THIS is a great time to fish around the headlands and the corners of beaches.
Headlands that jut out onto beaches can produce a real mixed bag, especially where rocks and sand meet. Reefs and rocky platforms that meet sand hold a host of fish, especially travellers that run the beaches and end up in the rocky corners.
If that rocky corner is working with a lot of suds, the fishing can get red hot. Some huge flathead lie in these areas as well as the bigger bream, tailor and jewfish. With them there can be whiting milling through the broken rock and luderick doing their thing, grazing on the green weed. Add the mixture of rock species and the area can really be a busy little place.
Hunters lie behind the rocks and ambush fish that have headed along the beach. Bait can be what you usually use from the rocks or the beach. Fish which feast on a crab or cunje will always take the chance of whitebait, yellowtail, slimy mackerel and small mullet.
By putting out a longer cast you can usually lay a bait on the sand while with a shorter cast with a float you can hang a bait over the reefy spots. Use a live fish, a slab bait or whole or bits of crab.
Find the middle ground where reef meets sand and if you’re there at the right time, the fishing can be magnificent. Large snapper love these of areas, as do big jewfish and bream.
There are a number of these sort of spots that are easy to reach all along the Hunter Coast. Unfortunately a few have been declared marine parks and no fishing is allowed, so check before you cast a line.
The best way to explore these places is with a mask and snorkel. I had a spot I haunted for years off Fingal Bay which yielded snapper, flathead and bream with long casts onto the sand and trevally, leatherjackets, huge squid and the odd school jew over the rocks.
These places are also good shelter from the wind and big seas, when drummer and larger snapper also move in.
On a few occasions I have witnessed sand being washed up around the rocks and long holes forming around them. Small particles of everything drift into the reefy areas and bream really love it. I have watched them sit back and scan what is being fed past them by the current and wash.
One thing I don’t understand is that every time I snorkel in these places they are always full of red morwong, yet they play little or no part in our catches. I have caught only two, both on crab bits on a 2/0 suicide hook, yet there have been hundreds of these fish around.
Where sand meets rocky headlands, all sorts of fish turn up. You can fish from the beach next to the rocks or from the rocks themselves.
Oversize whiting arrive at the rocky ends of beaches as they search for food. This one was caught by Steve Kiss.
A mixed bag from the corner of a beach: Squire, bream and a morwong. Look for the grit and shell trapped in the corner of the beach and your catches will increase.Reads: 509