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Hot times ahead
  |  First Published: November 2004



SUMMER has arrived with afternoon sea breezes knocking a few degrees off the temps, making for comfortable living conditions.

With rainfall still almost non-existent, it looks like a long hot and extremely dry few months ahead. This time of year is always special with a number of species making their yearly appearances.

Marlin, mackerel, cobia and tuna will all hop on the southbound current and hopefully grace us with their presence. The past few years have been fairly dismal when it comes to mackerel with only a sprinkling of fish taken by local anglers but hopefully the action will be better this year. Sometimes I get sick of saying that!

ROCK AND BEACH

Some good fish remain on offer with a few drummer still poking about. This season was poor but still slightly improved on last years dismal showing. The next few weeks could provide some good action on these powerhouses before they disappear for another season.

Some good jew have been cruising the gutters. Schoolies have been fairly prevalent with anglers bagging a number of fish on bunches of fresh beach worms. These fish have been in the 4kg to 8kg range, certainly nothing to sneeze at. A few bigger fish have also been on the prowl, sucking in live baits and fresh slab baits.

The next few weeks should see chopper tailor start to show with the annual run of smaller fish kicking off through the Summer. There are often some good fish cruising among the choppers, providing some tense moments on gear meant for smaller fish.

ESTUARY

In the rivers, blackfish remain fairly fickle with no two days producing similar results. At the top of the tide with clear water filling the system, fish can be seen rolling over, teasing anglers. The river is full of blackfish at the moment but their feeding habits are hard to fathom. A good fresh could change the state of play, triggering a good bite.

Flathead have been in good numbers with a sprinkling of larger fish right throughout the estuary. Hard-bodied and soft lures are accounting for plenty of fish.

If lures aren’t your go, whitebait or freshly pumped yabbies should get you into the action. Working the weed beds has been turning up a few fish but the deeper drop-offs have been very productive with rubber tailed jigs of all sorts nailing fish

Summer means bream! And there is nothing better than luring these silver blighters from their lairs. Watching six or seven fish shouldering each other out of the way to nail your wiggling lure is a very stimulating way to spend a morning.

Surface fishing for bream is certainly a real buzz and the next few months should be prime time for topwater action.

ABT EVENT

The Port Macquarie Bream Classic will be held November 13 and 14 on the Hastings River. While down the scale from the ABT qualifying rounds, the Bream Classic will pit local anglers’ skills against visitors over the two-day event.

Securing an ABT event for this area is a boon for anglers with many local business houses putting up sponsorship to support it. The Classic will feature two anglers in each team, with a five-fish bag limit to be presented live each day. After fish have been presented and weighed they will duly be released.

That’s the attraction of comps like this – minimal environmental impact. The prizes are quite lucrative with cash from first to fifth places. There also will be a prize for the biggest bream weighed over the tournament.

The entry fee is $110 per team with all anglers needing to be current ABT members. A good roll-up will ensure the longevity of the event, which I’m sure will become a yearly occurrence on the lure-fishing calendar.

The Classic has been sponsored by Sundowner Breakwall Tourist Park, Hollis Marine, Port Macquarie Tackle, Town Green Inn, Clark Rubber, Shaws Kitchens and Joinery, Country Energy and www,portmacquarieholidays.com.

For more information give David Poulton a call on 0401 191 554 or email --e-mail address hidden-- Those wishing to know more about ABT membership should contact Simon Goldsmith on 07 3268 3992 or email Simon at --e-mail address hidden-- Entry forms are available from www.portmacquarieholidays.com.

OFFSHORE

The next few months should see the action offshore take off with the annual migration of the speedy fish that ride the cobalt currents south. I expect the first billfish would not be far away with small black marlin feeding along our coastline. Mahi mahi and mackerel should also make a showing soon with local FADs and trap buoys attracting many of these species.

Bottom fishermen have been rolling a few fish over local reefs. John Bolton of charter boat Ocean Star said good numbers of snapper have been coming on board along with some good kings.

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