Mum’s the word – take her fishing!
  |  First Published: May 2005

It’s Mother’s Day this month so don’t forget to do something special for the Mum in your life. Take the family on an outing or get the kids out of Mum’s hair and take them fishing.

May last year was a very memorable month. On a cool Autumn morning I headed to a favourite spot up-river to toss fizzers over some submerged rocks.

We fished a 20-metre stretch of bank for around 20 minutes with not a single sign of a fish. I made just one more cast and half-way through the short, twitchy retrieve and all hell broke loose. The reel screamed and line peeled from the spool.

The bream gods were looking upon me as the silver monster swam into clear water where I was able to play out the fish and land it safely. A quick measure (47cm to the fork) and few good pics and the sensational fish was released.

It was a very memorable outing and one I’ll be keen to reproduce this month because the fish are fat from feeding up through the Summer.

So what better way to introduce the family to lure fishing than throwing around a few surface lures? It’s easy and if you pick your spots there is little for the inexperienced angler to get snagged on.

Look for some obvious fish-holding structure, like rock bars or abandoned oyster leases covered with water from a high tide and get casting.

Places with a little shade on the water are always handy as they provide appropriate cover for the fish and the food they are after.

Make sure you give this a go now as it won’t be long before the cold sets in and the fish will stop looking upward for a feed. The surface fishing has been excellent this season and should continue if the water stays relatively warm.


The offshore scene has been a bit hit-and-miss of late with no two days producing the same results. Weather and current have determined what species anglers will target and it looks like this will be the same this month.

With the snapper starting to make their presence felt, there will plenty of people out chasing them when the conditions are right.

Mahi mahi have been plentiful lately with Port Macquarie’s Ocean Star Charters bringing back plenty of happy clients with good feeds of these colourful acrobats, along with some good morwong, pearl perch and blue groper.

If conditions are good then we can expect more of this action. Bottom-bouncing will definitely be the go as water temps begin to fall later in the month and snapper, perch and morwong becoming the preferred species.

The beaches and rocks will begin to hot up with the mullet run starting soon. It should be a good season in our parts as their have been large numbers of mullet already in the river at the time of writing.

Tailor and mulloway will be around looking for an easy feed but conditions will have to be right to get among the action. If we get some rain and the river colours up, the North Wall will be packed with lure-tossers and live-bait specialists hoping to tangle with a big jewie. Last year Eddie Studman was run off his feet churning out his ever-popular mulloway lures.


The estuaries will become a hive of activity as the mullet get feisty and the bream start moving down to the lower reaches as they get ready to do their thing and the flathead move to the shallows on the big tides looking for warm water and an easy feed.

Lure-tossing will be my preferred method and good anglers will do well in the coming months.

For those not so inclined you can’t go past a well-presented yabby fished as light as the conditions will allow.

It’s a cheap form of fishing and one the whole family can enjoy. With more hands on deck it is makes collecting the bait a whole lot easier.

As always, an early-morning start or an afternoon outing followed by an after dark session will produce the goods.

In the cover of darkness good-sized fish will be caught on bait on the lightest possible gear.

Garfish have been schooling up nicely in the river and with some bread and a little patience it won’t be hard to get a good feed and some excellent bait.

I’ve spotted some monster luderick on my bream outings lately and I’m sure that the weed-soakers will be tangling with a few bronzed brutes this month as they aim to take home a feed for the family.

I love a feed of fish and targeting a particular species and coming home with the goods can be very rewarding. Please remember, though, to limit your catch, not catch your limit and let’s all work together to maintain a sustainable fishery for generations to come. Enjoy your time on the water and have fun.

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