What better way to improve your life than to get out and fish more? That’s going to be my New Year resolution.
This month I’m going to go bass fishing more. I do a bit but hardly enough considering the lovely water we have in the Hastings, Camden Haven and Maria rivers.
This month will be a time to launch the kayak in the sweetwater around Koree Island.
This is an easily accessible spot for a short afternoon or morning session. Simply drive to Wauchope, follow the signs to Beechwood and drive through the township and turn off down Koree Island Road until you see the good access point for the river on the right.
This is also a great downstream spot for pulling out if you’ve launched farther up the river.
Surface lures will be a great choice with fizzers and poppers the best to start with. If the fish aren’t willing, then try some deep divers and small-profile spinnerbaits. Soft plastics rigged on pony heads are also well worth a try.
Beach angling is good at this time of year and with warm evenings and gentle cool breezes, it’s a great way to spend an afternoon and evening. Whiting, bream and salmon have been common, with live worms the best bait.
As the sun sets, the mulloway should come on but don’t discount getting them during the day if there are bait fish around.
Good gutters can be accessed by 4WD on Lighthouse and North beaches, make sure you have the appropriate council permit to drive on the beach and drive with care.
Bigger tides at this time of year can catch out inexperienced beach drivers and with some sand cliffs on Lighthouse Beach, sections can be impassable at high tide.
Offshore action should be kicking into gear with some reports of kingfish rolling in. Hopefully some bigger models will push the rats away soon.
A good starting point for kingfish and mahi mahi will be the FADs off Laurieton S 31° 39.601', E 152° 56.235' and Port Macquarie S 31°24.567’, E 153° 04.725’. Best baits will be live slimy mackerel and yakkas which can often be caught on the bait ground just north of the Hastings River bar. Soft plastics of 5”-7” will also prove worthwhile, as will jigs for the kingfish.
Estuary angling this month will be varied, with the Hastings River producing quality mulloway from the Coal Wall to Rocks Ferry Bridge at Wauchope on soft plastics and trolled hardbodies as well as live poddy mullet.
Flathead will be a staple for a lot of holiday visitors. Recently the fish even have risen from the bottom to engulf surface lures intended for bream and whiting.
Paul Burke and I were chasing bream and whiting when we saw his surface plastic engulfed by a big lizard that ended up being too good for the light bream gear.
Whiting will be in good numbers and worthy targets during the day on live yabbies, worms and surface lures. They will be on the sand flats just past Dennis Bridge and the flats in Limeburners Creek and Gogleys Lagoon on the Camden Haven River.
Bream in the upper reaches have been hit and miss but there are quality fish in the lower reaches along the coal walls, canals and oyster leases.
This month they should push up river and spread through the system and with the huge numbers of Christmas beetles and cicadas getting into full swing, the fish should be surface feeding so bring some surface lures.
Those wanting a feed of bream will do well on strip baits or salted prawns. Find a spot where the flow is broken a little by deeper water, anchor up, berley lightly and use lightly weighted baits.
Best places will be up Limeburners Creek, the lower reaches of the Maria River and the coal walls in the Hastings and Camden Haven.Reads: 1574