Bream, blues and bust-offs
  |  First Published: May 2003

It would be a safe bet to predict bream are around the lake this month, or at least there would have been prior to the ABT BREAM event. Don’t fret, there are still plenty of fish and not just bream.

Flathead, and some big ones, have been poking around the shallow channels around the lower section of the lake.

The murky water at low tide in the past month has helped to rejuvenate the bream spinning. In fact, all the fishing has been assisted by the influx in the lake area. Blue swimmers and the occasional mud crab are still available for anyone willing to put a bit of time in. The crabs must be plentiful because I watched a commercial fisho checking his traps the other day and he appeared to run out of tubs to fill.

Some big blackfish have been hanging around the lower oyster leases and have also been difficult to catch. Some of the fish are in the 1.5kg range and they have to eat sometime.

A plague of leatherjackets could be thinned out with a few baits before they totally devastate my collection of soft plastics. They were bad last month but they just seem to be getting worse, or better, depending which way you look at it.

The good news is that while retrieving the boat the other day I saw a bloke there cleaning a largish mangrove jack he had caught in the lake. It apparently is the second in as many weeks, but I extracted few other details. Very interesting.


The rock scene is getting better with a good class of pig, tailor and rat kings hanging around the washes. A couple of the guys have been hammered on 24kg line by ‘unstoppables’ and some northern bluefin tuna have been reported along with free-jumping small black marlin.

I’m looking forward to a few good pig sessions this Winter. A few salmon and kings are about off Blackhead, with some 30cm tailor tossed in to the mix. I had a throw with poppers the other day and the signs were encouraging.

On the beaches things have been fair, with a few good tailor and bream in the gutters. The days following a good strong south-easter will be worth a toss for a travelling school jew off the beaches. Fresh tailor fillets, mullet or squid would be my pick of the baits. Those who want to have some fun from the beach will find some dart, bream, whiting and small flathead tight to the back of the surf break.


Small trag, pinkies and morwong, with flathead, of course, are scattered offshore. I’ve been told that The Pinnacle has had some ‘hook-up-and-hold-on’ kingies loitering around the mark and if you intend to fish the area, be mindful of the fisheries rules.

The upper tidal reaches of the Wallamba River do not seem to have suffered too much from the fish kill reported last month. The bream and flathead have been good on lures from Bungwahl Creek up. I have a trip planned to the upper reaches of the Wallamba next week to see if there are any size bass left. I’ll report back.

While on the subject of freshwater, I had the pleasure of fishing for cod in the New England area with NSWFM writer Matt Graham. It had been 12 years since my last cod trip to the area and I must say that in spite of the pain and total physical exhaustion, it was a great trip. We caught more than 120 Murray cod and lost heaps, with a4.5kg fish being the heaviest landed. Thanks, Matt.



Dean Gray with a 24kg mahi mahi trolled up just off Forster. With water at 27° at the time, it was more like bath water but the big dollies don’t mind a bit.


Mangrove jacks from Wallis Lake would be nice but you have to get lucky.


No, the author hasn’t found a pocket of Murray cod in the Manning. Dave Scarlett displays an average fish taken on a cod trip with the author and NSWFM writer Matt Graham to the New England.

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