouth and they are in no way shy of a popper.
I’ve been down there a few times and not a cast goes by when you won’t see at least one whiting and often two or three following your lure back to you. However, that’s all I seem to get lately – follows.
A couple of weeks ago I did speak to one of the locals down there who was having no problems nailing 500g and bigger fish one after the other on unweighted or lightly weighted yabbies.
So if you really need that fish for the barbecue, float a yabby in Bonville Creek and you should be able to score some.
The Bellinger and Kalang systems haven’t been too bad in recent weeks, either, with plenty of flathead and bream hanging around the oyster leases.
There have been good bream on the rock walls in the Bello but if it does get a little tough, a trip up the Kalang around the floating leases at Newry Island or the gravel beds further upstream is definitely worthwhile.
If you want to take a drive, you could always check out the Nambucca River. I haven’t fished it for a while but I’ve been hearing of some good sessions down there on whiting and bream.
Everything should be back to normal on the bass front, with the water levels around their normal haunts like the top of Bellinger, Kalang and Orara systems all steady again.
This time last year there were a lot of fish just above the brackish areas of the Bellinger and that was the case this year before all the rain so if you’re looking for a bass, the lower freshwater reaches could be good places to start and work upstream from there.
I’ve been a little slack on my old bass friends for a few weeks now so that’s what I think I’ll be doing a fair bit of this month.
With the hot weather there is nothing better than having a break in the cool rapids in the middle of the day. I’m also just about to head north for another barra trip so I’ll see what mischief I can get into up there, too.
Mark wasn’t so happy with the damage to his skirted lures that a few quality wahoo and Spanish macks could do.Reads: 1475