Opportunities abound
  |  First Published: November 2009

There is plenty of great action to come over the next few months and the estuary should shape up well, with all the opportunities an angler could want.

There will be an increase in the schools of garfish, sand mullet and other baitfish throughout the lake and its tributaries through the warmer months.

Showers of butter prawns across the surface will be a common sight as small chopper tailor, bream and even flathead herd the prawns in the shallows.

All the bait activity in the lakes and rivers encourages competition among fish, which in turn makes catching them a little easier.

There should be no problem gathering a few flathead for a meal from the lower lake and tributaries.

While many of the flathead will be down around the weed patches and sand flats in the clearer water, there will still be a good number up the rivers.

Why the entire species don’t concede to the spawning urge and evacuate the rivers to get involved, I don’t know. The fact that they don’t provides an opportunity to fish the tighter water and catch a few dark flathead and some bream.


The concrete improvements to the boat ramp at Nabiac have made small boat access easier to the top end of the Wallamba River.

Surface-luring for bream in the Wallamba is a great way to relax and escape the holiday crowds – keep it in mind.

Also up the tributaries you may find the odd school jew lurking around the deeper sections. The fish are not huge; 3kg will generally pull them up.

They are great fun on soft plastics and bream gear but are generally a by-catch when targeting bream and flathead.

Breckenridge Channel around Red Spot boatshed has a few good flathead and there are always some good, but spooky, bream around Amaroo. These can be tempted with a light leader and a hidden weight soft plastic.

The section of Breckenridge Channel from Barclays sheds leading to Wallis lake doesn’t get much fishing attention.

During Summer the shallow, sandy area is well worth a fish early in the morning with surface poppers for bream and whiting. You will pick up a few flathead, too, on baits and soft plastics in the holes and weedy fringes that scatter the area.

The eastern side of Wallis Island is a good spot to take the kids and anchor for bream and the relentless leatherjackets.

They are good, but often frustrating, fun and the small cocky bream are a great source of food for the protected estuary cod that frequent the coffee rock undercuts.

A few leatherjackets the kids have caught for dinner is a guaranteed way to get the children to eat fish.

Anchoring and feeding out a small amount of berley is also a good way to encourage the garfish and mullet within casting distance and while you may not want to eat them, they are a good source of fresh bait for other pursuits.


Offshore, the small and medium kingfish should be lurking as they follow the schools of bonito and sea garfish along the coast.

Numbers and quality of sand flathead should also improve and as the water warms, these flathead will also encroach on the beach fringes.

If you are looking for live bait or perhaps squid, Haydens Reef, between Main and Pebbly beaches, is worth a look.

For those who are holidaying in the area, please be very aware of the marine park sanctuary zones. The fines are heavy and there is no dotted line on the water to indicate the boundaries. Be careful.

There haven’t been too many reports coming in from the rocks and beaches.

On the beaches I hear that anglers are having success with pilchards on ganged hooks for salmon and chopper tailor, while I suspect whiting, a few bream and the Summer dart are on the job with pipis and worms the best baits.

A bait that can be used very successfully from the beach is the yabby or nipper but few beach anglers can get their heads around using bait pumped from the estuary flats. Try them, the whiting and bream devour them.

I am looking forward to targeting the surface over the next few months and after losing one narrowly last month on a bream plastic, another goal this Summer is to land, photograph and release a metre-plus flathead. They are impressive creatures.

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