Hefty speedsters offshore
  |  First Published: March 2014

If you enjoy catching and eating mud crabs, you will not get a better opportunity than now! The Macleay valley is in the middle of one of the best runs of crabs in recent memory. Due to the lack of rain in our area the crabs have pushed up the highest reaches of just about every creek and waterway. Reports of crabs have come in from as far upstream as Frederickton on the Macleay.

Blue swimmer crabs have also been in abundance along the channels in Clybucca Creek. If the weather stays dry there should still be a couple of months left of this crab season for everyone to enjoy.

Another feature of the estuary at the moment is whiting on surface lures. Bassday Sugar Pens have been by far the most popular lure this season. Long casts using ultra-light lines are essential for this form of fishing whether land based or from a boat. If fishing from a boat, an electric motor can be used to make your set-up more stealthy. It can also hold your boat in position, giving you more casts over your selected sand bars. It pays to move on after a couple of hook-ups because unless the fishing is red hot, the fish tend to shut down fairly quickly. It is always worth having a few areas in mind when you set out as it takes a few of these fish if you are after a feed.


Offshore, things are pretty well firing now. Wahoo are making their presence felt from the gaol grounds right through to Hat Head. There have been countless reports of people getting absolutely blown away by these northern speedsters. The better fish have been caught trolling bonito or big slimy mackerel, although skirts and bibbed minnows trolled at higher speeds are getting good results also.

The early run of mackerel consisted of spotties and Spanish, all around the 6kg mark, with the spotted mackerel numbers far outweighing the Spanish catches. The tables are turning now, however, with the size and numbers of Spanish mackerel rapidly improving from day to day.

Cobia numbers are increasing around the area also, mostly concentrated around the bait and inshore reefs. These fish have been fickle at times with a lot more fish being seen than caught. The odd cobia has been taken while fishing the deeper reefs for snapper.


The beaches have been fishing really well at the moment with blue spotted flathead being the standout species. Whiting, bream, tailor and small mulloway are around in reasonable numbers also. Gathering bait such as worms and pipis is relatively easy at the moment, giving the angler an opportunity to enjoy a day out fishing with the family at a fairly low cost. Teaching your kids to catch worms at a young age is a great way to keep them interested and outside enjoying the great outdoors. Another plus is that their worm gathering increases your time fishing, and can even save you time and money when they start catching more worms than you!

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