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Coffs prepares for another scorcher
  |  First Published: November 2015



Strap yourselves in; it’s going to be a scorcher. The climate boffins are predicting the strongest El Nino events since the 90s.

What this generally means for us on the East Coast is a very hot and dry summer. These predictions have already seemed to be coming to fruition. We’ve had some very hot conditions throughout spring and scarcely any rain, which is going to have a varying impact on the fishing.

For the bass fishing this likely means the bulk of those that spawned in the salt are still going to be stuck below features that require more water to get up stream. If you want to target those fish, hit the pools below the largest obstructions in the river systems. These bottlenecks will likely have hungry bass waiting for their chance to work up the rapid. There are still plenty of fish high up in the systems already that chose not to run this year. They have been providing plenty of entertainment for those fishing higher up, although they have been a little picky.

Most of the action has only been after dark, with the waters so clear and shallow. Surface crawlers like the Tiemco Soft Shell Cicada, Taylormade Basscada and the Koolabung Basswalker have all been very successful after dark.

The impact of the heat and lack of water is likely to have a more detrimental effect on the trout fishing up on the plateau. The reports from the early part of the season have been that there’s certainly good fish to be had on fly and while spinning. It remains to be seen how well the trout cope with the coming super summer. The most likely way to find healthy fish in good condition is to look for creeks with deeper pools that give the fish respite from the heat. Creeks with forested steep valley sides that increase the shade and reduce temperature and streams that have the most flow. Even exposed creeks will still have active trout, but you should be able to increase your chances by looking to these kinds of streams.

While we’re talking very much in the fly fishing dominated world that is trout fishing, there may be a new club that might appeal to anyone who fly fishes in the area or has an interest in taking it up. The Coffs Coast Fly Fishing Club is looking to host its first gathering later this month to gauge the level of interest in establishing a club. The intention is to form a club that would be a social club and therefore non-competitive and would encompass all facets of fly fishing in this area, from trout, to bass, estuary and offshore.

The hope is to have enough interest so that regular events can be held including fishing days, casting instruction, fly tying demos and just catching up with like-minded anglers. If this kind of club would be of interest you can look them up and connect on Facebook or email Allan Ekert at --e-mail address hidden--

The estuaries will be the focus of a lot of attention this month. It’s right in the middle of peak flathead time with plenty of them around for you to get a feed or just have some fun. In some of the estuaries you will need to hunt around a little but once you’ve found one you’ve usually found many.

That’s great news for those coming to the Berkley Urunga Estuary Sport Fishing Flathead Tournament this year, although everyone’s mostly looking for that one big girl to claim the trophy rather than heaps of smaller fish. This tournament will be held in the middle of the month and will be the second year the event has been run. If you’re looking for a fun weekend of fishing with mates and family it’s an easy event to enter, as it’s catch, photo and release only.

If you want the inside scoop for getting your hand on a trophy, the largest flathead caught on fly trophy wasn’t given out last year as no one got one on fly. Focus on fly this year and you’ll have pretty good odds on being up there for a trophy.

The beaches have been fishing very well for bream over the last month and the whiting should become more of a focus this month too. Most bait has been productive, but it’s hard to go past flicking worms around in the gutters.

The mulloway have been quite active in the same areas although a lack of wave action has made it harder to tempt these cautious fish. If you can find a headland or gutter with a good amount of white wash then they should be there.

On the plus side these calmer days make it a lot easier to flick around some lures on the light sticks. On a calm spring day, it’s just about the perfect form of fishing – knee-deep in the waves, casting light soft plastics or vibes around the gutter edges.

No matter what kind of fishing you’re doing this month, I hope it’s filled with many ‘perfect’ fishing days.

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