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Freshwater fun starts
  |  First Published: October 2013



Earlier this year we had some terrible weather that a lot of people around the Hastings Region would rather forget and with the glorious weather of recent months, I’m sure a lot have.

And it looks like our fishy friends have also, to the benefit of our angling fun.

Freshwater fishing is kicking into gear with the Hastings, Maria and Camden Haven rivers all providing good bass angling from kayak and small boats.

For me, you can’t beat a session on the Camden Haven. After putting the boat in at Kendal, you can fish snags up river and down from the ramp.

Or try dropping the boat in the Maria River at Telegraph Point and running upstream to fish the lily beds and snags.

I like to use small Beetle Spins, crankbaits and surface lures this time of year. The key is to mix it up and find what they are feeding on.

Beach fishing has been favourable recently with nice gutters forming and small seas making access easy for those inclined to chase mulloway, bream and salmon.

Best bait has been live worms and best results have come on dusk and after dark.

The small seas would be a major player in this as the small amount of wash gives less cover to predatory fish to ambush their prey.

Best spots for targeting mulloway of the beach this month will be North Beach, and the northern corner of Dunbogan Beach and its southern end around Diamond Head.

OFFSHORE

Offshore fishing will hopefully kick into full gear this month. At the time of writing schools of decent slimies and yakkas have been difficult to find.

This month they should push in closer and hold on the regular bait grounds north of the Hastings River bar.

A good collection of live bait will prove invaluable when chasing kingfish or dropping for snapper on the inshore reefs. Those chasing snapper will do best on the wider reefs, along with a welcome by-catch of tasty pearl perch.

Live bait will be beneficial but fresh cubed and slab baits will also catch quality fish.

Those heading out for an afternoon session will have the possibility of catching mulloway and teraglin on the inshore reefs.

ESTUARY

The estuaries will be alive this month, with flathead moving about looking for easy prey and congregating in numbers.

This time of year I like to head down to the quiet waters of the Camden Haven and fish the flats around Dunbogan Bridge and the entrance flats of Watson Taylors Lake.

Quality flatties will take live bait, with school fish more easily taken on 3”-5” plastics rigged on 1/8oz and 1/4oz jig heads.

The best technique to locate and catch fish is the hop, drop and pause retrieve.

I make a long cast, allow the lure to sink to the bottom, then with sharp lifts of the rod tip hop the lure and then drop it back to the bottom and pause.

Fish in the area will home in on this retrieve and pick the lure up on the drop or the pause.

I always like to take home three or four fish for the family and let the rest of my catch go. We all need to be responsible anglers and take only what we need, not our limit.

Bream lurers are into an exciting time. The deep bite of Winter will soon be a distant memory as the bream move around the system and look for good feeding grounds for the Summer ahead.

It’s hardbody time. Stickbaits, minnows and surface lures will provide lots of fabulous fun and that certain amount of frustration that bream fishing can bring.

Once you’ve tried it, you’ll discover how addictive it can be.

This time of year I like to throw stickbaits and minnows on the flats along the edges of weed beds and small gutters. Then I slow roll or flick and pause the lure.

Repeated casts will assist in locating fish in a particular area. Nothing beats the feeling of a hefty bream crunching the lure and taking off across the flats.

This month we will also see whiting starting to move into our systems and mulloway continuing their mauling ways of recent months. Live worms will prove best for both species.

Mulloway will be holding in deeper water with best spots around Rawdon Island Bridge and Dennis Bridge. Small yakkas and soft plastics will also yield good results.

So no matter what direction your piscatorial pursuits take you, there is something on offer this month.

It’s a good time to get out, with the water and air warming and lots of opportunities.

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