It’s the time of year when we start looking for the early Spring bite with school jew and whiting at the top of the list in the river.
Spring brings the start of the prawn run and the beginning of some hot school jew fishing throughout the river. Most of the deep holes will start to fire now with the low-tide slack water usually the best.
Those looking to find some big, elbow-slapping whiting will prefer to start with the run-in tide through the day and the run out at night. Live worms will produce the best results with yabbies and fresh prawns also a good choice.
I prefer to target whiting with surface and sub-surface lures on the big run-in daytime tide. High up on the sand flats is where you need to cast these lures and a fast, erratic retrieve is what they like.
Big jew are a good chance off the rocks and beaches this month with some monster fish landed recently. Best spots have been the Iluka breakwall, Iluka Bluff and Iluka’s Main Beach. Live bait and large diving lures have been producing the best fish.
Those chasing school jew in the river have been having mixed success. Those using live bait and fishing Browns Rocks and Maclean have been producing better fish with high-tide slack water the time to be fishing.
There have been a lot of good bream up river this year and the upper reaches have continued to produce good bream. All the recognised hot spots have been producing with soft plastic lures and live herring working best for those big fish.
Fishos at Browns Rocks have found a steady run of fish around 30cm with those fishing at night landing the best fish.
The lower reaches of the river have been a bit hot and cold with the luderick fishos getting the best of the action with many quality fish over a kilo finding the net.
On the beaches, the run of bream has been good with all the beaches and rocks producing. But it is the run of tailor over 4kg that has most fishos out after dark. Most fishos are using strips of bonito in the hope of a big tailor or jew coming by.
Sea gar and fresh mullet or tailor are also working well with one big tailor of 6.4kg taking a smaller tailor used as live bait for a jewie. Best times have been the last hour of daylight and the first three or four hours after dark.
Those big Winter flathead are still on the bite at Maclean. This bite should continue through Spring with many of the big fish moving to the mouth of the river to spawn. Maclean and the Broadwater are still the hot spots with soft plastics jigged in the deeper water producing the better fish.
This month the best action will move onto the deep walls closer to the mouth with the Middle Wall and Collis Wall the best venues.
On the ocean, it’s time to target big snapper on the shallow inshore reefs with many fishos already producing good catches. Woody Head has been the hot spot and should only get better over the next couple of months with the Berkley 3” shrimp in nuclear chicken colour the must-have lure.
Bait fishos have been using fresh squid and fishing the Black Rock reefs with mixed success.