October fish fest
  |  First Published: October 2012

October has to be one of the best months to be a fisher, no matter where you live!

I might be a bit biased but I think the Clarence region this month is as good as anywhere. The river is warming up nicely and so is the fishing.

Plenty of good-sized school mulloway are being caught along the rock walls on the western side of Palmers Island, Browns Rocks and Oyster Channel.

And after the September full moon we should see our first show of prawns up above Maclean and the mulloway will be there waiting for them.

I love this bite because get I target them on an old favourite lure. The Prawn Star in the junior size in honey pot or el natural is still very hard to beat.

Other prawn imitations or gold vibration blades will also bring them undone, as will the evergreen 100mm Squidgy Fish in black and gold or drop bear colours.

Slack water on dawn or at dusk will yield the best results.

The Winter flathead season could only be described as very ordinary; they just did not show up in any real numbers. But they are finally on the chew!

A lot are being caught on the flats opposite the Harwood sugar mill and upstream of the Harwood Pub to Martins Point on the north side of the river. The pick of the plastics have been Atomic Fat Grubs in 3” and 5”.

The lower end of the river is holding some pretty good-quality bream. Casting small deep-diving lures to the training walls has been getting the best results, especially around the opening into Iluka Harbour. Vibration blades worked slow and deep on Browns Rocks have also been getting plenty.


As I sit here penning this it is 28° so I can't help but think about the coming bass season ahead.

This Winter we saw a very big and successful spawn run and bass were on the reef at Rocky Mouth at Maclean and up at the beacon at Lawrence for the best part of two months.

Of all the different sorts of fishing I enjoy, bass fishing with lures and fly is still something I never tire of.

The past couple of summers have been complete write-offs for the Northern Rivers but if the creeks don't rise I intend to make up for those.

The Clarence and its tributaries above Maclean, and indeed above Grafton, are in their best condition for many years and with the weather bureau forecasting a drier than average Summer, fingers crossed it should be a boomer. We’re certainly owed a couple!


Last October was a pearler for the inshore snapper fishos and this one is shaping up just as good. Most of the best fish have been taken south of the Clarence River, from Red Cliff down to Sandon Shoals.

Soft-plastic fishos just have to get past the acres of mack tuna on the shallow reefs at first light – good fun on light tackle if nothing else is on the chew.

Some nice-sized pearlies and trag are still being caught but they should start to thin out soon as the water warms up in close.

The rockhoppers have also had fun. With the decent spell of calm weather over the past few months, the water in close is very clean.

Some of the best blue groper fishing in years has been experienced from Woody Head down to Sandon River. Throw in the chance of a half-decent school mulloway and some good-sized bream and it makes it well worth the effort.

The tailor are thinning out and the salmon have all but disappeared but there’s still a chance of a big lone chopper on dawn and dusk. Large surface poppers fished through the suds will bring down the big fish.


The October long weekend is the opening of the trout season.

The Ebor region has had a fairly dry few months. The other side of the range, on the other hand, has had a fair bit of rain so maybe the Guyra region might fish a bit better early on.

With last Spring and Summer basically a write-off on the coast, the Ebor region became somewhat of fishing saviour for a group of us. The small economy of Ebor relies heavily on people visiting the area to fish each Spring and the fishing on offer up there is really quite superb.

You will be pleasantly surprised, especially if you are of the belief that you have to travel to the Monaro region for proper trout fishing. Thin mountain air and days warming to the mid 20°s make for a very enjoyable time polaroiding the many varied streams.

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