The breakwalls come alive
  |  First Published: April 2013

This month I generally start getting back into my rock fishing because a lot of options open up as we get closer to the cooler months.

Depending on the water quality, the longtail tuna should be appearing along the breakwalls walls and in the deep water off the headlands to the north and south of the mighty Clarence River.

Early mornings and long days are the norm for the land-based game fishers but nothing beats the feeling of that first screaming run of the season; it soon makes you forget all the sleep deprivation.

The best baits for our region are live garfish, which can be berleyed up with a mix of bread and tuna oil, then caught using a sabiki rig.

I like to pin the gar on 5/0 Mustad hooks tied at the end of a couple of metres of quality 50lb leader. For main line, 30lb is a good place to start. This set up and a lot of hours on the rocks should help get you connected to your first land-based tuna this season.

There have been some nice Spanish mackerel over the past couple of seasons and they can be caught on exactly the same gear, but tie in 30cm of single-strand wire on the end.

These fish and more will also be available to all the boat fishos as well. Often April and May are when those better quality pelagics are getting around.

Towing around a live or a well-rigged dead bait can connect you to the fish of your season.

For this reason I like to upgrade everything in my rigs at this time of year. Use the best quality you can buy and double check all knots.

Take the time to check your rig again after a hook-up; don't just bait up again and get it back in the water straight away.

It is all these little things that will help you to land quality fish and get those brag pics that are going to make all your mates jealous.


This time of year we’re getting close to the mullet run so it’s time to dust off the mulloway live-baiting and lure sticks and rig up for another season of chasing these majestic silver fish on the river.

If you’ve never have landed a good-sized jewie, the next two months is when you should be putting in the bulk of your effort. The best ways to do this are with live bait or lures.

For live-baiting on the walls, I like to use an overhead reel but the trusty old Alvey is just as good. My choice of rod is a stout 10’ BJP FSW JB series rod and I go for the biggest hooks I can get away with, depending on bait size. I like 50lb braid and 80lb leader on this set-up.

My lure-throwing outfit consists of another 10’ BJP FSW JHB series rod with a 6500 size threadline reel, again with 50lb braid and 80lb leader.

My preferred lures are larger soft plastics and hardbodies, generally any lures that have a lot of action at a slow retrieve.

If you’re lucky enough to be there when a school of mullet swims by, you never know, your dreams of a big jewie might all come true.

On the tailor front, the past couple of seasons have not been anything special, so let’s hope we see the quantity and quality of fish of seasons past.

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