Red-hot results
  |  First Published: September 2005

Fishing in the Hastings Valley has been red-hot with recent rains giving the river a much-needed flush and many areas experiencing minor flooding.

The upper reaches are yet to bounce back put should be well and truly firing this month.

The lower reaches of the Hastings and Camden Haven rivers have been a hive of activity. While the water was still dirty the mulloway anglers had a great time fighting some good-sized fish. The best I’ve heard of was Casey Harrison’s 26.3kg fish from the South Wall at the mouth of the Hastings.

The blackfish have been thick, with those skilled in this art taking home good feeds of these weed suckers.

Bream have been plentiful and a lot of fun. The walls have produced the best results with good water flow and presenting your lure or bait close to the wall being the keys. Daylight hours have been dominated by lure anglers and the bait brigade have been getting their fair share after dark. It’s been so good I’m concerned about some resident fish not making it back to their Summer haunts, so remember to limit your catch, not catch your limit.

The rocks and beaches have been firing when anglers have been able to access them. The seas have been huge one day and flat as a pancake the next.

Some excellent bream and tarwhine have been taken with the northern beaches the best spots. Salmon have been about in good numbers and I expect these fish to continue their raids on the beaches, river mouths and headlands this month. It’s certainly worth a trip to try to tangle with these mean bullets.

When the conditions allow, offshore fishing has been pretty good. Mixed bags have generally been the go with some days being a hard slog just to pull a feed.

Leatherjackets have still been plentiful and a nuisance for those targeting other bottom-dwellers.

Some good snapper have been about with preparation and timing being vital. Good fish have been reported on soft plastics but the good old pilchard has claimed the best fish lately.

Port Macquarie Angler John Black paid a visit to Port Tackle to get the low-down from Phil Whatson on chasing big snapper. Phil put John onto a couple of good spots and John and his brother, Kelvin, were rewarded.

They anchored on one of the inshore reefs and set to work creating a nice berley trail and drifted down whole unweighted pilchards. John and Kelvin returned with snapper of 9.5kg and 8.9kg. It shows that it pays to visit your local tackle store to get the info on the techniques are working best at the time.

A warm farewell goes out to two anglers moving onto the next chapter of their lives. Matt Nidd is moving to Melbourne and we wish him all the best in his new endeavours. Terry Lace, with whom I’ve shared many happy fishing trips, is also moving to Melbourne. Terry and I recently had a bumper bream session on the breakwall using soft plastics.


I’m not normally a person to get on the bandwagon and change the world tomorrow but something has to be done about the Manning Shelf Bio-Region proposal from the NSW Marine Parks Authority.

It’s time to mobilise the troops and gather as much information and knowledge as we can and make sure that this proposal does not exclude recreational anglers. The proposal it is available from the Marine Parks Authority website, www.mpa.nsw.gov.au .

This proposal threatens to exclude anglers from many areas from Nambucca Heads. to Port Stephens. The Camden Haven River, Lake Cathie and Limeburners Creek are directly in the sights of those looking for new no-go zones.

Great rock fishing spots from Point Perpendicular to Big Hill and the beaches in between are also earmarked as potential sites.

Estuary and land-based anglers are not the only ones affected, with potential exclusion zones ranging to around three nautical miles offshore as well. So make sure you let your State Member know how you feel. Write your MP letters, send faxes and plenty of emails.

This is a State issue and we all need to respond. It’s time to spread the word, gain community support and encourage people to take action and collectively flex some muscle.

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