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So many topwater targets
  |  First Published: October 2013



This is a great time to fish the mighty Clarence River and the nearby coast. I know I say that nearly every month, but I like October so much because there are just so many targets for my favourite way of chasing fish on the surface.

You have tailor and trevally off the headlands; whiting, bream and smaller trevally in the estuary and last but by no means least, you can’t forget about those bruising bass and eastern cod up in the sweetwater.

The whole visual aspect of surface fishing gets the blood pumping and watching it all unfold in front of your eyes is just so exciting.

We haven't had a regular or consistent tailor season in a long time but we have definitely noticed in the past couple of years that the better quality tailor have turned up in late Spring to early Summer.

If you want to tussle with a trophy tailor, you can throw around spinners all day catching choppers but to catch a proper trophy greenback on a lure, you need to be throwing a popper around.

I usually find an area on a headland with some wash and start fanning casts around using different retrieves to see what the fish are turned on by at the time. It can change from day to day and during each day.

The type of popper used depends on the water.

In choppy conditions I use a cup-faced popper, something that puts out more noise to attract fish. In these noisier conditions I like a River 2 Sea Bubble Pop 130.

On a more glassy day I use a pencil popper or a stickbait, which are less in-your-face and don’t seem to spook the fish as much. Lures like the Dizzy Pencil Popper and BJP stickbait are my choice of surface lures for trophy greenback tailor on calmer days.

If you’re not catching fish at one spot, move to another. Try to find where they are hanging.

All the same principles apply if you’re chasing trevally.

RIVER HOTS UP

And with the weather warming up, the river starts to fire.

The flathead are generally in the lower reaches and picking up a good feed of fresh flattie fillets shouldn't be too hard.

Try working the weedy drop-offs with your favourite plastics or a blade. Chartreuse is a favourite colour of many flattie hunters on the Clarence.

Places like the North Arm, Browns Rocks and Oyster Channel are good spots to start chasing up a feed.

These locations should also be good spots to start the hunt for a whiting using live worms or yabbies.

But if you’re a lure diehard, it's time to crack out those surface lures. Again, which ones to choose depends on the water conditions, with the cup-faced poppers up to 60mm long good for the chop and the more subtle stickbaits and pencils better when it’s calmer.

The prawns should be in full swing by now, making it a great time to get out and chase school jew on the river.

And the warming weather will start sending the bream up river, as well as signalling the return of the bass to their sweetwater summer homes.

If the weather plays the game, October will be a great month to get among them all.

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