Famous Clarence bass
  |  First Published: January 2016

Looks like we are in for a steamer of a summer! Outside the mackerel are getting around in numbers and trolling has been the best way to get into a few.

The clear pink squid with pink glitter in them have been the gun lures to troll at the moment. I like to keep a spin rod set up with a spinner on it to throw around, which can be productive at times after a hook up. There have been some nice cobia getting around on the inshore reefs as well caught on live baits, but make sure you come prepared with some heavier gear.

If you want to get your kids into fishing, get out in Shark Bay and berley up heavily with tuna oil and pillies. Put out a pillie under a float on a bit of wire, hand it over to your son or daughter and tell them to hang on. Get them a black tip shark and you will make their day! You may regret it next Saturday though when they wake you up at 5am with the question, “Are we going fishing today!?”

In the river, summer is synonymous with whiting, flathead and muddies. If you really want to get into some good size whiting, try night fishing around the new moon using nippers and live worms on a run-out tide on any of the sand flats in the lower river. The majority of the flathead action will be at the bottom end of the river, as this is the time of year they congregate to breed. Bright coloured plastics and blades are the go and chartreuse is the first colour I tie on if I’m looking for a feed of the flat fish. If you’re looking for a feed of muddies, any off shoots of the lakes like Woolaweyah in Yamba or the Broad Water up past Maclean will be good places to start. Remember to keep a close eye on your pots as we share the water with plenty of light fingered people that are not happy with just taking your crabs but also may take your pots as well – and they aren’t cheap.

Curtis Parkes of the Mann River Caravan Park says that up at Jackadgery there have been good numbers of mid-sized bass ranging from 35-45cm around in the upper reaches of the Clarence River and many of her tributaries. The best producers of late have been lures with a bit of shine in them, such as the ever faithful Bassman Spinnerbaits. In certain places there are almost plague proportions of small 30-50cm eastern cod – nice to see a healthy amount getting around.

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