Half the year has passed already and it looks like the great fishing we had in autumn has carried through into winter. The beanies are getting some good use as the late afternoon air cools and the keener anglers start hunting around.
In the river the bream and blackfish should be showing up in quality and numbers by now. If you’re chasing bream from a boat, places like Browns Rocks or any of the walls in the lower reaches of the river should hold fish. Go to baits for them would be strip mullet or, if you have a good stomach, chook or mullet gut are both gun baits on the local Clarence valley bream population. There is still action to be had for the lure boys and girls too at these same spots, with blades and soft plastics catching their share when worked deep around structure.
If chasing blackfish is more your thing, places like The Tavern, middle wall and (for land-based anglers) the old ferry should see more than a few fish frequenting these haunts.
However, for me winter is all about mulloway and tailor. This year has been a great year for the mighty Clarence river mulloway, with local lure maker and mulloway fisho Steve Patti catching more than his fair share of these big silver legends on his Croaker lure creations. If you want to get into the action, big shallow diving hardbody lures are the go-to lures in that 14-18cm mark. Rod-wise, you should go for anything from 10-12ft teamed up with a 5000 or bigger sized reel running 30-50lb line and a leader of 60lb or more depending on the terrain you’re fishing. If bait is more your thing, putting a double snelled pair of 9/0s in a live mullet and swimming of one of the walls could also see you hooked up to a few good-sized Clarence valley mulloway.
On the tailor side of things, working the headlands with both chrome spinners and poppers will see you lock horns with some stud-sized greenback tailor in the 3kg and upward mark. The biggest greenback I have seen and weighed was 9.7kg and every year you see a couple up to the 7kg mark, so if you would like to cross a true trophy-sized tailor off the bucket list you could do a lot worse than throwing your lures seaward around the Clarence valley.
My weapon of choice, depending on conditions, is either a Halco Roosta popper 135 or a BJP stickbait. I like the Halco on rougher days and the BJP on calmer days; both have caught me good quality fish in the past.
Outside, the snapper have been going well with plenty of pan-sized fish to be had – and who doesn’t like a feed of fresh snapper?
At this time of year we usually see the bass coming down to spawn. It’s closed season for them until September 1 so don’t forget to put them back.Reads: 1873