Still plenty to warm to
  |  First Published: June 2012

Things have started to cool a tad on the Mid Coast but that hasn't slowed the fish.

A strong and quite late run of mackerel has kept many locals happy and a welcome spurt of cobia action has also inspired a few to head offshore.

And the first of the winter westerlies has meant the area is inundated with beach haulers, so it's fresh, cheap seafood for some and tonnes of spawn-run bream, mullet, blackfish and mulloway lost for others...

The spotted mackerel really kicked into gear late in the season, with numbers of solid fish of 4-7kg coming off the usual mackerel hot spots at Grassy Head and Scotts Head.

There were also pretty good numbers of spotties on the Jail reefs, with plenty of anglers choosing to there and avoid the 14km run north.

Spanish mackerel showed up in dribs and drabs and are still well and truly on the card. The spotties many go a tad quiet from now on but I suspect there will be a few Spanish poking around into June.

Cobia tend to run as late as the Spanish, so there's every chance they are still around in good numbers as you read this. Try the Jail Grounds for the cobia and Scotts, Grassy and Hat heads for the mackerel.

When the macks go quiet it will be time to target snapper. Those same reefs are all good snapper spots during the cooler months.

The soft plastics crew will be pinning some thumpers in very shallow water and the bait guys will try their hand in 20m-plus country.

There are miles of places to look, just slowly sound around looking for plenty of bait – or schools of snapper if you’re lucky enough – and set up a berley trail at anchor.

The lure guys do much better drifting around in the sub-30m country.


It's that time of year the beach haulers come out in force.

Their presence can make an angler’s life tough because these crews will net day and night if there are fish to be taken. So the huge school of bream you're enjoying may well be scooped out the very next day.

It's a frustrating and sad time for inshore anglers and there are great bream, blackfish and mulloway running but they're likely to be netted anywhere at any time.

Fingers crossed for some solid swell and inclement weather and you may get a decent shot at the fish before they hit the estuaries mouths and beaches to spawn.


The Macleay River isn't fishing too badly, with a fairly steady run of bream happening along the lower walls and a few flathead up on the shallow flats towards Stuarts Point.

Most of the bream are just legal (25cm) with the odd bigger fish.

The flathead are bigger size, with most around 600g up to 1.5kg – good fun and great table fish at that size.

Reports from anglers fishing up towards Smithtown suggest bream and bass are biting quite well in the brackish zones and some nice flathead also have come from up that way.

This area is a great place to fish if you don't like crowds because very few anglers fish between Jersey bridge and Smithtown, even when the fish are running.

Above Smithtown it's near freshwater and with the Winter chill just upon us, there should be some bass and nice bream moving around.

Remember that from June 1 to the end of August you can't target them or have any in possession. You'll be forgiven if they grab your bream lures, though – just release them instantly.

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