The bigger fish are biting better
  |  First Published: July 2017

As the water temperature has gradually gotten cooler, snapper have been coming in more consistently and getting bigger. The best areas are the close in reefs in approximately 10-15m of water. Floating cut baits (such as squid and blue pilchards) with the current is very productive if you want to soak some bait.

If you’re into throwing lures and plastics try 60-80mm lipless crankbaits around 1/2oz in weight. This weight up to a 4/0 hook should do the trick. If the currents are running harder, you might need to go heavier.

Spotty mackerel are starting to drop off the bite and the Spanish are really starting to come on. If the water clarity stays pretty clean, this will happen quicker. Try trolling any shallow diving lures over 100mm. If you’re into cast and retrieve, you can cast 30g lures an absolute mile.

The tailor are really biting well now and catches have been more consistent over the last month. The gutters along Seven-Mile Beach are worth a throw. The best thing about this beach in July is the stud bream that you can come across. They’re beautiful in condition and taste amazing. Remember, a big bream is a very old fish – only keep what you’re going to eat that day.

The cooler westerlies can bring on the blackfish or luderick, so if this cold snap keeps up for a while, don’t be afraid to try for these guys a little earlier then you normally would.

The flathead will become patchy in the river along the Ballina town stretch, while the bream will really start to fire in the deeper drop-offs. The top of the tide is the pick to chase the big sea run specimens that come in to spawn. Try throwing blades and plastics off the end of the south wall, as well as hardbody lures over the Porpoise Wall.

The winter whiting will be kicking off over the next few weeks. Try the bigger tides over the sand flats along the town stretch, the area out the front of the Oyster Farm in North Creek and possibly up as far as Pimlico Island if the water stays clear.

The size of the mulloway being pulled out of the river lately is nothing short of amazing. There are some beasts caught at night, mostly on live mullet in the deeper holes or shallow diving 200mm crankbaits off the walls. Hold on, because these things are beasts.

The Evans Head Fishing Classic is being held from 7-14 July. There will be a food alley, displays from sponsors and a live fish tank to display some of the catches from the event. This year the fishable area has been increased in size considerably to now include Byron and Yamba.

There really is something in this competition for everyone in the family, including a cadet category that runs over the weekend of 8-9 July. If you’d like more information, please email --e-mail address hidden-- or head to www.fishingcomps.com.au/ehfc/. Until next month, tight lines.

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