Take your pick at Port
  |  First Published: February 2007

Fishing on the Hastings and Camden Haven rivers has been exceptional, the right mix of weather and a drop of rain having things firing on all cylinders.

Whiting have been in good numbers and the bream have been belting anything that hits the water.

Nice lizards have been lurking and if you’re targeting these you’ll do best to get on the water early and fish a good drop-off on the run-in tide. Cast up onto the shallows and work your baits or lures over the drop-off.

Offshore action should be splendid this month, especially if conditions allow a trip out wide. The game fish will be on with some nice warm current running. There should be marlin and tuna and mahi mahi and kings on for the smaller rigs. Check the bar conditions and weather forecast before heading offshore this month because some nasty storms can crop up and make things hairy on the trip home.

Beach anglers have had it real tough lately with red weed making an absolute nuisance of itself. One day it will be there and the next it’s gone, then a light northerly will blow up and there will be soupy conditions again.

When the weed has cleared altogether whiting and bream will be on the beaches and this time of year the mulloway will be looking for an easy feed after dark.

The full moon is on February 3 with some nice tides early in the morning on the weekend so I’ll be on the river chasing bream, flathead and whiting. Then February 17 and 18 have some cracker tides again with the new moon.


Freshwater fishing comes into its own this month and within 30 minutes’ drive of the Port Macquarie CBD there are three freshwater options: The upper reaches of the Maria River; upstream of Koree Island on the Hastings and my pick, the picturesque upper Camden Haven from Kendall.

The bass aren’t as big as in the Macleay and Manning but they are well worth the effort if a trip in a canoe is your cup of tea.

Wayne Bale and I had a ‘gentleman’s hours’ outing to fish surface lures for bream. We started at 8.30am and fished for four hours for close to 40 bream, using just about everything. After we had around 10 fish we decided to see what wouldn’t work.

We fished fizzers, poppers, pencils, walkers and sinking poppers. The pick lures were Koolabung 35mm Poppers, Taylor Made Fizzers, Tiemco Pencils and the new Bassday sinking poppers.

We sat poppers and plopped them very gently, ripped fizzers 30cm and then let them sit; the pencils we’d sit then walk a metre then let them sit. The Bassday Poppers we’d rip along the surface for around 2.5m, let them sink for 20 seconds, then rip again. The fish climbed on all lures during the pause or sink or chased them on the retrieve.

We could have fished one technique and caught the same number but we took the chance to fish a vast variety of lures in different sizes and colours and work out how we could make them catch fish. It was a memorable experience for the fun and for what we learnt .

No matter what you’re doing this month, chasing kings outside or whiting on the beaches, remember to take only what you need.

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