Rocks, beaches should fire
  |  First Published: August 2008

The August westerlies should bring some low temperatures but the upside is some favourable fishing conditions, with the rocks and beaches top spots this month.

Prime targets will be bream and tailor with some kilo-plus bream caught after dark. Anglers on Lighthouse Beach having been doing exceptionally well already on mullet strips and pipis.

Look for well formed gutters and fish the entrance areas.

Tailor have been on and off so far this Winter due to changeable weather but if we get our usual August then good numbers should be taking pilchards and metal slugs.

Also about this month will be the good old salmon. They’ve already shown up and have given me some grief while fishing for bream on the breakwalls so look out for them busting up baitfish on the beaches and off the stones. They make great sport and warm the muscles on a cold day.

Drummer numbers are rising with Grants Head and Point Perpendicular top locations. The best bait, cunjevoi, has been hard to get due to big seas which have cleared out some rocky areas completely. Small cunjevoi is on the rebound, so please make sure you take only what you need and remember that the bag limit is 20.

Having Mother Nature wipe them out is one thing, but anglers taking more than they are allowed really hurts.

Offshore action this month will be close to shore to avoid getting blown away to New Zealand.

Snapper will be the prime targets, with the reefs of Shelly Beach and Lake Cathie good starting points. Live baits will be the best choice and cubed pilchards and bonito strips also worth a try, as well as the favourite soft plastics.

Flathead numbers offshore have been decent so they could also be on the backup plan if going further offshore is not an option.


Estuary action will be on the rebound; the Hastings River experienced some minor flooding and got a good flush.

Bream will be strong in the lower reaches and lure tossers will do well on the walls early morning and late afternoon.

Best lures lately have been lightly weighted soft plastics.

It’s important to vary the patterns to find the plastic that works on the day. No particular lure has been a standout.

On a recent outing I caught fish on the good old pear/watermelon Power Minnow, an Atomic Prong and the 2” Berkley shrimp.

As for hard bodies, on the walls the lipless crankbaits and metal vibration lures have been working best when left on the bottom and given the odd bounce or hop. Fish pick them up on the rest or when they are dropping back down after a hop or on the initial drop.

There are quite a few on the market and they vary slightly and it’s good to have a selection to keep all bases covered.

The Ecogear and Tackle Tactics vibes are very similar while the Big River Shake ’n’ Bakes are a little different in profile.

I find when the fish are switched on, the small metal blade styles work a treat and when the bream are a little quiet, the lipless rattlers like the Bassday Kangoku Vib and the Lucky Craft Bevy Vib are worth throwing.

Both have very different noise mechanisms that can yield good results.

Bait fishing for bream will be best done after dark, with the tide gauge and northern rock walls good for quality fish.

Luderick numbers have been solid and this month they should step up a gear. Lake Cathie is open to the sea and if it remains that way quality luderick will be on offer there.

The breakwalls in the Camden Haven and Hastings rivers should produce some nice bags, especially on a rising tide.

Flathead will be in the shallows and easily caught on soft plastics and drifted whitebait and slab baits.

Already quite a few people have been visiting and testing the waters for the Port Macquarie BREAM Classic. Pity the scene will all be different come October…

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