Plenty of fresh water
  |  First Published: April 2009

Recent floods stained the ocean brown even out to 50m depths and up to 7km out to sea.

The creeks and estuaries had more of a chocolate milkshake look about them but by the time this report sees the light of day, I'm hoping that the great fishing we were experiencing before the floods will have returned.

Mackerel-chasers should find the reefs off Moonee and Bundagen will be the first to start fishing well again, with live slimy mackerel trolled slowly or fished at anchor under a balloon likely to produce spotted and Spanish mackerel.

Offshore anglers with bigger boats have been heading farther out to sea and mahi mahi, kingfish, yellowfin tuna and the odd black marlin have been taking trolled live baits and skirted lures.

If you're after bigger mahi mahi, fish live slimy mackerel down deep around wave recorders, fish traps and other buoys. Downriggers or break away sinkers can get your baits down to where the bigger fish are feeding.

The dirty water has been a positive for those fishing inshore for bream and jewfish, with big schools of both hunting in shallow water well within casting range of beach and rock fishers.

When the water is discoloured, you can expect fish to show up in areas where they would not normally feed, such as calm water without any whitewash running over it.

Now is the time for bait fishing, with live yellowtail or mullet great options for jew and live nippers the gun bait to flick around for bream.

If you don't want the hassles involved with using livies, then oily fish baits such as tuna or mullet make great dirty-water options.

Prior to the rain there were plenty of mangrove jacks in the creeks with all dominant snags holding good numbers of fish to 60cm.

Farther upstream, the bream and bass were also biting consistently with a mixture of surface lures and shallow divers the best styles to be throwing.


Most North Coast creeks clear initially in their upper reaches, so bass would be a good first-up fish to target, followed by bream and then jacks.

For now, the downstream areas should see large schools of fish congregating before they head back up-river.

With the mullet already starting to run, over the next month there will be plenty of great fishing to be had near the river months and along the beaches that surround major river systems.

Land-based game fishing is about to hit full tilt with schools of longtail tuna working the garfish schools at the back of the surf and Spanish mackerel patrolling the washes on the east-facing points.

Over the next month I'll be heading down to Hat Head to cast lures for tuna and mackerel before heading north to target the same species on live baits.


As our unfortunate shark attack victims are finding out, fish and sharks feed most actively at either end of the day. The best times to have a bait or lure in the water are the first and last two hours of each day so early starts and late finishes are the norm for keen LBG fishos.

If you do head up here to chase pelagics from the stones then make sure you get your live bait arrangements worked out – catching livies on most northern ledges is just about impossible and most baits are best caught in an estuary or harbour and carried in.

The exceptions to this are breakwall possies, where garfish can usually be berleyed up with bread and caught on bait jigs suspended under floats.

And don’t forget to take all your rubbish with you when you leave.

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