Lower river fishes well
  |  First Published: April 2006

Easter is always the traditional start to the big-bream season for most anglers on the Clarence and with the early fresh in the river this year, the lower reaches have been fishing exceptionally well.

With many large schools of baitfish such as herring and small pillies in the river, the bream fishing has been consistently improving. Now is the time to start fishing the Maclean and Lawrence areas, with the river cleaning up and those big bream following the bait farther upstream.

Anglers using live herring have been bagging good bream to 800g at Browns Rocks but fishos on the rocky headlands have had the best of the big bream so far with fish to 1.5kg.

The lure anglers have been in the action as well with fish starting to take a variety of lures. Most successful so far have been the Berkley Gulp 3” Fry and 2” Shrimp in the natural colour. Fizzer and popper action has still been hot with the better fish coming on fizzers over the weedbeds.


April’s real action will be with the beach anglers and tailor. Shark Bay Beach has been producing the best of the action with tailor between 1-2kg common. This trend should continue with the larger fish around 3-4kg starting to show in better numbers now.

Pillies, sea gar and strips of bonito are all working well with bonito strips producing the better fish after dark. The rocky headlands have also been working with better tailor coming from these areas on large poppers and diving lures.

Anglers prepared to stay into the night have been tangling with some mighty jew on the rocks and the beaches.

The longtail tuna season so far has been good with the strong push of warm tropical water down the coast. This has brought many large schools of longtails to the northern breakwall of the Clarence River. So if you like surface popper action then there is only one place to be.

Large pelagic fish like Spanish mackerel are also being taken on livebaits. Offshore anglers have had the best of the mackerel fishing with full bags of spotties this year.

Now the focus has turned to the large Spanish mackerel feeding on tailor around the rocks and on the reefs in Shark Bay. Large sea gar, trolled very slowly, have had the most appeal for Spanish mackerel.

The fresh in the river early in the year has increased the number of school jew in the lower reaches. Lure anglers have been doing very well with Gulp 5” Jerk Baits and 4” Gulp Minnows. The spots to try in April are Browns Rocks, Palmers Island and Harwood Bridge.

If you’re looking for larger jew then the beaches and rocky headlands are the places to be.

Those chasing crabs this Easter will be happy to hear they are still around and in good numbers.


School jew have come on well in the lower reaches of the Clarence.


Now’s the time the better bream begin to do their thing from Yamba-Iluka to Lawrence.

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