Fishing in the Clarence over the past few months has been rather ordinary unless you have been chasing jewfish. Last month I gave you a quick rundown on recent trips during which we landed a 26 jewies. Well this month it got even better with one trip producing 14 jewfish in a 2-hour session! Every trip over the past month has produced jewfish and the hotspots are at MacLean, Palmers Island and Browns Rock.
The Oyster Channel Bridge has also been fishing well. Both the top and bottom slack water tides have been working with the best tides to fish between 10am and 4pm. Just about any soft plastic will work at the moment as long as it is rigged on a TTs Revhead jighead in weights 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2oz.
This month I went back to some old school methods of fishing for jew in deep water and was surprised how well they worked. Soft plastic lures, bibless hardbody minnows and the feather jig (the oldest lure in the world) all caught jew with the soft plastic lures and feather jig working best at water depths of 10-25m and the bibless hardbody minnows working best at 5-15m.
Those fishing around MacLean this month found some big bream and flathead. With a large school of solid bream at MacLean for the past four months, it is starting to look good for the Autumn ahead. Many of these fish are 38cm-plus to the fork and they make for great sport on light tackle and soft plastic lures. Now that Summer is finishing these fish might move any day, so now is the time to try your hand and get into the action. Many of the local soft plastic lure fishos have been landing some good size mangrove jacks over the past few months and this season will also finish in a few weeks.
The flathead have started to move around with the lower reaches of the river the pick of the spots. Hotspots are the Middle Wall and Collis Wall for larger fish and the North Arm and Back Channel for pan-sized fish. Oyster Channel has a large number of undersize fish which has made fishing frustrating. Anglers targeting flathead above Lawrence have found the fishing slow with a lot of water in between fish.
Fishos out at night chasing whiting are still producing good bags with most of the recognised spots fishing well now. Throughout the day your best bet is to chase smaller diver or trumpeter whiting at the bottom of the river with either worms, prawns or soft plastic lures.
Top Nob Reef has been a great spot again this month for those chasing spotted mackerel. With water temps over 24°C throughout Shark Bay, trolled pink squid lures are a good option when fishing this area for mackerel. The southern mackerel grounds are now producing big Spanish mackerel and good bags of spotted mackerel. This now gives you the option to go either north or south depending on the weather, so be prepared. The LBG action has fired up now with long tail tuna, cobia and Spanish mackerel all on the chew around the breakwalls and headlands. A good supply of sea garfish for bait is now available which makes fishing the breakwalls a good option. When targeting these areas remember to keep a surface popper rigged and ready to cast at all times.
Good mud crabs are on the chew throughout the North Arm and Back Channel so now is the time to get in on the action. The sand crabs are moving further up the river and can be found from the mouth up to Turkey Island on a good tide. If you are looking to take your kids fishing then the arrival of the sea gar in the river at Whiting Beach will be music to your ears. A pencil float, small hook (number 12 long shank) and some bread or dough should provide hours of fun.
Plenty of quality jewies have been on offer in the Clarence.
Now is the time to get into some bream action before Summer finishes and they move on.Reads: 1182