Fun from the rocks
  |  First Published: December 2003

ROCK FISHOS are keenly looking ahead at the coming months with plenty of good action in store.

Already things are starting to kick off with a smattering of chopper tailor cruising the local washes. Over the next few months the tailor action will steadily improve, with some fine greenbacks hauled from the suds.

Jewie-chasers are scoring well, with many local headlands holding numbers of quality schoolies. Not all the fish are small, either, with some healthy specimens to 15kg greeted by the gaff. Whole squid or live baits have been doing the damage on the bigger fish, with fresh slab baits also attracting a few fish.

Land-based game fishos should be dusting down the gear in anticipation to go one-on-one with some Summer speedsters, mainly tuna, mackerel and cobia. Early indications point to a good season with cobalt-blue water already pushing down against local ledges.

Dedicated is a word that best describes land-based fishos putting in many hours in preparation and more in time on the rocks to achieve some once-in-a-lifetime angling achievements.


In the Hastings estuary all sorts of action is taking place. Flathead remain prevalent with good numbers right throughout the system. Lure and fly fishos have being snaring their share with a rubber tail or a well-placed Deceiver being snaffled by a hungry flattie. Bream, too, have being belting a few lures on snags, rock walls and oyster leases up and down the Hastings and Maria systems.

Surface fishing for bream is a visually stimulating affair with a start-stop retrieve usually nailed by a fish in the first few jiggles. The next few months should see the action really hot up before those first south-west breezes drive the fish back down our system in Autumn.

Keen anglers have also being knocking over a few bass, with the upper Hastings coughing up some nice fish. Recent restocking by the Fly Club in conjunction with NSW Fisheries will ensure an improvement in the local bass fishery.

It's certainly been worth tucking the dillies into the tinnie, with some good crabbing on offer. Blue swimmers have been in good numbers and it hasn't been too hard to catch a feed. Dilly trapping can be a good family outing and if you mix it with a spot of fishing, it’ll certainly keep the whole family occupied.


Over the past month little has changed offshore, with weather changes the greatest thorn in an angler's side. Nagging onshore breezes have been the norm with early starts a must. The onshore wind is starting to get up by mid-morning. The past few weeks have seen some good kings cruising local reefs, while a few jewfish and samson have been welcome by-catch, snaffling livies put down for kings. Jigging remains a popular way of snaring a king. Working large metal lures vertically from the bottom attracts the kings’ attention. A few snapper are still kicking about and if all else fails, a quick drift over the flathead grounds should see you with a feed.

All is looking good for the speedy fish season, with mahi mahi already cruising the trap boys. These fish are certainly a great light-tackle proposition, putting in a spirited fight with a number of leaps for that visual stimulation we all love.

Marlin too, have been getting into the act with local boats battling a few small blacks over past weeks. Slow trolled live baits have been doing the damage, with trolled skirted lures attracting an odd fish as well.

Any day now I expect to be hearing of the capture of the first mackerel of the season. With the water looking as good as it is, it may have already happened. With many anglers remaining tight lipped about their captures it could take a while to reach these ears.

Warm Summer nights are just made to chase jewfish.

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