Plentiful fish and no crowds
  |  First Published: June 2013

The beauty of the Mid North Coast is that it fishes well throughout the year for a variety of species.

While the holiday masses take advantage of the warmer months and great fish activity, I must confess to loving the Autumn and Winter, if not just for the relief from the crowds.

The cooler days bring the opportunity to fish free of crowds for some of the best table fish a land-based angler could ask for.

My dive spies have told me there are big schools of tailor, bream and drummer (silver and black) cruising the rocky shores off a couple of headlands.

Strangely, there were no blackfish spotted during several dives and locations but they should become targets in the next month or so.

Blackfish are still hanging around along the breakwalls and can be seen rising to the surface at night on the run-out tide.

The breakwalls are going through, as they do, a hit-or-miss stage where you can fish it all night or day for nothing and then bag out the following day.


Jewfish from the walls have been very much hit-or-miss, depending on the schools being around on the night.

A few anglers have been taking to the beaches and scoring school jew up to 7kg, while on the wall there have been fish from under the legal 45cm to 12kg, mostly caught on live yellowtail or beach worms.

If you are looking for yellowtail for bait, there are a few locations that will hold them. Under the bridge on the Tuncurry side, the Forster Harbour wharf and the sea side of the Tuncurry rock pool are possibilities.

Of course, you can take your chances jigging the ends of the walls but there are no guarantees. A good aerated bucket or tub is essential to keep your baits in top shape.

Fishing the change of the tide is best in the channel but you can fish any time if you fish the beach side of the breakwall.


Wallis Lake has gone into its usual Winter state where things slow down a bit.

Many of the bream have left the lake for the coastal rocks, along with the blackfish, but those that remain are willing to get involved with baits and lures.

The action can be slow due to the reduced competition for food so patience is the key.

With the cooling water the flathead will be creeping back up the rivers for the Winter so you’ll have to chase them. Like the bream, there will be some token flathead left on the flats but the best of them will be sunning themselves in the shallows of a river bend.


Pigs, tailor and bream are well worth chasing from the rocks if the GoPro vision my dive spies have given me is anything to go by. Bream in packs of 10-15 are everywhere and large pigs can be seen hugging the rocks under the washes.

The best spots to check out for a few bream and pigs are the rocks at Burgess Beach or south around Boomerang or Blueys beaches.

For the tailor I’d check out Blackhead, behind the pool, or Bennetts Head and the north end of One Mile Beach.


Offshore fishing has been great with small black marlin, teraglin, kingfish and bonito all carving it up around the close inshore reefs.

I have had reports of bonito and small kings around Latitude Rock. Those heading north to Blackhead and Old Bar have been returning with a few small snapper, trag and flathead.

One guy at the cleaning table had three good john dory and all I could get from him was that he caught them on live bait in his ‘secret spot’.

So if you were in any way able, I would be gearing up for some serious rock fishing this Winter because I’m putting money on a good pig and bream season this year.

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