Pick your conditions
  |  First Published: August 2005

Forget the cold starts, drab days, chilly afternoons and the oppressively cold nights – Winter is almost over around here.

In the coming weeks the weather should start to warm up. The devoted anglers who pursue their quarries and adapt to the conditions will need to prime themselves to deal with extra traffic and other fishos encroaching on their favourite spots.

August is generally known as the windy month in our parts and the westerlies can blow up and be a real pain. But pick your outings and fish the conditions, whatever your style of fishing; make the most of it and get into the action.

Recent conditions have made fishing the rocks very dangerous and the beach almost impossible, with some big seas rolling in. As the swell drops the conditions should hot up and beach and rock anglers should be getting some good action.

The water temp at the time of writing has been warm side and the drummer are yet to make their presence really felt but hope is still there for a good season yet.

Tailor have been in healthy numbers with Point Plomer producing the goods. School mulloway should be on the prowl and fresh or preserved beach worm should do the trick during daylight hours and after dark.

For some good action check out Lake Cathie, Bonney Hills and North Haven. Make sure you plan your outing and get the most from the fishing experience.

The good old salmon should be making their presence felt and although they are not the most delicate of eating fish, they are excellent sport and well worth chasing for some adrenalin-filled sessions. The beaches should be the best spots to get into the action with Lighthouse Beach sure to produce some good gutters with excellent fish-holding potential.

And if you like fish cakes then a freshly-bled salmon makes excellent Thai fish cakes. My mate Paul Burke has a great recipe for these tasty little morsels and you can’t beat them, especially with some couscous and sweet chilli sauce.


This time last year I had a very memorable session on salmon in the most unlikely place. I was fishing the oyster leases in Limeburners Creek when I hooked some thing solid. At first I thought it was a good flathead but around three metres from the boat it turned tail and shot off under the racks at a phenomenal speed. It was all over before I even had time to comprehend what was happening.

It wasn’t until I moved around the lease into a small hole that I saw around eight of these ballistic brutes just sitting behind a post, finding refuge from the incoming tide. I quickly cast my lure ahead of them and watched in disbelief as one of the fish swam over and snaffled the minnow and shot off, taking around 30 metres of line before busting me off.

I’m sure this beast didn’t even know it was hooked. I hooked three more, with the score 4-0 to the salmon. What was I thinking? Metre-long salmon on bream gear in the oyster leases? What the heck, it was great fun.

Reports from offshore have been scattered due to the large seas and mixed weather. The leather jackets should be thick and a nuisance if you’re chasing other species. But don’t dismiss targeting these buck-toothed bait-stealers as they are very good eating and well worth taking a few home for the family.

Mahi mahi have been reported to be lingering with some good fish being taken. The flathead grounds have been producing some nice lizards and are an easy proposition if you’re chasing a feed.

The Hastings River had a good flush recently with much overdue rain. The river coloured up nicely and the whole system is on the rebound with plenty of bait fish, chopper tailor and mullet are moving about.

On one outing we came across a massive school of tailor feeding in the river. Flathead numbers have been good and an easy feed with the fish holding on the weed beds and lurking in the shallows, warming themselves looking for an easy meal.

These prehistoric lizards have been fighting well and a lot of fun. I prefer the last of the run in and the start of the run out to target flathead. Lures and baits should get you into the action.

Bream numbers have been excellent with the fish still being more commonly found in the lower reaches. Some good fish have been landed with 800g bream being the norm.

With the Sundowner BREAM Classic to be held in November, many bream anglers have been spotted exploring the Hastings and associated waterways hunting bream and familiarising themselves with the fishing on offer. Anglers from all over the State are starting to come and hone their skills in the hope they’ll be crowned champions.

The event is really taking off with 2004 competitor Steve Starling coming back and helping to promote the contest. His partner for the 2005 will be fishing writer Leeann Payne. Get your entry forms at www.portmacquarieholidays.com.au or call me on 0401 191 554.

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