May on the Mid North Coast is a mixed bag and I reckon one of the best times of the year to fish for everything from the lake to the ocean.
The weather is normally very pleasant and the seasonal movements of fish mean there are angling opportunities to suit almost everyone.
Wallis Lake is full of gathering schools of mullet that are yet to make the run to sea, as well as bream setting their attention to the beaches and rocky shorelines.
There are still some large flathead mixed with the pan-sized males in the lower end of the lake and right through the tributaries that feed the system.
Schools of garfish, herring, whitebait, glassies and even small pilchards have encouraged plenty of fish activity but there have been periods when the fish are too well fed and catching them has been harder than usual. Many of the bream and flathead I have caught lately have been fat as sacks, with distended bellies and with well-pleased looks on their faces.
The water that has been flooding into the lake has been warm. So warm and clean, in fact, that predators like bonito, the odd shark and big tailor have been hammering bait all around the bridge and Paddock area.
I was even lucky enough to hook and land a kilogram striped tuna over the Step in the lake. The fish was spotted and cast to, taking a pumpkinseed 4” Gulp Minnow on a 1/6oz jig head and a 3/0 hook in very shallow and clear water – the fact that we were chasing flathead was irrelevant.
Watching the little tuna fight was the highlight of the day as the fish screamed off on ever-decreasing arches in the shallow, crystal clear water.
There are still plenty of good-sized blackfish haunting the oyster lease poles, weed patches and channel drop-offs.
Some of the biggest blackfish I have ever seen have been just off the Forster Boardwalk behind the main drag, Wharf Street.
The fish in Breckenridge Channel are difficult to work out but if you have the time, try floating bread back toward the Amaroo mooring on a run-in tide after sunset. You may be surprised at what turns up and how free the blackfish will get.
The size bream in the area will get involved, too, but that may be a bonus.
There are still good flathead in the channel but the area near Red Spot Boatshed seems to produce the best fishing, with the channel fringed by the weed bed on the south side.
At high tide, throwing lures over the sand patches that break up the weed will produce flathead, including some large fish.
The last of the decent blue swimmers can be had this month. Then, until October/November, the swimmers will slow down and fatten up for the next spawning circle.
Offshore the fish traps and the FAD have been producing some mahi mahi from 40cm specimens to bulls around 80cm. Flipping soft plastics around the trap floats is a great way to attract the fish but can be frustrating so persistence is the key.
There are plenty of flathead and the occasional decent snapper still working the shallower reefs and I’m told some squid have been holding around Haydens Reef off Middle Head.
The bonito are still tearing up the baitfish along the shoreline and the longtails are about, although their numbers or size has generated no real hysteria as yet.
By the end of this month we should know if the big longtails are going to come through or not.
There are still heaps of bait like garfish around and some spearo mates tell me there are some reasonable-sized kingfish off the headlands like the northern end of Cape Hawke.
Trolling lures to your chosen fishing mark is recommended and a great way to collect a bit of fresh bait.
My pick of the month would be a spot of rock fishing with the hope of pigs, early-run bream and blackfish and the chance of spinning up a longtail or kingie.
The beaches will still be producing a school jew, the odd whiting and dart, but the rocks are where most of the coastal action will be.Reads: 800