Think pink on the close reefs
  |  First Published: November 2006

Big snapper and more big snapper have been all the talk with many fishers reporting quality fish to 5kg and the odd monster.

Those targeting snapper on soft plastics have had much success using chartreuse coloured lures with the best results coming from the 4” Gulp Minnow. The best baits have been fresh squid and live slimies and yakkas.

All the recognised grounds north and south have been fishing well with the southern grounds producing the best fish.

Last month I talked about the problems with hooks when fishing soft plastics for snapper. Well now Chris Dudeck from North Coast Sinkers has produced a selection of 4X black nickel forged jigs called Impact jigheads. Anyone interested in learning more about these can call Chris on (02) 6645 7577.

Oyster Channel has been the pick of the spots for the whiting anglers with Goodwood Island a close second. Live yabbies and live beachworms have been working well with fresh prawns a good back-up bait.

Those fishers wanting to chase whiting on surface fizzers will find the sand flats through Oyster Channel and Romiaka Channel the best bet on the top of the tide.

The beaches north and south of the entrance have afforded the best of the whiting action with Shark Bay the pick. Live beachworms are essential here with fresh pipis almost as good.


The school jew are back in the river with some big fish as well. The hot and cold times over the past few months are now in the past and better times are here. The dirty water that pushed down through September started a good run of jew feeding in the river with all the bridges and Palmers Island producing the best fish. Live bait and lures have all accounted for good fish.

The break wall is the place to be this month for a chance to hook a monster jew. Some really big fish (over 30kg) have been landed in the past month with the biggest pulling the lie detector down to 34kg.

Fresh squid, occy and live bait are the pick of the baits with the top of the tide and the first of the run out the best time to try. Remember those big jew love those big daytime tides and most of the really big fish are caught during the day.

Flathead have made the move to the lower river with all the walls and deep holes producing good fish. The big flathead have made the move to the Middle Wall and Collis Wall.

Those pan-sized fish are about on the flats and around the weed beds with the North Arm the pick of the spots. Soft plastics and white pillies are doing the damage, with deep jigged lures producing the big fish.


Those big bream are still around and still spawning – that’s right, schooled up and spawning. Don’t even bother asking why because I don’t know. When I found a school of fish at the bottom of the river I thought ‘they’re late’ but when I found schools up-river and then at Grafton doing the same thing, well!

All I can say is I’d much rather these fish to be spawning at this time of year than the middle of winter. The best of the fish are around the walls at Maclean and up to Grafton. With the dirty water in the river cleaning up very fast, the action should only get better now.

It’s time to go crabbing with good muddies about now and the sand crabs starting to show in numbers. The lower river is holding the sand crabs and you should try up-river for the mud crabs. Remember use fresh bait for good results and work the run-in tide for the sand crabs.



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