Ark plans at the ready
  |  First Published: July 2009

Rain, rain and more rain! I think I’ll change my boats name from Clover to The Ark!

That’s all I’ll say about rain, as the more I mention it the more it seems to pour.

Between drenchings we have had some clearing in the rivers and some decent fishing so hopefully this month we will be tucking into some hotter fishing to warm us up.

The beaches and rocks should really be firing.

Off the beaches, bream and tailor should be doing their thing. Best baits will be pilchards and beach worms.

If you find schooling tailor then a few metal slugs will prove invaluable in landing some decent choppers for your bag.

Best spots will be the northern beaches from Port, and Lighthouse Beach and Dunbogan Beach to the south.

If you’re hitting the stones then tailor and bream will also be viable targets, but the prize catch this month will definitely be drummer.

Good berley and prime baits are essential when targeting these stubborn pigs. Best spots will be around Grants Head at Bonny Hills and Point Perpendicular at Laurieton.

If the cunjevoi gets a chance to grow back after the hiding it’s been given recently it’ll be the best bait, or some peeled prawns.

Offshore action is hotting up and the snapper are moving closer inshore and being caught in all the usual haunts to the south of Port Macquarie.

The scattered reefs off Lake Cathie are possibly the best starting position, but if you’re not into travelling that far then the reef off Shelly Beach should also have fish, although not in the numbers further south.

Pilchards, squid and live baits will see some reds in the icebox and if you haven’t tried plastics for snapper then this is the time to give it a whirl.

Finding feeding fish on the sounder is essential. Be prepared to move around a bit, especially if the leatherjackets turn up in numbers. There’s nothing worse than losing good plastics, jig heads and leader material to the nasty nips of a jacket school.

Wider, pearl perch should be on offer and good cubed baits prove essential in snaring these tasty treats.

When heading offshore this month, make sure you do your homework on the weather front because the August winds can really kick up and play havoc with small boats heading offshore.


Estuary action is something of an unknown phenomenon, as the water in recent months has been every shade of brown, but if there is one thing I’ve learnt in the past few months is that fish will still be there, especially bream.

It’s just a matter of perseverance because they need to eat at some time.

One species that has loved the colour water, and anglers have been taking huge advantage, has been the mulloway.

Again this month they should be in good numbers as mullet schools congregate in the river.

Deep holes along the coal walls and around the bridges will be places to target good-sized fish on bait and lures.

A few local anglers have been doing exceptionally well on a variety of small metal blades.

Recently I took young James Ison on a pre-fish for the recent ABT qualifier and he was dead keen to target mulloway up at Rawdon Island Bridge and was unlucky not to catch a decent one.

We knew bream would be on the walls and left them alone but I yielded to James’ plea for 10 minutes fishing the wall, which turned into 45 minutes as he spent 35 minutes landing a lovely bream that weighed 1.4kg and measured 40cm to the fork.

Why did it take so long? James was using his brand-new Lamiglas Finesse Elite rod with 2lb fluorocarbon all the way through and did a great job keeping his cool.

Every time James got some line on this fish, it seemed to take twice as much back. There was no better feeling to see and hear his enjoyment when this great fish came on board for a few snaps and a quick release.

So after some terrible weather, let’s just hope we get clear skies and can enjoy the fishing more comfortably.

I get heaps of reports about lots of big mulloway – let’s see a few pics. Email them to --e-mail address hidden-- and I’m sure our readers might enjoy them as well.

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