Hunter round for some good fish
  |  First Published: September 2016

The talk around the Hunter region is bream, lots of them, moving through, and flathead upstream around Hexham. Flathead aren’t usually a catch this time of year, but the water is warmer than usual. Luderick are on the chew, and in the harbour in good numbers. Teraglin and school kingfish are out on the close reefs, so there’s something for everyone at the moment, you just have to put up with freezing conditions.

The river is fishing a lot better, but it was dismal with howling winds and rain last month. If you’re after bream, try peeled prawns after dark in the basin. Use very little lead, as they can be touchy, and cast around the light reflections that attract little baitfish and tiny prawns. You can cast small soft plastics or floating prawns for the bream, and sometimes lurking tailor can be caught too. Sink your lures and twitch them back with slow movements and hang on. One thing going for us here is a very deep river, so you’re lure cover a lot of water on the way back to the rod tip.

The flathead around Hexham are just legal, but good fun on light gear. There’s a lot of water to cover.

Anglers have been casting down where the trawlers tie up, and hooking school mulloway. Use some sort of trace, as it’s hard going to get the fish through reeds lining the bank. Mulloway are taking small lures meant for bream, so it pays to experiment and use bigger lures. Keep swapping to see what the fish will take.

Luderick are around their normal haunt, Horseshoe Beach break wall. A handful of sand mixed with weed, a fresh strand of weed for the hook, and you should be on them. I’m always saddened by the number of homeless people staying there at night, and every time I go, the number rises.

Offshore, teraglin are combing the reefs. Chris Jelfs and a mate got their bag limit, then came home and said they were red-hot for over an hour. Nothing happens sometimes for hours, then every rod takes off with something on it. School kingfish are around North Reef, the Marbles and the hospital mark. Small, legal squire are on all these reefs, and salmon are working baitfish into schools to eat off Bar Beach.


A just-legal bream taken on a peeled prawn, under structure in the river.


This squire was hooked and, mid-fighting, a flathead came up to engulf it.


These are my feet after helping a bloke land his mulloway in the deep reeds – the things we do for people.

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