Reason to get excited
  |  First Published: December 2012

I’m getting excited about the coming season. Wallis Lake and its rivers are firing as fish push up into the system and take advantage of the fast-growing butter prawns.

Surface lures are well worth a throw but they do have to be tight to cover or against the bank.

Cast blade lures at the junctions of the rivers and muddy flats and they will surprise you by coming home in the mouths of big bream and flatties, so make it your business to stop for 20 minutes and have a cast.

It makes sense to fish further up the lake and the rivers at this time of year. With Christmas approaching the crystal-clear water around the bridge will become difficult to fish. Clear water and heavy watercraft traffic take their toll.

It’s wise to fish this area early morning or late afternoon, once the wash settles.

Perhaps the best chances around the bridge at the moment are the whiting on beach worms or poppers, but early or late in the day will be best.

Of an evening there have been school jew sneaking through the channels and around the oyster leases. They can be tempted with live mullet or prawns, especially around the dark of the moon when the prawns are running.

Bounced and drifted along the bottom, DOA Shrimps or Zerek Live Shrimps are great lures to pin the jew. Big flathead are a real chance at night, too, so heavy leaders of 10kg are necessary.

The prawn run has been pretty good with their size and quality increasing with each new moon period. Breckenridge Channel or near the bridge on the Forster side are the most popular spots but if you want to get away from the crowds, head up toward The Step or the Wallamba River.

With the prawn season comes an increase in blue swimmer and mud crabs. A favourite spot for crabbing with witches’ hats is the weedy edge from The Step towards Pipers Bay, or at the back of Yahoo Island.

The lake and the rivers are alive with all manner of angling opportunities.

Try something different, like garfish and mullet over the weedy flats. Attract them with a trickle of bread berley and rig with a small float and two long-shank hooks with balls of dough bait rolled on their points.

Leatherjackets are a good target on the eastern side of Wallis Island if you want to entertain the kids or just want a relaxing fish at anchor in the sunshine.

Luderick have been very thick around the lease poles and over the weed beds; sourcing green weed is perhaps a bigger hurdle than catching them.


Around the rocks there should be smallish bream, chopper tailor, bonito and even some straggling silver trevally. The odd pig is still hanging in the washes but they are competing with clouds of rubbish fish that seem to come from nowhere and are attracted to bait like iron filings to a magnet.

Early morning spin sessions will produce mack tuna and even the chance of a scrappy cobia. It would be great to see a run of cobes like we did in 2001.

A lot of the whiting that were in the lower estuary will be on the beaches this month. Dart and school jew will also form part of beach lotto, so be prepared.

Pilchards cast into gutters along Seven Mile Beach and at Janies Corner will spark the interest of the chopper tailor but don’t expect anything too big unless you like salmon.


The Wallamba River at Nabiac is worth a relaxing fish for bass to 40cm but don’t leave it too long because weed growth can choke the waterway.

Later this month I’ll be exploring the bull sharks up the rivers (some don’t think they exist) while drifting the bank casting surface lures for bream.

Have a safe and happy Christmas.

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