The Curdies River and adjoining lake has been quite conducive for bream. Unfortunately, you could spend many hours trying to find a school on the chew as the fish remain well spread right throughout the system. The river mouth remains closed until the winter rains once again reopen the estuary to the sea. Until then, you’ll need to do some exploratory work and that could take time.
Recently I spent the best part of five hours casting a wide variety of lures and soft plastics, thoroughly fishing at least eight different locations along the river’s length trying to find the fish. I wasn’t the only one. I eventually had success at a location called ‘the snags’ and they don’t call it that for nothing. I had that many hits and hook-ups it wasn’t funny. Sadly all the big fish wrapped me up around, you guessed it, snags.
I managed a few smaller fish in the low 30s on Damiki Vault blades as I could skull drag them towards the boat. The bigger ones had me truly wrapped up. Fish and structure go together like vegemite and toast. I need a heavier leader!
Bait soakers are still netting greyback minnows with hauling nets in the shallows and catching plenty of bream mostly in the lake. This is an age-old method and still very effective as it is the bream’s favourite food with live shrimp coming in second.
The Hopkins River has fired up in the bream department with excellent fish to well over 1kg being caught. Local resident angler Steve Moore caught some lovely fish recently by simply casting around the edges with hardbodied minnow lures. Steve landed some excellent fish and was broken off several times by something much larger losing several expensive minnow lures in the process, which he was not happy about. Steve has suspicions that these break-offs were the result of hooking ‘soapy’ mulloway but he can’t confirm that.
For those who ventured offshore it was certainly a mixed bag of fishy goodies that were up for grabs. The inshore reefs are currently holding large schools of small juvenile snapper and mixed in amongst them are morwong of a similar size, rock cod, the odd large King George whiting, arrowhead squid and bluethroat wrasse, as well as the usual assortment of reef dwelling ooglies.
Further out, depths around 40m have seen the odd school of southern bluefin tuna to 28kg caught on the surface while bottom bouncers have hauled up some nice gummies as well as small juvenile snapper.
For those with larger boats willing to travel a bit further, more barrel tuna have been hooked, played and lost as well as caught with fish brought back weighing in around 90kg. Rapala X-Raps and large skirted octopus lures have been successful for many.
All in all, autumn is going great guns with more settled weather. So wetting a line will be much more pleasant and productive.Reads: 1331