River the only saviour
  |  First Published: September 2007

In times long past, August was when you did the necessary repairs to rods and reels because, apart from the rock blackfish around Crowdy and Diamond Head, there were few fish to catch on our beaches or around the rocks.

Nowadays September is the poor month for fishing. However, if the chopper tailor turn up there is something to chase on the beaches and headlands.

Salmon are a relatively new species to this part of the coast. Schools of fish are arriving all the time and they will be this month for the lure-casters and the bait fishers to have a bit of fun with on light line.


The bream are making their way back up the river as the dirty water clears in the upper reaches. We had a nice drop of snowmelt come down the river a couple of weeks ago and this cold water sent the fish down deep and they bit only when the relatively warmer seawater pushed into the estuary.

The flathead have moved up the river to Cundletown and upstream and are still being caught on soft plastics and bait. Some schools of bream have travelled above Taree and have merged with the big bass coming down into the saltwater to spawn.

Good catches of bream can be made from the training walls at the mouth of the river but the cold nights are a deterrent to a lot of anglers. A few small jew have been hooked on plastic lures from the sea wall but they are not plentiful.


Big seas have flattened our beaches and on high tide the waves run all the way back to the vertical wall of sand at the back of the beach. High tide is not the time to get caught on Crowdy Beach.

When the seas abate some good tailor to 1.5kg have been taken on bait from the northern end of Crowdy Beach.

Salmon can be caught on most parts of Crowdy and Harrington beaches. Pilchards and small squid are the best baits.

Quite a lot of the salmon have marks on them made by jewfish. It seems that the mulloway will have a crack at almost any fish it can fit in its mouth.


Conditions have been difficult for the outside anglers with lots of wind and big seas keeping them at home.

When sea conditions have permitted, some good mixed bags have been boated. Small snapper, morwong, flathead, kingfish and plenty of leatherjackets have been caught. There has been no sign of surface fish in the past couple of weeks.

September is mainly a time for the estuary and offshore angler.

In the estuary luderick will be on the bite as well as a few bream.

Up-river, flathead can be caught by boat anglers willing to spend the time finding out where the fish are sitting. Mostly they will be near a weed bed with deep water relatively close to it.

Outside anglers can concentrate on flathead and snapper around the reefs on full moon nights.

John McLucas with a 12.75kg blue groper from Crowdy Head.

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