By the time you read this Chris Cringle will have well and truly come and gone, the last of the Christmas leftovers tucker will have been thrown out and we all will be feeling that tightening of the tummy from over-indulgence.
What better way of trimming up than with a spot of fishing? Around the rocks, things can be slightly quiet at this time of year. The usual bread-and-butter species we enjoyed during the cooler months have certainly slowed. But, with perseverance, results can be achieved on drummer, bream or blackfish.
Soaking a fresh bait after dark is producing more than the odd jew from local headlands. I've spent many a Summer night chasing big jew, working the tides and the moon phases and chasing up that all-essential fresh bait beforehand. But, hey, if you’re on holidays, you have the time to put in and if you do everything right you could be slipping a mulloway up the rocks or the sand. Some anglers make a science out of jewie fishing, seldom varying from their selected path that brings them success.
Heading onto the beaches, anglers have been tangling with some great fish. A few bream and whiting have been haunting the gutters. School jew are also getting into the act with North Beach coughing up some nice fish between 4kg and 10kg with the occasional bigger fish thrown in.
In the estuary little has changed, with flatties still prevalent throughout the system. Best bets have been above the Dennis Bridge and working the many weed beds and drop-offs up the Maria River.
These days, more and more fish fall to lures as anglers have been attracted to this form of fishing by many glossy mags and their favourite T.V. shows portraying the art of lure-fishing. For the not so adventurous among us, a slowly yo-yoed whitebait will get you into the action.
While talking about lures, bream are starting to get right into the act and are belting plenty of lures. All the old hotspots should start to fire with both the Maria and Hastings River likely to hold reasonable specimens. Bream accept most small minnow type lures for example, Koolabung Softies, Taylor Made Nippy Shrimps and small Tilsan type lures.
Bream are also more than worthy adversaries on the long wand and are suckers to a host of flies such as the Baited Breath, Crazy Charlie and small foam-headed poppers..
Offshore, things should really start to click into gear with surface fish like tuna, dolphin fish and marlin making their annual pilgrimage down our coast on the blue water from the north. The ensuing months should see anglers testing their mettle against these speedy fish.
Bottom fishing has been reasonable of late with some top reds at the local cleaning tables but many of the ‘guns’ remain tight-lipped on the whereabouts of their captures – not that you could blame them.
Kings have been fairly prevalent with most rocks off Point Plomer producing. A lot of the fish have fallen to livies although metal jigs have accounted for fish, too. Most have been a good size with the average fish around 8kg.
Whether it’s on the Port Macquarie beaches or the reefs just offshore, this is a prime time for school jew.Reads: 647