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Recent fresh turns fish on
  |  First Published: August 2016



A couple of nasty east coast low-pressure systems certainly dented the coastline recently and Port Macquarie got its fair share of rain and wind, which wreaked havoc on the fishing. So what good comes from an inundated river or ocean?

Hastings River

Firstly, the fresh in the Hastings River sent the bait packing up to the front of the system. This proved to be productive when the water cleared, as the rain got the bream schooled up for spawning and fishing around the lower reaches on the north wall or coal wall has seen good results. Lure fishers have found success on vibes and plastics and baitfishers anchoring on the walls and using whitebait or nippers have seen the majority of the fish. There has also been a fair amount of chopper tailor off the walls, so the mulloway won’t be far away. I’m a little surprised that we didn’t see more of the bigger mulloway caught over the floods, but in saying that the seas were definitely unfavourable, with swells going over the walls. Hopefully the more settled August conditions will turn on a few big mulloway.

Upriver should be getting back to normal and school mulloway and reasonable flatties should be encountered in most of the deeper holes. If the Maria river clears we should have some good action in this section. Last year we got a fair sprinkling of bass on our lures while fishing for mulloway and bream – remember to handle these native fish with care and return them, or preferably leave them in the water for a quick picture and release.

One species that has been outstanding is luderick. The blackfish brigade have caught them throughout the lower system, the walls and jetties are the place to be if you are after a feed of these tasty fish. Zac Danby, a young local angler seems to be cleaning up using a dual rig with weed flies and green weed as well.

Offshore

The big seas really stirred things up, and snapper have been the main target. The boats that got out weren’t disappointed by the snapper turnout! If you are chasing reds then the grounds from the lighthouse all the way down to Cathie should continue to be productive. I have also been told that anglers are now catching bait from the artificial reef system put in off Port Macquarie, so it shouldn’t be long before we get some serious reports of fish coming from this area.

For the boaties chasing sand flatties, good bags have been caught just north of the river mouth on the flathead grounds. If this is your go then drifting with green prawns and pillies has been very successful.

Rock and beach

The rocks have fired up from the recent conditions with drummer, blackfish, bream and tailor all making the target list. On a recent trip using cunjevoi some mates managed to catch nice bream, blackfish and a couple of black drummer using the simplest rig – a small pea-sized sinker to a 1/0 hook and flicking this into the wash.

Beach fishing has recently been tough considering the sea conditions and currents, however as I pen this I have a beach setup and some pillies in a bucket ready to go this evening – you never know, I just might get a fresh feed of tailor or even a salmon for some fishcakes, yummo!

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