Looking danger in the face
  |  First Published: July 2016

Up Cobaki way it’s been very quiet fishing wise. Every time I head there I’m dumbfounded by the amount of debris floating around, from grass clippings to weed and logs, as well as a heap of rubbish. In some places it’s impossible to get a cast in and I found it pretty similar up at Terranora Broadwater. Terra is holding a lot of fish around the Jew Hole in particular on the run out. If you get there early try a surface lure on the high tide in the oyster leases for some cracking bream. There’s lots of small tailor in the river too and they are the perfect schoolie attraction, so expect to see a few showing up in the area.

I’m not sure where all the rubbish in the river is from, but after a good rain it should clear out. On the contrary, the Mar-bah arm of the river, from the seaway to Condong is beautiful water, and good bream has been caught off the rockfalls, as well as whiting on the flats around the golf club right back up to Ukerebagh Island. There are some nice flathead around the golf course too, try the deeper, murkier water for them. The little creeks around the area where they enter the main river are well worth a look at too. Jacks must have travelled to Italy for the summer, as I haven’t heard of any caught recently.

The good news is the winter species are showing up in numbers. Last Sunday morning my mate Scott and I headed out to the south sea wall at day break with a variety of lures and bait, including live worms, pilchards and of course the trusty chicken. We went right to the end only to find the place crowded. I know this wall really well and I thought you could always find a spot somewhere, but something had changed. Previously you would have to trek up a narrow track till it widens as you hit the beach, then take a tricky walk out over uneven rocks. This used to weed out the super keen from the regular keen. But now there’s a proper road going right out to the point, which makes getting out there much easier. The place was chockers!

We got out there and spotted a spot on the river side, just as we were about to head there a guy fishing the waves facing the pumping jetty changed spots and headed where we were going, so we took his old spot. I was tying a rig on when Scott yelled out to me and I saw his rod bent, with the drag screaming. He said it bit like a bream, then took off like a rocket. Ever so slowly he brought it in and there it was – that purple silver shine of a nice mulloway. It was great how we all worked as a team to get this fish up. The fish had gone under the rock shelf and was stuck there, so it was proving very difficult to gaff it and pull it out. I spotted a good spot further down and proceeded there, two men yelled at me not to go down there.

“It’s only a fish, Dave” Scott said.

“But it’s a good one” I said back.

I grabbed the 40lb mono, and when the next surge came through I popped the fish out and Scott gaffed it – wow what a fight that was.

Remember, rock fishing is dangerous. I always have a fully kitted out life jacket on, and I even wear knee pads. I highly recommend these around the rocks, but the main thing that gave me the confidence to go down there was the tide was coming in so if I fell in I’d float to the beach.

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