All set for a real Summer
  |  First Published: November 2012

Plenty of sunny days and clear blue skies have made this a very memorable start the warm half of the year.

We can now look forward to all the fun and exciting species that visit or fire up during a proper Spring and Summer.

Those heading to sea targeting snapper off the northern reefs have fared quite well, with some good hauls still coming in.

You'd want to be quick if you're mad about your reds because the warmer the water gets, the more effort you'll need to put in to consistently find the fish. Reports of 1kg-3kg fish are still fairly common.

There have been some jewfish on their known haunts and we're not too far off the first signs of mackerel, too.

Anglers trolling the headlands for tailor are still scoring good numbers of fish with some quality fish up to 2.5kg coming in. Slow-trolled Smiths jigs and metal slices and spoons are the most popular lures in these parts.

Again, just take care when trolling so close to the rugged shoreline in any sort of swell; one mistake and things can go pear-shaped very easily.

On the ocean rocks some nice bream, tailor and salmon are coming in on bait and lures, but you will want to be quick because the warmer the water becomes, the fewer of these ‘Winter’ species you will find.

Small pieces of pilchard, mullet and tuna flesh baits work well for bream. The salmon aren't so fussy and take most offerings thrown their way.


In the Macleay River most anglers are chasing flathead and some decent numbers have been caught lately.

The ideal locations seem to be those shallow, sandy bays with weed or rocks close by. These locations attract and hold good numbers of baitfish and during a running tide the fast water sweeps past, often creating quite calm backwaters. These are perfect zones for flathead to lie in ambush.

If you're after a bigger class of fish, head to the lower rock walls. The bigger fish just love to hold station on the sunken bounders and reefs, where they dine on sizeable baitfish like mullet, bream, whiting and blackfish.

For lure anglers, think big. Forget about 75mm Mister Twisters, break out 120mm-plus shads and soft stickbaits.

Looks for anywhere the current is reduced or altered by the rock formations. Bends and kinks in the walls will be well and truly worth a shot for big lizards.

And don't forget that these big girls are our future broodstock. Kill them and you're killing your flathead fishing for many years to come.

Bream have picked up a bit, with some good fish sneaking around the lower feeder creeks and leases. They will now be heading upstream, effectively following the runs of newly emerging prawns.

The warm-water bream fishery is bait-orientated and prawns are way up on the hit list. And as prawns love sandy and semi-muddy zones, you can expect bream to be close to these grounds.

Those in boats can scoot around looking for likely zones and once they've found good prawn country, start looking for nearby structure where bream should hold station.

Oyster leases are prime holding zones, as are nearby fallen trees and deep scoured creek bends.

Small plastics like Squidgy Flickbaits, Berkley Bass Minnows, vibes and any number of 50mm hardbodies will score fish. And don't forget the topwater offerings like the Ecogear PX 45, Lucky Craft Sammy and Berkley Top Dogs.

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