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Fresh triggers action
  |  First Published: April 2003



Rain has been welcomed by all as it has replenished water supplies and eased drought in the local area – and has turned on the fish.

The slight fresh has flushed much-needed nutrients down our system, kick-starting some hot action for anglers. Summer may be over but the hot sultry conditions seem hell-bent on continuing until late this month.

Reliable sources tell me things have been on the up-and-up around the rocks with some good fish on offer. Blackfish remain a healthy proposition with most headlands coughing up some fine bronzies. Fish to a kilo have been the norm.

On early morning sessions anglers have been knocking over some more than reasonable choppers. Tailor are great sport on light tackle, hitting baits and lures hard and fighting with great gusto. If they are bled well and care is taken not to bruise their flesh, they can be top tucker.

High-speed spin freaks have had little to cheer about with things still fairly slow but with the balls of bait swimming along with the current and the advent of plenty of sea gar, the drought will certainly be broken and we can expect northern bluefin tuna, mack tuna, bonito and maybe even a cobia or mackerel to go with the resident kings.

Beach fishermen are still seeing nice fish sliding up the sand. Whiting, tailor, school jew and some solid bream have been bagged. Both the north and south beaches have been producing well with plenty of gutters to choose from, so go to it.

Estuary

It’s all happening and our system is fishing well for a variety of species. The rainfall has certainly brought blackfish, bream, flathead and whiting well and truly on the chew.

Quality blackfish have been on offer with the south wall and wharf areas in the town coughing up good numbers of fish. Chasing blackfish is a craft that can take years of practice to perfect. When the fish are on, good anglers can clean up and it's a great time to learn.

Up the creek, bream and flatties continue belting lures and flies with vigour. The Maria and Hastings systems are fishing quite well with snags packed with good numbers of fish. The next month or so should see this action peak before the first westerlies drive these fish down lower in our system, with resident fish leaving their Summer homes to take up shelter in the many oyster leases downtown.

Offshore

Finally we have had something of a half-belated mackerel run with the odd Spanish and spotty tucked into the fish boxes. In coming weeks the action should improve with larger fish moving in.

Cobia have also showed, with quite a few fish poking about the inshore reefs. Cobes are suckers for livies ballooned or slow-trolled around structure and also fall to jigs worked tantalisingly in front of their noses.

If all else fails, a quick troll or cast around the trap buoys should see you tangling with dolphin fish, or mahi mahi. Dolphin fish were certainly prevalent this Summer and are a great light-tackle sport fish providing plenty of entertainment.

Those class snapper just keep coming with some good reds getting pegged in the shallow stuff. Floatlining has really grown in popularity over past years, with a lot of fisho's opting for floating an unweighted or lightly-weighted bait down the berley trail instead of just bottom-banging straight under the boat.

CAPTION

1:

Steve Atkins with a huge Port Macquarie snapper. Increasing numbers of anglers are targeting these fish by floatlining baits down a berley trail.

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