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Make the most of it all
  |  First Published: April 2009



Awareness, knowledge and appreciation are key factors for anglers these days. We must ensure we get the most from our time on the water and take a proactive role in ensuring fisheries are not whisked away by politicians eager to secure votes for the next election.

On the Mid-North Coast we need plenty of each of these three assets. Every angler needs to be aware of what the Government has on the table for our local fisheries and to gain an understanding of what it wants to achieve. And we need to have an appreciation of what we have and speak up if we feel a likely outcome is not the best for our area. Visit a site like www.ecofishers.com.au for more information.

This month knowledge of local waters will hold you in good stead. April is often looked on as a transition month and already on the Hastings River and offshore, mullet and baitfish are building in numbers.

FOLLOW BAIT

If you come across these fish you’ll likely have a good fishing session.

Live baits have been snaring good snapper and pelagics around offshore bait schools and this month kingfish should build in numbers and jigging will pay good results.

If you like to like to duck offshore for a quick feed of flathead, my mate Burky has the top tip of the month: He reckons if you head across the bar and head for NZ until you hit 50m depth and then drop plastics to the bottom you’ll pick up a good box of flatties.

There have also been some good snapper on the closer reefs with Berkley 5” jerkbaits in the chicken colours doing the trick.

Estuary action has been slow compared with Summer and recent heavy rain should have things well and truly mixed up this month.

At the time of writing the Hastings River is in flood and will probably take a few weeks to bounce back but it isn’t as bad as other flood-affected areas and hopefully this month we’ll reap the rewards of this flush.

Along the walls and lower reaches we will see bream in good numbers. Bait will yield best results after dark, especially at some of the holes along the rock walls.

Luderick should improve in numbers with the start of the rising tide the best time. Spots could be crowded on the southern wall of the Hastings River and on the rock wall at Henry Kendall Reserve in Stingray Creek on the Camden Haven River.

ESTUARY

If you’re chasing flathead, head to deeper drop-offs and deep holes this month. The rock walls will be good starting points, then go up around Dennis Bridge on the Hastings.

Mulloway have been prolific up river with Chris Blanch reporting some cracker sessions around the Dennis Bridge with Berkley 6” Sand Worms on 1/8oz and 3/8oz heads. The falling tide seems best, just casting forward of the pylons and bring the lure back with large whips of the rod.

After the flooding these fish may still be present around the bridges but will more than likely be hunting the ends of the walls and beaches.

The beaches have copped a hammering but the recent storms cells should create some great gutters and the beaches should really start to fire for mulloway and bream.

Lighthouse Beach south of the golf course should have some good spots this month. Access with 4WDs at the top of the tide can be tricky so please take care and look after our beaches.

On one of my recent whiting jaunts I found them to be a little elusive. The tide was only just starting to run in and I decided to give the flats opposite the Town Green a whirl.

Instantly we had follows from some good fish, but no hook ups. In this area small waves stand up and break gently on the sand bar and as we worked the area we came to the section where the waves break.

A cast into the wash with a surface lure did seem a little inappropriate but I was rewarded with a solid hook-up. We continued to pull a few more fish from the washes until I lost the Bassday Sugapen and we had a close shave with a couple of waves.

It just goes to show the whiting liked the cover of the wash and still looked up to feed. Thanks heaps to Peter Hayes for a great session.

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