Still plenty to offer everyone
  |  First Published: May 2007

Autumn is in full swing, days are getting shorter and the morning starts cooler. But the ambient temperature during the day is fantastic.

At the time of writing the water temps were still up and fishing was good. From the rivers to the sea, there is plenty on offer.

Offshore anglers are still enjoying some good snapper with inshore reefs producing the larger reds. Those going farther afield chasing pearl perch have been rewarded with some nice table fare.

The leatherjackets have started to show up and if they come on like they did last year, again they’ll be an easy feed and possibly right royal pests. The odd kingfish is still about with the northern locations the best options, but they should start to thin out this month.


Beach fishing has again been at the mercy of the dreaded red weed. Last month I wrote about it heading away at long last but I think I jinxed myself because it’s back. Even though it’s not as thick, it is still a real nuisance.

The northern beaches have been best with some good chopper tailor showing up. Whiting and bream have also been around with fresh worms the best approach.

Having a look at Lighthouse, Lake Cathie and Dunbogan beaches this month will be well worth the drive no matter where you live. Fresh pipis from the beaches would be a good starting point, but nothing beats some nice fresh beach worms and some good quality pilchards.

All manner of species will be available and the weather this time of year makes fishing at any time of day very attractive.

Those venturing onto the stones have also had the weed to deal with and many would have been disappointed at making the haul to get to their favourite spots only to find them swamped with weed.

Those lucky enough to get some clear water this month will enjoy some nice tailor, luderick and school mulloway. If we get some decent rain the breakwalls at Port Macquarie and North Haven will be worth a shot for some big mulloway.

Mullet numbers are already looking good in the rivers so a flush will push them down to the waiting mouths. Best baits will obviously be live mullet or whole fresh fish.

Don’t dismiss throwing a large shad-style soft plastic around or a hefty hard-body. If there’s some colour and some run, there is sure to be fun.


Estuary fishing has been consistent with many outings bringing mixed bags of bream, flathead and whiting.

The weed-soakers have been enjoying some good sessions on the luderick. This month we’ll see some shoulder-room only on the southern wall of the Hastings River as the fish really start to move in.

Flathead numbers have been consistent with lots of good fish, the 36cm to 40cm range being common fish. Scattered weed edges with nearby drop-offs have been producing well.

The bottom section of the Maria River has been fishing well and the Camden Haven has been working well.

Bream have been in good numbers although a lot of small fish have been plaguing anglers. But on a recent trip to the Camden Haven my mate Brendan and I didn’t catch an undersize fish – a very rare occasion but one that shows the Camden Haven is an exceptional fishery compared with neighbouring rivers.

Oyster leases have been the place to target these fish. The closer you get your bait or lure to the structure, the better. The bream are looking for cover and if you’re not close, you’re not in the game.

When fishing oyster leases make sure you take care and ensure you don’t harm or disturb the leases, these are livelihood of families trying to make a living on our estuaries.

Bream will also be looking for surface food and often the bigger fish smash the lures as they are more aggressive and want to feed up in preparation for the spawning season.

Finally, I’d like to pay tribute to the passing a great innovator and legend of the fishing world. Dave Irvine the man behind the Environet, passed away recently and will be greatly missed by many. Dave’s legacy will live on and I know I’ll always be thinking of him when I net a fish.


Flathead of ideal eating size are always welcome.

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