Flatties and bream fire up
  |  First Published: November 2013

It was a fantastic start to Spring and even though some less stable weather has moved over our heads, which is typical at this time of year, the local fishing is going along nicely.

Plenty of flathead have been taking baits and lures lately. One of my favourite lures for these fish is the 5” Gulp Jerkshad mated to a light jig head, say 1/8oz, or 1/4oz in deeper places with more current.

There are some excellent colours in the Gulp range these days and really, they all work on flathead so it can be more of a personal thing when it comes to colours.

If you are not quite sure which to choose then I recommend watermelon neon, blue pepper neon, peppered prawn and smelt.

Another thing I like about the 5” Jerkshads is that some big bream will have a go at them, as will jewfish if you are fishing in the right spot.

Bream have been going well and they seem to be in better numbers compared with the same time last year. Some thumper fish are among them, with specimens of 1.3kg-1.7kg coming in from the Tuggerah Lakes and Lake Macquarie systems in recent weeks.

Smaller vibes like the Ecogear ZX and VX models have been good on the early season bream.

Now, though, with the water temperature rising it’s time to use surface lures more often. Poppers or the dog-walk style lures work very well and you can go up to quite large lures and still get smashed by average size bream.

But the bigger lures can also attract a better class of fish.


Prawns are now running in our local estuaries. Not only does that mean a nice seafood feast for us, but bream also gorge themselves on prawns, especially first thing in the morning.

So if you use a scoop or drag net and get a few kilos of prawns, why not save some to use as bait? Alive, they can be deadly on bream and flathead, but even if you freeze some they are irresistible to most species, from whiting through to drummer.

Speaking of fish off the rocks, we are approaching the time when good currents move closer in and so fish like kingfish or bonito aren’t too far away.

If you are a keen rockhopper, it would pay to keep checking the sea surface temperatures online and start preparing the spin or live-baiting tackle for the season ahead. Right now, though, we can still expect a few salmon, bream and so on.

Offshore anglers have the advantage of being able to head farther out to seek warmer currents.

At present we are in between seasons, so it can be hard to predict what may happen from day to day. Strong north-easterly winds can kick in now, which means sometimes your planned weekend outing may be have to be postponed.

So it’s a good idea to spend any spare time or money on boat, trailer or engine maintenance. This way, when the good water does arrive you’ll be ready for action.


With Summer almost upon us it’s time to think about stocking up on some good bait for jewfish. A 26kg jewfish was caught off one of the beaches here a few weeks ago and that means it’s likely a few others in this size range could be swimming through the gutters after sunset.

Apart from that, I have heard mixed reports lately. The fish are mainly salmon, bream and tailor, but they seem to be patchy.

If the water warms then it’s likely the salmon will thin out and whiting may be worth chasing more.

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