I can deal with a few days of rain with the Winter fronts, but those slow-moving, soaking east coast lows were killing me.
Now the rivers are starting to run clean again, it seems everything is back on track for some cool-water action.
And first cab off the rank are some lovely big silver bream in the lower reaches of the Macleay River.
Somehow, some of these fish seem to have escaped the line-up of netters and sneaked into the river system. These bream are plump and look like slabs of silver, with many of the bigger fish sporting that famous blue nose of a sea-run bream.
Those fishing from the rock walls with lightly weighted cut baits are scoring some nice fish, as are those drifting the walls in boats flicking vibe or blade lures.
You can expect the run to last for a month or two yet before the fish edge their way slowly up the river system.
Following behind the bream will be blackfish. The official ‘blackfish season’ is a little later around South West Rocks because the water is often much warmer than around many other ports and takes some time to cool to the luderick’s liking. You can expect the main run of blackfish to kick in in another month or so.
Once they move into the river they usually set up camp in the lower reaches and bite freely right into late August.
It's not hard to find out where the fish are because 30 anglers grouped tightly together along the rock wall is a bit of a giveaway.
Mulloway are sure to be following the bream and blackfish. There's no better time of year to snare a big jewie than during this run.
If you’re shore-based, think big baits and heavy gear and you're half-way there.
I used to shoulder in on the old blackfish anglers and pull out some legal-sized luderick, then quickly throw them into a large tub of seawater and shoot down the end of the wall.
Blackfish, bream, pike and tailor are great jewie baits.
Those fishing from boats can scale down the whole show and use live herring, chopper tailor and pike. These fishos can expect some nice fish when the conditions are right.
Lure fishos can do a lot worse than flick around some sizable soft stickbaits and shads. A little quiet night trolling with large minnows can also be very interesting.
Out to sea there have been a few nice cobia and some serious Spanish mackerel caught lately.
Most of the cobes have been 10kg-16kg, good fun size and great on the plate.
The mackerel, however, have run much larger.
While certainly not in large numbers, most of the mackerel caught have been 20kg-30kg. Those are serious fish in anyone’s language!
For the cobia, the Jail Reefs have been the most productive and the huge Spanish have come off the reefs up at Grassy Head and Scotts Head.
Whether they are still around by the time you read this is anyone’s guess, but you never know...
Snapper anglers are gearing up for a good season and from all accounts things are already off to a good start.
Some quality reds have fallen to baits and lures on the inshore reefs to the north. The key is to get up nice and early, anchor or drift quietly and cast baits a long way from the boat.
These shallow-water reds aren't silly and are very wary of excessive surface noise.
A steady but not overwhelming amount of berley is ideal for the bait crews, while long-range cast with plastics like Gulp Jerkshads and Squidgy Flick Baits is the shot for lure anglers. The early bird usually gets the worm and the snapper.
In the Macleay River the spawning run of ‘ground fish’ has brought the river back to life.
Bream, blackfish and mulloway have sparked up a struggling system and they are sure to be biting well right throughout the cooler months.
While it's getting harder to get out of bed early, there's some great fishing to be had for those keen to brave the chilly conditions.
The temperature is certainly dropping daily but the fishing has been far from cold. The idea is to chase what's most prevalent, and for now it's bream, blackfish, mulloway and snapper. So get out and enjoy the cool water action.Reads: 1367