Rivers clear until the rain
  |  First Published: June 2015

Just as the upper Richmond River was looking good for a fish we saw a low move in over the northern rivers and dump a massive amount of rain causing the Tweed, Richmond and Clarence river to run brown and muddy, bringing with it all kinds of garbage for weeks. The westerly winds should blow hard and hopefully this will bring the bait fish down to the lower reaches and the predators with them this month.

Bream anglers will be out in force this month on the beaches, headlands and river entrances chasing the early run of these guys. The bait fishermen who use fresh cut baits like mullet or bonito will see more action but the people who fish lures will see quality more than quantity. The plastics and blades will get more of a workout while the surface lures will take a rest as the bream move to deeper water like the walls and deeper holes close to the river mouth to do their thing over the next few months.

I like to use as little weight when using jigheads and blades as possible but the tide will predict what weight you’ll be using. As for plastics, anything from 2” Zman GrubZ, 2” Gulp Prawns or 80mm Squidgie Wrigglers will do, but blades like StrikePro’s Cyber Vibe and Ecogear VXs will always see you in with some action.

Luderick fishermen will have dusted off the good old centre pin reels late in May and will be itching for the fish to show in the Richmond around North Creek, but May’s early rain will determine when and where they will show first.

Whiting will have slowed down by now but those willing to put in the time and fish deeper water will still gather a feed of these great eating fish.

Flathead will have hopefully be found in better numbers and size now the water has cleaned up after the fresh. Live baits like herring and even dead baits like whitebait should see you take home a few for dinner. Areas like Broadwater, Wardell and Pimlico should see the bulk of the fish if we don’t see any more major rain during June.

Plastics on flathead are always an easy introduction to any lure fishing as these guys don’t refuse too much, as they’re a opportunist feeder so shape and colour isn’t a big thing.

Mulloway fishermen saw some great fish from the end of the breakwalls and headlands halfway through last month when the water stopped running out and started to clean up a little, but the man in the grey suit claimed more fish then were landed. Live baits seem to have caught most fish, but people casting big plastics and hardbodies around scored some good fish on the turn of the tides.

The mullet schools have started to make their way to the mouths of rivers as well as the beaches, triggering the mulloway to start showing up. The bigger models making their presence felt in the schools of bait and fresh octopus legal size tailor and luderick heads will do the job on the bait front. Tailor have showed up along Brunswick, Flat Rock the north and south walls of the Richmond and Evans Head for those brave enough to put in the hours after dark, so let’s cross the fingers and hope that this will be a good season.


June will see the current virtually drop out completely so fishing offshore will be more comfortable for those who wish to start fishing in water from 50m of water to right out wide for bar cod and the like. Snapper should have started showing up on the closer reefs like The Patch, Red Hill and Kaos and water this deep makes them a great target on plastics and light jigs, but the mulloway will also play the game on the plastics.

Kingfish, morwong, bigger snapper and pearl perch should be in better numbers this month, so it may be a wise decision to stop off at the bait reef before heading wider.

If bait fishing isn’t your thing try jigging knife jigs for kingfish and slow jigging butterfly jigs for pearl perch and snapper.

Fishing plastics in 70+ metres of water is a little like float lining with bait. Just choosing the right weight for the current and wind your fishing will change from day to day. If I can get away with a 2oz jig head in 100m of water even better, but some days it may be 3-4oz, but the take is the same as float lining so get ready for line to be stripped out of your hands. Pearl perch are also a sucker for a plastic, too.


The beaches and gutters copped a bit of a beating with that big low pressure system, so most gutters that were looking good have either been filled in or are non existent along south Ballina Beach, so you may have to do some real searching to find a good hole that’s going to produce any quality fish. Brunswick has had a few gutters worth a shot after dark, though. Bream, dart, whiting and flathead will still be found in the shallower gutters, but as for jew and tailor those deeper holes are worth gold.


Bass fishing in the dams has been a little hard with the amount of water they received and the people that have fished them have struggled as well, with only a few fish being caught in their outings. The most successful lures were Imakatsu Piranha Vibes and plastics worked in deep water off the major points, but some still caught fish on surface lures worked slower than normal to get a reaction out of the bass.

If you’re after any information about the area give use guys a call at Suffolks Outdoor Sports in Lismore, as we fish the area and can point you in the right direction.

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