Time to take a break!
  |  First Published: October 2015

October is a great month to head to Port Macquarie, with the rivers and offshore fishing firing up.

With the start of longer days and warmer weather, the local rivers the Hastings and Camden Haven will really start to come alive as bait moves through the systems. Prawns and mullet will be more predominant and active as the water temps climb, which means you’ll start to see more feeding activity on the edges as well as around the weed beds. Bream, whiting and trevally are all now a very reasonable target on surface lures. In October I always have a couple of rods rigged with Sugapens and poppers, and you can end up with some great fishing.

Recently Local angler Jeff Brunsdon was chasing bream in the Camden Haven River when his Atomic Vibe was engulfed by a rampaging mangrove jack. Jeff said the fight was unbelievable on the light bream gear, and at 60cm it was a cracking fish. He released it after some photos.

Bass season is well and truly underway, and many anglers will chase these fish over the next few months. With the water a lot better than the end of last season, the bass will be spread out upriver in the Wilson section, Maria arm and Hastings, so there are plenty of options for surface action or snag bashing with hardbodied lures.

Surface fishing in these systems will mainly involve casting your lures in very tight to the structure and working them out from there, and some very useful lures for this type of fishing are the cicada-style paddlers or fizzers. These lures land with a bit of noise and really do impersonate the cicadas. Some days you can fish surface all day and by having your lure in the shady sections of the snags you can enjoy some superb fishing. However, what do you do when the fish aren’t rising?

Well, they are still there but it may take a deeper presentation to catch them. You should try shallow or deep diving lures, or maybe a spinnerbait or soft plastic, but my recommendation at the moment is to use a soft vibe. They have been outstanding and will see you getting bream and bass – just remember that bass are aggressive and sometimes you just have to find out what they want on the day. All in all, it’s shaping up be a great season and hopefully will have plenty of pics over coming months of happy anglers releasing healthy bass.

Of course, it’s not all about the bass. On a recent outing Colin Trenaman From Ned Kelly’s Bait and Tackle landed a very nice 7.1kg tailor and a few reports of these have filtered in. Colin has also been getting a few mulloway around the local beaches up to 10kg using the tailor he had caught as fresh bait.

If you’re keen on beach fishing there are plenty of options to try over the next month or so, and we should see some whiting start to turn up in catches soon. Look for gutters falling off sand spits and slightly deeper holes along the beach. These are good areas to launch a beach worm, and lovely silver bream are partial to the worms in these spots as well. Beaches worth trying are North Shore, Lighthouse, Cathie and Dunbogan. It does pay to have a drive and look at a few options before coming up with your plan of attack.


Snapper fishing has continued to produce some beautiful fish, and again Jason from Ned Kelly’s Bait and Tackle got onto a few. The largest from a recent trip went 8.26kg, with quite a few smaller models around it. It’s worth having a look, and there’s no better searching method than drifting over the reef and gravel patches using a 5-7” plastic. It’s a very mobile way to fish, and if the tide and wind are favourable you should be in for some great action.

Good areas are plentiful from Lighthouse to Cathie, and if you’re visiting to the area drop in and see the guys from Port Tackle or Ned Kellys Bait and Tackle. Both will let you know which depths and areas are producing.


I’ll wrap this column up with a memo for our summer boaters. Guys, if your boat has been sitting around over the winter months, get it started, check everything is in working order and get a service if needed. Check the trailer, especially if you’re travelling a fair distance for a holiday. Make sure all your safety gear is up to date as well. You don’t want to have your summer plans ruined by faulty equipment, a boat that won’t go or even a maritime fine. If you prepare now it can save you some last-minute panic!

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