Surface fishing about to hit full swing!
  |  First Published: November 2016

The Hastings region’s bass season is off to a great start. This month should be another beauty! With all the bass addicts out and about, it may be time to look at a few scenarios for enjoying a session on the water.

First up, we have everybody’s favourite scenario: surface fishing. Who doesn’t like the incredible rush you get when a bass crashes your surface offering?

So far this season, we have found the bass hanging very tight to structure in the Maria, Wilson and Macleay rivers. Accurate casting has been essential to getting the bite. This may change and hopefully this month we’ll get them over the weed beds as well. Provided we have no heavy rain, the water should be a fair bit cleaner and the weed a lot healthier.

All your favourite surface offerings will be on the menu. Cicada imitations are always good, but a stand out so far this season has been the walk the dog style lures, like Lucky Craft Sammys and similar, which have all been exceptional.

Recently, while doing a bit of research and development, we found surface fishing a little quiet. We had six or so fish. By going to Strike Pro Hummers, a vibration lure similar to the Jackall TN, we pulled another half dozen fish including a 47cm bass, so if you’re out chasing bass this month, try a few techniques. If one technique isn’t working then a change of tactics can make the day a whole lot better.

The Hastings River has been fishing very well with flathead, bream, luderick and reasonable numbers of mulloway as well. The flatties have been hanging around the edges and if you throw a 3” curl-tail grub from your boat or the shore and hop it back, you’ll be hard pressed not to get a feed. If you’re not getting a bite in a 10-15 minute period, keep moving around until you find some active fish. If you can fish the last couple hours of the run out tide your chances are increased again.

Bream fishers love this time of the year – it’s time to get the surface lures into action, surface fishing for bream is probably the most exciting way to chase these fish and November is a great time to do it, Sugapens, poppers and cicada imitations all work. Cast into shoreline structure or over prawn-filled weedbeds, and you can have a ball with these popular fish.

The luderick legion has been doing well out of their boats in the big bay area, as well as the coal wall. If you’re shore-based, the jetties in town, Settlement Point Road and the bend on south wall have also been throwing up a few fish.

November will see another popular target in our river systems start to fire up and that’s the exciting whiting. There isn’t an angler who’s not just a little addicted to chasing these fellas on surface lures. This month will see a marked increase in skittering poppers and Sugapens across the sandflats. There’s quite a few locations worthy of your attention. Number one is Lake Cathie – a great whiting hotspot, then the flats in Camden Haven River and Queens Lake and Pelican Island in the Hastings. These spots and more will start to fire. I can’t wait!

Offshore recently, the NSW DPI released footage of the artificial reef that was put in place off Port Macquarie. By the footage shown, it looks to be alive and kicking with a few species hanging around. To check out the footage, go to the dpi.nsw.gov.au website.

Recent fishing action has seen some cracking reds caught, and Port Macquarie’s Ocean Star have been getting their clients good catches of these reds, as well as trag, pearl perch and nice kingfish. Colin from Ned Kelly’s Bait ‘N’ Tackle recently got a sweet surprise when he landed his PB king at 15.8kg, on a lure intended for snapper. Well done, mate – great fish.


Mick Ryan with a 42cm bream on the Samaki Vibelicious.


Colin Trenaman with a great kingfish weighed at 15.8kg.


Mandy with 47cm of Maria River bass.


Ryan and Tash with their PB bass from a recent trip on Castaway.


There have been great flatties around. The author managed this picturesque croc.


Martin with an upriver school mulloway – a Samaki soft vibe doing the job.

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