Periscope up!
  |  First Published: August 2001

The Coffs coast has been hit hard again with more rain and horrible weather to put a dampener on the fishing.

Offshore, things cleared up relatively quickly and fishing returned to normal but the estuaries were another story. It took a fair bit longer for them to clear up and at the bottom of each tide a lot of dark, dirty water was flushing out of the systems for some time.

It finally all settled though and we’ve had some great Winter fishing.

If you’ve spent any time fishing baits or throwing lures from the coastal rocks over the past month I’m sure you would have encountered the hordes of big salmon that have been hanging around. There have been some monster torpedos getting around, some of which have been pushing 4kg.

It’s a pity they aren’t the best thing for the dinner table because they are fantastic sport and readily available at this time of year.

If you want to get into some, a light spin rod, anywhere from 7’ to 10’ depending on where you want to fish, will do the trick. Small metal lures up to 60g are great to start searching for them but they will respond really well to most metals, hard minnows, flies and bait.

It’s also a great chance to get the kids into it because there have been plenty of good fish cruising around the marina and jetty areas. You can take the kids in there and let them have a go in a safe, easy to fish environment.


As normal at this time of year, the shallower inshore reefs have been firing for reds.

I’ve been fishing skirt tail jigs like the Shimano Lucanus and Samaki Invader jigs in relatively shallow water, 10m to 25m, and they have been dynamite.

These lures definitely account for a lot of smaller fish but the sheer numbers of fish they catch means it doesn’t take long to work your way through and hook the odd decent snapper.

Reds of 4kg and 5kg have been very common and consistent pan-sized fish keep things interesting in between.

Another great thing about these jigs is they aren’t just great for snapper – plenty of other reefies gladly chew them up so you’re always in with a chance at getting a good mixed bag.

I was in touch with some of my colleagues from the Nambucca area a couple of weeks back and they have been finding plenty of quality bream on the beaches and also are finding the reds readily available straight out the front of Shelly.

However, they also copped it even worse than the Coffs area did back at the end of June and it’s taken that area even longer to bounce back after the flooding.


The AFTA trade show is on again this month. It seems like it was only yesterday I was up there checking out all the new fishing tackle but now it’s time to get back up there and see what innovations our tackle suppliers have for us. It’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it.

Other than that, I’ll be spending a lot of time chasing the reds over the next few weeks because I’m really hooked on these skirt-tail jigs at the moment and hopefully there will be a few more snapper hooked on them, too!

I also wouldn’t mind seeing a few willing tailor and jew but I think it will be a bit of a fight through the salmon to get to them, no matter what I do.

If you’re hitting the water this month, be sure to rug up because it’s still pretty cold out there.

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