Fresh fires up the river
  |  First Published: February 2016

The Christmas period has come and gone and some great times were had in and around the Richmond River over the holidays.

Offshore, there’s been some memorable action. Around the 32m area there’s been snapper of average size, but you can guarantee a good feed of fish this size.

The FADs are holding mahimahi, and the bigger models have come from the 48m when the tide is really moving.

The mackerel and marlin have been quiet since Christmas, but hopefully the action on these speedsters will pick up into February.

The beaches around South Ballina hold good numbers of dart and whiting. When the swell is down, try flicking blades and plastics like the Atomic 3” Prong for flathead in the low tide gutters. This can be a really productive technique and you may be surprised at how many quality fish you come up with. Take care when traveling on the beaches; it only takes a couple of idiots to spoil the fun for everyone.

In the river, there are great numbers of whiting on the flats around Pimlico Island on the surface, along with bream and flathead. The Bassday Sugar Pen 70s are still catching great numbers of all these species.

This time of year, the number of families lining the river with kids just hoping to catch something is huge – great to see.

Getting kids into fishing is something that is easy to do if you use fresh bait, the right equipment and you don’t make them stick out in the sun for too long. In the main river, try Mobb’s Bay, or the weed flats past the Ferry with the little ones.

With all the fresh that’s been flowing down the river, the lower reaches have had good mulloway off the break walls in the last part of the run-out tides. Big hardbodied lures and soft plastics like a Sunami Paddle-Tail have produced some great results. Once you do hook something, try to get it in ASAP, as there are plenty of toothy critters around looking for a feed.

Bass are in the main river sections with all the fresh water coming down from the Kyogle and Casino region, and the bass should really get going once this settles down. Dirty water fishing can still produce good numbers, though, and the drains and creeks running into the main river are good places to start.

Chatterbaits like the Bassman Mumblers are a good option, along with noisy jerkbaits like the Megabass Live X Margay. You might have to do some traveling to find the fish, but when you do, you can rack up good numbers quickly.

Crabs are a little quiet, however the new moon should fire them up. Remember to mark your pots properly, as NSW Fisheries confiscate unmarked equipment. They will take anything either not marked or not marked as per regulations. They also check fishing licences, size of fish and bag limits.

Rules are there for everyone to abide by, so the fisheries are sustainable for everyone in the future. If you see anything suspicious, please report it to authorities.

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