Curdies comes up trumps
  |  First Published: December 2013

The bream fishing in the Curdies River has been going great guns but the sheer size of past fish captures has somewhat been replaced with overwhelming numbers of fish averaging in the low 30cm and below.

In saying that, I urge anglers to please stick to daily bag limits and release any unwanted fish carefully so that they can provide future angling opportunities. Plenty of size and just-under bream are currently being caught with the bigger specimens averaging between 31-35cm.

Local shrimp, packet river whitebait or ‘glassies’ and the ever-reliable (mostly) frozen prawn are keeping the bait soakers relatively happy with their resulting captures. Those who concentrate their efforts using artificials, such as plastics and deep diving minnow lures, have had some exciting bream takes, both big and small. Cast right up against the river bank and either strip or allow to sink down the water column right in front of the bank side weed growth.

The Curdies is considered a deep waterway in which to target bream with depths often exceeding 8m in some stretches. If you were to take that one big step from the bank straight into the water you would find yourself well and truly submerged in 2m+ depth. It’s in this narrow stretch of water where bream prefer to hunt, especially in low light conditions. Weed growth would barely extend more than a metre out from the bank as the river bottom acutely drops off and becomes too deep and dark for weed growth to take hold. I smile to myself when I see anglers in boats moored to the bank then casting out into the middle of the river. This water is extremely deep and low in dissolved oxygen and, by and large, a waste of time.

As a general rule of thumb anglers need to cast out fore and aft of their craft and land baits no more than 3m from the bank. This goes for those deep fishing plastics and blades as well.

The run of bigger snapper is slowly tapering off with reds that were averaging 4kg being steadily replaced by smaller pinkie snapper to 1.5kg. The good news is that boaters don’t need to travel out to depths of 40m in search of fish as reefs sitting in depths from 8-12m are holding schools. The same goes for those targeting gummy shark, morwong and sweep.

King George whiting have schooled up in large numbers and you don’t necessarily need to launch and head out to nearby weed/sand patches to catch a feed. Many anglers are catching plenty of whiting averaging around 40cm from the shore. It’s just a matter of using an appropriate surf rod that’s sensitive to whiting bites, plenty of berley and use the nearby sand dunes for height to look for sandy patches that are encompassed by weed beds.

Some locally popular spots do not require a massive cast to reach fertile grounds. In fact a 15-20m cast is all that’s required to reach potentially schooling whiting. These same whiting spots can also provide some serious action regarding gummy shark once the sun goes down – keep that in mind.

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