Great days but chilly starts
  |  First Published: September 2005

The weather may be warming a little through the day but the evenings are still cool and no more so than when you venture out early in search of a few good bass or late tailor.

The Winter run of big tailor happened and the chances remain good of the occasional 2.5kg straggler from the washes or beach gutters.

Dave Trinder fished Janie’s Corner not so long back and managed to snag four big tailor and a heap of 3kg salmon from the rocky shoreline. Dave had to call in at my place and show me what I’d missed out on – thanks, mate!

Dave used 65g Raiders at a fast retrieve behind the surf break for the whopper choppers and salmon which helped to anchor a good finish in a local fishing club outing.

With a bit of luck the rain has given up for a month or so. It seems of late that each time the Wallamba River started to clear we’d get another down pour and end up with milk coffee.

The bridgeworks at Nabiac certainly don’t help but I imagine the rain will make the Summer season a cracker. Reports of bass from the Wallingat, Wallamba, Coolongolook, and Wang Wauk have filtered through, which is encouraging for the bass hopefuls who may have given up hope of finding fish in at least two of the above Wallis Lake tributaries.

In the lake the fishing just keeps improving with some stud bream and legal flathead scattered through the lower section and the acres of oyster leases.

On what was a slow day, from the accounts of others, Merv Wright and I had a two-hour lure session near The Cut and ended with a dozen size bream, a stud whiting and heap of flathead. Merv is pictured hereabouts with a 42cm bream which was unusually high and thick through the head.

The fish took my pearl watermelon 2” Bass Minnow along a shallow washboard and weed fringe. It didn’t come easily and it was a relief to see the landing net slide under it. The session required a bit of moving around from spot to spot but the rewards are there; the secret is to not waste time at any one fishless spot.

The flathead are scattered through the system but drifted baits in the channels and holes will attract them.

Yabbies and worms will pick up all species and the big whiting are not common at the moment.

I’m not sure whether it is a seasonal thing or just a mood blackfish get in, but there are some good luderick available on yabbies around the weeded areas of the lake. Stud fish of a kilo are relatively common.


Stud bream are still loitering along the sandy stretches with fish up to 2kg being taken from Old Bar to Seal Rocks. Mullet strips, pipis and beach worms are favoured baits from the beach fished on a rising tide in any hole or gutter.

Keep an eye open for any dark masses moving along the beach, too. With the odd tern or gull flying over head it’s a sure bet a salmon school is heading your way – great fun on a lure.

We get a lot of Newcastle folk up this way on weekend stays and Phil Mannering emailed me to let me know he caught three school jew off Nine Mile Beach on frozen pipis. Apparently he fished the late afternoons and the fish were around 3kg. The digital pic Phil sent me was of resolution too low to print, sadly.

Pigs are still pretty common in the washes with plenty of butterfish to annoy any bait offered.

This time of the year we see the big bronzed blackfish in the potholes and close gutters along the rocks. Fishing late afternoon and into the dark with yabbies is a great way to fill a bag and the fish are the best eating blackfish you will find.


I know some would think it is too early to be talking surface lures for bass but the truth is bass will hit surface lures any time of the year and this post-spawn period is perhaps one of the best.

The lower sections of the river (freshwater) should be the target area this time of the year and during the day try small but flashy spinnerbaits. I have some hard-bodied Viking Lures that will be taken for a swim next week so I’ll let you know how they go.

All in all, this is a month of opportunity but it may be best to get all the lingering household chores done to free up some time in the coming months.

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