Bliss for bass, bream, mulloway
  |  First Published: November 2011

While sitting around watching all that rain over Autumn and Winter, the only thing that kept me sane was knowing that this Spring and Summer should turn on some of the best bass fishing we had seen in few years – and it hasn't disappointed.

The Clarence and all its tributaries are producing plenty of big fish, with lots of fish around 50cm being caught and released.

As the heat of November kicks in and the cicadas start to hatch, the bass will come on the chew on surface lures and with a plethora of new surface lures coming on the market, I’ll be in lure heaven.

Time to flush the redbacks out of the Coleman canoe, wipe the dust off my favourite baitcast combo and get amongst them.

We have just had what could be the worst Winter for bream and flathead on the Clarence in years but now that Summer is all most upon us, the bream have turned up in the river and even long-time locals are amazed at the size of the fish being caught. Kilo bream are nothing out of the ordinary.

It probably has a lot to do with the amount of prawns about at the moment. Local rec anglers using hand-haul nets usually get their limit (10 litres) in one shot!

Flathead have been a bit sparse in the main river lately, mainly because of the big tides.

The Back Channel, Palmers Channel and the Chatsworth area are producing plenty of good fish and as the tides back off they will come back into the main river in numbers.

With all those prawns, the school mulloway are as active as I have seen in quite some time, with plenty of good fish being caught at Rocky Mouth and just outside the Broadwater. This month is peak time for targeting them on soft plastics.

November is also time to start chasing whiting on surface lures. For some reason the bigger fish seem to move upstream early and some big whiting can be caught on the sand spits around Maclean through to Lawrence.

We just pray for a decent dry spell over Summer so the fun can continue. The past couple of whiting seasons have lasted only a few weeks before an east coast low has wiped us out.

November is also the start of the mud crabs. Early on, the best of the crabbing can be in the very deep water from up around Ulmarra down Lawrence. Just remember to weight your dillies heavily and remember, no crab traps are allowed above the courthouse boat ramp at Maclean.

Offshore can be very hit and miss this month. We are now settling into our nor’-east weather pattern, so sneaking out for just a few hours early in the morning is your best option.

It is all very dependent on the current: One day it is raging, the next a pea sinker would hit the bottom in 50m.

Having said that, pick the right day and some absolute cracking snapper are to be caught. I have heard of more 8kg to 10kg reds being landed in the past month than in the last 10 years!

The local ocean-going kayak fishos have accounted for more than their share by trolling larger vibration blades and medium deep-diving minnows.

It’s a good time to keep an eye out for cobia, too, as they travel back south with the last of the whales. More big cobes are caught in November here than in any other month and if the blue swimmer crabs turn up in the river, there is a chance of tangling with cobes in the estuary, too.

Keep an eye out for jumping eagle rays – both follow the crabs in for a feed and can't say I blame them!

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