Fun is on the cards
  |  First Published: February 2006

The rivers are firing, the beaches are producing and the offshore action is hotting up so if you spend some time on the water, fun fishing is definitely on the cards.

Offshore action has started to warm up with some smaller mahi mahi showing up and the big ones due to arrive this month. Along with some tuna and marlin, if the bait grounds fire then the action will certainly be on.

Patrons of the Ocean Star charter boat have been enjoying some great session on the FAD with kingfish in numbers. A lot of rats have been gulping the baits with some decent fish mixed in.

The beaches have been producing some good bream, whiting and school jew. The word I’m getting is that the northern beaches are the go but don’t dismiss Lake Cathie and Light House Beach.

Worms will be the best bet but don’t be afraid to give the new saltwater Berkley worms a go. They have accounted for some good mulloway in the river and there’s no reason why they won’t work off the beach.

The river is really hotting up with flathead willing to take baits and lures and whiting in good numbers, with Blackmans Point and Lake Cathie the pick of the spots.

Flathead have been lurking around the walls and should continue so this month. Look for drop-offs and deep weed beds.

If you’re inclined to snare a few crabs then the blue swimmers will be about with the entrance to the bay and Limeburners Creek good spots. If the muddies are more your cup of tea then head up-river and look for the muddy mangrove banks.

Prawns will be high on the list for those heading to Lake Cathie. While Cathie prawns are a good feed they are also great bait, especially in the lake.

Good bass have been caught in the Hastings and Camden Haven rivers with heading way up-river the best option with sections between Long Flat and Koree Island the pick spots.

Wayne Bale cracked a PB 52.5cm bass that sucked down a fizzer while chasing bream in brackish water. The picture on his mobile phone was impressive and if only he had a real camera, you could all see this wonderful fish that looked more like an impoundment fish than a wild river bass.

On a recent outing we returned to the boat ramp to find a weird-looking fish swimming around. It didn’t look too healthy so we netted it get a closer look. After an email or two and pics floating through cyber space the fish was identified as Selenotoca multifasciata or spotband scat. Apparently they normally grow to around 28cm but this fella was closer to 35cm. It’s a tropical or sub-tropical member of the scat family, allied to the batfishes.

If you come across one of these critters beware because most scats have lots of spikes which are mildly venomous, so handle with care.


The bream have been actively surface feeding lately and many techniques have accounted for fish. I’ve been using a worm hook and an Eco-Gear Grass Minnow in colour 119 (bright pink) flicked across the surface to imitate a fleeing prawn.

Recently I was on the water at 6.20am and by 11am had landed 25 bream, around 10 of which were legal. It was wonderful watching hungry packs of bream competing to eat the lure. ‘Pink grubbing’ covers a lot of water and really turns on the hungry fish. Often the faster and longer you work the lure, the greater the chance of catching the bigger fish in the pack.

Make sure you check the weather forecast before heading out because this time of year some pretty ugly storms can creep up and there is nothing worse than being caught on the water. Also remember to slip, slop slap – better to look after yourself now so you can fish longer in the future.

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