Hoping for some stability
  |  First Published: March 2012

We’ve had a very abnormal Summer with the weather fluctuating drastically, with some days hot and humid and others cool and windy. And to an extent the fishing has matched that.

Let’s hope Autumn brings some more stable weather and we go from OK fishing to great fishing.

Offshore anglers have had mixed conditions with the changeable weather, but on occasions when conditions have been good, some excellent fish have been brought home.

Mahi mahi have been prolific. James Ison and I received good reports of mahi mahi at the FAD and duly organised a trip.

At the bait ground we found plenty of slimy mackerel and yakkas and collected sufficient to give us a few hours’ worth. But arriving at the FAD, we found the fish were gone.

Was it due to barometric chances, current fluctuations or our bad luck – who knows!

It just goes to show that one day they can be red-hot and the next stone-cold.

Possibly we should have headed further north to chase them and some mackerel.

But we had a plan and stuck to it. I suppose that’s a lesson to be learnt for any fishing trip, develop a plan and run with it. Sure, modify it slightly if needed, and if you stick with the plan and it fails, well that fishing; otherwise we’d call it catching.

Those who have headed further north, off Point Plomer and Barries Bay, have had good success on mackerel, wahoo, mahi mahi and snapper.

On a recent outing Chris from Tackleworld Port Macquarie was trolling for mackerel and wahoo and got the surprise of his life when a hefty snapper grabbed the Sébile Koolie Minnow.

Bottom-bouncers have been doing exceptionally well and the flathead brigade have been getting bumper catches as they drift with baits and soft plastics straight out from the bar on the flathead grounds.


Beach and rock fishing should really kick into gear this month, with reports of good mulloway already being taken off Lighthouse Beach.

On my recent outings to Lake Cathie to chase whiting I’ve seen plenty of cars parked along Ocean Drive and this can only mean one thing.

Mulloway and whiting are on the beaches and bream will also feature in the mix this month. Live baits will get quality fish, with beach worms being the best followed by poddy mullet, garfish and yakkas.

Take care when fishing from the rocks and spend some time watching your intended fishing spot before setting up. With the changeable conditions lately you need to take extra care.

Best rock spots will be around Tacking Point lighthouse and Miners Beach. Best beaches should be North Beach, Lighthouse and Dunbogan.


Estuary action has been good but abnormal conditions have meant I haven’t been able to do my usual amount of surface fishing for bream.

But I’ve been content with the quality of fish on offer.

On a recent outing I managed to find some quality bream in a spot that normally suits topwater fishing. However, the bream were not interested in topwaters or hardbodies but after a quick change to soft plastics and 3lb fluorocarbon they soon played the game.

The only downside was that all the fish were caught in pouring rain. It rained that much in a short period that the boat’s auto bilge pump even kicked in.

If we get some consistent weather this month then good bream, whiting and flathead will be on offer in the Hastings.

Whiting have been prolific on occasions and the Hastings has produced some quality whiting on bait, surface lures and hardbodies. I’ve been chasing whiting with lures for some years now and I see the fish become more aggressive each year.

Is this our recreational fishing haven finally paying off? I think so.

With increase numbers of fish and quality in the Hastings it has to be a contributing factor for our whiting population to be improving and being more competitive for food.

In the freshwater, bass have been going off. They love the changeable weather and have been willing to take surface lures, divers and spinnerbaits.

This should continue this month as they prepare for Winter. Best runs in the Hastings will be from Hartys Plains down to Koree Island, with afternoon/evening sessions best.

Regular know I like heading to Lake Cathie to chase whiting. Recently took the Seeto boys from lureandfly.com there for some photos for their light tackle website.

I had a great time and the whiting came out to play and showed the boys what a special fishery we have at Lake Cathie. Check out the website, get down to Cathie and see for yourself.

Flathead and bream are also prolific in that system now and March should be a great month for luderick.

Luderick anglers cherish a good supply of green weed but in Lake Cathie, yabbies and prawns do just as well. Remember to take what you need, not your limit.

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