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  |  First Published: October 2007

After complaining to anyone who cared to listen about the how dry it’s been and how clear the river was, the heavens opened up big-time. This unseasonable drenching was very well-received and soon turned the clear coastal rivers into raging torrents of brown mud.

It was from one extreme to another, and almost overnight, but the newly-coloured rivers and inshore reefs have come to life again. Bream and jewfish, which had been camped up-river for quite some time, moved down towards the mouth and should sty there until things clear up. The ocean fishing had also been very tough but the torrential rains and big seas lured a few big snapper onto the inshore reefs.

Those heading down towards Fish Rock and Black Rock have found pretty good numbers of kingfish from 3kg to 8kg. There have also been a few lone thumpers cruising around, with some fish reported from 18kg to 23kg.

Those big schools of salmon are one of the main catalysts for big kings to hang around, so if you find a school of sambos, have a look around them for some serious kingfish.

Heading out wide has been reliable for anglers seeking bar cod and other deep-water ooglies. Most anglers have start fishing on the 60-fathom reefs, though most of the bigger fish seem to come from the deeper waters, with 90 to 100 fathoms being reliable depths.

Closer to shore and it’s the continuing run of good-sized tailor that’s keeping many anglers close the stones. Boat- or shore-based, if you flick around metal lures or ganged hooks and pilchards you’ll be sure to find a few co-operative choppers.

There been plenty of salmon also, so don’t be surprised if your ‘greenback tailor’ turns out to be 4kg of Australian salmon.

Beneath the tailor and salmon you’ll find a nice class of bream and if you persist into the night and use tailor or salmon heads for bait, a sizeable jewfish is on the cards.


The Macleay got a much-needed flush and if you’re looking for bream, flathead and jewfish, you shouldn’t have to head any higher up-river than Jerseyville bridge.

The jewfish brigade was out in force at the river mouth and some quality fish were caught during the height of the fresh. There haven’t been many small fish lately, with most caught going 14kg to 20kg-plus.

The school-sized fish just haven’t put in a appearance and, not surprisingly with those thumpers around. few are complaining. Big minnows like the Killalure Jewie and sizable plastics like the 170mm Squidgy Slick Rigs are proven fish-takers and well worth throwing around the second the seas jump up and the river shows a little colour.

If you’re keen on spinning bream, try the rock walls close to the mouth. Those fish that were previously up-river are now in force along most of the walls. Lightly weighted plastics like the Flick Baits and Gulps will score good numbers of fish.

So too will hard minnows, as long as you fish dawn and dusk and work them very tight to the walls. It’s certainly different from spinning the small feeder creeks or leases but there’s still a considerable degree of skill needed to catch consistent bags of fish on crankbaits.

Those keen on chasing bass in brackish reaches had little to smile about this season. Most anglers braving the chills and heading up-river scored very few fish with only a handful of anglers catching more than one or two per outing.

The saviour was the terrific run of big silver bream and flathead. Those flicking plastics and small minnow lures fared well with quality bream up to 1.3kg and lizards around 2kg. Good fun indeed, but what’s going on with the bass?

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