Rocks hot for spinning
  |  First Published: March 2008

The next few weeks without doubt provide the best time you can have on the rocks with a live bait.

Easter is traditionally a prime time for longtail tuna, cobia and sharks from the rocks and even with the Easter bunny visiting a bit earlier this year, I wouldn’t be surprised if we had an early run of good fish from the stones.

Ultimately it is all dependent on the gar and bonito that need push in along the shoreline and attract the beasts. Early morning spinning can produce the bonito, tailor, mack tuna or longtails and regardless of how fast it feels when you’re cranking, you can’t wind fast enough for these speedsters.

One hint, though: If you are using braid or gel lines, don’t set the drag too heavy. If anything, set it light so when a strike comes the fish doesn’t come up across the brick wall of the no-stretch line and no-give drag washers.

A good berley trail of bread and a bottle of fish oil dripping into the water will soon have the gars sifting the surface around the wash and with some luck a few slimies, too.

There should be a few good bream hunting the rocky shore and I’ve even been targeting the pigs that run the washes around the shallow broken rocks along the beaches. There is an awful lot of toads, small bream and other rubbish fish but persistence will produce pigs, even through the warm months of the year.

One thing that has been evident during my shoreline assaults is the number of small groper around a kilo that have been partial to my pig baits. I can only imagine their numbers are duplicated further up and down the coast and with good numbers it doesn’t hurt to take a fish occasionally.

I’m not going to test my luck predicting that the Wallamba River is going to be clear and fishable. There are some good fish holding in the rivers but with the water a little dirty, it pays to use live baits like prawns or yabbies and darker lures with rattles if possible.

The fish can be more aggressive in the dirtier water but they have to feel or smell your bait or lure.

It has seemed like the conditions on the coastal strip can change from day to day and the volume of fresh water that has passed the seawalls – right along the North Coast – has stirred up the blue swimmers and muddies in Wallis Lake.


Along with the crabs, the bream are setting up shop on most oyster leases and until the Winter spawning urge draws most of them away they will be happy to knock off bait and lures.

While soft plastics are still gun lures, hardbodies are particularly effective around the racks, flats and dirty water lines around the estuary.

Whiting and bream are always hanging around the bridge and the Tuncurry Channel is surrendering a few good tailor late in the day and into the evening.

There are still a few big flatties in the channel and bouncing big baits or lures along the bottom is the go for them.

Further along the channel and seawalls you can spin for the tailor that are making their way in and out of the lake. The bait balls that have been forming along the walls will have bream and tailor close under them. School jew can be expected along the walls, as can the small whaler sharks.

Offshore fishing has been good with reports of mahi mahi from the FAD and mixed reef fish from Five Mile. Latitude Rock is good for a bottom bounce or trolling, with mack tuna and some kings being encountered.

While not as thick as a few years ago there are some cobia around and the 6 to 8kg models are great eating.

It has been a while but Wild River Bass 2 is almost finished and will be distributed by Daiwa Australia so all tackle shops will be able to get it for you. Hopefully it will be received as well as Wild River Bass but only time will tell.

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