Hot times ahead
  |  First Published: December 2008

You know summer is upon us when the flathead turn up in the sort of numbers we are seeing at the moment.

From the Maclean Broadwater to the mouth, plenty of lizards are being taken and from early November the water temp and the size of the fish has begun to improve.

I have never seen small (undersize) mulloway in such numbers that are in the river at the moment; with the floods earlier in the year they must have had a very successful spawn.

Anglers throwing either soft plastics or vibration blades for bream are reporting that it is nothing unusual to release a dozen or so little soapies every session. This augurs well for seasons down the track.

Sand whiting have shown up in good numbers. Last season popper fishing for them was all the rage and no doubt this year will be similar. The whiting seem to love small transparent vibration blades just as much, so make sure you have some of these as part of your arsenal this year.

As the water temperature improves we will see the first of the blue swimmer crabs start to enter the system, I usually wait until good numbers of eagle rays or a few cobia show up in the river as a sign to start targeting them.

With the two preceding summers washed-out and failing to produce blueys, we are due for a good one.

With the water temperature offshore still a little cool for this time of year, we are still fishing more like late winter than early summer.

The inshore reefs are still giving up some good reds, trag and even a few good pearlies are still there for the taking.

Reports from Queensland indicate small black marlin are travelling south. As soon as that cobalt-blue warm water turns up we should see them again in good numbers.

Last summer they were virtually untouched as they made their way past. No one could get offshore to target them and the brown, dirty water leaving the river mouth pushed them, along with the mackerel, much wider. Let’s hope we get the water and weather we deserve.


Christmas is almost upon us again and with the cost of holiday accommodation in some areas being quite exorbitant, there probably isn't a better time to consider a camping holiday.

Either side of the Clarence lie large national parks, Bundjalung to the north and Yuraygir to the south. Both offer many different camping options, mostly basic, but all allow you to pitch a tent or set up a caravan on the back of a beach for very little money.

Woody Head, on the north side of the river, offers some great rock fishing and direct ocean access for boats wanting to fish the close reefs, Woody is renowned for its spotted mackerel over the Summer.

To the south of the Clarence you have Redcliffe, Brooms Head and Sandon River, all offering differing types of camping options too.

Redcliffe has some great beach and rock fishing options but no direct access to the sea for a boatie.

Brooms Head is a council-run caravan park with a huge amount of camping space as well as self-contained cabins and a small but well-stocked general store. Beach launching of boats can be achieved in suitable conditions.

Sandon River has a very small camping area and fills up quickly at holiday time, but by the third week in January it’s usually pretty empty.

Sandon offers camping right on the back of a fairly sheltered beach, direct access to the sea via a small bar crossing and some surprisingly good river fishing at times.

Here’s hoping all our readers have a very safe and joy filled Christmas and a very fish filled New Year.

For more info or advice, call in and see us at Big River bait & tackle, 16 River St Maclean, or call us on 02 6645 1834. City prices, country service.

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