A bumper month ahead
  |  First Published: April 2006

If my predictions are right we are in for a bumper month of excellent fishing.

Recent rain was a welcome relief for our system, giving it a good flush and removing the dreaded red weed that had inundated the river mouth and beaches. With this rain we saw an immediate improvement in the fishing and this will hopefully continue this month.

Offshore action has been great with marlin, tuna and mahi mahi the pick. Those venturing offshore this month should tangle with some late-season dollies up to 10kg. Snapper will become more regular over the inshore reefs, especially for those who drift down baits in a good berley stream. If you target fish on the bottom a few pearlies should also be on the cards.

Fishing for snapper with soft plastics is becoming popular. Use as light a jig head as possible with a plastic around 4”. Chris Blanch ventured offshore recently chasing snapper and was disappointed with the amount of current but amazed at the numbers of slimy mackerel; he said he hadn’t seen so many. With schools like this around, don’t be surprised if you hook a few cobia. Of course, slimies will obviously the bait.

Water temps have been up and should remain that way and with some friendly currents.

The beaches have been good when the weed has been absent. A clear patch of water generally provides some action as the fish move in to make the most of it. With the numbers of baitfish around, the rays and shovelnose sharks are doing their thing.

Reports from the North Shore indicate good numbers of school mulloway and those prepared to spend time on the beach are coming home rewarded for their efforts.

Whiting have also been in good numbers in the beach gutters while those venturing onto the rocks have been getting into some good tailor and bream. Some big greenback tailor might show up soon.


The rivers have been firing with good bream through the system. I’ve been focusing my efforts in the lower parts of the system with my new Design Rods, made by Murray Allport.

Diving lures have been working well, especially small-profile minnows in natural colours. Surface lures have been accounting for some good fish with Karl and Tate Shaw still cleaning up in the canals. I think they’ll be investing in a home on the canals soon!

Luderick have been about in large numbers and the weed-soakers have been doing well.

Whiting have been steady with some large fish being caught and those throwing worms and live baits around the deep sections have been mixing it with some nice mulloway.

Those targeting flathead on the shallow weed beds and the edges of deep drop-offs should have some nice catches. Large soft plastics have been ideal and those prepared to put time into catching live baits should also be rewarded.

I recently had a trip with my father-in-law, who was visiting from Tasmania. Greg hasn’t done a lot of fishing and my wife told him to take a book because he might get bored.

We caught stacks of flathead and had a great time. We found a shallow section with a rising tide flooding the weed beds and plenty of baitfish action and consistently caught flatties of 30cm to 40cm in a small concentrated area.

My thinking was that this was a large female’s harem of small males and the big queen fish had to be around. I told Greg it was simply a numbers game – enough casts in this area should produce the big fish.

Unfortunately for Greg, I was the lucky one and snared a nice 60cm specimen that was chasing baitfish in around 30cm of water.

The lesson here is to think about what’s going on and believe in your instincts. We could have easily moved on, thinking there were only small fish about. But the area looked too good not to have a dominant fish lurking. So trust your knowledge, enjoy your fishing and keep casting!

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