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Pretty hard going
  |  First Published: April 2013



I think the weather gods have been pretty cruel to us over the past few months. We have seen flooded rivers, rain, rain, rain and destructive winds.

Most fishos have left the boat in the shed or on the driveway, and with seas and rivers the way they have been, who can blame them?

Let’s hope things have changed for the better.

Despite all the misery there have been reports of some great fishing but it’s been pretty hard going.

Flathead and bream have been taken at the mouth of the Hunter River and there have been quite a few captures of big, solid jewfish, some over 20kg.

However, catching the live bait to entice these big fish has been very hard, thanks to the swells, discoloured water and low salinity levels at the river mouth.

My son stood next to a guy at Raymond Terrace who hooked and landed eight jewfish up around 10kg within an hour on pilchards and prawns. Along with the jewfish were some huge carp riding the edge of the floodwaters downstream.

And, yes, the fisherman did the right thing and released all the fish unharmed, much to my son’s amazement.

CRABS

Blue swimmers and mud crabs love this time of year and are usually easy to find. Here are some of my favourite crabbing areas this month.

In Lake Macquarie, try the sandy shallows out the front of Pippi’s Restaurant at Speers Point and along the Valentine shoreline on the eastern side of the lake in about 4m of water.

In the Hunter, the Northern Channel up around the Stockton wrecks, and the area around Mosquito Creek should be good. In the Southern Channel, Sandgate is a great place to find them.

Fresh mullet or luderick frames make the best crab bait.

BREAM

Big bream take to the ocean for their northern vacation at this time of year. You will find most of the larger bream along the first stretches of beach outside of the major headlands.

Places like the first 5km of sand along Stockton Beach fish well, but the entire length of the beach can be productive. Look for holes and deep gutters and use fresh prawns, pipis or worms, or a half pilchard as a backup bait.

The best bream fishing I have ever seen is on Hawks Nest Beach but a lot of 4WD closures by National Parks have really stuffed it up for many anglers who travel to this area from all over at this time of year for the great fishing.

If you are keen you can still walk into areas that aren’t too hard a slog. Access is from the Mungo Brush Road.

Redhead Beach and Jewels Beach are also great bream places; fish that move out of the lake school along this area and some big models have been landed there in recent years.

This month the estuaries also can fish well for big bream that are feeding up and waiting to run. They sit around the mouths and wait until the right time to leave.

If the seas get a bit more predictable, I am sure all the rough weather will turn on the reef fishing, with snapper, jewfish and kings all eager for a feed.

I can’t say the fishing outside has been very good because of the weather but we all know everything can change tomorrow or next week.

Soon the cooler water will start to come up from the south, bringing our Winter species with it.

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