Winter after the wet
  |  First Published: June 2009

The past six months have possibly been the wettest I’ve seen in Port Macquarie. It’s hard to comprehend the amount of rain we have had and hard to complain when so many inland regions are crying out for just some rainfall to keep them going. The Hastings River has fared reasonably well compared to other rivers to the north and south. Fishing has been hit and miss and this month will more than likely be the same.


Beach fishing should really kick into gear if conditions prevail and the weather should favour those who walk the sand. Bream, mullet, mulloway and tailor should all be cruising the gutters of our beaches.

North Shore should be good for mulloway, who will be about hunting mullet schools and juvenile stingrays. This time of year schools should be found concentrated at times as they hunt for prey. Well presented baits, live baits and fresh dead baits will yield the best results.

Hopefully some large tailor will grace our shores, but as usual the best sports for greenbacks will be around Plummer and Big Hill.

Those treading the stones should have some good sessions, on tailor and bream. Luderick will also be worth targeting this month, with areas around Point Perpendicular the best spots. Drummer will also be on the chew, let’s just hope after recent big seas, and that some cunjevoi has survived. As this time of year it’s the best drummer bait in the area. The casings filled with chook pellets and bread crumbs are excellent burly distributors. A good burly trail can mean the difference between getting one fish or snaring a decent feed.

Grants Head and Miners Beach will be great spots to target some drummer this month. I’ve had some reports of some cracker bream coming from the stones from below Tacking Point Lighthouse and things should continue this month. Whole pilchards fished unweighted will snare the bigger fish, around dawn and dusk. While you’re there, have a spin for some tailor and you could well and truly take home a mixed bag.


Offshore action will - as per usual - depend on the conditions, and as we’ve seen in recent months good boating conditions hasn’t favoured good fishing. Recent reports of excellent days offshore with little breeze, all but no wind and no current, have yielded in a nice day on the water but nothing special on the fishing front.

As of early June the snapper are yet to come in close to shore and are still wide in deeper water. July should prove to be a different scenario, with the inshore reefs being good starting points before venturing further afield.

Petersons Reef to the south has been good but closer to shore around the Golf Course should prove more favourable this month. Well-presented live baits and pilchards will have you snaring some good reds. Those fishing plastics should prove deadly, as long as they are fished on the correct gear. Good graphite rods teamed with a nice reel and quality braid are essential. My starting rod for snapper is the heavy weight Daiwa Sol rod, teamed with a sol 2500 real spooled with 15lb braid paired with a 20lb leader. I find this is a great outfit for fishing 15-20m of water and capable of pulling decent size reds.


Hopefully our river systems will bounce back strong after all the rain. Bream should be moving back into our estuarine systems, mullet should be schooling and winter flathead will be a viable option. Although weeding through small lizards at this time of year looking for a table fish can be tiresome.

At this time of year I find shallow edges close to deeper water the best options for 40cm plus flathead. A lot of anglers will, at this time of year, be throwing blades for bream. Don’t dismiss their potential for fishing for flathead, whether on the flats or in deeper water they are excellent lures.

Those chasing the luderick will more than likely line the bridge and banks at Lake Cathie this month, if it stays open to the sea. The recent rain and big seas have kept it open and any luderick angler in the area knows this is a prime place to catch a good feed. I just hope people are sensible the take what they need and not their limit.

Other good spots for luderick this month will be the southern break wall on the Camden Haven river and the on the bend of the southern break wall of the Hastings river. Those with access to a boat will do well along the coal walls and some of the deeper holes in Limeburners creek.

If you’re keen to sneak out after dark some XOS bream should be taken this month on well-presented baits along the coal wall. Fresh slab baits or whole yakkas or pilchards will see you tangling with some good quality fish.

Lure anglers will need to pick the tides carefully this month and fish when the water is moving, the lower reaches should have better water temps than upstream and this could produce more fish, but not necessarily the quality fish, when throwing lures during the day.

So this month should have some good fishing on offer in the Hastings Region if Mother Nature is kind and if you’re not afraid to tackle the elements.

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