It’s a flattie El Dorado
  |  First Published: March 2006

Whenever you write or predict something will happen, you have some odds against you and getting it right is a calculated guess. Only with hindsight can you be 100% accurate on the call you make, but I reckon the flathead have been of sufficient size and in enough numbers to say March is going to be the best month for flatties.

Since last month there have been some more big fish landed and plenty of small males around the 38cm to 40cm range. Many of the fish have been pulled into hire boats by eager visitors obviously enjoying time off outside the school holiday period.

Whitebait and lures are the choices for the serious anglers although the spinning prawn tail obviously works for the visitors. Drifting channels like Breckenridge, the front side of Godwin Island and east of Little Tern Island should turn a lizard or two.

There are still some big sand whiting getting around down near the bridge and sand bars to Hells Gate. Live worms are the best bait if you want to catch more than one or two whiting – fish the run-in tide.

A friend was fishing for bream the other day and flicked a pumpkinseed Gulp minnow lure under an oyster rack, where it was scoffed. The fight was tough and the fish moved into open water before being dragged to the side of the canoe. The whiting he landed was around 800g and was quickly released, due to the fact that Brian had neglected to take his camera along.

The lake is full of bait which attracts small chopper tailor and pike. Chris from the Forster Beach Caravan Park was fishing around Wallis Island recently when the water surrounding his boat erupted with leaping tailor and pike spearing from the water.

Looking into the water, shapes appeared, cruising through the area. Chris identified them as school jew hunting and making the small fish nervous.

The school jew would be great fun on bream gear – if you could stop them. Chris has had some success in the past around the island, landing the odd schoolie.

The past few months have seen the old weather patterns make a comeback and the influx of freshwater into the system has done a good job recharging the rivers.

Bream and flathead are readily available up the Wallamba River and with the ski boats thinning out, it is an ideal time to have a go.

The topwater bream thing is in full swing with fish of 800g to a kilo quite commonly smashing lures. A few blackfish are showing up at the cleaning table and most are from around the leases, rather than the walls.

The bonito are here and these little rockets are dynamite on light gear. The ocean rock washes attract the bonnies and tailor during the early morning before the sun drives them deep.

Barrel sinkers painted white are good, cheap and effective lures to use with light gear off the rocks. With the bonito come the marlin and mahi mahi although reports have been scarce.

Reports from the reefs have also been quiet due to the nor’-easters that seem to have blown forever, making it difficult to get out. Some pearl perch and the odd snapper have been caught by the pros so there is no reason the trailer boat fishos can’t get into them. There should still be some big kingfish kicking around.

Blue swimmers and mud crabs are reasonably plentiful. Set witches’ hats in three metres of water near or over weed and you are on a winner. The muddies need the nets or trap set closer to the islands or on a deep bank of one of the rivers.

All in all, it is set to be a great month and with the weather the way it is, I’m hopeful of bringing good news for the land-based game guys next issue.

That’s provided we are still allowed to fish from the best rock spots. Time will tell, and in the meantime cross your fingers.


Bream fishing should improve over the next month. This 650g fish took a Berkley Bass Minnow but surface presentations have also been effective.



The washes around the headlands at the moment are good spots to find bonito, small kings and even stray salmon.



The bonito are not huge, though the odd fish gets up to 2kg, but they are fantastic fun on light gear. Bonnies make good bait, too.

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