Lake bait is abundant
  |  First Published: May 2004

WITH the ABT MegaBREAM on at Forster this month my time on the water has been limited due to the two-week pre-fishing ban.

Needless to say, before the ban I was targeting bream reasonably heavily with a smattering of flathead in between.

The lake is full of baitfish such as herring and mullet, while even pilchard schools have made appearances. Along with the bait come the chopper tailor, the pike and other predators that carve up the mobile morsels. With so much food laid on, it’s not surprising that the fish are a little hard to catch lately. You can see them, lots of them, but their interest is not in eating. Some of the pike are like pickhandles so don’t be surprised to lose some line to them if you strike one.

The large numbers of bream in the lower reaches of the lake are a little less cautious as the tide drops and the water discolours a little with suspended sediment. Casting baits or lures to the back edges of the leases as the water funnels out is a top way to get a feed.

There have been a lot of little flathead in the lake recently but one bloke, or at least his wife, managed a flathead of mammoth proportions recently. At 1.23 metres, the fish was not weighed, its captors preferring to make a quick release. The same couple, incidentally, weighed a 9kg flathead at the local fish co-op a few years back while up on holidays. It, too, was released). So a few big flathead are about and big live baits or big lures are the go, drifted around areas like the Paddocks, Hells Gate and The Step.

I have had reports of big bust-offs along the top end of Wallis Island and anglers unable to stop fast-moving, crevice-hugging fish on 10kg line can mean estuary cod. They are particularly active this time of year with all the baitfish around and will often take a liking to pilchard and flesh baits. They are a protected species, so do the right thing if you catch one.

Schools of garfish have also gathered in the lake and can be schooled up with a few handfuls of bread over the vast weed beds throughout the lake. Perhaps the most fish I have seen are on the western side of Wallis Island. They are good-sized fish and worth a bit of effort to gather, either for bait or a feed.


A few small bonito have fronted along the rocks and the tailor have been scattered. We are starting to see the larger tailor pushing through with kilo fish hitting the rocks and the beaches. The washes are worth a try for pigs on prawns or abalone gut and cunje. The lesser-fished ledges, it’s no surprise, are producing the better bags.

Bream and silver trevally have been mixed in the bags of some wash fishos. And if you prefer the feeling of sand between your toes, Tuncurry Beach has been surrendering some nice whiting.


I’ve been sticky-beaking at the cleaning tables and not too much seems to have been coming in through the heads. Lots of flathead and a few pinkies have been all I’ve seen, though I was told that Five Mile Reef went off recently with samson fish and kings like the good ol’ days. If the weather is kind enough, there is plenty of live bait on the bait grounds near the Tanks, with plenty of small bonito to tangle the bait jig. Some big mahi mahi are still hanging around and are worth a slow-trolled live bait or lure.


The rivers are back to normal after the extensive flushing, with some points in the local river getting up around four metres. Hopefully, that’s enough water to move some of the weed infesting the water after a long Summer. The bass are back to their best and small spinnerbaits at this time of the year are odds-on to take out a few fish.

After the school holidays I have to say I’m a little shocked at the lack of adherence to the Fisheries rules and conditions around the place. So from next month I will be providing a little snippet of info to help visiting and local anglers better understand the rules as they apply to anglers.


There is no excuse for not knowing the rules in the Wallis Lake area with detailed signage posted at the major boat ramps. Have a good look at the local rules and consider carefully the fines.


Pre-fishing for the Forster MegaBREAM helps to locate fish. Now 20 this size over the tournament weekend would be good.


A bream on a hardbody!? Yep it is still possible to catch bream on hardbodies.

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