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February — still a great time to be on the water!
  |  First Published: January 2015



I’ve got to say, February is a great time on the water here in Port Macquarie and its surrounding waterways. We still have plenty of daylight and many fishing options. February also sees the main holiday crowds back off a bit, meaning less boat traffic and fewer headaches at the local ramps. Let’s take a look around.

Offshore

This month we should see mackerel appearing north of Plomer, and if it’s like last season you can expect some great action. Find yourself some live bait first. The favourite last year was slimy mackerel and they are good, but so are bonito, so if you can find a few get them out the back for some slow trolling,

For the lure fishos, last year the snapper boys pulled some good reds, but also got a few nice mulloway fishing the grounds around Trag Rock. Live baiting these same spots is also a great way to get onto big snapper and mulloway. Evenings are good, as long as the nor’ easterly has dropped to a reasonable level.

The patches of reef from the front of the lighthouse down to Cathie will produce great mixed bags for the bait fishos. You can tangle with reds, pearlies, trag and flathead, so if you’re after a feed it’s happy days. In other news offshore, our local game fishing tournament The Golden Lure will have been run and won and a full report will be delivered next month.

Rock And Beach

Whiting have been caught on Lighthouse, Cathie and Dunbogan beaches, and the standard offering is live beachworms. Bream will get into the act on these, as will mulloway unfortunately. A lot of these will be 55-70cm and we must remember that 70cm is the new legal size, so please be careful handling the smaller fish and try to release in the best condition possible. This may mean cutting your hook off if it is too deep.

On the rocks this month, throwing large soft plastics or floating hardbody lures will give you a chance on a decent mulloway. First check the tides, as some areas will fire at the high and a couple of others will be accessible at the low and still give you a great chance. It pays to experiment, but some better lures are the Frenzy Mungo, and the Halco in the Brown Dog colour has been popular. Regarding plastics off the rocks, the 7” Gulp is good, as are various large paddle tails.

Estuaries

This month we still have bream, bass and whiting taking surface lures, so there is a fair bit of fun to be had. Most of the usual haunts will produce bream on the surface; try weed beds, especially the ones holding prawn life. Fishing around the edges can be extremely effective when the cicadas are screaming; in fact, it’s a dead-set near certainty, but a well presented cast into structure is a must otherwise you could miss out. Weed beds are easier for the beginner, as accuracy is not as important to get a few surface feeders.

The whiting are going well at Lake Cathie, Limeburners Creek on the Hastings, and also at North Haven heading back into Queens Lake. The excellent bass season is continuing, with great fish being caught in the Wilson, Maria and Macleay rivers, and most techniques are pulling fish. Spinnerbaits through the weed to hardbodies in the snags have been extremely effective, but again, if you can get that surface lure into those dark, shady spots, you are going to have a ton of fun!

Prawning has been a little indifferent, with the last moon patchy, but you’ll still get a feed, which is great. The crabs have continued to be productive as we have seen on the Hastings River, and less traffic and fewer traps should ensure a feed of muddies or blue swimmers.

So there it is guys, long days, good fishing, and plenty of fun, so get out there and enjoy the area’s brilliant fishing.

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