Goals for the New Year!
  |  First Published: January 2016

This New Year I would like to look at something a lot of us tend to do and that’s make New Year’s resolutions. Maybe there’s a particular species you would like to target, or a new technique you would like to become more efficient with – e.g bream or snapper on lures or flatties on plastics. Maybe you have a size goal, such as catching a mulloway over the magic metre, or a bass over 50cm.

The one thing about setting a fishing goal is to be focused on the target you are chasing, read everything you can, watch clips on YouTube, listen to local reports and most of all, get out and do it! The more time you spend on the water will help build up your knowledge of the species you’re after, and will also give you an idea on the most successful ways and times to capture your prized adversary.

I mostly fish with lures, so I often head to the water with a certain style of lure and will only fish with that for the duration. Sure, I may change colours, but the style of lure remains the same and I will try them in different areas, moving from shallow into the deep if that’s possible with said lure. I try to see what the lure does and how the fish react to it, and work strategies of when the lure will be at its best for the conditions. After a full session I’ll usually have an idea of the lure’s potential, and it will either join my ever-growing collection or be put aside for further evaluation.

The hardest part of tracking down a trophy of your favourite fish is maintaining the single mindedness you need to get consistent results. It’s easy to get distracted from trying to catch a mulloway on a lure when the guy next to you is pulling in bream or good flatties on smaller gear. Stay confident and stick with your game plan. The pieces will come together. Oh, and don’t get too upset when your mate with the light gear hooks a mulloway, as this can happen!

Now let’s look at what is happening on the local scene.


The rivers, in particular the Hastings and Camden, will cop a fair bit of traffic this month and for good reason. You should be able to pick up a feed of flathead from most shallow banks, with the fish hanging around weed waiting to ambush any prawns that may be there. Using 2-3” plastics will get you into these fish, and remember they are eating prawns so a prawn imitation (or the real thing) is a good option.

The cicadas are starting to sing while I write this report, and if it keeps going we will be looking at some great surface action for bream and bass. My favourite lures are the cicada imitations, and there are plenty on the market. In the Hastings River I have had great success with Koolabung Soft Fizzers and the Austackle Insektas, but there are some other great looking imitations that will get the job done.

The trick for cicada fishing is to find a bank where they are singing and cast your lures up under the structure to where the cicadas are falling into the water. If there is a breeze, accurate casting might not be necessary as the cicadas get blown out into open and the fish follow, making it easier to target them.

While we’re on the subject of surface fishing, the summer whiting this season have been excellent, with plenty of fish being caught in Lake Cathie and also around Pelican Island in the Hastings. You can also try the flats in Limeburners Creek.

For all those fishos who love a feed of prawns, they have been great down at Cathie and either dragging or scooping can result in a good feed. Just be wary with the lake closed and the water high, any more rain could see them disappear. Mud crabs have been great, so a couple of crab traps put out should get you a good return for your efforts.

Offshore, there have been some good mulloway, snapper and pearlies caught, and recently the 40m mark off Port Lighthouse gave one lucky angler a 5.65kg pearl perch. That’s a cracking fish in anyone’s book! Young Zac Danby and his dad Shannon have been getting some nice mahimahi around the FAD, and this should continue through this month.

For our land-based guys, whiting, bream and school mulloway have been entertaining anglers on North Beach, Grants and Lighthouse beaches. Worms are a favourite at this time of the year and should see you get a feed. Enjoy the New Year and let’s hope those New Year resolutions are fulfilled.

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