Something to smile about
  |  First Published: September 2011

Flathead have been sparse over winter but finally they are on the chew, leaving plenty of smiles on anglers’ faces.

The most consistent area in recent weeks has been the flats opposite the Harwood sugar mill, up to the Harwood Hilton and further upstream on the rocky reef just inside the South Arm.

In September we should see even increased concentrations of flathead.

The river around Maclean is the best it has been in 12 months, so we can expect good numbers of lizards around Lawrence and Brushgrove into September.

After another good spawn run as they rode down the floodwaters, the bass will be heading back upstream and feeding veraciously on prawns as they go. Find the front edge of the tidal run for best results.

The mouths of the cane drains are all worth a few casts, especially if any water is running out of them. To bass the drains are almost like run off to barra; the smallest amount of flow will have the fish hanging around.

Winter is well but behind us but now the bream turn up! Good fish are being caught from the Middle Wall right through to Maclean, with Browns Rocks the pick of the spots.

As the water clears nicely soft plastics are coming back into their own with pepper prawn 2” Gulp accounting for the most fish.


As you can imagine, after all the winter rain there have been plenty of big mulloway caught off the Iluka and Yamba walls.

The big difference this season, though, would be the number of serious mulloway fishos who now rely purely on lures and don't even take bait with them any more. Most are using large soft plastics, either slow rolled or hopped across the bottom.

Having said that, large diving hard bodies certainly take their share of big fish.

September would have to be my favourite month to target school mulloway upstream around Maclean. Slack water at dawn or dusk is as good a time as any to catch one and the old 100mm black and gold Squidgy Fish is still hard to go past.

The salmon that were here in plague proportions a few weeks back have disappeared almost as quickly as they turned up. It was a pretty cool winter on the Clarence so maybe they kept heading north.

The tailor showed briefly but now reports of them are very sparse. Often after heavy winter rain we get a much better showing of tailor on their way back south, so it is not out of the question to see a decent run of them in September.

Offshore has been a day-to-day proposition. The current has been very fickle but it is definitely a case of finding the run and you have found the fish.

Large mack tuna are around in droves at the moment, so with a light spin outfit, a lacklustre day can be saved – and they make great snapper bait.


We have been requested many times over the past few years to supply customers with the body we use on our small (42mm) polycarbonate Shake & Bake blade but have so far declined.

I am now CNC-routing my own bodies and I am pleased to announce that we are now making them available to the public. The CNC bodies are just as accurate as the laser cut ones, but without the burnt edge. They are 1mm thick and very strong; we sell many thousands each year and see next to no returns.

The bodies will fit without modification into the small cavity of both types of the Do-It blade moulds distributed to tackle stores by Frogley's Offshore. Bodies will available in bags of 50 or 100 (larger quantities on request) – call me on 0427 454 761 or email.

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