A cornucopia of salmon
  |  First Published: October 2005

From all reports there should be enough salmon around to walk on, with rafts of fish travelling along the coast in huge schools.

From the Myall region up past Forster the black masses of fish invade the beach gutters and rock washes, consuming frantic baitfish, baits and lures put in their way. Even if eating salmon doesn’t excite you, the thrashing fight and aerial performance a big salmon can put on will.

Long casts with heavy lures like Arrows or 65g Raiders – even poppers – from the headlands like Janies Corner or Charlottes or Bennetts heads is a great way to spend the first light of a new day.

Ganged pilchards, gar and fillets are a relaxed way of dealing with these fish. There are also some size tailor mixed with the salmon so it will pay to have some ice in the esky.

The rocks also offer a late run of big, bronze luderick which flood into the rock pools and crevices with every surging wave. Darkness and high tide is a great time to hit the blackfish with yabbies but the deeper water will still hold fish during the day.


The patchy catches of mixed reef fish should consolidate this month with some better snapper and odd pearl perch. Reefs south of Forster down to Seal Rocks are fishing well with many GPS marks surrendering some fine fish.

Graham Coleman always seems to find a good feed of trag, snapper and perch on marks he has saved in his GPS.

The closer inshore water around places like Latitude Rock and Blackhead have mixed reef fish with plenty of nannygai to frustrate you. They just don’t seem to be of a decent size.

Drifting for flathead in the shallower water will ease any concern of going fishless offshore this month.


The blackfish seem to be doing a disappear/reappear act in the lake. One day there are hundreds, the next day they are gone. This suggests they are mobile and many are yet to settle into any particular area.

The walls are fishing well with the wharfs along Tuncurry Channel getting their regular attention from the regular fishos.

Bream should start to creep up the rivers this month with the Wallamba being the pick of them. Hunt the fish in the leases at The Cut and just into the Wallamba, as this is often a staging area for fish before they commit to a summer of tributary living.

The oyster leases east of Wallis Island, before The Step, have been fishing well with a few more flathead getting involved in taking bait and lures.

October is a good month for the flathead as they spark up and become a little more active in the lower reaches of the lake. It is a gathering of mostly male fish waiting for the larger females to show up from November through to April.

There doesn’t seem to be any shortage of bait fish in the lake with clouds of pilchards and baby tailor scattered everywhere. I think we may be in for a good season this Spring and Summer.

The rain we have had, even though we need a bit more, was very welcome and always helps to balance the fishing in the lake and tributaries.

Some anglers who have embraced the deep wall jigging for bream with soft plastics have realised just how effective it is on the jewfish community with a few tales of woe and missed opportunities being discussed over a beer or two.

The schoolies are due for a run this month as the smaller fish move into the estuaries to fatten up on the abundance of food generated by the warming water.


The bass season really is a 365-day-a-year event if you don’t mind the cold. Mid-Winter surface bass in the dead of a cold night is not the most pleasant experience but when your first few Spring fish are over 50cm you can pull on the beanie and smile about it.

There are still fish held up in the Wallamba River below the Nabiac roadworks and they can get a bit nasty on lures early in the day. Above the wall, the freshwater offers a limited supply of good to average fish.

There is plenty to do and see this month and I always look forward to the long daylight saving days and warmer weather coming our way.

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