Awesome active fish are feeding up
  |  First Published: May 2017

The beaches and rock walls around Ballina have had some great activity over the last month. The dirty water has really stirred up the mulloway and they’re on the chew big time. There have also been some tailor showing up in very consistent numbers.

The best spots are out the front of Boundary Creek and along the front of the Broadwater Rocks. The tried and tested blue pilchards and metal slugs have been great during the day, but the better fish have been coming on pilchards and cut baits. Between the tailor, some quality snowy bream have been showing up.

Offshore has been going well for mackerel with these showing up later than expected. Trolling 100-150mm divers has been working very well. Once you’ve found the active fish try casting lures for them like the Bassday Bungy Casts. At 30g you can punch these 100mm sinking stickbaits out a hell of a long way.

Out the front of Lennox Head, the 32 fathoms have seen good numbers of juvenile snapper and surprisingly good numbers of flathead around the edges of the reefs. Out wider there are also great numbers of quality amberjack being taken.

The north and south walls of the Richmond have been fishing well for bream. The pick has been the south wall on the run-out tide. Try fishing surface lures like the Atomic Pop50 and crankbaits like the Crank 38 Mid Diver over the porpoise wall when the water is flowing over. There can be some great visual action as the fish come from the depths to hit your lures. As the tide gets lower and you can’t fish over the wall anymore, try hopping blades and prawn imitation soft plastics down the rock face.

The bigger holes behind the town have been producing good numbers of mulloway, and this should continue as the water starts to cool down. Live mullet have definitely been the best bait, but you will get them on big soft plastics during the day. If you chase these beasts, the best fish have come on the making tide at night.

You will find some big flathead will come along as by-catch. These guys are in the holes chasing anything that comes in front of their faces. Just remember, the big girls are the breeders, so please put them back. Once they get big they’re not that nice to eat anyway. Take a couple of snaps and quickly get them back into the water. It’s great watching a big crocodile swimming back down to the depths.

Crabs have been around in really good numbers. The dirty water around the Easter break has definitely stirred things up a bit and this should continue over the next month or so. Try mostly up river from Pimlico towards Wardell. The best baits are whole mullet or mullet frames. One little secret from an old local crabber is to save your luderick frames and use them for crab baits. The oily frames seem to bring good numbers in.

Before and during the big wet, the freshwater stretches of the river were fishing well for Aussie bass. Big spinnerbaits with gold willow blades were producing the best numbers, along with chatterbaits. Try Bassman’s 1/2oz spinnerbaits, as these things really push some water and get the attention of the fish in the vicinity.

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