And it’ll get even better!
  |  First Published: February 2006

The bream, tailor, jewfish and luderick fishing from the rocky headlands over the past few weeks has been some of the best summer fishing we’ve seen in 10 years.

And things can only get better, with the holidays now over and the best part of the fishing year on our doorstep. The traditional autumn run of fish is only a few weeks away and now is the time to start planning your next trip.

Fishos heading offshore after mackerel have had some hot mornings with most boats bagging out in the first few hours. Spotties have been ranging from 2.5-7kg with trolled pink squid accounting for most fish. Fishing with live bait has found better quality fish with many Spanish mackerel taken.

With water temperature very high the hot action should continue for another few months with the big mackerel now due to show up. There has been a good showing of cobia this year with many fish around 10kg.

Unfortunately the snapper fishing slowed down over the holiday period and remains slow with only experienced fishos finding quality fish. Best area to try is Black Rock, to the north of Woody Head, with fresh squid and quality blue pillies as bait. Black Rock is also an excellent area for big Spanish mackerel with slow-trolled sea gar or live tailor your best bet.

The headlands were the place to be over the holidays with 1kg+ bream and luderick common. Other fish included tailor between 2-4kg with some big jewfish to 28kg adding extra spice.


The sandy corners off the headlands have had good bags of whiting taken using live beachworms. The longtail tuna and mackerel are around in good numbers and can be targeted with poppers and chrome slugs. The rocky headlands should continue to fish well now with the traditional tailor run due to start soon.

River whiting have been schooling up in big numbers. The North Arm, the main arm of the river around Goodwood Island, and Oyster Channel are still your best bets.

Those targeting whiting on surface lures are now starting to find more bream than whiting. Bream have started to show up early this year with some quality fish taken from the mouth right through to Grafton.

Soft plastic lures have been finding plenty of flathead with pan-size fish in good numbers around Harwood and Maclean. Those fishing the lower reaches along the walls are struggling to land a flathead below 50cm with some real monsters over 90cm.

The school jew have been a little harder to find with most trips resulting in frustration. The amount of bait in the river at the moment is unbelievable with big schools of prawns; more numbers of small tailor than I have ever seen and herring stacked so thick you could walk on them. I only hope this trend continues for the autumn and winter seasons.

If you’re looking for a good feed of mudcrabs then the Back Channel, North Arm and Mangrove Creek are the places to check out. The sandcrabs were a little slow to start this year but have moved into top gear with good catches from the lower reaches.

Fresh mullet for bait is a must for quality crabs with the run-in tide producing the best crabs. Remember, if you are setting pots near or in a channel make sure there is no floating rope that can tangle around someone else’s prop. You can do this by tying a knot 1m below your float and placing a 4oz snapper lead between the knot and the float. This will pull the loose rope down and away from the surface.

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