Winter quality all the way
  |  First Published: June 2006

The Clarence River has cleaned up just in time for the Winter season with good catches reported from the lower reaches all the way to Maclean. If the river continues to clear, quality fishing can be expected all the way to Lawrence this month.

Those big schools of luderick that have been lurking around the headlands and the river mouth have started to move upstream with some quality catches coming on the first of the run-out tide. Black weed is the bait of choice up-river with green weed best off the headlands and in the lower reaches. The Iluka Bluff has been the place to be for those big fish with consistent bags also coming from Woody Head.

Big schools of travelling bream are on the beaches now with many fish around a kilo. The headlands are still holding the best fish with some monster bream pushing the lie detector down to 1.8kg. Best baits have been fresh mullet and live beach worms.

In the river, the fishing has improved on last month with good bream now on the bite all the way to Maclean. Most of the quality fishing has been upstream from Browns Rocks with the reefs around Maclean really starting to fire.

The fishing should continue to improve with many quality bream moving up to Lawrence this month as the clean water moves up-river. The best baits have been live herring, mullet and yabbies.

Lure fishos are doing very well with Berkley 3” Gulp Minnows in pumpkinseed in the lower reaches of the river with 2” Atomic Fat Grubs producing fish in the Maclean area. While the dirty water is in the river, the shallow weed beds will continue to fish well with Ecogear SX-40 crankbaits.

Those chasing flathead this month will find the fishing slow in the lower reaches with the best spots leading into Winter traditionally above Harwood and in the Broadwater. Most lure fishos do well in the warm shallows of the Broadwater with the bait-soakers fishing the deeper main river. Best baits this time of year are white pillies and mullet, while soft plastics in chartreuse and shallow-diving crankbaits in gold and brown will score well.


Jew are on the bite with the headlands producing a steady stream of 15kg fish on large hard lures. These fish should continue feeding along the headlands in good numbers while the mullet are running.

In the river the jew will start to increase in numbers this month with Collis’s Wall the hot spot at night. Collis’s Wall is renowned for producing jewfish over 20kg but remember that you will need quality live mullet if you want to improve your chances of that big one.

Tailor, tailor, tailor – on a good day they are hard not to catch if you’re in the right spot. Shark Bay has had an influx of chopper tailor in the gutters.

The bigger tailor are showing in better numbers along the headlands with Woody Head still producing those big 6kg-plus greenbacks. Best baits for the big tailor have been sea gar, bonito and large popper lures, while pillies and chrome slugs have worked on the choppers.

The longtail tuna and mackerel are just about finished with only a few big fish left to come through. Some Spanish mackerel over 20kg are landed from the Iluka breakwall each June on live mullet. With the end of the season it’s time to clean and service all the gear, especially the rods and reels, before packing them away til next year.


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