Hastings should improve
  |  First Published: October 2005

The Hastings River should be improving after some relatively poor fishing lately, thanks to the water temperature hovering between 13° and15°.

With the warmer days and longer hours of daylight, the temps should rise and our finned friends will be more willing to play the game.

However, the river has been fishing exceptionally well after dark with bait anglers getting good numbers of bream. Flathead have been flushed down-river and numbers are good in the lower reachers from Blackmans Point to the mouth.

Lure anglers have had good success chasing bream along the coal walls on the Hastings and Camden Haven. Berkley Gulps have had the most success. These bio-degradable morsels are a cross between a lure and artificial bait and the jury is still as to what we should classify them.

Luderick numbers have been good with the weed-soakers taking home excellent feeds. The pick of the spots are the South Wall, the bend at the Sundowner Tourist Park and the Town Green.

Whiting should be on the run soon with Lake Cathie the No 1 spot. The mouth of the Lake is due for dredging by the council for the Summer season.

The rocks have fished well for bream and drummer and the beaches have been producing some good salmon. Drummer have also been reported with the southern rocks around Grants Head and Point Perpendicular the top spots.

The North Shore has been the pick of the beaches, with nice gutters and good bags of tailor to 2kg. All of this action should continue in the coming month with some school mulloway also likely to be looking for a feed. Beach worms should be the go with Lighthouse Beach and the North Shore the best prospects.

When the winds have allowed, the offshore action has been good. Snapper have been good with some fish to 5kg. The flathead grounds have been outstanding and with some warmer currents on their way, action should start to really fire.


I’m a chalkie by trade and some colleagues recently dobbed me in to take kids from my school fishing for sport. At first I was a bit hesitant. Taking 26 kids fishing every Thursday didn’t sound like a fun-filled fishing session but we’ve made it work.

All the kids bring their own rods and reels. They aren’t allowed to carry them to school rigged up so I provide them with all of their terminal tackle.

Bait was always going to be an issue. The first outing we had a selection of prawns, chicken gut, and the new Stimulant Instant Bait. This was a trial to see which would be the best.

Well, the Instant Bait came out on top. It’s convenient because it doesn’t need refrigerating; it’s easy to mix, stays on the hook and catches fish. The kids have enjoyed the sessions immensely and have learned valuable lessons about fish care, caring for the environment and catch and release, as well as getting some good exercise walking to and from the river.

So it looks like this will be another option for next year’s sport electives at my school.


The Hastings Bream and Bass Club has been going 10 months and is growing in popularity, with 42 members already. There is a monthly social catch-and-release outing targeting bass or bream on lure or fly. Anglers aim to catch a bag limit of three bream or two bass which are kept in livewells and weighed, with each angler’s weights recorded for the club championship. For more information call club president Rick Paterson on 0438 846 738.


The Sundowner BREAM Classic is only a month away, on November 12 and 13. This will be a premier fishing event for the Hastings with strong local support.

It’s not too late to grab an entry form and test your skill at tournament angling and take on the likes of Steve Starling. Entry forms are available from www.portmacquarieholidays.com.au, www.bream.com.au or by calling me on 0401 191 554. If you’re not that way inclined, come along and watch the weigh-ins on Port Macquarie’s Town Green each day from 1.30pm.

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