From bait fishing for garfish in the river to trolling for pelagics offshore, the diversity of fishing on offer this month is enough to get anyone excited.
Firstly, let’s look at garfish, which have been in good numbers in the Hastings River and are bold and courageous. Some are even keen enough to chase down a surface lure intended for whiting.
If you’d like to get out the rolling pin and fillet and roll some tasty garfish, go looking for some calm clear water and start a bread berley to get the garfish schooling. Then use peeled prawns on size 18 to 20 hook.
Best places will be around the entrance to Limeburners Creek and the Maria River adjacent to and over the weed beds. The last of the run in tide and the start of the run out is the best time.
For a feed of luderick you should look to the lower reaches, where huge schools have been congregating around the oyster leases in Big Bay and on the weed beds.
Recently the fish have been very pale and have obviously just come in from the sea. So when fishing with weed the coal walls on a run-in tide will be top place to start.
If you fish the edges of the oyster leases or weed beds then peeled prawns and yabbies with little or no sinker will be your best bet.
Flathead have been in good numbers and not to hard to find.
Wade Mobbs, a former student of my school fishing group that I took fishing during sports electives, has grown into a competent angler who respects and loves his sport. This showed with some nice flathead he landed on our outing.
For flathead this month, head up around Rawdon Island and Dennis Bridge. Look for weed edges with deep drop-offs nearby and use fresh prawns, whitebait or if you’re after bigger fish, live poddy mullet. Soft plastics and hard lures will also be successful.
Bream and whiting will be certainly looking up and around the new moon the prawns come out of the bottom sediments and the fish switch on.
The week after December 13 will be top time to crack out the surface lures and hit the water. Look for locations with mud or weed bottom and cast pencil and popper lures long over the flats.
Butter prawns will be holding close to natural structure so poppers and smaller pencils will be good around snags and rocky edges. Big bream will take fresh bait after dark, especially along the coal wall on Settlement Point.
Abundant baitfish have meant bumper catches of school mulloway on everything from live bait to trolled diving lures, although the most popular method has been 5”-7” soft plastics bounced along the bottom. They’ll even crunch a small hardbody intended for bream.
Outside bottom-bouncers should encounter flathead, morwong, pearl perch and snapper. The flathead ground straight off the bar is a consistent producer.
Morwong and snapper should be readily available in 30’-50’.
Out of Laurieton, head north to Bonny Hills and Lake Cathie.
The FAD should host the odd kingfish and big mahi mahi.
Beach anglers have caught some decent mulloway at night on live worms with some big bream as by-catch. Lighthouse and Dunbogan Beach have the best of the gutters.
Have a great holiday season and drop plenty of hints so you get some nice fishing goodies under the Christmas tree. My local tackle shop knows just where to direct my wife when she comes in.Reads: 936