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Rain boosts the Hastings
  |  First Published: February 2008



It’s great to see most of the State copping some long-awaited rain. The Hastings catchment this Summer has received a hiding, with Mount Seaview getting good downpours most days.

This is great news for the local farmers and even better news for us fisherman. The influx of rain has given the system a good flush.

The upper reaches have welcomed the rise in water levels. Recently I was on the Hastings out past Long Flat and the river rose considerably overnight, without any change to the water clarity.

So the bass will be making the most of the rising water and feeding up. A few canoe trips will be on the cards this month. Best lures for bass on the Hastings are smaller diving lures and good-sized surface lures, fished early morning, late evening and into the night. I prefer a Koolabung Cicada fizzer or a Taylor Made Fizzbanger.

The beaches have been patchy recently with decent swell making life hard. But whiting and bream are still available so this month if the seas are calm some good catches should be recorded.

Those hopping the rocks have had similar problems but some nice tailor have been landed along with solid bream, with whole pilchards the preferred bait.

Some salmon have still been cruising about; recently some friends were snorkelling off Flagstaff and around Rocky Beach when they were engulfed in a huge school of salmon. They recalled it as an amazing sight; personally I would have been making a bee line for the beach because I’m sure some nasty fish with teeth wouldn’t have been too far away.

The marlin season has begun with good reports coming in and this month should yield some good catches if the seas are kind. Those venturing outside should also encounter mahi mahi, wahoo, cobia and mackerel.

The bottom-bouncers have been having a field day on flathead close to shore. The inshore reefs are still producing good snapper and the odd pearl perch, with unweighted baits and soft plastics accounting for most fish.

Kingfish have been stretching some lines, with the odd fish really testing out the gear.

ESTUARY ACTION

Estuary action has been fair with a good mix of fish. Flathead numbers have been consistent with some monster fish caught around the walls. Bream are focused on feeding up and are competing for food.

The lower reaches of the Hastings and Camden Haven Rivers have been producing good results with the recent rain. If the weather clears this month then fish will be found throughout the system.

Those dabbling in baits should try fresh yabbies and live worms presented as light as possible. Good fish have been on the weed beds around the Maria River and Pelican Island.

After dark, anglers will do well on the walls around Settlement Point Road.

A few columns back I mentioned luderick would still be on the bite and it seems they still are worth a try. On a recent bream outing I saw a stack cruising the weed beds and they should still be viable targets, especially from Limeburners creek and around the mouth of the Maria River.

Whiting have been prolific and aggressive. Regular readers would know about the exploits of locals with poppers and I’ve recently had success casting Ecogear pink grubs and even caught reasonable numbers on crank baits.

Best places to target whiting on lures seem to be around the weed beds. Any weed bed seems to work and the decent flow of a run-out tide seems to produce best. A light drag is essential because these feisty customers tend to pull hooks if the drag is too tight.

At the Hastings Bream and Bass Club annual presentation night one of the most notable results was for Junior Bass Angler of the Year, where the only girl took out the title, seven-year-old Ivy Styles. It’s great to see junior anglers participating in catch-and-release clubs.

Make sure you enjoy your fishing this month and be a responsible angler, taking only what you need, not your limit. And take home your rubbish.

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