June is normally a fairly easy month to predict. The Clarence is usually running clear around Maclean and the flathead and bream are there in good numbers – but this year’s never-ending wet season has made it very hard to get a handle on it.
Having said that, at the time of writing the prawn trawlers are working up above Maclean and getting plenty of good-sized school prawns, and wherever the prawns are the bream and flathead will be in hot pursuit.
Locals have been getting some decent fish on hardbody lures and vibes on the reef at Rocky Mouth, where the South Arm and the main river come together.
With all the prawns and fresh water, no doubt the bass will turn up there in numbers very soon, too.
The Browns Rocks area continues to produce the best fishing in the river and all those little soapie mulloway are growing nicely into good-sized schoolies, with 3kg to 4kg fish now fairly common.
The other great thing about Browns Rocks is that the by-catch can be even more stunning than what you are targeting, especially in mangrove jack season.
By the time you read this, the Broadwater above Maclean should be in full swing for the annual run of Winter flathead. If you have not experienced the flattie fishing on offer there over the cooler months, you don't know what you’re missing.
Casting soft plastics and trolling small, slender hardbodies will produce inside and just out of the Broadwater. Look for a high tide on daylight (around 2am at the mouth), around eight to 10 days after the full moon.
After what could only be described as a very poor snapper season last winter off the Clarence coast, this year is shaping up as a beauty. If the good Lord will only allow us a dry Winter with no flooding rain, the inshore reefs are set to fire up big time.
A poor season every few years isn't such a bad thing; the reefs always seem rested and fish extremely well the following year.
Early results have been encouraging and sales of 5” and 7” Gulp Jerk Shads are starting to build momentum.
Because the inshore reefs here are pretty narrow, running out to the north-east off the headlands, I love it when the breeze is coming from the west or even slight sou’-west because it gives you a longer drift in the strike zone.
There is also still a chance to tangle with an XOS Spanish mackerel. The tailor will be migrating north with the big mackerel in hot pursuit.
Talking of tailor, it is shaping up to be a big season with plenty of big greenbacks falling to the locally made Get Bent poppers (formerly known as Dizzy poppers) and even the odd large mulloway.
If you are looking for me around the new moon in June I will be out on the breakwall as soon as we get a high tide around dark. If you were able to target a big mulloway only once a year, off the Yamba breakwall in the week leading up to the June new moon would be it for me.
The Monday night of the long weekend, June 13, marks the close of the rivers to trout fishing.
It would be hard to imagine the Ebor region looking any better than it does right now.
With all the foul weather on the coast over the past eight months, I have done more fishing up in the hills than intended and I have not been disappointed.
It has been quite brisk up there over the past few weeks, to the say the least, so an early spawn run of brown trout is well and truly on the cards.
Just remember to rug up – that Dorrigo mist has a bite to it!
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