Preparation - the key to unlock mangrove jack
  |  First Published: March 2016

The Richmond River has fished well over the last month. The fresh water stirred up most of the species in the lower reaches. The long hot days and humid evenings have prompted some explosive surface fishing.

If you want to chase some bream try the Pimlico Island flats with a walk-the-dog style lure. Atomic K9 Walkers in the new Rock Crab colour have been dynamite. If you’re after a feed of whiting, try the flats across from the town centre around the RSL club or the weed beds around North Creek. Make sure you have something rigged for a good-size flathead as you may come across some good fish and be able to sight cast at them in the shallows. The mud crabs have been a bit quiet of late as there is a little too much fresh in the system.

The rock walls along the town stretch and up Emigrant Creek have produced good numbers of quality bream on light crankbaits with the Atomic Crank 38 the stand out performer. You will come across a few of our red friends, the mighty mangrove jack, so be prepared to either beef up your gear or go back to the tackle shop with your wallet. They say if you’re not losing lures, you’re not having fun.

There are some good numbers of bream caught off the beaches; the dart and tailor however, have been a little quiet. Try the gutters around Boundary Creek along South Ballina for some good size flathead. Blades, slugs and heavy soft plastics will do the trick if you can’t come across fresh bait.

Offshore there have been some quality snapper on the 32 fathoms as well as some good size trag. The mahimahi have been very consistent off the FADs, however since mid-December the mackerel have defied expectations and are all over the place. One day they are swimming around Black Head and the next at Riodens Reef.

The upper reaches of the river have been hit and miss for bass. A big influx of fresh from the Tatham arm has dirtied up the junction at Coraki. Chatter baits, spinner baits and dark coloured loud crankbaits around the drains and creek mouths are your best bet to find some good fish. The fish will start to get active again once the water starts to clear up.

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