Neighbourly help
  |  First Published: March 2003

Have you ever thought just how much information you’re receiving through the network of NSWFM writers in our State?

By reading at least three reports north or south of your home area report, you can actually figure out what may happen in your own waters. And by following what species have been mentioned, you can nearly picture the next phase of fishing you want to pursue.

If, for example, in one issue a mass of tailor have been reported by Phil Bennett off South West Rocks, then the following month David Seaman writes about them at Forster, the bet will be that the next few weeks the fish could show up anywhere from Seal Rocks down to Newcastle.

I mention tailor because they hug the coast. All fish, especially pelagics, tend to follow warmer water far offshore and miss total sections of coastline. But the bream, tailor, luderick and the basic rock fish will usually show up within a month or so. It wont happen every time, but a lot of anglers are starting to figure it out by watching all area reports and not just their own, a pattern at times does emerge to help us out.


That deep-blue, warm water took its time showing up this year and reports of marlin and yellowfin were coming only from the continental shelf. This month, with rising water temps, these fish can turn up in closer areas so a lot of smaller boats can chase them. Dolphin fish and a lot of kingfish have been taken offshore lately and I know a few anglers who coincide their annual leave to fish outside through March. It is a great month for livebaiting reefs also.

The estuaries haven’t been really firing lately and I am at a loss to say why, other than to say the salinity and lack of a freshwater flush-out over Summer may have something to do with it. Their were spurts of flathead action but these were few and far between.

Bream weren’t mentioned much by the Stockton diehards who can usually catch them all year round on the beach or in the harbour. But, hey, you may have been doing OK. Ask two people standing at each end of an elephant what they see and both will tell you different things.

That’s the hard bit about reporting and trying to be credible. Fishing can be bad one day and then the next it fires – the right spot at the right time can make a lot of difference.


Bass, yellowbelly and silver perch all feed amid the sounds of crickets and cicadas on the Hunter dams and rivers. This is a great month to get out around sunset and throw surface lures, especially for bass. Heddon Crazy Crawlers and Arbogast Hula Poppers and Jitterbugs work great and watching a big bass suck down the lure in an explosive surface hit is something every bass angler loves to see.

Soft rubbers twitched across the top of the water also work well. Canoes are by far the best way to have a great, silent, fish. The rivers still are very empty – a little portage and you leave the bigger boat brigade far behind. This is a great time to fish the rivers around here.



The mud crabs are moving and this month can be great for them. Slimy mackerel, mullet or other oily fish make the best bait.


Dick Elvins with a super bass from Glenbawn on his own design Gwydir Gobbler lures. This is still prime time for bass.

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