The big snapper have moved on to the close reefs and fish to 10kg have been taken.
Those fishos using lures have had plenty of fun with solid 2kg to 4kg reds filling their bags but the really big fish are falling to those using fresh squid and the humble old blue pillie. Bait fishos have been regularly landing fish up to 10kg with the gravel reefs north and south of the river producing well.
I said last month that my favourite snapper lure colours are green, brown and gold and they are good starting points when you are not sure which colour to use. Green has been the best over the past month with brown and pink coming a close second.
Trevally are now in good numbers around the rocky headlands with The Bluff the pick of the platforms. Large poppers or chrome metals are best used in these areas because a long cast is vital if you wish to hook one of these back-breaking trevally.
Smaller trevally and mangrove jacks will start to appear in the river now with the hot spots behind the prawn pocket nets through the river. These nets are set and catch the prawns as they pass through on the tide. With all those prawns caught in the net it does not take long before the larger predatory fish show up for an easy feed. So cast lures around the back part of the net, where you will find the best of the fish holding.
If you are planing to chase a school jew in the river this year then now is the time to get your gear ready. October to March is the peak period to start looking for the hot spots for this season.
Last season produced some of the best fishing I have had in the river and I am anticipating another good run. Here’s what I do.
Select a good jig head like the I use a TT Rev Head with a gold blade. It gives off vibration in the water and colour flash. Choose a size between 1/8oz and 1/2oz, depending on the depth of water you’re fishing.
Choose a lure you are confident with. I use many different ones, including hardbodies like the Tropic Angler bibless rattling shad. With soft plastics I like to use stickbaits like a 5” to 7” inch jerk shad or a 4” to 7” grub style.
The right line to use is very personal and everyone will be different. My preference is 6lb to 8lb Fireline or 8lb PE braid with 6lb to 14lb fluorocarbon leader.
A quality rod and reel are musts. I’m using a Pflueger President 6’8” 3kg to 6kg rod with a Pflueger Illusion reel, a good combo with enough pulling power to land the fish and a quality drag when you hook a really big one.
Start preparing you gear now because we all know that the first to find the fish always gets the best of it.
Whiting are starting to school in the deeper sections with the hot spots being Oyster Channel and the North Arm. The run-out tide at night is the ideal time to fish these areas with yabbies and beach worms. Through the day good catches are coming from the entrance to Lake Woolooweyah on yabbies.
The same area is also producing good whiting on surface fizzers at the top of the tide.
There have been a lot of small bream in the Broadwater and they are perfect for those learning to fish with hardbodies. These fish are rarely bigger than 30 cm but can be found in plague proportions on the right day.
The Broadwater is extremely shallow in some areas so exercise caution when travelling in this area.
September is always a quiet month for bream fishing but October will see the start of the surface action.
The Clarence River produces bream from the mouth right up to and beyond Grafton with the middle to upper reaches having the best of the fishing.
This is also the time of year when a good surface bite will start for the bass fishos with late afternoons usually producing a good bite. With the bream and bass moving to feed off the surface, the upper reaches are definitely hot.Reads: 3155