Never a better time to visit
  |  First Published: November 2006

If you’re planning a trip away and thinking of a place to visit, put Port Macquarie on your list, there’s no better time to experience the splendour.

Offshore action should be starting to hit its straps with pelagic species starting to show up. Mahi mahi, kingfish, tuna and marlin should be cruising the deep while those bottom-bouncing should still be experiencing some good action on snapper and morwong.

The flathead grounds have been prolific of late and should continue this month. But the pick of the species this month should be mahi mahi, those brightly coloured acrobats that put on a great show, an admirable fight and to good table fare. You’ll usually find around a FAD, a trap or some other floating object. The DPI Fisheries FAD is at S31° 24.567’ E153° 04.725’, about 16km off the Port bar.

When you get onto a patch of mahi mahi, it’s important to keep them on the bite and the best way to do that is to always have one on a line in the water. When you hook up, don’t haul it in too quickly – allow your mates time to hook up on another fish, then haul in and get out again to reap the rewards.

Beach fishing should have some exciting fun and some tasty rewards in the form of whiting. Worms will be the number one bait for whiting.

Do some scouting sessions leading up to an outing, looking for suitable gutters. The pick of the spots this month should be Lighthouse Beach between Port Macquarie and Lake Cathie. Don’t dismiss Dunbogan, either, it often has some excellent gutters.

Salmon should still be sneaking about and testing your gear. Metal slugs and whole baits will be your best options.

If you’re fishing after dark, try a fresh beach worm and you could get a nice surprise from a mulloway. With recent rain and big seas the beaches should be forming up well and producing some good results.


Whiting will also on the target list in the estuaries. The upper reachers of Limeburners Creek should produce some excellent whiting catches and the mouth of Maria River and the deeper sections above the Dennis Bridge are also worth a try.

Flathead should be spread throughout the system so look for obvious feeding spots such as bends with a change in depth and changes in water flow around sand bars and channel edges. Live poddy mullet will be a good option when chasing the bigger fish but don’t forget that the best-tasting flathead are the 40cm models, no the 50cm-plus specimens that are our breeding stock. So take a photo, not a trophy, so we can all fish forever.

November heralds the much-awaited surface luring season and topwater fishing for bream has been steadily improving. The hot northerly winds we usually experience this month will see many lure-tossers hitting the river early and late in the day hoping to snare a bream on a surface lure.

When fishing snags or tree-lined banks, the key is to get the lure as close to the structure as possible. Try to get the lure to land as softly as possible to imitate an insect falling into the water; a heavy splashdown will scare the fish away, especially the bigger fish.

Having around one metre of line out from the end of your rod on the cast can help with getting the lure to land gently. But the best advice is to get out and practise. Try lots of things, long leaders, side casts, flick casts until you find a technique that best suits your style and gets the lure landing gently on the water in the strike zone.

The Maria River should start to fire this month and the upper reaches of the Hastings around Wauchope will be well worth a try.

The Camden Haven river is a great little fishery that has it all and it should be well worth a try this month. From mulloway off the wall to flathead in the lakes, bream in the snags and whiting on the flats and drop offs, the Haven has it all, with some beautiful, tranquil settings to top it all off.

Drop me an email and send me some pics of your Port Macquarie fishing adventures.


If you haven’t yet entered Port Macquarie’s premier bream event, you still have time. The Sundowner BREAM Classic will take place on November 18 and 19 with the Reef Science tank taking centre stage on the beautiful Town Green.

So if you like to fish for bream, grab an entry form or call me on 0401 191 554. If tournament fishing isn’t your cup of tea, still make sure you check out the weigh-ins each day. Steve Starling will be on hand before the 1.30pm weigh-ins, giving some demonstrations.

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