Fish scarce in the flood debris
  |  First Published: June 2015

Well if you live on the mid north coast of NSW, you will remember the fierce weather we got back in April, leaving people without power for up to a week and no mobile or internet service either. So hey, what else was there to do, but to try fishing in a very sheltered corner somewhere.

Well that wasn’t such a good idea either, as the dirty water from a massively flooded Hunter River was in control, not us the fishermen. It spewed out pieces of houses, debris of all sorts, and made the coastline one helluva mess. The wind pumped in swells around 2-5m in height, and as I pen this the water hasn’t backed down and communities are still cut off throughout the Hunter and probably will be for up to another 2 weeks. Consequently, this report, when you’re reading it, will be a hard call, but here goes…

Since I have to rely totally on a guess as to what will be happening this month, I am going to get straight to it and say I think drummer, snapper and fish that love to hunt in dirty and wild water will be on the cards. Boating should be okay as you read this, as I am sure the floodwaters will have receded a fair bit, letting you outside to comb over the reefs.

I walked the rocks along Nobbys to have a stickybeak and it was more of a beachcombing exercise to see what had been washed up. It looked like half the country was lying along both walls, so they may be out of the question for fishing at the moment. This means outside will be the only option, as the estuary will take some time to come back to life.

Sometimes mulloway can be the prize in the murky water when the moon grows, but it will be a good guess as to where they will be holed up. With little chance of live baits you will have to depend on mullet slabs or fresh squid from the co-op.

The amount of rubbish that washes down the river in a big flood is amazing. There were blue ring octopus everywhere and bluebottles along most of our beaches, so even walking the tide line you needed to be careful. The small beach in front of Stockton Sailing Club was buried 2m high in bamboo, wood, watermelons, kids’ toys, sheets of tin — you name it, it was in there somewhere.

Well I won’t say happy fishing this month, I’ll say careful fishing, and pick a good spot.

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