Large schools of bait have been throughout the river as far up as Grafton and have raised the fishing tempo, with action hotting up on big bream and school jew.
Those big bream can be found right through the river with good reports coming from the mouth and as far up as Grafton. The hot spots have been the Middle Wall, Browns Rocks, the Caves at Maclean and Brushgrove.
At night live herring are producing the best quality fish with mullet gut and fillets a close second. Throughout the day the best baits have been live herring and white pilchards but the lure fishos have had the best of it.
Those who have kept up with the latest trends, or should I say are defining the latest trends, are now using soft lures at night and producing some amazing results. So if your favourite spot is getting a little crowded through the day then I suggest you try it at night; you might be amazed at the results.
School jew have returned with many of the lure fishos tangling with them while fishing for bream and flathead. The place to be is around Maclean but the fish are spread between Browns Rocks and Brushgrove.
But if big jew in the river at night turn you on then the lower end is the place to be. The hot spots are Collis Wall, the Turkeys Nest, Middle Wall and the main breakwalls.
Most of the fish are good specimens around 15kg to 20kg and have been taking live mullet baits. So spend the time to catch your mullet and your chance of a big jew will be high.
The flathead have moved into the Broadwater and around the mouth with good bags coming on the run-out tide. Soft plastics, white pillies and live herring are producing the best bags.
Early morning before the wind starts to blow is also a must for the Broadwater because as once the wind gets up the water becomes quite muddy and pushes the fish out to the deeper water on occasions. So plan your trip carefully and you will increase your catch.
Luderick have been slow to start in some areas but have now shown up in good numbers. With most of the luderick fishos now producing good bags, the tough times early in the season have been forgotten.
All the usual spots are fishing well with the better quality fish coming on ‘black magic’ weed. The green weed has been producing more pan-size fish and is easier to find.
If you have the time and want to find some good quality black weed then spend a morning in the Broadwater Lake, where the best quality black weed grows and you can find it by the acre.
Big tailor are still in good numbers with fish to 6kg coming from the headlands. Large poppers are still the lures of choice with large sea gar the best bait for the bigger fish. Quality tailor to a kilo are coming in good numbers along the beaches with Shark Bay the hot spot. On the beaches, pillies on ganged hooks and chrome lures are good choices.
I have had a lot of emails and question about the Zip Bait lures that I have been using. There is quit a large range of these lures and buying the right ones can be hard so here are the ones I am using. Rigge 35, Rigge 46, Rigge 56 and the one that we won the Megabucks on, the Khamsin 50mm in 505 colour. If you have trouble finding them then give Jim at Manning river marine a call on 02 6552 2333, he has good stocks.