Prime time on the Hastings
  |  First Published: October 2006

If you’re out and about on the water this month and not enjoying yourself, you need to reassess your choice of outdoor pursuits. October is a prime time to be fishing the Hastings area.

With the water temperature rising, fresh mornings and warm days and evenings, it’s the perfect recipe for some great fishing.

Some good tides early this month will see many anglers greeting the sun as it rises over the horizon. With the full moon coinciding with the holiday weekend, there will be plenty of fishing action.

My first choice this month will be for some good-size bream sucking newly-hatched cicadas on tree-lined banks. Eddie Studman from Koolabung lures has some new fizzers out and they should go well this month. Look for tall gum trees or oaks close to the water and you shouldn’t miss out.

Surface action is already starting to warm up. I spent a session casting pink grubs and found small fish ready to chase down the lure so it’s only a matter of time until the big fish focus their attention on the surface.

Hard lures have been going well but every outing has been different, with no standout lure. It pays to have a good selection of lures as well as a healthy bank balance because a lot of lures are not coming back.

In Port Macquarie we are lucky to have three good lure makers and while local knowledge goes a long way when making a lure, it pays to be well-stocked. Wayne Bale and I have toted up lures we’ve lost over the past six to eight months and it’s enough to make a grown man cry, but you smile when you recall the fun in losing them.

The oyster leases have been fishing well when there is some colour in the water and the weed beds and drop-offs are proving to be good hunting grounds for bream and flathead.

This month is a continuation of big flathead time. Run-in tides over good bottom formations with adjacent weed beds will yield some pleasing results.


There will be some nice gutters forming on the beaches after the flogging they got from big seas over past months.

Bream, whiting and school mulloway should be on the cards. The pick bait will be fresh garfish or pike, which make great strip baits.

Lighthouse Beach and Lake Cathie will be the top spots. If Lake Cathie is open to the sea then the whiting will be on and it will be shoulder-to-shoulder as all and sundry look to take home a tasty feed.

The rivers will also cough up their fair share of whiting with the upper reaches where there is a good depth change should prove fruitful.

Those intent on catching a feed on luderick have been well rewarded lately and quality fish have been in healthy numbers along the rock walls and weed beds.

Rockhoppers should be in for some decent action with mulloway hanging around, salmon persisting and good drummer from the washy areas.

Those heading offshore have been having some success when the wind and seas have permitted. All of my attempts to get outside in the past month have been spoilt by big seas or strong winds but those who have had the chance have been enjoying some nice bottom-bashing for plate-sized squire. John from Ocean Star Charters has reported the odd big red to 9kg and mixed bags have been the order of the day when conditions are tough.

Recently one lucky angler pulled a thumper of a drummer from an inshore reef. Some nice pearl perch have also been on offer out wide and this month a few snapper should still be about, with some kingfish and mahi mahi likely to show.

This month a lot of bream anglers will start to hone their skills and make plans for the Sundowner BREAM Classic on November 18 and 19. Entries are still open and with the Classic being a teams event it’s a great opportunity for newcomers to try out their bream spinning skills. Check out the full details at www.bream.com.au or www.portmacquarieholidays.com . Or you can email me or give me a call on 0401 191 554. The Reef Science Tank will take centre stage on the Town Green and the weigh-ins will be great show for anglers and spectators.


BCF opens in Port Macquarie

BCF, Australia’s one-stop shop for boating, camping and fishing, has opened up a massive 1800-square-metre store at the Port Home Zone on Hastings River Drive.

BCF offers a huge range of outdoor and recreational products of the highest quality from trusted and established manufacturers. It is well on its way to opening stores right around Australia, ensuring as many people across the nation as possible can enjoy their outdoor and recreational lifestyle.

BCF chief operating officer Steve Doyle said he was excited to offer the Port Macquarie community the BCF experience of committal to offering the widest range of products to customers seven days a week.

“Store manager Courtney Taylor and his team are enthusiasts of boating, camping and fishing as much as the customers they are looking forward to meeting,” he said.


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