Bream are busting out
  |  First Published: February 2013

If there is any question about whether floods are good for the environment, notwithstanding the damage and heartache they inflict on families, it has to be answered by the sensational fishing that we see the seasons after.

The rejuvenation of the estuaries after the floods is incredible and the rains serve as a flushing of the system to start afresh.

Last year’s drummer season was the best in years and the fishing in the lake and rivers has been absolutely fantastic. Big bream, whiting and flathead are easily found, with blue swimmer crabs and prawn catches bountifully rewarding any effort required.

The bream fishing in the lake and rivers is as good as I’ve seen it for a number of years, with some real thumpers holding on snags and gravel banks up all the rivers.

Tossing bait or surface lures around the snags on the last of the making tide or first hour of the run out is almost a guarantee of fish.

There are heaps of small fish around and there seem to be a lot of flathead along the shallow shores, too.

I have heard of a few female flathead the lower lake that have reached the metre mark, so a trophy fish is possible. Just take photos and let them go.

February is when I collect my bait for the coming winter. Garfish and mullet are plentiful and it takes no time to attract them with some bread berley.

Around the bridge at this time of year you can spin up bonito on the run-in tide with small metal lures.

The bonnies hunt whitebait and hardyheads that flood in with the clean ocean water and can end up in the rivers so if you notice a few nervous bait balls, that is why.

So all your bait requirements from prawns, yabbies and fish bait can be collected and frozen or preserved for the coming Winter – easy!


It's been a while coming, but the warmer blue water is here, drawing the northern pelagics closer to shore.

In recent weeks we have seen cobia, small black marlin and mahi mahi settling in for the next couple of months.

A few yellowfin tuna to 40kg have been trolled up on skirts meant for marlin.

Out on the continental shelf, blue marlin are a chance, as are the deepwater ooglies like bar cod.

The reefs continue to provide a good feed of snapper, trag and flathead. If you can't get out wide, head to Latitude Rock and catch as many small tailor as you like and possibly a cobia or two. Don't be surprised if kingfish turns up.

A few schools of bream and blackfish have been sighted off headlands close to town and early mornings or evening are the best times to target these fish in the clear water.

There are lots of small whiting on most beaches along with the Summer influx of pesky dart.

When you buy beach worms and waste them on toads and dart it gets annoying so I prefer to use saltwater yabbies on light gear from the beach.

You still get dart and toads but it makes me feel better that they are stealing only my time, not my money. Be patient and a few bigger whiting will come your way to provide a feed.

Jewfish captures from the walls are spasmodic now but good jew were hammered regularly during the holidays.

Flathead have been a bit fussy but this should change as ocean water on a run-in tide is closer in temperature to that coming out of the rivers on the run out.

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