Big bream month fires up anglers
  |  First Published: March 2007

It’s big bream month here on the mid-north coast! Whether you’re fishing the Hastings, Maria, Wilson or Camden Haven rivers, you should be able to find big bream. And if they’re not big then they should be fat! During the Summer months they feed up on the terrestrial creatures that have fallen to their doom into the waiting mouths of hungry bream. The cicadas have been prolific this season and at times deafening as they reach their crescendo in the trees along the river.

Bream are certainly not the only species on offer this month! Flathead are cruising with some bigger fish as well as a few 40cm models for the table being taken. Whiting have been in good numbers with all the usual spots producing quality fish. And rounding out the mixed bag this month are garfish! With some careful planning and berley, you should be able to take home a feed.

The only possible dampener to the estuary action is the dreaded red weed. It’s inundated our beaches and played havoc with the lower section of the Hastings River. At low tide the stench is so bad it can turn the stomach of the toughest! Let’s hope we get a good flush soon to get rid of it! However, if you push upriver from the Hibbard Ferry things brighten up.

If the weed is playing havoc with the estuary then you can imagine what it has been like on the beaches and headlands! Most people visiting Port for some beach or rockfishing over the past few months have been disappointed. One day the weed will be gone, then the wind will swing to the north or north-east and it will come back for a few days or until the wind picks up from the south! Basically it’s been a no-go area for fishos, so let’s hope it clears up soon. Those venturing south have found some clear sections and caught some bream and whiting off the beaches but in poor numbers.

Freshwater fishing has been pretty good, although river levels are low and the best fishing will come from the deeper pools. Recently I was lucky enough to go on a canoe trip down the Hastings fishing for wild river bass! Although we only caught 12 fish, it was a very rewarding and enjoyable fishing session – lovely scenery, good company and the odd feisty little bass putting up a good fight. Nothing comes close to a relaxing afternoon and evening session drifting down a river tossing lures under trees and deep into snags! A big thanks to Rod, Barno and Scott for the invite!

The Camden Haven has been fishing well with reports of good bream and flathead being on offer and the lakes coughing up decent feeds of whiting. For a small waterway the Camden Haven produces some quality fishing. For those with a boat this location has it all – from fishing the walls at the bottom of the system to fishing the trees upriver of Whatson Taylors Lake. If you like fishing from the bank, there are also a variety of spots to choose from. The Laurieton section of the river has heaps of easily accessible rivers with jetties, small rocky points and sandy beach sections. North Haven has the sand spit sections, which are excellent for bait collecting and kid-friendly fishing at low tide. Make sure you visit the Camden Haven this month and enjoy the fishing on offer.

Offshore action as always has been very dependant on the conditions! Strong northerlies and north easters have made things tough. Good catches have been on offer for boats venturing outside: mahi mahi are in good numbers and some nice fish have been landed. Bottom bouncers have still been getting good numbers of snapper and pearl perch. The pelagics have been around with striped and blue marlin enjoying the good water temperatures. Hopefully the winds will ease and conditions will favour those wishing to head outside for a spot of deepwater fishing.

The Golden Lure held in January saw 35 boats converge on Port Macquarie to take part in the annual gamefishing event. As always, competitors were treated to some tough weather conditions. However, they managed to catch some great fish, taking marlin right up until the last day. Champion boat Ratu took out the capture section and Port Macquarie team Rod Bender took out the catch and release section. Cain William weighed the largest marlin – a blue weighing in at 161.4kg. Champion male anger was Andrew Taylor aboard Rod Bender and Champion female angler was Lee Bramley aboard Obsession.

No matter what you do this month, make sure you stay safe. Remember to practise catch and release, or if you take a feed, take what you need not your limit. This way, we’ll all have a sustainable fishery to last for generations to come!

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