Port firing on all cylinders
  |  First Published: December 2006

Well it’s the silly season and hopefully the fish will be joining in, getting into the festive spirit and enjoying the baits and lures we’ll be offering them this month.

Let’s just hope they don’t get to full too early and have a sleepy nap like most of us do on Christmas Day.

Offshore action should be prime and if conditions allow some fun outings should be on the cards. Those chasing game fish should be tangling with marlin, tuna and some big mahi mahi. Hopefully the bait grounds will be alive with slimy mackerel and some nice predators will be around to reap the rewards .

If you’re planing an outside trip this month check the weather websites because conditions can change quickly this time of year.

This is a lovely time to do a spot of early-morning beach fishing and getting there early is important to beat the heat and give yourself the best opportunity of taking home a feed. Whiting will still be the best table fare on offer with the North Shore, Lighthouse Beach and Dunbogan Beach all worth a try.

Check the beaches the day before to assess the best gutters to work the next morning. Fresh beach worms will be the essential bait and don’t be surprised if a few mulloway show up during the day to take advantage of the worms.


Estuary fish should be ripe for the picking and with the holidays only a few weeks away getting the kids onto the water will be a great option.

Port Macquarie has lots of great vantage points for land-based anglers. The town centre has a array of easily accessible jetties and rock walls. Take a drive out Settlement Point Road and check out the many spots along the road and the nice sandy entrance to Back Channel at the end of the road. A little berley and fresh baits on lightly weighted rigs will get you and the kids into some nice action.

Fresh bait is really important and live worms and yabbies are hard to beat. Just remember though to leave the female yabbies because they’ll be more than likely be carrying eggs and are essential in maintaining a healthy population for years to come. Bream and flathead will be the main targets for a family outing and an early morning session could have you tangling with some big lizards as well.

Those with a boat have many options from soaking a bait along the breakwall to dangling a line under Dennis Bridge. Key species will be flathead, bream, whiting, mulloway and trevally. Early mornings, late afternoon and evening sessions will be your best options.

Flathead will be lurking around drop-offs to deep water and on the edges of weed beds and sandy runs. The mouth of the Maria River produces some good lizards this time of year but the amount of boat traffic can make the going tough so an early start is essential.

Lure-tossers will be having a field day. On a recent outing my mate Brendan Kiely got the shock of his life when a honker luderick took a fancy to his small crankbait so be prepared for anything this month.

With the local bream really starting to switch onto surface feeding, cicada-type lures are the best starting point. Don’t be shy about trying a few different colours because there are a variety of different cicadas in our area. At the time of writing the good old green grocer is starting to hatch out and the black pearls won’t be far behind. We also get the golden cicadas so make sure you have a good selection.

Many good surface lures for bream are fitted with plastic fizzer blades and they often produce the best results because a quieter presentation is less likely to spook fish.

Those going upstream into the fresh should do really well . Bass have been growing in numbers in the Hastings due to some good management in past years.

Canoes or punts around Longflat to Koree Island should do well. It’s important to note that we should look after these beautiful fish and enjoy them for the sport, not trophy-hunting or a feed. So practise catch and release and we’ll be sure to see more bass in years to come.


Nothing makes a better present for an angler than something from the local tackle store, where staff often know their customers well and understand and know their interests. Don’t tell your partner what you want, tell your local tackle guy and when your better half goes in to get you a gift you’ll get something you need and it takes the guesswork out of it for her. I love getting a new lure from my son Sam and he has great fun in choosing the colour.

Have a safe and enjoyable Christmas and enjoy your time on the water.

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