Hoping for cleaner water
  |  First Published: April 2012

Lets just hope the Mid North Coast wet season has ended. A guy came up to me the other day and said, “Been fishing much, mate!” I looked at him as if his he’d grown another head.

Between rain, wind and flood there hasn’t been a great deal to rave about.

But those who have braved the conditions and picked their spots have been lucky enough to catch some fish. We can only hope the rain abates and our waterways get a chance to clear.

Offshore has been the best option lately but even there conditions have been testing. Some days the bar has not been passable and on some days when it is, the current has been running like a Japanese bullet train.

Those who have lucked good conditions have found snapper wide off Nobby’s and Tacking Point Lighthouse. Live baits have been hard to come by but squid have done the job.

Something from the vast array of soft plastics on the market has got plenty of fishos into the game.

I’d be starting with a jerk bait style from 5” to 7” and vary the jig head weight according to the current. Don’t dismiss using a drop shot rig, especially if you need the heavier weight to get the lure down.

Best places this month for the snapper should be the reefs off Nobbys, the Golf Course and Lake Cathie.


Estuary fishing this month could be outstanding after recent rain flushed the system again and baitfish and predators should be moving back into the systems.

If you’re into bait fishing, the coal walls will be best. Look for spots with a change in depth and moving water.

Those venturing out after dark should do exceptionally well on bream, flathead, whiting and mulloway.

Fresh slab baits and prawns will be the best baits. I also like salted prawns, especially when fishing with the kids, because they stay on the hook better and entice those bigger fish to engulf the bait.

Those tossing lures for bream, whiting and flathead will do well throughout the day. Fish open water early on and as the day brightens move to more sheltered spots.

The weed beds around the mouth of the Maria River and Limeburners Creek will be good starting points, then move to the oyster leases as the fish seek cover.

Tree-lined banks and snags up river will also produce, but accurate casts with shallow-runners and surface lures will be essential to success.

Luderick will also be moving into our systems this month and there could well be little elbow room on the bend of the south breakwall of the Hastings River and the rock wall at Henry Kendall Reserve on Stingray Creek at Laurieton.

The biggest struggle for luderick anglers this month could be finding weed. But yabbies and peeled prawns can work, especially if you have a boat and can access spots around the oyster leases in Limeburners Creek and the weed beds opposite the canal entrances.

Beach and rock anglers are in a transition period, but with the recent weather patterns should have produced some good formations on the beaches for whiting, bream, flathead and mulloway. Live worms will be the gun baits for all these.

If you’re after bream specifically, use pilchards or garfish on ganged hooks and you still have a chance of mulloway or a tailor.

The longest-running event of its type in the country, the Port Macquarie BREAM Classic will take place on April 20 and 21.

‘This premier bream tournament moves into its ninth year and returns to a two-day format that will attract some of Australia’s top bream anglers. Come along and have a look or get involved by competing. Visit www.portbreamclassic.com.au for details.

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