April – you gotta love it!
  |  First Published: April 2008

I love this time of the year. The sun isn’t as harsh on my tender young skin, the heat and humidity have eased and the fishing is almost peak for my choice.

The rocks are just about in their prime for the pelagic species and there have been some murmurs of solid longtail tuna coming from Flat Rock and one or two lean cobia. I’ll wait for some solid reports from mad spinning mate Neil Baker before I load up the camera gear for a session but I’m sure it will happen soon.

Until the tuna and cobes turn up in numbers there are plenty of blackfish sheltering in the protected pockets when the seas come up and some of the deeper ledges like those Charlotte Head have some good bream and trevally knocking around.

Mahi mahi continue to mill around the FAD with small to medium kings adding spice to the mix. The whole offshore food chain is pumping along nicely and bonito, slimies and gars are all nervously thankful for another day living.

The reef fishos have been pulling pearl perch, a few trag, flathead and small snapper from the reefs south of Forster while Blackhead has fished spasmodically for mixed reef fish. It’s all about timing your trip and trying to avoid the wild weather.


The definite highlight to my month will be the blue swimmer crabs I’ll be targeting around Wallis Island. The weedy fringes should be crawling with swimmers and they are easily encouraged into a well-baited witch’s hat.

I prefer water from 2m to 4m deep with weed or at least a weedy fringe. Any fresh fish frames will work a treat but my favourite is blackfish.

Make sure if you are setting nets to avoid the channels and fast current areas. There are plenty of spots up the back of the lake.

Flathead are still prevalent with good numbers of 40cm to 50cm fish taking up spots along the shallow channel edges.

Bigger fish are holding in the deeper channels and holes in the lower section of the lake and the best way of targeting them at this time of year is with a drifted live mullet.

While drifting with live baits of any kind, don’t be surprised to hook up to a solid bream or two. It appears the big bream have joined the bully mullet and gathered around the lower lake’s oyster leases.

The masses of mullet are waiting for the usual Autumn sign to move out to the beaches and try to avoid the nets. The bream are upwards of 1.5kg and on surface lures are a damn handful, even with 17lb leader.

Recently Daniel ‘Digit’ Brown snared his personal best bream, and on the surface to boot. The fish measured 42cm to the fork and was estimated around 1.54kg. The fish was released and Digit had a smile that couldn’t be wiped off his face.

The water behind Regatta and Bandicoot islands has been working but if the rain ever eases, the racks at the mouth of the Wallamba will fire, too.

Yabby and worm baits are the flavour for the whiting and are pretty readily available. Work areas like the shallows around the bridge and the pockets of deep water around the pylons.

There has been some good fishing to be had under the bridge of late and the number of boats moored close at night has been puzzling those people driving over the bridge.


Now is the time to load up on a few tailor baits for the coming season with plenty of big gars still hovering over the weed and current lines in the lake.

A handful of bread thrown into an eddy of still water will have the fish milling. A slight trickle of fine surface berley in the current will do a similar job.

Don’t get me wrong, the gar are great tucker and many target them as such but you need to spare just a few for the oncoming season of fresh tailor fillets.

The beaches had a promising start last month but tapered off so I for one am hoping the fish will find their way back to the scattered gutters along our section of the coast.

Dart and small bream are making a dash and the banjos and shovel-nose sharks are all cleaning up baits that lie too long on the bottom.

There is a preview of Wild River Bass 2 on Youtube for you to look at, just do a search for Wild River Bass 2. Due to the weather and some camera difficulties the retail production of the video has been delayed and I do apologise to all who were looking forward to it.

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