River bream running late
  |  First Published: July 2004

IT HASbeen an eventful time, weather wise, for fishing on the Mid North Coast.

Big swells and a few days of southerly weather have made beach and rock fishing a day-to-day proposition for the past month. The mullet run seems to have fizzled out with only small patches of fish still moving up the coast.

The river bream seem reluctant to move down to the mouth at present and not a lot of them have well-formed roe in them, so they look like being a few weeks later than usual. This should make July a top month for the anglers who target bream as their No1 fish.

The areas of the river a couple of kilometres above the mouth are the places to fish for bream at present. They are taking yabbies, mullet pieces, mullet gut and tailor pieces.

The best results have been obtained on the last half of the run-in tide and the first of the run out. The bream have not schooled up properly yet as there are nights when you can catch only females and other nights when you get smaller males.

The best fish I have seen so far went 1.1kg gilled and gutted The average good fish is 700g to 800g gilled and gutted.

There have been some nice little school jew moving into the river on the rising tide at night. Fish to 5kg or 6kg have been taken on live bait, squid or small octopus.

Some nice little chopper tailor have been working on the whitebait around the gantry on high tide and have helped to fill the creel for many anglers.


Prior to the last blow there were tailor to a kilo to be taken from the beaches and headlands on lures and pilchard baits. They are starting to move back onto the beaches again and should provide some excellent fishing over the Winter months.

The bream are not very numerous on the beaches at present but by the time you read this they should be moving steadily up the coast.

The southern end of Crowdy Beach has produced its share of school jew taken on beach worms around high tide.

By the end of July the rock blackfish (drummer, pigs) should be ready to spawn and when this happens they really go ‘on the tooth’. The rocks on either side of Crowdy Head will produce fish on cunje or abalone gut.


Some boaties have been complaining about small catches while others have reaped the benefit of a bit of selective fishing for jew with live bait. The fish have not been big but any jew these days that goes over 15kg is a good fish.

There are a few bonito to be trolled up but other surface fish are fairly scarce. By the end of July a few stripies and mack tuna should appear.

July will be bream time, both in the river and on the beaches, and catches should be very good, judging from the reports from further south.

In the river, yabbies and mullet gut should be the best baits while on the beaches, worms and pipis will be the go.

A nice slab of bonito was the undoing of John Philpott’s jewfish, which weighed 22kg gilled and gutted.

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