Flushed lake should fire
  |  First Published: April 2009

This month the lake will fire for most species. The lake has had a good flush of fresh water form the heavy rain in late February and those in the know will have been fishing the bridge pylons with red and brown soft plastics or baits like worms and even cunjevoi.

With the fresh, the limited amount of cunje that grows on the bridge pylons dies off and the bream know it. They gorge themselves on these dead sea squirts and the smell of the semi-digested cunje is enough to make a cat gag.

The bream are often that full that they cough up their stomach contents when landed and it stinks to high heaven. Be warned!

Around the bridge and the drop-off into Tuncurry Channel, large sand whiting can still be found milling but it won’t be long before many head up the rivers and disappear from the sand flats.

So if you like your sand whiting, try drifting yabbies or worm pieces with the run-out tide.

There are also plenty of bream in the channel with early-spawning fish using the channel as an exit to the ocean for their migration up the coast.

The activity in the deeper water holds the attention of some big flathead and school jew, too, so a bit of diversity in the rigs, bait and lures may pay dividends.

School jew have been getting caught from the seawalls and chopper tailor can be spun up along the ends of the walls from the start of the run-out tide.

A work colleague helped gaff a jew just after the dirty water started flooding down.

The lucky angler used a butterflied slimy mackerel for bait and fought the fish from the Coast Guard station to the end of the wall and managed to land it just before the fish disappeared around the point.

At 12kg this fish was of a great eating size and I’ve had reports of more fish around that and bigger recently.

In spite of the flathead being pigeon-holed as a Summer species, they are quite prolific in the cooling months and this is a great month to target the 45cm to 50cm fish that are ideal for the plate.

Bigger females are still about but have thinned out considerably so don’t expect a trophy, though it could happen.

The normal hammerhead shark invasion of Wallis Lake that normally occurs during November was late this year, due to the slow warm current heading south along the coast.

At the end of February and into March the 1.2m to 1.5m sharks were cruising the shallow water around and under the bridge, much to the amazement of those walking above.


The tailor are patchy but an early morning with pilchards on the beach or a spin from one of any of the headlands is worth a go.

Typical chrome slice-type lures like Raiders provide the weight for a long cast and cover a good area of water and wash.

The pigs are around and even through Summer they were available if you wanted to wade through the masses of toads and other pests that seemed to devour baits.

Bread berley is perhaps an option early in the session, just to bring the pigs together, but remember to pick a wash that will keep the berley in close proximity for casting, and not one that will trail your berley away from your casting area.

Bream will become more plentiful off the stones from now to the end of Winter and will be a growing part of mixed bags for rock anglers.

The bream will also readily take mullet strips, pipis and other baits from the beaches as they make their spawning run.

Areas that have a good wash and pockets of deep water or holes between rocky outcrops are great for bream. The south side of Burgess Beach is popular for bream, blackfish, and pigs and will produce well after a southerly or sou’-easter.

Bennetts Head will attract an early run of beam that come out through the seawalls and Haydens Reef (Middle Head) will hold the fish for a while and will also have some good squid.

The beach side of the headlands and the beaches themselves will have dart patrolling the edges of the breaking waves and they’ll be keen to take a bait. Hook sizes should be kept around No1 to 1/0, which will cater for bream, too.

The odd whiting may turn up on the beach but smaller hooks and worm baits will be required to tempt them.

All in all, it’s a great time of year to go for a fish and with the milder weather, it is very comfortable, too.

There is no reason not to be on the lake, rocks, beaches, or offshore this month. It is well worth the effort.

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