The start of spring has bought some great fishing opportunities with it. The wild Australian bass season opened last month, and it wasn’t long before we saw some quality captures around the area.
The main river of the Richmond has been producing some really healthy fish in good numbers. They seem to be in very good condition, and have been willing to eat most things that pass them by. The best results so far seem to be from 1/2oz Bassman spinnerbaits in olive green/white, with a combination of gold and silver blades. The best bite time seems to be from half tide up, when there is enough water on the snags and current breaks to hold the quality fish.
Springtime always brings with it some big flathead, and this year it’s kicked off exactly on time. Jake Stewart recently caught two beauties in the Richmond River up from Burns Point Ferry (see photo). Jake says the trick is finding the deeper holes on the sounder that are holding bait balls. He uses live bait, a 40lb long trace to a running ball sinker and a Gamakatsu Octopus Circle 4/0 hook.
If live baiting isn’t your thing, lures worth trying include any soft plastics in the 4-6” size range with either curl or paddle tails. The more movement in the tail, the better.
The last round of the Gamakatsu Team Series Bream competition was held in Ballina on 29 August, with some heavy bags weighed in. Team Gamakatsu-Atomic won the event, and the local father/son team of Nigel and Zac Skrying weighed 3.33kg, almost 500g clear of second placed team Samurai Reaction rods Dave Mackenzie and Tristan Taylor. Third place went to Bush n Beach/Berkley Chris and James Britton. Zac and Nigel stuck to the inside of North Wall most of the day and threw Atomic Semi Hard Minnows, with Assist hooks replacing the rear treble for a better hook-up rate. This combo has won the boys a lot of money this year, and as such they have taken out the Team of the Year for 2015.
The snapper are strong in numbers offshore around the 32 fathoms. In the photo on this page you can see some good specimens caught by Michael Starkey on Atomic Semi Hard Vibs, 14lb leader and 10lb Unitika line. The trick to catching these fish on vibes is really to not do too much at all. Just let the current work the lure with a very subtle lift and fall action, and it will be too much for the snapper to resist.
The beaches are starting to fire up nicely. The north end of Sharpes Beach is forming nicely from the rocks in the middle of the beach is funnelling out towards the headland. This is producing some nice catches of bream and flathead on fresh bait form the local tackle shops. Beach worms can be found by those who know what they’re doing. If you’re new to worming, now is the time to start practicing, with the bigger tides come along towards the end of the month. The start of next month should really have the whiting on the chew.
Until next time, stay safe and tight lines.Reads: 412