Plenty of water upstream
  |  First Published: August 2007

It’s been a cold Winter in our parts and some much-needed rain has made the farmers happy, given the estuaries a good flush and the upper reaches some healthy water flows.

During the warmer months I did some canoe trips in the upper reaches of the Hastings around Long Flat and the water levels were extremely low and the bass were few and far between and not big. But with this good influx of rain, water levels should be on the rise and hopefully fish will get to the brackish water to ensure the wild population of bass in the Hastings gets a much-needed boost.

The consistency of the recent rain should enable them to move back upstream in the warmer months, when they’ll feed up and put on condition. If you’re looking to catch some wild bass this month, please handle them with care and release them as soon as possible. Best bets will be around Wauchope from Bain Bridge back down to King Creek.

Offshore action has been red-hot. Snapper have been solid with good fish caught on plastics and bait. With good numbers of baitfish still present, kingfish have been on the chew but with the usual late cold snap this may change. The outer reefs should produce some nice pearl perch and squire and let’s cross our fingers we won’t get plagued by leatherjackets.

Rockhoppers have had a lot to cheer about recently with some very calm seas and some great conditions, broken up with some days of hellish seas which have really stirred things up.

Tailor have been going gangbusters and on some visits to the rocks around Tacking Point lighthouse it’s been hard to get a park, let alone a good spot on the rocks. Bream have also been taken off the rocks with the good fish taking whole unweighted pilchards.

Beach fishing has been good with some nice gutters forming. There should be some excellent formations and good conditions for beach fishing because this month the winds tend to come from the west.

This is a great advantage for Port with its many sheltered beaches and the tailwind aids in casting lures and baits closer to the outer edges of the gutters. Bream, mulloway and tailor will be the pick of the bunch.

Fresh worms will be the best baits for the mulloway and daytime fishing should be good from the North Shore and around Lake Cathie and North Haven in the south.


Estuary action this month will remain focused on the lower reaches. August on the Camden Haven River can yield some good feeds of flathead from the flats and drop-offs in the main river and those chasing bream on lures will get their share of action fishing plastics deep along the rock walls.

Fishing as light as possible will get the best results, with 1g Hidden Weights with a good-sized plastic will work a treat. Give the lure some time to sink and make sure you watch the line for any subtle movement which indicates a fish investigating. Pausing and waiting at this time will get you plenty of hook-ups.

If you’re impatient and move the lure too early, the fish will lose interest. Patience is the key to getting quality fish in good numbers.

The Hastings River has been producing plenty of quality fish and it looks like this month will be no different.

Lure-tossers going out during the day are snaring anything from 30 to 50 bream. Port Macquarie has a fair share of walls and all seem to be producing. The racks and heavily timbered areas have also been good.

There has been large numbers of small baitfish in the river and the Bassday Sugar Minnow has been very effective in imitating them. When the bream go a little quiet it’s back to the plastics worked a little slower for similar results.

Flathead numbers have been solid with a lot of fish around 40cm, good table fish. They’ve been in the usual sandy spots with weed edges close by, along drop-offs and off the walls. There is nothing better than some fresh flathead fillets boned, skinned and crumbed with some herbs and cracked pepper.

Luderick will be still in fine form this month, especially up the Maria or Limeburners Creek.

It’s only two months before the Sundowner BREAM Classic in late October so if you’re looking to try out bream tournaments, the classic format is just for you. You get to fish with a mate as a team. If you’d like to be a part, log onto www.bream.com.au for all the details or email --e-mail address hidden-- .

So no matter what you’re doing in the way of fishing this month, Port Macquarie and the Hastings area has it all for you.

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