The Clarence heats up
  |  First Published: June 2012

Over the next month the fishing will be warming up while the temperature will be doing the total opposite.

It’s been quite a few years since the flathead have produced the goods in Winter in the middle reaches of the river but, to buck the trend, they have decided to show up in a big way.

All the way from Harwood to Lawrence there are big numbers of good-sized lizards.

Casting hard-bodied lures meant for bream has been one of the most productive techniques. Small shallow- and deep-diving Marias, Jackall Chubbies and Atomic Hardz all work.

Who can forget the Broadwater – some of the most memorable flathead fishing has been had in there over the years. It’s a mass of shallow, weedy flats just prime for Winter flathead fishing as they sit in the shallows sunning themselves.

Soft plastics and blades work well in here – cast a long way and across the current to get the most out of the lure.

Bream will be abundant and now should be well into there spawning run.

There are a couple of locations in the river where they more than likely will school up.

Up-river at Brushgrove is one hot spot. If the river clears and becomes really salty there the bream move up into the deep holes here and take up camp.

Browns Rocks is another aggregation point. On the right day it can be as simple as getting your plastic or blade on the way to the bottom and you’re simply onto what can turn out to be a thumper of a bream.

Last but not least, the Middle Wall will probably be the pick of the spots because it is the first port of call for the big sea-run bream as they push into the river on the high tide.

Small polycarbonate Shake ’n’ Bake blades work exceptionally well because their vibrations go out through the water and alert the fish.

I know this sounds crazy and some people will think I was drunk when writing this but lures as big as 7” Gulp Jerkshads can work unbelievably well on occasions. All I can put this down to is that the bream hit them out off aggression because they think something large is trying to eat their eggs.

And the good side to fishing big lures is that you do get a lot of jewfish as by-catch.

The big jewfish are starting to push into the river at night so get the tide and the moon right and throw some large hardbodies around as the big jewies boof into mullet all around places like the T-Piece, Yamba Wall, Iluka Wall and Collis Wall.

With everything else starting to heat up, the snapper are coming to join the party.

There have already been some great catches of reds around Brooms Head and Sandon. Plastics such as 5” and 7” Gulp Jerkshads in peppered prawn, banana prawn and black catalpa will bring some great fish aboard.

If you’re game and don't mind possibly fishing in temperatures below zero, head up into the hills around Ebor for the last chance to catch some great trout before the session closes in the middle on the Queen’s Birthday holiday Monday.

The fish will be right into spawn mode so trying to trick them into eating your fly or lure will be a challenge but it will be worthwhile if you land a cracker.

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