Focus on lower river
  |  First Published: March 2011

I can only imagine how long it will take before those in flood-affected areas are able to fish again. All the rain we have had in the Hastings area pales into insignificance and we really have nothing to complain about.

If you’re after a spot of estuary fishing, then it will be in the lower reaches this month and bream, flathead, luderick and whiting will be the key targets.

Yabbies and beach worms will prove very successful in the early morning, late evening and after dark.

Unweighted yabbies will prove deadly on bream, luderick and whiting and beach worms will be successful on whiting and flathead.

The odd mulloway should still be haunting the lower reaches and the start of the run-out tide in deep water will the way to target them. The coal walls and the bridges will be good places to start.

Going over these areas with a good sounder could make a big difference to get you into the right spots.

If you like tossing lures, flathead will keep you busy with good fish along the coal walls in the Hastings and Camden Haven rivers.

Plastics of 3” or 4” rigged on heads from 1/12oz jig to 1/4oz will get the action. Take a selection of jig heads and try a few to find the right weight to get you in contact with the bottom.

It’s better to have the plastic wafting along the bottom rather than dragging. As always, fish as light as possible to maximise your effectiveness.

I’d be starting with shads like the Berkley 4” Pogy and prawn styles like the Atomic 3” Prong.

Whiting should still be about and willing to take surface lures during the day, especially over sand and weed flats with water movement.

I always liked fishing the start of the run out but in recent outings with Karl from Laurieton my opinion has changed and I feel fishing the last of the run out can be even more productive.


Low water adds to the thrills as big whiting pull extremely hard in water as shallow as 20cm, making it an adrenalin-filled fishing session.

Recently Karl and I scored trifectas on the flats with whiting, bream and flathead all on the one surface lure in one session. All fish took the lure on a regular whiting retrieve at high speed.

The whiting sucked in the lure and tore off at speed, bream mauled the lure in big bust-ups flathead leaped and tail-walked like barra.

So get some surface lures and hit the flats and keep casting for some great fun.

The beaches this month could be very interesting. If conditions are good then mulloway will be the primary target species and beach worms are the best bait by far.

Those using live bait should also do well on quality fish.

Diamond Beach, Lighthouse Beach and North Beach will be the best locations but be prepared to search for suitable gutters.

Time of day might not be an issue with mulloway ready to feed up this month, but early morning and late evening will be prime times.

Tailor should also be on the cards, with pilchards the best bait and metal slugs useful around active schools.

The flathead grounds off Port Macquarie and Bonny Hills have been alive with fish.

Snapper have been scattered and at times hard to catch but from all accounts are still worth the effort.

Good kingfish and cobia have been caught north around Point Plomer on live bait and 5” and 7” Gulp Jerk Shads.

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