Winter snapper storm the reefs
  |  First Published: July 2016

Snapper have been coming in good numbers and size lately. The best areas to target are the close-in reefs in approximately 10-15m. If you want to soak some bait, float cut baits, squid and blue pilchards with the current. If you’re into throwing lures and plastics, try 60-80mm lipless crankbaits around 1/2oz in weight.

On the soft plastics side of things, try 4” Atomic Prongs in White, Ghost Pearl or Electric Chicken. Use 1/2oz weights up to 4/0 hook should do the trick. If the current is running harder, you may need to go heavier.

Spotty mackerel start to drop off the bite and the Spanish really start to take over. If the water clarity stays pretty clean this will happen quickly. Try trolling any shallow diving lures over 100mm, or if you’re into cast and retrieve, the Bassday Bungy Cast is a must in your tackle box. At 30g you can cast these things an absolute mile.

The tailor really bite well now with catches becoming more consistent over the last month. The gutters along 7-mile Beach are worth a throw and the best thing about this time of year along this beach, is the stud bream you are likely to encounter. They’re beautiful in condition and taste amazing. Remember a big bream is a very old fish so only keep what you’re going to eat that day.

If you’re up for a challenge, the Ballina Village Caravan Park is holding a Greenback Tailor Competition on the 16-18 June. There are categories for males, females and children so it is a full family affair.

The cooler westerlies can bring on luderick, so if this cold snap keeps up, don’t be afraid to try for these guys a little earlier then you normally would.

The flathead will start to become patchy in the river along the Ballina town stretch while the bream start to fire in the deeper drop-offs. The top of the tide is the pick to chase the big sea run specimens that come into spawn. Try throwing blades and plastics off the end of the south wall, as well as hardbodies over the porpoise wall.

The winter whiting will kick off over the next few weeks. Try the bigger tides over the sand flats along the town stretch, the area out the front of the Oyster Farm in North Creek and possibly up as far as Pimlico Island (if the water stays clear).

The size of the mulloway being pulled out of the river lately is nothing short of amazing. There are some beasts caught at night, mostly on live mullet in the deeper holes or a shallow diving 200mm crank bait off the walls. Hold on cause these things are beasts.

Until next month – tight lines.

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