This would have to be one of my favourite times of year to fish. You still have all the Summer species like whiting and flathead around in the river but, more importantly for me, it marks the start of my land-based game season.
And with the best weather, water quality and temperatures we have seen for a while combined with abundance of bait around, I am hoping for a good run of longtail tuna off the rocks this season.
The past couple of seasons have been atrocious due to floods and rain.
My longtail set-up consists of an 8’ 10-25lb BJP Full Scale War LTLB Series rod, a Shimano Tiagra 20 and a couple of hundred metres of 30lb Schneider Fine Line. I have found this combo to be a very reliable set up over time.
There also should be some tailor around on the rocks and beaches.
If you like bait fishing for them try some blue pillies, or bonito, if you’re lucky enough to have some in your possession. Late afternoon and early morning are prime times to be out there with a line in the water.
If lures are more your thing could do worse than throwing some spinners around for choppers. My favourite at the moment is the 60g River 2 Sea Sea Rock but you still cannot go past the old faithful gold Halco Twisty 70g.
If you want to hunt for a better quality greenback, try a popper off the headlands. I find the Halco 135 Roosta popper to be one of the more productive poppers in my lure box.
In the mighty Clarence River, without any rain to concentrate the fish in the bottom reaches, catching fish might take a bit more searching than usual but persistence should pay off.
The weedy drop-offs will still be holding some nice eating flatties around 40cm-50cm and if you do catch a big girl, please think of our fishing future and let her go. These fish are this river’s breeding stock and if we want to keep catching these tasty sport fish, we all have to look after them.
I like to chase flatties with 1/4oz TT Switch Blades or a 4” soft plastic on a 1/4oz jig head. In clear water I like to use more natural colours, anything white or brown.
If the rains do come tumbling down…
That same ocean current that makes the land-based game fishing heat up around this time of year will also be firing up the fish for the boat crews.
Trolling around pink squid skirts and floating pillies will account for their fair share of spotted mackerel.
If you are after bigger game, slow-trolling livies will be the best way to entice a bite out of those bigger pelagics like Spanish mackerel and cobia.
There is still the chance of crossing paths with one of those little black marlin that have been abundant up and down the coast this year.
I know we all like to get out and chase the pelagics when they’re in town and it can get a bit crowded, so a little commonsense and courtesy can go a long way in making everyone’s day just that bit more enjoyable.Reads: 929