Good times get better
  |  First Published: March 2009

We’ve had a cracker of a Summer with clear rivers and beaches free from the dreaded red weed, and as we leap into Autumn this month the fishing fun should continue and even escalate.

Bait schools in the rivers are at an all-time high, a good sign of our estuaries’ health, and they should be very productive through to the middle of Winter.

If you’re chasing a feed then it would be hard to go past a few nice flathead. The best bait option this month will be whitebait, rigged on a set of small ganged hooks and lightly weighted to drift across the flats.

An early morning session at Blackmans Point on either side of the top of the tide should snare you some good table fish. If you’re lucky, you’ll score some bream and whiting.

Once the sun gets higher and boat traffic increases, move further up the Maria river and drift the creek entrances on the western bank.

Off the rocks bream should be in better numbers and the odd tailor should be on the cards.

Pilchards and cunjevoi baits, rigged as light as possible and wafted in the washes, should result in some nice fish. The odd drummer should be about also so keep your wits about you or you’ll hook up and it will be all over before you know it.

Best spots this month will be around Tacking Point Lighthouse, the northern end of Grants Beach and Point Perpendicular.

Normally if there are baitfish in the river then you can bet your bottom dollar they’ll be on the beaches as well.

A few trips to the beach this month could be in order. Reconnaissance missions are vital for scoping out some good gutters to plan your trip.

Bream, flathead, tailor and the odd mulloway will be on the cards this month and you can’t go past live beach worms or 6” Berkley Sandworms for bream, flathead and mulloway.

If weather conditions are right then the northern beaches should fire, especially for the mulloway. If you’re down in the Camden Haven then Dunbogan Beach would be my first starting point.

Offshore action has been good when conditions have been favourable. The wind has been the biggest hindrance lately and a few boats have had early runs home when the nasty northerlies have kicked in.

Some huge schools of slimy mackerel have showed up off Point Plomer.

This month mahi mahi and kingfish should still about with the odd tuna showing up.

Good snapper have remained on offer along with the inshore flathead. Live baits will work best, along with 5” to 7” Berkley Jerk Shads drifted down to schooled fish or around pinnacles and rocky outcrops.


I still have whiting fever. Once you have snared a feed of whiting on surface lures it’s hard to think about anything else.

Recently I went looking for some and started in my usual way by cranking a Bassday Sugapen over the weed and sand flats on the Maria River. With whiting, it’s best to keep the lure on the move and not strike until the drag goes off.

On this day the fish were missing the lure, so I sped up the retrieve and got a solid hook-up. However, it was a 32cm bream and after working a 400m stretch I had a bag of five bream all over 28cm, all hooked at high speed, and no whiting to be seen.

Days later, the whiting were back and ready to play and if the water stays warm, it should still be happening this month.

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