Not Too hard on the Rocks
  |  First Published: June 2010

Winter can be a very tough period for anglers but a change of plan can put enough fish in the bag to provide plenty of meals throughout the season.

The travelling bream and blackfish are well underway and the rock washes, early in the morning, will produce a mix of both. Live yabbies, cooked prawns and even bread baits will turn results.

During the day and a rising tide the pig action has been hot. There are plenty of just legal fish, but sorting through them and the kelpies you will hit the odd larger fish over 2kg. The best eating pigs are the 1.5-2kg fish, so hook sizes around 1 or 1/0 are plenty.

Mixed with the pigs are schools of large silver drummer and the occasional silver trevally, a little wider of the washes. The tailor are a little patchy from the stones but there is a good chance of a large fish rather than big numbers.

There have been reports of squid being caught around The Tanks, Haydens Reef, and along the kelp fringes of Bennetts Head. The squid make great live baits for kings and jew and the reported size of them, around 25cm hoods, are also good for the table.

The seawalls have been producing some good school jew as well as fish up to 15-20kg. One young bloke apparently was so stoked to have caught a 15kg fish on his live tailor that he paraded it around Tuncurry for anyone willing to look. I love that sort of enthusiasm, so next time drop a photo into Brad at Great Lakes Tackle so we can show the world.

There are still reports of good jew coming from the beaches and an unconfirmed 64kg fish was landed north of Old Bar. The breakwalls too have been giving up big bream as they mill around the rocky edge waiting to run out along the coast.

Flathead are more likely to be found up the tributaries from this month until October/November. There is always legal fish in the lower lake but to get any real numbers you need to fish the shallow edges of the Wallamba and Coolongolook rivers. Soft plastic lures or baits cast along the rivers will produce fish.

You’ll find a few good bream in these areas too. Not all the bream run every year and some of the fish being taken around the lease and snags of the rivers are up around 35-40cm.

With the school holidays coming up I have no doubt that the offshore and inshore reef areas will get some attention.

The mahi mahi that were so prolific around the FAD of late have dropped off but I am assured there are trag, flathead and leatherjackets around. Pearl perch and snapper are also on the cards so a variety of baits and tackle should be considered.

If you really want to catch one of the big bream under the pontoon I have a suggestion: a hot chip on light line and you will catch a bream. They just love hot chips and floating bread, but they are wary of fishing line so the lighter the better. Evening fishing from the Boardwalk and pontoon will yield better results if you can stand the cold.

Good bream can be caught with the run-out tide along and under the trawlers in the Tuncurry channel of an evening. Lightly weighted prawns or live yabbies will do the trick and fish the tide until the slack water to get results.

Excluding the chilly start and ends to the days it isn’t a bad time to get out and have a fish. Change your expectation and perhaps your target species and you should do okay.

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