Willing fish everywhere
  |  First Published: June 2012

The days are short, the woolly coats are out, there’s a chill in the air but someone forgot to tell the fish.

It definitely feels like Winter but there are still plenty of Summer fish around and willing to jump on a line.

The mackerel have not shown any desire to disappear back up north anytime soon.

They haven’t been around in massive numbers, but that has been the case all season.

They are still very catchable but covering ground will be the key to good action.

The local kayakers have definitely shown this to be true with some paddling 20km or more while trolling for mackerel with hardbodies.

For this effort there has been reward and some of the largest specimens this season have been caught by these adventurous kayakers.

If you are going to try your luck at some Winter mackerel, lures like the Halco Laser Pro, RMG Scorpion, Predatek Viper and Classic F18 have been standouts. Try anywhere there are shallow pinnacles with drop-offs.


Although everyone seems to get mackerel fever, there is no doubt that the next few months belong to the mighty snapper. From June 8-10 Coffs Harbour will host the annual Dave Irvine Memorial Snapper Classic.

This event shows great respect for the snapper and sustainable fishing practices and also showcases the skills required to catch these magnificent fish on lures.

The DIMSC is a catch-and-release, lure casting only tournament that is fast becoming one of the most popular fishing comps on the east coast.

You can enter in the boat class or the kayak division. For more info or an entry form email Chad on --e-mail address hidden--

The snapper themselves have been quite active on the near reefs and should remain that way for the next couple of months.

You shouldn’t have to stray too far from land to get into some reds, which can be a bonus when those cold south-westerlies are blowing.

Bottom-bashing with pilchards or floating baits down a berley trail are both sure-fire ways to have the snapper lining up behind your boat but with the Dave Irvine coming up, most will be out practising flicking plastics.

If you ever needed a reason to get out and try snapper on plastics then this is it. To get you started there will be a soft plastic info night at the Norm Jordon Pavilion on June 7 in conjunction with the Squidgy/Shimano team and Fishing Tackle Australia. The night won’t only be about snapper on plastics but all forms of the technique, from bream to mulloway. For more info drop in to the store or you can call 6652 4611.

The one thing you may not find out from the Squidgy guys is where the fish are going to be. Park Beach Bommie, The Patch, Macauleys and Bullocky are the most popular marks for chasing offshore reef species.

Headlands like Muttonbird Island and Diggers Headland are the best options for snapper off the rocks, as well as being prime spots for large tailor with the chance of some larger kingies as well.


In the estuaries there are plenty of small to medium bream, whiting and flathead. For the larger specimens you will need to hunt around for that prime spot with plenty of structure, deeper water and bait.

The whiting, although mostly small, have been very active on surface lures when up on the flats on an incoming tide.

There are still schools of trevally in all reaches of the local creeks but I haven’t heard of many mangrove jacks being caught recently but it doesn’t mean they aren’t there.

In the freshwater there will be large numbers of bass moving down through the systems towards the tidal boundaries for their Winter spawning. Just remember that as of June 1 there is a zero bag limit on bass and estuary perch in NSW until September 1 and it’s generally considered a time to leave the bass alone and let them do their thing.

If you do catch one, ensure that you return it to the water as soon and as healthy as possible.

Trout anglers have only the first week of the month to get in a last fish. The June long weekend marks the end of one of the better trout seasons in some years.

If there’s still time, get up to the Dorrigo Plateau. Some of the closest creeks to Dorrigo can offer great fishing with very easy access.

But if you have the time to get up to the Ebor area there has been excellent fishing with the bonus of beautiful highland scenery. Fly and spin gear have been successful so there’s no need to buy dedicated trout gear if you don’t have any.

A bream lure outfit and some shallow bream lures and plastics comprise a perfect stream trout set-up. Working your way upstream casting a lure like a Jackall Chubby or other small minnow and retrieving it past logs, rocks and drop-offs is a fun and effective way to catch trout. It’s also a nice break from the abuse the salty estuary throws at your gear, too.

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