Never a better time
  |  First Published: October 2011

Is there a better month to be a fisho here than October? I don't think so.

The Clarence River is warming up nicely and so is the fishing. Plenty of good-sized school mulloway are being caught on the rock wall on the western side of Palmers Island and just downstream at Browns Rocks.

By the time this goes to print we should see our first show of prawns up above Maclean and the mulloway will be there waiting for them. I love this bite because it is when I target them on Prawn Star lures – the Junior size in honey pot or el natural colours are hard to beat.

Other prawn imitations or gold vibration blades will also bring them undone. Slack water on dawn or at dusk will yield the best results.

After what would have been the most lacklustre winter flathead run in more than a decade, the lizards are finally on the chew. A lot are being caught on the flats opposite the Harwood sugar mill and upstream of the Harwood Pub to Ullagundi Island on the north side of the river.

The lower estuary is holding some of the best quality bream seen all year. Casting small deep-diving hardbodies to the training walls is getting the best results.

Throw in the chance of hooking a massive Aussie salmon and you have a recipe for some great light line sport.

As I sit here tapping away on the keyboard, it is just on dusk and there is a large hatch of insects outside my office window. I can't help but think about bass fishing and the coming season.

Of all the different methods of fishing I enjoy, I never tire of chasing bass with lure and fly. Last spring and summer was a write-off for the Northern Rivers but, good Lord willing and the creeks don't rise, I intend to make up for the lack of bass last season. Most of the local creeks and rivers were left untouched over summer so they should be fresh as a daisy for the coming season.


Last October was a pearler for the inshore snapper fishos and this one is shaping up just as well.

Most of the best fish have been taken south of the Clarence River, from Red Cliff down to Sandon Shoals.

Fishos casting soft plastics just have to get past the acres of mackerel tuna present on the shallow reefs at first light – good fun on light tackle if nothing else is on the chew.

Some nice-sized pearlies and trag are still being caught but they should start to thin out soon as the water warms up in close.

The rock and beach scene on both sides of the river has been steady but not brilliant.

Some decent tailor have been landed over at Woody Head but there have been plenty of casts between them. Rain through the cooler months kept them fairly quiet but let’s hope there will be a better show on their run back south.


Who said old dogs can't be taught new tricks? A few crusty old dyed-in-the-wool bait-tossers have actually laid down their bent-tip glass rods and ‘dog dishes’ (Alveys) and have purchased Daiwa Sea Jigger rods from us and are having a ball catching school mulloway around the headlands and beaches.

It sure is a changing world when you see men nearer 80 than 70 using carbon rods, threadlines, braid and rubbers off the beach.

All jokes aside, this form of fishing has been steadily growing on the Clarence coast and is showing no sign of slowing down.

October long weekend is the opening of the trout season.

The Northern Tablelands has had steady rain and very low temperatures right through winter so conditions are primed for some fantastic spring fishing.

I can't wait to point the trusty 4WD towards the hills. With last spring and summer a write-off on the coast, the Ebor region became somewhat of a fishing saviour for a group of us.

The small economy of Ebor relies on people travelling to the area each season and the fishing on offer up there is really quite excellent.

You will be pleasantly surprised, especially if you are of the belief that you have to travel to the Monaro region for ‘proper’ trout fishing.

I can almost taste the thin mountain air and smell the flowering Melaleucas – can't wait!


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