The weather has been pretty good and is supposed to continue that way, with some rain forecast but hopefully not enough to bother keen anglers.
The best part of March is the availability of all the Summer species in much more comfortable daytime temperatures and more stable weather patterns.
Next month the seasonal species transition will be more noticeable, with bream and mullet gathering to move, followed shortly afterward by the blackfish.
The bottom end of the lake near the bridge and the Paddock area has good flathead and bream near the oyster leases and whiting over the flats.
The whiting are best targeted on worms or yabbies through the day but if you want a bit of fun, try them at night on soft plastics.
I have no doubt the large sand whiting that have been schooling under bridge during the day are much easier to catch of an evening.
I managed a good bag on natural 2” Gulp Shrimp the other night but needed to go as heavy as a 1/6oz TT jig head to get the lure past the blanket of tailor.
There were a few school jew hunting, too, as the tidal run eased but there are far too many pylons to control the fish on 6kg soft plastic outfits – never mind!
Another benefit of the evening run out is the blue swimmer crabs that paddle about, claws outstretched, on the surface. They do that to avoid predators – shame for them it makes them so visible to the keen eye of the angler with a scoop net!
Large flathead seem to be everywhere and are very hard to catch. I guarantee you will see more than you will catch at the moment.
Flatties around 50cm to 60cm are more willing to bite and I saw a guy drifting pilchards in the Tuncurry Channel near the co-op with two lovely fish and a few large bream.
Flicking lures around the increasing weed patches around Miles Island or the area at the southern end of Cockatoo Island has been productive of late.
Ohmas Bay is another good high-tide flathead spot with plenty of yabbies and patchy weed areas to keep the fish interested.
Live-baiting off the breakwall at the top of the tide and first of the run out seems to be very popular and it doesn't matter when that is.
At 2am or even earlier, some anglers are lured out of bed to tempt the jew on live mullet, pike and even slimy mackerel they have collected hours earlier.
The surface action for bream has been crazy.
The upper Coolongolook River suffered from dirty water from localised flooding but it should be back on track this month, barring any more substantial downpours.
In the channels over weed beds or shaded, shallow areas along the mangrove banks, the bream have been willing to hit surface lures most of the day.
Obviously early mornings are best but a bit of wind ripple may be all the fish need to switch them back on during the day.
As mentioned, the blue swimmers are on the move during the night but there are some big swimmers available in the lake. Look for 2m to 3m of water and some weed, which isn't hard to find in the lake.
Set up to five witches’ hats per person and comply with the float and name tag rules and line weights. This time of year you shouldn't have a problem with inquisitive holidaymakers ignorant of the law or who don't care.
Rock and beach action is faring well with early bream appearing on the rocks and the whiting and dart still on the beaches.
School jew can be a bonus and sharks a bother, though a good hard fight with a whaler is always fun.
Talking of sharks, the bull sharks are at it up the tributaries in the area, with a lot of bream being shortened up once hooked. Watching a 1.2m brown shape eat your catch – which has your favourite lure in its mouth – can be exciting yet distressing at the same time.
Offshore, trag, snapper and the odd pearl perch are the main targets with the flathead enough to cover the bottom of the fish tub.
I know many anglers have been heading north to chase the snapper and there have been some kings up off Crowdy Head.
For up-to-date offshore info, contact Brad at Great Lakes Fishing and Camping, he is always willing to help.Reads: 908