Rivers receive a flush
  |  First Published: October 2007

A wet Spring is always a precursor to the humid days and great fishing that lie ahead. As I write, our local rivers are running at flood levels for the fourth day in a row and while I would have loved to have gone bassing this weekend, the bass will have to wait another couple of weeks.

All the migratory estuary fish will use the high water levels to move well up river and find the best pools and snags to inhabit in preparation for a feast of flies, moths and cicadas that will arrive with the warming air. Longer days and better fishing will see bream, bass, jacks and trevally taking a full range of lures from soft plastics to divers, rattlers and right through to surface fizzers.

Last summer Mike Colless and I completed a bass fishing DVD called One Perfect Day and, apart from being great fun to make, the proven fish-catching potential of surface lures came to the fore. It will be a real eye-opener for any unbelieving angler who takes the time to watch the 82-minute flick.

Fizzers are best fished early and late in the day and after dark. Moonless nights produce the best and don't be afraid to throw fizzers and chuggers around the shallow areas that you would normally avoid during daylight hours.

If you are on bass water during Spring, fish deep and slowly with 3” plastics, particularly on those cooler days when there is not much insect life around.

Some of the best rivers on the Coffs coast have excellent brackish zones that have a mixture of snags, rock and, eventually as you head upstream. water lilies. These areas will be the home of very hungry bream that love nothing more than a small fizzer or lightly weighted plastic.

The most exciting part about this form of luring are the rewards for those with enough skill to make accurate casts and bring the surface lure to life in the strike zone. Lures are best worked on the spot, using a sharp rod lift inside the line belly.

Good bream water in the brackish zone doesn't have to be deep. The natural discolouration of these unique river stretches offers excellent cover for bream, bass and flathead. On most early-season trips we start fishing in the brackish and slowly work our way up, usually finishing in the full fresh.

It's always exciting to start casting at the first lily beds because bream and bass love nothing more than to shoot out from under their shade to slam your lure. Possibly the best structure of all are the horizontal snags that lay across lily beds before falling away into deeper water; bream and bass can be found in the area where timber and lily pads meet.


Offshore there have been good catches of kingfish and snapper in recent weeks with the South Solitary Island area producing snapper to 4kg and kingfish to 15kg. Anglers trolling live slimy mackerel around the eastern side of the island have been hooking greenback tailor, kingfish, mackerel tuna and the odd yellowfin tuna.

Anglers targeting snapper on 6” plastics have been hooking big fish off Sawtell, Boambee, Third Headland and Arrawarra.

Tailor and salmon have been biting well off the rocks with the odd jewfish for anglers patient enough to fish plastics down deep. The salmon schools have arrived off the Quarry and will be moving back and forth along the surf line of the deeper beaches to the north of Coffs.

Those chasing jewfish made the most of the floodwater near the mouth of the Bellinger River on the southern end of North Beach.

Luderick have been biting well at the mouths of Bonville Creek, Coffs Creek, Moonee Creek and Corindi Creek, especially on the outgoing tide. Whiting have been biting well with Boambee and North Beach the pick of the spots down south and Sapphire and Back Beach Woolgoolga to the north producing good whiting on beach worms.

Over the next month I'll be targeting jew from the rocks, bass from my canoe and the odd greenback tailor on poppers from the rocks. If you want a copy of my new bass DVD then ask at any tackle shop that sells Daiwa tackle or email me at --e-mail address hidden-- .



There should be plenty of bream, whiting and dart on the Coffs beaches this month.


This is a prime bass month and an expedition along the local creeks should be well rewarded.


Tailor should still be haunting the washes and headlands.


School yellowfin are likely to linger in the cool water offshore.

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