Don’t let a little bit of bad weather deter you!
  |  First Published: April 2016

Everyone loves the sound of the ratchet screaming as line races off the reel, and this is the sound we are hearing now after a great start to the season for anglers chasing mackerel! This action should continue to impress with Spanish and spotties in the spotlight at least for the next month.

The biggest issue is finding a stretch of water in Plomer Bay that hasn’t got a boat on it! If you do find some room then slow trolled live bait such as slimy mackerel should see you into some line burning fun. Troll your livies right near the bait schools, which have been present in the bay. For the offshore anglers who want to avoid the crowded bay, some nice reds have come in from south of the Lighthouse. Jason Issacs landed a nice fish on plastics and several other reports of good reds have come in from Cathie grounds.

In other offshore news, the artificial reef will be in place off Port. I watched this structure on the barge as it left the river and can only imagine how good it will be once settled. The reef consists of 20 concrete modules, each are 5m high to create a 1600m3 fish and marine habitat. The GPS marks are 31.25. 044 S (Latitude) and 152.58.950 E (Longitude). I am looking forward to seeing the results over the next months and year.

Hastings River

Hopefully the red weed has gone by now. It may not have been as bad as it has been in the past, but it was still painful, with a fair bit coming into the Settlement Point area making lure fishing problematic at best! On the bright side, the Pelican Island sand flats have turned it on with surface action on whiting, bream and flatties. When fishing this area look for the bigger high tides to find the fish action. As the tide recedes, the action can continue a little wider and you can definitely put in a good session here.

As we get closer to the bass and bream spawning seasons be aware that bass season closes as of 1 May, which enforces a no-take period up to 1 September – so take advantage this month and get your bass on. I was stoked to catch a 50cm fish on a soft cicada on the Macleay River. This fish was an unbelievably long time coming, over the years I have come very close – once I got two 49cm in consecutive casts, and seeing a few of my clients land the holy grail was starting to play on my mind! The main lesson is that eventually if you put the effort in the rewards will come – sometimes it just takes a while.

The bream fishing has been good and with the deep-water bream season about to start we’ve had great warm up over the last couple of months as the water clarity at the back of the river hasn’t been inspirational for surface fishing. The bait had pushed down due to the rain so using vibes and plastics has seen great bream landed. I also know the boys fishing bait off the walls at night have achieved good results.

On the river, the mulloway scene has heated up with a few fish landed. Recently my son Gavin managed to catch one, which to his merriment, was after I refused to go out in the weather. The mulloway took a liking to a 6” plastic and again showed that if you set goals and focus on a specific target species you will be rewarded – oh, and by the way; don’t stay home because it’s wet outside!

Lake Cathie

The lake has been great since it opened, and the whiting fishing on surface lures and bait has proved the effort is well worth it. Fishing at night with nippers and worms has been the go, and there have been plenty of flatties on the chew throughout the system. Plastics have accounted for most fish, however there hasn’t been any specific pattern, but a well worked prawn imitation is the go for me in this productive piece of water. Until next month I hope you get your rod bent!

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